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Week 3 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
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Sample sizes are still relatively small, but players and teams are starting to find their identities in this young season. For those of you in category-specific formats, here are some notable factoids that might help you gain an edge in areas of need. We'll continue to validate and debunk trends on a weekly basis in this column going forward.

(All stats up to date through Nov. 12 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Scoring

Alec Burks (66 percent) and Gerald Henderson (75 percent) are averaging more than 13.5 points per game and have both been in double figures in all their games except one this season. ... Roy Hibbert has been a monster in the blocks category, but he's averaging just 9.9 points per game. He started slow in the scoring column last year as well but picked it up as the season went on -- averaging 9.7 points per game in the first half of last season as opposed to 14.1 in the second half. ... The 76ers, Wizards, Lakers and Clippers are allowing opponents to score more than 105 points per game on average -- the four worst in the league. The Lakers allowed the Timberwolves to score a season-high 47 in the first quarter November 10, so they clearly have vast potential for getting scored on. ... Meanwhile, the Pacers are only giving up 84.5 points per game to opponents this year, so avoid them if you're looking for a spot-start scorer. The Bulls and Spurs are also allowing fewer than 92 points per game. ... One thing Andrea Bargnani will do with his time in the Knicks' starting lineup is score. He's been in double figures both games he's started, including a 25-point outing against Charlotte. Look for him if your team is lacking in points the next few weeks. ... It's still a bit early, but keep Heat forward Michael Beasley on your radar going forward. He played a season-high 20 minutes last night, leading to a season-high 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting off the bench. I wrote about Beasley as a sleeper in the preseason, and while it's not quite time to awaken yet, there's a good chance he'll be a cheap source of points down the road.

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Field-goal percentage

John Henson has been benefitting from Larry Sanders' absence, averaging 10.8 points and 1.4 blocks for the Bucks. Most of his shots comes close to the rim, and his 7-foot-6 wingspan makes it very easy for him to dunk, which has led to a 61.5 field goal percentage to start the year. Sanders will be out for six weeks, so go ahead and pick up Henson, who's still available in 36 percent of leagues. ... Nene has been well-balanced to start the season, making 58.5 percent of his field-goal attempts while averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assist, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest. He's still not owned in 18 percent of leagues so check your free agent pool if you want an efficient big man. ... Rudy Gay's 19.3 points per game come at a hefty price for Roto players, as his field goal percentage is among the worst in the league at 35.6. Gay's inefficiency was in full effect November 11 against the Rockets as he scored 29 and still managed to miss 26 shots. ... Portland is the only team allowing opponents to shoot better than 51 percent on average. The Trailblazers also lead the league in points in the paint allowed per game at 49.7. The Warriors play both Portland and the Jazz in Week 4, so you can browse their fringe options if you're playing catchup in field-goal percentage. ... The No. 1 and No. 3 teams holding opponents to the lowest field goal percentage face off Saturday when the Bulls host the Pacers. There's bound to be some bad shots being forced up in that slugfest, so be sure to roll out your most efficient shooters for the rest of your lineup if you plan on starting anyone in that game.

Rebounds

Jordan Farmar (26 percent) is tied for 8th in rebounds per game among point guard-eligible players at 3.9 a night. He flirted with a triple-double Tuesday night against New Orleans, finishing with nine points, seven rebounds, eight assists and one block. His numbers should continue to go up as Nash will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a back issue. ... Mike Miller (10 percent) has been scrapping his way to 4.7 rebounds per game to go along with his two made threes per contest. Not a bad option if you're lacking in both categories. ... Brook Lopez has been a disappointing rebounder so far, only managing to grab 6.0 a night for the Nets. This number isn't likely to increase anytime soon as the Nets have some of the league leaders in rebounding percentage (Rockets, Raptors, Trailblazers, Bobcats) on their upcoming schedule. ... DeJuan Blair continues to be an intriguing Roto option, as he's averaging more rebounds than Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter at 7.9 per game, while only playing 20 minutes a night. His 2.1 steals per game are also good for third in the league among center-eligible players. ... Caron Butler is only owned in 51 percent of leagues, but he's been a fairly productive option at the very shallow small forward position. He's averaging 6.2 rebounds per game to go along with 12.2 points.

