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Week 13 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Fantasy Writer
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When the Warriors selected guard Klay Thompson with the 11th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, they did so with the knowledge that he would likely work under the mentorship of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, backing up the off guard spot and learning the ways of the NBA.

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The team stuck with that plan for all of 38 games before making a dramatic change last Tuesday, shipping Ellis to the Bucks in a forward-looking move that netted them injured big man Andrew Bogut and freed up Thompson to become more of a centerpiece.

Thompson has certainly shown flashes of productivity in his brief NBA career, and the Warriors' trade deadline deal was largely influenced by their confidence in his abilities to step up as a playmaking guard, and with Curry still out of the picture with an ankle injury, I've grown confident enough to bestow the title of Start of the Week for Week 13 (March 19-25) to Thompson.

With Ellis out of the way and Curry potentially out for the season the Warriors are going to lean on Thompson and live with his growing pains. A streaky shooter so far in his career, Thompson has shot just 38.6 percent from the field over his last five games, however the Warriors are going to keep giving him every opportunity to produce, and he has responded by scoring in double figures in each game, despite the shooting woes.

With five games on the schedule for Week 13, the Warriors have one of the most favorable schedules in the NBA, aided by the fact that they play just one of the NBA's top 10 defenses in New Orleans and only one other above-average defense, Portland, a team that has been slipping badly in recent weeks.

Thompson is going to have moments where he seems overwhelmed -- he just turned 22 a month ago, after all. However if the Warriors are serious about turning the reins over to him, Week 13 should be a great opportunity for him to breakout.

Guards

Start 'Em

Jordan Crawford, Wizards (@NJ, IND, ATL, @BOS) Crawford was given the starting spot in the backcourt next to John Wall a few weeks back, and with the trade of Nick Young at the deadline, there is every reason to believe that Crawford's role in the offense is only going to continue to grow. The Wizards play against three of the league's top defenses in Week 13, which should suggest struggles ahead for Crawford. However Crawford is the type of player who isn't going to stop shooting just because the defense isn't giving him looks. While his style of play might not be particularly conducive to winning basketball or efficient shooting, it leads to more than its fair share of big scoring games, which is what Fantasy owners will like from Crawford.

Sleepers for Week 13
Player % Started
1. Nate Robinson, Warriors 25
2. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bucks 4
3. Courtney Lee, Rockets 2
4. Gerald Green, Nets 4
5. George Hill, Pacers 6
6. Kirk Hinrich, Hawks 2
7. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs 9
8. DeJuan Blair, Spurs 22
9. Gordon Hayward, Jazz 24
10. John Salmons, Kings 8

Wesley Matthews, Trail Blazers (MIL, MEM, @LAL, GS): The Trail Blazers decided to change just about everything about their team's immediate future at the deadline, opting to build for long-term. Matthews is a big part of that future, as he is signed long-term, so the team decided to move him back into the starting lineup for the last stretch of the season. Matthews disappointed in the starting role earlier this season, however Week 13 should provide an opportunity to begin to bounce back moving forward, as the Blazers take on just one of the NBA's top-10 defensive teams in four games. Matthews responded well to his re-insertion to the starting five on Friday, scoring 18 -- a good sign of things to come.

Sleeper Alert: Jerryd Bayless, Raptors (@NY, CHI, NY, @CHI): Bayless is currently enjoying arguably the best stretch of his season so far, averaging 18.2 points and 7.0 assists over his last five games. While that was largely a result of Jose Calderon's absence with an ankle injury, Bayless should be able to maintain most of his current minute totals moving forward, as the team moved Leandro Barbosa at the deadline. The Raptors have a peculiar schedule in Week 13, facing the strong defensive Bulls and the more ordinary Knicks twice each. Both teams feature strong front lines and suspect defensive backcourts, so as long as the Raptors continue to give Bayless his freedom on offense (a possibility, as Calderon could be rusty from his injury if he makes his return), he can remain a useful Fantasy option for Week 13.

