With a packed NBA schedule last night, there were a number of surprises and standout stars. With all the box scores to breakdown, we’re going to limit our focus today and just look at players who stepped up who are available in at least a quarter of ESPN leagues. The highlight of the night definitely goes to the Suns come from behind win over LA in Steve Nash’s return to the desert. Click here for Video Highlights.
Here’s the players last night who turned in solid lines while being widely available-we call them our Box Score Breakouts and you can find them every morning right here at FantasyCPR.
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Emeka Okafor-Washington Wizards
There’s been no better big man emerging from the waiver wire than Okafor who has dominated the boards while scoring as well this whole week. He’s still available in 32% of leagues, and is the top big-man pickup in any league he’s still out there. He’s averaged 14.6 rebounds in his last five games and has three games in a row with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds. Last night he finished with 15 points, 17 rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. He’s earning more playing time and working his way into the top tier of rebounders. He’s a great source of boards and points and should be in lineups in all formats until he cools off or loses playing time.
Jimmy Butler-Chicago Bulls
The return of Luol Deng has sent this second-year SF/SG out of Marquette back to the bench but hasn’t drained his fantasy value. Butler has played 25+ minutes in each of his last eight games and scored at least nine points with at least six rebounds in each game. Last night against the Bucks he had 18 points on 8-12 shooting while adding six boards and a pair of steals. Butler’s owned in just 11.7% of leagues and is a great pickup if you need to bolster your bench with a solid points/rebounds contributor. If Butler does move into the starting lineup, his ceiling would obviously be much higher, but he maintains fantasy value coming off the bench.
Michael Beasley- Phoenix Suns
Beasley is as volatile as ever with his scoring output, but he can fill it up when he’s on as he reminded us and the Lakers last night. Last night he scored 27 coming off the bench and leading a ferocious comeback with 27 points, six rebounds, an assist and five steals. Beasley appears to be ready to flourish under new Head Coach Lindsey Hunter and now has 25 or more in two of his last three games. The steals are a bit of an aberration since he only had multiple steals one time this season before last night and even then it was only two. His main value is in his scoring output, and he could be primed for a big stretch run. If you need scoring, check the waiver wire for Beasley. He’s available in over 75% of leagues.
Spencer Hawes-Philadelphia 76ers
Hawes has been inserted into the Philadelphia lineup and looks to be in line for some heavy minutes and big opportunities going forward. Last night he had a solid 12 points, 11 rebounds four assists, and four blocks. If he continues to play 35+ minutes, he should be able to improve those numbers moving forward and be a every-night threat for a double-double. He can also bring some blocks averaging 2.4 per game over his last five with three or more in three of those games. If you’re looking for a quick block and boards boost, look for Hawes on the waiver wire where you’ll find him in 57% of leagues.
Lance Stephenson-Indiana Pacers
Stephenson continues to get plenty of time, but he’s starting to put up some usable numbers for fantasy owners in the last few games. He followed his 20-point performance from Monday with a double-double last night getting 11 rebounds and five assists to go with his 12 points. Before these last two games, Stephenson hadn’t scored in double-digits in seven games and hadn’t had double-digit rebounds all season. He’s one to monitor at this point, and if he keeps this play up he may be worth a look for next week. He’s virtually universally available owned in just 0.0% of leagues despite averaging almost 30 minutes per game on the season. Time isn’t the issue; just wait to see if the production becomes consistent.
John Lucas-Toronto Raptors
With the Raptors shipping out Jose Calderon, John Lucas got the opportunity to play 24 minutes off the bench for Toronto last night. He’s only played more than 20 two other times this season, but could become a fantasy factor if he can get on the floor in the new Raps rotation. Last night, he finished with a season-high 19 points while adding a pair of assists and three three-pointers. Lucas is unowned at this point, but with the new situation that could change in a hurry. He’s the main backup for the oft-injured Kyle Lowry and could be a gold-level pickup if you’re combing the wires for a point guard.
Jason Terry-Boston Celtics
With Rajon Rondo sidelined, the Celtics can use all the guard help they can get. Terry has been a disappointment overall so far this season, but he can step up now when Boston needs him most. Last night against the Kings Terry had 12 points off the bench including two three pointers to go with four assists and a pair of rebounds. He’s owned in 40.9% of leagues right now, but if he gets the minutes Terry’s ownership and production will rise quickly. He most likely won’t move into the starting lineup but will see more minutes which could pay off like it has the last three games in which he scored 12 points or more.
Alexey Shved-Minnesota Tmberwolves
While the stat line of 12 points on 5-13 from the field and just 1-6 from deep isn’t anything special, it’s worth noting that Shved is back from his injury. He did have three assists and a pair of rebounds in his 21 minutes. Once his shot gets back into game shape he’ll again have the opportunity to be a big-time contributor off the Minnesota bench in an injury-depleted backcourt. He’s owned in 7.2% of leagues at this point so you can probably wait a bit before rostering Shved but watch closely since he could go off and be a hot pickup at any point now that he’s past his ankle sprain.