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Waiver Wire: Who can help bring a title?

Fantasy Writer
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It is coming down to the final matchups of the Fantasy season and a roster move can make a huge difference at this point. As playoff teams prepare for their respective playoff runs, owners are left to decipher which players have enough left in the tank to lead them to a championship of their own.

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The first 15 weeks of the Fantasy season have led up to this point, so here are some players who can help owners hoist the trophy in their leagues.

This week we are looking at J.J. Hickson.

Hickson has looked like a different player since being claimed by Portland off waivers and is making the most of his time on the court. While he scored just four points against the Jazz on Monday, he is averaging 16.2 points with 7.4 rebounds and one steal in his last four games. Along with shooting 63 percent over that span, he has been seeing over 30 minutes per contest and that should continue down the stretch. The 23-year-old showed in his days with the Cavaliers that he can be a viable option in Fantasy and should be well-rested after not seeing a huge role with the Kings earlier in the year. Hickson will face off against the Houston, Golden State, Dallas and his former squad -- Sacramento -- during Week 16 (April 9-15) so consider him a worthwhile addition in the majority of Fantasy formats.

Guards

Add 'Em

Iman Shumpert, Knicks
Owned: 65 percent
Analysis:The injury to Jeremy Lin has opened the door for Shumpert and he has taken advantage of his increased role. While coach Mike Woodson has said that Baron Davis will be the starting point guard in New York for the time being, Shumpert has been the more productive of the two recently and poses more value going forward based on Davis' fragile nature. He entered Week 15 averaging 15.4 points with 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals in his previous five games and shot 46 percent from downtown over that span. Lin's injury could keep him out for the rest of the regular season so the Knicks will need Shumpert's production in order to hang onto their playoff spot. The 21-year-old can be streaky at times and is not the main scorer on the team but could definitely help out some owners in need of some guard help, especially at this point in the season.

Randy Foye, Clippers
Owned: 37 percent
Analysis: After being benched for Nick Young on March 20, Foye has picked up the pace for the Clippers and is playing some of his best ball of the year. He began Week 15 (April 2-8) with a 28-point performance against the Mavericks, in which he made a career-high eight 3-pointers. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 15.8 points with 2.6 assists and shot 45 percent from beyond the arc. Foye has scored in double figures five times since his benching and appears primed for a solid run down the stretch. Owners know that the 28-year-old can go off at any point and is someone to consider adding off the waiver wire heading into Week 16.

Avoid 'Em

George Hill, Pacers
Owned: 25 percent
Analysis: Hill had a nice little run in Fantasy a few weeks back but has not been doing as much for owners of late. With his 2-point performance on Sunday, he is averaging just five points with three rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last five games. He shot 34 percent from the field over that span and a lowly 22 percent from 3-point land. The 25-year-old continues to see about 20 minutes off the bench in Indiana but his production will likely remain minimal as long as he is shooting poorly. Now is not the time to add Hill off waivers in Fantasy.

C.J. Watson, Bulls
Owned: 13 percent
Analysis: Watson has started 19 games this season while Derrick Rose has dealt with injuries and proved to be valuable in Fantasy at certain points. But his production has slipped of late and could be on the verge of seeing a lessened role once again. Rose is targeted a return for Thursday's game against the Celtics and even if he does not come back for that contest, a Week 16 return is all but likely as the Bulls want to get him ready for the playoffs. Watson began Week 15 with just two points against the Rockets and has averaged 7.8 points with 4.2 assists and 1.4 rebounds in his last five contest. Owners in deeper formats that had been utilizing the 27-year-old might want to look elsewhere heading into the upcoming scoring period.

Forwards

Add 'Em

Tayshaun Prince, Pistons
Owned: 76 percent
Analysis: Prince is having one of the worst campaigns of his career but has picked up his scoring of late and starting to make some noise in Fantasy once again. He ended Week 14 (March 26-April 1) with four straight games scoring in double digits, including two 20-point performances. He averaged 18.2 points with 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over that span while shooting 45 percent from downtown. The 32-year-old is clearly on the downside of his career and playing for a bad team certainly doesn't help things. Still, Prince has the opportunity to be productive for owners down the stretch and could help out in larger formats with Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Chicago on the schedule for Week 16.

