• SILLY SEASON WIND DOWN

    Congrats to all who already won a trophy and good luck to y’all still in it.

    Is MarShon Brooks (top-10 over the last two weeks) already the Silly Season MVP?

    Week 26 Schedule

    Monday has 9 games: Raptors at Pistons, Bulls at Nets, Thunder at Heat, Cavs at Knicks, Magic at Bucks, Grizz at Wolves, Kings at Spurs, Blazers at Nuggets, and Pels at Clips.

    Tuesday has 6: Hornets at Pacers, Sixers at Hawks, Celtics at Wizards, Suns at Mavs, Dubbs at Jazz, and Rockets at Lakers.

    Wednesday has 12: Nets at Celts, Knicks at Cavs, Raptors at Heat, Wizards at Magic, Bucks at Sixers, Pistons at Bulls, Nuggets at Wolves, Spurs at Pels, Grizz at Thunder, Lakers at Clippers, Jazz at Blazers, and Rockets at Kings.

    For My Streamers

    ATL: 1- Tues
    BRK: 2- Mon/Weds
    BOS: 2- Tues/Weds
    CHA: 1- Tues
    CHI: 2- Mon/Weds
    CLE: 2- Mon/Weds
    DAL: 1- Tues
    DEN: 2- Mon/Weds
    DET: 2- Mon/Weds
    GSW: 1- Tues
    HOU: 2- Tues/Weds
    IND: 1- Tues
    LAC: 2- Mon/Weds
    LAL: 2- Tues/Weds
    MEM: 2- Mon/Weds
    MIA: 2- Mon/Weds
    MIL: 2- Mon/Weds
    MIN: 2- Mon/Weds
    NOR: 2- Mon/Weds
    NYK: 2- Mon/Weds
    OKC: 2- Mon/Weds
    ORL: 2- Mon/Weds
    PHI: 2- Tues/Weds
    PHO: 1- Tues
    POR: 2- Mon/Weds
    SAC: 2- Mon/Weds
    SAS: 2- Mon/Weds
    TOR: 2- Mon/Weds
    UTA: 2- Tues/Weds
    WAS: 2- Tues/Weds

    Back-to-Backs

    Sun/Mon: DET, MEM, ORL, TOR
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: BOS, HOU, LAL, PHI, UTA, WAS

    Of course this late in the season, back-to-backs might take on a different importance; there’s an increased risks of vets, dinged up players and tankers missing one of the two.

    3 games in 4 nights:

    Sun/Mon/Weds: DET, MEM, ORL, TOR

    Sun/Tues/Weds: BOS, LAL, PHI, UTA

    Working The Wire

    Point Guards

    -Quinn Cook held top-50 value despite the return of K.D. and Klay. It’s nice what a good shooter can do just spotting up for the Dubbs: 16.0 points, 3.0 threes, 6.3 assists and many thanks from yours truly. He plays on Tuesday.

    -With no Lonzo Ball (knee) last week, Josh Hart got 11.0 points, 1.5 threes, 7.0 boards and 2.3 assists with 1.5 turnovers and shaky shooting. If you’re aiming for counting stats he could help on Tues/Weds.

    -Tyler Ulis continues to start and put up 13.7 points, 1.0 threes, 7.3 assists and a high 1.7 steals last week. The Suns play only once, on Tuesday.

    -D.J. Augustin got typical top-100 value with 14.0 points, 1.5 threes and 2.8 assists last week. The Magic play Mon/Weds.

    -Patty Mills was right there with 14.5 points, 2.8 threes and a nice 4.5 assists last week. The Spurs play Mon/Weds.

    – Jerian Grant was usable last week with 13.0 points, 1.3 threes, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals. The Bulls run Mon/Weds.

    -Fred VanVleet (and Delon Wright) cooled off last week and both were outside the top-120. Toronto goes Mon/Weds if you have no options.

    Shooting Guards

    -Joe Harris had sneaky good top-70 value last week in over 27 minutes a game. How does 15.3 points, 3.3 treys, 3.3 on over 50 percent from the field sound for Mon/Weds?

