With the NBA season just over the halfway mark, it is time to look back on some of the studs and duds of the first half in Fantasy Basketball. The Fantasy playoffs begin in nine weeks for many standard leagues, and it is likely that teams have been helped and hindered by their draft picks. That’s what makes the waiver wire so crucial, as injury fill-ins and rotation changes can greatly affect a player’s value to a lineup. While there are those players who you know will be consistent each year, there are others who never reach the heights of their expected leap or those who regress and never recover. Here are some Fantasy Basketball surprises and disappointments of the first half of the NBA season. The numbers listed indicate the average draft position. Surprises Hassan Whiteside (C – Mia, 140) - Here’s a guy who bounced around in Summer League and the D-League before catching on with the Heat in November. It took until January before Whiteside really exploded into Fantasy relevance, but if owners were lucky enough to grab him off the wire, they have reaped the rewards of his success. In 2015, Whiteside has averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in only 23.2 minutes per game, highlighted, of course, by his triple-double with 12 blocks off of the bench. Jimmy Butler (SG/SF – Chi, 69.4) – Many predicted that Butler would make a leap this season and he hasn’t disappointed. Playing close to 40 minutes a night and a crucial part of the Bulls’ offence, Butler has seen his points per game increase by seven over last year. His shooting percentages are up across the board and has also made his defensive presence known. He is the frontrunner to win Most Improved Player and has definitely boosted his draft stock for next season. Draymond Green (SF/PF – GSW, 119.1) – Those who took a flier on Green in the later rounds have been rewarded for their risk, like the Warriors in the second round of the 2012 Draft. While he hasn’t torn up the league, he is able to stuff the stat sheet and gives solid production in every category. He has started every game for Golden State and is averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.6 steals per game, which are categories that owners know are the tightest each week in head-to-head matchups. It’s his five point and three rebound per contest increase that are some of Green’s highlights. Darren Collison (PG – Sac, 96) – Collison is enjoying a career year with the Kings, averaging 16.4 points as the team’s third option. He is ranked higher than players like George Hill and Deron Williams who were both drafted before Collison but have struggled with injuries all year. Owners wouldn’t have been blamed for passing on Collison for bigger names, especially because this is Collison’s fourth team in four seasons. If he was drafted as your team’s second or third point guard, he could very well end up being number one. Disappointments Lance Stephenson (SG/SF – Cha, 62.2) – Drafted ahead of the likes of Kevin Martin and Luol Deng, many expected Stephenson to be a featured member of the Hornets’ offence after signing a three-year, $27 million deal. What has resulted in the first half is Stephenson already on the trading block and disappointing many owners who expected a career year from him as a starter. Instead, Stephenson is shooting only 38.5% from the field and an ugly 15.3% from deep. He’s only averaging 9.8 points per game and is now coming off the bench after missing 14 games with a pelvic injury. Owners who chose Stephenson lost the gamble. Joakim Noah (C – Chi, 27.2) – Injuries have always been a concern for Noah, and while he managed to stay healthy last year, he’s already missed 11 games this season. His 7.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game are his worst in six seasons. Those who have expected Noah to eat up the glass should be mad at the arrival of Pau Gasol, who has re-emerged in his own right as a Fantasy star but at the expense of Noah. He will need to pick it up in the second half to justify why he was drafted so highly. Nicolas Batum (SF – Por, 26.2) – One of the stat sheet stuffers of Fantasy, Batum has reportedly been battling a wrist injury most of the season which has translated into poor numbers. His shooting has been woeful and he has regressed in points, rebounds and assists. He was likely drafted in the middle of the third round and that’s a tough area to miss on a pick. While Portland has been able to survive through his struggles, owners who were counting on Batum to be a heavy contributor have been left to look elsewhere. Rajon Rondo (PG – Dal, 51.3) – The days of Fantasy dominance for Rondo appear to be coming to an end. While he started the year off strong with the Celtics, it was his trade to Dallas that has gutted Rondo’s value. Never known for his shooting ability, Rondo has made only 26.3% of his free throws since being acquired by the Mavericks. He has really struggled to put anything on the stat sheet despite being in the starting lineup. Those who drafted Rondo for his ability to contribute in many categories are shaking their head at Rondo’s output this season. Wholesale Air Max Nz . -- The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets will forever be tied together for making the same spectacular misjudgment on budding NBA sensation Jeremy Lin. Air Max Nz Online . