Fantasy NBA with Tom Carpenter
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday morning, ESPN.com fantasy basketball expert Tom Carpenter will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest hoops news from the hardcourt.
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Tom Carpenter (11:02 AM)
All of the chatter the past couple of days has been about DeAndre Jordan destroying Brandon Knight. No doubting that was a massive slam, but I'll still take KJ over Hakeem (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVcSndz52DE)... DeAndre is supposed to be able to destroy Knight; he's twice Knight's size. 6-foot-1 Kevin Johnson was not supposed to be able to slam the rock in the face of 7-foot Hakeem Olajuwon. Plus KJ's slam was in the playoffs. Well, on to your questions ...
Hey Tom, any news on Kirilenko for tonight's game?
Tom Carpenter (11:04 AM)
It doesn't sound like he will return tonight, though it appears that he's getting closer, Rajon. He certainly sounds further along in his recovery than Pek. Check for updates as game time nears, but I think AK47 is probably out another game or two.
Either Livingston or CJ Miles a good add in 12 team cat 9 with Irving out now?
Tom Carpenter (11:07 AM)
I think CJ is the better option, Daniel. He should be able to chip in some scoring, 3s and steals. Livingston may help out in dimes, but that awful knee injury sapped all of his explosiveness ... enough so that I doubt that he's going to do much of note statistically in the coming weeks.
Ben (New York)
Are there any shut down candidates we should be concerned about?
Tom Carpenter (11:10 AM)
Just the usual suspects, Ben. Spurs players will have random games off, and we'll have to keep a close eye on the likes of Melo, Bogut and other dinged up guys on playoff teams. Also, we can expect that if Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal and other young players on bad teams get hurt in the final weeks, they may be shut down. Obviously, Kyrie fits that bill. I'm sure he'll push to come back this season, but the Cavs certainly won't be nudging their franchise player to return if he isn't full strength.
Tony Parker-less (Maryland)
Any opinions on holding parker if you have a bye and playoffs are weeks 22-23? h2h cat 9 dialy. Thanks Tom!
Tom Carpenter (11:12 AM)
I'm definitely holding on to Parker in any format, but especially in a daily lineup league, where you can plug him in as soon as he's ready. I think he will return on the earlier side of his prognosis.
brian (tampa bay)
How do you feel about Kosta Koufos next year? Im in a keeper league. Thanks
Tom Carpenter (11:15 AM)
His value will depend a lot on how the Nugs handle their roster this offseason, Brian. He has some double-double potential, but I don't see a very high ceiling for him. Not much of a keeper in most formats.
Faried/Beal/melo for Durant/Manu/D.West! 12 team cat 9 h2h. This a good trade thru playoffs?
Tom Carpenter (11:17 AM)
If you got the Durant end of the deal, definitely a nice deal, EJ. Considering the injuries that Melo and Beal are nursing, and the upside you get from Ginobili with Parker sidelined, I like it a lot. As I note regularly, getting the single best player in a trade is always key, and you get that with Durant.
Parker Drummond (Texas/Michigan)
Varying opinions on whether to hold T.Parker/Drummond for playoffs in 12 team cat 9 with playoffs week 21-23. Your thoughts appreciated,Tom! Thanks
Tom Carpenter (11:21 AM)
As I noted below, definitely want to keep Parker. Tougher call on Drummond, though. I think we may see him in action early next week, but by the time he gets his legs back and maybe works his way into starter's minutes there may only be a handful of games remaining. In a 12-team league, though, he probably makes for a pretty solid roster stash, because you likely won't find better potential on your waiver wire. Also keep in mind that the Pistons weekly games played schedule is not helpful at all (3, 3, 3, 4, 2, 2).
Hi Tom, what kind of numbers do you expect out of Mo Williams down the stretch and is he a must start?
Tom Carpenter (11:23 AM)
Keanu, he isn't a must start yet, but he finally showed up last night (20 points, 6 dimes, 1 trey), so he may be a must-start option soon. I think we can expect maybe 13 PPG, 6-7 APG and 1.5 3s ... not bad, but not great.
Mike Ho (Hong Kong)
Do you think Aminu will continue to be a solid option in points leagues for ROS? He keeps killing me with his inconsistency.
Tom Carpenter (11:26 AM)
MH, he's been pretty consistent in his hustle stats, but the offensive side of his game has been tough to watch (0-5 Sunday!) ... I think we can expect his hustle stats to remain solid and any offense will be a bonus.
If you could pick any player from the past 25 years to start your fantasy team with who would it be? Me, I would pick David Robinson- top 10 in 5 categories in his prime.
Tom Carpenter (11:29 AM)
Interesting question, Cory. The Admiral was a beast, no doubt. I'd have to give this a little more thought, but off the top of my head, I would take MJ. Check out his '88-89 season! Yikes! He lacked 3-point prowess, but scoring, percentages, boards, steals and dimes ...
Tom with injuries in Jazz frontcourt do you think Kanter would be a good add,with his 12 games in my 12 team cat 9 playoffs? Favors is taken.
Tom Carpenter (11:31 AM)
So long as Millsap is out, Kanter will be a decent play. It sounds like Millsap should be back sooner than later, though, which means Kanter will have to fight harder for minutes.
