2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 15 Preview
4 Games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, IND, MIA, NOP, NYK, ORL, SAC, SAS, UTA, WSH
3 Games: CHA, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR
2 Games: GSW
Trevor Ariza – SF – Houston Rockets
It has been an up and down season for Trevor Ariza and the Rockets, and Ariza is currently on an up swing. Last week, he averaged 18.6 points, 2.8 steals, 2.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 three-pointers per game. Only Ryan Anderson averaged more threes in the past week, at 4.3 per game. As long as Ariza continues to see the bulk of the minutes at small forward, he will give you diversity in your lineup. He can be a streaky free throw shooter at times, but he only averages 1.8 free throw attempts per game this season, so he can’t do that much harm to your fantasy squad.
Ryan Anderson – PF – New Orleans Pelicans
The NBA’s leading three-point shooter this past week was NOT Steph Curry, at least on a per game basis. Ryan Anderson made 13 three pointers in three games last week, averaging 4.3 per game during that span. He averaged 27.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.3 three pointers per game this week, and chipped in with 3.0 assists per game as well. Anthony Davis wasn’t 100% this week, which definitely contributed to the sudden boost in play, however, Anderson has been decently consistent all season long.
Serge Ibaka – PF – Oklahoma City Thunder
I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be an All-Star caliber player on the same team as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Ibaka has struggled this season for the Thunder, and this past week was no different. In just over 32 minutes per game, Ibaka averaged just 7.5 points, 1.3 blocks, 8.0 rebounds and shot just 36% from the field. Despite living in the shadow of Westbrook and Durant, Ibaka is a much better player, statistically, than the numbers he has posted indicate. While he did well rebounding the ball this week, every other statistic was below his season average.
Aaron Gordon – SF – Orlando Magic
It appears Gordon had his breakout game of the season on Sunday, with 19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks while shooting 8/11 from the floor. Gordon had a rough night from the free throw line (3/9), but he shot 72% from the line in January, so no reason to be overly concerned there. The second-year pro out of Arizona has showed incredible signs of promise of late, and at just 20-years-old, he’s got a ton of upside. The Magic love his athleticism and the talent that he possesses, so it will be interesting to see how he does now that he should see starters minutes moving forward.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF – Charlotte Hornets
MKG made his season debut on Friday against the Trail Blazers, scoring 13 points and pulling down seven rebounds in 34 minutes of play. While the stats weren’t exactly what we would like to see moving forward from his play, it was encouraging to see him play 34 minutes in his first game this season. He was 5/8 from the field in the first game, and followed that up with a 6/7 night shooting in his second game on Sunday. He scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for his first double double of the season, and chipping in with three assists and a steal as well. At just 26% owned, I expect he will be one of the most added players this week, so get him while you can.
Zach LaVine – PG/SG – Minnesota Timberwolves
He has proven that he can fill in for injured teammates in a big way this season, and this past week has been no different. LaVine averaged 25 points per game this past week while shooting an unbelievable 70% from the field. LaVine, when given the minutes and the opportunity, has been an all-around better fantasy player than Andrew Wiggins has, who is owned in just about every league out there. The Timberwolves play just three games this week, but if Kevin Martin continues to sit, LaVine could give you some big time production.
Games of the Week
Monday – Cavaliers at Pacers
LeBron James against the Pacers was one of the best rivalries in the playoffs not that long ago. Paul George and LeBron highlight a matchup of one team trying to stay on top, and another trying to catch them.
Tuesday – Heat at Rockets
Dwayne Wade and the Heat take on James Harden and the Rockets in a battle of what might be the two best shooting guards in the NBA.
Wednesday – Warriors at Wizards
Last week I joked about how bad the Warriors were going to destroy the Sixers, trying to make a joke that it should be game of the week because it was going to be that bad of a game. Well, it turned out to be the best game of the night. Steph Curry followed the near disastrous loss with just 13 points at Madison Square Garden the next game on Sunday. The Warriors only play two games this week, and this is the first one since those two rough patches in the road for the 44-4 Dubs.
Thursday – Knicks at Pistons
Kristaps Porzingis has done his best to put guys around the league on a poster with his put-back dunks. It is going to be quite the challenge to have another one of those against Andre Drummond and the Pistons in Detroit. Drummond, Jackson and the Pistons play host to Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks who are looking for a win to get within striking distance of the playoffs.
Friday – Spurs at Mavericks
The Spurs travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks, possibly without Duncan. It’s been a little bit of a rough stretch for the Spurs of late, losing to the Warriors by a billion and losing at Cleveland just a few days later. Look for coach Pop to get his team back in order in no time.
Saturday – Thunder at Warriors
Hopefully this game isn’t going to be another 30 point win for the Warriors, otherwise it should be the Warriors and the Sixers in The Finals, because no one else can seem to figure these guys out.
Sunday – Clippers at Heat
Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh highlight a matchup between two teams that are looking to improve their playoff seeding, and are still very much alive to win their respective conference.