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Waiver Wire: Thompson becoming an impact player

Fantasy Writer
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The first round of the playoffs have come and gone and those owners still in it mostly likely have a stacked squad at this point. Whether it was via the draft or waiver wire additions, you've made it this far with some key roster moves -- but the battle has not been won just yet.

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Choosing the right players off waivers becomes more important than ever as a poor performance or two during the upcoming scoring period could mean the end of the Fantasy season for certain owners.

This week we are looking at Tristan Thompson.

Thompson has been starting at center for the Cavs of late, gaining eligibility at one of the thinner positions in Fantasy. He entered Week 14 (March 26-April 1) having averaged 14 points with 8.2 rebounds and one block in his previous five games, including a 27-and-12 performance against the Nets on March 19. The rookie is finally taking advantage of his playing time and should continue to as coach Byron Scott has said that he wants to see what the former Texas Longhorn has. Thompson has some solid upside in Fantasy and with San Antonio, Milwaukee, Toronto and New Jersey on the schedule for Week 15 (April 2-8) consider the 21-year-old a viable addition in most formats.

Guards

Add 'Em

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
Owned: 35 percent
Analysis: Leonard ended Week 13 (March 18-25) with a 11-and-10 game -- his first double-double since Feb. 21 -- as he continues to increase his scoring during his rookie campaign. That performance capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 10.4 points with 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals, all while shooting 48 percent from the field. He has earned himself some solid playing time on a veteran-laden squad and that should continue to be the case down the stretch. Leonard is not counted on for a ton of scoring in San Antonio but can definitely help out owners in deeper Fantasy formats at this point.

Gerald Green, Nets
Owned: 13 percent
Analysis:Green has done a solid job for the Nets since signing a 10-day contract in late February and has played well enough to carve out some solid minutes in the rotation. He has scored in double figures nine times through 16 games while shooting 49 percent and 36 percent from the field and 3-point land, respectively. The 26-year-old has also chipped in with some decent assist and steal totals and should continue to see mover than 20 minutes per contest. With the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Wizards and Cavaliers on the schedule for the upcoming scoring period, consider Green a worthwhile add in deeper Fantasy formats.

Avoid 'Em

Jason Richardson, Magic
Owned: 60 percent
Analysis: Richardson is having one of the worst campaigns of his career and his production has fallen off the map of late. He scored just seven points on Monday against the lowly Raptors, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 6.4 points with 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He shot just 33 percent from the floor over that span and 16 percent from downtown. The 31-year-old has become more of a spot-up shooter at this stage of his career and contributes minimally in other categories. Add to the fact that he will play just three times in Week 15 and Richardson is looking like someone to avoid in most Fantasy formats.

Mario Chalmers, Heat
Owned: 55 percent
Analysis: Fantasy owners know that Chalmers is a streaky shooter and he has been trending towards ice cold recently. He scored in double figures for the first time since March 16 on Monday and averaged just 5.4 points with 3.8 assists during that five-game span. While he posted 2.6 steals in those contests, Chalmers shot just 30 percent from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc. The 25-year-old can rack up some points when he gets hot from downtown but his prowess for turning the ball over sometimes lands him on the bench in lieu of rookie Norris Cole. With the Big 3 supplying most of the production for the Heat, only add Chalmers in deeper Fantasy formats heading into Week 15.

Forwards

Add 'Em

Brandon Bass, Celtics
Owned: 67 percent
Analysis: Bass posted back-to-back double-doubles to begin Week 13 and continues to play well since returning from his knee injury. With his 15-point performance against Charlotte on Monday, he is averaging 12.8 points with 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his last five contests while shooting nearly 45 percent over that span. After a breakout campaign a year ago for the Magic, the 26-year-old has been able to trump those numbers so far this season and should continue to produce for an aging team in Boston. Owners should also keep in mind that Boston does not have many bigmen beyond Bass and Kevin Garnett. Even though he has some tough matchups in the Spurs, Bulls, Pacers and 76ers in Week 15, Bass should be utilized in the majority of Fantasy formats down the stretch.

