Aaron Bruski

The Daily Dose

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James Harden Explosion

Thursday, February 21, 2013



Al-Farouq Aminu has been productive for a week or two now, and put up four points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks.  I mentioned this two weeks ago when he was struggling and he bounced back – by the time you feel comfortable enough to put him in a lineup he might land back in the doghouse.  But for now he’s worth owning even if he’s not a must-own player.  Brian Roberts scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting with three treys and not much else, and he does this every once in a while and then goes back to being irrelevant. 


Ryan Anderson’s cold streak continued as he hit just 3-of-11 shots for seven points, three boards and one three.  I’m zero percent concerned about him and this is a buy low moment.  Anthony Davis’ see-saw ride is getting old, as he scored 12 points on 2-of-7 shooting with four rebounds and two blocks.  Despite what many would call an underwhelming year, he has still posted third and fifth round value on a per-game basis in 9- and 8-cat leagues, respectively.  A few weeks back I backed off my buy low recommendations because of concerns over his ankle, and now that we haven’t heard anything about it for a while I’m ready to turn the buy low switch back on. 


Robin Lopez got into foul trouble and finished with 15 points and three boards in 16 minutes, which sad to say qualifies as a good night for him lately.  I think the guy to watch for Lopez’s value is Davis, and if he’s not struggling mightily then Lopez will be better left on the wire in 12-14 team formats. 




Kyrie Irving scored 20 points in the fourth quarter of last night’s win over the Hornets, finishing with 35 points, five boards, seven assists, two steals and two threes.  This just in – he’s good.  Tristan Thompson trudged along on his ‘prove me wrong’ tour with nine points, 13 rebounds, one steal, and one block, while Dion Waiters has slowly gotten the memo about taking the ball to the rim.  He hit 6-of-10 shots for 16 points, three assists, one steal, and one block, and is shooting 51 percent in the month of February.  He should be owned in all formats. 


Tyler Zeller’s struggles continued as the rookie scored 10 points with just two rebounds in 22 minutes, which didn’t translate into a good night for Marreese Speights (four points, six boards, 18 minutes), either.  I’m disappointed that Speights hasn’t worked out, and also wondering if the standard fare of bad decision-making and lack of effort have reared their face here for Speights.  No matter how bad Zeller plays, Speights isn’t given the reins to run with.  He’s also popping up in trade rumors, so I think owners can definitely drop him for a better free agent if they’re so inclined. 




Deron Williams scored 23 points with eight assists in last night’s win over the Bucks, and he said he feels good after the PRP treatment on his ankle.  I think owners can approach this from both sides.  If you’re down and you want to gamble consider floating a buy low offer to his owners, hoping that this is a sign of things to come, and if you’re afraid of the risk for games off to prepare for the playoffs then right now is a pretty good time to sell. 


Joe Johnson hit just 3-of-14 shots for eight points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, and after his big game the night before I hope some of you were able to sell high.  Andray Blatche double-doubled with 12 and 12, a steal, and two blocks in 25 minutes, and he’ll need a trade of Kris Humphries with no big men returning before owners can feel good about an add in standards.  He also appears to have gained weight throughout the season, for whatever that is worth. 




The Larry Sanders show has picked back up where it left off and he put up another 12 points, 13 boards, three assists, and five blocks.  Defensive. Player. Of. The. Year.  And like I’ve said a million times, I’d almost be willing to bet that the voters can’t figure it out.  Brandon Jennings scored 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting with 11 assists and four threes, and I hope you were able to buy low last week. 


Monta Ellis (5-of-15 FGs, 14 points, four boards, five assists, two steals) is the guy that’s heading out if either guard gets moved, with Atlanta in the lead, and I think he’ll be fine there but if he gets moved anywhere else then owners will wish they had sold high.  He isn’t going to be recruited to be a No. 1 scorer or even No. 2 scorer on anything but a really bad team.  The Warriors’ addition by subtraction (relative) success and the shooting competition in Milwaukee in the backcourt have pretty much soured everybody on turning the ball over to Ellis. 




Chris Bosh’s struggles continued last night, as he hit just 2-of-10 shots for six points, six rebounds and zero blocks.  Maybe getting clowned during All Star weekend has had a carryover effect, and now is owners’ best chance to snag him from an impatient owner.  Shane Battier hit 5-of-8 shots (all threes) to score 17 points, but one look at his game log will show that he can be safely ignored. Ray Allen has picked it back up and scored 15 points with four boards and two threes in last night’s win over the Hawks. 




Al Horford did what good bigs do to the Heat, scoring 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting with nine boards and two blocks.  We’ve been talking a ton about Josh Smith, who might have played his last game in a Hawks uniform last night.  He put up 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting (0-for-4 from deep) with nine rebounds, nine assists, and two steals.  Right now it feels like the Bucks have the inside track to land him, but regardless I think he’s a sell-high player knowing that there is a percentage chance he is leaving and nowhere else profiles quite as well as Atlanta for his fantasy value. 


Kyle Korver came off the bench again and finished with 12 points, seven boards, three assists, and four treys in 26 minutes.  Others are concerned about whether or not he starts, and I could frankly care less.  I bet he puts up the same numbers in either role, even if the bench role is disconcerting. 




Moe Harkless flip-flopped with Andrew Nicholson last night as the rookie to own, as he put up 20 points, eight boards, one steal, one block, and one three.  Nicholson scored 10 points with seven rebounds and two assists, and I think both guys should be owned in 12-team formats.  It doesn’t hurt that the Magic have a good schedule and will be looking to develop their youth. 


Jameer Nelson hurt his left knee last night, and despite saying he’s “okay” he’s going to get an MRI on it.  E’Twaun Moore played well early in the year, but he hasn’t been a lock to produce when Nelson has missed time recently.  He scored five points with one assist in 12 minutes last night, and he’s best left as a speculative add in deeper formats unless we get unexpected bad news on Nelson. 


Al Harrington (knee) did not make his debut and that should tell you all you need to know about his health, as he could have helped his own cause getting traded out of Orlando.  Now, he admits that teams won’t trade for him not knowing if he’s healthy.  I’ve covered J.J. Redick in detail in our trade deadline pieces, and he was rattled a bit by the trade rumors on his way to 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting and an otherwise normal line.  I think he has a 40-70% chance of leaving, and he’ll struggle to get as many looks as he can get in Orlando, making this a sell-high moment. 




Vince Carter kept his foot on the gas with 14 points, four treys and a season-high eight assists, and while consistency is always a concern when a guy is averaging 24 minutes per game like he has over his last five – he’s certainly worth a look if you’re in a pinch.  Darren Collison scored nine points with nine assists and two steals, and is a decent sell-high candidate with the Mavs looking to improve at the PG position.  Just realize that nothing has developed on that end so far and the trade deadline could be quiet.  O.J. Mayo played through his ankle injury and scored 13 points with four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and three treys in 37 minutes.  Consider him good to go.  Elton Brand scored 17 points with five rebounds and two blocks, but his consistency is a problem and he’s only worth a look if you’re desperate for a big. 


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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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