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Rotisserie specials for Week 18

by | Fantasy Writer
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The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and things were surprisingly quiet this season. While there were plenty of deals involving low-end players, none of the bigger names that were reportedly on the block ended up changing teams. One of the teams that decided to stand pat at this year's deadline was the Lakers. Los Angeles will try to make the postseason with its current roster intact and the team is finally starting to string some wins together. One of the reasons for this is the fact that coach Mike D'Antoni has finally narrowed his rotation. D'Antoni has only been using eight players over the past few weeks, including veteran Antawn Jamison.

Jamison has been in and out of the rotation for most of the season, but has finally settled into his current bench role. Jamison has been seeing a healthy dose of minutes over the past few weeks, resulting in the veteran's most productive stretch of the season. In fact, Jamison has scored in double figures in a season-best five straight games and is averaging 16 points and six rebounds over that stretch on 43 percent shooting. He is also shooting 44 percent from downtown and attempting 2.8 3-pointers over that span as he continues to see open looks from deep in the Lakers' free-flowing offense. While at age 36 Jamison is no longer the high-end option he was back in his earlier days, he is proving he can still be a useful option on Fantasy teams when seeing consistent minutes. With the defensively challenged Nuggets and Timberwolves on the slate this week, owners are highly encouraged to leave Jamison active in the upcoming scoring period.

Find a place for 'em

Isaiah Thomas, G, Kings (@MIA, @ORL, @SA, CHA): The Kings seem to making news for all the wrong reasons lately as the team's possible move to Seattle and trade of No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson have made national headlines. However, the one story nobody seems to be talking about is the improved play of Thomas. The second-year guard has been on quite a run of late as he has scored in double figures in each of his last eight games and is averaging 19.5 points over that span on 48 percent shooting from the field. Thomas has been especially hot from 3-point land during his run as he has knocked down eight treys over his last four games and is making 45 percent of his shots from behind the arc. While the Kings look to have some tough matchups on tap this week, Thomas has thrived against Sacramento's next four opponents. In fact, he posted a 15-7-5 stat line in his lone meeting against the Bobcats this season, and torched the Heat for a career-best 34 points back in January. Thomas also went for 17 points when he faced the Magic back in December and is averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 assists in five career games -- four starts -- against the Spurs. Fantasy owners should continue to ride Thomas' hot hand this week.(owned in 78 percent of leagues)

Danny Green, G, Spurs (PHO, SAC, DET): The Spurs keep racking up the wins and while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan garner most of the attention, Green's recent play is a big reason for the team's success. The 25-year-old has caught fire in recent weeks as he entered Sunday's matchup against the Suns averaging 16.7 points over his last 10 games. He is shooting 54 percent from the field during his recent run and is also giving owners 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals while seeing more than 31 minutes per game (31.5). However, Green's biggest asset to Fantasy owners is his ability to knock down 3-pointers and that is exactly what he has been doing. The second-year guard has made at least two treys in nine of his last 10 games and is shooting a whopping 54 percent from behind the arc over that span. Green should be able to keep things rolling in Week 18 as he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap. The Suns are allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from downtown on the year -- which ranks dead last -- while the Trail Blazers rank near the bottom of the pack in points allowed (99.9) and opponent field-goal percentage (46.7). Green also knocked down seven 3-pointers during his lone meeting against the Pistons earlier in the month so owners looking for help at guard this week should consider rolling with the sharp-shooter while he is red-hot.(owned in 63 percent of leagues)

