• As we approach the trade deadline, you might be thinking about H2H playoff schedule. Or, you might be dominating and really waiting on the playoffs- cha-ching! If you play a standard March 13-March 31 (Weeks 22-24), you’re in luck.

    As you count up your games, you won’t know how many your opponent will have, but you can determine how your best guys line up.

    Then, at least, you know if your best players play 2, 3 or 4 (or 5) games during any particular week, and what stats you might (or might not) need to address in each playoff week. For example, if you catch Steph Curry in a 2-game week, you might need more threes than usual; if you catch him during his 5-game week, you probably won’t (how many games would you bet he plays?).

    It’s also important to note when these 2-game weeks fall. For example, if you get a bye for Week 22, you won’t mind that JJJ, Conley or Gasol (if not shut down for the latter two) only have 2 games. But if you have, for example, Knicks players you will have to think hard if any of them are worth holding for 2-games during the Championship week – and to inflict maximum pain, these 2 games are on Thursday (8 total games) and Saturday (9 total games) which mean you get nothin’ Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

    All are things to consider, or at a minimum, be aware of, and that’s not even considering silly season which adds a big bucket of random into the mix.

    Also, don’t forget about your streaming spot. Anyone regularly using a stream to target an opponent’s specific weaknesses knows how effective it can be. Unless you’re just rolling the opponent week-to-week, you could probably use a spot to stream. And it’s contagious.

    GAMES COUNT

    12 Games: Kings and Wizards (4-4-4).

    11 Games: Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Utah (4-4-3), OKC and both L.A. squads (4-3-4) and Denver (a very nice 3-4-4).

    10 Games: the following play 3-4-3: Beantown, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, South Beach, Milwaukee, San An and Team Canada, while Portlandia goes 3-3-4. And of course, the Dubbs’ topsy-turvy 2-5-3.

    9 Games: ATL, Windy City, Philly, Minny, Nawlins and Phoenix have an even 3-3-3, while the following clubs have random 2-gamers-yuk: Brooklyn (4-2-3), Knickerbockers (3-4-2),  Memphis (2-3-4) and Disneyworld aka The Mo Bambas (3-2-4).

    Here’s the same info broken down by team (Weeks 22-23-24): 2, 4 and 5 game weeks in bold.

    ATL: 3-3-3
    BKN: 4-2-3
    BOS: 3-4-3
    CHA: 3-4-3
    CHI: 3-3-3
    CLE: 4-4-3
    DAL: 3-4-3
    DEN: 3-4-4
    DET: 4-4-3
    GSW: 25-3
    HOU: 4-4-3
    IND: 3-4-3
    LAC: 4-3-4
    LAL: 4-3-4
    MEM: 2-3-4
    MIA: 3-4-3
    MIL: 3-4-3
    MIN: 3-3-3
    NOR: 3-3-3
    NYK: 3-4-2
    OKC: 4-3-4
    ORL: 3-2-4
    PHI: 3-3-3
    PHO: 3-3-3
    POR: 3-3-4
    SAC: 4-4-4
    SAS: 3-4-3
    TOR: 3-4-3
    UTA: 4-4-3
    WAS: 4-4-4

    Premium subs: make sure to join me for this Sunday’s pod where I’ll be getting into each week in detail. You can take a ride in my beautiful balloon.

    Week 15 Schedule

    2 Games: CHA, IND,
    3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, DEN, DET, GSW, LAL, MIL, PHI, SAS
    All other teams play 4 games.

    Monday has 11 games: Thunder at Knicks, Bulls at Cavs, Pistons at Wizards, Mavs at Bucks, Magic at Hawks, Kings at Nets, Pels at Grizz, Heat at Celts, Rockets at Sixers, Blazers at Jazz and Warriors at Lakers.

    Tuesday has 4: Kings at Raps, Blazers at Thunder, Clippers at Mavs and Wolves at Suns.

