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Waiver Wire: Looking for the hot hand?

Fantasy Writer
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One nice thing about the Bobcats this season -- besides the fact that watching them isn't a punishment -- is that they actually have some reasonably useful Fantasy options. A year ago, it was basically just Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker on their historically disastrous roster worth starting.

Now? Walker and Henderson are still there and they have some company. Byron Mullens, Ramon Sessions, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Ben Gordon have all spent time among the ranks of worthy Fantasy starters, which almost creates an embarrassment of riches, if you have a very loose definition of "riches."

Recently, Fantasy owners are betting on Ben Gordon's resurgence, as he is the third-most added player in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, as of Wednesday night. Gordon slogged through a terrible final season in Detroit, putting up an empty 12.5 points per game. He seems rejuvenated in Charlotte, putting up his best scoring numbers since leaving Chicago in 2008-09.

The Bobcats have played at a very fast pace this season, a style that suits the three-guard lineup they often employ. Gordon has been a big part of those lineups and the Bobcats are letting him fire away whenever he wants. He has scored in double-figures in 11 of 15 games and is averaging 19.8 points per game over the last six contests.

Gordon probably will not keep shooting 49.4 percent from three-point range (that would be the 11th-best mark in NBA history for a full season). However, there is a lot to like about his role in this offense. He doesn't give you much else in the box score besides points in bunches, but let's not get greedy -- we're talking about a waiver-wire pickup. And a solid one at that.

Most Added Guards

Randy Foye, Jazz: Foye's scoring is really the only above-average ability he can bring to the floor, so his value is often dependent on a number of factors outside of his control. Playing time is arguably the biggest one -- something that has been working in his favor recently. Foye is averaging 29.2 minutes per game over the last five games and he has topped the 30-minute mark in three games in a row heading into Wednesday's play. As a result, he has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, while shooting a scorching 52.1 percent from the field. The problem with Foye is that while he is prone to these kinds of hot streaks, he has a tendency of following them with equally cold streaks. He had a five-game stretch earlier in the season in which he shot just 28.1 percent from the field. Foye is the type of player you can ride while he is hot, but Fantasy owners should know by now to cut bait once the shots stop falling. (33 percent owned; +11 percent)

Gary Neal, Spurs: Neal has been on a scoring tear recently, aided by the Spurs' willingness to give extended rest to older players. That is largely the reason why Neal has seen his Fantasy value increase, so owners might want to temper expectations. The Spurs just finished a tough stretch in the schedule that forced them to give the second unit some extended run, but with a bit more forgiving schedule on the way the rotation could change. Additionally, Neal is dealing with a sore Achilles in his left leg, which could limit his ability to make an impact. The Spurs have been hit hard by injuries, but once the team gets healthy, Neal could revert to the role that saw him score in double figures in just three of the first seven games of the season. (16 percent owned; +10 percent)

Jarrett Jack, Warriors: Jack is probably going to be one of those players whose ownership bounces up and down all season long, as he has already gone from a high ownership of 73 percent down to 46 percent before this week. His role on the team lends itself to this kind of pattern, as his numbers are probably going to fluctuate throughout the season. Jack's last seven games have seen him score 17, 18, 18, 1, 18, 5 and 2 points -- a perfect microcosm of his season as a whole. Jack is one of the better backup point guards in the league, which makes him only intermittently useful as long as the players in front of him stay healthy. (54 percent owned; +8 percent)

Most Added Forwards

Antawn Jamison, Lakers: After spending last week's column focusing on the reasons why Jamison was unlikely to live up to his status as one of the most added players in Fantasy, he ripped off his best three-game stretch of the season. Jamison seems to be working well as a stretch-four in Mike D'Antoni's offensive system and he is even starting over the last few games due to Pau Gasol's lingering knee tendinitis. I still think, at some point, Gasol has to re-assert himself as a key part of the Lakers' offense, but Jamison's recent play is difficult to deny. He is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in just 23.9 minutes in eight games since D'Antoni took over, so Fantasy owners should still consider adding the 15-year veteran. (71 percent owned; +30 percent)

Kyle Singler, Pistons: Singler is another player who has found himself as the subject of plenty of virtual ink in our Fantasy coverage, as the former second-round pick has come out of nowhere this season to emerge as a strong floor-spacing scorer for the Pistons. Since entering the starting lineup full time on Nov. 14, a span of 11 games, Singler is averaging 32.2 minutes. He does little besides score, but he has done that extremely well so far, averaging 12.0 points per game as a starter. We have little in the way of an NBA track record on Singler, so it is tough to say whether this is sustainable, however the way he goes about scoring shows promise; Singler attempts 70.2 percent of his shots behind the three-point line or at the rim. These are the most efficient shots in the game, which helps explain his 10.3 points-per-game average on just 7.4 shots. Time will tell if Singler's hot start proves to be a fluke, but he continues to trend in the right direction as the sample size increase. (63 percent owned; +22 percent)

Kevin Seraphin, Wizards: Similarly to Singler, Seraphin is enjoying a surprisingly productive beginning to the season, though the path he has taken to get there is quite different. While Singler has been a model of efficiency, Seraphin is gaining a reputation as a ball stopper. As the Washington Examiner pointed out Wednesday, Seraphin is last among the team's regulars in free-throw attempts per game. This is surprising for a player who has spent 36.4 percent of his offensive possessions bumping and creating contact in post-up situations, according to MySynergySports.com. Seraphin is getting the opportunity to work in the offense, but his role will likely shrink as Nene continues to get healthy. Seraphin's ceiling right now continues to be limited by his inability to make the most of his opportunities, and you have to wonder how long he can keep his current role without improvement. (62 percent owned; +16 percent)

