Line of the Night: With Kevin Garnett leaving the Celtics/Pistons game after injuring his left leg on a dunk, Paul Pierce (2.74) picked up the scoring load for the Celtics and finished with 33 points on 11-16 shooting. He also added 5 rebounds and 8 assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Luke Harangody-playing-PF Celtics eventually lost to the Pistons 104-92. More on Garnett’s injury after the jump.
Honorable Mentions: A bunch of Nuggets sat out last night, so Chauncey Billups (2.56) decided to play the Timberwolves in a little game of 1-on-5 and did pretty well for himself – scoring 36 points on 6-6 from three. He also hit 12-13 of his free throws; Zach Randolph (2.29) pulled down a 35 point, 17 rebound double-double in a tough loss to the Kings; Al Jefferson (2.24) scored a season-high 31 points against the Clippers, adding 10 rebounds and 3 blocks; and can’t forget about Dwyane Wade (1.98), who dropped 45 points on the Rockets in a 125-119 win. Wade shot 71% from the floor in this one and made all his free throws.
How about those Bobcats? Last night was their second-straight 100+ point game under Paul Silas. D.J. Augustin (2.18) scored 28 points, hitting 5 threes and dishing out 6 assists, while Stephen Jackson (2.06) scored 38 with 6 boards. Gerald Wallace (0.07) only had 9 points and didn’t shoot well from the field, but did grab 10 boards in the win.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: I feel dirty talking about Tracy McGrady (1.91) as WWLotN. It’s like I’m trying to sell you some bad drugs. But last night McGrady got the start at SG against the Celtics and played a season high 30 minutes, scoring 21 points on 7-11 shooting, with 8 assists and 3 steals. One look at McGrady’s game log should be all it takes to see that you don’t want him on your fantasy team, but he will put up a line every couple weeks that reminds you of vintage McGrady.
Pick Up Lines: Kirk Hinrich left the Wizards game with a bruised thigh, so Nick Young (1.70) got 43 minutes of run and did what he does best: came out firing like he was Tony Montana at the end of Scarface. Young only shot 10-26 on the night, but it was enough to score 25 points, with 9 boards and 3 steals. Young is worth picking up if either Hinrich or Wall is out of the lineup, but avoid him unless he’s getting 40 minutes a night.
Jodie Meeks may be a flamethrower, but he’s quickly run out of gas, so Evan Turner (1.43) has started to work his way back into Sixers’ rotation. Turner played 30 minutes off the bench against the Suns and scored 23 points on 9-12 shooting. On the positive side, he got last night’s minutes even with Lou Williams back with the team. On the negative side, Turner is shooting only 40.6% from the field this year and will struggle with consistency all season.
Speaking of the Sixers, Andres Nocioni (1.37) got 40 minutes in his second start while Andre Iguodala sat with an Achilles injury and scored 22 points with 12 boards. Iguodala is day-to-day, so the Noci’s value will be short lived unless Iguodala misses an extended period of time, which is possible down the road.
We have a Chris Wilcox (1.23) sighting. Wilcox has quickly worked his way into the Pistons’ rotation at center, which isn’t too surprising given his competition. A game after going for 15 and 8, Wilcox got 27 minutes against the Celtics and scored 10 points with 8 boards and 3 steals. Wilcox has blazed a trail of fantasy underachievement over his career, but in deep leagues he’s probably worth taking a shot on.
Injury of the Night: The injury to Kevin Garnett looked bad, especially for a guy whose had knee problems in the recent past. But according to Doc Rivers, the injury is likely to his calf muscle, not his knee, and that KG will “miss some games.” An MRI is scheduled for today. In KG’s absence, expect to see a lot of Glen Davis, who has started for the team in the past while KG has been hurt. The team is also going to lean a lot on the O’Neals provided they can stay on the court. It should be noted that Kendrick Perkins is practicing with the team and could be back sometime in January.
Biggest Loser: Channing Frye (-0.71) has bad games all the time – it’s kind of his thing – but the most disturbing part of his line (which included 2-7 shooting and 4 points) was the fact that he only played 19 minutes. On the other hand, Marcin Gortat got 35 minutes off the bench. Part of it was that the Suns played really flat as a team last night, but expect to Frye to lose minutes if Gortat continues to play decently.
Shot of the Night: He makes it look easy.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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