NBA Portfolio: January 20 – 26

NBA Stock Up/Stock Down

by Danny Panosian Each week I will be diving into a few players whose stock has gone up the past week, and conversely whose stock has gone down. Trends in the NBA are always changing, and players’ values can change on any given night. So without further adieu, let’s dive in!

Stock Up

Ramon Sessions, (PG) Charlotte Bobcats 

SessionsThe Bobcats lost a tough game against the Heat on Saturday, but unfortunately the news got worse when Kemba Walker hurt his ankle badly in the 3rd quarter. X-Rays were negative but Coach Steve Clifford confirmed Kemba will be out “a while.” With Kemba down, Sessions stepped in and had 16 points, 3 boards and 5 assists. Expect to see him get a huge boost in minutes and take over ball handling duties for the Bobcats. Sessions is a solid NBA veteran who can run the point with efficiency and will be a fine fill-in for Walker until his ankle is fully healed. He might still be available on your waiver wire so I’d run and check right away while you still can!

Joakim Noah, (C) Chicago Bulls –

JoakimNoah has reportedly not been a happy camper since the Bulls decided to deal Luol Deng to the Cavs a few weeks ago. Fortunately for his fantasy owners, it has not affected his play on the court one bit. In his last 5 games, Noah is averaging 16.6 points, 15.4 boards, 4.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 2 blocks per game! Noah is known as a great defender and a grinder for a tough Chicago team which is always in playoff contention in the East despite injuries badly hurting their team’s chances the past few years. Noah has had to be to be the new leader for the Bulls with Rose down for the 2nd straight year and Deng now gone, and he has not disappointed in the least. His owners probably won’t let him go on the cheap, but he’s worth every penny you’ll probably have to give up for him.

Stock Down

Nikola Vucevic, (C) Orlando Magic –

vucevichThe Magic have lost 10 straight games, and it is no coincidence that Vucevic has been out for 6 of those games. He is the anchor for the Magic down low and without him have to start the undersized Glen Davis who cannot handle bigger stronger players at his position. Vucevic has been out with ankle issues earlier in the year but suffered a concussion against the Clippers a few weeks ago. He still has not been cleared from this concussion which must be a little concerning to his fantasy owners. I do expect him to be cleared in the near future, but there’s always the possibility of another injury around the corner. If that happens and the Magic are still losing the majority of games, it’s not out of the realm of possibility they just shut down their prized center and concentrate on next season. This is all hypothetical of course, but just something to think about.

Jeremy Lin, (PG) Houston Rockets 

jeremy-lin-houston-rockets-jpgLin has really struggled in his last 2 games, only having 6.5 points and 3 assists a game. Things do not look like they will be getting much better for Lin either. Patrick Beverly appears set to return from a fractured hand Monday which clouds the PG situation for the Rockets further. With Terrance Jones making a fool of me for putting him in my stock down column a month ago, he will be impossible for McHale to take off the court going forward. This leaves fewer minutes for Lin, as he’s proven he can score but cannot defend opposing PG’s in the least. Beverly fits with the lineup better as the Rockets will consistently be playing stellar PGs in the west and will need to defend them to win games. Lin should still be owned in most leagues but with fewer minutes available to him, he might not put up the numbers you expect him to.

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