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Eastern Conference Fantasy Notes: Week 20

We have the Eastern Conference information for your fantasy basketball needs! Check out what’s going down for Week 20!

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The NBA is a fast-paced league where trends can switch as quickly as a lightbulb. Keeping up to date with these trends is vital to your success in fantasy basketball. We’ll be looking at the expected top performers, sneaky options, injury updates, rookie trends, individual team schedules, and some other points for the Eastern Conference. The key to winning this week? Look no further than this article. We here at Nerd Fantasy Sports got you covered. Check both our Consistency Rankings and New Age Rankings to get a data-driven take on fantasy basketball!

Sleepers to Wake Up

Derrick Rose, PG, New York Knicks
Since returning to New York, Derrick Rose has been a tremendous contributor for them off the bench. In his last five games, Derrick Rose has averaged 19 points, four rebounds, five assists, and a steal per game. He has also been extremely efficient, shooting 56 percent from the field from beyond the arc. Rose’s contribution has helped the Knicks go 9-1 in their last ten games and currently maintain the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. If there is any chance Rose is available in your waiver wire, add him immediately.

Oshae Brissett, PF, Indiana Pacers
Oshae Brissett has been one of the biggest late-season surprises this year. He was originally signed to a 10-day contract that eventually transitioned into a multi-year contract with the Pacers. In his last five games, Brissett has averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. Not to mention he also shooting 47 percent from deep. This guy can do it all and he’s still only 22 years old. It will be interesting to see what his role will be once Myles Turner returns from injury. For now, if he is still available, adding to your team is a must.

Khem Birch, C, Toronto Raptors
After being buyout by the Orlando Magic, Khem Birch chose to stay in the same state and play for the Toronto Raptors. While his chances for the playoffs haven’t been exactly the brightest, he has been playing much more productive basketball since joining the team. In his last five games, Birch has averaged 14 points, nine rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. He has also shot an effective 61 percent from the field. Birch will likely cash in big this offseason or maybe chose to stay in Toronto to fill a role that they need. Birch is a solid pickup if he is still available.

Rookies Doing Work

LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets
After having wrist surgery, LaMelo Ball returned for the Hornets the other night for the first time since Match 20th. IN the two games he has played, Ball has averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. He still needs to work on his three-point shooting but that comes with conditioning and experience. It is still good for him to return ahead of the playoffs for a Hornets that have not made the playoffs since 2016. He will likely be very saught player in drafts next season.

Aaron Nesmith, SF, Boston Celtics
Aaron Nesmith hasn’t been on this column before mainly due to little playing time behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But due to some injuries, he’s been able to have three productive games. In those three games, Nesmith has averaged 16 points, six rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. What’s most impressive are his shooting percentages, where he hits 68 percent from the field and 67 percent from deep. Depending on the offseason, Nesmith may be a sleeper pick in next season’s drafts. But it is good he is showing signs of life after being a mid-first-round selection.

Question of the Week?

How far can the New York Knicks go in the playoffs?
I think the New York Knicks are in an interesting scenario in the Eastern Conference. Assuming all seeds stay the same, the Knicks would face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. This would be one of the more competitive four and five seed matchups we’ve seen in a while in the Eastern Conference. It could be anyone’s series, but I think the Knicks do have a slight competitive edge and will be the winners in this series. After that, it is an uphill battle. They would either face the 76ersor the Nets next, both are loaded teams. I think it would take a lot for the Knicks to win that series. Realistically, I only see them winning their first series. But with the acquisition of another superstar in the offseason, I think the Knicks could go much further in 2022.

Injury Updates

Jerami Grant, SF/PF, Detroit Pistons (Knee)
Grant is expected to be out until May 4th according to CBS Sports/

Chris Boucher, PF/C, Toronto Raptors (Knee)
Boucher suffered an MCL sprain and is expected to be out until May 11th according to CBS Sports.

