Each day we are getting closer and closer to the NBA All-Star break and that means teams will be looking to gain momentum heading into the final stretch of the season. Every Wednesday, I will bring the top sleeper picks that can potentially make a difference in your lineup along with the players that you should avoid picking up despite the temptation.
Last week, the player picks I suggested panned out fairly well. Hopefully this week we can achieve the same results.
- Shabazz Muhammad (Small Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves) – With Zach Lavine’s devastating ACL tear, expect Muhammad’s minutes and production to go up. His minutes have increased each month this season. He has the 2nd highest three-point percentage among players who have attempted at least 50 three-point shots this season
- Dion Waiters (Shooting Guard, Miami Heat) – Waiters has been hot lately partly due to his scoring and his irrational confidence. Over the last ten games, Waiters has been averaging 21.5 points while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Over that same stretch, he has made numerous clutch shots and game-winners.
- Jae Crowder (Small Forward, Boston Celtics) – While Isaiah Thomas might be getting all the attention and accolades, Crowder has been playing well as of late. The Robin to Thomas’s Batman, over the last ten games Crowder averaged 18 points while shooting close to 50 percent from the field.
- Brandon Jennings (Point Guard, New York Knicks) – Jennings has been inserted into the starting lineup due to Derrick Rose spraining his ankle. Jennings has made the most of this opportunity; over the last four games, he has averaged 17.0 points, 8.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 three-pointers and 3.0 steals. With the trade deadline looming ahead and the possibility of Rose being traded, Jennings becomes an intriguing option.
- Yogi Ferrell (Point Guard, Dallas Mavericks) – Talk about making the most of an opportunity. With only ten days to make a NBA roster, Ferrell played out of this world which landed him a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Over his last four games, all starts, Ferrell averaged 17.8 points on 44.4 percent shooting, 5.0 assists, 3.3 triples, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals while playing 37.5 minutes per game. Ferrell went off for 32 points and nine three-pointers in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Look for his hot play to continue heading into All-Star break.
Players to avoid:
- Miles Plumlee (Center, Charlotte Hornets) – Recently acquired by the Hornets, Plumlee has not played over 20 minutes in his last five games and has not made more than two field goals. Hopefully being on a new team, Plumlee can turn things around.
- Malcolm Brogdon (Shooting Guard, Milwaukee Bucks) – Brogdon has made many highlight reel plays this season including poster dunks on superstars Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. He was also selected to participate in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. Despite this, expect Brogdon’s minutes and production to decrease with the return of Khris Middleton.