Gordon Hayward, Jazz
Owned: 65 percent
Analysis: Despite beginning Week 14 with just seven points and one rebound against the Nets, Hayward has picked up his play of late and is storming down the stretch while Utah tries to hold onto a playoff spot. He is averaging 13.4 points with 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals over his last nine games. The sophomore continues to struggle with his shot but has become more aggressive at attacking the rim and is supplying the Jazz with some backcourt scoring to compliment Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap down low. Hayward, who was recently moved back to the starting lineup, has the ability to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis so grab the 22-year-old off waivers if you can.

Avoid 'Em

Marreese Speights, Grizzlies
Owned: 32 percent
Analysis: With Zach Randolph back for the Grizzlies, Speights has seen his role diminish in Memphis and it will likely remain down the stretch. He had a couple of decent stretches for Fantasy owners after being acquired from the 76ers but seeing fewer than 20 minutes off bench will not give the 24-year-old much of an opportunity to produce. Considering he averaged just seven points with five rebounds in his five games prior to Week 14, leave Speights for the deepest of Fantasy formats going forward.

Jason Maxiell, Pistons
Owned: 13 percent
Analysis: Maxiell went on a nice little run for Fantasy owners but has returned to his usual production over the last five games. He is averaging just 2.6 points with 3.8 rebounds over that span while seeing around 21 minutes per contest. After putting up 4.2 points with three boards a year ago, the 29-year-old has had a bounce-back campaign but still remains someone to avoid in the majority of Fantasy formats going forward.

Centers

Add 'Em

DeJuan Blair, Spurs
Owned: 57 percent
Analysis: After scoring in double figures just once during a five-game span, Blair ended Week 14 with back-to-back solid performances and appears to be trending up in Fantasy. He scored 23 points against the Hornets on Saturday before dropping 19 on the 76ers the following night. While his rebounding has been down so far this season, the 22-year-old has upped his scoring in each of his first three seasons in the NBA and has some favorable matchups in Week 15. With Cleveland, Boston, New Orleans and Utah on the docket, owners in need of some help at center should scoop up Blair.

Kendrick Perkins, Thunder
Owned: 30 percent
Analysis: With back-to-back games scoring in double figures -- including one against the Heat -- Perkins could finally be worth owning in larger Fantasy formats. He entered Week 14 averaging nine points with 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his previous five contests, and shot 67 percent from the field over that span. While most of his points come off of put-backs, the 27-year-old is shooting nearly 49 percent this season and should be able to keep things going heading into the upcoming scoring period. Perkins will face Memphis, Miami, Indiana and Toronto in Week 15 so consider picking him up, especially at a thin position in Fantasy.

Avoid 'Em

Chuck Hayes, Kings
Owned: 18 percent
Analysis: Since scoring 12 points with eight rebounds on March 27, Hayes has done very little for Sacramento and Fantasy owners alike. He posted just three points on Monday, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 5.2 points with 4.8 rebounds. Hayes has had a down campaign all around in his first season with the Kings and should be left for the deepest of formats going forward as he is not trustworthy enough for the Fantasy playoffs.

Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets
Owned: 5 percent
Analysis:Mozgov's role continues to fluctuate in Denver but whether he sees a few minutes or 20-plus, his production has remained minimal. He scored five points against the Bulls on Monday and has not been rebounding much of late. The addition of JaVale McGee -- who is now starting for Denver --at the trade deadline also affects his value in Fantasy so plan on ignoring the 25-year-old in the majority of formats down the stretch.

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Player News
Kelly Olynyk practices for Celtics, ankle improving
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Kelly Olynyk made it through an entire practice on Saturday, and the center may be close to returning to the Celtics' lineup. 

Olynyk has missed the last 16 games with an ankle injury. After practice, he told MassLive.com's Jay King that his ankle is improving, although he stopped short of saying that it's ready for him to return to the team. 

Olynyk is questionable for Sunday's game against the Warriors. 


Tyson Chandler a game-time decision for Mavericks
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:35 pm ET) Mavericks center Tyson Chandler missed Wednesday's game with a hip contusion. Chandler is still coping with the hip and will be a game-time decision for Saturday's game against the Nets.

The Mavericks are 8.5-point favorites at home, Saturday.


Lakers' Wesley Johnson trying to be more consistent
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:12 pm ET) On Feb. 20, Lakers forward Wesley Johnson was benched. Coach Byron Scott decided to send Johnson a message with a DNP-CD. 

Message received. The next game, Johnson hit nine of 11 shots for a career-high 22 points. 