    Wednesday has 10: Raps at Pacers, Cavs at Celts, Magic at Nets, Clips at Heat, Rockets at Knicks, Spurs at Sixers, Hawks at Bulls, Hornets at Grizzlies, Pistons at Pelicans and Nuggs at Jazz.

    Thursday has 4: Dubs at Wiz, Pels at Thunder, Blazers at Suns and Wolves at Lakers.

    Friday has 10: Wiz at Magic, Knicks at Nets, Heat at Cavs, Clips at Bulls, Raps at Rockets, Kings at Grizz, Pistons at Mavs, Hornets at Bucks, Suns at Nuggs and Wolves at Jazz.

    Saturday has 5: Spurs at Pels, Pacers at Grizz, Dubs at Celts, Sixers at Nuggs and Hawks at Blazers.

    Sunday has 9: Cavs at Bulls, Kings at Clips, Bucks at Thunder, Raps at Mavs, Magic at Rockets, Jazz at Wolves, Wiz at Spurs, Heat at Knicks and Suns at Lakers.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and this week looks much like a traditional week from years past. Portland is the only team to play these 3 days if you’re looking for a pure schedule stream.

    ATL: 3- M, W, Sa
    BRK: 3- M, W, F
    BOS: 3- M, W, Sa
    CHA: 2- W, F
    CHI: 4- M, W, F, Su
    CLE: 4- M, W, F, Su
    DAL: 4- M, Tu, F, Su
    DEN: 3- W, F, Sa
    DET: 3- M, W, F
    GSW: 3- M, Th, Sa
    HOU: 4- M, W, F, Su
    IND: 2- W, Sa
    LAC: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    LAL: 3- M, Th, Su
    MEM: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    MIA: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MIL: 3- M, F, Su
    MIN: 4- Tu, Th, F, Su
    NOR: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
    NYK: 4- M, W, F, Su
    OKC: 4- M, Tu, Th, Su
    ORL: 4- M, W, F, Su
    PHI: 3- M, W, Sa
    PHO: 4- Tu, Th, F, Su
    POR: 4- M, Tu, Th, Sa
    SAC: 4- M, Tu, F, Su
    SAS: 3- W, Sa, Su
    TOR: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    UTA: 4- M, W, F, Su
    WAS: 4- M, Th, F, Su

    Back-to-Backs

    Sun (of Week 14)/Mon: none
    Mon/Tues: DAL, OKC, POR, SAC
    Tues/Weds: LAC, TOR
    Weds/Thurs: NOR
    Thurs/Fri: MIN, PHO
    Fri/Sat: DEN
    Sat/Sun: SAS
    Sun/Mon (of Week 16): LAC, NYK

    3 games in 4 nights

    Mon/Tues/Thurs: OKC, POR

    Mon/Weds/Thurs: NOR

    Tues/Weds/Fri: LAC, TOR

    Tues/Thurs/Fri: MIN, PHO

    Weds/Thurs/Sat: NOR

    Thurs/Fri/Sun: MIN, PHO, WAS

    Tu/Thurs+ MIN, OKC, PHO, POR
    Thurs/Sat+ GSW, NOR, POR

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    De’Anthony Melton’s week starting alongside Devin Booker started out pretty good but ended with a whimper on Saturday with top-200 in 9-cat for the week. The Suns go 4 times this week but I can’t go for that.

    D.J. Augustin wasn’t anything special last week, but top-125 is nothing to sneeze at and he can be streamed as a safe option for Orlando’s 4 games.

    Marcus Smart was even better last week with 9.7 points, 2.3 threes, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals on 55.6% from the field (top-30). The shooting will look really ugly when it corrects but you got to roll with Smart. Boston plays 3 times.

    Austin Rivers didn’t even shoot it well but somehow ended up in the top-60 last week with 13.5 points, 2.5 threes, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals. Eric Gordon is back so we’ll see what he can do in 4 games this week.

    T.J. McConnell was a little bit lower than optimum standard value last week (top-145) but is still a highly available stream for efficient assists and some steals. Philly goes 3 times.

