The NBA is fantastic and there are so many things to talk about each and every week. Whether you are a Fantasy Basketball fanatic or just a fan here is ten things about the NBA that I want you to know about as we head into week 15 of the NBA season!
Best NBA Games to Watch this Week
Monday January 22: Minnesota Timberwolves at the Los Angeles Clippers. Two upward trending teams in the West and the perfect late night hammer for DFS players.
Tuesday January 23: Boston Celtics at the Los Angeles Lakers. The rivalry continues but instead of Magic and Bird we have Kyrie Irving vs Lonzo Ball. It should be a fun night of basketball at the Staples Center.
Wednesday January 24: Minnesota Timberwolves at the Portland Trail Blazers. There should be plenty of fireworks in the Moda Center Wednesday night when these two potential Western Conference playoff teams collide.
Thursday January 25: Washington Wizards at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Wizards backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal take on the one man show aka Russell Westbrook.
Friday January 26: Indiana Pacers at the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the playoffs were to begin today this would be a first round matchup. Should be a fun game to watch!
Saturday January 27: Boston Celtics at the Golden State Warriors. This could be a possible preview to the 2018 NBA Finals and another nice late night hammer for DFS players.
Sunday January 28: Detroit Pistons at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Good NBA Central Division matchup to end the week with!
You are a Happy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs as each team has four games on their schedule this week.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week
Sacramento Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger has decided to play the young guys and no young guy has benefitted more that SG/SF Bogdan Bogdanovic. Over the past five games Bogdanovic is averaging 18.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists with a steal and nearly THREE triples a night while playing just over 30 minutes a game. Bogdanovic is shooting 48 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the line this season and with four games this week (@Charlotte, @ Orlando, @Miami and @San Antonio) and is widely available across the Fantasy Basketball industry.
You are an Unhappy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Orlando Magic as they are the only team with two games this week.
Tweet of the Week
Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn took a crazy spill on Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors. SB Nation brought this to our attention and deserves this week’s Tweet of the Week!
nope nope nope nope nope nope https://t.co/evud51AABb
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 18, 2018
Dunk of the Week
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry doesn’t dunk very often but this one against the Cleveland Cavaliers is worthy of the Dunk of the Week!
Replacing Kawhi Leonard………Again.
This season hasn’t been much fun for those having San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard on their roster. He’s only played nine games this season and now he’s been shut down “indefinitely”. I don’t know exactly what that means but either way his production will need to be replaced for the immediate future. Here are a few options for you to consider this week.
The obvious choice would be Spurs power forward Kyle Anderson. Anderson is no Leonard but over the past five games he is averaging two steals a night with pedestrian numbers in the other scoring categories. Anderson is averaging 27 minutes a night and has four games this week (Cleveland, @Memphis, Philadelphia and Sacramento) and is widely available across the Fantasy Basketball industry.
Charlotte Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been a big disappointment this season but over his past five games has shown some life averaging 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging over 25 minutes per game this season and with four games this week (Sacramento, New Orleans, Atlanta and @Miami) and would make a good option in leagues of 12 teams or more.
I will be discussing Miami Heat SG/SF Josh Richardson later in this piece as a streaming option but you might want to pick him up for the entire week. The Heat has three games this week (@Houston, Sacramento and Charlotte) and would make a good roster add in any league format.
Widely Available Streaming Options for Week 15
Monday January 22: Miami Heat SG/SF Josh Richardson has a great opportunity Monday against a Houston Rockets defense that is a middle of the road defense against small forwards. Richardson is widely available in the Fantasy Basketball industry and is a decent stat stuffer.
Tuesday January 23: Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyumbo has a great opportunity on Tuesday night at home against a Sacramento Kings defense that ranks in the bottom five against centers. If points, rebounds and blocks are what you need plug in Biyumbo with confidence on Tuesday night.
Wednesday January 24: New Orleans Pelicans SG/SF E’Twaun Moore has a great opportunity on Wednesday against a Charlotte Hornets defense in the bottom five against small forwards. Moore is a good source for points, steals and triples and is averaging over 30 minutes a night.
Thursday January 25: New York Knicks point guard Jarrett Jack has a great opportunity on Thursday night against a Denver Nuggets defense in the bottom ten against point guards. If you need assists and points than roster Jack with confidence on Thursday night.
Friday January 26: Indiana Pacers small forward Bojan Bogdanovic has a great opportunity Friday night against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense in the bottom five in three point baskets allowed. This bodes well for Bogdanovic as he is averaging nearly two triples per night and is a decent source for points with very solid shooting percentages.
Saturday January 27: Atlanta Hawks small forward Taurean Prince has a great opportunity against a Washington Wizards defense that is dead last in the NBA against small forwards. Prince has decent numbers across the board and is averaging over 30 minutes a night for the Hawks.
Sunday January 28: Detroit Pistons point guard Ish Smith has a great opportunity Sunday against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense in the bottom ten this season against point guards. Smith does a little bit of everything stats wise and plays 30 minutes a night so it could be a big Sunday for Smith.
Fireworks in the Martin Luther King Jr Finale
The NBA offered basketball fans a full day of basketball specifically to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was an amazing day of basketball and the NBA did it up right. At least I think that they did.
The last game of the night featured the Houston Rockets visiting the Los Angeles Clippers; this was also the return to Los Angeles for former Clippers star Chris Paul since demanding the Clippers trade him. The game got a bit chippy, Clippers All Star power forward Blake Griffin and Rockets small forward Trevor Ariza got ejected and the Clippers went on to win the game.
Unless you were watching the TNT post game show you probably didn’t learn until Tuesday morning that some Rockets players (Paul, Ariza, Gerald Green and James Harden) decided to slip into the Clippers locker-room via a side door and confront Clippers guard Austin Rivers and Griffin.
Thankfully nothing really came of this other than Ariza and Green being suspended for two games but that didn’t prevent TNT hosts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley from having fun with the situation. This had me laughing so hard it made my cough come back!!
Fantasy Basketball All Stars
The NBA has announced their Captains and Starters for the 2018 All Star Game so I thought I would give you my five Fantasy Basketball All Stars for the first half of the season…..only I am going to pick five players based solely upon how they have performed against their ADP ranking.
Guard: If we were drafting today there is no way Indiana Pacers shooting guard Victor Oladipo would have been drafted at number 64 like he was at the beginning of the season. Oladipo is currently sitting at number 10 overall on the Fantasy Basketball Player Rater and number three at the shooting guard position.
Guard: Los Angeles Clippers PG/SG Lou Williams is sitting inside the top 15 overall and at number five at shooting guard which is a HUGE jump from his 94.4 ADP ranking. Williams has been amazing this season and if you were to draft him today he would easily be at number 20 or so.
Forward: Did you see Memphis Grizzlies PG/SG/SF Tyreke Evans coming? I co-host a Grizzlies radio show and this pre-season we barely talked about him! Currently he sits in the top 20 overall and that’s a MONSTER leap from his 140 ADP ranking. If Evans can keep this up he more than likely will be my Fantasy Basketball MVP this season!
Forward: What about the season Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Taj Gibson is having? His ADP ranking suggests you probably snatched him off of the waiver wire and his current player rating of 43 tells me he should have been a top 50 pick!
Forward: If you would have told me that Chicago Bulls rookie power forward Lauri Markkanen would be in the top 60 of the Fantasy Basketball player rater this season I would have probably laughed. But that’s right where he’s sitting today and like Gibson and Evans you probably snatched him off the waiver wire. Lucky you!
Enjoy the NBA this week!!
Follow Phil @flashtennis31 and The Phil Naessens Show.