Kevin Seraphin, Wizards
Owned: 28 percent
Analysis: Seraphin has picked up his production over the last week or two and has earned a larger role in Washington as a result. He scored 15 points on Monday against the Bucks, which marked the fifth time in the last six games in which he recorded double-digit points. While his rebounding has been sporadic, the 22-year-old should continue to see significant minutes as long as the Wizards are banged up in the frontcourt. He has some favorable matchups on tap for Week 16 with the Bobcats, Magic, Knicks and Cavaliers due up so consider Seraphin a worthwhile add in deeper Fantasy formats.

Avoid 'Em

Boris Diaw, Spurs
Owned: 49 percent
Analysis: After averaging 11.3 points with five-plus rebounds each of the last two seasons, Diaw has been a huge disappointment in Fantasy this season and the move to San Antonio has not helped matters. He did not play in Saturday's contest against the Pacers and is averaging just 2.5 points with 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals through four games with his new team. The Spurs have always been known for getting the most out of their players but it looks as though the 29-year-old will just provide them with depth down the stretch. Leave Diaw on waivers in the majority of Fantasy formats at this point.

Jonas Jerebko, Pistons
Owned: 17 percent
Analysis: Owners should not be fooled by Jerebko's 18-and-5 performance against the Bobcats on Saturday as it was his first time scoring in double figures since March 21. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 8.6 points with 5.4 rebounds and one steal while shooting 48 percent from the field. The 25-year-old was a viable option in Fantasy earlier in the year and while he still sees around 20 minutes per game, leave Jerebko for the deepest of formats now that the playoffs have started.

Centers

Add 'Em

Marcus Camby, Rockets
Owned: 71 percent
Analysis: Camby struggled in his first few games with Houston but has picked up the pace of late and is starting to regain some value in Fantasy. He posted his first double-double since Feb. 15 on Monday against the Bulls, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged seven points with 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. While he is expected to return to a reserve role once Samuel Dalembert gets over his illness, the 38-year-old should continue to see decent minutes off the bench and can provide owners with some much-needed blocks and rebounds. Consider grabbing Camby in deeper Fantasy formats heading into Week 16, especially Rotisserie.

Byron Mullens, Bobcats
Owned: 46 percent
Analysis: Mullens has regained a larger role in Charlotte once again -- starting at forward over Tyrus Thomas -- and put together a solid performance while starting over the weekend. He led the Bobcats with 20 points and nine rebounds on Saturday against the Pistons and followed that up with a 20-and-14 performance against the Raports his next time out. He is averaging 12.4 points with 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his last five contests and should be able to help out owners at such a thin position in Fantasy. With Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami and Boston on the schedule for Week 16, Mullens can be added in most formats.

Avoid 'Em

Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats
Owned: 43 percent
Analysis: With Mullens taking off again, Biyombo has fallen by the wayside in Charlotte and is not looking like a viable option in Fantasy down the stretch. With his 5-and-5 performance on Tuesday, he is averaging 5.4 points with 4.8 rebounds and a block in his last five contests. While he is shooting 50 percent over that span, he is still an unfinished production on offense and Mullens will likely continue to be the more productive of the two heading into Week 16. Owners in need of help at center should look elsewhere than Biyombo.

Nikola Vucevic, 76ers
Owned: 10 percent
Analysis: Vucevic has seen his playing time hit rock bottom with the return of Spencer Hawes and cannot seem to find the floor of late. He did not play on Saturday, which marked the third time in the last six games he had DNP next to his name on the stat sheet. Coach Doug Collins said on Tuesday that the rookie is "tired" and Tony Battie will play until he is up to speed again. Vucevic proved to be a viable stopgap in Fantasy earlier in the year but is someone to avoid in all Fantasy formats down the stretch.

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Player News
Celtics' Jae Crowder diagnosed with ACL sprain
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:08 pm ET) Celtics forward Jae Crowder has been diagnosed with a left ACL sprain, the team announced Monday.

Crowder went for an MRI Sunday and met with a team doctor to discuss the results of the test Monday morning. He injured the knee during Sunday's Game 4 loss to the Cavaliers on a hard foul by Cleveland guard J.R. Smith, who was ejected for the play.

