Aaron Bruski

The Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Basketball is Back

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I’ve been on multiple assignments so here is a reiteration of the blurbs, in case you didn’t read them already.


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Brandon Bass (back) returned and scored 12 points with seven boards, two steals, and a block.


Chris Wilcox (groin) returned and scored five points with 11 rebounds. 


Rajon Rondo returned from a two-game suspension and missed all six of his shots, but finished with 11 assists and five turnovers. 


Kyrie Irving banged his funny bone and it wasn’t a big deal.


Tristan Thompson had 13 points, 10 boards, and two blocks in 27 minutes, and he’s a must-own player in 12-team leagues in my book, despite some risks.  Those risks include being crowded by Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao, and the combination of his late-game foul shooting issues with Byron Scott’s toughness on rookies.  My gut just tells me he’ll work through those issues somehow as the season goes on.


Gustavo Ayon only scored five points with four boards, but did have two steals and three blocks.  I wonder if folks might have jumped the gun on Emeka Okafor’s (knee) return, but I have no information to support that.  I’m just holding in 12-team leagues until it’s clear that Ayon’s value is going to be hampered, and that moment isn’t right now. 


Chris Kaman has a neon green light right now and scored 17 points with 11 boards, five assists, and a block. 


Jarrett Jack came off the bench and saw more time than Greivis Vasquez, scoring 10 points with four rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes.  Vasquez had 12 points and three assists in 21 minutes, and I know we blurbed that Jack is the favorite to start – and by recent play I’d agree.  But I can also see a scenario where Vasquez continues to start and Monty Williams rides the hot hand, potentially deferring to Jack more now than he will later in the year.  They’re both holds at this point. 


Richard Hamilton (groin, leg) returned to a 17-minute workload, scoring five points with two boards and five assists.  He’ll return to his low-end producing ways and is worth a serious look if he’s available in your 12-team format.


John Wall was not benched, while Nick Young and JaVale McGee were both sat for the usual reasons.  Trevor Booker somehow made the list, too, but he’s in a different boat than Young and McGee, who routinely commit every basketball sin in the book.  McGee is the one in real jeopardy, here, as he’s making national news for being a self-absorbed idiot every other week now.  Owners shouldn’t make any snap judgments and let the situation play out.  Booker had a season-high 20 points and 11 boards, and as I’ve said many times I’m not writing him off when the third stooge, Andray Blatche, returns as soon as Saturday.  I’m selling Chris Singleton’s big night, at least for now.  Jordan Crawford has been worth a pickup in 8-cat formats and especially in any format that his FG% doesn’t work against you.  Barring an injury to a volume-shooting guy, and maybe two when Blatche returns, a move to the starting lineup isn’t a game-changer for Crawford, but a bump nonetheless. 


I’m not adding Mike Dunleavy after his 28-point line because he plays for Scott Skiles and we’ve seen this movie many times.  I’m holding Carlos Delfino no matter how odd his high-minute, low-volume performances seem, because the upside is there and, at least for now, so are the minutes.  Ersan Ilyasova is trucking along.


James Johnson scored 16 points with eight boards, three assists, three steals, and a block and I’ve had him as a must-own in 12-team leagues for a while now.  This is just further confirmation.  His upside is tremendous.  I’m giving Jerryd Bayless this week to evaluate his short-term outlook.  With Jose Calderon the source of many, many trade rumors I have yet to drop him under normal circumstances.  Linas Kleiza hit 3-of-10 shots for seven points and while this type of rust could be an issue as he periodically rests his knee throughout the year, after the All Star break is a bad time to evaluate him.  That, as you can see, is a trend throughout yesterday’s action. 


Kyle Lowry scored 26 points with a full line.  Kevin Martin hit 3-of-15 shots and still played big minutes, and Samuel Dalembert played 27 minutes en route to 10 points, three boards, and two blocks.  I’ve held Sammy throughout the mess because my sense is that everybody will eventually get it together. 


Brook Lopez scored a season-high 38 points with six rebounds and no blocks.  Does it get anymore Brook Lopez than that?


Kevin Love left last night’s game with a rib contusion and did not return.  Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley both scored 27 points and the order of operations if the injury is serious goes Beasley, Williams, and Anthony Tolliver, with it being anybody’s guess how it actually plays out.  The Wolves have a big reason to showcase Beasley right now, while Tolliver is trusted more by Rick Adelman than the both of them.  Williams is the high draft pick that needed a kick in his pants early for entering the year a bit too high on himself. 


Devin Harris might have gotten whatever little man was in his head out of his head, and scored 18 points with seven assists last night.  I’d peg his chances as better than even that he plays like a low-end value for the rest of the year.  Would I bet my dog on it?  No way. 


Brendan Haywood had a nice night with 18 points, 10 boards, and three blocks, but is nowhere near a must-add player or anything but a flier at this point.  Check his game log if you need more. 


Paul Millsap bruised his left heel and did not return last night.  Derrick Favors is a speculative add, but based on year-to-date results he’s no guarantee to produce and make headway toward retaining value whenever Millsap would theoretically return, if he misses time.  Gordon Haywood could go to the bench, and with the way the Jazz offense has turned into a double-post extravaganza it might not be a bad thing.  Of course, betting on him in fantasy leagues from the bench is dicey, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility for it to help.  Ersan Ilyasova is the most recent example that comes to mind.  Haywood’s versatility and ball-handling could be nice if he’s the initiator or second-touch in the offense.


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Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
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