Games Played for Week 19
4 Games Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, Golden State, L.A. Lakers, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Utah
3 Games Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Phoenix, Washington
2 Games San Antonio
See the end of this column for a list of each team’s remaining weekly games-played schedule, and follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Isaiah Thomas SAC – Thomas is still only owned in 71 percent of Yahoo! Leagues, and while Wednesday’s 14-minute disaster is a concern, he played 48 minutes in the prior game, and 24 minutes on Friday, and is still averaging 16.0 points, 5.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five, despite scoring just two points with two assists in Wednesday’s blowout win over the Magic. Simply put, he should be owned in all leagues, but beware of a two-game week starting March 11, and then a string of three straight three-game weeks to end the season.
Kirk Hinrich CHI – Hinrich has played in three straight games and has not only wrecked the value of Nate Robinson, but is actually providing some of his own, averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 boards, 7.0 assists, a block and 2.0 3-pointers over that stretch. He could go down again at any time, as he had missed 10 of 11 games with an elbow injury, but might finally be ready to roll. Of course, there’s always a chance that Derrick Rose could return at any time and rain on his parade, but I’m not sure we can sit around and worry about it unless we get a concrete report that Rose is set to return. The Bulls play three times this week and just two games in the following scoring period, but then go on a nice run to finish out the season. And given Hinrich’s injury history, it’s not a bad idea to hold Robinson if you are going to take a flier on Hinrich.
Brandon Knight DET – Knight is back from his knee injury and in a big way. After missing three straight games, he returned on Wednesday and exploded for a career-high 32 points and five 3-pointers, and then had 22 points and two 3-pointers on Friday. That’s a pretty small sample size, but he also had 21 points and three 3-pointers on Feb. 20, right before he went down with the knee problem. Prior to that he was pretty unspectacular and I’m not going to go so far as to say I fully trust him. It does appear that he’s going to play heavy minutes down the stretch for the awful Pistons, but you should keep in mind their remaining weekly schedule is pretty awful.
Devin Harris ATL – Like Hinrich, Harris has trouble staying healthy, and has bounced in and out of the starting lineup, coming off the bench in two of his last four games. But he has looked pretty good in those four, scoring 12, 12, 11 and 21 points in each of them. He’s also been a nice source of assists, steals and 3-pointers, and the kicker is the Hawks play four games every week the rest of the way, until the final full week of the season, when they play two games in Week 24.
Luke Ridnour & J.J. Barea MIN – The Timberwolves have a flawless schedule the rest of the way, playing four games per week until the cows come home. Ridnour is not the most exciting guy around, but has quietly hit double figures in scoring in five straight games, and 10 of his last 11. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 5.0 assists and 0.8 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over his last five games and with the great schedule, could be a very solid pickup in many leagues.
Barea hasn’t been as consistent as Ridnour, but is also playing well as Alexey Shved has cooled off over the last month or so. Barea has scored 14, 20, 16, 4 and 14 points over his last five games and the Wolves aren’t getting any healthier, with Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic joining Kevin Love in street clothes lately. However, there are rumblings that Brandon Roy is going to try to play again, but I just can’t see him getting heavy minutes, and he may just be trying to finish up his career on his own terms. In any case, both of these guards look like they could help most teams in head-to-head playoff leagues, and possibly even in some Roto leagues, as well.
Other Guards To Consider
Manu Ginobili, Nando De Colo & Patrick Mills SAS – Tony Parker is going to be out for the next month, and as we’ve seen in the past, Ginobili usually goes on a tear when Parker is out. While I don’t trust him, Manu has played between 23 and 30 minutes over his last four games and is averaging 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.8 steals, and has been shooting threes, but hitting just 3-of-14 over his last five games. The Spurs’ schedule is pretty poor and they play just twice this week, but Ginobili could finally be ready to go on a run, although a couple more random DNP’s could also be in his future.
De Colo and Mills should draw most of the starts in Parker’s absence, although it‘s tough to say whom Gregg Popovich will go with as the starter from night to night. Neither player is must-own at this point, but you should keep an eye on both of them going forward. I’d be more excited about both of them if the Spurs’ schedule wasn’t so bad.
Thabo Sefolosha OKC – Sefolosha blew up for 28 points, five boards, three assists, two blocks and six 3-pointers a week ago Wednesday and is averaging 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s also on fire from downtown, hitting 53 percent of his shots from beyond the arc over that stretch. He’s getting 32 minutes per game over his last five, but if you grab him, be prepared for plenty of single-digit scoring nights and beware of the Thunder’s less than ideal remaining schedule.
Marcus Thornton SAC – Thornton has had a disastrous campaign under Keith Smart, but has finally gotten hot, and could be ready to finish up in a flurry. Thornton, who is available in 16 percent of Yahoo! Leagues, has scored 25, 20 and 36 points over his last three games, hitting 12 3-pointers and shooting lights out by hitting 25-of-44 shots during that stretch. Yes, he could disappear and fall into another funk for the fickle Smart at any time, but Thornton should be grabbed in all leagues until further notice.
Avery Bradley BOS – Bradley’s checking in at 10.6 points, 3.0 boards, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and nearly a 3-pointer per game in 31 minutes over his last five. The Celtics play four games per week in four of their next five scoring periods and could make for a nice pickup down the stretch. Courtney Lee and Jason Terry are also worth a look, but I’d put Bradley slightly ahead of both of them in the pecking order.
Ray Allen & Shane Battier MIA – Allen is averaging 13.0 points and 3.0 3-pointers in 29 minutes over his last five, and the Heat’s schedule is pretty sweet going forward, making him worth a look if you need threes. Battier’s also worth a deep-league look, averaging 9.3 points and 2.8 3-pointers over his last four, but I don’t trust him nearly as much as Allen.
Tony Allen MEM – This Allen isn’t going to have a lot of big scoring nights, but is productive in most categories outside of 3-point shooting. He’s in a shooting slump, hitting just 38 percent of his shots over the last five, but is also averaging 10.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and a block in 30 minutes over his last five. And the schedule is pretty good for Memphis after the upcoming week, when they play four games in four straight after going three times in this scoring period.
Alec Burks UTA – Burks has been hit or miss, but is getting minutes for the Jazz. He’s averaging 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting in 29 minutes per game over his last five. Give him a look if you’re in a deep league, and keep in mind the Utah schedule is very fantasy friendly going forward.
Alan Anderson TOR – Anderson has been shooting it poorly for most of the season (38%) and is at 35 percent over his last five games. However, he has gotten hot over his last two games, scoring 21 and 14 points, but is just 1-of-12 from downtown over that stretch, and hasn’t done much of anything else. He’s at least worth keeping an eye on in deeper leagues.
E'Twaun Moore & Beno Udrih ORL - Jameer Nelson may play on Sunday, and if it happens, both Moore and Udrih will take a hit. But anytime Nelson is out, both players are worth throwing into fantasy lineups.
Shaun Livingston CLE – Livingston has started three straight games in place of Kyrie Irving, scoring 15, 15 and 10 points in them, while racking up some decent rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, and shooting it very well. Irving could return on Monday, and Livingston will take a hit when it happens. But if Irving goes down again at some point, Livingston should be worth a look.