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Fantasy Hoops: You'll Love LA This Week

The Los Angeles Lakers have been an absolute mess this season. It all started last season when future Hall of Famer SG Kobe Bryantsuffered a long-term injury, and then CDwight Howardelected to leave via free agency. It continued with PGSteve Nashcontinuing to get older, and less dependable due to a myriad of injuries, and the fact PF/CPau Gasolhas been unable to do it all by himself. Then, the Lakers might have made things worse by extended Kobes deal, hurting their prospects of building a balanced team due to the fact he gobbles up a giant portion of their salary cap.

The Lakers head into the new week tied for last in the Western Conference at 20-39, 15 games out of a playoff spot. And the Lakers give up 106.5 points per game, which is something to remember when setting your Fantasy lineups, especially in daily leagues.

However, it hasnt been all bad. The Lakers made a deadline deal with the Golden State Warriors, trading SGSteve Blakefor SGKent Bazemoreand PGMarShon Brooks. The Warriors hope Blake finally fills their void at the two after letting GJarrett Jack(Cavaliers) walk during free agency. He should see a decent chunk of minutes in Oakland, and he is worth using as a No. 5 or 6 Fantasy guard in most formats. However, the Warriors might have had the answer already in Bazemore, and could kick themselves for trading the youngster.

paugasol623x353-300x169Over Bazemores first five games with the Lakers, he is averaging 16.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.6 APG and 2.0 SPG. He has filled in admirably for SGNick Young(knee), and the team does not expect Young back anytime soon. However, swingmanXavier Henry(knee) has been recalled from the D-League, and could potentially eat into Bazemores fragile Fantasy appeal if he gets hot. The rotation in L.A. is anything but written in stone, so Bazemore shouldnt be relied upon as a long-term Fantasy option. However, with five games in the upcoming week, he is a must-start in all cumulative and points-based head-to-head formats, and deeper Rotisserie leagues. SwingmanJordan Farmar, PF/CPau Gasoland swingmanWes Johnsonhave also emerged as useful options, and are great plays with a five-game week.

Team with five games (1):L.A. Lakers

Teams with four games (17):Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Portland, Sacramento, Utah

Teams with three games (9):Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Washington

Teams with two games (3):Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto

MONChicago at Brooklyn (7:30pm NBATV), New Orleans at Sacramento (10:30pm NBATV)

TUEMiami at Houston (8:00pm NBATV), New Orleans at L.A. Lakers (10:30pm NBATV)

WEDDallas at Denver (8:00pm ESPN), Atlanta at Portland (10:30pm ESPN)

THUMiami at San Antonio (8:00pm TNT), L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers (10:30pm TNT)

FRIMemphis at Chicago (7:00pm ESPN), Indiana at Houston (9:30pm ESPN)

SATNew York at Cleveland (7:30pm NBATV)

SUNMiami at Chicago (1:00pm ABC), Oklahoma City at L.A. Lakers (3:30pm ABC), Detroit at Boston (6:00pm NBATV), Phoenix at Golden State (9:00pm NBATV)

* All Times Eastern (ET)

SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

The road odyssey for the Utah Jazz continues, as they have four more away games on their East Coast trip this week. It will be a very nice week for the likes of PF/CDerrick Favors, PGTrey Burkeand company, as they will get a crack at the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. Milwaukee allows 102.1 points per game, New York allows 100.5 points per game, and Philadelphia gives up an NBA-worst 110.7 points per game. Washington is the best defense theyll see, and they allow 99.8 points per game. Look for big weeks from your Jazz Fantasy options.

Among the three-game teams, the Los Angeles Clippers have one home game against the banged-up Atlanta Hawks, and two road contests at Phoenix and at L.A. Lakers. The Suns yield 102.3 points per game, and the Lakers have been flogged for 106.5 points per contest, with a good chunk of those points coming in the past two months or so. It will be a nice week for PGChris Paul, CDeAndre Jordanand PFBlake Griffin, but other options need to be reserved if you have alternatives with four- or five-game schedules.

INJURIES

Indiana Pacers PGGeorge Hill(shoulder) has missed the past two games due to a bruised shoulder, but his injury doesnt sound like something that is a long-term concern. In leagues which allow daily transactions, reserve Hill and add PGC.J. Watson, if you havent already done so. In terms of weekly leagues, Hill could miss another game, but the Pacers have four games this week, so he is likely to play at least three games barring a setback. If you are deep and can afford to sit Hill, do so, but he is a nice Fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams despite the uncertainty.

Oklahoma City Thunder SGThabo Sefolosha(calf) is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks due to a strained calf. Thats great news for the likes of GsPerry Jones IIIandJeremy Lamb, who are expected to fill a good chunk of Sefoloshas minutes. PGReggie Jacksonmight also be called upon to fill some of the role, as well as newcomer SFCaron Butler, who chose OKC over Miami after his buyout from Milwaukee for scenarios just like this one. Since OKC faces just three games this week, none of the replacements are worth using in cumulative Fantasy leagues, so that will give you a chance to monitor the situation and see who emerges as the big winner.

Orlando Magic PGJameer Nelson(calf) missed Sundays game against Philadelphia due to a sore calf, which was a tough blow for Fantasy owners considering the favorable matchup. SwingmanArron Afflalo(ankle) has continued to sit, and both should be reserved in the upcoming week. PGRonnie Priceis worth a look in the deepest of Fantasy leagues if Nelson is forced to miss more time, but Price should not be owned in leagues of 12 or fewer teams even if he starts.

CATEGORY HELP

If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, youve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.

POINTS

Gary Neal, PG, Charlotte/Milwaukee (13.6 ppg over the past five games)

Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (13.6 ppg over the past nine games)

Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (13.5 ppg over the past eight games)

O.J. Mayo, SG, Milwaukee (13.4 ppg over the past five games)

REBOUNDS

Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (8.1 rpg over the past nine games)

Jermaine ONeal, C, Golden State (8.0 rpg over the past six games)

Reggie Evans, PF, Sacramento (7.8 rpg over the past four games)

Kyle OQuinn, PF, Orlando (7.3 rpg over the past nine games)

ASSISTS

Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (5.9 apg over the past nine games)

Devin Harris, PG, Dallas (4.5 apg over the past eight games)

Ishmael Smith, PG, Phoenix (4.3 apg over the past nine games)

Shelvin Mack, PG, Atlanta (4.2 ppg over the past nine games)

STEALS

Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (2.1 spg over the past seven games)

Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.7 spg over the past nine games)

Hasheem Thabeet, C, Oklahoma City (1.5 spg over past two games)

Ishmael Smith, PG, Phoenix (1.4 spg over the past nine games)

BLOCKED SHOTS

Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte (1.9 bpg over the past eight games)

Ryan Kelly, SF, L.A. Lakers (1.7 bpg over the past seven games)

Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (1.7 bpg over the past nine games)

Ian Mahinmi, C, Indiana (1.6 bpg over the past nine games)

3-POINTERS

Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (19 3-pointers over the past eight games)

Mike Miller, SG, Memphis (14 3-pointers over the past eight games)

Mirza Teletovic, PF, Brooklyn (13 3-pointers over the past eight games)

Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (13 3-pointers over the past seven games)

O.J. Mayo, SG, Milwaukee (13 3-pointers over the past five games)



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