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Court Report: Playoff possibilities

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Monday marks the start of Week 20 of the default h2h fantasy basketball season, the final regular season matchup before the playoffs begin. You may need one last push to get in, or perhaps you already have a spot secured and are more interested in some advanced planning. The notable widely-available players below are discussed with their short- and long-term prospects in mind, given both possibilities.

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Alonzo Gee (Getty)

Alonzo Gee, CLE, GF (33% owned)
Gee quickly transitioned from a player with deep-league potential to a true difference maker once he took over at small forward for the Cavs, moving ahead of the ever-disappointing Omri Casspi. Numbers over his past six starts include 15.3 points on 48-percent shooting, 1.2 threes, 5.7 boards, 2.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 33 minutes, and it's not a mistake that he's the 29th-ranked player over the past 14 days. Gee could end up as the add for the stretch run, given those combined threes-steals-blocks and the Cavs' league-best schedule (4-4-4-5).

Nate Robinson, GSW, G (32% owned)
Robinson is a universal add with news that Stephen Curry's season is very likely over. We're still waiting for official confirmation, but there are no good reasons for Curry to play from an organizational perspective. At the very least, Nate Rob is going to be phenomenal in the short-term - the Warriors are one of only two teams with five games in Week 20 (ATL being the other) and he's averaged 17.3 points on 49-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 6 assists, 1 turnover, an d2.8 steals in 35 minutes over the past four games. The Warriors' schedule is excellent for the long-term, as well, with four games in each default playoff week, so this is a no-risk add with all kinds of reward potential.

Klay Thompson, GSW, GF (36% owned)
Part of the Warriors' motivation for trading Monta Ellis (and Stephen Jackson) was their confidence in Thompson, who has made 44 percent of his threes on the season and logged 1.3 assists for every turnover as a 22-year-old rookie. The schedule loves the Warriors over the next four weeks (5-4-4-4) and Thompson will see as many minutes as he can handle the rest of the way. His averages over the past four games has been mostly good (39 minutes, 19 points, 2 threes, 100% FT, 3.8 assists, 1 steal), but be wary of the likelihood that he'll be a substantial drag on your field goal percentage (17 FGA, 40%).

Jerryd Bayless, TOR, G (34% owned)
Bayless has been excellent while filling in for an injured Jose Calderon and the removal of Leandro Barbosa from the rotation ensures that he'll play plenty the rest of the way in almost any scenario. His per-30 minute averages on the season include 15 points, 1.9 threes, 4.9 assists, and 0.9 steals, and he's lifted his percentages to an absolutely stellar level since the All-Star break (48/48/88). The Raptors play four games in each of the next four weeks.

Isaiah Thomas, SAC, PG (43% owned)
Give Thomas a good look if you are locked in for the playoffs, as the Kings are one of six teams with a league-best 13 games during the default playoff weeks (4-5-4). He was brilliant in his initial starts before hitting a rough patch, but has now averaged 13.8 points on 56-percent shooting, 82-percent foul shooting, 2.2 threes, 4 assists, and 1.2 steals in just 27 minutes over the past six games. Thomas' role as a starter is secure and there's even upside from the recent production, given the relatively low minutes.

Trevor Booker, WAS, PF (38% owned)
We've been hyping Booker for some time now and he's done little to disappoint. It's his ownership level that remains a disappointment, given that he's averaged 14 points on 55-percent shooting, 9 boards, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 33 minutes over the past ten games.  Concerns about his role are understandable, but he's earned Randy Wittman's trust with his two-way hustle and Andray Blatche has yet to show reasons to think he's headed for significant minutes. The Wizards play four games in each of the next four weeks.

Bismack Biyombo, CHA, FC (32% owned)
Biyombo has been a roller-coaster in terms of game-to-game production but has been a two-category stud on a per-game basis (9.4 boards, 2.5 blocks in March). The Bobcats have only three games this coming week but then have a league-high 13 games in the playoffs and peak at the right time (4-4-5). But carefully weigh Biyombo's pronounced strengths against his not-so-subtle weaknesses (FT%, pts, FG%) before making the add, however, because his severe categorical disparity can seriously affect a team build.

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Wilson Chandler (Getty)

Wilson Chandler, DEN, GF (15% owned)
I talked about Chandler in Friday's Court Report, with the expectation being around 25 minutes per game. Chandler's per-25 minute averages over his career include 10.8 points, 0.8 threes, 4.1 boards, 0.6 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Factor in time to re-acclimate to his teammates, and that kind of production doesn't warrant must-add status in standard leagues, particularly with a middling playoff schedule factored in (4-3-4).

