Wired: Top NBA Pickups

Steve Alexander
Matt Stroup considers the balance of basketball power in the Morris family, and talks Dennis Schroder and T.J. Warren, in this week�s Roundball Stew

Stew: Marcus vs. Markieff

Matt Stroup considers the balance of basketball power in the Morris family, and talks Dennis Schroder and T.J. Warren, in this week�s Roundball Stew

We are down to just five full weeks left in the regular season, in addition to the short final week that starts on Monday April 15 and ends on Wednesday of that week. If you’re interested in seeing weekly schedule numbers for the rest of the season, they’re included at the end of this column. Mike Gallagher also put together an incredibly detailed schedule report that can help you win your league.

Games Played for Week 20



2 Games – CHI, LAC, SAC


Mo Williams Jazz – Mo-Will has scored just 18 points in his three games since returning from a thumb injury, but is starting at point guard for the Jazz and is playing more than 25 minutes per game. His shot hasn’t started falling yet, as he’s hit just 7-of-27 shots over his last three games, but he should be getting ready to put up better numbers going forward. The Jazz go 3-4-4-4-2-2 to finish up the season.

Marco Belinelli Bulls – Belinelli is hot and the Bulls backcourt is fairly depleted. He’s scored 20, 21 and 22 points in his last three games with 10 3-pointers and 15 assists. He’s also played 41 or more minutes in three straight games and I doubt the return of Richard Hamilton will hurt him much. The biggest problem is that the Bulls play just two games this week, but then go 4-3-4-4-2 to finish up. Nate Robinson is also coming on again and we just don't know if or when Derrick Rose is going to make his debut. If Robinson was dropped in your league, think about grabbing him. He's having a nice day against the Lakers on Sunday.

Tony Allen & Jerryd Bayless Grizzlies – Allen has hit double digits in scoring in four straight games and is averaging 11.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals over his last five. Bayless has also scored in double digits in three straight games and might also be worth a look in your league, especially if you need threes. He’s hit five of them over his last three games and the Grizzlies go 4-4-4-4-3-2 to finish up the season.

Alec Burks Jazz – Burks has hit double figures in scoring in four of his last five games, and is averaging 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five. Those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but the Jazz have a decent schedule to finish the season, going 3-4-4-4-2-2, making Burks worth a deep-league look. 

Luke Ridnour & J.J. Barea Timberwolves – Ridnour had just seven points on Saturday but is averaging 13.6 points, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games. Barea has hit double digits in four of his last five and is averaging 13.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five, despite not playing 30 minutes in any of them. Both players are going to see plenty of run alongside Ricky Rubio going forward, and their 4-4-4-4-4-2 schedule is as good as it gets.  


Gerald Henderson Bobcats – Henderson has scored 11 or more in five straight games and is averaging 15.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists over that stretch, but hasn’t been stealing, blocking or hitting threes, and is shooting just 39 percent in those five games. But the minutes are there, he’s helping to pick up the scoring slack left by the disappearance of Byron Mullens, and the Bobcats finish up 3-4-3-4-3-2. Guard Ben Gordon has quietly scored between 13 and 19 points in his last four games with seven 3-pointers, meaning he’s also worth a look now that he’s finally out of coach Mike Dunlap’s doghouse.

Marcus Morris & Markieff Morris Suns – Both Morris boys have started the last two games for the Suns with Marcin Gortat’s season likely over. Markieff played just 19 minutes on Saturday, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds. Marcus has scored in double digits in four of his last five games and is averaging 12.0 points. 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over that stretch.  Both players are worth a close look in most leagues, and I prefer Marcus given his numbers over the last five games. But if Markieff sticks in the starting lineup, it could be a coin toss as to who will be better going forward. The Suns finish with a 4-4-3-3-3-2 schedule.

Martell Webster & Trevor Ariza Wizards – Webster is starting and scored 20 points with four 3-pointers on Saturday. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five, while Ariza comes off the bench when Webster is resting. Ariza blew up for 26 points on Saturday with 10 rebounds and five 3-pointers. Ariza is averaging 14.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five. Ariza’s been a little better recently, but I don’t fully trust him coming off the bench. But any way you slice it, both players are worth owning in most leagues, and the Wizards’ schedule finishes up 4-4-4-4-3-2, which is very nice. Just beware that both players could take a little hit once Bradley Beal is back from the ankle injury that’s kept him out of three straight games.

Dorell Wright Sixers – Wright has quietly scored between 10 and 20 points in his last five games, averaging 14.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.8 3-pointers for the Sixers. Keep in mind that Nick Young has been out with an ankle injury, but Wright has also been seeing some run at power forward. And given his strong play in 27 minutes per game over his last five, Wright looks like a smart pickup right now. The Sixers finish 3-4-4-3-4-2.

