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Waiver Wire: Start making some sense

Fantasy Writer
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The convoluted nature of the Lakers' offense this season has been the source of much Fantasy intrigue. From Metta World Peace's improbable re-emergence as a factor to the surprisingly lackluster play of formerly elite big man Pau Gasol, they have been incredibly hard to peg.

Arguably the most difficult player to make sense of has been veteran forward Antawn Jamison, whose Fantasy star seems to be improving thanks to a small bit of improved play over the last few games. Jamison, who was expected to provide his typically unconventional brand of scoring off the bench for the Lakers, was owned in the majority of Fantasy leagues after Draft Day. His ownership cratered to 13 percent a week ago, but has been building back up over the last week.

Jamison is now owned in 42 percent of all leagues, making him the third-most added player heading into Fantasy Week 6 (Dec. 3-9). The question is, what can Fantasy owners expect from him moving forward? The 36-year-old has scored 83 points total through the first 15 games over the season, with 35 of them coming over the course of back-to-back nights against Memphis and Dallas last week. Add in a double-double effort and 25-plus minutes in a crowded frontcourt over those two games, and it is easy to see why Fantasy owners would expect a bounce back from one of the more consistent scorers in the league over the past decade moving forward.

The assumption seems to be that Jamison is a more natural fit for Lakers' coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive system than Gasol, who seems lost at times in the offense. That seems logical on the surface, but there is little evidence that it is true. The Lakers have played four games with D'Antoni as the head coach, and Jamison has scored in double figures twice. He has three points combined in the other two.

Fantasy owners can hardly be blamed for taking the chance on a guy who scored 17.2 points per game as recently as last season, but it is unlikely that this waiver-wire move proves particularly fruitful. It seems like we should still expect Jamison to be a non-factor more often than not.

Most Added Guards

Jeremy Pargo, Cavaliers: It is entirely unsurprising to see Pargo near the top of the list of most-added players, as he is averaging 15.2 points per game since taking over as Cleveland's starting point guard in the wake of Kyrie Irving's finger injury. Pargo is also averaging 4.0 assists while playing 33.7 minutes per game in that span. His track record is largely non-existent, as the 26-year-old spent time after college playing in Europe before coming stateside to a minor role last season with Memphis. Pargo has built his solid run on a reliable jump shot, as he is shooting at least 40 from every shot distance tracked by Basketball-Reference.com. It seems like the Cavs are going to give him solid minutes moving forward, which means he remains worth adding in most leagues where he is still available. (60 percent owned; +40 percent)

Aaron Brooks, Kings: Brooks is another bit player who has been thrust into a bigger role over the last week-plus, and he at least has more of an NBA track record than Pargo. The Kings have started him in their last five games at the point guard position, and he has responded by scoring 10.8 points per game. Don't be fooled by his solid mark, as he is shooting a wholly unsustainable 63.6 percent on 6.6 shots per game. There simply are not many shots available in a Kings offense with plenty of options and little in the way of opportunity, and he is unlikely to continue averaging double figures given this role. Brooks is a 41.3 percent shooter from the field in his career, so once the shots stop falling, his Fantasy value should plummet with it. (41 percent owned; + 20 percent)

Jamaal Tinsley, Jazz: It has been an awfully long time since Tinsley was a viable Fantasy option. He last averaged double figures in scoring back in 2007-08, when he spent 39 games as the Pacers' starting point guard. He has been asked to bear a surprisingly large role for the Jazz in his age-34 season, and he has responded with arguably his most productive stretch in years. Over the last four games, he is averaging 9.0 assists and 8.5 points per game, while reaching double-figures in each category at least twice. His role has increased as a result of a lingering foot injury that has cost Mo Williams three games in a row. Before Wednesday's game against New Orleans, Williams told reporters he is close to getting back, so Tinsley is likely just a few days returning to Fantasy irrelevance. This is probably the peak of Tinsley's Fantasy value. (16 percent owned; + 14 percent)

Most Added Forwards

Markieff Morris, Suns: Both of the second-year Morris twins have surprisingly jumped into Fantasy relevance after mediocre rookie seasons, but it is the elder -- by seven minutes -- Markieff, who is on Fantasy owners' minds as he entered the starting lineup for the Suns. Morris scored in double figures in three games in a row last week, and has now started four games in a row for a Phoenix team that at times seems unsure as to how they would like their front court rotation to look. Morris was a lottery pick a year ago, so the talent to be a productive player is there. After seeing unpredictable playing time last year, he is averaging 15.2 points per-36 minutes this season. I would not recommend relying on Morris as a starter at this point, as Suns' coach Alvin Gentry seems to be changing his rotation on a whim recently. That being said, his place in the team's plans makes this waiver-wire flier a smart decision by most owners. (63 percent owned; + 45 percent)