Assists

With Steve Nash out, category players might take a look at Steve Blake for assists. Blake dished out a season-high 10 assists Tuesday night and he's averaging 5.6 assist per game while making 2.4 three-pointers a night. Those numbers could increase as the Lakers rely more heavily on Blake and Jordan Farmar to lead their Nash-less backcourt. ... Jordan Crawford is averaging an improbable 4.3 assists per game for the Celtics -- a big shock if you're familiar with his ball-hogging antics. He's never finished a season averaging more than 3.9 so maybe just roll Crawford out there while he's still passing the ball. ... The 76ers' risk-oriented zone defense is meant to maximize steals and fast-break opportunities. A side effect of this style of play is lots of easy baskets off assists, evidenced by their league-leading 27.5 assists allowed per game. ... Conversely, the Pacers are huge and content to stay home on defense, forcing teams to play lots of one-on-one offense. They're only giving up 16.0 assists per game on average.

Free-throw percentage

The rim-missing free throw attempt that allowed Jeff Green to steal a game form Miami on November 9 wasn't the only free throw attempt Dwyane Wade's botched this year. In fact, Wade has only hit 65.8 percent of his foul shots so far this season. ... Andrew Bynum is averaging more than two free throws per game and has converted on 92.9 percent of them so far. He'll reportedly miss the next two games for a personal issue, but keep an eye on Bynum going forward, as he received his first start of the season November 11, going a perfect 6 for 6 from the free-throw line while logging a season-high 21 minutes against the Bulls. ... Brandon Bass has been logging 30.0 minutes per game for the Celtics while shooting 90.0 percent from the charity stripe. He's also averaging 12.7 points per contest. ... J.J. Redick continues to be the quintessential free-throw ace, shooting 96.0 percent while averaging more than three attempts per game.

Three-pointers

Gerald Green may have finally found a home in Phoenix, and he's at least shooting well enough to stay in the Suns' rotation. Green is tied for eighth in the league, averaging 2.4 made threes per contest. ... Jodie Meeks is starting to pick up his production for the Lakers, averaging 2.2 threes and 13.0 points per game. ... The 76ers' zone is also leaving tons of space for three-point shooters, as Philadelphia is giving up 12.0 made threes per game -- the worst rate in the league. Look for shooters who play them to gain an edge in that category. ... The Celtics, meanwhile, are still defending the three-point line better than any other team, giving up only 4.4 made threes per game. ... The Wizards are attempting a league-high 27.8 threes per game, making Martell Webster a nice streaming option if you're in need of a long-range shooter. He's currently averaging 1.8 made threes per game. ... If for some reason Kyle Korver isn't owned in your league, you should go ahead and grab him. Making close to three triples per game while shooting close to 50 percent from downtown is totally realistic for Korver over the span of a season. He finished last year netting 2.6 made threes per game while converting on 45.7 percent of them.

Steals/Turnovers

Bucks guard Nate Wolters leads the league in assist-per-turnover rate, averaging just 0.8 turnovers a night while dishing out 5.7 assists -- good for 18th in the league. ... The 76ers and the Lakers have been the sloppiest ball-handlers so far this year, with opposing teams averaging more than 10 steals per game against them. ... Mario Chalmers (67 percent) is tied for fourth in the league in steals per game at 2.3. He's also scoring 10.4 points and dishing out 5.3 assists. ... Corey Brewer has been using his long arms to pick up his steals production, as he's come up with 11 in the span of his last five games. He usually scores on a run-out whenever he steals the ball, so his 13.4 points per game could see an increase as he becomes more active on defense. ... Metta World Peace has done a good job of not turning the ball over, only doing so an average of 1.3 times per night. He's also taking the ball away 1.7 times a night while scoring 11.5 points and grabbing 4.0 boards. ... Derrick Rose is finally averaging more assists than turnovers, but neither number is very impressive. He's tied for third in the league with 4.2 giveaways per game, while only dishing out 4.5 assists per night. ... John Henson has been a model of ball security, averaging less than one turnover per game. This number might increase as he takes on a larger role filling in for Larry Sanders, but go ahead and grab him for efficient play around the rim to go along with a few blocks per night.

