October 23, 2017, 10:13 am
We’re one week in to the NBA season and what a fun week it was. But that’s all it was. Just one week. The tiniest of sample sizes. You may be sitting at home after dominating your league in the first week of play, thinking you have the greatest collection of talent ever put together in the history of fantasy basketball. Or, if you’re like me, you go the opposite direction and wish you had just taken the money you’ve spent on fantasy basketball and just set it on fire for a similar result.
Either way, you’re wrong. It’s far too early to analyze nearly anything. It’s especially too early to give up on guys you trusted on draft night. The best thing one can do right now is try to recognize trends this early in the season and capitalize on them, which typically means embracing the use of a streaming spot on your roster. Stay committed to the guys you “had a feeling about” as the season began but never stop looking for that guy that has snuck up on everyone with tremendous value.
In the short-term, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the week ahead:
Games Played Breakdown:
4 Games: Cavs, Grizzlies, Hawks, Hornets, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, Warriors, Wizards
3 Games: Blazers, Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Pacers, Pelicans, Raptors, Sixers, Suns, Thunder, Wolves
Like I said earlier, it’s tough to analyze this early on with such a small sample size. We still have to take last season’s performance from these teams and the players on them into account. But a few trends have developed to help us out a little.
The Nets, featuring one of the more underwhelming rosters in the league, are filling up box scores in a hurry to start the season. They became the first team since the 1988-89 season to score 115+ points in each of their first three games to start the season.
If you can, pick up a Net or two for this week’s matchup. They have a four game slate this week and I don’t see the scoring going away any time soon. They play the likes of the Magic, who they already collided with in a dizzying 126-121 contest this past Friday night. They also play the Knicks who have given up 108 points per game in the young season. Plus, they’ve got the Cavs and the Nuggets who both occasionally suffer from being defense-optional.
I also love the Wizards schedule this week as they take off for a four-game West Coast road trip. They take on the Nuggets, Lakers, Warriors and Kings. All teams that want to get out and run. In a running affair, John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter should feast. Kelly Oubre could also be a guy to watch this week with this schedule.
On the other hand, I’m not a fan of the Mavericks schedule here in Week 2. They have the unenviable task of playing an angry 1-2 Warriors squad to kick off the week. Then a back-to-back against a stout Grizzlies defense. They wrap things up with a home game against the Sixers on Saturday night, the only game that shows some promise for the Mavs this week.
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Bulls
When Bobby Portis‘ fist connected with Nikola Mirotic‘s face, it signified an obvious rift in the Bulls locker room and the beginning of a very rough Bulls season to come. It also signified the beginning of the Lauri Markkanen era as he was the only power forward on the roster. And the kid is holding his own. In two games, Markkanen is averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 3s in 35 minutes per game. The opportunity is there and the rookie is taking advantage. Pick him up and enjoy while Portis serves the rest of his eight-game suspension.
Terry Rozier, PG, Celtics
The Celtics are ravaged by injuries to start the season. First, it was Gordon Hayward‘s horrific ankle injury and then Marcus Smart has been held out with an ankle injury as well. In need of someone to step up in the rotation, Brad Stevens called on Terry Rozier and he has answered. In the past two games, Rozier is averaging 14.5 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes per game. Rozier is a good compliment to Kyrie Irving and should be owned in all formats while the minutes are there.
Trevor Booker, PF, Nets
Trevor Booker is just one of the Nets that is in the middle of a statistical breakout. This team is playing at a phenomenal pace and everyone is reaping the rewards. Booker is averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Booker is among many Nets that warrant your attention. D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe should already be owned in your league but Booker, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Spencer Dinwiddie all deserve a look.
Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) has been ruled out of Monday’s game against the Raptors. That doesn’t mean Leonard will miss the full week as it seems to be a decision made game-to-game. Gregg Popovich told reporters after the Spurs’ win over the Bulls on Saturday night that Kawhi “is progressing. I’ll just leave it at that.” We can always count on Pop to give us plenty of detail.
The big news out of La La Land this weekend is Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic will be “sidelined indefinitely” with a foot injury. It seems safe to say he won’t play this week.
The Rockets are taking an extra cautious approach to Chris Paul‘s knee injury. He’ll miss anywhere between the next two to four weeks.
After missing two games, Myles Turner (concussion) is expected to make his return to the Pacers lineup tomorrow night against the Wolves.
