Archive for Around the League

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/12/16: Porzingis Shines With Carmelo Going Down & More

by Will Overton

Not your typical, instead of just three or four games, there were actually eight total games played. This allowed for a lot more fantasy value than normal for a Tuesday. There was a nice mix of the old school, new school and some injury related standouts. Below I have the five guys that stood out to me the most on the night’s slate:

Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks (27 MINS, 10 – 18 FG, 26 PTS, 6 REBS, 2 STLS, 2 BLKS, 3 3PM)
Imagine what kind of a line the Latvian rookie could have had last night had he not fouled out of the game and been limited to just 27 total minutes of action. The Knicks lost their star player Carmelo Anthony part way through this game due to a sprained ankle and that turned Porzingis into the best offensive weapon on the team. The 7’3 big man has been rolling lately, averaging 19.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.0 BPG and 1.5 3PG over his last five games. Porzingis is really unlike any other European big man we’ve seen recently because while he can shoot, he’s also capable of playing in the paint and getting boards and blocks like every other quality big man. Porzingis is on fire right now and if Carmelo misses some time, we could see some really nice games from Porzingis in his absence. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/10/16: LeBron James Pure Dominance & More

by Will Overton

Judging from Twitter timeline yesterday most people seemed to be tuned into football yesterday, and after seven hours of football, it’d be understandable if you were a little burnt out to watch some basketball after the fact. No worries though, we have the five fantasy box score standouts from yesterday to help recap the day that was in the NBA:

LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers (37 MINS, 15 – 22 FG, 37 PTS, 9 ASTS, 7 REBS, 2 STLS, 3 3PM)
I’m sure in a perfect world the Cavs would’ve rather not played LeBron for 37 minutes against the 76ers, but the pesky Sixers wouldn’t go away and LeBron was having an incredible day. With all the new up and coming talent in the league it’s almost like LeBron gets slightly forgotten about at times in fantasy circles, but there is no question he’s still in the discussion for top player in fantasy leagues. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/7/16: D’Angelo Russell Drops 27 & More

by Will Overton

On a night where the role players and some of the under the radar guys shone through a bit on a small slate of games. We’re going to break down each of those guys that stood out and what that might mean for fantasy value and whether these guys can keep this up going forward. We’re also going to dive into Derrick Rose a bit, someone who clearly isn’t under the radar, but is a fantasy basketball mystery. Let’s get started:

Kelly Olynyk – Boston Celtics (33 MINS, 6 – 14 FG, 16 PTS, 9 REBS, 2 ASTS, 2 3PM)
The rotation of big men in Boston is a bit frustrating because there are so many and there minutes never really seem to be set enough to trust them. Kelly Olynyk seems to be the guy getting the extended look right now. Olynyk played 33 minutes last night and is averaging 32 MPG these last three games. His stellar play goes back nine games though as he has 11.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.4 3PG. Olynyk is an intriguing option for fantasy because even though he doesn’t block shots like you want from a big man, his threes add another layer to his game. Olynyk’s minutes vary more than any other Boston big man, but while he’s getting the minutes right now, he’s got the ability to give value at a weaker position. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/6/16 Games: Kyrie Irving is a Threat Again, & More

by Ray Kuhn

As we reached the mid-point of the week, there was plenty of NBA action to enjoy. There was confusion as to Portland was listing as inactive and the Knicks have already eclipsed their win total from last season, among other things. Let’s jump right into some of the performances that stood out.

1) Kyrie Irving is Back

Yes, I know, Irving actually returned to the court a few weeks ago. But after playing a season high of 34 minutes last night, but more importantly dominating the fourth quarter, it is safe to say that Irving should no longer be looked at as a rehabbing player. We are now at the point in the season with Irving where we no longer have to be concerned about minutes limits and restrictions. Irving scored 32 points in 34 minutes last night while shooting 14 of 22 from the field with 18 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. He also added five rebounds and just three assists, but the takeaway here is the confidence he showed as an offensive threat. On the season, the point guard is averaging just 15 points and 4.2 assists per game, but both of those totals are on the rise.