Crowder appears to be on track for a normal offseason after avoiding a more serious knee injury, as he told the Boston Globe Monday that the injury will sideline him for only a few weeks. He averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 82 games between the Mavericks and Celtics during the regular season.


Jonas Jerebko considering return to Celtics, Brad Stevens
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko said after the team's Game 4 loss to the Cavaliers that a potential return to Boston to continue playing under coach Brad Stevens will weigh heavily on the impending free agent's thought process this offseason, MassLive.com reports.

"He's been the best coach I've had in the NBA," Jerebko said. "He leads this team very well, and he's a great coach, so he definitely weighs in a lot."

Jerebko played under four coaches with the Pistons in five-plus years before being dealt to the Celtics this season. He was able to play in the postseason for the first time in his career, and though the Celtics were swept, he indicated that the playoff experience meant a big deal for the young team.

"For a lot of guys being in the playoffs for the first time, now we know during the season where we want to be at," Jerebko said. "You don't want to be outside the playoffs when the season's over, because we want to be in this next year, and we want to take it further than we did last year. It makes the season important. Sometimes, you forget that every game matters. We want to do this again. I haven't felt like this in all my years in the league. I've had my ups and downs in this league, and making the playoffs with this team really gave me some motivation, and I just want to get back and get there again."

Jerebko averaged 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 18.2 minutes in 29 games with the Celtics.


Brandon Bass would welcome return to Celtics
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:01 am ET) Celtics forward Brandon Bass is set to become a free agent this summer, but he said after Sunday's season-ending loss to the Cavaliers that he would welcome a return to Boston, Basketball Insiders reports.

"I don’t know what the future holds," Bass said. "That’s up to (President of Basketball Operations) Danny (Ainge). But Boston’s been great to me over the last couple years, so it’ll be great for me to come back."

Bass averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds while playing 82 games for a second straight season.

"I thought I had a pretty good season. Based on how I started, I didn’t finish it anywhere near where I wanted to as far as the playoffs,” Bass said. "But it gives me great motivation to go back to the gym and improve my skills mentally and physically."

Bass averaged just five points and two rebounds as the Celtics were swept by the Cavaliers.

"It was a mental thing this playoff series," Bass said. "I just didn’t play well. I don’t have really any excuses. I prepared well, I just wasn’t able to perform in the playoffs like I wanted to."


Celtics' Kelly Olynyk denies trying to injure Cavaliers' Kevin Love
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:51 am ET) Celtics center Kelly Olynyk was stunned that Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said he intentionally tried to injure Love on the play in which the forward suffered a dislocated shoulder Sunday, the Boston Herald reports.

"I thought it was a bush league play," Love said. "Olynyk was in a compromising position, had no chance to get the ball and it’s just too bad that he would go to those lengths to take somebody out of the game and do that to someone. I have no doubt in my mind that he did that on purpose."

Olynyk's opinion of what happened on the first-quarter play was in stark contrast to Love's words.

"That’s ridiculous," Olynyk said after Sunday's game. "I would never intentionally hurt Kevin or anyone else. He locked my arm up, I locked up his as we were fighting for a loose ball. You lock up arms all the time in this league."

Love is set to undergo an MRI Monday but is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks, which could keep him sidelined through the team's second-round matchup if not longer.

"I was definitely surprised (by what Love said)," Olynyk said. "In basketball, I don’t think anyone is trying to hurt anyone. For (Love), it’s very unfortunate. I know they’re trying to make a run right now."


Warriors' David Lee (back) expects to play in second round
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Warriors center David Lee is ready to return to action after missing the team's first-round sweep of the Pelicans due to a lower back strain, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Lee has seen a reduction in his role this season, as his averages of 7.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 18.4 minutes per game all fall far short of his production in his first four seasons with the team.

"Although I haven't gotten the minutes sometimes that I've wanted, coach (Steve) Kerr and the rest of the staff has been really cool about being upfront and honest about it and saying that it's circumstance," Lee said. "As a pro, it's my job to stay ready. This isn't about me. It's about our team as a whole, so it's not a big deal at all."

Though Lee didn't play in the first-round series, he was available for Game 4 if needed.


