Mike Gallagher

Waiver Wired

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Wired: Hot Pickups for Week 23

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Brandon Bass- (4) Kevin Garnett is out again on Sunday and his return is not yet in sight. Bass has been great in the last four games without KG in two particular areas: blocks and field goal percentage. The LSU product blocked 2.3 shots and shot 63.6 percent from the field in that span. He also had a 22-point outburst on Wednesday and there’s really no competition behind him. Bass is also shockingly ranked 12th in the league in free throw shooting with a sterling 86.2 percent.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (4)- He was bad in February. We’re talking really, really bad. The rookie shot 31.0 percent in that month, but things are looking up for him lately. In his last two games, MKG made 68.1 percent of his 22 shots and scored 17.5 points in 32.5 minutes. The sample size isn’t exactly something that will make you stop what you’re doing to pick him up, but he did shoot 49 percent in the month of March. His blocks are starting to come on as well and he’s worth a look with his four games.


Josh McRoberts (4)- Byron Mullens is down with a sore left ankle and missed the last two games. This is the same ankle that cost him five weeks of the season back in December and January. McBob played 41 minutes against the Sixers on Saturday and scored 15 points. His upside has dropped a little since he’s made just one 3-pointer in the past 30 days and he’s not much of a shot blocker.


Markieff Morris (3)- He turned some heads against Pacers on Saturday night with a line of 18 points, four boards, two assists, one block and two steals in 32 minutes. If not for foul trouble on Thursday, Morris would have played at least 32 minutes in each of his last four games. Lindsey Hunter has played the part of George Patton and the Suns are in tank mode, which means they’re going to want to get a long look at Morris. He only has three games this week, which suggests he won’t be in weekly lineups with so many teams having four games.


Shawn Marion (4)- Rick Carlisle likes him and what’s not to like? He plays great perimeter defense and can stretch the floor with his effectively ugly jumper. In his last five, Marion averaged 9.6 points, 7.0 boards, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 steals on 54.1 percent shooting. The Mavericks have won four of their last five -- all against playoff teams -- and Marion returning to the lineup for those games is a big reason why.


Trevor Ariza (4)- He returned from the flu on Saturday and received 25 minutes. His line wasn’t a good one with five points, seven boards, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer, but he was playing well before his illness cost him three games and can fill up steals and treys. Garrett Temple playing well could suggest this is a timeshare, so anyone that cut Ariza shouldn’t have the same expectations as they did prior to his illness.


Greg Smith (4)- The Rockets are considering starting him and he does have an 18-point, 19-board game on his resume thanks to Wednesday’s monster performance vs. Indiana. Smith isn’t much of a shot blocker and isn’t effective from the free throw line, so his upside isn’t something worth hitching your wagon to unless you need boards and points. He does have four games this week to help owners that are in a mega bind.




Nikola Vucevic (4)- He returned on Saturday from a concussion, played 39 minutes and has a four-game week. No analysis required here, folks.


Jonas Valanciunas (4)- It took a while, but JV is finally hitting his stride. He’s scored in double figures for seven straight games and shot an outstanding 73.7 percent from the field. Valanciunas is coming off a 13-board, four-block game and he’s played in at least 30 minutes in each of his last five games too. The four-game week makes him a very strong pickup in all leagues.


Andre Drummond (4) He returned in emphatic fashion on Friday against the Raptors. Drummond shot 8-of-10 from the field for 17 points with two blocks and two steals in just 19 minutes. Of course, he did shoot 1-of-4 from the line. The steals are nothing new for Drummond and his 1.0 per game in just 19.7 MPG is very impressive. Most signs point to the Pistons letting him loose and should be owned by every owner that an take a hit in FT%.


Brandan Wright (4)- This Brandan Wright write-up right now is going to be interesting, right? Heterographs aside, he logged his first double-double of the season in Saturday’s big comeback win with 13 points and 10 boards in just 23 minutes. B-Dub is getting more playing time with 25.8 minutes per game over his last five, too. The Mavericks have an outstanding schedule this week with four plus matchups (LAL, DEN, SAC and POR) and three of those four teams like to attack the basket, so the Mavs will need Wright. He’s a sneaky play this week.


Meyers Leonard (4)- LaMarcus Aldridge missed Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle and didn’t travel with the team to Utah for Monday’s tilt. Although, Terry Stotts said he could join the team for the game. LMA should be viewed as closer to doubtful than probable, which makes Leonard an interesting pickup.


Greg Stiemsma (4)- Nikola Pekovic was a late scratch with a sprained left ankle. The good news for Pek is that at least it isn’t to the right foot that was surgically repaired last offseason and has caused him problems. The Wolves leaned heavily on Stiemsma on Saturday, playing a career-high 40 minutes. He also gets to host his old team when Boston comes to town on Monday. This is more of a daily league add here.


Jermaine O’Neal (3)- He returned from a calf injury on Saturday and played just 18 minutes. JO can’t stay healthy and with the youth movement going on in the Valley of the Sun, expecting more than 26 minutes per game is a bit lofty. The three games also don’t help his case. What is he even doing in this column?

Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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