2) Chris Paul Has an All Around Game

Earlier this season, Paul could have been considered a disappointment. The production was solid, but he really wasn’t doing too much to jump off the stat sheet; especially considering where he was drafted. Last night though, Paul did just that as he scored 21 points but more impressively handed out 19 assists. Paul is still a little bit behind the pace he has established over the past few seasons, 17.6 points and 9.2 assists per game are nothing to sneeze at either.

3) Can Mario Chalmers be a Fantasy Asset?

The problem with me asking this question, is that it is reactionary. In reality, for the rest of the season, we will likely be chasing Chalmers’ best performance, which came last night. With Mike Conley sidelined by an Achilles injury, Courtney Lee got the first crack at replacing him. However, that didn’t last long as he had to leave with a hip issue paving the way for Chalmers. The guard then put up 23 points while adding eight rebounds and nine assists. Prior to this season, Chalmers played close to 30 minutes a game in a complementary role for the Heat, and just barely eclipsed 10 points per game once. So far this season, he is averaging 9.2 points per game with Memphis, and I would not consider him a scoring threat. If Conley and Lee have to miss any more substantial time, then Chalmers is worth a look, but that’s about it unless you are in a deep league or need a true value play.

4) Chandler Parsons Does Something

To call this season a disappointment for Parsons might even be an understatement at this point. Granted he was limited by injury to start the season, has had to acclimate to a new team, and was previously dealing with a hip injury, but it has been a good start to his career in Dallas. Last night, the Mavericks had four rotation players on the bench, so by default Parsons had to step up, and he did with a season high of 21 points. After watching him not only struggle to score but to be efficient from the field, it was also a good thing to see him shoot 9 of 16 on Wednesday. After averaging 15.7 points per game last season, Parsons still has a long way to go as he is at just 8.9 currently, but there is upside.

5) Jonas Valanciunas is Also Back

Not only did Valanciunas miss over a month with injury, but it has taken some time for him to round back into form. The big center was out due to a broken hand, and last night was the first time he eclipsed the 30 minute mark since his return. Valanciunas looks fully healthy and like he has his legs under him as he had a nice double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds. For the season, Valanciunas is close to a double-double with 11.7 points and 9.1 rebounds a game, but I would expect to see both of those numbers be on the rise now that there are no more limits on his playing time.

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/4/15 Games: Kyrie Irving Regaining Form & More

by Will Overton

Call me crazy, but Monday Night Basketball beats Monday Night Football every time and last night was a fantastic example of that. We had Kyrie Irving rounding into form, Serge Ibaka benefiting from the injury to Kevin Durant and much more. We’re breaking down the top five box score standouts from last night, including the two guys mentioned before. Let’s get to taking a look:

Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers (29 MINS, 10 – 16 FG, 25 PTS, 8 ASTS, 6 REBS, 2 3PM)
This game had to be the best one since returning for Kyrie Irving, coupled by the most minutes he has played. Irving led the team in scoring and assists, contributing offensively on a large portion of the possessions he was on the floor for. You knew he was going to get back to this point, but it’s still good to see him playing at this level. Irving is a top 15 player in fantasy basketball when he’s at 100% and if he’s not there right now he’s certainly really close. If you can spin someone like DeMar DeRozan or even Marc Gasol for Irving this would be your chance, the value is only going up from here. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 1/3/15 Games: Jimmy Butler Goes Off & More

by Will Overton

The NBA season is finally starting to take center stage a bit more now as the NFL season winds down towards the playoffs. With 16 NFL games yesterday though the TV’s were pretty clogged with coverage for football. If you missed out on the NBA action don’t worry, because we’re covering the five biggest box score standouts of the night for you right here:

Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls (39 MINS, 15 – 23 FG, 42 PTS, 5 ASTS, 4 REBS, 1 BLK, 1 STL, 2 3PM)
Sometimes it feels like Jimmy Butler fades to the background of the NBA and the fantasy basketball landscape and we almost forget that this guy is a legitimate superstar. Then he goes out and has a game like this, where he almost single handedly leads the Bulls to a big win and we all remember again. Derrick Rose sat out for this game, and while I’m not sure that it was the reason for the big game, he does seem more comfortable stepping up and being the man on offense when Rose isn’t on the court. Aside from just the scoring, Butler’s ability to do a little of everything sets him aside in my opinion as the clear number two at shooting guard in fantasy basketball. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 12/30/15: Ish Smith Leads Philadelphia to Victory, & More

by Ray Kuhn

On the last day of 2015, we can take a look back at a year that was filled with exciting basketball action. This season is just two months old, so there is plenty more action to come and stories to be written. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from last night’s games, other than the Warriors getting blown out with Stephen Curry.