Patrick Patterson, Rockets: Of anyone on this list, Patterson's recent play has been the most impressive, which makes it difficult to understand why he is just the fourth-most added player and only just broke through to being owned in a majority of leagues. Patterson has scored in double-digits in seven games in a row, including three 20-point efforts in his last four games. He plays for the fastest-paced team in the league, and has played fewer than 20 minutes in just one of his 14 games. After a 27-point game during which he was arguably Houston's most impressive player against the Thunder, it would not surprise me if Patterson's ownership shot up sharply yet again -- deservedly so. Patterson is the only regular for the Rockets that is shooting better than 50 percent from the field, largely because he takes 45% of his shots from within nine feet of the rim and shoots 63.8 percent on those attempts. Patterson has avoided bad shots, and has even added a somewhat reliable three-point shot to his arsenal, making 12 in 15 games. Patterson continues to impress this season, and is worth adding in all Fantasy leagues. 57 percent owned; + 23 percent

Kyle Singler, Pistons: Singler turned a high-profile four-year career with the illustrious Duke Blue Devils into a second-round draft selection and a ticket to Europe last season, as no NBA teams seemed all that interested in his services. Just a month into his rookie season, Singler has managed to make the Pistons look good for investing a guaranteed contract in him this offseason, as he has provided a big spark to an offense that often seemed moribund before his role increased. In eight games since inserting him into the starting lineup, Detroit has gone 5-3, with Singler providing 12.0 points per game. He probably won't continue shooting better than 50.0 percent from the field, but Singler seems to be a truly above average shooter, something that is in short supply in Detroit. Singler has been very smart about his shot selection, taking 81 of his 114 shots from either within three feet of the rim or from three-point range; and has scored 129 of his 159 points this season on these shots. There seems to be little reason to expect Detroit to scale back his minutes, so go ahead and add him. (40 percent owned; + 23 percent)

Most Added Centers

Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors: It took a while for Valanciunas earn the trust of his coach, Dwane Casey, as he played 30-plus minutes just once in his first 11 NBA games. He has topped that mark in four of the last five games, and he just missed it in the fifth, playing 28 minutes Wednesday against the Grizzlies. He has shown more of a comfort level on offense than we expected initially, reaching double figures in scoring in seven of 16 games, averaging 9.3 per game. Given how shallow the position is, Valanciunas ranks 28th among Centers in scoring. The Raptors are probably going to lean on the 20-year-old even more heavily as the season goes on, so Fantasy owners should expect him to be worth starting as a low-end option before long. Keep snatching him up. 70 percent owned; + 15 percent

Jermaine O'Neal, Suns: O'Neal was forced to leave Wednesday's game against the Pistons due to an undisclosed injury. Given O'Neal's recent injury history, the fact that he was able to return to the game should probably confirm the Suns' medical staff's league-wide reputation as miracle workers. The fact that O'Neal has even been an effective player for Phoenix also leads me to believe that the Fountain of Youth may be located somewhere deep within the bowels of US Airways Center. O'Neal looked completely washed up over two injury-shortened seasons in Boston, scoring in double figures just six times total over the course of 49 games. He has reached double-digits in points in five of the last seven games, while playing an unexpectedly large role in Phoenix's offense. The Suns seem to have soured on Marcin Gortat and his inconsistent effort this season, which has opened a door for O'Neal. The Suns have more talented – and younger – options in the frontcourt, so it would be a legitimate surprise if O'Neal keeps seeing extended run through the season. Despite an unexpectedly competent start, I wouldn't risk relying on the 34-year-old at this point. 14 percent owned; + 12 percent

Other thoughts: Most dropped players -- Alexey Shved, Derrick Williams, Isaiah Thomas, Dorell Wright, E'Twaun Moore, Spencer Hawes, A.J. Price ... Most traded players -- Jeremy Lin, Dwyane Wade, Josh Smith, Pau Gasol, Greivis Vasquez, O.J. Mayo ... Ricky Rubio was cleared for practice and should be able to make his debut in two weeks. He is already owned in 94 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and should be a worthy starting guard, especially in category-based Fantasy formats, once he gets up to speed.

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Player News
Warriors' Thompson develops postgame concussion-like symptoms
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:27 am ET) The Warriors announced that guard Klay Thompson developed concussion-like symptoms after the team's Game 5 win over the Rockets, CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger reports.

