Steve Alexander

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Lestermania: Top NBA Pickups

Friday, April 13, 2012


Shooting Guards


Klay Thompson Warriors – Thompson has been as hit and miss as any player, but went off on Thursday for 24 points, seven boards, eight assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers.  He’s averaging 18 points, four boards, 2.4 assists, a steal, 0.8 blocks and three 3-pointers over his last five games and is now a must-start with five games in the upcoming week.


O.J. Mayo Grizzlies – Mayo has been playing well, helped by the fact that Tony Allen has been out with a mouth injury, and is averaging 12 points, four dimes, a steal and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games.  The Grizzlies finish up with a 4-2 schedule, and Mayo should be nice, with or without Allen in the mix.


Iman Shumpert Knicks – People are generally down on Shumpert after his disappointing performance a week or so ago, but he’s getting a ton of minutes from Mike Woodson, and is averaging 11 points, four boards, three assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games.  And those numbers are much better over his last three games – 14 points, 5 boards, 4.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks.  The Knicks go 4-2 to finish the season and Shumpert is averaging a whopping 39 minutes over his last five games.  I’m doubling down on him.


J.J. Redick Magic – With Hedo Turkoglu out indefinitely, Redick is now a starter for the Magic, averaging 14 points, two boards, two assists, a steal and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games.  He’s hit double digits in scoring in four straight and has looked particularly good in his last three games.  He’s also coming in at 35 minutes per game over his last five and the Magic play four games next week, and twice in the finale, making Redick look like a must-own player.


Danny Green Spurs – Green posted a monster line for the Spurs on Wednesday when he had 22 points, three boards, two assists, two steals, two blocks and five 3-pointers, then cooled off on Thursday with 10 points, four boards and two 3-pointers.  He clocks in at 11.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games.  The Spurs have five games next week and three the following, and it’s hard to imagine Gregg Popovich not riding Green as he continues to rest his old dogs, making him a very sneaky pickup in all formats.  Believe it or not, he could win you a fantasy championship if Popovich plays him five times next week.


Marco Belinelli Hornets – Eric Gordon’s back and knee issues have rendered him useless, and Belinelli doesn’t seem to mind.  He’s averaging 20.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and FIVE 3-pointers over his last two games.  Sure, Gordon could come back at any time, but as long as he’s being Eric Gordon and missing games, Bello’s worth a look in all leagues.


Jamal Crawford Blazers – Crawford came out of nowhere on Wednesday for a season-high 32 points, but somehow hit just one 3-pointer in that one.  It’s hard to say if he’ll keep it going from here on out, but with LaMarcus Aldridge done for the season, someone besides J.J. Hickson has to score for the Blazers, right?  Crawford has actually hit double digits in scoring in four straight and looks like a must-own player, but keep in mind the Blazers finish up with a bum 3-2 schedule.


Landry Fields Knicks – Fields is quietly playing well for the Knicks, averaging 11 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and nearly a 3-pointer per game over his last five.  I’d rather own upside guys like Shumpert and J.R. Smith, but Fields is worth a look in most leagues.  The Knicks finish up 4-2.


Roddy Beaubois Mavs – Roddy Buckets is quietly averaging 10.6 points and 4.2 assists over his last five games, and has scored in double figures in three of his last four.  Now that Jason Kidd is back, Delonte West is starting, and Jason Terry and Vince Carter are coming off the bench, Beaubois is going to be hit or miss in the minutes department.  But he’s effective when he plays, and might be worth a deep-league look.


Cartier Martin Wizards – Speaking of deep-league looks, Martin is now averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, three 3-pointers and 30 minutes per game over his last two for the Wizards.  He’s definitely a wild card, but could be a sneaky add in deep leagues as the Wizards finish up 3-3.


Small Forwards


Jason Richardson Magic – J-Rich shouldn’t be available in any leagues, but check your wire just in case. 


Brandon Rush Warriors – Rush’s scoring has really dipped recently, as he’s scored 9, 13 and 5 points in each of his last three games.  But over his last five, he’s averaging 11 points, three boards and two 3-pointers, and is usually good for a steal and block per game, as well.  With five games this week, he looks like a much better option than Byron Mullens and several other players.


Metta World Peace Lakers – MWP is enjoying life without Kobe, averaging 16.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game over his last five.  I don’t trust him at all, but he could be a sneaky play next week with four games – especially if Kobe continues to sit with his shin injury.


Nicolas Batum Blazers – Batum’s knee injury makes him very tough to rely on right now, but he played through it on Wednesday and went off for 14 points, five boards, two steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers after sitting out Monday’s game with the sore knee.  I don’t have the guts to throw him in a weekly lineup and the Blazers play just three times next week, but if you’re a daily streamer, Batum clearly still has value.


Al-Farouq Aminu Hornets – Trevor Ariza is dead to coach Monty Williams and Aminu is now the man at small forward in New Orleans.  He’s not lighting it up, but is getting minutes and could be worth a look with four games next week.  He’s averaging six points, four boards, a steal and block over his last five, and clocks in at 31 minutes over his last three games.


Michael Beasley Timberwolves – Beasley might finally be getting healthy again after a toe injury slowed him down, and is only helped by the fact Kevin Love could miss some time with a concussion.  Beasley had 14 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday after playing just 10 minutes in his previous game, and scored 12 & 20 points in his previous two games.  I don’t trust him, but if Love remains sidelined, Beasley is worth a look in most leagues, as the Wolves play four times next week.


J.R. Smith Knicks – Smith has scored 14 points in three straight games and is averaging 14 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five.  I still think one of those 40-point explosions might be coming soon and the Knicks play four times next week.  You do the math.


James Singleton Wizards – Singleton, like teammate Cartier Martin, is suddenly getting minutes and playing well for the Wizards.  He’s averaging 14 points, nine rebounds, a steal and 0.6 blocks in 29 minutes over his last three games, and while he’s not a great option with just three games next week, he’s worth a deep-league look.


Derrick Brown/Reggie Williams Bobcats – Brown had 13 points, five boards, three assists and a 3-pointer on Thursday, while Williams returned from his knee injury and had seven points on Thursday night.  Corey Maggette has been shut down for the season (shocker) with an Achilles injury, so both of these guys are going to get some nice run for the Bobcats.  They play four times next week and three in the finale, making both of them worth a look in some leagues.  Just beware that Paul Silas, who refuses to play Kemba Walker heavy minutes, and hosed a lot of owners with Byron Mullens this week, is nearly as unpredictable as Popovich.  

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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.
Email :Steve Alexander

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