Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 23

Wired takes a look at about 25 players who can help you in Week 10, when the Suns play five games. Ish Smith and Devin Booker could be sneaky adds

Games Played Week 23



2 Games: CLE

The Atlanta Hawks celebrated their Eastern Conference win by starting Elton Brand, Mike Muscala, Dennis Schroder, John Jenkins and Kent Bazemore on Saturday night. Muscala had 18 points, 10 rebounds and a fat line, Schroder had 17 points and 11 assists, Bazemore scored 20 with three 3-pointers, and Jenkins had 16 points and three 3-pointers. Shelvin Mack played 26 minutes, but hit just 2-of-10 shots for five points and eight assists. It’s impossible to tell what the Hawks are going to do from night to night, but owning Schroder seems like a great idea, and using any of the aforementioned guys in random daily lineups will work when the starters are resting.

With the Cavs having just two games, you might want to look for a cheap, temporary four-gamer for the upcoming week. Bojan Bogdanovic, Marvin Williams, Jason Terry, C.J. Watson, Mario Chalmers, Henry Walker and Ish Smith are all decent options this week.

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Point Guards

Ish Smith Sixers 24 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Smith had 18 points, nine dimes and two steals on 8-of-14 shooting on Friday and is averaging 12.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s also ruined Isaiah Canaan.

Langston Galloway Knicks 23% - He’s hit double digits in scoring in four straight games and is averaging 12.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 3-pointersf over his last five. His team’s a mess, but Galloway’s been decent.

Dennis Schroder Hawks 27% - Schroder’s hit double digits in five straight and is averaging 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.0 3-pointers during that stretch. The only thing to ponder here is why he’s not owned in more leagues.

Jameer Nelson Nuggets 34% - Nelson had 22 points, five dimes and four 3-pointers on Saturday and is averaging 16.8 points, 2.0 boards, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.8 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games.

Jason Terry Rockets 5% - Terry had 17 points, four assists and five 3-pointers on Saturday and started again on Sunday for Patrick Beverley, who could be out for the season due to a wrist injury.

Shooting Guards

Jordan Clarkson Lakers 39% - Clarkson had 14 points and two steals on Friday after scoring 20 and 30 points in his previous two games. He’s averaging 16.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers over his last five games. He should be owned in more leagues.

Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 9% - Bogdanovic has been pretty unreliable, burning many of us with duds on Monday and Wednesday after coming into the week on a hot streak. He got hot again on Friday with 18 points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers, and is averaging 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five. If you throw out his two duds, he’s scored 18, 21 and 17 points in three of his last five games, so he might be ready to get hot again.

Mario Chalmers Heat 51% - Dwyane Wade’s knee is messed up again and the Heat are going to have to be careful with him as the playoffs approach. Chalmers is his replacement and is averaging 11.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over the last five games. However, he’s hitting just 39 percent of his shots and just isn’t as good as we once thought he was.

Randy Foye Nuggets 41% - Foye started and had 17 points and four more 3-pointers on Saturday against Portland. He’s averaging 11.8 points and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games, and is worth owning because of his the triples. But he doesn’t do much else.

Austin Rivers Clippers 2% - Rivers has scored 13 and 21 points in each of his last two games, and is seeing some extra run (in theory) because Jamal Crawford continues to miss time. He played 24 minutes on Friday and 19 minutes on Wednesday, so he’s not exactly a must-own player. But as the silly season begins with bench players getting run for good teams, Rivers is a guy who could make some noise for his dad (Doc Rivers).

Small Forwards

Chase Budinger Wolves 25% - Budinger has been cooking for a few weeks now and scored 22 points on Wednesday and 23 on Friday. He’s averaging 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting over his last five. Yes, he’ll take a hit once Kevin Martin returns, but that situation might end up being more ‘if’ then ‘when.’ Either way, I’m good with a Budinger pickup in all instances right now.

Matt Barnes Clippers 50% - Barnes is over his hamstring injury and has scored between 11 and 15 points in his last three games. Over his last four, he’s averaging 11.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers. As you can see, he’s usually good for some fantasy gold (steals, blocks and threes).

Henry Walker Heat 6% - Walker played 40 minutes on Friday against the Hawks and racked up 12 points, nine boards, five assists, four steals and four 3-pointers on 4-of-12 shooting. He also hit seven 3-pointers in his previous two games, and is worth a look for the ailing Heat. He won’t be very good on nights when Dwyane Wade is playing, but if he’s out, Walker is a super-sneaky play.

