Games Played for Week 19
5 Games: LAL
4 Games: BRK, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, POR, SAC, UTA
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, LAC, OKC, PHX, SAN, WAS
2 Games: ORL, PHI, TOR
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Jordan Farmar, Kent Bazemore, Wes Johnson, Jodie Meeks, MarShon Brooks Lakers
With five games this week most healthy Lakers should be owned. Whether Kendall Marshall should be included on the list is up for debate after he has struggled for several games. He could turn it around at any time, but he’s scored a grand total of seven points over his last five games, hitting just 3-of-21 shots. The assists are still there (7.4 over last five), but his lack of scoring is a mess. And with Jordan Farmar coming on, it could get worse. Farmar had 30 points, seven dimes and eight 3-pointers on Friday, Bazemore had 12 points and a full stat line, Johnson had 12 points, 12 rebounds and two 3-pointers, Meeks scored 22 points with three 3-pointers, and Brooks came off the bench to hit 9-of-13 shots and three 3-pointers for 23 points. I don’t trust Marshall or Brooks, but the rest of these guys look like must-plays this week.
Jerryd Bayless Celtics
Bayless gets a boost with both Gerald Wallace (season over) and Avery Bradley (ankle, still not ready) out. He’s hit double figures in four straight games and is averaging 14.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games. Those numbers jump substantially if we just look at his last three games and as long as Bradley remains out, Bayless looks like a smart play.
Manu Ginobili Spurs
Ginobili is anything but reliable, but when he plays, he’s good. He’s made it through five straight games heading into Sunday night, averaging 12.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals, and hit three 3-pointers in his last two games. He could get Popped for a DNP at any time, but as I said, if he’s playing for the Spurs, he’s worth having in your lineup.
Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler Thunder
Perry Jones started on Sunday for injured Thabo Sefolosha, who could miss the rest of the regular season with a calf injury. New acquisition Caron Butler is going to see some minutes due to Sefolosha’s injury, along with Jeremy Lamb. But if I was going to bet on who might benefit the most from his absence, Jackson would get my early vote. I could easily be wrong and Butler could actually be the big winner here, but Jackson has proven himself in the Thunder lineup and he’s the guy I’d go with. But be prepared to jump on one of the other guys if they get hot. Jackson had seven points and three assists in the first half off the bench on Sunday.
Evan Fournier Nuggets
Randy Foye is a must-own player and shouldn’t be available in your league. Fournier looks like the next best bet out of the Nuggets guards and he’s averaging 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. The return of Ty Lawson won’t do him any favors, but Fournier should get enough minutes to make some noise.
Marcus Thornton Nets
I’ve had Thornton on this list more times than I’d care to admit this year, but he went off on Saturday against the Bucks with 25 points and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes. Shaun Livingston is running on fumes and “all-star” Joe Johnson looks like he’s about toast. As long as Jason Kidd gives Thornton minutes, he’s going to have some more big games for the Nets. And if he somehow replaces Livingston as the starting shooting guard, I think he’ll become a must-own player.
Will Bynum Pistons
Even with Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings healthy, Bynum has been playing well, averaging 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 24.4 minutes over his last five games. I sound like a broken record here, but if you pick him up, don’t expect him to hit threes or steal the ball.
Jarrett Jack Cavs
Jack keeps flirting with fantasy value and had 21 points, four assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on Wednesday against the Thunder. But unfortunately, he scored a total of just 11 points in his next two games. He’s averaging 33.2 minutes per game over his last five and as long as the minutes stay that high, he’s going to start producing consistently at some point. He just has to.
Austin Rivers Pelicans
Despite how badly Brian Roberts has played recently, he’s still the point guard to own in New Orleans. But they recently plugged Alexis Ajinca and Tyreke Evans into the starting lineup, and it’s possible that Austin Rivers could find himself there if Roberts doesn’t get it turned around soon. Rivers had a season-high 19 on Saturday in 30 minutes. Don’t run out and pick him up yet, but do put him on your radar in case he continues to play well and Roberts keeps stinking.