Now that the Super Bowl is history, it’s time for those of you in Fantasy Basketball leagues to tweak your rosters with just around six weeks left in the Fantasy season. Some of this week’s pickups are for owners to keep an eye on, some are for those in deeper leagues, but all are widely available.
Marvin Williams-SF/PF-Jazz- 9% Owned- Williams is a “watch” candidate as he has just begun to see more minutes but the sampling is still to small for us. The former 1st round pick (2nd overall) in the 2005 draft has posted 25 points, 21 rebounds, and 7-7 at the free throw line over his last two games. Should this trend continue- Williams has averaged 30 minutes in those 2 games- then we would recommend you consider adding him to your roster. The little owned Williams has had an achilles issue of late but has not missed much time because of the ailment.
#2 Marvin Williams is a “Watch” this week while we wait to see if he continues to start for the Jazz. Photo: Brian Babineau NBAE/Getty Images
Andray Blatche-PF/C-Nets- 35% Owned- Blatche has missed the last couple of games due to a sore hip but is expected to make his return on Thursday when the Nets take on the Spurs. Prior to the injury, Blatche, in his last six games, has averaged 14.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.o block. He can also get you a 3-pointer on most nights which is always welcomed from the PF/C position.
Tim Hardaway Jr.-SG-Knicks- 20% Owned- We are very high on Hardawy Jr. as is his coach Mike Woodson: “He’s the biggest surprise on this team so far this season.” Although Hardaway Jr. has seen a surge in his playing time since Iman Shumpert went down, it is safe to assume that even with Shumps return, Hardaway Jr. will continue to see some decent minutes but owners should wait and see just how many before taking Hardaway Jr. off of waivers.. The 1st round pick in the 2013 draft already has the highest 3-point shooting percentage among all rookies and is fourth in scoring as well. In his last 5 games Hardaway has averaged 18 PPG, has one steal in all but one, and has drained 17 3-pointers. Hardaway Jr. won’t get you more than points and threes so if that’s what your lacking take a flier on the neophyte.
#5 Tim Hardaway Jr. has been squeezing his way into the Knicks lineup and should continue to see relevant minutes even with the return of Iman Shumpert. Photo: AP
Patrick Patterson-PF/C-Jazz- 12% Owned- Averaging just around 24 minutes a game, Patterson has scored in double digits in three of his last five games and just missed a double-double in two of them. You can count on at least 10 points and 6+ rebounds a game and, as an added attraction, Patterson will get you a 3-pointer almost every night. In his last game, a loss to the Blazers, Patterson finished with 13 points, nine boards, three assists, one block and one 3-pointer. Those of you deeper leaguers could do worse than Patterson who is available in most leagues.
OUR TWO “QUICK PICKS”
DeMarre Carroll-SF/PF-Hawks-36% Owned- We simply cannot understand why Carroll is not owned in many more leagues. He is averaging 15.8 PPG, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.3 3-pointers over the past 2 weeks and is ranked 12th according to Yahoo! sports over that span. Just makes no sense. Should you see him available and there are at least 10 or more in your league, snatch him up immediately!
#5 DeMarre Carroll, besides being able to light it up with his offense, is also a staunch defender who should garner your attention. D. Clarke Evans/NBA/Getty Images
Timofey Mozgov-C-Nuggets- 12% Owned- Solely for those of you in deeper leagues in search of a big guy who can rebound (6.2 over his last 5 games) can block (1.2) and get you a few points (11.6). The 27 year old former Knicks cast off is putting up those numbers off the bench over around 23 MPG.
We featured Brian Roberts PG for the Pelicans as our Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week over last weekend and hope he helps all the Jrue Holiday owners out there. Here are four more little owned waiver wire pickups you should consider in both standard as well as deeper leagues…
C. J. Miles- SG,SF-Cavs – 26% Owned- Looking for points, steals, and 3-pointers? Look no further than C.J. Miles, former 2nd round pick of the Utah Jazz. Miles has averaged 21 points over the last five games and earlier this month, on Jan. 7th, Miles knocked down a franchise record 10 3-pointers in a game vs the 76ers and tallied a season-high 34 points for the game. He is a streaky player but should be ridden for as long as he stays hot.
#0 C. J. Miles’ hot streak makes him a must add this week. Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
Mo Williams- PG,SG-Trailblazers- 18% Owned- In deeper leagues, Williams, after announcing his intentions to opt out of his contract ( but choosing to stay with Portland), has been on a mini-streak of his own. In his last five games he has averaged 12.6 points, 5.8 assists, 2 3-pointers, and 1.6 steals all off the bench. Williams can help in multiple categories and might be playing even harder while he auditions in front of the Trailblazer bigwigs in the hopes of remaining with Portland at ever more than his current $2.7 million.
Iman Shumpert-SG,SF-Knicks- 30% Owned- The former 1st round pick (17th overall) in the 2011 draft, with trade rumors circling around the press for most of the first third of the season, found himself under-performing. He came out of his season long funk while the Knicks were on their three-team Texas swing in the first week of January. After lighting it up on the road, Shump came back to the garden and found himself playing a career-high 43 minutes in the game vs the Heat last week. Starting on Jan. 2nd vs the Spurs, Shumpert has averaged 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 3.1 3-pointers over his last six. We don’t look for him to sustain these averages but now that the trade rumors have dissipated, he could have less of a fall-off.
#21 Iman Shumpert has averaged 14.3 points a game over his last 6, while scoring a combined 53 points in 2 games vs the Spurs & Rockets earlier this month. Barton Silverman/The New York Times.
