2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 23 Preview
5 Games: BKN, CHI
4 Games: BOS, CLE, DAL, DEN, GS, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIN, NO, NY, ORL, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WSH
3 Games: ATL, CHA, DET, HOU, LAL, MIL, PHI, SA
Karl-Anthony Towns – PF, C – Minnesota Timberwolves
The big KAT is without a question the rookie of the year this season, and he’s playing like an NBA MVP candidate here lately. He’s averaging 22.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game over the last week, while shooting 58% from the field and 82% from the free throw line. The Wolves are a very young and enticing team moving into next season and Towns should be the first player on that team drafted in fantasy leagues whether it’s a keeper or a re-draft league.
Ricky Rubio – PG – Minnesota Timberwolves
Rubio has been fantastic of late, scoring 15.8 points per game over the last week to go along with 9.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 three pointers, 3.3 steals, and shooting 50% from the field and shooting 94% from the free throw line. It’s been a tremendous week for the former lottery pick from Spain, who has been playing just about as well as his teammate, Towns.
Jimmy Butler – SG – Chicago Bulls
It’s been a tough week fro Jimmy Buckets, as he has averaged just 12.3 points per game while shooting an abysmal 39% from the field and 63% from the free throw line. He’s chipped in with 5.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.8 rebounds per game to avoid being completely worthless, but he has seen better days in the Bulls lineup.
Tim Frazier – SG – New Orleans Pelicans
Frazier was signed to a 10-day contract and debuted with the Pelicans on March 16th, and his play earned him a contract for the remainder of the year. He is averaging 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game while shooting 53% from the field and 94% from the free throw line.
Toney Douglas – PG – New Orleans Pelicans
Another guard that is getting significant minutes due to injuries across the board in New Orleans, and he’s averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 three’s per game. He is shooting just 33% over the past week from the field, but he is still contributing across the board and is capable of heating up to give him a bump in points. He’s owned in just 30.8% of ESPN leagues and deserves to be owned due to his 30 minutes of play on a nightly basis.
Robert Covington – PF, SF – Philadelphia 76ers
In his three games since returning from a concussion, Covington has averaged 16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.0 three’s per game in the last three contests. Just like Toney Douglas, Covington has not shot the ball well since he has returned to action (37%), but he will see an increase in scoring if he can find his shot when he gets back in rhythm. The Sixers play just three games this week, but Covington has proven this season that he is capable of being very worthy of being owned and started despite just three games this week.
Games of the week
Monday – Thunder at Raptors
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook head up north to take on Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors and the Thunder could be two of the dark-horse teams to represent their respective conferences in the NBA Finals, which makes this a possible, albeit unlikely, preview of the Finals.
Tuesday – Rockets at Cavaliers
James Harden and the Rockets head to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. The Rockets have underachieved miserably this season as they are in danger of missing the playoffs after making the Western Conference finals last season. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are having issues of their own as they lost to the Nets last week in Brooklyn. The Cavaliers are usually much better at home, but the Rockets are talented enough to play with anyone, which makes for an intriguing matchup since we aren’t too sure what we are going to see from either team.
Wednesday – Clippers at Timberwolves
DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul head to Minnesota to take on Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves. While the Clippers and Wolves are on completely different ends of the standings, the Wolves and their youth have proven to play tough and even win some games that they’re not supposed to win
Thursday – Clippers at Thunder
The day after playing the Timberwolves, the Clippers head to OKC to take on Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Chris Paul vs. Russell Westbrook will be the best player vs. player matchup in this one as two of the best PG’s in the NBA go head-to-head.
Friday – Cavaliers at Hawks
The Cavs are 2.5 games ahead of the Raptors for the top spot in the east, but the Hawks are in an extremely close race against the Heat and the Hornets for the division lead. Every game matter at this point, for both teams, but this one would mean more to Atlanta than it probably would to Cleveland.
Saturday – Raptors at Spurs
The Spurs are still undefeated at home this season, but Kyle Lowry and the Raptors will head to San Antonio to see if they can become the first time to knock them off. At this point, every game San Antonio plays at home is a must-watch game just to see if they can make it the entire season without losing at home.
Sunday – Trail Blazers at Warriors
Just like the Spurs, Steph Curry and the Warriors have also yet to lose at home this season. Damian Lillard and the Blazers gave the Warriors a beat down in their first game after the All-Star break in Portland, which will likely remind the Warriors what this team is capable of if they don’t bring their A game. Also, other than trying to end the season undefeated at home, the Warriors are looking to break the NBA record for wins in a season.