    -Malik Monk had top-60 value last week with 20.0 points, 4.0 threes, 4.0 dimes and 1.5 stocks a game. He’s likely to get full run on Tuesday.

    -Sean Kilpatrick had 19.8 points and 3.0 threes in four games last week. The Bulls go Mon/Weds.

    -Marco Belinelli was on fire last week (over 60 percent from the field) and dropped 20.3 points and 3.5 threes if you need a boost Tues/Weds.

    -Ty Wallace was pretty hum-drum since returning from the Gigli, but he put up 18 points (no 3s) and two steals on Saturday in a loss. With the Clippers now officially out of playoff contention, he could get extended run on Mon/Weds, especially with Lou Williams (ankle) out for Monday (at least).

    Small Forwards

    -Mario Hezonja was back to his stat-stuffing ways last week, getting 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks and adding 14.0 points and 2.5 threes. That was with Aaron Gordon and Nic Vucevic in and out of the lineup. The Magic go Mon/Weds.

    -Stanley Johnson has been pretty good with no Reggie Bullock (knee). Over the last two weeks he has 11.7 points and 0.8 threes which isn’t very good but his 2.8 steals really stand out if you need ‘em for Mon/Weds.

    -Corey Brewer’s outside shooting has dipped as expected (1.0 threes last week) but he’s still getting steals (3.0, but that does include a 5-steal outlier). The Thunder play Mon/Weds.

    Power Forwards

    -With no Blake Griffin (ankle) Anthony Tolliver has scored in double-figures seven consecutive games while averaging 17.4 points and 3.9 threes on a blistering 60.6 percent from the field. Detroit plays Mon/Weds.

    -Richaun Holmes has been a bit of a letdown since Joel Embiid (face) got hurt. He’s usually not even cracking 20 minutes a game but still managed to get 8.5 points, 4.8 boards, 2.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. If those numbers can help he has a Tues/Weds back-to-back.

    -Staying with Philly, Ersan Ilyasova bounced in and out of the starting lineup last week but still excelled with no Embiid by getting 14.3 points, 2.0 threes and 9.5 boards in almost 30 minutes a game. He has a Tues/Weds back-to-back.

    – Nerlens Noel got suspended for violating the league’s drug rules, and now we know why he loves hotdogs so much. Salah Mejri is out with a knee injury. Finally, nobody left to steal Dwight Powell’s minutes (top-100 last week).

    -Well, maybe Johnathan Motley. After playing in seven games the whole season, Motley started the last two and got over 40 minutes in each with averages of 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. It’s such a small sample size and I don’t even know who this cat is but there you go. Dallas plays on Tuesday.

    -With no Marc Gasol or JaMychal Green, Ivan Rabb put up 14.0 points, 9.0 boards and 1.5 in a very small sample size of two games. If they continue to miss games, Rabb is an option for Mon/Weds.

    -Weekly Marquese Chriss Watch: 17.0 points, 0.7 threes, 10.0 boards, 1.4 stocks and 2.7 turnovers is what you got last week. Not too shabby. He is questionable for Sunday, though (hip).

    Center

    -Kyle O’Quinn always reminded me of Bluto with his beard, brawn and bull-in-chinashop approach. Well, he’ rolling with no Enes Kanter (back). In those three games, he got you 11.7 points, 13.7 boards and a massive 3.0 blocks per game (top-30). Sign me up for that on Mon/Weds.

    – Jarrett Allen is still the guy you want for blocks: 2.6 over the last two weeks, 3.5 last week. Brooklyn plays Mon/Weds.

    – John Collins (12.0 points, 1.0 threes, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks) and Dewayne Dedmon (11.7 points, 1.0 threes, 10.7 boards and 0.7 blocks) are still both very usable. The Hawks only play on Tuesday though.

    -Over his last four games Willy Hernangomez has averaged 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds. That’s good for top-60 value over that stretch which is what we knew he was capable of while stuck on the bench in New York. Charlotte plays on Tuesday.