Jeremy Lamb-SG,SF-Thunder-15% Owned- This is a no-brainer. With Russell Westbrook not due to return until mid February, the former UCONN Husky has and will continue to see extra minutes. Over his last 10 games, Lamb has scored in double-digits in five of them and missed having that number climb to 8 by finishing three games with 9. He too will get you some steals and threes but can also average 3-4 rebounds and assists per game. Perfect for a roster addition at least until Westbrook takes over the starting PG role again.
Politicians give State of the Union addresses to it’s masses as a way of reporting on the condition of it’s City, State or Country. What will follow will be our state of the state of the N.Y. Knicks as we try to make sense of their profound regression from last season.
As this report is being published, the NBA season is approaching the 1/3 mark already-a fair enough sampling of what we might expect from this bunch as the next two-thirds unfold. We can say with conviction, right at the outset, that the state of the Knicks is not very good. We should have realized that this was going to be a long season from the get-go as we saw how they struggled to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, arguably one of the worst teams in the league, on opening night. They blew a 25 point lead and were losing with less than three minutes remaining in the game before pulling away.
It was as ugly a win as their ‘victory’ over these same Bucks on Wednesday, December 18th, a game that the Knicks didn’t deserve to win as they needed to go into double OT to beat a team who didn’t even have their two best players on the floor. A game that saw a gaffe by Andrea Bargnani attempting a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left on the game clock, on a kick-out with a fresh 24 second clock , and with the Knicks in the lead . If he holds onto the ball and kills some clock while waiting for a foul, the Knicks don’t go into a 2nd overtime, and Carmelo Anthony doesn’t break his career mark for minutes played in a game-55:27.
We’re also here to report on a game that was perhaps the Knicks most poorly played all season; the 41 point blowout at the Garden at the hands of the Rondo-less Boston Celtics. 10 points in the first quarter? 25.6 % shooting from the field in the first half? It just doesn’t get much worse than that. The Knicks threw up more bricks that afternoon than it took to construct the first 20 floors of the Empire State Building! If you haven’t had a meal in the last 4 hours and would like to see some of the “lowlights” of that game, here they are:
Lastly, how can we leave out the debacle against the Wizards on December 16th, 2013, when Mike Woodson had a brain freeze for not calling a timeout with 6.9 seconds to go in the game and down by just one point. Instead, the beleagured headcoach decided to take his three remaining timeouts home with him…
Coach Mike Woodson shoulders much of the blame for the loss to the Wizards on Dec. 16, 2013 for not calling a ‘timely’ time-out with 6.9 seconds remaining in the game. Photo Getty Images
Knick players as well as some fans can sugar-coat their horrific season by saying that they’re only three games out of first place but the facts are this: The Knicks play in one of the worst divisions in all of sports and they do not have a very good team. With the exception of Carmelo Anthony, the team is devoid of another consistent scorer. Melo is also being worked way too hard as his minutes, at some point in the season, will catch up to him.
J.R. Smith worked hard to get that new contract but now that he has it he has regressed into an 11 PPG player. Of course ever since his elbow was introduced to Celtic Jason Terry’s jaw last season, J.R. has not been the same. His shooting percentage dropped like a ton of bricks and he was no where to be found in the playoffs last year. Couple that with knee surgery in the off-season and J.R. is no longer J.R.
Will things change for the better once some of the injured Knicks return? Why should they? Raymond Felton when he is totally healthy, is at best, an average point guard. He never was one of the elite guards in the league because of his inconsistency. Defensively, Pablo Prigioni is a decent facilitator but not a scorer. Iman Shumpert is half the player he was last season and part of that probably has to do with all the trade rumors that have been circulating around the league and the press since the season got underway.
If Andrea Bargnani was THAT good, Toronto would never have let him “Escape to New York”. The former 1st rounder, as Knick fans have seen, comes to this team replete with flaws. A seven footer should average more than 5 rebounds a game-period! If the Knicks wanted a center who could shoot threes and not rebound, they would have never gotten rid of Channing Frye!
#77 Andrea Bargnani goes up for one of his 82 3-point attempts this season making just 24 of them for an anemic 29.6 % average. Photo: Getty Images
So how was this team able to win 54 games last season? Several ways… Those hundreds of threes they were unloading were going in-they’re not this season. Rasheed Wallace, together with his defensive prowess and leadership skills, helped the Knicks get off to a 16-4 season a year ago while Jason Kidd (for a part of the season) and his basketball savvy, chipped in his talents as well. J.R. was shooting lights out, averaging around 18 points a game, and lastly, the Knicks were one of the stingiest in the league at turning the ball over.
Mike Woodson has taken a lot of the heat for the team’s demise and rightfully so. For those that would argue that point, why is it that when the Knicks were playing wining basketball last season, Woodson was called a defensive genious and team savior, but now that the team has gone in the opposite direction, we’re not allowed to put any blame on him…
As for the Knicks owner, Jim Dolan, his incompetency is only exceeded by his ineptitude. Do not look for the “rich one” to spend large chunks of money by the Feb. 15th deadline. Remember, he just got through spending a small fortune on the reconstruction of Madison Square Garden and we’re not expecting him to be making any trades because there is no one to offer of any real value anyway.
And so the state of the state of the N.Y. Knicks is not good and neither, we think, is their future this season. Additionally, we are not all convinced that Mike Woodson will be on the Knicks sideline by the time the season comes to a merciful conclusion. In the meantime, as long-time Knick fans often do, we’ll be watching and hoping that we won’t see games like the few we described above. We hope that they will find new ways to win and not old ways to lose…
Knick fans are growing impatient as the weeks go by. Most would like to see a return to team defense, pride, and competitiveness but question if that can happen with this team as currently comprised and with this coach.
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