Maurice Harkless, F, Magic (@PHI, SAC, HOU, MEM): The Magic were one of the more active teams at the trade deadline as Orlando shipped out a ton of rotation players, including J.J. Redick. That means some of Orlando's younger players will get a chance to see increased minutes moving forward as the Magic evaluate its roster for the future. Harkless has already been asked to take on a larger role as the rookie was pressed back into the starting lineup once Glen Davis went down for the year. He has more than responded to his increased role, averaging 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds over his last 13 games as a starter. However, he has been especially hot of late as he is putting 16.8 points and seven rebounds during his last four games and is shooting 49 percent from the field over that span. With Redick now gone, Harkless will be asked to continue to shoulder an increased scoring load and based on some of his Week 18 matchups, he should be able to maintain his productive ways. The Rockets and Kings are both ranked last and next-to-last in scoring defense while the 76ers are surrendering an average of 101.6 points over their last five games. Harkless also finished with 19 points and nine rebounds against the Grizzlies in Week 17 (Feb. 18-24) and we see no reason why he can't do it again. Consider rolling with the 19-year-old in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 52 percent of leagues)

Derrick Williams, F, T'Wolves (@PHO, @LAL, @POR): While the losses continue to mount up in Minnesota, the recent play of Williams has been one of the few bright spots for the Timberwolves. The 21-year-old continues to earn starts at power forward for coach Rick Adelman as he has scored in double figures in six of his past eight contests and is averaging a healthy 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds over that span. He is shooting 44 percent from the field during his recent hot streak and looks to have some favorable matchups on the docket this week as well. The Trail Blazers and Suns both rank near the bottom of the pack in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage, while the Lakers are also surrendering more than 100 points per game. Williams dropped in 15 points and nine rebounds in his lone contest against Los Angeles earlier in the year and has averaged more than 20-plus Fantasy points in each of the last three scoring periods. Fantasy owners looking for help at the forward position should continue to roll with Williams this week. (owned in 65 percent of leagues)

Andray Blatche, C, Nets (@NO, DAL, @CHI): After completely falling off the Fantasy map for a few weeks, it looks like Blatche is slowly but surely starting to work his way back into form. The 26-year-old has managed to score in double figures in three of his last four contests and is putting up a respectable 10 points and 6.5 rebounds over that span on 55 percent shooting from the field. He is also seeing 19 minutes per game during his mini run as coach P.J. Carlisemo continues to dish out his minutes based on matchups and game flow. The Nets will likely lean on the veteran this week as the Brooklyn will be facing some bigger teams. While the Mavericks play with a small lineup most of the time, the Hornets have a ton of big bodies on their front line as do the Bulls. Blacthe has averaged 10 points and 4.5 rebounds in his two previous meeting against Chicago this season and has averaged 19.4 minutes in those meetings. We would expect Blatche to at least be able to match that this week, which makes him a viable low-end option at the extremely thin center position.(owned in 38 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Jerryd Bayless, G, Memphis (DAL, @MIA, @ORL): After spending much of the season as a Fantasy afterthought, Bayless turned a few heads and gained new owners after his torrid nine-game stretch that started at the end of January and lasted into early February. He averaged 16.4 points and 4.6 assists on 53 percent shooting from the field over that span, but has since fallen back down to Earth. The 24-year-old made a loud dud when he landed as he is averaging just six points over his last six games and was even shutout in his last contest. Bayless is shooting just 35 percent from the field during his slide but has still managed to put up 3.7 assists. Bayless is clearly trending downward at the moment and things won't get any easier this week with the stingy Heat and Mavericks on the schedule. Despite the promise of seeing 20-plus minutes over the next week, owners are best to look at other options at the guard spot.(owned in 52 percent of leagues)

Kendall Marshall, G, Suns (MIN, @SA, ATL): After spending much of the first four-plus months of his NBA career on the bench or in the D-League, the Suns have finally decided to give Marshall a look. The team traded backup point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Raptors last week to open up some minutes for the rookie from the University of North Carolina. While his ownership has already started -- and will continue -- to grow moving forward, owners would be best to exercise some patience for the time being. Marshall is still being eased into the rotation and has scored a combined nine points in his four games since the All-Star break. He has averaged 11 minutes over that span, but we would expect his playing time and production to be on the rise in the coming weeks. However, with the playoffs a mere six weeks away in most leagues, owners are best to take a wait-and-see approach with Marshall for the time being. We strongly recommend leaving Marshall reserved heading into Week 18.(owned in five percent of leagues)