Richard Jefferson Mavs 1% - Jefferson is starting for Monta Ellis on Sunday due to Ellis’ calf injury. And if Ellis misses time, RJ could continue to start. He got hot a few weeks ago and went on a mini-tear, and it could be ready to happen again if Ellis’ injury is serious enough to shut him down. But if Ellis is good to go after Sunday, forget about RJ, as he played a total of 21 minutes in his previous three games.

James Johnson Raptors 10% - JJ came out of nowhere on Friday with 17 points, six boards, three assists and two steals on 7-of-10 shooting against the lowly Lakers. He saw a big boost in minutes in that game (26) after usually playing 15 a night. If his minutes continue to stay up in the mid-20s going forward, he’ll likely be worth grabbing.

Power Forwards

Taj Gibson Bulls 60% - Gibson has taken a big hit from the emergence of Nikola Mirotic while Gibson was out with an ankle injury, but did bounce back with 14 points, nine boards and a block on Saturday night. I’d rather own Mirotic and trust him more, but it’s possible Gibson is ready to start rocking a little, especially Joakim Noah or Pau Gasol are getting some rest.

Jae Crowder Celtics 20% - Crowder’s been pretty consistent lately, averaging 15.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He hit a 3-pointer in three straight games last weekend, but hasn’t hit one in his last two. He does like to shoot them though, and has a green light, so I expect more 3-pointers coming for him soon.

Marvin Williams Hornets 10% - Marvin hit three 3-pointers and had 17 points, five boards and two steals on Saturday against the makeshift Hawks, and also had 10 rebounds (5 points) on Friday. Cody Zeller is still out with a bad shoulder and we don’t know when he’ll return. Marvin is still Marvin, and I don’t really trust him, but he could be ready to heat up for the Hornets.

Trevor Booker Jazz 2% - Booker started for Derrick Favors on Saturday and had 12 points, three boards and a 3-pointer in 33 minutes. He’s been playing 20-plus minutes a night, and if Favors’ back injury causes him to miss more time, Booker might be worth owning. Elijah Millsap, who played just six minutes on Saturday, came in hot, and is also worth a look if Favors is going to miss time.

Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black, Ed Davis – Lakers – Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill have been grounded by the Lakers, so this trio is getting run and production. Figuring which one to pick up is a challenge, but Davis and Kelly are the best bets for success. However, Black was the best one on Friday with seven points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. Kelly played 31 minutes and hit a 3-pointer, but only had seven points and one rebound. And Davis played just 18 minutes for eight points, seven boards and a block. Robert Sacre played 24 minutes and had seven points, five boards, a steal and a block, and they all are going to cancel each other out on most nights. Which is why they’re at the bottom of my list.


Steven Adams Thunder 41% - Adams has been quiet scoring over his last two games, totaling just nine points, but did have 14 rebounds, a steal and a block on Saturday. He’s averaging 9.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks over his last five games, and the Thunder are going to need him to play well to stay in the playoff hunt.

Bismack Biyombo Hornets 2% - Biyombo is not a must-own player, especially with Al Jefferson apparently healthy. However, Jefferson looked awful on Saturday with two points in 17 minutes, and may not be over his knee problem, so Biyombo could be relevant again. Just don’t expect more than a few boards and blocks from him.

J.J. Hickson Nuggets 5% - Hickson started on Saturday and had nine points, eight boards and three steals. Danilo Gallinari is banged up and the Hornets don’t have a great option at center, meaning Hickson could continue to see solid minutes and starts. He can hurt your free throw percentage though, so study his game log to make sure he makes sense for your team.

Chris Kaman Blazers 7% - Kaman missed time recently with a shoulder injury but had four points, 11 boards and a steal in his return on Friday, and then had 14 points, nine boards and two blocks on Saturday. He only gets 17 or 18 minutes on most nights, but his 20 boards in his last two games are worth a mention.

Drew Gooden Wizards 1% - Gooden came out of nowhere for 15 points, 17 boards, a steal and three 3-pointers on Friday, and is seeing heavy minutes again on Sunday. If you’re in a deep league with a bare wire, he’s worth a look. Kris Humphries is out with a groin injury, which is why Gooden may actually be relevant.