“I should sit him down again and not play him," Scott told Mark Medina of the LA Daily News. "He seems to come back and play better. ... If I do that every other game, he’ll probably average about 20.”

That inconsistency is part of the problem that Johnson is trying to solve. 

“We all have problems trying to understand Wesley. For three or four games, he plays terrific. The next game he’s not there,” Scott said. “If he thought about going out and saying, ‘I’m going to prove myself every single night,’ maybe he would be a different player.”

Johnson will be a free agent after the season and hopes to return to the Lakers. He knows that his ability to give a reliable performance every night will help make the team's decision easier. 

“I’m not always being aggressive,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to feel the game. (Scott) tells me to disrupt the game and take over.”


76ers not expecting Joel Embiid to play this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:00 am ET) 76ers coach Brett Brown is not planning on seeing rookie center Joel Embiid play this season while recovering from his stress fracture in his right foot.

"It would be misleading to say anything that's promising (about him playing this year)," Brown said.

Embiid has been doing standstill shooting and off-court cardio work to improve his conditioning.


Report: Rockets' Dwight Howard scheduled for MRI next week
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:32 am ET) Rockets center Dwight Howard has not played in over a month with a right knee injury and is continuing to rehab. However, he is not scheduled to start on-court activity yet and is set to receive an MRI next week, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Howard, who is averaging 16.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in 32 games, will meet with his doctor to determine whether or not he can advance to the next stage of rehab this week.


Scott on Clarkson: I don't think his instincts will ever be true point guard
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(9:27 am ET) Lakers coach Byron Scott gave his starting point guard Jordan Clarkson high praise Friday after the team's 101-93 win over the Bucks. Clarkson scored 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field with five assists and four rebounds.

"I think more of the point guards that we have, especially the ones that are very successful, are all score-first-type point guards," Scott said according to the L.A. Times . "I think Jordan is in that same mold, where he's looking to score and he's looking for those opportunities."

In 13 starts, Clarkson is averaging 13.6 points, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds. Scott thinks he is always going to be score first, assist later.

"He's still trying to find a way to be a true point guard," Scott said. "But I don't think his natural instincts are going to ever be that. But I think he can be very successful in being a point guard in this league because of all of the other guys that we've seen that's been able to do that as well."


Thunder's Russell Westbrook to be evaluated after blow to head
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:43 am ET) Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will be evaluated Friday night after taking a blow to the head in his team's 115-112 loss to the Blazers, The Oklahoman reports.

Westbrook was kneed in the head late in the fourth quarter of Friday's game but remained in, eventually heading to the free-throw line to shoot three free throws with his team down three. He missed the first and made the last two, finishing the game with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in his third straight triple-double.

The Thunder are scheduled to face the Lakers Sunday.


Bucks SF Jared Dudley has X-rays on knee after Friday's game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Bucks small forward Jared Dudley had X-rays taken on his left knee after Friday's 101-93 loss to the Lakers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Dudley indicated that it was the same knee that troubled him last year with the Clippers. He finished Friday's game with five points on 2 of 7 shooting along with four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes off the bench. The Bucks are set to face the Jazz Saturday.


Pistons' Van Gundy on Reggie Jackson: 'Tonight was not great'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:24 am ET) Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson had an off shooting night Friday, scoring 16 points on 5 of 24 shooting in his team's 121-115 double-overtime loss to the Knicks.

Jackson averaged 19.5 points on 42.4 percent shooting in his first two games with the Pistons but turned in his worst shooting performance of the season (min. 10 shots) despite the high volume.

"He makes the decisions he makes," coach Stan Van Gundy said after the game, per the Associated Press. "The last two games, he was great. Tonight was not great."

Jackson also racked up five rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes. The Pistons will square off with the Wizards Saturday.


Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge tallies 29-16 line vs. Thunder
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:15 am ET) Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge shared the team scoring lead Friday, racking up 29 points on 10 of 23 shooting while hauling in 16 rebounds in his team's 115-112 win over the Thunder.

Aldridge turned in his best scoring performance of February in his final game of the month, boosting his numbers by hitting nine of his 10 free throws. He also kicked in five assists, one block and one steal in 39 minutes. The Blazers will look for a third straight win Sunday against the Kings.


 
 
 
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