Kyle Singler, F, Pistons (ATL, @WAS, @NO, @SA): The Pistons have really struggled coming out of the All-Star break and unfortunately for Fantasy owners, so has Singler. The rookie has scored a combined 19 points on 34 percent shooting from the field since play resumed last week, which isn't going to help many owners out this time of year. We have seen this from Singler before this season as he has gone through the typical ups and downs that most first-year players in the association go through. At his best, Singler can be considered a decent source for points, rebounds and even 3-pointers as evidenced back in January. However, his inconsistent production has made him more of a liability rather than an asset of late -- especially for owners in category-based formats. While the Pistons are slated to play four times this week, Singler's recent cold spell makes him an extremely risky start. Owners should consider looking at other options in Week 18.(owned in 26 percent of leagues)

Brandon Bass, F, Celtics (@UTA, GS): Injuries have helped Bass reclaim a starting role for the Celtics, but the 27-year-old has not been able to take advantage of his increased playing time. In fact, Bass has only managed to score in double figures in two of his last 10 games entering Sunday's tilt at Portland and he is averaging a very pedestrian 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds over that span. While those numbers aren't terrible, most expected a bit more from Bass. However, the days of him consistently scoring in double figures seems to be long gone -- even on Boston's depleted roster. While Bass will still post a stat line or two that will turn a few heads, his overall production has been that of merely a low-end option. Boston is one of two teams scheduled to play only twice in the upcoming scoring period, which doesn't give owners a ton of room for error. Fantasy owners should leave Bass reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 27 percent of leagues)

Chris Kaman, C, Mavericks(MIL, @MEM, @BKN, @HOU): After missing nearly three weeks with a concussion, Kaman was finally able to get back on the court during Dallas' latest loss to the Lakers. While that should be a welcome sight for the 50 percent of Fantasy owners in CBSSports.com standard formats who own the 7-footer, we would not recommend getting him active this week. Kaman only logged eight minutes during his first game back on the court and that trend is likely to continue moving forward as the Mavericks will look to ease the 30-year-old back into action. Fantasy owners should also keep in mind that Kaman's playing time was starting to dwindle prior to his injury as coach Rick Carlisle was giving rookie Bernard James more run at the five. In fact, Kaman lost his starting job to James just two games prior to his concussion and was averaging just 11.6 minutes in a reserve role. Wait until Kaman proves to be healthy and productive before getting him active again -- especially in this scoring period. (owned in 50 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Magic F Aaron Gordon (ankle) available to play against Suns
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Magic forward Aaron Gordon will be available for Wednesday night's game against the Suns, according to the Orlando Sentinel

Gordon has an ankle injury, though he was able to participate in Orlando's shootaround. Gordon missed the Magic's previous two games. 

The Magic are 4 1/2-point underdogs to the Suns. 


Pacers PG C.J. Watson dealing with elbow soreness
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Pacers point guard C.J. Watson is available to play Wednesday but is dealing with elbow soreness, VigilantSports.com reports.

Donald Sloan will receive extra minutes, and it's possible Watson is held out of the game entirely despite his availability. He has averaged 9.6 points and 3.7 assists in 41 games.

The Pacers are 13 1/2-point favorites at home against the Knicks Wednesday.


Pacers C Roy Hibbert (rest) will not play vs. Knicks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) Pacers center Roy Hibbert will be rested Wednesday and miss his team's matchup with the Knicks, VigilantSports.com reports.

Ian Mahinmi will draw the start in place of Hibbert, while Lavoy Allen will also be part of the frontcourt rotation. Hibbert has averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in 55 games.

The Pacers are 13 1/2-point favorites at home against the Knicks Wednesday.


Magic's Evan Fournier, Luke Ridnour will not play Wednesday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) The Magic will be without guards Evan Fournier and Luke Ridnour for Wednesday's game against the Suns, according to the Orlando Sentinel

Fournier has a hip injury and Ridnour has a hamstring injury. Ridnour's injury kept him out of Wednesday afternoon's shootaround. 

