Wired: Top NBA Pickups

Steve Alexander
Dr. A breaks down Week 21, Week 21-24 schedules, remaining back-to-backs, and hot pickups (Amir Johnson) in Waiver Wired

Wired: Top Pickups Week 21

Dr. A breaks down Week 21, Week 21-24 schedules, remaining back-to-backs, and hot pickups (Amir Johnson) in Waiver Wired

Games Played for Week 21

5 Games - Portland

4 Games – Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah, Washington

3 Games – Cleveland, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Clippers, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Toronto

2 Games – L.A. Lakers

The Blazers have a five-game week, but their bench is so bad that there’s not really anyone worth picking up who might be sitting on waivers. Eric Maynor and Meyers Leonard are possibilities, but it would have to be a pretty deep league and desperate situation to take a flier on anyone coming off the bench for the Blazers. Injured guys who are nearing a return, such as Pau Gasol and Bradley Beal, should be auto-pickups in all leagues.


Mo Williams Jazz – Williams hasn’t exactly blown up since returning from his thumb injury but has scored 20, 5 and 13 points in each of his last three games, and has handed out six assists in two of those. He’s only going to get more comfortable and healthy going forward, and he looks like a must-own player to me, but is available in 30 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.

Shaun Livingston Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving’s season is likely over and Livingston is now the starting point guard in Cleveland. He’s averaging nearly 14 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals over his last three games, and is showing no signs of losing his starting gig going forward.

Devin Harris Hawks – Harris is averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 assists and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games, but has also scored 15 and 17 in each of his last two. He looked like a safer bet when Jeff Teague was down with an ankle injury, but Harris is still playing well enough to be owned in most leagues.

Dorell Wright Sixers – Wright is finally reliable off the Sixers bench, averaging 12.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.4 3-pointers per game over his last five. His minutes can be a little shaky at times and he could still disappear at any time, but if you need a 3-point shooter, Wright could be your guy.

Marco Belinelli Bulls – Bello disappeared on Wednesday, when he missed all nine of his shots and failed to score in 22 minutes, but bounced back on Friday with 13 points, six dimes and three 3-pointers in 40 minutes. Richard Hamilton could come back from his back injury at some point and rain on Bello’s parade, but I’m guessing Rip gets limited minutes the rest of the way, and I actually trust Belinelli at this point. Outside of Wednesday’s disaster, Bello has scored 13, 11, 22, 21 and 20 points in five of his last six games, and is playing 38 minutes per game in March.


Martell Webster Wizards – I managed to pick up Webster before he got hot and he’s been tearing it up for me in a few leagues. He absolutely blew up on Saturday night when he went for 34 points, five dimes and seven 3-pointers. He was already killing it prior to that explosion, scoring 17 or more points in five straight games, while knocking down 24 3-pointers over that stretch. The Wizards’ schedule is great and while the return of Bradley Beal won’t do Webster any favors, he’s playing too well to be owned in just 37 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.

Gerald Henderson Bobcats – Hendo has been playing very well for Charlotte this month and is averaging 22.2 points, 3.4 boards, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 3-pointers while shooting 48 percent over his last five. And with four games this week, he’s nearly a must-start player, despite his lack of 3-pointers.

Josh McRoberts Bobcats – With Byron Mullens still appearing on milk cartons across America, McBob is suddenly relevant and playing well. He’s averaging nearly 11 points, 10 boards, three assists, two steals and a block over his last three games, all of which were starts in place of Mullens. He’s also attempted six 3-pointers in those games, and while only one has dropped, more should be coming. If you need a big man, McRoberts looks like a nice grab as long as he holds onto the starting gig.

Matt Barnes Clippers –Barnes has flourished with Caron Butler sidelined with an elbow injury, but Butler returned to action on Sunday. Barnes is averaging 15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games, and while those numbers will take a hit starting on Sunday, he’s still worth a look in most leagues.

Chris Copeland Knicks – Copeland is getting a lot of run and opportunity with Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire all missing games for the Knicks, and was averaging 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers over his last five games entering Sunday’s action. He’ll start again with Melo, Chandler and Amare all out, and while he’s not a must-own player, he’s playing well enough to be given a close look in all leagues.

Moe Harkless Magic – Harkless had been struggling since Tobias Harris (who is a must-own player) burst onto the scene in Orlando, but has come on, scoring 12 points in two straight games prior to Sunday, racking up a whopping eight steals and two 3-pointers in them. He had a big game on Sunday too, racking up 22 points, eight boards, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 9-of-15 shooting, meaning it’s probably time to pick him back up.


Spencer Hawes Sixers – Hawes is officially on fire, but is still owned in just 60 percent of Yahoo! Leagues. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.2 blocks over his last five games, and went nuts on Saturday with 18 points, 16 boards, eight assists, seven blocks and a 3-pointer against Roy Hibbert. He’s also shooting 52 percent over his last five and should now be owned in all leagues.

Kosta Koufos Nuggets – Koufos is finally rolling for the Nuggets after starting all season and is averaging 12.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 1.4 blocks over his last five games. His minutes can be shaky at times and he will still disappear occasionally, but has been playing well enough to be owned in almost any league.

Jermaine O’Neal Suns – O’Neal is back after missing time due to his daughter’s heart surgery and has started at center in two straight games. He’s averaging 14 points, 6.5 boards and 1.5 blocks in those two starts, and Marcin Gortat isn’t coming back anytime soon. I didn’t think I would ever be writing about JO again, but he’s played very well for a month now and is worth picking up if you need a center who can block shots. Markieff Morris and Wes Johnson are also playing well for the Suns and deserve a look in many leagues.

Brandan Wright Mavericks – Rick Carlisle is not a Chris Kaman fan and Wright has been the man starring in the middle for Dallas lately, averaging 11.8 points, 6.8 boards and 2.0 blocks over his last five games. He’s shooting a whopping 66 percent over that stretch and getting 26 minutes per game, meaning he’s worth grabbing if you need a center. Wright is available in 89 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.

Jonas Valanciunas & Amir Johnson Raptors – Valanciunas has been getting nice run with Andrea Bargnani’s season officially over, while Amir Johnson is now a must-own player. Valanciunas was averaging 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his previous five games entering Sunday’s contest, and had 18 points and seven boards in that one. Johnson is on fire, going off for 18 points and 18 rebounds on Sunday, and came into that one averaging 12.0 points, 10.0 boards, 1.6 steals and 2.0 blocks over his previous five games. Over his last two, he’s averaging 15 points and 19.5 rebounds, meaning he’s as must-own as they come.

Weekly Games Played Schedule (Weeks 21-25)

ATL 4-4-4-2-2

BOS 4-4-4-3-2

BRK 4-3-3-4-2

CHA 4-3-4-3-2

CHI 4-3-4-4-2

CLE 3-3-4-4-2

DAL 4-3-4-3-2

DEN 4-3-3-3-2

DET 3-3-4-2-2

GSW 3-3-3-3-2

HOU 3-3-4-3-2

IND 4-4-3-3-2

LAC 3-4-3-3-2

LAL 2-4-3-4-1

MEM 4-4-4-3-2

MIA 4-4-3-4-2

MIL 4-3-4-4-2

MIN 4-4-4-4-2

NOH 3-4-3-4-1

NYK 4-4-4-4-2

OKC 4-3-3-3-2

ORL 3-4-4-2-2

PHI 4-4-3-4-2

PHX 4-3-3-3-2

POR 5-3-4-3-2

SAC 4-3-3-3-2

SAS 3-3-4-3-2

TOR 3-3-4-3-2

UTA 4-4-4-2-2

WAS 4-4-4-3-2

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