If you own Blake Griffin, you’re in trouble right now. His 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists will be sorely missed at this crucial time, especially with the Clips trying to hold down the 5th spot in a murderous Western Conference.
Griffin underwent successful surgery for a staph infection on his right elbow but he is expected to be out for more than a month. The Clippers will likely be hanging on for dear life during that time and Griffin’s missed time on the court is the very reason why. As pointed, you can’t just replace numbers of those magnitude and Doc Rivers‘ frontline depth leaves a lot to be desired.
With Griffin sidelined, expect Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes and Glen Davis to pick up the slack. However, this should be the time where DeAndre Jordan earns his paycheck. Sans Griffin on the road versus Dallas, Jordan gobbled up 27 rebounds on top of 22 points while blocking three times. If those numbers are portents of things to come, the Clips has one big reason to stay positive.
Anyhow, most teams have only two games leading to the All-Star weekend and thus, in this latest edition of NBA Fantasy Forecaster, we are including the week after.
NBA Fantasy Forecaster Week 16-17: Players to Watch For
Thompson is on a roll of late in an undermanned Sixers team without Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten. Notwithstanding the scoreless Golden State outing, the Georgetown product is averaging 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals in the last five games all coming off the bench. This makes him a nice cheap play especially in daily leagues and even if MCW returns, Thompson could still retain much of his value.
The Dallas Situation
The Mavericks is looking more like an infirmary than a basketball team right now with Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler joining Rajon Rondo in the injured ranks. In the backcourt, J.J. Barea is poised to play a bigger role at least until Rondo is out. The diminutive Puerto Rican is listing 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists in the last five games. The frontcourt, however, is a much trickier play but expect Al-Faruq Aminu to get the lion’s share of minutes and maybe even Dwight Powell and Charlie Villanueva. The situation could give birth to cheap fantasy play in the future so monitor everything that’s happening in Big D right now.
Things are looking up for Khris Middleton in Milwaukee. There is no denying his upside but now, he may be beyond the point of knowing he has potential; he is now in the midst of realizing it right before our eyes.
Over the past month, Middleton is averaging 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 steals! Chances are, he might still be available in your league right now so please don’t hesitate to snag him up. You know those 1.5 treys per game doesn’t hurt and so are the healthy percentages.
The Lakers seem to be committed to let their young guys play and that means Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington are great pickups on season-long leagues and cheap plays on the dailies. However, most of their current players have not tasted starring roles for a long time in the NBA and that is what Carlos Boozer is accustomed to. His minutes are almost the same over the past month but has recently picked up his scoring. The past week saw Boozer average 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and almost a steal per game while attempting almost 15 shots an outing.