    Shabazz Napier’s still not shooting well but now losing minutes as D-Lo is rolling and Dinwiddie is turning it back on. He still managed top-160 value last week but won’t be able to hold that if he keeps getting less than 20 minutes a game. The Nets play 3 games.

    Jeremy Lin wouldn’t be himself if he wasn’t constantly banged up, but it looks like he’s back for now. Atlanta goes 3 times this week then 4 the following two weeks but he’s unlikely to make it through that unscathed.

    Tyler Johnson got a little boost in run (28.4 minutes last week) which allowed him to crack the top-150 in 9-cat stayed but there’s no upside here. Miami competes 3 times.

    Shooting Guards

    Kevin Huerter is holding off expectations of demise and is still doing it with top-75 value last week and top-60 value over the last two weeks. He wants to dance with me for 3 games this week and hopefully followed by a pair of 4-gamers.

    Justin Holiday wasn’t what I’d describe as ‘good’ last week but he got 1.0 threes and 2.5 steals over his last four games sans Slo Mo which was good enough to crack the top-140. Memphis goes 4 times this week and next.

    Terrence Ross kept up his strong play and…let me stop before I jinx it. Orlando has 4 games.

    Malik Beasley is still getting over 30 minutes a game and continues to stroke it (top-60). The team is largely healthy on the wing but has Malik carved out a role with Gary Harris and Will Barton back? Denver has 3 games to find out.

    Bryn Forbes hasn’t been so good lately (top-170 last two weeks) though his 10.8 points and 1.5 threes were still usable in deep leagues. Owners in standard leagues can move on and keep him in your sights if he heats back up.

    Marco Belinelli stayed hot last week with 20.0 points and 3.3 treys over his last three games. He can be streamed for 3s. The Spurs play 3 times this week.

    Josh Hart (top-120) was slightly better than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (top-155) but both couldn’t hit a lick and are really frustrating to stream in standard leagues. The Lakers go 3 times for a few more weeks.

    E’Twaun Moore has been top-150 over his last five games but 9.8 points, 1.5 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers with good efficiency looks a lot better in deeper roto leagues unless he get a little more pop in the statistical returns. The Pels play 4 times.

    Cavs report: Last week, Alec Burks went back to being Alec Burks (top-150), Rodney Hood had the hot hand (top-100) and Matthew Dellavedova is just old (top-300). If you try Cam Payne (top- 190 last two weeks), I’m going to ask how can you be so obtuse? The Cavs go 4 times.

    Josh Okogie has been starting since 15-year-old coach Ryan Saunders took over and over his last six games, Okogie is averaging 10.8 points, 1.5 threes and 1.5 stocks in over 30 minutes a game (top-200 in 9-cat). If he can clean up his 41.2% from the field and 73.7% from the line, he might be able to push for the top-150. The Wolves howl 4 times.

    Small Forwards

    Mikal Bridges; everyone here at Hoop-Ball told you not to drop him (no. 51 in 9-cast last week). The Suns have 4 games and I want him on two occasions – that’s day and night.

    Jeff Green laid an egg in London – 3 points, 3 boards and 1 steal, but considering his top-130 value in 9-cat over the past two months, deep-leaguers hold on assuming no clearly better options (like Mikal) are available. The Wiz play 4 times.

    Reggie Bullock’s peripherals dropped off just a wee bit last week but when you’re working on the margins, every little bit helps. His 13.3 points and 2.5 threes landed him in the top-170 which makes him more or a stream than a hold to me. Detroit has 3 games for three weeks.

    Gerald Green had himself a Reggie Bullock line last week with 12.3 points and 3.5 threes which was good enough for top-160 value despite the 34.7% from the field. Eric Gordon and James Ennis are back so it might be getting a little crowded in Houston. We have 4 games to see what’s up.

    Royce O’Neale was a good call last week and with Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles (who has been awful in 9-cat lately) assuming the distribution duties, O’Neale got even more run and in 33.7 minutes as a starter he had 8.5 points, 1.5 threes, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks, good for top-60 in 9-cat. It didn’t hurt that Jae Crowder is still in a massive slump, hitting less than 30% of his shots (top-260). That won’t last forever so get it while the getting’s good. Utah goes 4 times.