Most Added Centers

Andray Blatche, Nets: This has been quiet a turnaround for Blatche, who has gone from being sent home and ultimately cut by a lottery-bound Wizards team a year ago to starting for a team that will likely be fighting for home-court advantaged by the end of the season. Even if he is only starting for a limited time due to injury, it is still remarkable to see, as Blatche was strongly considering playing in the D-League before the Nets came calling in the offseason. At the shallow center position, his 10.6 points, 6.1 rebounds average lands him squarely in the "worth owning" category for Fantasy owners. His recent production is almost assuredly not going to be sustainable, given Brook Lopez's eventual return from a foot sprain. Still, he has scored in double figures in nine of 17 games this season, and should remain a solid producer even when he returns to the bench. Fantasy owners who have added him can count on him still being worth a roster spot moving forward. (60 percent owned; +38 percent)

Larry Sanders, Bucks: To call Sanders' third year in the league an "up and down campaign" might be an understatement at this point. Sanders, a perpetual disappointment through his first two seasons in the league, got off to a huge start to the season, averaging 12.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, showing a heretofore unseen capability on the offensive side of the court. He cooled down quickly from that point on, averaging just 4.1 points in his next eight contests, but he has begun to turn things on again recently. Sanders has gone insane on defense recently, averaging 7.3 blocks over the past three games, while matching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's franchise record with 10 blocks in a single game. He has been able to stay on the floor by lowering his fouls in this span, the part of the game that has most consistently needed work. I would like to see Sanders put together everything for an extended stretch, but at the very least, he has finally been able to turn his per-minute defensive aptitude into nightly production. (79 percent owned; +33 percent)

Other thoughts: Other highly-added players worth watching: Jason Maxiell, Robin Lopez, Lavoy Allen, Bismack Biyombo ... Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is on the verge of returning, which will hurt Alexey Shved and Luke Ridnour's value ... Derrick Favors has plantar fasciitis, which should mean more minutes for Paul Millsap, who has disappointed recently ... Steve Blake underwent abdominal surgery and is out for up to two months, but the Lakers don't have anyone worth targeting until Steve Nash returns. Chris Duhon has very limited value.

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Player News
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says Aron Baynes healthy for Game 4
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(3:31 pm ET) Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his team is healthy, including center Aron Baynes (ankle), and that everyone is available to play for Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Clippers on Sunday, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

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by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(3:19 pm ET) Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his team is healthy and everybody should be ready to play for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Bucks on Monday, reports ESPNChicago.com.

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic missed Game 3 of the series with a bruised left knee and strained quadriceps but played in Game 4, saying afterwards he was not one hundred percent during the contest.

The Bulls lead the series 3-1.

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by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
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"I didn't know a guy who moved that slow could sprain his ankle," Rivers joked. "It shouldn't slow him down." 

Turkoglu is averaging two points and 16 minutes per game in the Clippers' Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Spurs.


Celtics F Jae Crowder (knee) leaves Sunday's game, will not return
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:53 pm ET) Celtics forward Jae Crowder left Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday with a sprained left knee and will not return, the team has announced.

Crowder injured the knee after getting fouled hard by Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith, who was subsequently ejected.


Cavs' J.R. Smith ejected Sunday for hard foul on Celtics' Jae Crowder
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:44 pm ET) Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was ejected from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday for a Flagrant 2 foul, called for knocking down Celtics forward Jae Crowder.

Crowder left the game with a sprained left knee as a result and will not return. 


Mavs' Tyson Chandler determined not to get swept by Rockets
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:32 pm ET) Center Tyson Chandler and his Mavericks trail the Rockets 3-0 in their Western Conference Quarterfinals series, and the 14-year NBA veteran is determined not to get swept out of the first round of the plays, per the Dallas Morning News.

"I don’t want to go down like this. We got to take it one game at a time, but I’m not going out like this," Chandler said. "It’s embarrassing. That makes for a long summer. And I don’t want to face that.”

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by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:22 pm ET) Nets coach Lionel Hollins steadfastly defended Deron Williams to the media on Sunday, saying his point guard has played well and has not warranted the negative criticism he's been receiving, according the the New York Daily News.

"Talking about Deron, though, from a playing perspective, Deron has played well," Hollins said. "He's gotten us off to great starts with his pace. He's made passes and when you're getting seven, eight assists in a game and eight to 10 rebounds, you're doing a lot of stuff right."

"I'm disappointed in how everybody is coming down on Deron and treating him like he's a pariah. Deron's a good person, he's a good player," Hollins added.



Report: Pelicans offer Anthony Davis maximum deal
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:05 pm ET) The Pelicans want forward Anthony Davis in their plans for a long, long time. 

According to ESPN.com, the Pelicans have offered Davis a maximum deal that could be worth more than $140 million over five years. Negotiations between the two can begin on July 1. 

Davis averaged 24.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this past regular season. 


Cavs F Kevin Love injures shoulder, won't return vs. Celtics
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:46 pm ET) Cavaliers forward Kevin Love sustained a left shoulder injury and will not return to Sunday's playoff game against the Celtics, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Love is going through further evaluations on the injury. The severity of the injury is unknown at this time but Love did appear in pain. Love scored two points, had one rebound and one assist during his time on the court. 


Nets' Joe Johnson: Deron Williams also dealing with tendinitis
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:54 pm ET) Nets guard Deron Williams is hoping to play against the Hawks in Game 4 on Monday despite having an injured tailbone. However, there's another injury he's apparently dealing with too.

According to the New York Daily News, teammate Joe Johnson said Williams is enduring a severe case of tendinitis as well. Williams has been banged up for a while so news that he's playing through this injury as well isn't too surprising. 

If Williams sees his minutes limited against the Hawks, Jarrett Jack will step in and run the show at point guard. 

 


 
 
 
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