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 16 of the NBA season!
Best NBA Games to Watch This Week
Monday January 29: Philadelphia 76ers at the Milwaukee Bucks. Two young teams in the East both looking for a playoff berth? This should be a fun game to watch.
Tuesday January 30: Orlando Magic at the Houston Rockets. Two extremely fast teams is great for DFS players and should provide plenty of entertainment value.
Wednesday January 31: Memphis Grizzlies at the Indiana Pacers. The Grizzlies are having a horrible season but still play hard every night and the Pacers are so much fun to watch.
Thursday February 1: Houston Rockets at the San Antonio Spurs. This should be a closely contested game between these top Western Conference teams.
Friday February 2: New Orleans Pelicans at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder seem to be putting things together and they had better against the Twin Towers aka DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.
Saturday February 3 Houston Rockets at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Could this be a possible 2018 NBA Finals preview? The Rockets love to launch the three ball while the Cavaliers allow teams to score plenty of them. Should be a high scoring affair in Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night!
Sunday February 3: Portland Trail Blazers at the Boston Celtics. Start your Sunday off with great NBA action featuring two of the NBA’s top defensive teams.
You are a Happy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors as each of those teams has four games on the schedule this week.
Dunk of the Week
Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox is better known for his defense but this rebound put-back dunk on Thursday night against the Miami Heat is more than worthy of this week’s Dunk of the Week!!
You are an Unhappy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers as each of these teams only has two games on their schedule this week.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week
Atlanta Hawks PF/C John Collins has four games this week (Minnesota, Charlotte, @Boston and @Knicks) and over the past five games Collins is averaging 11 points, nine rebounds, and 1.4 blocks with the occasional assist, steal and triple while averaging 23.8 minutes per game. For the season Collins is shooting 58 percent from the floor and 73 percent from the line. Collins is widely available across the Fantasy Basketball industry and with the Hawks continually trying to get their young players more experience look for Collins to get more floor time as the season progresses.
LeBron James Reaches 30,000 Points
On Tuesday night Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history to record 30,000 points. James is also the only player in NBA history in the 7000 rebound and 7000 assist club and I don’t think there is another player that will ever be in that club.
James is obviously headed to the Hall of Fame when he hangs up his sneakers for the final time but will he also be regarded as the Greatest of all Time (GOAT)?
I was fortunate enough to watch the entire careers of both James and Jordan and to be quite honest it doesn’t matter to me who is the GOAT. I enjoyed both of their careers but I suppose we should take a look at both of their career highlights for those of you that like to discuss these things.
You could argue the rules were vastly different in Jordan’s day compared to what they are now during James career. Jordan’s numbers might be significantly higher had hand checking been eliminated.
The overall numbers are very close however James has put his up on 2 percent less Usage than Jordan.
James also has a much higher VORP (Value over Replacement) and Defensive Box Plus minus than Jordan.
The argument always seems to revert back to NBA Championships won and lost. Jordan won all six Finals he played in whereas James reached eight finals and only won three of them.
One could also argue that Jordan was surrounded by better teammates as well as one of the best NBA coaches of all time in Phil Jackson.
We can go on and on, back and forth and never come up with a clear cut decisive answer…..so why even bother?
Tweet of the Week
It’s amazing how many people believe that NBA players are trying to lose on purpose so an organization that could trade them at the drop of a hat will get a higher draft pick. Anthony Sain nails this and deserves this week’s Tweet of the Week!
If you think that the actual players on the court are tanking then first of all you don’t understand tanking and two just stop breathing and sharing your opinion on whether it’s best to win or lose
— Anthony Sain (@SainAsylum) January 24, 2018
Widely Available Streaming Options for Week 16
I don’t know about you but I am a streamer. I’m one of those crazy guys that leaves one roster spot open and looks for the hottest hand in the best matchup possible. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s best to do this in leagues where you are able to make moves daily but I have also had some success streaming in weekly leagues as well. Here are my streaming options for week 13.