Tyler Herro, PG/SG, Miami Heat (Foot)
Herro is expected to return on May 7th according to CBS Sports. 

James Harden, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets (Hamstring)
Harden suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out until May 11th according to CBS Sports. 

LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets (Hand)
Ball had his cast removed and is expected to return on April 28th according to CBS sports. 

Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls (COVID-19)
LaVine is expected to be out due to COVID-19 protocols until May 6th according to CBS Sports.

Myles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers (Toe)
Turner is expected to be out until May 8th according to CBS Sports. 

Victor Oladipo, SG, Miami Heat (Knee)
Oladipo is expected to be out until May 7th according to CBS Sports.

Gordon Hayward, SF/PF, Charlotte Hornets (Foot)
Hayward suffered a right foot sprain and is expected to be out until May 15th according to CBS Sports. 

Mitchell Robinson, C, New York Knicks (Foot)
Robinson is expected to be out until May 15th after fracturing his foot according to CBS Sports.

Other Notes

Every week I will share an opinion of mine about something going on in the Eastern Conference. This week’s take is:
The Celtics should consider trading Kemba Walker. After being an all-star starter in 2019, Kemba Walker has essentially fallen off. He still averages 18 points and five assists a game. But it isn’t enough for the Celtics to excel to the next level and that has been shown simply from their record. Not to mention Walker gets paid $34 million dollars and that will only go up the next few seasons. The only issue is who his replacement will be but Boston has never struggled to bring in talented free agents in the past so that should not be an issue today for the Celtics.

Team Schedule

Atlanta Hawks
vs. Phoenix Suns, 5/5
at Indiana Pacers, 5/6

Boston Celtics
at Orlando Magic, 5/5
at Chicago Bulls, 5/7
vs. Miami Heat, 5/9

Brooklyn Nets
at Milwaukee Bucks, 5/4
at Dallas Mavericks, 5/6
at Denver Nuggets, 5/8

Charlotte Hornets 
at Detroit Pistons, 5/4
vs. Chicago Bulls, 5/6
vs. Orlando Magic, 5/7
vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 5/9

Chicago Bulls
vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 5/3
at Charlotte Hornets, 5/6
vs. Boston Celtics, 5/7
at Detroit Pistons, 5/9

Cleveland Cavaliers
vs. Phoenix Suns, 5/4
vs. Portland Trailblazers, 5/5
at Dallas Mavericks, 5/7
vs. Dallas Mavericks, 5/9

Detroit Pistons
vs. Charlotte Hornets, 5/4
vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 5/6
at Philadelphia 76ers, 5/8
vs. Chicago Bulls, 5/9

Indiana Pacers
vs. Sacramento Kings, 5/5
vs. Atlanta Hawks, 5/6
vs. Washington Wizards, 5/8

Miami Heat
vs. Dallas Mavericks, 5/4
vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 5/7
at Boston Celtics, 5/9

Milwaukee Bucks
vs. Brooklyn Nets, 5/4
vs. Washington Wizards, 5/5
vs. Houston Rockets, 5/7

New York Knicks
at Denver Nuggets, 5/5
at Phoenix Suns, 5/7
at Los Angeles Clippers, 5/9

Orlando Magic
vs. Boston Celtics, 5/5
at Charlotte Hornets, 5/7
vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 5/9

Philadelphia 76ers
at Houston Rockets, 5/5
vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 5/7
vs. Detroit Pistons, 5/8

Toronto Raptors
at Los Angeles Clippers, 5/4
vs. Washington Wizards, 5/6
vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 5/8

Washington Wizards
at Milwaukee Bucks, 5/5
at Toronto Raptors, 5/6
at Indiana Pacers, 5/8

Ethan was born and raised in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia. He's a sophomore at the University of Oregon studying journalism. He is an avid follower of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and UFC. Since the return of sports, he has glued his eyes open only to experience continuous failure amongst his Philadelphia sports team.

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