Line of the Night: Derrick Rose (2.21) certainly has a leg up on the competition on my imaginary MVP ballot, with the Bulls currently in first in the Eastern Conference and three games up on the second-place Miami Heat. He’s also making a strong case for the imaginary fantasy MVP award. Rose is currently 6th on the GMTR player rater for the season (and finishing strong). Against the admittedly weak-sauce Raptors, Rose scored a game high 36 points, with 10 assists and 3 blocked shots in 42 minutes.
Honorable Mentions: Monta Ellis (1.86) gave his owners a little bit of a scare when he sprained his ankle in the Warriors’ game on Wednesday and was unable to practice on Friday. But Ellis was back on the court last night against the Mavs and finished with a team high 32 points, adding 4 threes and 5 assists in the win. And although I love Shawn Marion (1.22), your team is probably in trouble when the 2011 version of him is the team’s best player on the night. He led the Mavs with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
A rare O.J. Mayo (1.44) appearance on this list. Mayo got 27 minutes on the court and finished with 20 points (on 8-12 from the field), with 3 threes and 3 steals as Memphis beat the Wolves 106-89. At this point, Mayo is just as likely to get 15 minutes as he is 27 and his performances have been all over the place in March and April. He’s under contract with the Grizzlies for one more season, but what are the chances he’s still with the team this fall?
You know you have a barn burner of a game when it goes to overtime and the final score is still only 93-87, which is what happened to the Sixers and Bucks. Elton Brand (1.14) was the bright shot for the Sixers (who shot 40% as a team) and made the most of the OT with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 39 minutes. John Salmons (0.91) scored 19 points for Milwaukee, adding 8 assists and 2 steals. Drew Gooden (-0.27) had 12 points and 12 boards off the bench and makes a sneaky add over the last week if you’re looking for boards (provided he can stay healthy for more than a hummingbird heartbeat*).
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Jose Calderon sat for the Raptors with a hamstring injury, so Jerryd Bayless (1.74) got the start and exploded for 26 points and 8 assists against the Bulls. According to the Toronto Star, Bayless is going to get more opportunity to play over this last week and a half because of the injury to Calderon and because, if my math is correct, the Raptors’ only shot at the playoffs involves a DeLorean and some plutonium. Bayless becomes a must add if your still playing for something in your fantasy league.
Pick Up Lines: Ed Davis (1.38) continued his strong play for Toronto with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. It helped that Andrea Bargnani sat with an ankle injury and freed up a little more time for Davis. But even if Bargs returns for the Raptors next game, Davis is still a strong play if you need a rebounder/shot blocker type.
Louis Amundson (0.70) got 28 minutes for the Warriors (compared to 16 for Ekpe Udoh) and finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. With Andris Biedrins done for the season, the Warriors have a big man rotation that features David Lee, Udoh, Amundson and Al Thornton. There are minutes to be had for Amundson (as well as Thornton), although he’s probably only worth the risk in deep leagues. Fortunately for those of you in the deep, Amundson is available in 100% of leagues at the moment. Ok, the word fortunately might be a little strong there.
Speaking of deep league specials, with Kevin Love out with a strained groin and Darko Milicic out with a sprained ankle, the Wolves started Nikola Pekovic (0.56) at center and he wasn’t a disaster, finishing with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. His fantasy value going forward hinges on Darko’s health and could be worth a grab in deep leagues if Darko is shut down for the season.
We cannot stop talking about JJ Barea (0.45), and not just because he’s dating a former Miss Universe. Barea had 13 points and 11 assists in 33 minutes off the bench for the Mavs, while Rodrigue Beaubois got just 9 minutes in the start. It increasingly looks like Beaubois is not ready to compete with the big boys, so expect Barea to continue to get solid minutes off the bench and continue to have a really hot girlfriend.
Biggest Loser:Despite being owned in 53% of Yahoo leagues at the moment, I hope no one is really counting on Anthony Randolph (-1.44) to do anything for their team. Even with Love out against the Grizz, Randolph only got 9 minutes and still managed to turn the ball over 4 times (adding 1 point and 3 rebounds to his impressive line).
As far as someone who actually has an affect on fantasy leagues, Mo Williams (-0.95) scored 5 points on 1-6 shooting for the Clippers, to go along with 5 assists and 4 turnovers in their win over OKC. Williams is shooting 41.9% from the floor since joining LA, which is actually an improvement over his 38.5% with the Cavs this season.
* GMTR – the official home of awkward Katy Perry references
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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