Sit 'Em

Randy Foye, Clippers (@IND, @OKC, @NO, MEM): Foye made a last-minute effort to maintain his starting role on Saturday, scoring 15 points against the Rockets, however he remains just an undersized, low-efficiency scorer, miscast as a counterpart to Chris Paul. Newly-acquired guard Nick Young is a much more natural fit in Foye's role, meaning it is only a matter of time before Foye is pushed back to the bench. Whether that happens in Week 13 remains to be seen, however Foye's struggles should continue nonetheless, as the Clippers face a back-to-back-to-back in the scoring period with three above average defensive teams waiting for them.

Marshon Brooks, Nets (CLE, WAS, @ATL, CHA): Brooks has a world of offensive potential and a cupcake schedule in Week 13, however his recent struggles and more lineup shuffling should make owners weary of relying on him for this week. Brooks put up arguably the worst game of his young career on Friday, shooting 1 of 11 in 26 minutes, and his scoring is down to 10.3 per game in the month of March. With the acquisition of Gerald Wallace, the Nets have added one more dynamic scorer to their rotation, meaning they will likely continue to rely less on Brooks' still-developing abilities. The Nets don't have much talent, however what talent they do resides on the same perimeter Brooks calls home, making him a limited Fantasy option for Week 13 as they try to sort things out.

Bust Alert: Darren Collison, Pacers (LAC, @WAS, PHO, @MIL): The schedule for the Pacers lightens up considerably in Week 13, after a two-week gauntlet that saw them go 2-6. The schedule certainly favors Collison beginning to bounce back, however he is yet another player who could see his role change as the result of a roster move, as the Pacers have added Barbosa from Toronto, freeing them up to use George Hill more at point guard, potentially taking minutes from Collison. The weak schedule should provide a soft landing if they do decide to change the rotation up, however his recent play makes Collison a risky start even against a soft schedule, as Collison is averaging just 8.4 points and 3.4 assists per game in the month of March.

Forwards

Start 'Em

Kenneth Faried, Nuggets (DAL, DET, @UTA, @MIN) Faried has been one of the best rookies in the league this season, even if his raw numbers don't show it due to a lack of playing time. He flirts with a double-double every night no matter how many minutes he plays, and his high-energy style of play translates against any opponent. In Week 13, Faried, who should be in the team's starting lineup moving forward, faces four teams that throw big front courts out every night. That would seem like a bad sign for the undersized forward, however these teams use their size mostly on offense, as only Dallas ranks among the top-10 in the league in defense. Faried showed his upside on Saturday as he has the best performance of his career, putting in a dominant 25 minutes, scoring 18 points on 5 of 5 shooting with 16 rebounds. With a small bump in minutes looming he should be able to challenge for a double-double every night.

Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers (@NJ, @ATL, @ORL, PHO): Normally a player who hasn't reached double digits in either rebounds or points since the beginning of the month isn't a great target for a starting role, however Thompson is an interesting case because he is about to see his role change in a pretty significant way. Beginning on Sunday against Atlanta, Thompson has been moved into the starting lineup for the first time, moving to the middle to play center for the Cavs as they continue to shuffle their roster. Thompson has been playing at that spot some as a reserve, but coach Byron Scott said Saturday “it was time to give him more minutes.” While Thompson will be playing center, he remains eligible at forward, and with Antawn Jamison creating space with his shooting, there should be room for the offensively limited Thompson to work as a cutter and finisher, especially against a couple of weak defensive frontcourts in New Jersey and Phoenix at the opposite ends of the week.

Sleeper Alert: Jason Maxiell, Pistons (@DEN, MIA, @NY): The Pistons play just three times in Week 13, however Maxiell has been playing well enough recently that he should be worthy sticking in the starting lineup anyways, especially in average-based leagues. Maxiell is averaging 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in the month of March, as he has been a consistent member of the front-court rotation. Maxiell is enjoying arguably the best month of his career right now, so Fantasy owners should look to pick him up and ride him in the short term.

Sit 'Em

Hedo Turkoglu, Magic (CHI, PHO, CLE): The Magic have finally managed to put the long-running Dwight Howard saga behind them for the rest of the season, which could have a positive effect on the team's outlook the rest of the way. Maybe Turkoglu can blame the distraction for his increasingly poor play, as the veteran point-forward is now working on his second straight month of failing to top 40 percent shooting from the field and 30 percent from three-point range. The Magic only play three times in Week 13, so while Turkoglu might be a decent mid-level Fantasy option most of the time, if you've got other guys playing four or five times this week, it is in your best interests to get them in the lineup instead.

