We take a closer look at the Buzz Index leaders a few days before the start of the default h2h playoffs...
• Friday's most added players (as of 3pm PT):
Tracy McGrady(notes), GF, DET - T-Mac was back in a big way Wednesday (35 minutes, 15 points, 2 threes, 7 boards, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block). Whether or not he continues to start ahead of Stuckey will be up to John Kuester, who said he's "looking to mix and match all the time." You are on your own when it comes to making prognostications for any/all Pistons outside of Greg Monroe(notes).
Ty Lawson(notes), PG, DEN - Things looked sketchy for Lawson immediately after Raymond Felton(notes) arrived but he's now averaged 17 points on 49-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 8.5 assists, and 1.8 steals in 33 minutes over the past four games. George Karl has no plans to move away from Lawson as the starter, so he's a pretty good bet to stay around 30 minutes for the most part, enough time to post solid numbers overall.
Toney Douglas(notes), G, NYK - Douglas has been huge in Chauncey Billups'(notes) absence, averaging 16.8 points on 58-percent shooting, 2.8 threes, and 6.8 assists in 32 minutes over the past six games. Billups (thigh bruise) plans to be back in the lineup Sunday, which would push Douglas back to around his season average of 23 minutes per game.
Tyler Hansbrough(notes), PF, IND - Hansbrough was in the Pacers' starting five on Wednesday and was a lone bright spot in the blowout loss to the T-Wolves (36 minutes, 21 points, 10 boards, 3 steals). Frank Vogel will stick with Hansbrough as the starter, hoping to capitalize on his recent stretch of production (past 7 games: 28 minutes, 16.7 points, 47% FG, 7.3 boards, 1.3 steals). Hansbrough certainly is worth a look with an expected spike in minutes, but his inconsistencies prevent him from being a must add in standard leagues. Josh McRoberts(notes) is mighty fringey as a reserve.
Darrell Arthur(notes), FC, MEM - Arthur has been packing production into whatever minutes he's been getting lately, averaging 14.6 points on 53-percent shooting, 5.1 boards, and 1.7 blocks in 22 minutes over the past seven games. The spike in blocks is a bit unnatural, but he's clearly settled in to a very comfortable role since Rudy Gay(notes) hurt his shoulder and is a good option right now in deep/competitive leagues.
Jarrett Jack(notes), G, NOR - Jack has averaged 22 points, 5 boards, 5 assists, and 1 steal in 43 minutes during his two starts since Chris Paul(notes) suffered his concussion. Fantasy owners could get another start out of him on Saturday, but Paul scrimmaged Friday and hopes to play.
Stephen Jackson(notes), GF, CHA - Jackson hit waivers in a few leagues after he was shut down because of a hamstring injury last week and is getting snatched up wherever he's available with news that he's expected to be back in the lineup on Friday.
Tony Allen(notes), GF, MEM - Allen has been up and down since Shane Battier(notes) arrived but totaled 42 points over the past two games and averaged 14.4 points on 62-percent shooting, 86-percent foul shooting, 3.6 boards, 2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 29 minutes over the past five games.
Marco Belinelli(notes), SG, NOR - Belinelli is back ahead of Willie Green(notes) at shooting guard for the Hornets and has averaged 17.5 points on 56-percent shooting, 2.5 threes, and 5 boards in 36 minutes over the past four games. Belinelli is at least looking good as a short-term play, with three favorable matchups (SAC, DEN, PHO) over the next five days.
Randy Foye(notes), G, LAC - Foye is in line for at least three more starts, with Eric Gordon(notes) out for the remainder of the team's current five-game road trip. We should have an update on Gordon's status shortly thereafter.
• Friday's most dropped players (as of 3pm PT):
Hakim Warrick(notes), F, PHO - Warrick followed up an explosive first start (40 minutes, 32 points, 14-19 FG, 4 boards, 4 assists) with more pedestrian numbers on Thursday (26 minutes, 12 points, 4-10 FG, 5 boards, 4 turnovers), and it should have come as a surprise to nobody. The Suns' upcoming schedule should continue the trend (ORL, @HOU, @NOR, GSW, @LAC, @LAL, TOR).
Arron Afflalo(notes), SG, DEN - Afflalo's production has been trending down lately and he's currently sidelined by a strained left hamstring. Afflalo's role hasn't changed much, but it's also worth noting that the Nuggets face an imposing set of defenses next week (@NOR, @ATL, @ORL, @MIA).
Ramon Sessions(notes), G, CLE - Sessions' numbers are down across the board - he's averaged just 11.6 points on 32-percent shooting, 5 assists, and 0.8 steals in 30 minutes over the past five games - and things aren't going to get better once Baron Davis(notes) returns to the team when they make their West Coast swing next week.
Wes Johnson(notes), GF, MIN - Johnson has averaged 3.5 points on 25-percent shooting in 13 minutes of two games since returning from a stomach illness. He's ceding playing time to Wayne Ellington(notes) and Martell Webster(notes) and does not look like a reliable fantasy option moving forward.
Kenyon Martin(notes), PF, DEN - Martin has averaged 11 points on 51-percent shooting, 7.3 boards, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 29 minutes over his past eight games, so it's hard to see the reasoning for the drops here.
• Status updates: Kevin Love(notes) (knee) expects to play Friday ... Steve Nash(notes) is playing with pain, and plans to continue to do so ... Carlos Boozer(notes) is out Friday because of a sprained left ankle and Saturday has to be considered in jeopardy, as well ... Paul Millsap(notes) (knee) is out, Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (back) is in for the Jazz Friday ... Andrea Bargnani(notes) will be in uniform Friday but is still limited by the flu ... Danilo Gallinari(notes) (toe) is currently targeting Monday for his return ... Luis Scola(notes) (knee) remains questionable for Saturday ... Tyrus Thomas(notes) (knee) will be a game-time decision Friday ... Kendrick Perkins(notes) (knee) practiced Thursday but won't play Friday ... Beno Udrih(notes) (illness) is out again Friday ... Andray Blatche(notes) (shoulder) is not expected to play on Saturday.
These and many more topics will be discussed in the Wednesday live blog, so stop by and participate in the discussion or just lurk and take it all in. We'll get started at 7pm PT/10pm ET.
Check the comment thread for status updates or to post your own.
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