    – Montrezl Harrell is back with awesome shooting from the field. Last week he averaged 16.5 points on 71.4 percent shooting. The bad is that his boards (4.3) and blocks (0.3) are not ideal for a big man. The Clips are officially out of the playoffs so he might get a bit of extra run Mon/Weds.

    ___

     

    And that, my friends, wraps it up for Working The Wire.

    I want to shout out Dan Besbris for putting me on, Aaron Bruski for graciously giving me the opportunity, and Mike Passador aka Panda, who always deals with my mistypings, verbosity, and Oxford commas with aplomb.

    Also, extra thanks to Dan for pubbing me on twitter. My twitter is kinda poppin’ now but pre-Besbris, it was looking like this.

    To the readers: A very big thanks to y’all for reading, and especially the folks who took the time out to send me words of encouragement and support; it’s easy for established fantasy players like Bru, Mike Gallagher and Josh Lloyd to be confident- they have a public track-record and following-  but very helpful for the new guy. Gracias, merci, danken, mamnoon, shukran, ese-gan, salamat, shay-shay and arigatou.

    At lot of you are already doing fantasy baseball and will do football, but for the hoops-only crowd like me, try not to pay too much attention to basketball during the summer. Don’t mock too much in September before the rankings adjust. The fantasy season is a grind so give yourself a rest between seasons. Let everything from this season marinate, let the news trickle in, and let your subconscious get to work.

    Come next season, I shall…proceed, and continue, to rock the mic.

    In the meantime, I’m set up for an extremely busy summer. Hopefully when the weather turns I can finagle a little time for myself.

    If so, Ima be like this, this and this .

    Chef

     

    Follow @Hoop-Ball Fantasy for all your playoff and post-season updates.

Fantasy News

  • Caris LeVert
    PG-SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.

    LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

    Source: Newsday

  • Jordan Crawford
    SG, Free Agent

    Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.

    Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.

    Source: Sportando

  • Lance Stephenson
    SG, Free Agent

    Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.

    Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.

    As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.

    Source: ESPN

  • Deng Adel
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).

    Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.

    Source: Sportando

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.

    Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.

    Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).

    Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter

  • Tyler Herro
    PG, Miami Heat

    Tyler Herro said the time off allowed his right ankle to fully recover.

    Herro returned to action just before the shutdown due to COVID-19. With the ankle back to 100 percent, he will face no restrictions when play picks back up in Orlando. While Herro's scoring prowess caused some increased expectations for his rookie season, he's largely been an afterthought for the Heat. He can clearly shoot the rock (2.1 treys on .391 shooting), but the rest of his game is lacking, and the Heat do not have time to devote to rookie development when the season resumes.

    Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter

  • Kent Bazemore
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Kent Bazemore, who has been a welcomed presence since joining the Kings in January, reiterated that he'd like to stay with the team.

    Bazemore had a lot of opportunity before him when the Blazers were faltering due to injuries at the start of the season and he failed to take advantage. However, a change of scenery made a significant difference, as his field goal percentage leaped from .347 with the Blazers, to .426 with the Kings, and his scoring also increased from 7.9 points to 10.3 points per contest. He sounds locked in as the Kings prepare for the Orlando bubble, but a healthy Kings' roster could handicap his opportunity for playing time when things start back up.

    Source: James Ham on Twitter

  • Victor Oladipo
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Shams Charania is reporting that Victor Oladipo will sit out the remainder of the Pacers' season.

    Oladipo decided to exercise caution as his quad tendon is still susceptible to a relapse, and the circumstances of the Orlando bubble are anything but predictable. It's a big hit to the Pacers chances when play resumes, but Oladipo should be close to 100 percent next year as he continues his rehab and seeks to further strengthen his quad tendon. This season was a flop as he only appeared in 13 games, but Oladipo should be looking to return fully recovered and seeking early-round value next year. The Pacers will continue leaning on their depth to fill the void, and Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be the lead guard running the show in Indiana.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter