Fantasy Basketball 2014: Adrieeeeen!!!
If you’re a movie fan, chances are ‘Adrieeeeen!’ is a well known ‘quote’, whereas Jeff Adrien is not a well known NBA player.
Forgive me for the recurring theme of poking fun of the name of nearly every player who has appeared in this column throughout the year. I hear or see a name and automatically think of where I’ve heard that name before in different media – usually the Simpsons or a movie.
He’s bounced around a fair bit for such a short professional career, yet only when landing on the Bucks after being included in the Neal-Ridnour-Sessions trade has he actually been able to prove his worth in both fantasy and reality, as he’s averaged 10.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 52/75 shooting splits in 22 games for the Bucks.
He’s likely not as available as he was this time last week, as he’s rattled off some strong games for the very un-solid Bucks, taking advantage of their cataclysmically bad season – remember when the experts were talking playoffs for the Bucks? Seems like years ago. Or decades if you’re a Bucks fan.
Brandon Knight is the only legit option on the Bucks roster and despite having a lot of hype and tantalizing fantasy skills, Giannis Antetokounmpo is barely old enough to buy a Penthouse yet.
This Bucks team has been stuffed since – and don’t misconstrue this as a compliment to him – Brandon Jennings was still on the team.
Adrien is a classic blue collar guy with sneaky athleticism and physicality that sees him grab his fair share of rebounds and he has no real competition for minutes, apart from Larry Drew’s insistence on not allowing any player to get comfortable with an established role.
In the 11 games he’s played at least 24 minutes in, Adrien has thrown up rock solid numbers: 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, just 1 turnover per game and 50/76 splits.
He’s been even better as a starter for the last 4 games, producing 17.5 points, 9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks a night while being given enough minutes to warrant being added over other ‘floaties’ (that term isn’t meant to be as derogatory as it sounds…but the sort of player who’s basically circling/floating around the available player pool…that didn’t get any better but anyway, the comparison fits) such as Chris Kaman or Enes Kanter.
The Kings have seemingly been searching for a starting first point guard ever since Mike Bibby was traded to Atlanta in 2008.
I don’t understand their logic personally, Isaiah Thomas has been nothing short of awesome since being made the permanent starter when Grievis Vasquez was traded to Toronto after he failed to show he was better than IT.
Anyway, the reason McCallum deserves a spot on your roster is because they basically have nobody else.
Now that Thomas is hurt (pop quiz, name the Kings’ third string point guard….still guessing…they don’t have one unless you’re counting Jared Cunningham), McCallum is the new driver of the Kings’ tank. Rumblings going around suggest Thomas may be shut down for the remainder of the season as all he’s doing is stepping on the Kings’ ping pong balls whenever he plays.
McCallum is going to play massive minutes from here on out – and don’t let the minor name or poor team performance cloud your judgment on his fantasy NBA value. As I mentioned in a previous column back in January, you can never underestimate a player wanting to make a name for himself on a bad team with no depth.
He’s not going to put up Ramon Sessions’ gaudy numbers because he has ball dominant players alongside him in DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. However, assists will be aplenty as he’s the only pass first player on the entire roster and the aforementioned Cousins and Gay are hardly known for passing up open shots.
As the starting PG for the Kings, he’s produced 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals and just 2.1 turnovers over eight starts – averaging a RIDICULOUS 45.4 minutes a game.
He is a rookie point guard and a second rounder at that, so with the good comes the bad – and the bad is very bad in this case.
The shooting percentages are a disaster at 36% from the field and 53% at the line, but before you go ‘nuts to this guy’ – look at Brandon Jennings over his last seven games: 11.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.0 threes, 34% from the field and 63% at the line.
Chances are a guy like Jennings isn’t going to be floating round waivers at this time of year in roto leagues, nor will his price be anywhere near as low as McCallum’s for daily leagues.
Morrow can shoot.
He is 8th all time in three point percentage – ahead of current dead-eye shooters Steve Nash, Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson.
The problem is he has never really had a defined role, never really a starter as a second or third option and never really as a sixth man with the promise of 28-30 minutes every night. He’s like that bail out option who you can plug in at SG or SF when someone gets hurt and the team needs 12-15 points from someone who won’t wreck chemistry. Kind of like how a Simpsons episode will fall back on a secondary character like Moe or Apu and produce a great episode 2-3 times (or 10-12 games if you will) per season.
He first came to fantasy prominence when the crazy genius Don Nelson stuck him next to another crazy in Stephen Jackson. Whatever was said to him, it worked, as his first two career starts were MASSIVE fantasy performances that put him on the map.
Over his last seven games for the Pelicans (including three starts) Morrow has been a real asset, especially for those roto or head to head leagues needing a good source of threes and free throw percentage.
He’s thrown up 19.4 points 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 threes and less than 1 turnover a night, coupled with sexy shooting percentages of 57% from the field and 90% from the line on a very helpful 4.1 attempts per game.
It’s unfortunate the Pelicans are both struggling and saddled with MAX contract of Eric Gordon, as with Anthony Davis’ ever expanding game a player like Morrow could start and threaten the league lead in threes if given the opportunity.
He’s not going to hurt your squad in the remaining games because he doesn’t hurt himself by making bad decisions or turning the ball over like JR Smith can for example.
Follow Sam on Twitter @macetastic and feel free to ask any NBA related questions, whether fantasy or reality.