Steve Alexander

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Lestermania: Top NBA Pickups

Friday, April 13, 2012

I was trapped in Sirius Radio hell last week while traveling across the South with my kids for Spring Break, as my 13-year-old daughter controlled the radio.  The Top 20, or whatever that station is called, is filled with auto-tuned trash and most of it is plastic that would melt under even a small amount of heat, but I did discover one thing I found worthwhile.  This band called Fun has a catchy song and pretty cool video (with 30 million or so views) for We Are Young, and it’s been stuck in my head for about a week now.  It’s not often you’ll hear me talk about anything that’s not indie rock, but since I wrote part of this column while listening to it, I figured I’d get it stuck in your head, too.  Sorry.


The season is wrapping up quickly and this is likely the last time you’ll make meaningful pickups in your run to a championship, so I tried to go rather deep again this week.


Remaining Weekly Schedules


5-3 Spurs

5-2 Warriors, Heat

5-1 Rockets

4-3 – Cavaliers, Bobcats, Sixers

4-2 - Hawks, Bulls, Nuggets, Pistons, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hornets, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, Suns

4-1 – Mavericks, Lakers, Timberwolves

3-3 – Bucks, Wizards

3-2 – Celtics, Nets, Blazers, Kings, Raptors, Jazz


Point Guards


Jason Kidd Mavs – Kidd is back from his groin injury and has racked up an average of eight points, eight rebounds, 8.5 assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers over his two games since returning.  There’s no telling if he’ll keep it going, but the numbers don’t lie.  The Mavs finish up with a 4-1 schedule, meaning Kidd is a must-start player in the upcoming week.


Greivis Vasquez Hornets – Vasquez is the only point guard available for the Hornets now that Jarrett Jack is done for the season, and is averaging 13.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists, a steal and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games.  He’s hit double digits in points in each of his last five games and looks like a must-start player with four games this week, and two in the finale.


Lester Hudson Cavs – Via Twitter, Blair Fink says we should be calling Hudson “Lestermania” instead of “Hudsanity” in tribute to the band Phoenix, and I’m not gonna argue with him.  Lestermania is averaging 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal, 0.6 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers in 32 minutes per game over his last five.  I have no idea if he’ll keep it going, but with the Cavs going 4-3 over the next two weeks, Hudson’s a must-own player.  Maybe Kyrie Irving comes back next week to rain on the parade, but Byron Scott is going to be very careful with his young superstar and the fans of Cleveland are going to demand more Hudson going forward.


Nate Robinson Warriors – Robinson is prone to disappear at times, but is still averaging 13 points, six dimes, 0.8 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games.  The Warriors have five games in the upcoming week and two in the finale, making him a smart play next week.  Charles Jenkins is starting, but isn’t doing enough to be used in most leagues.


George Hill Pacers – Darren Collison’s groin injury has been good for Hill and we still don’t know when Collison will play again.  Hill’s averaging 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.5 steals, a block and 1.5 3-pointers over his last two games and remains a must-start player for as long as Collison is sidelined.  The problem is that Collison could return at any time, and is currently very iffy for Friday against the Cavs.


Mario Chalmers Heat – The Heat play five times in the upcoming week and Chalmers is averaging nine points, three boards, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games.  Weigh your options carefully, but with five games next week and two the following, he’s an intriguing add, especially in ESPN weekly leagues with seven total games in the final scoring period.


Jose Juan Barea Timberwolves – Barea had a double-double by halftime on Thursday but took eight stitches to his mouth at the break and didn’t look right the rest of the night.  He finished with 10 points and 11 dimes in 31 minutes.  I have to give the guy credit for fighting through it (unlike Tony Allen), but it’s hard to say how good he’ll be next week – especially if Luke Ridnour returns from his severely sprained ankle.  JJB is worth owning in all leagues, but will take a hit when Ridnour is back.  The Wolves finish up with a 4-1 schedule, and I’d rather own Vasquez.


Kyle Lowry Rockets – Lowry is working his way back into the mix, slowly but surely.  He’s averaging 14 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer over his last two games, and should only get better the rest of the way.  Goran Dragic is the starting point guard in Houston and should still be owned in all leagues, while Lowry is going to hurt Courtney Lee’s minutes while also spending time at shooting guard for the Rockets.


Donald Sloan Cavs – Sloan is the starting point guard for the Cavs right now, but is clearly being overshadowed by Mr. Hudson (Lestermania).  Sloan is averaging seven points, 2.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 0.8 steals over his last five games and the Cavs finish up with a sweet 4-3 schedule.  But the offense just isn’t there for Sloan, thanks to Lester, and the return of Kyrie Irving would finish him off.


Gary Neal Spurs – Neal is a real crapshoot, as are most of the Spurs, but in a real deep weekly league, the 5-3 schedule the Spurs have should mean good things.  He’s averaging 9.5 points, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and a 3-pointer per game, but could see heavy minutes the rest of the way as Tony Parker plays limited minutes in preparation of a playoff run.


Justin Dentmon Raptors – Jose Calderon left his last game with an eye injury and if he were to miss time, the kid you’ve never heard of (Dentmon) would see big minutes for the Raptors.  He’s clearly not a must-own player, but had five points, three boards, two assists and a three in his last game, when he played 21 minutes while filling in for Calderon.  Ignore him for now, but if JC is going to miss a game or two, Dentmon could be worth a look.  Calderon is probable for Friday’s game, so this is simply a heads up.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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