The All-Star reserves were announced this past week and as expected, there were some pleasant surprises and robberies along the way.
Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson, Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague, and Chicago Bulls’ do-it-all swingman Jimmy Butler made it to their first All-Star teams. Thompson is widely regarded as one of the league’s top two-way players while Teague and Butler are the motors that keep their respective teams’ engines running.
Along with Teague, two other Hawks lead the East’s reserves. Paul Millsap was selected to be an All-Star for the second time while Al Horford his third. Kyrie Irving (3 selections) and veterans Dwyane Wade (11) and Chris Bosh (10) round out the Eastern Conference roster.
Out west, James Harden (3), Chris Paul (8), Tim Duncan (15), LaMarcus Aldridge (4), Russell Westbrook (4), and Kevin Durant (6) made the cut while DeMarcus Cousins was tapped by commissioner Adam Silver to replace the injured Kobe Bryant.
Are we seeing a pattern here?
Wade. Bosh. Westbrook. Durant. Do OKC and Miami deserve to have two representatives while their teams suck?
The Thunder isn’t even in the top 8 while the Heat is barely hanging on. Durant and Wade have combined to miss 38 games so far and in Wade’s case, more on the way as he is slated to be out of action for the next three weeks. That said, I think Brandon Knight and Damian Lillard are more worthy options.
If D-Wade decides to sit out the festivities in New York, Knight may have a legit chance but Lillard’s hopes is all but gone.
NBA: Where real drama happens.
NBA Fantasy Forecaster Week 15: Players To Watch Out
The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing their best ball on the season (10 straight wins) and aside from the usual suspects, J.R. Smith looks like he has come around. Smith still shot a woeful 40% from the field but for fantasy teams that are short on three’s, the 29-year-old is hitting over three rainbows in the past 15 days. Smith also contributes well on steals (1.4) and assists (2.8) during that stretch.
Philadelphia and Indiana is up on the Cavs’ schedule next week and considering the two clubs rank inside the eight worst teams in defending the rainbow territory during the past 10 games, expect Smith to continue lighting it up.
Jordan Clarkson/ Wayne Ellington
It’s safe to say the Lakers are waving the white towel as far as this season is concerned. So this would mean more PT for their younger players and those that made the most of their opportunity is Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington.
In the last 15 days, Ellington is good for 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 treys made. His percentages are very good too, hitting almost a 47% clip from the floor on almost 13 shots. In the same span, Clarkson posted averages of 13.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a steal per outing.
The rub with Clarkson is his FG% and he doesn’t exactly distribute the way we want point guards to. However, the Lakers are open to the idea of letting him have the lion’s share of minutes and his potential alone should be enough to warrant a spot on your roster, especially if you’re playing daily fantasy basketball.
Langston Galloway came out of nowhere to be a real contributor on a Knicks team desperately looking for a bright spot. The 6-foot-2 St. Joseph’s product is a deceptive athlete that has decent range and a good feel for the game. Over the past 15 days, Galloway posted 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.7 treys made. His modest salary and almost 30 minutes of playing time during the past month makes him a wonderful play on daily leagues.
Injuries are a big part of basketball– reality and fantasy-wise– and while no one would like see anyone hurt, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take advantage when an opportunity presents itself. Chandler Parsons recently went down for the thin Dallas frontcourt and one in line to benefit from the development is Al-Farouq Aminu.
Aminu does not have Parsons’ offensive versatility but if the minutes share went his way, is worthy of a plug-in in all formats. That is because Aminu is a defensive stud and has averaged 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 2.8 steals during the past week. His FG% leaves a lot to be desired and he doesn’t shoot treys the way a swingman should, but if you’re behind in defensive categories, Aminu should give you a nice boost.