The Magic are 4 1/2-point underdogs. 


Kings C DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) probable vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:20 pm ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is probable to play Wednesday against the Spurs due to a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

Cousins recently missed two games with the ankle issue but was able to return Tuesday, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 29 minutes. He has averaged 23.6 points and 12.2 rebounds in 44 games.

The Kings are 10 1/2-point underdogs in San Antonio Wednesday.


G Bradley Beal: Wizards need to stop playing selfish basketball
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:11 pm ET) Wizards guard Bradley Beal had some strong words for the way his team has played over the past month. 

Since Jan. 28, the Wizards have lost 12 of their past 15 games. Beal, via the Monumental Network, said Washington hasn't been playing team basketball, which is the reason for the recent skid. 

"We have to get back to playing the way we did earlier in the year," Beal said. "We're taking a lot of shortcuts. We're taking the easy way out instead of working and doing everything we need to do to win. I think sometimes we're just trying to get by in a lot of areas of the game instead of just doing the hard things. I think once we get back to that and start sacrificing ourselves, and once we're more of an unselfish team, defensively, then I think we'll be fine."

Though Beal noted the Wizards aren't playing cohesively, he said it's not anything players are doing on purpose. It appears to be a case of players pressing and trying to figure out a way to stop the recent losing trend the Wizards have been on. 

"Individually we're trying to make up for it and we're trying to do things on our own," Beal said. "It's not necessarily bad, but it is bad. You're getting out of the team concept. [But] the intentions aren't bad."


Ray Allen announces he won't play in 2014-15 season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:57 pm ET) Guard Ray Allen will not play during the 2014-15 season, his agent announced Wednesday.

"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me," Allen said in a statement. "I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season."

Allen made 73 appearances with the Heat in 2013-14, averaing a career-low 9.6 points and 26.5 minutes per game.


Magic SF Devyn Marble (eye) out 4-6 weeks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:33 pm ET) Magic small forward Devyn Marble will miss the next four-to-six weeks due to a detached retina in his left eye, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Marble has made 16 appearances with the Magic, averaging 2.3 points and 13.0 minutes per game. He's also seen six games of action with Erie of the NBA Development League, averaging 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.3 minutes per game.


Hornets G Kemba Walker (knee) cleared for basketball activities
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Hornets guard Kemba Walker's knee is ready for basketball again. 

Walker has been cleared to begin basketball activities, the Hornets announced on Wednesday. Walker has been recovering from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. He had surgery to repair the injury on Jan. 28. 

Walker is able to participate in practice without restrictions. 

Per the Charlotte Observer, coach Steve Clifford said Walker could play by the time the Hornets head to the West Coast for a four-game trip beginning on March 16.  

In 42 games this season, Walker is averaging 18.8 points per outing. 


Spurs' Jarell Eddie following Danny Green career path
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:29 pm ET) Austin Spurs forward Jarell Eddie is modeling his career patch on current Spurs guard Danny Green, Spurs.com reports.

"I look at the way Danny rose up in the Spurs organization, and the way he can knock down shots, but also does the little things," Eddie said last week. "I look at him, and I know what I have to do to make it myself."

Eddie has made 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts and won the NBA Development League Three-Point Contest in February.

"Shooting’s a premium at the NBA level," Eddie said. "With the release that I have and the size that I have, I’ve always had the mindset the I’m an NBA player. Now, it's clear that if you keep working in the D-League, someone will spot you."

Green indicated that the intangibles picked up in the NBADL have helped him make a leap.

"It lights a fire under you to see what it really takes to make it to the NBA," Green said. "So you spend that extra time picking up things defensively. I feel like I’m the guy they look at a lot of times because I just worked really hard and can shoot the ball. Us D-League guys didn’t have the easiest path, but it’s a path that’s worth taking."


 
 
 
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