January 8, 2017, 11:19 pm
Welcome to This Week Tonight! We’ll be diving in and discussing the games for the upcoming week along with some of the top pickups, back-to-backs to keep an eye on, and an update of the most relevant injury information so you can make a decision heading into your weekly lineups. This week saw the NBA’s first relevant trade in Kyle Korver being sent to the Bulls and it’s hard to believe that the trade deadline (Feb 23rd) is really only just a little over a month away so we’re going to start hearing way more rumors coming out and that means you’ll need to start taking hard position on some of the guys that can help you get into the playoffs or set up for your playoffs.
This column however is about living in the moment! So with that let’s see the games played for the upcoming week:
5 Games: CHI
4 Games: BKN, DET, HOU, LAL, MIN, NYK, OKC
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, MEM, MIL, NOR, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
2 Games: CHA, GSW, LAC, MIA, PHO
1 Game: IND
Another big five gamer this week, you’ll want to pick up just about anyone who gets minutes on the Chicago Bulls. Doug McDermott is probably floating out there in plenty of leagues and he’ll get good run. Nikola Mirotic and Michael Carter-Williams will both be worth grabbing if either is still available in your leagues. Jerian Grant and Christiano Felicio will likely be worth playing in 14 team leagues or better in weekly as each is getting around 20 minutes a game right now and we’ll inevitably see Dwyane Wade rest one or two games this week.
Chicago is the big one as they have go Monday/Tuesday and Saturday/Sunday. I’d be money on Wade playing just three games this week.
The Knicks play Wednesday/Thursday which could put just about anyone at risk in their starting lineup, especially since Kristaps Porzingis just returned from an Achilles injury recently and Carmelo Anthony is battling a shoulder injury after having his bad knee give him some trouble.
Philadelphia plays three games this week but has a back-to-back on Friday/Saturday which will definitely put their litany of big men at risk for rest.
Pickups to Win You the Week:
Chicago Bulls Players – As mentioned above the best three target are Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic, and Michael Carter-Williams.
Tim Hardaway Jr. – He dropped 22 points with five threes and played 30 minutes as soon as Kyle Korver was out of town. He’ll be a phenomenal source of threes for the rest of the season and the wing depth is now startlingly thin in Atlanta, even if the Hawks front office is trying to get Taurean Prince more minutes.
T.J. McConnell – I’m really mad at myself for dropping him as the Sixers have been so happy with his play as a starter that they may end up keeping him in his recent high minutes role. He’s going to have Rubio like scoring at times but he fills the stat sheet without really killing you which can be a valuable thing for a waiver wire point guard. It’s hard to find assists lying on the wire at this point in the season.
Malcolm Brogdon – He’s played superbly in the last couple of weeks and it looks like the Bucks might have to make a decision on whether to keep him in his recent starting role over free agent signing Matthew Dellavedova. Brogdon triple-doubled over a week ago and has been a borderline play all year long even outside of his recent surge.
Big Decision of the Week:
DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul – You almost always play your studs but the Clippers only play two games this week. The low game total is the bad news, but the good news is the two teams they face are the Magic and Lakers, two of the absolute worst defenses in the league. I’m a bit nervous that they’ll see limited minutes in a blowout as well but this Clippers team is thin enough it should alleviate concerns. I’m going to be playing them but there are players I’d consider over them with more games.
Trevor Booker (hip) returned on Saturday.
Jeremy Lin (hamstring) is still without a timetable and the Nets will continue to be cautious with him.
Avery Bradley (Achilles’) sat out the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday but played on Friday.
Nic Batum (knee) suffered a hyper extension that’s going to side line him for another week and possibly more.
Gary Harris (groin) was a late scratch on Saturday. It’s looking like he’s still having trouble with his groin which sidelined him most of the season so far.
Jon Leuer (knee) as of late Sunday night did not return to the game and owners should check for an update on his status.
Austin Rivers sat out Sunday with an illness.
Josh Richardson (sprained left foot) was questionable for Sunday’s game but ended up not playing. An X-ray and MRI came back clean and it appears to be a soft tissue injury.
Justice Winslow (torn labrum) had surgery Thursday and is out for the season.
Giannis Antentokounmpo sat out Sunday’s game with an illness.
Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) returned on Sunday and played 12 minutes.
Ben Simmons (foot) did some on the court work pre-game on Friday.
Jared Sullinger (foot) has been getting shots up here and there but still does not have a return date.