Things are almost back to normal in the NBA and fantasy hoops leagues. There are nine games tonight between extremely well-rested teams. Some may even be rusty from too much time off. ‘Surprise’ results will be no surprise.
We have another Sheridan Hoops Freeroll for you on Friday, and a challenge tournament on Saturday, with big money in the pool, plus a bonus for anyone who beats our own Chris Sheridan. The Freeroll is open already; details and entry links for the Challenge will be available on Friday.
February 19 Game Previews
CHA @ ORL: Nobody here was in the All-Star game, while only Nikola Vucevic and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played in the Rising Stars game. That experience must have been positive for both, and while Vucevic can’t get much better, MKG is a second-half sleeper. There is nothing at stake in real life, making this a potential bonanza in daily leagues. Kemba Walker and Jameer Nelson could both put up big numbers, Byron Mullens is a must-start and Arron Afflalo should be as healthy as he’s been in a while. Don’t sleep on sixth men Ramon Sessions and J.J. Redick.
TOR @ WAS: Terrence Ross won the dunk contest, though he was snubbed by Shaq and Chuck. His fantasy value this year took a hit with the arrival of Rudy Gay, which has helped DeMar DeRozan play very well. Alan Anderson is an asset off the bench at multiple positions, so minutes are shrinking for Ross. Fellow rookie Jonas Valanciunas is now on a longer leash. He will have foul trouble some nights, in between some double-doubles with high percentages and a couple of blocks. The Andrea Bargnani trade watch continues. Fantasy owners can only hope he becomes useful, somewhere. The Wizards are much better now than their record suggests. John Wall vs. Kyle Lowry will be fun to watch, Bradley Beal had a few days to rest his wrist and Nene might be pretty spry. One of the best fantasy bargains of the first half, Emeka Okafor is underrated by almost everyone.
MEM @ DET: The return of Tayshaun Prince is a sidebar to this game. It’s a homecoming for Austin Daye too, but Prince might be inspired against former teammate Kyle Singler. Up front, it’s a heavyweight bout between Marc Gasol and Greg Monroe. At PG, Jose Calderon is fitting in very well for Detroit, but Mike Conley is no slouch. The Pistons were playing very well before the break and could make this interesting, especially if their second unit is productive. Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum are more consistent, but Charlie Villanueva is capable of big games, at least until Andre Drummond (back) returns.