    DeAndre’ Bembry shot 56.3% from the field last week and that’s why he landed in the top-150 even with the return of Taurean Prince. Atlanta plays 4 times this week and next but minutes will be scarcer than usual.

    Danuel House is in the G-League (shame they couldn’t get a deal done) and James Ennis is back and had 18 points, four 3s and a block in a start on Saturday. He was putting up low-volume standard league value before his injury so keep an eye on him. The Rockets play 4 times.

    Rodions Kurucs shot 60% from the field last week so his 11.7 points, 0.7 threes and 1.3 steals looks a lot better in 9-cat (top-100). He’ll likely settle into a top-150-170 play while Allen Crabbe is gone. DeMarre Carroll had 14.0 points and 1.7 treys last week on 40% shooting (top-190). Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is back but has sucked in his two games so far (outside- top-300). Brooklyn goes 3 times.

    Moe Harkless (knee) came back after missing five games and had 12 points and a block in 21 minutes as a starter and he would have played more but was dealing with inflammation while Jake Layman (top-50 over his last four games) was getting’ busy with 20 points and four 3s in 19 minutes. Both are on my watch list and I would have added Moe already if not for his bum knee.

    Cedi Osman blah blah blah, just outside the top-200, blah blah blah. The Cavs blah 4 blahs.

    Power Forwards

    Luke Kornet had a gem in London with 16 points, four trizles, five steals and a block and that’s boosted his 5-game return into the top-75 in 9-cat. The opportunity is certainly there for UniKornet aka Big Amish (he’s not Amish) and with a top-130 return over the past two months in 9-cat, he’s earned a little leash if he throws up a dud or two, no brainstorming required. The Knickerbockers fasten their britches 4 times.

    Bobby Portis probably should not be on waivers in H2H despite his limited stat-set with Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb) set to miss a huge chunk of the season and the Bulls still trying to trade Robin Lopez. Portis got 11.0 points, 1.0 threes, 8.7 boards and 3.0 assists in three games last week and it’s his 36.1 FG% and lack of defensive stats that limits him to deep-league only in roto. He’ll have to shoot better and/or get more than 23 minutes a game to put up the counting stats needed to break into standard league value. The Bulls lose their souls to Jim Boylen 4 times this week.

    How many times is the Bulls medical staff going to jag a diagnosis before fans stop going to games and filling the Reinsdorfs’ pockets? Bulls fans are among many groups pissing me off these days (channeling my inner Josh Millman).

    P.J. Tucker managed to make it two weeks in a row without falling off (top-50 actually). May he do it again. The Rockets run 4 times.

    JaMychal Green had some struggles shooting the ball but still got 9.5 points, 1.5 threes, 5.8 boards and over 2.0 stocks last week and with speculation that Marc Gasol might be traded or shut-down, he won’t be bouncing on and off the waivers as much, so you’ll have to hold through the cold spells if you concur with the speculation. The Grizz play 4 times for two more weeks.

    Ante Zizic got 25.5 units of burn last week and landed himself in the top-85 last week. Zizic is fun to say, too. The Cavs show up 4 times.

    Davis Bertans is getting 10.0 points, 3.0 threes, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 stocks over his last four games, good for top-80 in 9-cat. His overall game gets a bunch of value from low turnovers (0.8) so he really leans towards roto formats. Super low-key, he’s held top-120 value over the last 2 months (22.2 minutes a game). That’s a pretty good sample size and with Pau Gasol being old and Jakob Poeltl lost, I think he can hold it if that’s what you need in deep league roto. The Spurs jingle jangle jingle 3 times this week and next.

    Bam Adebayo was abysmal last week (top-250) in 24.1 minutes a game. Such is life in Miami. The Heat go 4 times this week.