Chandler Parsons, HOU, F (22% owned)
Goran Dragic has been getting the headlines while Kyle Lowry has missed time with an illness, but Parsons has elevated his game in Lowry's absence. He was out Saturday with flu-like symptoms but averaged 13.5 points on 64-percent shooting, 1 three, 5.3 boards, 5.5 assists, 1 steal, and 0.5 blocks in the previous four games. The Rockets don't exactly have a packed schedule (3-4-3-4), but he'll have plenty of opportunities to pack the box score for as long as Lowry remains out.

Rodrigue Beaubois, DAL, G (18% owned)
Beaubois has been a prominent part of the Mavs' rotation thanks to the Mavs' veteran-heavy roster and Delonte West's broken finger. West appears to be at least another few weeks out, so Beaubois' 27 minutes since the All-Star break are for at least that long. The numbers, going back a dozen games, are excellent in the "don't hurt you anywhere" way: 12.8 points, 48% FG, 85% FT, 0.8 threes, 3.3 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks. The Mavs have an average schedule (4-3-4-3).

Spencer Hawes, PHI, C (35% owned)
Hawes' early-season output has fantasy owners optimistic about things to come for the stretch run, but banking on his being a major part of a championship run is a risky proposition for two reasons. The first is that the 76ers are one of three teams (ATL, CHI) with only 10 games during the default playoff weeks (3-4-3), so you know you are getting as little as possible from a quantity standpoint. The second is that the quality is also in question, given that he's going to be actively monitored after missing the majority of two months with Achilles issues. The 76ers play four sets of back-to-backs in a span of 13 days (Mar 13 - Apr 11), in the heart of the playoffs, so the possibility of  a let-down is very real here.

Kawhi Leonard, SAS, GF (13% owned)
Leonard has been an elite per-minute performer in March (27 minutes, 10.3 points, 57% FG, 88% FT, 1.1 threes, 5.8 boards, 2 steals) and is now starting at small forward, at least for the time being. It makes sense to give Leonard a look in Week 20 (four games) and see how the rotation plays out with Stephen Jackson now in the mix. In any case, Leonard's recent production has certainly warranted ownership well above its current levels.

Jason Thompson, SAC, FC (22% owned)
Back-to-back games with 21 points, 15 boards, and four assists are naturally going to draw attention, but it has to be noted that the two massive lines pushed Thompson's post-break numbers in 11 games to all of 9.2 points, 7.4 boards, and 1.6 assists. That said, J.J. Hickson has been hurt and has fallen completely out of favor with Keith Smart, so we could see him lean more heavily on Thompson in the coming weeks. The numbers when Thompson has seen at least 30 minutes of playing time are quite useful: 13.2 points on 57-percent shooting, 10.6 boards, and 0.8 blocks. I can't recommend more than cautious optimism in deeper formats here, given the long and mediocre history, even though the Kings have an excellent playoff schedule (4-5-4).

Zaza Pachulia, ATL, C (28% owned)
Give Zaza a look of you need a short-term boost however you can get it. The Hawks are one of three teams with nine games over the next two weeks (5-4), but then play just six to finish out the default h2h season (3-3). There are no impediments to Pachulia's playing time and he's averaged 10.5 boards, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals over the past 11 games. The downer is that he's also averaged 8.7 points on just 43-percent shooting over the same span.

Tiago Splitter, SAS, FC (16% owned)
The longer your deep-league season runs, the more sense it makes to roster Splitter. The Spurs play just three times in Week 21, but then have as many games as any team in the league through the end of the NBA season (4-4-5-3). Take a look at the Spurs' April schedule and you'll see plenty of opportunities for Gregg Popovich to rest Tim Duncan, including three stretches of four games in five nights. Pop said in late January that Duncan would sit at least one game in those instances as a rule, so you should also be prepared for Duncan to sit out one game during the team's back-to-back-to-back this coming weekend.

Daniel Gibson, CLE, G (8% owned)
Gibson has not done much to impress so far this season (27 minutes, 7.8 points, 36% FG, 1.6 threes, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals), but he'll have a chance to make up for it down the stretch, with Ramon Sessions now with the Lakers. Those backup guard minutes that Sessions saw will now largely go to Gibson, and the Cavs have the league's best schedule over the next month (4-4-4-5). His career per-30s include 10.3 points, 1.9 threes, 2.5 assists, and 0.8 steals, and that volume of threes alone should warrant some more deep-league adds.

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