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Player News
Doc Rivers on son: 'I really want him back, would be great'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:22 pm ET) Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn't make a move to acquire his son, Austin Rivers, when he was first advised to do so. Now he's hoping to have the free-agent back on the team next season.

General manager Dave Wohl suggested Doc sign Austin before the start of last season, but Doc waivered. The Clippers instead signed Jordan Farmar, who they would later release before trading for Austin at the trade deadline.

“It was a gamble for me personally,” Doc Rivers said. “It was just a tough one for me. I was on the other side of not wanting to do it, and I’m glad I listened to people for a change. I wasn’t so stubborn. I give Dave Wohl credit, before the season started and we signed Jordan or anyone, he wanted that to happen and I didn’t hear any of that.

“In retrospect, it would have been nice to have him the whole year. It would have been better. That was a mistake. I probably should have.”

Austin showcased his potential in the Clippers' playoff loss to the Rockets. He scored 25 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out two assists in Game 5 of the series.

He opened enough eyes that his dad is hoping he takes a discount to stay with the organization, he even threatened to call his mother.

“He's young and he clearly helped us, I think we all have to agree with that,” Doc Rivers said. “And I think he loved it here. I even think he liked the coach at times.

“You know, it'll be interesting. I really want him back and I think it would be great to have him back, and I think he's a great fit for this team. But business is business and it'll be an interesting thing this summer.”


Rockets C Dwight Howard probable for Game 3
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:46 pm ET) Rockets center Dwight Howard has been upgraded to probable for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Saturday in Houston.

That designation indicates that Howard, who has been hampered by a knee problem, came through Game 2 without a setback.

Howard certainly improved his performance Thursday, racking up 19 points and 17 rebounds in 40 minutes against Golden State. He managed just seven points and 13 boards in 26 minutes in the series opener.


Hawks' Bazemore primed to step up if Carroll can't go for Game 2
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:37 pm ET) With Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll ruled a game-time decision for Game 2 against the Cavaliers, Kent Bazemore is preparing to fill in that defensive-oriented role, according to AJC.com.

If Carroll does not play, Bazemore will undoubtedly have the task of defending Cavs forward LeBron James. Bazemore, though, is not shying away from that challenge.

“It’s great,” Bazemore said. “It’s a great platform to show what you can do. They brought me here as a defender and that’s my job. What a great measuring stick to go up against one of the best. … It’s tough but it’s what you sign up for. It’s a challenge I love. I love guarding the best players. I’ve been doing it all my life. This is no different. The tools I have and the preparation up to this point, I think I’ve prepared myself to do a good job.”

Bazemore is averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game during the playoffs.


Lakers GM: Kobe 'has indicated to me that this is it'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:17 pm ET) Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said that the upcoming 2015-16 season will be the last for perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant, per ESPN.com.

"He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said.

Bryant, who will be 37 years old when the season begins, is entering the final year of a two-year, $48.5 million dollar extension with the team.

"I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal," Kupchak said. "There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be."

Kupchak said that if anything changes and Bryant wants to continue playing past his current contract, negotiations can be had. Bryant's last three seasons have been cut short because of injury. Last season, he was limited to 35 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

"A year from now, if there's something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then," Kupchak said. "I talk to him from time to time ... and he is recovering. He's running. He's getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he's much closer to the end than to the beginning."


Cavs' Dellavedova: 'I will be ready for whatever' in wake of Irving injury
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:00 pm ET) With Kyrie Irving listed as questionable for Game 2 against the Hawks on Friday, Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova is primed to take on a bigger, more crucial role, per Cleveland.com.