Mickael Gelabale Timberwolves – Gelabale’s been starting in place of injured Andrei Kirilenko and scored a season-high 19 points on Saturday, hitting 8-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers in that one. He had scored six or fewer points in his previous nine games and is far from a guarantee for fantasy production going forward. But as long as he’s starting, he’ll be worth a look in some very deep leagues. The Wolves finish 4-4-4-4-4-2, which is as good as it gets. 


Spencer Hawes Sixers – Hawes has been a bit inconsistent all season but the good news for him is that Andrew Bynum is showing no signs of playing this season. Hawes has hit double digits in rebounding in three of his last four games and is averaging 9.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks over his last five. And with Bynum still not in the picture, Hawes looks like a fine pickup right now.

Jermaine O’Neal Suns – O’Neal has missed three straight games while attending to his daughter’s heart surgery, but could be back in action on Monday. And with Marcin Gortat’s season essentially over due to a foot injury, O’Neal could be a beast the rest of the way, if he can stay healthy. He had a great February when he averaged 11.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 22 minutes a night. And considering Gortat was healthy and starting throughout that run, O’Neal’s numbers should be even better the rest of the way. Just keep in mind that I still don’t trust his legs, and this party could end as quickly as it started. O’Neal’s remaining schedule is 4-4-3-3-3-2.

Jonas Valanciunas Raptors – Andrea Bargnani injured his right elbow again on Friday and didn’t return to the game, which could open up more minutes for Valanciunas. He is averaging just 6.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games, but has scored 12 and 10 points in each of his last two. He hasn’t been much fun to own this year, failing to live up to the hype time and time again, but if Bargnani’s going to miss time, Valanciunas could finally start doing something.

Chris Kaman Mavs – Kaman has gotten a pair of DNP-CDs in his past six games, including a Wednesday benching against the Rockets. He had started three straight games before the latest benching and was back on Friday against the Pistons when he had 10 points and six boards in 15 minutes. Kaman’s minutes are shaky, Rick Carlisle obviously doesn’t trust him, and it will likely remain a mystery as to whether or not he’s playing on any given night. But considering all that is working against him right now, the numbers have been decent in limited run. And if Carlisle ever gives him a solid 25 minutes per game, Kaman could be a solid fantasy center down the stretch.

Marreese Speights Cavaliers – Speights had just nine points and one rebound in 24 minutes on Saturday, but had scored in double figures in four straight games before that. He’s averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games, getting 23 minutes a night. He had a little more upside when Tyler Zeller was out with an illness recently, but either way, Speights has been playing well enough for consideration.

Short-term Injury Fill-ins

Mike Dunleavy Bucks – Ersan Ilyasova missed Saturday’s game with a knee injury and Dunleavy had nine points, eight boards and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes in a rare start. If Ilyasova’s going to miss more time, Dunleavy should be a strong spot starter until his teammate returns.

Carl Landry Warriors – David Lee was out on Saturday with a bruised knee, and while he says he’s going to play on Monday, there’s not guarantee it happens. Any time Lee is out, Landry should be a strong fantasy option, and he had 18 points and 10 boards in Lee’s absence.

Ed Davis Grizzlies – Zach Randolph has been out with a sprained ankle and Davis has gone for 12 points and nine boards in two straight games. We don’t know when Z-Bo’s going to be back in action, but once it happens, Davis’ value will take a major hit.

Steve Novak & Kenyon Martin Knicks – Carmelo Anthony continues to miss games with his knee injury and Novak blew up for 20 points and five treys on Saturday. And with Amare Stoudemire done for the regular season, Novak should get plenty of run down the stretch. Kenyon Martin is also going to become relevant with Amare’s injury, but I don’t trust him enough to throw him in lineups right now.

Weekly Games Played Schedule (Weeks 20-25)

ATL 4-4-4-4-2-2

BOS 3-4-4-4-3-2

BRK 3-4-3-3-4-2

CHA 3-4-3-4-3-2

CHI 2-4-3-4-4-2

CLE 3-3-3-4-4-2

DAL 4-4-3-4-3-2

DEN 3-4-3-3-3-2

DET 3-3-3-4-2-2

GSW 4-3-3-3-3-2

HOU 3-3-3-4-3-2

IND 3-4-4-3-3-2

LAC 2-3-4-3-3-2

LAL 4-2-4-3-4-1

MEM 4-4-4-4-3-2

MIA 4-4-4-3-4-2

MIL 4-4-3-4-4-2

MIN 4-4-4-4-4-2

NOH 3-3-4-3-4-1

NYK 4-4-4-4-4-2

OKC 4-4-3-3-3-2

ORL 3-3-4-4-2-2

PHI 3-4-4-3-4-2

PHX 4-4-3-3-3-2

POR 3-5-3-4-3-2

SAC 2-4-3-3-3-2

SAS 4-3-3-4-3-2

TOR 3-3-3-4-3-2

UTA 3-4-4-4-2-2

WAS 4-4-4-4-3-2

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