Monday: Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mario Chalmers is averaging about 21 minutes a night and has a great opportunity at home against a Phoenix Suns defense allowing 25.75 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Points, rebounds, assists and steals plus solid free throw shooting is what you can expect from Chalmers on Monday against the Suns putrid backcourt defense.
Tuesday: Detroit Pistons point guard Ish Smith has a solid matchup against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense allowing point guards to average 24.55 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Over the past five games Smith is averaging 32 minutes a night and is a good source for just about everything except blocks.
Wednesday: Miami Heat small forward Josh Richardson has a solid matchup against a Cavaliers defense allowing small forwards to average 27.13 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Richardson fills up the stat sheet so roster him with confidence on Wednesday.
Thursday: Denver Nuggets power forward Trey Lyles has a nice opportunity Thursday night against an Oklahoma City Thunder defense allowing power forwards to average 19.96 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Over the past five games Lyles is averaging 22 minutes and is a good source for points, rebounds, triples with solid shooting percentages.
Friday: Miami Heat small forward Josh Richardson has a solid matchup against a Philadelphia 76ers defense allowing small forwards to average 20.02 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Richardson fills up the stat sheet so roster him with confidence on Friday.
Saturday: Houston Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson has a terrific opportunity on Saturday night against a Cavaliers defense allowing power forwards to average 23.36 Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Over the past five games Anderson is averaging 27 minutes a night and is a great source for three pointers, points, rebounds and decent shooting percentages.
Sunday: Atlanta Hawks power forward Ersan Ilyasova has a good opportunity Sunday against a New York Knicks defense allowing power forwards to average nearly THIRTY Fantasy Points per game over their past seven games. Ilyasova has averaged just under 25 minutes per game over the past five games and is a good source for points, rebounds, triples and has solid shooting percentages.
More Fantasy All Stars
Last week I gave you five of my Fantasy Basketball All-Stars and you wrote in wanting more so here are five more players who have outperformed their 2017 ADP ranking.
Guard: Utah Jazz rookie PG/SG Donovan Mitchell probably went undrafted in most leagues (140) and currently sits in the top 40 overall on ESPN’s Fantasy Basketball Player Rater and in the top 15 amongst shooting guards. That’s a pretty high jump and if he keeps his amazing play up he might wind up the NBA Rookie of the Year!
Guard: Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison had an ADP of 116.8 and currently sits at number 40 overall and in the top 15 amongst point guards. He’s another all but the most savvy Fantasy General managers didn’t see coming. Collison is still available in roughly 25 percent of the industry which is very surprising to me.
Forward: Miami Heat small forward is another player that was probably sitting on your waiver wire (140) and is currently sitting at number 50 overall and number 12 amongst small forwards. Injuries helped propel him into the top 50 and it will be interesting to see where Richardson finishes the season.
Forward: Utah Jazz SF/PF Joe Ingles is another player who most likely was sitting on your waiver wire (140) just waiting for you to notice his overall number 63 rating, his top 15 rating amongst small forwards and 22 amongst power forwards. The amazing thing to me is that he has over 70 percent industry wide availability.
Forward: Miami Heat PF/C Kelly Olynyk is another Heat player who made the most of his opportunities because of injury. You most likely found him sitting on your waiver wire (140) and he now sits at number 78 overall, 28th amongst power forwards and 19th amongst centers.
The Silly Season is Nearing
This season the NBA Trade Deadline is February 8, 2018 and for the first time in quite a while it will be prior to the All Star Break. Now is the time of year everyone and their mothers act as if they have the inside scoop on who is getting traded where or who should be traded where and to who. Well-meaning or not these folks can be confusing and even the most savvy Fantasy Basketball General Manager can get fooled by some of the stuff being written and tweeted on social media.
I’m going to help you out; if it isn’t being talked about by Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn), Shams Charania (@ShamsCarania) or Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) than it probably isn’t happening. Follow those three and you won’t be fooled by the other three million or so pretending to be in the know!
Enjoy the NBA this week!!
Follow Phil @Flashtennis31 and The Phil Naessens Show.