Thompson "began to not feel well" after the game. The team also said that the guard was evaluated for a concussion after taking a knee to the head but did not exhibit concussion-like symptoms at the time. Thompson will have to pass concussion testing before being cleared for action in the NBA Finals.

Thompson scored 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting in his team's series-clinching win over the Rockets on Wednesday. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for June 4.


Warriors F Harrison Barnes scores 24 in Game 5 win over Rockets
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:36 am ET) Warriors forward Harrison Barnes played one of his best games of the season in Thursday's 104-90 win over the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

Barnes scored 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, which included going 2 for 5 from behind the arc. He also made both of his free-throw attempts. Barnes got a lot of looks around the rim late in the game, scoring 13 of his points in the fourth quarter. 

This marked the most points Barnes has scored this postseason and the second-highest he's scored all year. His season high is 25, scored against the Hawks in a win on March 18. 


Warriors G Stephen Curry scores 26 in elimination win over Rockets
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:26 am ET) Warriors guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry scored a game-high 26 points in Wednesday's 104-90 win over the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

The win eliminated the Rockets and advanced the Warriors to the NBA finals, where they'll face the Cavaliers. 

Curry made 7 of 21 shots from the field, which included going 3 for 11 from three-point land. It wasn't his best game given the number of shots he was forced to put up, but he came through with some clutch plays in the fourth quarter. 


Warriors F Andre Iguodala injures shoulder but returns to Game 5
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Warriors forward Andre Iguodala injured his left shoulder with under four minutes left to go in Thursday's 104-90 win against the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Iguodala took a high forearm to his shoulder and neck area from Dwight Howard on what appeared to be somewhat of an attempt at a screen. Upon review, Howard was not called for anything more than an offensive foul. 

Iguodala was able to return to the game. He finished with six points, six assists and four rebounds. 


Warriors' Klay Thompson sustains right ear laceration, scores 20
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Warriors guard Klay Thompson left Wednesday's 104-90 win against the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals due to a right ear laceration.

In the fourth quarter, Thompson pump-faked to get Trevor Ariza in the air, who then accidentally collided his knee into the right side of Thompson's head. He was diagnosed with the ear injury and didn't need to be administered a concussion test, according to ESPN's Doris Burke. 

Thompson finished the game with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. This included making 4 of his 6 three-point attempts. He also had four assists and one rebound. 

Coincidentally, Ariza was the same player involved when Stephen Curry sustained a head injury during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. Curry passed two concussion exams and was able to return to the game.


Rockets' Dwight Howard gets 7th playoff technical, could face ban
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard received his seventh playoff technical foul during Game 5 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Warriors. 

Howard clapped his hands near Warriors center Andrew Bogut before putting them on his chest in the first half. Bogut pushed them away and the two were called for a double technical.

The technical will be reviewed by the NBA league office. If the Rockets win, and the technical is upheld, then Howard will be suspended for Game 6. 

Howard finished the game with 18 points and 16 rebounds. The Rockets lost 104-90 and were eliminated from the playoffs. 


Hawks G Shelvin Mack to have surgery on separated shoulder
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Hawks guard Shelvin Mack separated his right shoulder and will need surgery to repair it, the team announced

Mack was injured with two minutes left in Game 4 against the Cavaliers on Tuesday. This season, Mack averaged 5.4 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. 


Hawks G Kyle Korver undergoes successful surgery on ankle
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Hawks guard Kyle Korver underwent successful surgery on his ankle, the team announced

Korver suffered a high ankle sprain during the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers. Korver's recovery is expected to be about three months. 

This season, Korver averaged 12.1 points per game. The Hawks were swept 4-0 by the Cavs. 


Warriors F Marreese Speights (calf) out for Game 5
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) The Warriors will be without forward Marreese Speights for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Rockets, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Speights is still rehabbing a right calf injury. 

Speights is apparently progressing and did participate in on-court activities. If the Warriors advance to the finals, perhaps Speights could be available to play. 


Hawks F DeMarre Carroll (knee) also has turf toe
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll was dealing with more than just an injured knee during the playoffs. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carroll was also dealing with turf toe, an injury that normallly take three to four weeks to heal. Carroll told the AJC that he was unable to do much with his left leg. 

"That’s why I kept getting shots blocked,” Carroll said.

After scoring 25 in the series-clinching win over the Wizards on May 15, Carroll only scored a combined 28 points in four games against the Cavaliers. 


 
 
 
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