Every Sunday Kevin Smith will preview the New York Knicks upcoming schedule from a fantasy perspective and take a quick look around the NBA. Kevin writes as Dime Magazine’s Fantasy Doctor. For more extensive fantasy basketball advice, click here.
KNICKS SCHEDULE ANALYSIS
Wednesday vs. Golden State
The Warriors come in to town giving up 101.4 points per game (ranked 25th in the league), but despite their 32-23 record, they are just 14-16 on the road. Even with all the points they give up, they hold opponents to just 34% shooting from behind the arc, so it may be difficult for the Knicks to get off all those three balls.
Friday at Washington
The Wizards aren’t as fantasy friendly as you would think. Despite their ugly 17-37 record, they are ranked sixth in opponent’s points per game and fifth in opponent’s three point percentage.
Sunday vs. Miami
I can spit out all the statistics about the Heat that you want, but you know they are going to bring it after being embarrassed by the Knicks in the two prior meetings. Still, Miami ranks in the top ten in opponent’s points per game, opponent’s field goal percentage, and opponent’s turnovers per game. It should be a low scoring, playoff-like game.
STAT OF THE WEEK – 31%
The Knicks are shooting just 31% from three over their four game losing streak. That number is going to need to come way up if they plan on taking back the two seed in the East
TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT
BUCKS RECEIVE: J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, Ish Smith
MAGIC RECEIVE: Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb
The only fallout worth noting out of all six of these players belongs to J.J. Redick, who loses a little value on a deeper team. I’m sure he’ll see some time at the three, but with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis manning the backcourt, there will only be so many shots to go around. Redick also loses a little freedom. In Orlando he could shoot whatever, whenever because he was one of their best scorers and they were losing a lot of games. In Milwaukee, they are competing for a playoff spot so things are more about the team than the individual players.
ROCKETS RECEIVE: Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, 2013 second-round pick
KINGS RECEIVE: Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas, cash
SUNS RECEIVE: Marcus Morris
This was actually two separate deals, one with Houston and Sacramento, and the other with Houston and Phoenix. The removal of Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris opens up tons of time for Thomas Robinson. Houston was undersized outside of Omer Asik to begin with, and trading some frontcourt depth for a lottery talent like Robinson means the opportunity to succeed is his for the taking. His per-36 minute averages in 51 games for Sacramento include 11.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks, but his 42 percent field goal percentage and 58 percent free throw percentage will no doubt tank those categories for you. The Rockets play at a faster pace, so there’s some room for improvement on his counting stats. Patrick Patterson’s motor is always running, but reuniting with his old college teammate DeMarcus Cousins may rejuvenate him a bit. Marcus Morris is also reuniting with his brother and former college teammate Markieff Morris, but don’t expect too much out of him, or any other player involved in this deal.
CELTICS RECEIVE: Jordan Crawford
WIZARDS RECEIVE: Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins
We saw how effective Jordan Crawford can be while John Wall was out with injury, and offensively, it looks like he could be the top dog as far as guards go in Boston. Jason Terry is probably his biggest threat to touches, but Terry’s ability to distribute should mesh well. Crawford’s departure in Washington means they are really gearing up for the future, meaning Bradley Beal should see a slight uptick in minutes. Should Beal get hurt, which he’s had the propensity to do so far in his young career, touches will be dispersed among the group.
RAPTORS RECEIVE: Sebastian Telfair
SUNS RECEIVE: Hamed Haddadi, second-round pick
This is a very low-key trade for both teams, and doesn’t have much fantasy implication either. Sebastian Telfair is nothing more than an insurance policy for the fragile Kyle Lowry. If you own Lowry in a deeper league, Telfair might be worth some consideration, but aside from that pay no attention to this deal.
PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
Thomas Robinson (36 percent owned in Yahoo!, 13 percent in ESPN)
Thomas Robinson was the biggest benefactor of Thursday’s trade deadline. In a shocking move, the Rockets were able to acquire the fifth overall pick from Sacramento, who gave up on him surprisingly quick. Fantasy wise, Houston is one of the best places Robinson could have landed. They were already thin in the frontcourt, and since they traded two big men for one in the deal, there will be plenty of minutes to go around for him. The Rockets love to push the pace, so expect great counting stats out of Robinson, who averaged 11.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes in Sacramento. However, he is a rookie who will go through his ups and downs, and his percentages leave much to be desired. Still, Robinson’s upside alone warrants an add in all leagues of 12 or more teams.
Gordon Hayward (55 percent owned in Y!, 79 percent in ESPN)
Gordon Hayward has been rock solid all season, especially in rotisserie leagues, but a recent shoulder injury caused his ownership to plummet. Hayward admits that the shoulder is still a little sore after games, but compares it to sore knees, which most bothers most NBA veterans throughout the year. He retuned after the All-Star break and plans to play through the discomfort, so expect him to put up his usual season averages of 13.8 points 3.8 rebounds 2.5 assists 1.2 treys 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks. Hayward won’t hurt you in any category and is one of the safer adds you can make.
Carlos Delfino (26 percent owned in Y!, 24 percent in ESPN)
Carlos Delfino has made our pickups list before, but only as a deep league three point specialist. Now, Delfino has been thrown into the Rockets starting five, and has been thriving in the role. He has started and played at least 35 minutes in his last three games, while averaging 14.3 points 5.3 rebounds 4.3 assists 4.3 treys and 1.7 steals over that span. The Argentinian is a lock to average two-plus treys with at least a steal and above average rebounds if you use him in the shooting guard slot.
Mo Harkless (15 percent owned in Y!, 9 percent in ESPN)
The J.J. Redick trade has left Orlando Magic roster void of any major scoring talent, meaning someone outside of Jameer Nelson will have to step up and put the ball in the hole. One of the most eligible people to do that is Mo Harkless. Harkless was the 15th pick of this past year’s draft and possesses both the length and upside to average the hard to find steal, block, and trey per game. Over his last four games Harkless is putting up 16.8 points 7.0 rebounds 1.0 treys 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks and has played no less than 28 minutes. As Orlando continues along with the youth movement, expect Harkless’s time on the floor, as well as his fantasy ownership to increase.
Al Harrington (28 percent owned in Y!, 5 percent in ESPN)
Al Harrington has yet to take the floor this season, but his return is close and the Magic’s scoring problem that we mentioned above plays right in to hands. We saw Harrington succeed on the Knicks rebuilding roster in the past, and now in a comparable situation, he should be able to succeed, at least in fantasy land. Sure, he’s three years removed from it, but he was able to put up 19.2 points and 2.2 treys in his two season in New York, and while he probably won’t approach that now, any threes you can get out of your power forward are pivotal for your team. Expect a bit of a slow start, but Harrington should eventually be able to find his groove. He’s simply too talented offensively not to.