Ten Things Phil Knows About the NBA- January 14, 2018January 14, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments
*A weekly NBA special from Phil Naessens at Creative Sports
The NBA is fantastic and there are so many things to talk about each and every week. Whether you are a Fantasy Basketball fanatic or just a fan here is ten things about the NBA that I want you to know about as we head into week 14 of the NBA season!
Best NBA Games to Watch this Week
Monday January 15: Happy Martin Luther King Day!!! Games begin at 12:30pm and run all day long with TNT airing a triple header. Enjoy the Day NBA fans.
Tuesday January 16: New Orleans Pelicans at the Boston Celtics. Boogie Cousins should have plenty of fun in this one!
Wednesday January 17: Los Angeles Lakers at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two teams on downward spirals look to right their respective ships.
Thursday January 18: Minnesota Timberwolves at the Houston Rockets. The Timberwolves are on a roll. Can the Rockets slow them down? Tune in Thursday to find out.
Friday January 19: Sacramento Kings at the Memphis Grizzlies. Former Grizzlies star Zach Randolph returns to Memphis. Look for Grizzlies fans to shower him with plenty of love on Friday night.
Saturday January 20: Golden State Warriors at the Houston Rockets. Splish splash on a Saturday night when the Splash Brothers visit the high scoring Rockets!
Sunday January 21: Indiana Pacers at the San Antonio Spurs. Two strong squads end our week with a possible thriller!!
You are a Happy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz as each team has four games on their schedule this week.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week
The New York Knicks have four games this week (@Brooklyn, @Memphis, @Utah and @Los Angeles Lakers) and over the past five games SF/PF Michael Beasley is averaging 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a steal while averaging 22.6 minutes per night. Beasley is shooting 52 percent from the floor and 72 percent from the line this season and is widely available across the Fantasy Basketball industry.
You are an Unhappy Fantasy Basketball Owner If
You have players on your roster from the Dallas Mavericks as they are the only team with two games this week.
Tweet of the Week
Memphis Grizzlies fans are hoping their team loses in order to get a higher lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Memphis Flyer reporter Kevin Lipe is having some fun with this and deserves the Tweet of the Week!!
I think he called "tank" instead of "bank" https://t.co/KI4esO7HFL
— Kevin Lipe (@FlyerGrizBlog) January 11, 2018
Dunk of the Week
Utah Jazz shooting guard Donavan Mitchell is getting plenty of press as
Widely Available Bench Scoring Leaders
Bench players matter in the NBA and they should matter to Fantasy Basketball team owners too. Below are a few of the top scoring bench players that are probably sitting on your league waiver wire.
Brooklyn Nets SG/SF/PF Caris LeVert is back from injury and is solid in points (12), rebounds (3.1), assists (4.1) and steals (1.4) with one triple in just over 26 minutes per game. LeVert shoots 43 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the line this season. Brooklyn has four games this week (Knicks, San Antonio, Miami and @Detroit) so give him a look this week.
Milwaukee Bucks PG/SG Malcolm Brogdon is going back and forth from starting to coming off the bench and Brogdon is solid in points (13.2), rebounds (3.4) and assists (3.4) with the occasional steal and triple. Brogdon shoots 47 percent from the floor and 86 percent from the line this season. The Bucks have three games this week (@Washington, Miami and @Philadelphia) and I would also look to Brogdon this week.
Denver Nuggets PF/C Trey Lyles comes off the bench about 50 percent of the time and he’s putting up solid numbers this season in points (10.7), rebounds (4.9) and nearly two triples per night. Lyles shoots 52 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the line this season. The Nuggets have three games this week (Dallas, @Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix) and Lyles is almost a must add going forward.
Streaming Options for Week 14
Monday January 15: Miami Heat SG/SF Josh Richardson has a great opportunity Monday against a Chicago Bulls defense that is in the bottom ten in points allowed to small forwards. Richardson is widely available in the Fantasy Basketball industry and is a decent stat stuffer.
Tuesday January 16: Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr has a nice opportunity on Tuesday against a Denver Nuggets defense in the bottom five over their last five games against point guards. Smith Jr is widely available across the industry and is a decent stat stuffer.
Wednesday January 17: Chicago Bulls SG/SF Justin Holiday has a great opportunity on Wednesday against a Golden State Warriors defense that over their last five games is dead last against shooting guards. Holiday is widely available and over his past five games is knocking down three triples per night.
Thursday January 18: Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyumbo has a great opportunity on Thursday against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense that is bottom five in the league in rebounding. Over the past five games Biyumbo is averaging nearly a double double and is widely available across the industry.
Friday January 19: Washington Wizards SF Kelly Oubre has a nice opportunity on Friday night against a middle of the road Detroit Pistons defense against small forwards. Oubre will give you a little bit of everything and is widely available across the industry.
Saturday January 20: Chicago Bulls SG/SF Justin Holiday has another great opportunity on Saturday against an Atlanta Hawks defense who over their last five games is nearly dead last against shooting guards. Holiday is widely available and over his past five games is knocking down three triples per night.
Sunday January 21: Detroit Pistons point guard Ish Smith has a great opportunity Sunday against a Brooklyn Nets defense who over their past five games are sitting at the bottom ten in defense against point guards. Smith is widely available across the industry and is good source for just about everything and might be the end of the week hammer to help you win your weekly matchup.
What Happened to the Cleveland Cavaliers?
If you were watching the NBA for the first time and tuned in to a recent Cleveland Cavaliers game you’d probably not think you are watching a team that many believe will reach their fourth consecutive NBA Final. In the words of Charles Barkley this Cavaliers team is “turrible” right now.
After watching the Cavaliers through the early part of November until the 21st of September many Cavaliers fans thought they couldn’t lose. And they would be right as the Cavaliers were 19-2 during that stretch.
So what happened to the Cavaliers?
Since LeBron James decided to bring his talents back to Cleveland the Cavaliers have traditionally been mediocre in the month of January. I can’t really explain their 33-11 record in the month of January other than to say all teams (except the recent Warriors) go through rough patches during the season.
What I can tell you is this; unlike many NBA franchises the James 2.0 era Cavaliers are 25-11 in the month of February and 29-19 in the month of March. Two mediocre months during a season isn’t all that uncommon and most NBA teams would gladly have the Cavaliers 60 percent winning percentage during their “mediocre” months.
What about their Defense?
Yes, as their 109.3 Defensive Efficiency Rating suggests the Cavaliers have not been doing a very good job defensively. That ranking leads them to 29th in the NBA. In 2014-2015 the Cavaliers had a Defensive Efficiency Rating of 106.3 (26th), in 2015-16 were 99.4 (5th) and in 2016-2017 were 105.0 (14th) at this same exact point during those respective seasons.
Outside of their 2015 Championship season the Cavaliers have always been defensively challenged so this seasons ineffectiveness is nothing new for the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers might be a bit worse defensively but I see no reason to be concerned at this point as history suggests that this is just who the Cavaliers are.
Kevin Durant Sets a Milestone
This past Wednesday night Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant became the second youngest NBA player to reach 20,000 points and you can see that below!
Enjoy the NBA this week!!
Follow Phil @Flashtennis31 and The Phil Naessens Show.