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Box Score Breakdown: Tuesday Review

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for RotoWire.com. He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball once every blue moon. Kyle also serves as RotoWire's remote writer trainer and intern coordinator. He's the kind of person who dances first and asks questions later. kyle@rotowire.com

Shallow Leagues

Jarrett Jack (Y! = 69%; ESPN = 100%)
ESPN managers are on the bandwagon, but it appears Yahoo! managers aren't as big of believers in Jack. They should be. It's hard to believe that there's a bench guard averaging 5.9 assists, but Jack has been asked to facilitate enough to accomplish it. His bench role will sometimes lead to Jack posting a poor game every once in awhile, but in general, he's been a model of consistency this season and is the 75th best player in fantasy for the season. One-year league players should feel confident Jack will keep up his strong play the rest of the season.

Danny Granger (Y! = 88%; ESPN = 94%)
Most of the time, we separate the players into their league level based on their production, but Grangers' floor is so high that we have to respect the fact he'll be universally owned sooner than later. Through his first two games this season, Granger has converted just 2-of-17 shots and played only 19 minutes per game. As his minutes rise and he gets into his rhythm, Granger will become more like the player we saw last season, averaging plenty of points and three-pointers and contributing in rebounds, steals, and blocks. Where there's an issue in rostering him in standard leagues is the fact that he's not the savior most people who picked him up were expecting, and he likely never will be this season. The Pacers aren't the same floundering team Granger used to average 25 points per game for four years ago. They're a contender in the East and have played well without Granger, so he's going to have to work his way into the rotation without mucking up the team's rhythm. There's a real possibility that he won't ever be worth owning in shallow leagues this season. So, if you are fighting to get into the playoffs in head-to-head leagues right now, you might have to cut bait on Granger and grab a player who is more productive right now. The Pacers want to get Granger back into the starting lineup and are currently planning on making that happen within the next two weeks. Until he's starting, it's hard to project Granger's ceiling for this season.

Maurice Harkless (Y! = 19%; ESPN = 18%)
Harkless is averaging 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.8 three-pointers, 1.0 steal, and 0.8 blocks in 35 mpg over his last five games. The departure of J.J Redick and suspension of Hedo Turkoglu has opened up consistent minutes and touches in the Magic offense for Harkless. The Sixers drafted him with the 15th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and then flipped him to the Magic in the Andrew Bynum/Dwight Howard deal. He's developing his three-point shot and is already deft at collecting steals and blocks. When all is said and done, his contributions in fantasy should mirror other legit fantasy stalwarts like Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, and Nicolas Batum.

Al-Farouq Aminu (Y! = 28%; ESPN = 43%)
A lot of writers have been covering Aminu's recent defensive surge, but the most important aspect of his growth has been the fact that coach Monty Williams has given over 27-plus minutes for the last eight games. During that stretch, Aminu has averaged 6.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 31 mpg. While those numbers are somewhat dampened by the low scoring, Aminu's defensive contributions have made him the 71st ranked player since Feb. 10. That's worth owning in virtually all leagues.

Derrick Williams (Y! = 36%; ESPN = 33%)
Williams has finally started to carve out a place in coach Rick Adelman's heart, it seems. He finished Tuesday's game with a dynamic 21 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, a block, and two three-pointers in 40 minutes. Since Feb. 6, Williams has played over 25 minutes in all but one game, a testament that Adelman is either getting desperate or planning for the future. With the uptick in minutes, Williams has averaged 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.0 three-pointer in 31 mpg over the last nine games. Those stats make him the 117th ranked player recently and worth owning in most leagues. Just be aware that Williams will likely have his minutes cut dramatically if Kevin Love (hand) comes back this season, as he is expected to do sometime in the next month.

Expanded Leagues

Carl Landry (Y! = 40%; ESPN = 35%)
Landry is a player who stands out in the box score every so often because he has the capability to go out and score in bunches in limited minutes, but the reality of his situation and limitations in providing defensive fantasy stats make him a soft play in most fantasy leagues. His career per-36 numbers of 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks speak volumes about his limitations. Is he better than Jason Thompson and Glen Davis in many respects? Yes. However, Landry isn't guaranteed enough minutes from game to game to ensure that he'd ever even have the opportunity to meet the potential of his per-36 numbers. In fact, the most minutes Landry has averaged over the course of a month this season was the 27 mpg he played in 14 November games. Since then, he's played 25 mpg or less every month. Reduce his per-36 numbers to that minutes load and what you have is a player who isn't worth owning in 10-team leagues. 12-team managers can utilize him, but that's as shallow as he'll be of use in unless the Warriors have some more frontcourt injuries to significant players like David Lee.

Dion Waiters (Y! = 64%; ESPN = 91%)
Waiters has had back-to-back great scoring games, and it seems he's doing a much better job finding his rhythm from game to game. Since rejoining the starting lineup on Jan. 22, Waiters has averaged 14.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.5 three-pointers, and 0.9 steals in 28 mpg. He's shot 49% from the field over that time and 71% from the line. While he still lacks consistency, there seems to be a conscious effort being made on his part to attack the rack rather than settle for three-point shots, which has helped him improve his shooting efficiency. Waiters is still just the 150th ranked player over the last month, making his value only consistent enough to rely on in expanded leagues, but his potential makes him more valuable in keeper leagues. Also, with Kyrie Irving sidelined with a sore knee, the opportunity is there for Waiters to continue to carve out a role big enough to warrant owning him in shallow leagues as well.