Dennis Schroder (ankle) will miss Monday’s game against the Heat. He should, however, be back in time for the Hawks to meet the Bulls on Thursday.
Hassan Whiteside (knee) will sit for the second game in a row when the Heat meet the Hawks on Monday. Consider him day-to-day.
Marcus Smart (ankle) is expected to make his return this week but is listed as day-to-day.
Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) is out for the time being and there is no timetable for his return. He is traveling with the team for their six-game road trip and is being evaluated for his return.
Kris Dunn (finger) is expected to make his Bulls regular season debut this week.
Derrick Rose (ankle) is listed as day-to-day.
After the injury initially looked like it could be very bad for the Jazz, Rodney Hood (calf) is listed as day-to-day and is likely to return this week.
Dennis Smith Jr. (knee) is expected back this week though I would expect the Mavs to be cautious with their skilled rookie. Seth Curry (leg) could also make his return to the Mavs this week but it won’t be Monday night against the Warriors as he’s listed as out.
May 20, 2019, 9:02 pmJordan Bell - F - Golden State Warriors
Jordan Bell will start at center in Monday's Game 4 for the Warriors.
Bell has played between 11 and 15 minutes in the three conference finals games, and he's unlikely to play too much more than that tonight. Look for Kevon Looney to continue to get more minutes than Bell tonight.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 8:46 pmAlfonzo McKinnie - F - Golden State Warriors
Alfonzo McKinnie will start for Andre Iguodala in Monday's Game 4 vs. the Blazers.
McKinnie grabbed nine boards in 21 minutes in Game 3 and has gone 1-for-1 on threes for three straight games. Steve Kerr mentioned earlier that Jonas Jerebko would also get more minutes with Iguodala out.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 7:49 pmAndre Iguodala - G/F - Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala (left leg) will not play in Monday's Game 4 against the Blazers.
The Warriors will look to close out the series in Portland without Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and DeMarcus Cousins. The Finals doesn't start for ten more days, so Iggy should be able to get healthy by then.
Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 6:02 pmD.J. Wilson - F - Milwaukee Bucks
D.J. Wilson (left ankle soreness) is questionable for Game 4 against the Raptors on Tuesday.
If Wilson is able to return, he won't be more than bench depth.
Source: NBA Injury Report
May 20, 2019, 5:58 pmDwight Powell - F/C - Dallas Mavericks
According to Chris Haynes, Dwight Powell will turn down his $10.2 million player option and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
At just 27 years old, Powell is likely looking to get a longer deal with more guaranteed money. However, there are a litany of fours and fives that could be on the market this summer, making this an interesting decision for Powell. With Kristaps Porzingis returning from injury, Powell may seek more minutes elsewhere. A return to Dallas is still certainly in the cards for him.
Source: Chris Haynes on Yahoo! Sports
May 20, 2019, 3:59 pmOG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors
OG Anunoby (appendectomy) and Patrick McCaw (personal) remain out for Game 4 against the Bucks.
Anunoby started doing light work about a week ago and could be close to a return for Game 5 or if the series goes any further. It is unclear why McCaw has missed time, but we wish him the best. He isn't in line for rotation minutes in this series anyways, especially with how well Norman Powell is playing.
Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 3:52 pmAndre Iguodala - G/F - Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala (left calf tightness) is listed as questionable for Game 4 on Monday.
Iggy left in the first quarter of Game 3 before returning. He only logged 18 minutes overall in the game. If he can't go, Shaun Livingston and Jordan Bell would take up the bulk of his minutes, while Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie could see a few extra as well.
Source: NBA Injury Report
May 20, 2019, 3:46 pmMalcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Mike Budenholzer is inclined to stick with the current starting lineup for Game 4.
Bud mentioned he likes Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill off the bench, and he has every reason to do so. Even if there were going to be lineup changes, we wouldn't hear about it until right before tip-off, but don't expect any.
Source: Matt Velazquez on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 11:26 amJames Ennis III - F - Philadelphia Sixers
James Ennis III has declined his $1.8 million player option and is set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Ennis played a crucial role for the Sixers down the stretch and will likely look to secure a multi-year deal after showing his worth.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
May 20, 2019, 9:59 amTim Connelly - Team - Denver Nuggets
Tim Connelly will remain with the Nuggets as their President of Basketball Operations.
The Wizards were trying to pry Connelly away from the Nuggets after meeting on Friday, but it seems that Connelly likes where he is and wants no part of a decimated Wizards' team.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter