Sports

2012 Fantasy Basketball: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant and More

| by Give Me The Rock

Line of the Night: Derrick Rose (2.67 WARP). I got to watch some of the Bulls/Wizards game last night. Unfortunately, what I watched was the fourth quarter (when the Wizards started to clamp down on Rose and forced Carlos Boozer to actually do something on the court) so I missed most of Rose’s season high 35 points in the game. Rose was also 14-15 from the line (yay for that FT% category), adding 8 assists, a couple steals and 3 blocks. Rose now has 3 straight 30 point games – so I guess that toe is feeling ok.

Honorable Mentions: Add one part Chris Paul (2.65) and one part ego-destroying rim destruction by Blake Griffin (1.07) and you’ve got the recipe for the how to stop the Thunder’s four game winning streak. Paul had 26 points (on 12-16 from the field), adding 14 assists, while Griffin did this to Kendrick Perkins:

Griffin finished with 22 and 7, but doubt anyone is talking about his stat line today. For the Thunder, Kevin Durant (2.49) scored 36 points, with 13 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Russell Westbrook (1.67) dropped 31 and added 5 steals. Kendrick Perkins finished with the need for a lifetime of therapy.

One reason I hate owning Michael Beasley (2.39) is because of the occasional 30+ point games he puts up, which teases you just enough to keep him around through all the bad times. Last night was one of those nights for the Beas who helped spark a huge third quarter run for the Wolves and finished the game 34 points on 10-14 from the floor and 12-12 from the line in a win over the Rockets. If you’ve never had the pleasure of owning Beasley before, you will get these 30 point games from time to time spread out over the year. It is not the start of something special.

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The Wolves – who scored 120 points on the night – were far from a one man show. Kevin Love (2.23) chipped in 29 points (on 10-15 from the field), with a measly 7 rebounds; while Ricky Rubio (2.12) nearly triple-doubled with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 11 assists.

The Rockets’ best line actually came from Kevin Martin (1.46), who was back in the lineup after missing two games. Martin hit 4-6 from three and finished with 29 points in the game. This meant that Courtney Lee was pushed back to the bench (and didn’t do much in 22 minutes), while Chase Budinger managed to still score 13 points in 21 minutes. Both take a hit in their fantasy value with Martin back. And just a note to all Kyle Lowry (0.51) owners – he continues to slide down the GMTR player rater thanks to recent games like this one last night – 11 points and 3 assists. You may want to quickly sell high on him if you still can.

Big men of the world unite! Paul Millsap (1.73) continues to play like a first round fantasy draft pick with 19 points and 15 rebounds in a win over the Blazers. Al Jefferson missed the game with an ankle injury – and the injury sounds pretty bad despite Jefferson’s insistence that he’s going to be back on the court soon – so keep an eye on that situation Jefferson owners.

Ryan Anderson (0.58) may be known more for his three point prowess than his boarding, but thanks to a truly horrific shooting game between the Magic and Sixers (more on that below) he grabbed 20 boards on the night. The downside is that he was 0-4 from three.

And Joakim Noah (1.43) – who was in a funk at the start of the season – nearly had a triple-double against the Wizards with 14 points, 13 boards and 7 assists. With 5 double-doubles in a row now, I think it’s safe to say that Noah is back.

The Suns got destroyed by the Mavs 122-99, but Marcin Gortat (1.85) had the best fantasy line in the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks against one of the more invisible 7-footers in the league, Brendan Haywood. And with all the talk about Rodrigue Beaubois (0.77) – who finished with 8 points and 7 assists in the start – the Mavs’ best line actually came from…

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Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Delonte West (2.60). West may have lost his starting job to Beaubois, but with Kidd out he got 28 minutes off the Dallas’ bench and scored 25 points on 9-12 shooting, adding 5 threes and 6 assists. Whether he is starting or coming off the bench, West will get minutes with Kidd out of the lineup and makes an ok add in deeper leagues, but his scoring in this game is a total aberration. He’s much more likely to be around the 10-12 point mark in most games. I’d guess that West’s big fantasy contribution will most likely be as spoil to any breakout potential that Beaubois has currently.

Pick Up Lines: Yesterday’s waiver wire guy, Vince Carter (2.41), chipped in another 21 points and was 5-7 from three in 29 minutes. I echo Erik’s comments from yesterday – I can’t say that I’m running out to grab Carter in any leagues – but as long as his shot is falling like it has been recently, he should get a small bump in minutes and value while Kidd is out.

Earl Watson (2.05) – our deep league special from two podcasts ago – filled up the box score with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks in 25 minutes for the Jazz. He’s still coming off the bench behind Devin Harris, so he only really makes sense in deep leagues at the moment or maybe as a handcuff if you happen to still be a Harris owner (again, probably in a deep league).

With Andray Blatche out of the Wizards’ lineup for a month or so (more on that below) Trevor Booker (2.03) got extra run off the bench against the Bulls (Jan Vesely started at PF and did absolutely nothing). Meanwhile, Brooker and had his best game of the season – 14 points (7-9 from the field), 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. His line as a starter earlier in the year when Blatche was out – 6.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 blocks – doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but if you’re desperate for a big or are a Blatche owner, you may want to take a chance on Booker.

Mike Dunleavy (1.68) wants some love, dammit. Lately, we’ve been dismissing Dunleavy on GMTR (as well as the entire Bucks SG through PF positions), but he continues to put up nice scoring numbers off the bench for Milwaukee. And against the Pistons, Dunleavy scored 20 points and hit 2 threes in 26 minutes. It’s his fourth double-digit scoring game out of his last 5 games and he’s finally wore me down enough that I’ll say he is worth a look if you need a scorer as long as he’s getting a consistent 25+ minutes off the bench.

If you love Ryan Anderson but can’t afford his price tag, check out Matt Bonner (1.40), PF/C for the Spurs who is basically a 6-foot 10-inch three-point specialist. Bonner scored 15 points on 5-9 from three against the Grizzlies and has now hit 15 threes in the Spurs last 4 games.

Speaking of three point specialists, Kyle Korver (1.20) got the start, played 44 minutes and hit 5 threes of his own on the way to 17 points and 5 rebounds for the Bulls. The absence of both Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton helped Korver get that burn. He makes a good short-term play while those two guys are out, although both Deng and Hamilton are day-to-day and will probably be back sometime this week.

And with Thabo Sefolosha out with a right foot injury, Daequan Cook (0.90) saw 32 minutes off the bench for the Thunder and had a pretty empty 12 points. But he’s currently available in 99% of leagues, so if you happen to play in a 16+ team league and need some scoring for the week, he could be worth a play while Sefolosha is out.

Injury of the Night: The Wizards announced yesterday that Andray Blatche is expected to miss the next 3-5 weeks with a strained calf muscle. According to interim head coach Randy Wittman:

“He’s probably looking at, after the doctors looked at an MRI, maybe 3-5 weeks with a strain,” Wittman said. “He tweaked it pretty good in Charlotte, and obviously there’s a lot of bleeding in there, which leads to the inflammation in the calf. We’ve got to get that out of there first, and then we’ll have a better idea what we’re looking at.”

As mentioned above, Jan Vesely (-0.45) got the start in Blatche’s place last night, but only played 15 minutes. Trevor Booker is the guy to look at picking up, especially if you’re a Blatche owner. I’ve already dropped Blatche in the one daily changes league I had him in.

Possible Injury Rumor of the Night: So in an article about Rudy Gay, Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears just casually threw out that Coach Lionel Hollins doesn’t think that Zach Randolph will be back on the court this season. What? How about a little elaboration please? Spears seems to be making a habit out of burying these gossipy tidbits in articles about other stuff (I noticed he did a similar thing earlier this year, although I forget about what at the moment). If you’ve held on to Z-Bo for this long, wait for confirmation from some other source before dropping Randolph.

[UPDATE: Thanks to a little detective work by Nels (check out the comments), it looks like Spears misquoted Hollins about Z-Bo in his article. Everything is still on track for Z-Bo.]

Biggest Loser: The Magic appear to be doing everything in their power to actually drive Dwight Howard away from the team. In their latest 74-69 loss to the Sixers, Hedo Turkoglu (-1.32) finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds while shooting 1-9 from the field. Hedo has shot 12-48 over his last six games and appears to have already run out of steam on the season. Don’t be surprised if he pulls a Dirk or Melo sometime soon and takes some time off to get right.

And has Brandon Knight (-1.16) already hit the rookie wall? It’s a little early to proclaim that after two bad games, but Knight didn’t score on the night, finishing with 1 rebound, 2 assists and 4 turnovers in 24 minutes.

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Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.

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