    D.J. Wilson aka Lil D.J. has held top-120 value over his last five games with 8.4 points, 1.6 threes, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He’s hot but can be used as a deep league stream or plug-and-play in Milwaukee’s 3 games this week.

    Centers

    Thomas Bryant (top-70 in 9-cat over the last two months), so gone.

    Richaun Holmes had a rough week (outside the top-200) before exiting Saturday’s game with a sore foot. It didn’t look to bad so hopefully Holmes will be back, and back to his top-75 ways soon.  The Suns play 4 times.

    Alex Len was top-40 over his last three games. LMAOO. Good. Luck. Atlanta has 3 games this week then 4 for the next two.

    Ivica Zubac had two games (top-50) in a row getting more run than both JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler and I don’t think that holds but stranger things have happened.

    By the way coach Luke Walton is really pissing me off with his jerking JaVale around; Ima steal on if I catch him in these streets. Maybe I need to calm down and cool relax (remix).

    [Not-so-fun fact: their songs with Jon B were the last tracks Tupac and Old Dirty Bastard recorded before they passed. Luckily AZ’s career was already dead when he cut a track with Jon; don’t @ me Brooklyn.]

    Mason Plumlee is still good for some low-end numbers with bad free-throw shooting in 18-20 minutes a game. He goes 3 times.

    Ed Davis was not quite as boss last week with only 6.7 boards and his reduced 14.7 minutes per game coincides with some great top-25 play by Jarrett Allen. Boss goes 3 times.

    Nerlens Noel has been back for two games with 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in a laughably low 12 minutes a game and looks like he’s back to being a plug-and-play for steals and blocks. OKC runs 4 times.

    Mitchell Robinson is back and I haven’t picked him up! What the hell is happening? What’s happening is some changing rosters on my end and he’s superfluous in one, too single-stat focused to be added in another (without another 2-for-1 to clear space). I know Enes Kanter is at risk to be traded/arrested/assassinated but if you’ve seen Meech play, you might share my concern that he’d be able to stay on the court for more than 22 minutes even if he’s the lone center still on the roster. The Knicks go 4 times so maybe we’ll see what he can do.

    Random Observations

    You might have heard a Chef track on ABC’s first NBA broadcast of the year. They assured me the check’s in the mail.

    James Harden passed LeBron James for 6th most 50-point games in NBA history (as Houston continues to set records in 3-pointers attempted). Say what you want about his floppy, playing the rules game. Passing Bron in any respect in fewer years is just wow no matter how you cut it. Who do you think is the leader in 50-point games? If you clicked all the links in WTW this season or if you know about anything before the 80s, you’d know, and know that it’s not even close.

    Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Patrick Beverley, Evan Turner, Jah Okafor, Bari Parker, these players are from Chicago. Terry Kath (RIP) is also from Chicago.

    Dwyane Wade is from Robbins, Iman Shumpert is from Oak Park, Shaun Livingston is from Peoria and Fred VanVleet is from Rockford. Not Chicago.

    That’s like saying Michael Jackson is from Chicago when we all know he’s from Gary.

    Zach Lowe “The skills competition is like put up some cones, climb up a rope… it’s like gym class.”

    Me:

    Aside from looking even slower and more ground-bound, Boogie Cousins looked pretty good in limited minutes his first game back. If you watched the game, you know he’s also the favorite to lead the league in bad body-language ROS; if you’re in a league with that category, you’re gonna clean up.

    No wonder Devin Booker keeps missing games. Get your (other) head in the game, son!

    Also feeling the rhythm of the night,
    Chef

Fantasy News

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) is unsure of how he'll fit into the rotation when he returns from his injury.

    Mudiay was locked in as the starting point guard but Dennis Smith Jr. has since joined the team. Beyond that, Mudiay is also an impending free agent whose cap hold will be renounced if the Knicks do deliver on their wildest dreams and land two max free agents. He's not going to be a priority for the rest of the season, and a timeshare seems like the best-case scenario here. Mudiay isn't worth holding onto outside of very deep leagues.

    Source: New York Post

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have fired GM Dell Demps.