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. http://www.airmaxnz.com/. There will be no Down Under four-peat for Djokovic, as the eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka outlasted the second seed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena in yet another five-set thriller in their burgeoning rivalry. Air Max Nz . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. Discount Air Max Nz . Woods said Friday that his charity event, which attracts a world-class field even without being part of any tour, will move in December 2014 to Isleworth, the course where he honed his professional game from 1996 until moving away to south Florida two years ago.INDIANAPOLIS -- Once Tavon Austin broke free, the Indianapolis Colts couldnt even slow down the rookie, much less catch him. Austin, the first-round draft pick with uncanny speed and unlimited potential, scored on a 98-yard punt return and grabbed two long TD passes Sunday as the St. Louis Rams ended a three-game losing streak with a stunning 38-8 victory over the AFC South-leading Colts. "Ive been patient for eight weeks and, hopefully, its my time right now," Austin said. "I knew the day was going to come. It was just me being patient and me being true to myself and to keep working. Im just glad that I had an opportunity." Nobody did more against Indy (6-3) this season -- or any time recently. Austin returned four punts for 145 yards and scored on touchdown passes of 57 and 81 yards, his only two catches of the day. He also returned one kickoff for 27 yards while making the Colts look foolish all day. Hes the first player with a punt return of 95 yards or more and two 55-yard or longer TDs receiving in a game. Austins one-man show started when he backed up and waved off teammates as Pat McAfees punt sailed deep into Rams territory. But as the Colts moved into position to down the bouncing ball, Austin reached out and dangerously grabbed it at his own 2-yard line. The Colts didnt react immediately, apparently believing the play had stopped, and Austin sprinted down the right sideline, avoided one defender and picked up a block on McAfee and reached the end zone to give the Rams (4-6) a 21-0 lead. Even Rams coach Jeff Fisher couldnt believe it. "I went from saying, Get away, get away, get away, to Go, go, go!" Fisher said. Austin later caught a short pass on a drag route over the middle, turned upfield and avoided two defenders with an inside cut for the 81-yard score. That made it 35-0 -- too big a deficit even for the masterful Andrew Luck to overcome. The Colts just couldnt get a handle on the 5-foot-8, 176-pound receiver who finished with 310 total yards and three TDs. "That was a lot of fun to watch. Tavon, hes lightning in a bottle when he gets the ball in his hands," quarterback Kellen Clemens said. "His performance tonight is certainly going to be one for the books." Clemens went 9 of 16 for 247 yards with two scores and no interceptions, hooking up with Austin on the two longest completions of his eight-yeear NFL career.dddddddddddd His previous long was 56 yards in 2007 with the Jets. The defence was good right from the start, too, opening the game with a strip-sack from Robert Quinn. Chris Long scooped up the loose ball and returned it 45 yards for a score. Until scoring their only touchdown, late in the third quarter, Indy had just 181 yards in offence. Luck was sacked three times and the Rams picked off four passes -- three of them from Luck -- to win for the first time since Sam Bradford went down with a season-ending knee injury Oct. 20. For the Colts, it was a miserable performance. "We just didnt do anything," coach Chuck Pagano said. "I take full responsibility for it as the football coach, we did not have this team ready to play." Luck finished 29 of 47 for 353 yards with one TD, though most of that came after the Colts dug themselves into a 38-0 deficit. Indy ran 14 times for a measly 18 yards, 1.3 yards per carry. The defence couldnt get a handle on Austin or his teammates, resulting in Indys worst loss at Lucas Oil Stadium -- and its worst home loss since San Diego hung a 31-0 shutout at the RCA Dome on Nov. 29, 1993. Robert Mathis did have two sacks to retain the league lead (13 1/2). The loudest cheers, and most tears, came during a halftime ceremony when Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Inocencio surprised his family by stepping out of an SUV in one of the end zones at halftime. His wife, Christin, and children, Dominique and David, ran toward him to give him a hug, drawing both cheers and tears. Inocencio had been serving in Afghanistan. Austin provided the rest of the highlights on a day the Colts would like to forget. "It is what it is, we got our butts kicked, weve got to move on," said Pagano, who will take the Colts to Tennessee on Thursday night. NOTES: Mathis also broke the franchise record for mutli-sack games in a season (six) and has a new single-season career-high, too. ... The Rams played without starting right guard Harvey Dahl (knee) and second tight end Lance Kendricks (broken finger) and lost linebacker James Laurinaitis late in the game with a head laceration. ... Indy had won two straight overall and five straight over NFC opponents before Sunday. ... Indy, which had only six turnovers all year, had four Sunday. ... It was the Rams first regular-season trip to Lucas Oil Stadium. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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