Deep Leagues

Donatas Motiejunas (Y! = 3%; ESPN = 0%)
Motiejunas will be starting at power forward for the Rockets on Wednesday. He'll be playing over Thomas Robinson (Y! = 68%; ESPN = 92%), whom I've personally pimped since he was traded to the Rockets from the Kings last week. Motiejunas is a 22-year-old rookie 7-0, 215 power forward/center. He has both an inside and outside game and can rebound well. Through seven games in the D-League this season, Motiejunas averaged 20.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 34 mpg. We've never seen him post high assist numbers like that in the past, and it's probably unlikely he'll touch the ball enough to even attempt such things in the NBA. Plus, he also averaged 2.4 turnovers in the D-League, to put a pin in the experiment for the time being. Motiejunas' ability to stretch the floor could make him a Mehmet Okur type big who can hit the occasional three-pointer, but he has yet to show much proficiency as a shot blocker, which will limit his value in fantasy for the time being. If given enough minutes, he could climb in fantasy relevance, but the Rockets aren't going to lose games to help this kid develop. They're in the playoffs right now and want to stay there. Put Motiejunas on your watch lists and track his progress the next few games. If you're in very deep leagues, he's worth taking a flier on for a game or two on a speculative add.

Bunnies

Stephen Curry scored 38 points Tuesday, and though he seems healthy and doing everything well, except making too many turnovers, Curry only has 11 games during the traditional fantasy playoffs schedule. If you can swing it, it might be worth moving him for some players with more playoff games if you're playing in weekly or daily head-to-head leagues.

Roy Hibbert could be in line for a suspension after collecting two technical fouls Tuesday and getting kicked out of the game.

Tobias Harris had a great night Tuesday. He finished with 16 points (7-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block. The Magic were able to run Harris at small forward and push Harkless to power forward to match-up with the Sixers' smaller lineups. However, by featuring Harris and Harkless, the Magic only gave Andrew Nicholson 17 minutes Tuesday. Nicholson will probably continue to get squeezed into a smaller role against smaller lineups, so daily league players will want to account for that.

Al Harrington (knee) made his season debut Tuesday against the Sixers. He played 12 minutes and finished with nine points, three rebounds, and two assists. He's worth keeping an eye on to see how many minutes he gets and how that affects other player's roles, but it wouldn't make much sense for the Magic to give him too many minutes this season, as their focus should be on developing their young talent for the future.

LeBron James had a monstrous 40-point/16-assist game, but the Heat and Kings went to double overtime, so there's not much we can take away from the game in regard to analysis. Shane Battier sat out the game with a tight hamstring.

Kyrie Irving sat out Tuesday's game with a sore right knee and will miss Wednesday's game as well. This doesn't seem like a serious injury, but as usual, the Cavs are taking every precaution with Irving.

Taj Gibson missed his first game of the season with a sprained left knee and is expected to miss two weeks. While the fantasy implications aren't too great, the Bulls will likely struggle with their defense off the bench until Gibson returns, as we saw in their loss to the Cavs on Tuesday.

Anthony Davis suffered a mild shoulder injury Tuesday and was pulled out of the game as a precaution, but now he's going to miss Wednesday's game. We don't see this being a big issue, but the stacked injury issues with Davis are certainly starting to wear on fantasy owners who saw him as a game changer this season. Eric Gordon (knee) is also expected to sit out since it's the second game of a back-to-back set.

MarShon Brooks is worth keeping an eye on the rest of the season. He's received some extra playing time the last couple games as the team has been without Joe Johnson (foot). Johnson is expected to return Friday, but the fact that the Nets are finally looking to work Brooks into their rotation could be important in daily leagues during the fantasy playoffs.

J.J. Redick had a reduced role in his second game with the Bucks, playing just 23 minutes off the bench after receiving 35 minutes in his first game with the team. His mpg will likely fall somewhere between those two extremes from night to night. Samuel Dalembert was suspended by the team for Tuesday's game, and that opened up minutes for Drew Gooden. Don't expect the Bucks to unleash the Gooden this season as they did last season. They seem completely content letting his $6.7 million contract rot on the bench for the next two years.

Wes Johnson played 36 minutes and put up 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two three-pointers, and two steals Tuesday, but unfortunately, he'll likely play a limited role in a game or two, making him just another frustrating Suns player with potential but no consistent role to capitalize on the potential. For a team that is focused on the future, it's bonkers to see them giving significant playing time to Luis Scola and P.J. Tucker, but we don't necessarily see that changing anytime soon.

Andrei Kirilenko left Tuesday's game with a left calf strain and is listed as day-to-day.

Jamal Crawford sat out Tuesday's game to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter, but he's expected to return to the team for Thursday's game. Eric Bledsoe is day-to-day with a sore left calf and sat out the game as well.

Kyle McKeown (@RotoWireKyleNBA) is the managing editor of RotoWire's NBA content, and he sometimes pretends to be a writer and podcaster. He also hates that JaVale McGee is still coming off the bench this season. Holler if you hear me.

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