1) Ish Smith is Taking Advantage of His Chance

To begin the season, Smith was essentially the last man standing in New Orleans’ back court and he did pretty well with the opportunity. Once the injured Pelicans returned, Smith’s playing time began to disappear and he ultimately found himself on the way to Philadelphia. The 76ers are now 2-1 after acquiring Smith, I know that means just about nothing, but he is a player who should be on your fantasy radar. On the season, Smith is averaging 9.8 points and six assists per game, but those numbers are only rising. After scoring 18 points last night and coming an assist away from a double-doulbe, the journeyman is averaging 18 points and 8.3 assists in his last three games.

2) Paul George Has a Tough Night

The first thing I’m going to say here, is not to panic. You had to expect it wouldn’t be a completely seamless return for George from last year’s injury, but at the start of the season he made it seem that way. At the same time though, George is still averaging 24.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, so it is hard to complain too much about his performance. However, things have been more difficult over the past five games for George beginning when he shot just 7.1% from the field against the Spurs. Over that stretch, he hasn’t shot better than 43.8%, and the 19 points he scored last night was his highest. It also must be noted that did come against Jimmy Butler who is one of the toughest defenders. I wouldn’t have too much concern here.

3) Jonas Valanciunas is Back

After missing just over a month, the Toronto center has returned. Last night was his second game back, and his first in the starting lineup. Bismack Biyombo has been playing well in Valanciunas’ absence, but I would not be concerned about Valanciunas’ usage moving forward. The Raptors are taking it slow with their big man as he has played in 21 minutes in both games while struggling to get involved in the flow of the offense. In each game, Valanciunas has made four of his seven shots and he has grabbed four and nine rebounds respectively. Feel free to use him again in DFS and move him back into your season long lineups.

4) Ricky Rubio is in a Sharing Mood

The Timberwolves are building a nice young core, and when you look at it, Rubio appears to be on the outside. Now Rubio is still a young and talented guard, but the fact that he is entering his fifth season in the league at age 25 makes him a veteran. While there will be games where Rubio does reach double digits, he generally doesn’t score more than about 10 points as his season averages have ranged from 9.5 to 10.7 points per game. That was true again last night as Rubio scored 10 points, but he also handed out 17 assists to bring his season average to 9.2 per game. There are plenty of weapons for Rubio to find, and while there might be more exciting options in Minnesota, Rubio should not be ignored.

5) Kobe Bryant Gets Cheered in Boston

Now let’s be cleared, this is a very isolated incident and it happened at the end of the game and only because it was Bryant’s last visit to Boston. Bryant closed out his career in Boston with a double-double, but he didn’t do it in the same manner we have come to expect from him. The guard made just 5 of his 18 shots from the field as he scored 15 points, but Bryant did pull down a season high of 11 rebounds for the double-double. On the season, Bryant is averaging 17.2 points per game, and this is what we can expect from the guard moving forward as he is now just an ordinary player for the most part (although there is nothing wrong with that at this point in his career).

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 12/29/15: Al Horford Goes Off & More

by Will Overton

With five games on the slate last night we broke down the box scores and picked out one guy from each game who stood out on the stat line. We have a good mix of guys here with some emerging names, established names and some guys who used to be a name and were having a resurgence last night.

