November 08, 2009
Four-game teams: DAL, GSW, HOU, LAC, MIN, NOR, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR, UTH
Three-game teams: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, LAL, MEM, MIA, NJN, NYK, ORL, SAS
Two-game Teams: IND, MIL, SAC, WAS
Pickups and Plug-ins
• Kirk Hinrich(notes) – Shots haven't been falling for Hinrich thus far (36% FG, 25% 3PT), but the counting stats are there (3.5 boards, 4.3 assists, 1.2 steals) thanks to 30 minutes per game. The playing time is going to stay north of the 30-minute mark, so there's no doubt that he'll be off the wire once a few more shots – particularly from 3-point range – start to fall. If you need guard depth, give him a hard look. Week 3: DEN, @TOR, PHI
• Andres Nocioni(notes) – Nocioni is back in as the Kings' starting small forward and will see a reasonable share of the team's usage while Kevin Martin(notes) is sidelined.You'll want to keep in mind that the Kings only play twice in Week 3 (OKC, HOU).
• Ryan Gomes(notes) – Gomes started slow but has been showing signs of improvement (12.5 points, 1 three, 8.3 boards, 2.3 assists, 1 steal over his past four) and the T-Wolves have a very nice four-game slate lined up (@GSW, POR, DAL, @MEM).
• Kelenna Azubuike(notes)/Anthony Morrow – It's always a wild ride in NellieLand, but Azubuike saw 33 minutes of playing time in a start on Friday (13 points, 1 three, 7 boards, 1 steal, 1 block) and can usually be found on Nelson's good side. Stephen Curry's(notes) penchant for fouls (4.3 per game) means Morrow will continue to play, and his ridiculous percentages (53/53/89) mean that he'll also continue to produce volume offense (14 points, 2 threes).What is of particular note for both players is the Warriors' excellent Week 3 schedule (MIN, @IND, @NYK, @MIL).
• Marreese Speights(notes) – Speights has done more with his playing time than both Elton Brand(notes) and Samuel Dalembert(notes) to this point. While he's not going to be a candidate for starts in the short-term, there's no downside from his current role (22 minutes per game) and the resulting numbers have been good so far (13.2 points, 61% FG, 84% FT, 6.8 boards, 1.2 blocks). Keep in mind that the game-to-game consistency won't be there, but the aggregate stats should be just fine. Week 3: PHO, @NJN, UTH, @CHI
• Corey Brewer(notes) – Brewer needs to be handled with care, as awful efficiency (37% FG, 58% FT, 2.2. turnovers) has mitigated a large part of his positive contributions (12.8 points, 4.8 boards, 2.8 assists, 2.5 steals, 1 block). That said, there are plenty of positives to consider: those defensive numbers are stout, the percentages should come around a bit, his role is unquestioned and the team's Week 3 schedule looks great (@GSW, POR, DAL, @MEM).
• Carl Landry(notes)/Chuck Hayes – The Rockets have largely settled on a three-man frontcourt rotation (Luis Scola(notes), Hayes, Landry) and both players have made good use of their allotted playing time. Landry has provided instant offense in his 25 minutes per game (14.3 points, 52% FG, 91% FT, 6.2 boards, 1.2 steals-plus-blocks), while Hayes' defensive prowess has been translating wonderfully to the box score (29 minutes, 7.7 points, 7.3 boards, 2.3 steals, 0.7 blocks). Team needs should dictate which player makes more sense in an add/drop. Week 3: @DAL, MEM, @SAC, @LAL
• Beno Udrih(notes) – Need a point guard? Udrih will start and face no competition for playing time while Kevin Martin misses the next two months. In 130 career starts, he's averaged 12.4 points on 47-percent shooting, 0.7 threes, 3.2 boards, 4.8 assists, 1 steals in 33 minutes. Some initial downside is the fact that the Kings only play twice in Week 3 (OKC, HOU).
• Travis Outlaw(notes) – Nate McMillan is still trying to work out the Blazers' rotation, and Outlaw's role and numbers have been a bit more prominent over the past three games (26 minutes, 13.3 points, 1.3 threes, 4 boards, 1 steal, 1.3 blocks). A speculative add makes even more sense when you consider his team's favorable Week 3 schedule (@MEM, @MIN, @NOR, @CHA).