Celtics' Luigi Datome: 'Too early' to talk about future
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:21 am ET) Celtics forward Luigi Datome is headed for unrestricted free agency this offseason, but he said Monday it's "too early" to talk about his future plans, Sportando reports.

"It is too early to talk about," Datome said in a postgame interview with Gazzetta TV. "I will decide my future after I will get some offers during the summer. I expect to have proposals from both the NBA and European teams. Then I will sit and make the best decision for me and my career as I’ve always tried to do."

Datome saw the first significant action of his career after being traded to the Celtics, averaging 5.2 points and 10.7 minutes in 18 games with Boston.

"It was great to play for the Celtics and to reach the NBA playoffs," Datome said. "I had my first real chance in the NBA, after almost two years. It was great to wear the Celtics jersey.

Datome made three playoff appearances, seeing a total of 14 minutes of action while scoring four points on 2 of 6 shooting.


76ers' Nerlens Noel 'ecstatic' to play with Joel Embiid
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) 76ers center Nerlens Noel said Sunday that he's "ecstatic" to play with center Joel Embiid and that he things the pairing will be "something special," NBA.com reports.

"I’m ecstatic to play with Joel," Noel said. "I think it’s going to be something special. The chemistry we already have, and we haven’t even been on the court together, is something that’s great to have.

"I think things we need to work on, me personally, I need to continue to work on the shooting and be able to spread the floor a little bit, be able to knock down a 15-footer with more consistency. And as time goes on, I think Joel’s going to be good. He already has touch around the basket, and he can extend his game out to 15-footers, so I think it’s going to be very complimentary. Both of us having the ability to pass the ball, I think that’s going to be something that people don’t know too much about that’s going to help us a lot."

Noel averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.8 steals while shooting 46.2 percent in 75 games during his rookie season. Embiid missed the season while recovering from a foot injury.


Hawks' Jeff Teague on Saturday's Game 3 loss: 'I hated our game'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:07 am ET) Hawks point guard Jeff Teague is upset with how he and his team played in a 91-83 loss to the Nets in Game 3 Saturday, the New York Post reports.

"I hated our game [Saturday], I hated the way I played," Teague said after Hawks practice Sunday. "I think the whole team hated the way we played. To get back on the floor and be able to touch the ball today and get back on the floor [Monday] was good. I hate days off. I hate sitting around. We are still confident. We still think we can go into Game 4 and get a win."

The Hawks shot just 35.6 percent from the field, leading Teague to say, "We missed a lot of chippies."

Teague scored 12 points on 4 of 13 shooting while adding six assists, three rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes. The Hawks are 4-point favorites in Brooklyn Monday for Game 4 of the series.


Cavaliers' Iman Shumpert doubles up in Game 4 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:00 am ET) Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert delivered a big performance in his team's 101-93 Game 4 win over the Celtics Sunday, scoring 15 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the field and 8 of 8 shooting from the free-throw line while racking up 10 rebounds.

"Iman Shumpert gave us a huge game tonight, huge," coach David Blatt said after the game, per the Akron Beacon Journal. "He was just all over the court. … He was without question the X factor. No question."

Shumpert also recorded three blocks and two steals while playing 38 minutes, which matched his highest amount of playing time in the regular season.


New Mavericks starter J.J. Barea posts 17-13 line in Game 4
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:15 am ET) Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea drew the start in Game 4 against the Rockets Sunday and scored 17 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 2 of 6 shooting from 3-point range, while dishing out 13 assists in his team's 121-109 win.

Barea was in the lineup due to Rajon Rondo being sidelined indefinitely with a back injury and he shined in the starting opportunity, helping to stave off elimination in Dallas.

"We're going to fight," Barea said, per the Associated Press. "We're not going to quit. We've got to go to Houston, and we've got to bring it back to Dallas."

The Rockets missed 12 straight shots to open the second half, and the Mavericks were able to build up a 24-point lead behind the new starting point guard.

"We couldn’t get Barea stopped at all," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "Our coverages were really loose. And they just played harder than us. That is the bottom line. They played with more desperation. They played harder than we did. Bottom line is they deserved to win that game more than we did."

Game 5 is in Houston Tuesday.


 
 
 
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