So here are those five box score standouts from last night:

Al Horford – Atlanta Hawks (36 MINS, 11 – 15 FG, 30 PTS, 14 REBS, 1 BLK, 1 STL, 5 3PM)
Last night had to be the best game of the year from Al Horford who played a big role in leading the Hawks to a come from behind win over the Houston Rockets.  Horford was feeling it on offense all over the place, including raining down threes, with a season high five of them made. Because of the tempo of the game and volume of shots put up Horford was also able to pull down more rebounds than normal, doubling his season per game average. Horford’s overall value has been a little bit limited this season because of the fact that the Hawks have so many weapons on offense sharing the load. Still, he’s going to have nights like this where his star shines the brightest and over he’s good for a consistent 15 and 7 with at least one block each game. Read more

The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 12/28/15: Kemba Walker Has a Scoring Outburst, & More

by Ray Kuhn

In case you were sweating out a fantasy football match-up, hopefully a victory and not a defeat, we have you covered from the night in hoops. There was a full night of action in the NBA, and here are five performances that stood out.

1) Kemba Walker Puts Up 38 on the Lakers

We know that the Lakers don’t offer up much in the way of defense, and Walker took care of things Monday night. Walker has been the main offensive show in town for Charlotte, and that continued against LA as he scored 38 points. Not only is Walker scoring this season, with an average of 17.9 points per game and about 1.5 three-pointers a night, but his production has been well rounded. Last night, Walker was a very efficient 14 for 25 from the field and he added six rebounds and five assists to raise his season averages to 4.2 and five, respectively. Don’t look now, but Walker is becoming a top option in the back court.

2) Wayne Ellington Has a Big Night From Downtown

Prior to Monday night, Ellington is not a player who should be on your fantasy radar. But should he be? For starters, the Nets just are not that good and Ellington has been coming off the bench. Entering the game, Ellington was averaging just 5.2 points per game, so you are excused if you didn’t see his 26 point performance coming. As per usual Brooklyn was not having success, so Lionel Hollins tried to change things up for the second half, and he went with Ellington. That move went on to work as he made seven 3-pointers and ended up with 33 minutes on the night. I wouldn’t go crazy over one game, but Ellington should at least appear on your radar as the opportunity is there.

3) Jamal Crawford Contributes off the Bench

With Blake Griffin sidelined for the next few weeks, someone needs to pick up the slack for the Clippers. Instead of try to uncover a new player who is taking Griffin’s spot in the starting lineup, I would just look to a player whose role might just increase slightly; Jamal Crawford. Crawford came of the bench on Monday and scored 21 points in 27 minutes. You aren’t going to get much else from Crawford other than contribution on the offensive end, but the scoring potential is there. On the season, Crawford is averaging just 11.3 points per game and his performance has been inconsistent thus far. However, this does represent a buy-low opportunity.

4) Omri Casspi Has a Career Night

Casspi has proved to be a useful fantasy option at times, especially in certain situations in DFS, but never before have we seen the offensive output that we saw Monday night. The forward looks at home in the starting lineup, and December has been a prosperous month for him. While he did not extend his streak of three straight double-doubles, Casspi did erupt for 36 points which included 3-pointers. He also added six rebounds as he season averages now sit at 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

5) Kyrie Irving Has His Strongest Game Yet

Irving’s parting gift for his owners after putting up 22 points on Monday, is a day off on Tuesday. Given the nature of his injury, it should not be surprising that Cleveland is taking it slow with Irving, but it does appear that he is rounding into form. Granted it has been just four games, but Irving put up a season high of 22 points last night and he looks to be get back into form. While he is averaging just three assists per game, I would not be concerned, as I would expect it to take a little time for him to re-incorporate himself into the offense as a play maker.


The Starting Five: Box Score Standouts From 12/17/15: C.J. McCollum Wins The Night & More

by Will Overton

There were only four games on the schedule for the NBA yesterday and they were largely overshadowed by some big NFL games with significant playoff implications. In the four games though there plenty of noteworthy fantasy basketball happenings still. We are going to hit on the five top things that stood out to us in the box scores:

Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets (29 MINS, 12 –20 FG, 25 PTS, 11 REBS, 2 BLKS)
After a couple of pretty underwhelming games the last two times out, Kenneth Faried came out with one of his best games of the season last night. Faried was aggressive on both ends of the floor against the Thunder, something we don’t always see from Faried. We know that Faried doesn’t have the most complete offensive game, but too often he just turns into a bystander on offense, when there are things he can do effectively. Currently Faried averages 9.2 FGA per game, where it’d be nice to see that number come up to around 12. He’s never going to be a number one option on offense, but a little more assertion would go a long way for his fantasy value. Read more