• Matt Barnes(notes) – Barnes has been such a good fit with the Magic starter's (14.3 points, 2 threes, 9.7 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, 0.7 blocks) that his retaining the small forward gig after Rashard Lewis(notes) returns is not out of the question. This is a very deep team, but he's proving his value nonetheless. He should at least have short-term value (but monitor his health). Week 3: @CHA, CLE, NJN
• Erick Dampier(notes) - The first thing that needs to be noted is that Damp's contract is not guaranteed for next season, so at age 34 he's essentially playing for what should be his final free-agent contract. He was a monster last time money was a motivating factor. Secondly, Drew Gooden's(notes) rib injury has created an opportunity for Damp – you may remember that an abdominal injury contributed to Gooden missing 31 games last season - and he's responded, averaging 8.8 points on 65-percent shooting, 9.7 boards, and 2.5 blocks in 29 minutes per game thus far. Matchups and bouts of "Dampier being Dampier" should prevent you from expecting consistency, but there are worse end-of-bench options and the Mavs play four games in four of the next six weeks. Week 3: HOU, @SAS, @MIN, @DET
• Terrence Williams(notes)/Josh Boone/Rafer Alston(notes) – The Nets are down to the bare bones in terms of active players, with the latest news being that Chris Douglas-Roberts(notes) has contracted H1N1. All three players are going to see significant playing time, at least in the short-term. Williams is an efficiency nightmare (36% FG, 54% FT, 2.3 turnovers), so you need to ask yourself how bad you really need his counting stats (10 points, 0.7 threes, 5.3. boards, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals). Deep-leaguers should already be aware of Boone's averages over the past three games: 28 minutes, 9 points, 9 boards, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Alston can be very hit-or-miss, but the playing time (38 minutes in five starts) isn't going anywhere while Devin Harris(notes) remains out. Week 3: PHI, ORL, MIA
• Quentin Richardson(notes) – Q-Rich has responded well to the opportunity a Daequan Cook(notes) injury has presented him, averaging 14 points on 46-percent shooting, 3 treys, and 8 boards in 36 minutes over the past four games. I still recommend exhausting most other options before adding Richardson for some threes and boards, but the Heat are going to play whoever gives them the best chance to win now, and right now that includes Q-Rich. Week 3: WAS, CLE, NJN
• Rasual Butler(notes) – Butler has moved head of Al Thornton(notes) as the Clippers' starting small forward. He's yet to find his stroke with the first unit (32% FG, 19% 3PT in 3 starts) but is a viable, low-risk add in deeper leagues if you need threes and steals-plus-blocks. Week 3: NOR, OKC, TOR, @OKC
• Taj Gibson(notes) – Gibson is looking at a significant opportunity to contribute while Tyrus Thomas(notes) recovers from his broken arm, and his per-30 averages through five games include 8.8 points, 6.3 boards, and 1.4 steals-plus-blocks. Week 3: DEN, @TOR, PHI
• Oleksiy Pecherov(notes) - He's been up and down in four starts, but Pecherov has been productive enough overall (11.8 points, 53% FG, 0.5 threes, 7 boards, 1.3 steals-plus-blocks) to put him on deep-league rosters, especially since Kevin Love(notes) needs at least a few more weeks off. Week 3: @GSW, POR, DAL, MEM
• Thabo Sefolosha(notes) – How deep is your league? Sefolosha is viable if the answer is "very." He's played fewer than 30 minutes in just one of five games, and his defensive mindset should keep him in the first unit and ahead of James Harden(notes). Incremental production is still production, and his season averages include 6.8 points on 50-percent shooting, 1 three, 3.4 boards, 1.2 steals, and 0.4 blocks. Week 3: @SAC, @LAC, @SAS, LAC
• Pau Gasol(notes) (hamstring) and Andrew Bynum(notes) (elbow) will both be out of the lineup again on Sunday, but the Lakers are then off until Thursday (PHO), a game both are targeting for a return.
• Kevin Martin will have surgery Monday to deal with the hairline fracture in his left wrist and is expected to miss at least the next eight weeks of action.
• Allen Iverson(notes) left the Grizzlies on Saturday after being granted an indefinite leave of absence to deal with an important family issue. Consider team owner Michael Heisley's comments before you assume this is related to his feelings about his current role with the team:
"I’m not going to get into the personal reason but it has nothing to do with the other stuff. I’m the guy who said he could go. It’s a real family issue that I don’t think should be reported."
Heisley added that he's been granted as much time as he needs, but how much he needs is unknown and his returning as soon an Tuesday would not be ruled out. This is a respite for Mike Conley(notes) owners and obviously a tough situation for anyone that has rostered AI. I advise you to not rush to judgement one way or the other before giving it a day or two for more details to develop.Ryan Anderson(notes) won't play Sunday and could miss a few more games as a result of a sprained right ankle. Brandon Bass(notes) will start in his absence.
• Nets upates: Chris Douglas-Robers has H1N1 and his timetable for a return is not yet known; Courtney Lee(notes) is targeting Wednesday for a return from a strained groin; and Devin Harris (groin) is still looking at at least another ten days or so.
• Kenyon Martin(notes) is listed as day-to-day after an MRI revealed that there is no fracture in his left leg. Renaldo Balkman(notes) and Chris Andersen(notes) will see surplus minutes if he does need more time off.