Richard Jefferson, Warriors (MIN, @NO, @HOU, SAC, @POR): Jefferson cannot be too happy about the fact that, in the twilight of his career, when he reinvented himself specifically to fit into what the Spurs needed, they traded him to a team in all-out rebuild mode. Jefferson might move into the starting lineup, however early returns are not good, as he scored nine points on 2 of 14 shooting in his first appearance on Saturday. Jefferson had worked out a niche for himself as a floor spacer in the Spurs' exacting offense, but could find the Warriors' offense lacking in opportunities. Despite playing five times in Week 13, Jefferson could find the transition to his new team rough, so steer clear.

Bust Alert: Tim Duncan, Spurs (MIN, DAL, @NO, PHI): The Spurs have not been as careful with Duncan's playing time this year as one might have expected, as the 35-year old big man has missed only two games. However, with a back-to-back-to-back on the way in Week 13, it seems likely that Duncan will miss his third game of the season, likely the middle game at New Orleans. Seeing as that is the easiest game on the schedule, Duncan becomes a risky option, with just three games against sizable front lines. He may still get his, however you might want to avoid the possibility of him sitting for a night and then having another off night, so go with more trustworthy options for Week 13.

Centers

Start 'Em

Zaza Pachulia, Hawks (BOS, CLE, NJ, @WAS, UTA) Pachulia is probably reaching the point where he is worth starting in most formats as a low-end option regardless of the opponent, as he is averaging 9.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his last ten games after Friday's near triple-double. When you consider that, Pachulia becomes an extremely attractive Fantasy option for Week 13, as the Hawks play five times, with four of those games coming against teams in the bottom-10 of the NBA's defenses. Pachulia is never going to be a big producer, however the Hawks are more than satisfied with his play at this point, and they are relying on him heavily recently.

Sleeper Alert: Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets (DAL, DET, @UTA, @MIN): Denver is another team that was shaken up by the trade deadline, and Mozgov is likely to move into the starter's role at least for a few games as a result. The Nuggets acquired mercurial center Javale McGee from the Wizards, and while he will likely move into the starting lineup before long, Nuggets coach George Karl indicated that he would like to get him into at least one practice before joining the first unit. McGee is going from a chaotic offense in Washington to a precise, well-oiled unit in Denver, so there will be an adjustment period, and Mozgov should be able to take advantage of that time. Mozgov shouldn't see huge minutes, but he should have a few games with the first unit, making him a viable low-end option in Week 13.

Sit 'Em

Marcus Camby, Rockets (LAL, GS, DAL): Camby was both a winner and a loser at the deadline, as he made the jump from a team moving towards a rebuild to one that is surging, with its eyes on the playoffs; however he also moved from a starting role to a backup one with his new team. Camby should be able to make his debut with the Rockets during Week 13, however with Houston playing only three times in the week, the chances of him being able to even be a low-end Fantasy starter for the week are pretty remote, as he will spend his time backing up Sam Dalembert.

Bust Alert: Nene, Wizards (@NJ, IND, ATL, @BOS): Nobody can deny Nene's Fantasy impact when healthy, however health is not something he has enjoyed much this season. The veteran big man has dealt with various injuries all season, and while he is supposedly healthy at this point, the fact that the Nuggets traded him a few months after giving him a 5-year contract should give an indication of where they think his health is. If he is in shape and able to contribute, Nene is a high-end Fantasy center, however with his struggles this year, Fantasy owners will want to let Nene and his new Wizards teammates prove they have the chemistry to help him get back to his old levels of play before relying on him again.

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Player News
Danilo Gallinari will be ready for training camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:19 am ET) Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari was with the team over the last few games of the season, and he has reportedly made great strides in his recovery from ACL surgery.

Gallinari told the Denver Post he has already progressed to running and jumping as part of his recovery from January surgery. He has progressed so quickly he even dunked for the first time Tuesday, and said he will be fully recovered by the start of training camp.

Gallinari did not play all season after attempting to return from a partially torn ACL, which ultimately required surgery. 


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by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:57 am ET) Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland proved himself ready for the playoffs Wednesday, as he returned from a two-month absence due to a knee injury. Freeland played 18 minutes in the game, scoring six points and adding seven rebounds and two assists in the 110-104 win.