"I will be ready for whatever the team needs," Dellavedova said when asked about the possibility of starting. "It will probably mean a lot more minutes so I might have to adjust my game a little there, but not too much."

Though Irving is the Cavs' second-leading scorer, it was Dellavedova who came up big in the team's closeout win over the Bulls in Game 6 of the previous series. Dellavedova scored a season-high 19 points on 7of 11 shooting, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc.

"Delly has done great work for us all season coming from the bench and he has started other times during the season," Cavs coach David Blatt said. "He's been a consistent rotation guy for us and he's a dependable and high character guy that gives us an awful lot. We believe in him, our guys believe in him and he's ready."

Iman Shumpert is also capable of filling in for Irving during stretches. Shumpert is averaging 9.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per games during the playoffs.


Blatt: Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving will decide fate Friday night
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:36 pm ET) David Blatt has indicated that Cavaliers ailing guard Kyrie Irving will make the final decision as to whether he plays in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night in Atlanta, per the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Irving expressed optimism heading into the series that the pain in his left knee and right foot had subsided, but if anything he was more limited than ever in the series opener. He re-aggravated the knee injury during the game and played only three of the last 18 minutes as his team put away the Hawks.

The guard did not attend shootaround Friday. He instead received further treatment and evaluation as an MRI was planned.

"My understanding is like most injuries, it's a combination of pain management and what the physical symptons are," Blatt said.

Irving was not invisible in Game 1, but his struggles trying to finish off drives to the basket were again evident. He did manage 10 points and six assists in 27 minutes.


Wizards F Kris Humphries working to expand his range
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:28 am ET) Wizards veteran Kris Humphries has come to the realization that he might need to re-invent himself as a stretch forward to maximize his potential to remain a viable player in the NBA, according to CSNWashington.com.

And that means expanding his shooting range to beyond the arc.

That would be quite a departure for Humphires, who made two 3-pointers as a rookie and none since.

"I never really worked on shooting threes and stuff," he said. "I started working on it this year. I had a lot of success in the last month (practicing) and I was working on it every day."

Humphries was a forgotten man in the playoffs, playing just five total minutes after averaging 21 minutes a game in the regular season.


Hawks SF DeMarre Carroll wearing knee brace Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll, who is questionable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night against Cleveland, is wearing a knee brace at shootaround, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Carroll sustained what was diagnosed as a knee bruise in the series opener Wednesday. The injury appeared far worse when he writhed in pain and was later helped off the court without putting any pressure on the leg.

His presence would be critical for Atlanta. Carroll is the team's leading scorer in the playoffs and is responsible for guarding Cleveland superstar LeBron James.


Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:19 am ET) Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will be listed as questionable for Game 2 against the Hawks on Friday.

Irving did not attend the team's shootaround Friday morning in Atlanta, instead going to receive additional evaluation with the team's head physician. Irving received treatment following Wednesday's win, but the tendinitis in his left knee did not diminish.

Irving scored 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes in Game 1.


Free agent Knight sees future with Suns alongside Bledsoe
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9:19 am ET) Suns guard Brandon Knight will be a restricted free agent this offseason, but a shared playmaker role next to Eric Bledsoe has him thinking about the long-term with the organization, per The Arizona Republic.

Knight, who can be signed to an offer sheet by any team in the league starting July 1, relished the opportunity to play alongside Bledsoe.

"I thought it was fine," Knight said. "If Eric was a selfish guy, then I think it wouldn't work but both of us being pretty unselfish guys and really just wanting to win and also being familiar with each other, I think that helps the situation."

Knight averaged 17 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game this season -- the best statistical numbers of his career -- but hopes to continue to increase his role with the Suns.

"I'll continue to do the same things that I did this past year to continue to get better," Knight said. "For me, it's more of a team thing. I really want to try to push the guys on the Suns and this organization to be better, not just myself. I think true leaders make people around them better and that's what it's going to take for us to really take that next step. We've got to have each and every guy get better, not just myself but our entire team has to take steps this summer. It starts right now."


 
 
 
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