Day 92: Klay Thompson Shows Upside Potential
Line of the Night: So, Klay Thompson can play like we all thought he could. He’s shown flashes of it before, but after he took over last night and scored 32 points, with 6 threes, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks (2.21 WARP), I am certain that he is more than the lump of clay with a lot of potential that he was last year, or the molded clay headed for the kiln that he’s shown this year. He will become one of those lovely pots you see above, even if he had to go Tonya Harding on Stephen Curry’s ankle to get there. (Curry missed last night’s game, as did Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes, putting the game squarely on at least one of Thompson’s shoulders [the other was on David Lee's]) KT (does he have a real nickname?) played 43 minutes in the game, which is above his average, but actually not his high this season, so he’ll probably continue this race towards the Top 30 that he’s currently on.
Honorable Mentions: David Lee is on the opposite trajectory of Thompson at this point, but without Curry or Barnes, he also took advantage going for 20 points on 8-12 from the field, 4-4 from the line, with 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals (2.07 WARP). And Jarrett Jack also stepped up, even from the way he’s been playing recently, with 26 points, 11-18 from the field, 3 threes, and 12 assists (1.53 WARP). The Warriors crushed the Cavs (to be expected), but Tristan Thompson also showed his potential to become a nice piece of pottery with a double-double of 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals (1.47 WARP).
LaMarcus Aldridge helped Portland stretch for the win over Dallas with 29 points, 12-20 from the field including the game winning shot, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks (2.21 WARP). He got help from a very efficient performance by J.J. Hickson who had 26 points, 9-13 from the field, 8-8 from the line, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks (2.03 WARP). Hickson is shooting 67% from the line for the season, though, so don’t expect him to get up in here with WARP scores like that all the time. On the losing side, Darren Collison put up 17 points, on 6-10 from the field, with 3 threes, 9 assists, and 3 steals (1.78 WARP). Side note: Dirk Nowitzki is starting to really get his minutes up there now, so that’s good for fantasy owners even if it’s just brought the Mavs to 7-7 for the month of January.
Eric Gordon put up 25 points, 5-5 from the line, and 6 threes (1.79 WARP) against the Lakers, but LA continued to play this new game where they pass the ball to each other and actually win games. Dwight Howard didn’t do a lot of that passing, but he did score 24 points on 9-13 from the field, with 5 steals, 4 blocks and managed 6-11 from the line (1.45 WARP).
Finally, Brandon Jennings helped the Bucks to a 27 point win over Detroit with his 30 points, 5 threes, and 6 assists (1.31 WARP).
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: You know we’re more than half way through the season when Andre Drummond can beast it out with 18 points, 9-15 from the field, 18 rebounds, and 2 steals (1.60 WARP) and he’s still only 39% owned. It happens every year, and while it’s not something you really need to worry about in an individual league, it starts to make me feel like a broken record when we keep repeating the same guys as WW picks because the majority of leagues have become stagnant like puddles after a summer rain.
Pick Up Lines: Mike Dunleavy (43% owned) is not stagnant, though. While his 17 points, and 5 rebounds (1.16 WARP) aren’t really indicative of how he’s gotten close to being a Top 50 player over the last 2 weeks, his 7-13 shooting and 2 threes are. If he’s available, take a look at Dunleavy as a high-FG%, high Rebound Shooting Guard (good for Big Ball teams).
Earl Clark (22% owned) continues to tear it up in his new role as the Lakers new starting PF with 20 points, 8-11 from the field, 4 threes, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists (1.03 WARP). Yes, you read that right: 4 threes. Clark is averaging 1 three per game over his last 11 games (he’s started the last 12). He did have 6 turnovers as well last night, though… but is anyone else thinking Ryan Anderson here? I’m not saying, I’m just saying…
Samuel Dalembert (33% owned) continues to frustrate owners with the occasional 12 points, 4-4 from the line, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks (0.85 WARP), and yet he’s only up to #171 (from 202) over the last 2 weeks.
Tyler Zeller (24% owned) continues to make his way out of the cellar (see what I did there?) with 16 points, 6-9 from the field, 4-4 from the line, and 5 assists (0.81 WARP). And I can say: Finally a guy that I picked up who is actually playing well instead of totally falling off!
And finally, a real WW pickup Marreese Speights (7% owned) had his 3rd good game in a row off the bench for the Cavs with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4-8 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the line. Speights is actually up to 9% owned already just since we pulled the stats for this post (and that’s even after Patrick already picked M-Speezy up last week in the three leagues I’m in with him). Grab him before he gets up to 39% owned like Andre Drummond!
Biggest Loser: Elton Brand will probably get to be more and more irrelevant the more Dirk’s minutes climb. Brand had just 2 points (1-6 from the field), 2 rebounds, and 1 assist last night (-0.88 WARP). He’s only at 59% owned, though, so perhaps people will drop him for Speights and then we can stop talking about Brand down here and get Speights up into the Honorable Mentions (okay, not really. I don’t think Speights will have many games worthy of an Honorable Mention)
Then there’s Larry Sanders who is up to #69 over the last 2 weeks, but last night had just 3 points (1-4 from the line), 3 rebounds, 0 assists, and only 1 block (-0.76 WARP). At least give us some blocks Larry! That’s all we really want from you!
Remember how I mentioned Earl Clark up there? Well, the guy who’s place he took isn’t look so hot… Pau Gasol isn’t looking all that bad either, though, as he came up lucky 7′s last night with 7 points (only 1-4 from the field, though), 7 rebounds, and 7 assists (-0.23 WARP). I know it’s not what people expected, but if Pau can average 7 assists a game, you could probably get some good value for him by sending him to a Small Ball team who wants a passing PF. And despite that 1-4, his FG% is actually up more than 10% on his YTD number over the last 7 games.
Daily rankings and stats come from the FBC H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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