    Since this news broke it's come out that Demps had been on thin ice in New Orleans for a while now, so it's not as though the Anthony Davis trade discussions — which certainly play a role here — were the root cause. It's more likely that the failure to surround Davis with enough talent that he'd want to stay, at least up until the last season and a half or so, was the bulk of the problem. The Pelicans want a new GM to take the helm and make the call on a final Davis trade, which will change the course of the franchise for years to come.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis has been diagnosed with a muscle contusion in his left shoulder after undergoing an MRI.

    Davis' injury is reportedly "not too bad" but he didn't return to Thursday's game and the Pelicans might milk any chance they get to rest their star. His participation in Sunday's All-Star game is up in the air and he'll receive treatment over the next couple of days before determining if he can play. To add some fuel to the fire here, Davis reportedly left the building after he got hurt, which is likely to rub his teammates the wrong way considering they picked up a big win over a hot Thunder team. The saga will continue to unfold until the offseason.

    Source: Ramona Shelburne on Twitter

  • Jrue Holiday - G - New Orleans Pelicans

    Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans in their 131-122 win over the Thunder on Thursday with 32 points on 12-of-27 shooting with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers.

    Holiday crushed the box score tonight and he's going to continue to do so as long as he's on the court. He's the best player on a Pelicans team that might shelve Anthony Davis (shoulder) so an early-round value with some top-15 upside is well within reason.

  • Kenrich Williams - G/F - New Orleans Pelicans

    Kenrich Williams scored nine points while corralling a team-high 12 rebounds to go with four assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on Thursday.

    Williams went 4-for-7 from the floor and saw 34 minutes of action on Thursday and is also going to benefit from Anthony Davis (shoulder) missing time. His rebounding numbers are most of his value, but he also has the potential to give you a triple-one like tonight. It's baffling that he didn't get drafted as he has the talent to play in the NBA and is a standard-league player as of now.

  • Julius Randle - F - New Orleans Pelicans

    Julius Randle led the Pelicans in scoring on Thursday with 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting while adding 11 boards, six assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers.

    Randle's been playing well with Anthony Davis (shoulder) out of the lineup and it looks like that run might continue. Keep him out there as he's now an integral part of the Pelicans offense.

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting with a 3-pointer, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block on Thursday against the Thunder.

    Davis exited the game early and with how messy the entire Pelicans situation has been we wouldn't be surprised to hear him missing an extended amount of time to heal. The Pelicans have a capable big in Jahlil Okafor waiting and he's the guy you want to pick up if you think Davis is going to miss extra time. There's still no official word from the Pelicans but that should come soon so check back here for more clarity.

  • E'Twaun Moore - G - New Orleans Pelicans

    E'Twaun Moore scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting with three 3-pointers, a rebound, three assists and a steal on Thursday.

    He briefly left the game with a left knee contusion, but quickly returned to action. Moore was hot tonight in only 17 minutes, but if his role is going to be diminished he isn't worth owning in standard leagues. Darius Miller (35 minutes, eight points, four rebounds, five assists, a steal and two triples) was decent but when gauging who to own it's all about the minutes and usage which favor Miller at the moment.

  • Jahlil Okafor - C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Jahlil Okafor scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with eight rebounds and two assists against the Thunder on Thursday.

    Okafor might be in line for more minutes now with Anthony Davis (shoulder) dealing with an injury that might sit him out for an extended amount of time. It wouldn't be a bad move to scoop up Okafor as a preemptive move in case the Pelicans decide to rest Davis.

  • Russell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Russell Westbrook continued his historic triple-double streak on Thursday with a monstrous 44-14-11 line to go with four 3-pointers, a steal and two blocks.

    Westbrook did his best to carry the Thunder to a win on Thursday but it just wasn't enough. It was a rare night where Paul George's shots weren't falling but it didn't stop Westbrook from turning on all his gears. To top off his night he went 18-for-30 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 at the line. Efficiency isn't expected from Westbrook, but triple-doubles are the norm.