Lost amid the shuffle of players by the Golden State Warriors is the current state of the team’s roster. In the three days leading up to the NBA trading deadline, the Warriors were involved in three transactions involving six different players and two future draft picks.
At the end of it all, Golden State is left with a revamped roster. Gone is superstar shooting guard Monta Ellis. Good bye second-year defensive stalwart Ekpe Udoh. Thanks but no thanks, Stephen Jackson. Welcome, first-man-off-the-bench Richard Jefferson. See you later, hobbling Andrew Bogut.
What’s left is a completely different starting lineup and rotation. The Dubs traded away two of their starters, and the team is sporting a completely reconstructed back court. At least temporarily, but more likely for quite some time.
Rookie Klay Thompson is the new shooting guard, filling the big scoring shoes of Ellis. Meanwhile, due to the indefinite absence of Stephen Curry due to his eleventeenth ankle sprain this season, free agent acquisition Nate Robinson is now running the point.
This is important news for fantasy basketball owners. For those who are looking to find sustainable production at the point, or a suitable backup point guard, Robinson will fulfill your needs this week.
The latest injury report on CBSSports.com indicates that there are several point guards who a) average more than 20 minutes per game, b) went down with injuries over the past two weeks and c) are ruled questionable or out for upcoming games in the next three days.
This list includes Curry (ankle) and the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose (groin), Houston Rockets’ Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection), Milwaukee Bucks’ Shaun Livingston (ankle), Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio (ACL), New Jersey Nets’ Jordan Farmar (groin), Sacramento Kings’ Tyreke Evans (ankle), Toronto Raptors’ Jose Calderon (ankle) and Utah Jazz’ Earl Watson (ankle).
Oh, and the New York Knicks’ Baron Davis (hamstring) is currently listed as day-to-day after injuring himself on Friday. That’s a whopping 10 point guards who have gone down with injuries recently.
How long will Nate Robinson continue to start while Curry is out?
Needless to say, the point guard slot in most fantasy leagues is running a bit thin, and it will continue to appear as such for the next week or so, especially when considering that Curry and Lowry are ruled out until late March and Rubio is sidelined for the remainder of the season.
That’s where Robinson comes into play.
The seventh-year pro was signed after the first week of the season as an insurance policy for Curry’s fragile right ankle. The Warriors’ utilized him as their dynamo sixth man off the bench, primarily running the team’s second unit.
Robinson’s veteran experience and prolific scoring and playmaking ability are a shot in the arm for Golden State: His plus-minus ratio of plus-30 was third on the team, behind Curry and the recently departed Udoh.
But with Curry ruled out for the foreseeable future, and Ellis traded to Milwaukee, Robinson has been inserted into the starting lineup. Obviously this will only do wonders for his all-around numbers.
For the season, Robinson is averaging a respectable 10.5 points, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals over 22.5 minutes of action per game. But in the four games since being named the Warriors’ starting point guard, Robinson’s numbers increased to 17.3 points, 6.0 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Additionally, he’s shooting 49.1 percent from the field, averaging 3.3 rebounds and only 1.0 turnovers during that four-game stretch.
Look for Robinson’s numbers to only get better for the remainder of the month of March. For fantasy owners jonesing for some decent—or any—production at the point guard position in the upcoming weeks ahead, he is a solid option to acquire off the waiver wire or through trades.
Particularly from a scoring standpoint. Robinson is more of a shooter than a passer, although he fills in modestly in both points scored and assists. In both head-to-head leagues and scoring leagues, insert Robinson into the starting lineup.
For scoring leagues, Robinson will be a good addition to the lineup, as the Warriors have four games this upcoming week and four more the week after. Head-to-head matchups this week will also be favorable, as the dearth of healthy point guards prevents other owners from sporting respectable lineups for the time being.
Yes, if you find yourself searching for some quality point guard, Robinson is a serviceable substitute. And as long as the NBA continues to be a battle field of wounded point guards, he’ll be a formidable option for fantasy owners for the rest of the season.
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