Here are some thoughts from Monday from the Hoops Lab, as we prepare for week 16 of the fantasy basketball season. Keep in mind that the standings for the rest of the fantasy basketball season are also updated on Mondays, so keep an eye on them as you prepare for this week’s games. Between the rankings and this article, we’ll also help you identify some good buy low/sell high candidates. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.

LA Duos Break/Charge Management

On Sunday, the Clippers sat out both kawhi leonard Y paul george in the second half of a back-to-back. On Monday, the Lakers have already announced that both will be sitting Lebron James Y antonio davis in the front half of a back to back. This makes basketball sense for both teams, given the sheer, tangible threat of injury to these players every game. The Lakers got AD back last week, and all four players have missed significant time both this season and historically. However, decisions by teams to seat both stars at once has a clear impact on fantasy hoops strategy down the stretch.

First of all, we’ve known for years that Kawhi doesn’t play back-to-back halves. That’s been the case since he came to the Raptors, let alone the Clippers. The question is whether George, and across town LeBron and AD, will join him in this on a consistent basis or if this was more of a one-off thing for them. All three already have serious enough injury risks to affect their long-term fantasy value, but if they start making back-to-back misses as consistently as Leonard, then their ceiling would drop to the 75% we have to use. for Leonardo.

Second, on both teams, the all-star duos included a large part of the team’s nightly production. So if teams plan to sit their guys out regularly, it becomes a great regular boost for their teammates. For the Clippers, Norman Powell (available in 71.5% of leagues) goes from a high-scoring sixth man to a legitimate 22-28 PPG scorer when both Kawhi and George are out. in the lakers, russell westbrook He moves from fantasy starter to triple-double throwback night threat, while Thomas Byrant (available in % of leagues) moves from reserve to legitimate threat 20-10.

So, I’ll be watching what the Lakers look like on Monday with LeBron and AD sitting out, and I’ll be watching the next back-to-back games for both teams to see if the half-sitting strategy was a trend or one. -off (for everyone but Kawhi), so you can plan accordingly.

Giannis back and healthy…for now

Giannis is another starting player who has had periodic days of knee pain that I assumed was load handling, until earlier this month when he tried to play but was a shell of himself averaging 12.7 PPG in 34.4 FG. % for a game of three games. lapse. Giannis sat out for almost two weeks, and it seems like the rest worked because he was regularly posting game issues again. In his last three starts, Giannis averaged 41.3 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 3PG and 1.3 SPG in just 31.7 MPG. Giannis is being efficiently explosive, which his fantasy managers love to see, but… just saying.

I think Giannis is the best player in the NBA and I am confident that he will prove it in the postseason. But, I’m less optimistic about the regular season, where (much like the situations in Los Angeles), the Bucks are a veteran-heavy team that has struggled with injuries of late and is focused on getting their guys healthy for the postseason. . If I have Giannis on my fantasy team, I might seriously consider whether I want to spend the season hoping he’s available every night or whether it would instead be worth taking advantage of his ridiculous numbers to trade him at his peak. . Just a thought.

pacemaker business

There are two very interesting situations for the Pacers this week. First, Tyrese Haliburton has returned to practice at least partially and is now listed as “Play Time Decision” instead of “Out”. His possible return in the near future is obviously big news because he has established himself as one of the top 10 fantasy ring producers this season. However, he also has ramifications for TJ McConnell, who flirted with 20/10 status in his first four starts over the past week before a bad game at Memphis on Sunday. When Haliburton returns, McConnell returns to the dugout and falls off the immediate fantasy radar.

The second bit of news, which you might have missed if you blinked, was that miles turner he just signed a two-year contract extension over the weekend. This is huge, because the Pacers have been rumored to have Turner on the block for years, and it was thought that the team could trade all of its veterans (particularly Turner and friend shield) to bring young teams and players to begin their rebuilding. The Pacers extending Turner effectively takes him out of the trading blocks, but also strongly suggests that the team is no longer a seller.

They like their young core from Haliburton and rookie phenomenon Benedict Mathurin enough to keep their veterans solid and supplement a bit to try to compete now. That’s not a guarantee, but with the trade deadline looming next week, the odds that the Pacers will trade a good chunk of their team to change the landscape of the NBA and elevate the fantasy prospects of players more Bench youngsters on his team no longer seem as likely as they did just a couple of days ago.

Youth movement, the Pistons in play for the deadline

The Pistons, on the other hand, still look a lot like a team that could be a seller at the deadline. With the worst record in the Eastern Conference and best player cade cunningham In the off-season, it only makes sense for the Pistons to try to rack up picks and play with their young assets as they prepare for the Victor Wembanyama draft this summer.

Their current 10-man rotation features eight players 24 and younger, plus one 31-year-old. alec burks and 33 years bojan bogdanovic. Bogdanovic and Burks are veteran sharpshooters who could fit as instant attackers on a contender. Bogdanovic has been a starter all season, but Burks just moved into the starting lineup last week … just in time for the NBA trade deadline. I’m just saying it seems more than a coincidence.

Meanwhile, their (very) youthful movement is already producing fantasy hoops dividends. rookie Jaden Ivey (available in 31.6% of leagues), 20, has taken on a bigger role as a dealer of late, averaging 6.2 APG for the month of February to bolster his 15.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.5 3PG and 0.9 SPG. rookie partner Jalen Duren (available in 77.7% of leagues), a 19-year-old in the body of a 29-year-old, has started 18 of his last 20 games and is averaging double-double in those games per a sum of 10.7 PPG (70.4 FG%, 77.1 FT%), 11.0 RPG, 0.8 SPG and 0.7 BPG at 27.9 MPG. Killian Hayes (available in 76.1% of leagues), a 21-year-old, had been a starter and producer until he injured his shoulder last week and moved to take Burks’ bench job. But, if Burks were to be moved at the deadline (and even if he wasn’t), the path should eventually reopen for Hayes to return to a starting role.

Looking shady for Ball

Lonzo-Ball he recently posted a video of himself working out, which might have sparked some hope among fantasy coaches who still have big brother Ball. Unfortunately, the Bulls’ head coach billy donovan made a statement this weekend that doesn’t sound promising. Donovan said Saturday that Ball is “not close” to returning, and that the Bulls will have a discussion about a possible deadline for Ball to play this season after the All-Star break if nothing improves.

If you’re in a fantasy basketball league and have very deep benches or an disabled list, it might still be worth keeping Ball on your roster until you’re sure. But, for those in shallower leagues, it’s hard to justify sticking with Ball when there seems to be legitimate concern about whether he’ll play this season. I hope for the best, but you always have to prepare for the worst.

By sbavh

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