Welcome back fans of guys putting an orange ball through an eerily similar shaped rim! The Day Before Tomorrow is back in action this season to give you all the news and notes from around the NBA the day before… well… tomorrow. That’s actually today if you are calendar impaired or just don’t like to think. Let’s dive in…
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–Jose Calderon is showing why he was still ranked as a must-own player despite the Raptors acquisition of Kyle Lowry this offseason. Lowry went down with what looked like a minor ankle injury just over a week ago and he still hasn’t returned, even heading in for a 2nd opinion this week. Calderon is averaging nearly a triple-double over the last two games after posting one last night with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He isn’t shooting a ton, but knocked down 2 threes last night as well. My advice here for Lowry and Calderon owners here is to work together. Sending Calderon to the Lowry owner for a more useful season-long asset benefits both parties and Calderon will handcuff Lowry and still provide low-end value when both are healthy.
–Anderson Varejao continued his impressive season last night, exploding for 35 points, 18 rebounds and 2 steals. I talked about Varejao after his opening night outburst and think that he is going to have a lot of big nights this season. Obviously he won’t shoot 16 for 21 every night, but he doesn’t have anyone really pushing him for minutes and he simply works harder than a lot of the big men he faces nightly. I expect him to settle in around a 13 PPG & 11 RPG season, but that is still much more than was expected from him.
–JR Smith continues to shoot lights out, which is both surprising and unsurprising at the same time, which makes no sense, but I’m going to continue this blurb anyway. Smith scored 21 points on just 14 shots last night and is averaging well over a point per shot this season. Smith has always been known as a lights-out shooter, but has never been able to show it because of his tendency to take bad shots in restricted minutes. Now that he has been unleashed both minutes-wise and has been given the green light, he is taking better shots and knocking them down at a stupid high rate. He fits perfectly as a second option for the Knicks and with how well their defense is playing, they may consider just shutting down Amare for the year and that would be great news for JR.
-I’m sure Ersan Ilyasova is driving you crazy right? Well, he’s driving just about everyone crazy and it’s not all his fault, but the guy needs to play well in the minutes he’s getting before Scott Skiles is going to give him more. Ersan just isn’t doing that right now. He remains the starter at PF for the Bucks, that’s the good news. The bad news is sometimes he is playing under 20 minutes in that role and that just isn’t going to produce solid fantasy numbers. His ceiling remains sky-high, but you may want to start looking at the low-ball offers you are getting for him more seriously. I would prefer not to own anyone except Jennings and Ellis in the Bucks rotation.
–Quick Injury News: Nikola Pekovic looks like a game time decision tonight, but I expect him to play. Kirk Hinrich is another guy who is banged up, but expected to give it a go, crushing Nate Robinson’s value along with him. Shawn Marion is going to be out at least another week it looks like. Aaron Brooks turned an ankle and Isaiah Thomas missed last night’s game due to a personal issue. Jimmer played pretty well in their absence, but both players are expected back next game.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
MIA @ LAC
MEM @ OKC
Holiday has been great this season outside of turnover problems, he also has a great matchup with a Pistons team getting torched by point guards. Vasquez has struggled the last couple games, but it’s deflated his value enough to where he is a bargain again, I expect him to pick it up. Jack has been up and down, but he faces an Atlanta team that plays small at the guard positions a lot, which should get him plenty of run tonight.
Not a lot to like at shooting guard today, but Mayo provides the most consistency for his price at this point, he also has a good matchup with the Wizards defense averse guards. I also like James Harden tonight, but he is a little overvalued still at this point. Stephenson isn’t going to go off very often, but he is a starting for the Pacers and has been playing fairly heavy minutes.
James finally went off and proved his value last game for daily players, he has a great matchup tonight with a Clippers team that has no one that combines his size and skill. Josh Smith played pretty well through the flu the other day and looks on the verge of a breakout. Taylor has been providing ridiculous value since being inserted into the starting lineup for the Bobcats, he could come crashing back to earth any time, but for his cost, the risk can be worth the reward.
Power forward is the position to find middle-tier value tonight. Davis is coming off a monster game and he has been over 30 FPs in both games he’s played in full. Mullens struggled with his shot again last night, but still provided solid value. He is an every night starter for me until something about his price or role changes. Ibaka has been great over the past 4 games, but still has room to improve.
Noah is playing more minutes than any center in the league right now and at his energy level, he can’t do anything but rack up stats with almost 40 mpg. Horford should have his way with the Bogut-less Warriors tonight. UPDATE: Horford has the flu and is a GTD tonight, but is expected to play. Lopez continues to play heavy minutes and provide significant value even with Anthony Davis back.