After the game, coach Terry Stotts told NBA.SI.com he has no reservations about relying on Freeland in the team's upcoming playoff series against the Rockets, though he will have to play with a knee brace.

Freeland finished the regular season averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 52 games, appearing in one more contest than his rookie season. 


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by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:29 am ET) Grizzlies guard Mike Conley did not appear limited at all by a hamstring injury Wednesday, as he played 42 minutes in the last game of the regular season against the Mavericks.

Playing for playoff seeding, the Grizzlies held nothing back in a 106-105 overtime win. Conley scored 22 points on 8 of 16 shooting and added four rebounds, five assists and a steal, while turning the ball over three times in the win.

Conley ended up missing 10 games this season, his highest total since he was a rookie, but he played well when healthy. He averaged a career-high 17.1 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting, while adding 2.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 33.4 minutes per game. 


Anthony Bennett returns off bench in finale
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett was back in action after missing more than a month with a knee injury Wednesday, and played well in the team's final win over the Nets, 114-85.

Bennett was limited to 15 minutes off the bench but shot the ball well, scoring seven points on 3 of 6 shooting. He added seven rebounds and turned the ball over just once in the win.

Bennett's rookie season was an unqualified disaster, as he showed little more than brief flashes of competence in 52 appearances. The No. 1 overall pick struggled with injuries and conditioning, and finished averaging 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting just 35.2 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from three-point range.  


Carrick Felix scores 10 in return from knee injury
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:22 am ET) Cavaliers guard Carrick Felix closed out his rookie season with a fine performance against the Nets Wednesday, in his first appearance in 38 games after overcoming a knee injury.

Felix played 12 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting, with a pair of 3-pointers made. He added two rebounds and three assists, while turning the ball over just once in the 114-85 win.

Felix was limited to just seven games as a rookie, as a result of a fractured knee. The No. 33 overall pick averaged just 2.7 points per game, but could see an increased role in his second season.   


Greg Oden scores two points in return
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:18 am ET) Heat forward Greg Oden tried to knock off the cobwebs in his final tuneup game before the playoffs Wednesday against the 76ers, as he returned from an 11-game absence due to back spasms.  

Oden played 14 minutes in the game, scoring just two points on 0 of 2 shooting. He added five rebounds while picking up three personal fouls in the 100-87 loss.

Playing for the first time in four seasons after overcoming a slew of debilitating knee injuries, Oden gave the Heat more than they expected this season. He appeared in 23 games, the second-highest total of his career, averaging 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in just 9.2 minutes per game. 


Alan Anderson available, not needed in tuneup
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(12:15 am ET) Nets guard Alan Anderson was in uniform and available to return from an abdominal injury for Wednesday's game against the Cavaliers, but he was never needed in a 114-85 loss.

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(12:09 am ET) Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf was able to play through a knee injury in Wednesday's game against the Jazz, after missing the team's previous game.

Turiaf played 16 minutes off the bench in the double-overtime loss, scoring 12 points and adding eight rebounds and three blocked shots as the Timberwolves fell, 136-130.

Knee and elbow injuries limited Turiaf to just 31 games for the Timberwolves this season, though he was productive when healthy enough to play. He averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, the latter of which represents a career high. 


Brian Roberts ends up league leader in FT percentage
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(12:04 am ET) Pelicans guard Brian Roberts returned to play four minutes in Wednesday's game against the Rockets, and that was enough for him to jump onto the NBA's leaderboard.

Roberts scored just three points in the game, all at the free-throw line. His three made free throws gave him 125 made on the season, making him eligible for the free-throw percentage leaderboard, where he finishes the season at the top with a 93.9 percent success rate.

Roberts struggled to play through an ankle injury late in the season, but still stepped his production for the season up in his season year in the league. He finished the season averaging 9.4 points and 3.3 assists in 72 games, including 42 starts.


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(4/16/2014) Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh did not take the floor for the seventh game in a row Wednesday, in the team's season finale against the Hawks. Udoh was a DNP Coach's Decision yet again, as he fell out of the rotation over the season's final few weeks.

Udoh struggled to play through knee issues for stretches this season, and had trouble earning consistent playing time. He finished the season averaging 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 42 games played. 


 
 
 
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