Steve Alexander

The Daily Dose

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Dose: Early Games On MLK Day

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rockets @ Bobcats 2 p.m.


With four games, James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik look like must-starts, but keep in mind Lin was benched at the start of the second half on Saturday after ticking off Kevin McHale with poor play.  Hopefully that won’t carry over into this week, while Asik was terrible on Saturday after blowing up for a career-high 22 points on Friday.  The whole team was pretty awful in Saturday’s loss to the Wolves, so look for them to bounce back against the Cats.  Carlos Delfino and Patrick Patterson are also worth a look, but I trust Delfino more than Pat-Pat at this point.  If I own Delfino, I’m playing him, and learning to take the good with the bad.


Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions all look like solid three-game plays, while Hakim Warrick and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are also worth a look.  Ben Gordon has cooled off too much to be relied upon, while Bismack Biyombo is not a guy I’d start in a four-game week, let alone a three-gamer.  Walker (ankle) and Henderson (back) are both dealing with injury concerns, so watch for news on them Monday morning.


Nets @ Knicks 3:30 p.m. NBATV


With four games, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are your must-starts, while Gerald Wallace, Andray Blatche, Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans are all worth a look, based on your needs.  I have a feeling Wallace may be ready for a bounce-back week, so think about running him out there.


The Knicks’ one-game week is mercifully behind us and they go four times this week.  Carmelo Anthony’s owners are rejoicing, along with those of J.R. Smith and Tyson ChandlerAmare Stoudemire played well on Thursday with 17 points and four boards in 20 minutes, and is worth a look, despite the obvious playing-time concerns.  Jason Kidd is another guy I have no problems with starting this week, while Chris Copeland, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert might be worth a deep-league flier.  Raymond Felton is nearing a return, but isn’t startable yet.


Clippers @ Warriors 4 p.m.


This game will feature a pair of banged up point guards, both of whom played well on Saturday.  Keep an eye out for news on Chris Paul’s knee, but with five games, he simply has to be started in weeklies.  Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes are also five-game must-starts, while DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and Lamar Odom are also strong possibilities.  Eric Bledsoe actually played well despite the return of Paul, but even with five games, you can probably find a safer option.


Stephen Curry returned after missing a couple games with a sprained ankle on Saturday and went off for 20 points and a full stat line in 38 minutes.  He’s a must-start with four games (as long as he’s healthy), along with Klay ThompsonDavid Lee is banged up with a sprained ankle, but is still hoping to play on Monday after missing Saturday’s game.  Watch for news on Curry and Lee Monday morning.  Jarrett Jack went off, despite Curry’s return, and had 25 points and 12 dimes on Saturday.  He’s risky, but worth a serious look.  Harrison Barnes disappeared on Saturday, but is still a decent four-game option, while Carl Landry’s double-double on Saturday was a bit of a fluke with Lee out.


Spurs @ Sixers 7 p.m. TNT


The Spurs have four games, but you just don’t know what you’re going to get, which Tim Duncan’s owners know after his surprise DNP on Saturday in order to rest.  Duncan and Tony Parker are must-starts, while Manu Ginobili is out for the week.  Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, Stephen Jackson and Danny Green are all going to help fill in for him, and could trade off productive lines from night to night.  Tiago Splitter is playing well enough to be a solid four-game option, while I would lean toward starting Leonard, too. 


The Sixers are coming off a two-game week, but Jrue Holiday played well in both of them and looks like a must-start, despite just three games.  Thaddeus Young is also a solid option, along with Evan TurnerJason Richardson didn’t practice on Sunday with his gimpy knee and is always a risky play these days.  And Dorell Wright has been quiet, but could get hot if J-Rich misses any time.


Lakers @ Bulls 9:30 p.m. TNT


The Lakers are a mess and lost to the Raptors on Sunday, when Dwight Howard was ejected (when he probably shouldn’t have been).  That helped Earl Clark have another big game, and he’s worth a look for four games this week, even with Howard and Pau Gasol both back.  Kobe Bryant, Howard, Metta World Peace, Steve Nash and Gasol are all must-starts.  Antawn Jamison is probably in the same category as Clark, but the sad truth is that Clark is a more trustworthy player right now.


Luol Deng missed Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury, making him iffy for Monday.  If he’s out, Jimmy Butler should have another opportunity after racking up a career-high 18 points, eight boards and three steals in a start for Deng.  Joakim Noah was benched on Saturday, but is a must-start, along with Carlos BoozerTaj Gibson has played well, but I don’t trust him as long as Noah and Boozer are healthy.  It’s fine to throw Kirk Hinrich or Nate Robinson into a lineup in hopes they have some good games this week, but they’re both pretty shaky from night to night.  Richard Hamilton has been playing better, and is also worth some deep-league consideration.


Wizards @ Blazers 10 p.m.


With four games John Wall, Bradley Beal and (surprisingly) Emeka Okafor are your only must-start Wizards, while Kevin Seraphin, Nene, Jordan Crawford, Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza may all be worth a look.  A.J. Price probably is too, but you also have to think Wall is very close to replacing him at point guard.


With four games, there’s not much to say about the Blazers.  The starters are all fantasy money, and the bench is fantasy garbage.  That means Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson are all must-start players this week and on Monday.  Just keep in mind that Lillard (ankle), Batum (wrist) and Aldridge (wrist) are all worth keeping an eye on for news on their minor injuries Monday morning.

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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