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Box Score Breakdown: Wednesday 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. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person. kyle@rotowire.com

Shallow Leagues

Trevor Ariza (Y! = 73%; ESPN = 85%)
Ariza had another good game, posting 22 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 33 minutes off the bench. He's worth taking a flier on in shallow leagues at this point, but just be aware that the more a team tends to lean on him and take him out of a very specific role, the more Ariza struggles and shoots himself in the foot. So, don't be surprised if the Wizards start going to him more and Ariza starts putting up some diabolically horrible shooting nights. Understand, I am an Ariza hater and doubt his ability to sustain his current value. In fact, if there's a Wizards fan in your league, it might be worth trying to trade Ariza to that owner.

Jermaine O'Neal (Y! = 12%; ESPN =13%)
O'Neal's ghost of the NBA past spooked the Spurs and led the Suns to a win Wednesday. He posted 22 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench. Since carving out a regular rotation role on Feb. 5, O'Neal has averaged 11.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 22 minutes per game off the bench for the Suns. His stellar 58% shooting from the field and 87% shooting from the line help boost his value and made him the 57th ranked player during this stretch of 11 games. O'Neal, as strange as it sounds, is once again relevant in shallow leagues despite being an afterthought the better part of the last two seasons and currently being on one of the worst NBA teams for players to post fantasy relevant stats on. I'm not grabbing him in shallow leagues, but I may add him in some of my deeper leagues. Ultimately, I don't think his health is consistent enough for him to be relied upon too much.

Expanded Leagues

Brandon Knight (Y! = 73%; ESPN = 85%)
Knight missed three games with a sore knee but returned to the Pistons' lineup as the starting shooting guard Wednesday. He came back with a vengeance, posting 32 points (11-8 FG, 5-6 3Pt, 5-9 FT), three rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 36 minutes. Though Knight has maintained fringe shallow league value all season, since Jose Calderon joined the team and pushed Knight to shooting guard, he's struggled to find his rhythm every night. Through nine games as the starting shooting guard, Knight has averaged 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 three-pointers, and 1.0 steal in 29 mpg. Those stats make him just the 147th ranked fantasy player since Feb. 4, and that's only worth owning in leagues with 12-teams or larger. There is the potential that Knight's value will improve with more minutes down the stretch, making him more valuable in keeper leagues. The one caveat to consider is the fact the the Pistons only have 11 games during the traditional fantasy playoffs, making him less valuable in the last three and half weeks due to a dearth of games.

Deep Leagues

Donatas Motiejunas (Y! = 6%; ESPN = 1%)
Motiejunas' ownership doubled overnight after he put up 13 points (4-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds, five assists, and a steal in 26 minutes as the starting power forward Wednesday. He's worth taking a flier on in expanded leagues, but unless he gets more minutes on a nightly basis, Motiejunas' value will probably be too inconsistent to roster in anything but deep leagues.

Bunnies

Nene sat out Wednesday's game with a sore right shoulder. He's day-to-day. Trevor Booker started in his place and was very Trevor Brooker-ish, finishing with four points and five rebounds in 17 minutes.

John Wall only played 24 minutes because he was dreadful on offense, finishing with seven turnovers.

Rodney Stuckey moved back to a bench role with Brandon Knight (knee) back in the lineup, and he played just 20 minutes. Whatever rise in value Stuckey had in the three games that he started with Knight out has dried up.

DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points and was 14-of-15 on attempts at the free-throw line, but he's gone eight straight games without converting a three-pointer.

Dion Waiters was covered in more depth Tuesday, but after recording a third straight game scoring over 20 points, he's building a resume worth taking a chance on in shallow leagues. We mentioned that he's seemed to focus more on attacking the rack lately, and our suspicions were confirmed Wednesday when it was revealed that Waiters was given that precise directive from coach Byron Scott.

Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington have picked up their scoring their last two games with Kyrie Irving (knee) out, but that increased production is unlikely to last when Irving soon returns.

Tobias Harris put up 23 points, six rebounds, and two steals in 31 minutes, but his scoring since he joined the Magic is unsustainable. He's worth taking a flier on in expanded leagues and deep leagues, but don't get overly excited about his production until we see how his minutes flatten out over a longer range of games. Beno Udrih has been getting plenty of run as the backup point guard with Jameer Nelson (knee) sidelined, so he's worth running out for a few more games in deep leagues if you need assists.

John Salmons' run of three good games is unlikely to continue. His role on the Kings is erratic, and this recent surge has been the result of absurd efficiency coupled with a two overtime minutes explosion. Buyer beware.

Kevin Durant triple-doubled against the Hornets, but blowouts like that game aren't the best indicators of what's to come. Don't' read into any of the stat lines.

David Lee was suspended for Wednesday's game, and the Warriors made the surprise decision to start Draymond Green at power forward. Green finished with four points, five rebounds, a steal, and a block in 27 minutes, but the most significant aspect of Green's start was that it left Carl Landry coming off the bench. Oh, yeah, and um Stephen Curry went bazonkers and dropped 54 points on Knicks while playing all 48 minutes.

Thomas Robinson made his debut with the Rockets, but he played just eight minutes off the bench. He has a lot of upside, but Robinson is appears unlikely to step into a big role right now. If you took a flier on him after the trade, I'd suggest dropping him to pick up Donatas Motiejunas or another player.

Kenyon Martin made his Knicks debut but went scoreless in five minutes. Tyson Chandler pulled down a career-high 28 rebounds.

Anthony Davis sat out the Pelicans' game with a sore shoulder. He's expected to return soon, but the Hornets wouldn't commit to Davis playing Friday.

Tony Parker returned to action after missing Sunday's game with a triceps injury. He played 39 minutes.

Paul Millsap sat out with a sprained ankle, giving Derrick Favors the start and the opportunity to show us what we'll hopefully see nightly next season. Favors posted 17 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks in 38 minutes. Millsap remains day-to-day for Friday. Gordon Hayward come back down to earth, but he played 36 minutes, leading us to believe his recent surge has a good chance to continue.

Danilo Gallinari sat out a second straight game with a thigh injury, but it's still not believed to be serious.

Al Horford had an MVP performance. He put up 34 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks in 43 minutes.

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.