Your prediction on Rudy Gay's injury ROS?
Tom Carpenter (11:34 AM)
It's a back injury, and those can always be tricky. I would be mildly surprised if Gay isn't back in the mix this week, but the fact that coach Casey even mentioned the possibility of shutting him down later this season if the condition persists is cause for concern. Cross your fingers, Drew.
Kurtis Cagle [via mobile]
Drop JaVale McGee for any of the following? Bogut, Ridnour or another sleeper?
Tom Carpenter (11:38 AM)
KC, if you need a big to replace McGee, I would begrudgingly recommend dropping him for Bogut, who you can ride until his wheels inevitably fall off again. The Wolves have a far better schedule, though (MIN plays 4 games next 4 weeks, GS plays 3 games next 4 weeks), so you can make an argument for Ridnour over Bogut if position doesn't matter.
Ryan K. (Reedley, CA)
What's the word on K-Love? Should I hold on to him or pick up someone like Tobias Harris?
Tom Carpenter (11:40 AM)
Hang on to Love, Ryan, at least until he meets with his surgeon on Wednesday. At that point, he should end up with a specific return date. He did extra shooting over the weekend and appears to be ramping up for a return in the coming days. Hopefully, we'll see him in action by next week.
Evan (New York)
Hi Tom, question on Centers. Would you rather have Robin Lopez or Jonas Valanciunas for the playoffs? Thanks!
Tom Carpenter (11:42 AM)
Neither is particularly appetizing, but I'd lean toward VC, since he has more talent and appears to be getting the opportunity to just go out and play.
Would it make sense to add Spencer Hawes after his big game last night even if I already own Thaddeus Young?What are you thoughts on starting two players from the same front court?
Tom Carpenter (11:45 AM)
Adam, Hawes has proved repeatedly over his career that he is fool's gold ... whenever you start to buy into him as a real NBA player, he goes back into his shell and does nothing. Still, nothing wrong with riding him while he's hot -- and he's been relatively hot all month -- and nothing wrong with using two guys from the same frontcourt. Between Hawes and Young on any given night, you should get quality play.
Thoughts on Vucevic long term? More valuable than Jefferson?
Tom Carpenter (11:49 AM)
If you mean long term this season, no. Big Al provides more reliable scoring than Vuce, though Vuce should hit the boards harder. Long term, as in next season and beyond, that's going to depend a lot on where Jefferson lands as a free agent (i.e., what size role will he have) and how the Magic build their team this offseason and beyond. Considering how frail Jefferson has been at times, I'd give a slight edge to Vucevic right now going forward.
Is Dion Waiters a must start with Kyrie out. I took a look at his averages in games he played that Kyrie missed.18.6 pts, 1.7 3s, 5.2 asts, 2 reb, 1 stl, 0.4 blks per game!
Tom Carpenter (11:51 AM)
He's definitely a must-start play, Adam, so long as you can handle his FG%. He shot a terrific 51.4 FG% last month, which bodes well for his career fantasy trajectory, but shots won't come as easy without Kyrie drawing defensive attention and dishing the rock.
D Rose going to come back this week? over or under...
Tom Carpenter (11:53 AM)
There don't seem to be any tea leaves to read at this point. My gut feeling is we won't see him this week, but when he does show, it will be out of the blue.
Jarad (Fort Worth)
I'm looking at an underdog situation heading into the playoffs. Should I try to wait on Pekovic, or grab Amir Johnson or Tobias Harris?
Tom Carpenter (11:54 AM)
I'd grab one of those other options (probably Amir), Jarad. I think Pek is looking like at least a week or more away, and if you're under the gun as a playoff underdog, you don't have time to wait.
What are your thoughts on stacking/punting categories in H2H? My team is very front court heavy and to make matters worse, I just lost my best pg in Kyrie Irving. I'm thinking about playing the minimum number of guards during the playoffs and just trying to dominate blks, rebs, fg%, pts and hopefully stls in the playoffs. My bigs shoot a good ft% as well, so I might be able to remain competitive in 6 categories with that strategy.
Tom Carpenter (11:57 AM)
Mike, punting categories is a fine strategy in H2H category leagues. You only need to win enough categories to beat your opponent in the playoffs. You should take a quick look at your expected opponents to makes sure your plan matches up well against them, but I think that's a pretty smart move on your part.
Evan (New York)
You meant JV right between Robin Lopez and Jonas?
Tom Carpenter (11:57 AM)
would you pick up sammy dal? Is Larry Sanders out for tonight?
Tom Carpenter (12:00 PM)
I believe he is questionable, Wing. The Bucks ball tonight and tomorrow, so my guess is that he'll sit tonight and roll tomorrow. Dalembert is a decent plug-in if I'm right and Sanders sits this evening.
Tom Carpenter (12:02 PM)
Thanks as always for all of the terrific questions. Please be sure to check out the Fantasy Focus Basketball podcast Thursday, as Adam Stanco and I discuss all sorts of goodies. You can shoot me some questions on Twitter @AtomicHarpua, which we may answer during the podcast. See you all next week!