Matthew Dellavedova is taking advantage on injuries in Cleveland. (Eric Gay/AP)
One thing you can always count on during the NBA Fantasy basketball playoffs is a few relatively unknown players making a significant impact. These players may never be seen or heard from again following this season, but will be forever cherished should they help lead you to a Fantasy title. We have identified a few such players in this week’s edition of The Wire Troll.
Matthew Dellavedova, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Dellavedova first popped up on the Fantasy radar in early January with some impressive outside shooting (see video below), but now — with star guard Kyrie Irving sidelined with a triceps injury — Dellavedova has been given the opportunity to shine. He has responded to the challenge with impressive assist totals and three point shooting. Should Irving not return over the final few weeks of the regular season, Dellavedova will be a Fantasy playoff contributor in deep leagues.
Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento Kings: Much was expected from the seventh overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft, yet McLemore has yet to live up to the hype. The former Kansas standout has struggled with his shot (37.1 per cent) and has deferred to the trio of Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay on the offensive end of the floor. However, there have been signs of life recently with McLemore averaging nearly 14 points and 2.4 treys per game over his last five as he’s seen significantly more PT.
Terrence Ross, SG, Toronto Raptors: Ross (owned in just 27.1 per cent of ESPN leagues) falls into the same category as P.J. Tucker of Phoenix. Both players have Fantasy relevance yet don’t seem to get any love. Ross has been shooting lights out while adding significant steals to his repertoire over the last several games and needs to be picked up for the stretch drive.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Denver Nuggets: Coach Brian Shaw has been experimenting with a small backcourt of Ty Lawson and Brooks depending on the opponent. As a result, Brooks has registered some eye opening recent performances in the way of points, threes and assists (including 17 vs. Detroit a week and a half ago).
Darrell Arthur, PF, Denver Nuggets: With Wilson Chandler hobbled (groin, day-to-day) and J.J. Hickson (torn ACL) out for the season, the Nuggets have relied upon Arthur to pick up the slack. While Arthur doesn’t excel in any specific Fantasy category, he’s a jack of all trades including three pointers and blocks. Add him immediately if you’re in need of multi-category help.
Richard Jefferson, SF, Utah Jazz: The solid veteran has taken advantage of talented sixth man Alec Burks’ sprained ankle. With Burks out of the lineup, Jefferson has averaged 14.5 points with ample treys, rebounds and steals over his last four. Keep a close watch on Burks’ status the rest of the way as recent reports had him suffering a setback, although others suggest he may return Sunday.
Anthony Morrow, SF/SG, New Orleans Pelicans: One thing we know about Morrow is that when he gets “in a zone” he can shoot the basketball as well as anyone. Recently, that’ been the case with Pelican guards Brian Roberts, Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers all sidelined with various ailments. Morrow is a three-point shooting specialist with the potential to score in bundles.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, New Orleans Pelicans: All those injuries in the Big Easy have also opened the door for Aminu, who has started the past four games. Playing at least 30 minutes in all but one of those, he’s reached double digits in scoring twice (although scoring is not really his thang), has averaged nearly eight boards and even flirted with a triple double on Wednesday against the Clippers (eight points, 10 boards and six assists). Aminu came up big when Anthony Davis was hurt in December, and he’s doing it again now.
Henry Sims, C/PF, Philadelphia 76ers: Who would have thought that Sims would be a vital player to own for the Fantasy playoff drive? Acquired by the Sixers from Cleveland in the Spencer Hawes trade, Sims has averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds over his last four games with assists and steals to boot. Get him on your roster now with the Sixers suffering from a lack of frontcourt size not to mention desperately seeking a spark from anyone given their 26-game losing streak.
Jordan Hill, C/PF: Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol is sidelined with vertigo, permitting Hill to move back into the Lakers’ starting lineup. Hill, a former University of Arizona standout, responded with a monster performance on Thursday against Milwaukee (28 points, 16 boards).
Samuel Dalembert, Dallas Mavericks: If you’re in the market for rebounds and blocks, Dalembert can be of assistance. Not known for Fantasy consistency, he has been productive lately with the Mavs in a battle for a Western Conference playoff spot.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball waiver wire pick of the week is.
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