The All-Star Break. The Halfway Point. Well, the 65% Point. Haha, the NBA season is a funny animal. Beginning in the heart of football season, it’s not until December that the league begins to take center stage of the national attention. Then, once the league hits the true half-way mark, everyone is hyped for the Super Bowl. So, finally, in the dead of winter, we reach the All-Star game and everyone’s favorite exhibition game and festivities. Sure, the entire weekend has lost a little luster over the past decade or so, but this week will be defined by the NBA All-Star Game. Oh. Hell. Yeah. Son. (OHYS)
However, like I said, it’s an interesting spot. We’re now 17 weeks into this thing. At the 17 week mark of baseball your past the trade deadline and in the home stretch towards the playoffs. With football you’re season is officially over (unless you’re one of those strange folks that plays Week 17). Yet, with fantasy basketball I feel like we just started. This little break will give us a quick breath before the final charge to the playoffs, but also, unlike other sports, creates a little chaos during the middle of that charge. The games shut down on Thursday, and don’t pick up again until the following Thursday. It’s brilliant for NBA players, but brutal for fantasy players. I thought about combining the two weeks into one, but a whole heckuva lot can happen between now and next week. Just beware, there aren’t many games for the next 14 days, so while we’re focusing on the next week, there’s also one eye on the following set to get a little ahead.
Now, onto the final few games, my predictions for the All-Star Game, and the 7 Ahead! Who do y’all have winning the All-Star Game? Dunk Contest? 3 Point Contest?
The 7 Ahead
- 5-game week: N/A
- 4-game weeks: N/A
- 3-game week: BOS, IND
- 2-game week: Everyone besides the guys above and the ones below.
- 1-game week: HOU, NYK
Top Weekly Waiver Options (<40% owned in Y!/games this week):
- Malcolm Brogdon (39%/2) – No single player may benefit more from the awful injury sustained by Jabari Parker. I’ve already spewed about my love for this Georgia Peach playing in Milwaukee, but now’s definitely the time to add him. He’s in the starting five, but now may see the lions share of perimeter opportunities with Parker and Khris Middleton still out. Yes, Greg Monroe and John Henson may get a little boost, but nothing like what you’ll get from the rookie Brogdon. He’ll contribute in six cats. That’s gold from the waiver wire.
- P.J. Tucker (39%/2) – Three straight weeks now I’ve highlighted Tucker, and I’ll continue to do so until that ownership gets higher!!! Come on people! Haha, I’m really not that salty about it…I own him in my two RCL’s (in which I’m doing horrible, btw), so thanks for not rushing to the wire quite yet. But, for real…the Suns have nothing to play for but he’s been their most consistent big(ger) man option the past few weeks. The trade deadline may shift some of his playing time, but it’s too rich to avoid.
- Larry Nance Jr. (21%/2) – Some people recently commented on Ivica Zubac as a potential target. And I just don’t see it. For what he’s currently doing he won’t wow you in any category, and there’s another big man just ahead of him on the charts. This guy. Not only can Nance dunk his way into your dreams, but he can grab boards, shoot at an insane clip, and give a few heat checks on any given night. I’d much rather have Nance, who also had 3 steals in three straight games, than Zubac, Brandon Ingram, or any other young Lakers front court option (minus Julius Randle, of course).
- Brandon Jennings (23%/1) – Be willing to take a big hit to your FG% (38.5%), but the other cats are hard to find now that Jennings is getting ample minutes. Starting alongside Derrick Rose the past few games, Jennings is averaging 12.3/2.5/7.3 with 2.3 3PM on 48.6% shooting. That’s a massive uptick in the performance. I’m hesitant to say it’s here to stay, but while he’s this on, especially if you need the assists, I’d target Jennings.
And now a look at the daily rhythms of the NBA for this week!
Monday: 11 GAMES – What a way to celebrate a birthday…my Hawks are the national nightcap on TNT. How thoughtful EJ! For real, though, with essentially just two days of NBA games, get your stats from your starters here and Wednesday. Best game? Not the Atlanta visit to Portland. Instead, I’d probably give it to San Antonio traveling to a hot Indiana team. The Pacers played the Wizards really tight last week, and with the Paul George rumors heating up it will be interesting to see if the team can keep focus in their attempt to climb in the East.
Tuesday: 3 GAMES – Only three contests on the schedule Tuesday, as the whole league begins to pump the brakes. Highlight will be Cleveland visiting Minnesota and our joy of watching Andrew Wiggins light up the Cavs once more. The next day is super heavy, so it will be interesting to see if NBA teams begin resting players here, adding to the ever-more important days off. Oh, and for as ‘meh’ as the Cavs have been lately, they’re still up 2.5 in the East. Ugh.
Wednesday: 12 GAMES – Everyone but Washington and Chicago take the floor on Hump Day, or as I like to think, National NBA Day of the Week. While there are plenty of good games to watch, including the ESPN game of Indiana at Cleveland, I’ll be watching (at least the box score) the Heat/Rockets game. I drool at the way the Rockets play and score, but the Heat are the hottest (pun intended…and a bad one. I’m sorry) teaming the league after searing off (again. You’re welcome.) 13 straight.
Thursday: 2 GAMES – This is like the Pro Bowl the weekend before the Super Bowl. Not many eyes are on it, but it’s still happening. Haha, everyone’s just ready for the festivities at this point, but there are actually two fun ones to watch. The Wizards and Indy is a great rematch from last Wednesday, and the Celtics at Chicago is always a fun contest. Let’s just wait to see if the stars actually take the court.
Friday: 0 GAMES – Rest up, children. It’s about to be a fun weekend!
Saturday: 0 GAMES – That Dunk Contest, tho! That one up there’s for you, Zach LaVine!)
Sunday: 1 GAME – The ever-important ALL-STAR GAME! My vote: The West takes it down this year…until the 4th quarter, then Mighty Mouse himself comes in ‘to save the daaaaaaay!’ Isaiah Thomas drops 30 for the game, and 21 in the 4th to take home the MVP as the East win the greatest exhibition in basketball.
Now, DROP THOSE COMMENTS! And don’t be afraid to send along any questions on trades, pickups or life! Good luck in Week 17!