Coaches often become the scapegoat in situations where a team is underperforming, both realistically and sometimes in their owner’s eyes. A quick fix is to fire the coach and patience is often in short supply in situations like these. NBA fans are used to that, but Kenny Atkinson’s firing from the Nets is one of the most undeserving one of recent memory. His Nets are almost surely making the playoffs, either from the 7th or the 8th position, he coached the full season without Kevin Durant and most of it without Kyrie Irving. Last year he made the playoffs with the highest paid players on the team being Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, and Jared Dudley. Let that sink in for a moment….
He seems like an obvious hire for the Knicks, to be honest, or even for the underwhelming Bulls. Hopefully, he gets his chance soon as he seems very deserving. Maybe the pressure from Rodions Kurucs to get him fired was too much for the owners to overcome…
On the fantasy front, I have to admit last week was not a great week in terms of my suggestions. Royce O’Neal and De’Andre Hunter were mediocre, while Jae Crowder pulled a Houdini and disappeared from the rotation and the scoreboard in his last three games. Even Cody Zeller, who I suggested as a “Sell” candidate got his minutes back and unsurprisingly proceeded to have a team-low -16 in last night’s double overtime loss in Atlanta.
Derrick White: Another injury creates another opportunity. Dejounte Murray suffered a calf strain and, with the Spurs postseason hopes fading quickly, there is no real incentive to rush his return. The obvious beneficiary is Derrick White, who was already a top 100 player in the last two months and will see his usage increase. He is available in 50% of Yahoo leagues so make sure to check your waiver wire. For deeper leagues or if White is already rostered, Patty Mills is also an option worth consideration (6% owned).
Cam Reddish: Another young Hawk that should be on your radar is Cam Reddish. He is an explosive athlete, a big perimeter threat, and an active defender. He has been a top 75 fantasy player during the last month. His minutes have steadily improved throughout the season and he should be rostered in standard leagues with player development being the no one priority in Atlanta (30% owned).
Aaron Holiday: Malcolm Brogdon’s injury has opened the door for Aaron Holiday to start and get heavy minutes. Granted, he hasn’t dazzled anyone with his performances since then, mainly due to his shooting slump, but I believe in his ability to impact the boxscore in multiple ways. Furthermore, Victor Oladipo is constantly questionable, which only improves Holiday’s fantasy ceiling (6% owned).
Jeff Green: His move to Houston has obviously rejuvenated him and the Rockets offense is a great fit for his playing style. As a result, his fg% has improved impressively and it has helped him rank inside the top 75 since his trade. He is still not worth a roster spot in standard leagues, as there are more consistent options out there, but go get him in deeper ones while he is this hot (9% owned).
Marcus Morris: Morris is on the opposite side of the spectrum compared to Jeff Green, as his trade has been detrimental for his fantasy value. There is simply not enough usage to go around in the crowded Clippers roster for Morris to have the kind of fantasy impact he had in New York. During the last two weeks he is averaging a disappointing 8.8 points while shooting 32.8 % from the field. With the Clippers at full strength and the fantasy playoffs upon us, there should be options that are contributing more than Morris (51% owned).
Taurean Prince: Prince is flat out hurting your team when he is playing lately, shooting an atrocious 34.4% from the field during the last month while taking 10.9 shots. Combine this with a 0.05 to .1 assist-to-turnover ratio and you have a recipe for fantasy disaster. He is inexplicably owned in 39% of Yahoo leagues.