Around The League: Looking Back At The Week Of 12.27.14 – 1/3/15: Jimmy Butler Is For Real and More

by Will Overton

It’s easy to miss things when there are several games each day all week long. No one can really keep up with every box score of every game on every night. At the same time it’s important for fantasy owners to know what’s happening around the league in order to be successful. To help you out we are going to highlight five of the week’s biggest box score standouts for you. Here’s a recap of the week that was:

Jimmy Butler Isn’t Going Anywhere

Do not expect Jimmy Butler to go anywhere, he is establishing himself as a superstar and an elite scorer in this league and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. This week Butler averaged 23.5 PPG in four games. Butler had a dominant line in his last game against the Nuggets with 26 PTS, 8 ASTS, 8 REBS, 2 STLS and 1 BLK, a line that won him the night and really won him the week too.

Butler has been consistently good this season topping 20 points 21 times and finishing with single digit points just twice so far this season. Butler also continues to be a steady source of boards despite sharing the court with Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Butler hauled in 25 boards in four games this week, matching his season average. Butler is also one of the better steals guys in the league too with nine steals in four games this week bringing his season average up to 1.6 SPG now for the season. Butler rarely leaves the court for the Bulls and he’s not officially the best player on that team.

More News & Notes From Around The League

  • The game of Blake Griffin gets more and more well rounded all the time it feels like. Griffin did his thing scoring points this week, 59 in three games, and grabbing boards too, 19 rebounds in those same three games. Griffin also blocked three shots, racked up five steals and dished out 23 assists. People focus on Griffin’s declining rebounding totals, 7.8 RPG this season, but no one notices his 5.0 APG or his 22.6 PPG. Griffin may not be putting up the rebounding numbers we used to see from him, but he’s a better all-around player now and that makes his fantasy value even better.
  • Things in New York are going horribly wrong this season and the injuries just keep piling up now. Those injuries have led to more playing time for the likes of Cole Aldrich and Shane Larkin. Aldrich has 11.3 RPG in four games this week and 12.3 PPG as well despite very unpolished offensive skills. Throw in seven blocks and eight steals this week and it’s been quite a week. Larkin also has been impressive with 11 steals, 16 assists and 15 rebounds in his four games. Both guys are worth an add, Aldrich even holds value in standard leagues.
  • Speaking of young centers having big weeks, Jusuf Nurkic has made an appearance on the fantasy basketball radar this week as well. Seemingly out of nowhere the Nuggets have decided to start giving Nurkic minutes, 48 total in his last two games. Nurkic has 26 PTS, 18 REBS and 5 BLKS in those two games combined and has left a pretty good impression on the Nuggets I would assume. Nurkic seems to have passed J.J. Hickson on the Nuggets big man depth chart and for at least the last two games he has basically split time with Timofey Mozgov. There Is a lot of talent in Nurkic and this might be just the beginning of his coming out party.
  • In Miami Erik Spoelstra is working hard to find the right mix for success and at least for this week that means more playing time for Danny Granger. In three games this week Granger averaged 28.3 MPG per game and made the most of those minutes. Granger averaged 17.7 PPG and 3.3 3PG for the week and added in a couple of steals as well. Granger is far from the player he used to be, but he is still a fantastic shooter and if he is going to be getting all these minutes he will knock down plenty of threes for the Heat and your fantasy team.

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