Line of the Night: Chris Paul (2.69) has put up a number of good-to-great lines for far this year for the Clippers and is currently ranked at #3 for the season on the GMTR player rater, but interestingly enough, his 36 points on 11-16 from the field, with 3 threes, 9 assists and 2 steals against the Nuggets last night is his first LotN of the season. Paul is shooting 49% from the field and 87% from the line this year, which short of Steve Nash, is about the best percentages you’ll find out of the PG position.
Honorable Mentions: Paul Millsap (2.15) continues to put up nice line after nice line despite the lingering threat of Derrick Favors stealing his minutes. Against the Timberwolves, he scored 25 points, adding 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in the game. For the Wolves, Nikola Pekovic (0.29), who was a game-time decision with a sprained ankle, started and finished with 15 and 12, although he did shoot only 3-11 from the field. Hopefully the extra rest from the break means he won’t have to miss any time with the injury.
No third line of the night in a row for Kevin Durant (2.07), but I’m guessing his owners will be happy with 28 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in a 119-104 win over the Celtics. Although considering the Thunder scored 72 points in the first half of the game, people were probably hoping for another 50 point game from Durant. Rajon Rondo missed the game as part of his two-game suspension for throwing a ball at a referee on Sunday, but Kevin Garnett (1.54) returned to the court after missing two games for personal reasons and finished with 23 points and 13 boards. KG is putting up almost exactly the same line for the Celtics as the past three years – 14.5 points, 8 boards and a block a game with great percentages. It’s a far cry from when he was the best fantasy player in the league about 8-10 years ago, but he’s still a top-40 player according to our rater.
MarShon Brooks (1.98) seems to be ramping back up after coming back from that broken toe. His 24 points, 4 threes and 5 boards against the Magic is his first 20+ point game since coming back from injury. Dwight Howard (0.94) had 20 points and 17 boards against his potential soon-to-be new team. How did you like the show, Nets fans?
Marcin Gortat (1.96) has been one of the most underrated fantasy players so far this season. His 21 points and 15 rebounds against the Warriors is his fourth 20+ point game in a row and he’s quietly become one of the best fantasy centers in the league. Channing Frye (1.70) added 22 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in the game. He’s not one of the league’s best fantasy PFs, that’s for sure, but at least Frye is now playing like an actual NBA player.
Did you bench Dorell Wright (1.68) after he put up two 0-fer scoring nights in a row? If you did, you have another reason to hate him after he scored 23 points, hit 3 threes and added 7 rebounds in that game against the Suns.
Tyreke Evans (1.84) had his second really nice game in a row, hitting 8-10 shots from the floor to finish with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in only 26 minutes on the court. Isaiah Thomas (0.33) cooled off a bit last night after his last two insane games, but still managed to score 18 points and add 6 assists on 9-19 shooting (how does Thomas squeeze in 19 shots in that lineup?). DeMarcus Cousins (0.61) finished with 16 and 16, but was a DeMarcus Cousins-like 6-20 from the floor.
John Wall (1.76) just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists and 3 steals in the game. It’s his third almost triple-double of the year if you are counting at home.
Despite Kobe Bryant’s best sabotage job (more on that below), Andrew Bynum (1.66) led the Lakers to a 96-91 win over the Mavs with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Greg Monroe (1.02) finished with 30 and 14 as the Pistons lost to the Raptors. It’s his third double-double in a row after a bit of a rough stretch in the middle of February. Toronto’s best fantasy performance came from the wacky Jose Calderon (1.41) line. He only scored 6 points on 1-4 shooting in the game, but dished out 15 assists and grabbed 8 boards. It’s the type of line Jason Kidd dreams about at night.
Finally, Joakim Noah (1.65) took advantage of poor Jon Leuer and got his first career triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a big 110-91 win over the Bucks. No monster game from Ersan Ilyasova (0.67) in this one, he was held to 15 points and 4 rebounds as the Bucks were dominated on the glass 49-29 in the game.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Jordan Crawford (1.56) exploded for 32 points, hitting 3 threes and going 12-19 from the field as the Wizards lost a 115-107 game against the Kings. This is Crawford’s third 20+ point game in a row, which probably means he’s due for a couple 2 for 12 shooting night’s right after the All-Star break. When Crawford is on, he looks great, but when he’s off, look out, he’ll kill you with his shooting. Admittedly, Crawford is not the type of player that I typically go for in fantasy leagues, but he’s certainly worth an add if you are on the hunt for some scoring and don’t really care about your FG%.
Pick Up Lines: Jose Barea (1.53) dropped a season-high 22 points off the bench against the Jazz, hitting 5-6 from three and adding 4 assists. While Barea can score in bunches, the 5-6 from three is a fluky performance and given that his minutes are usually in the low-20′s for the Wolves, he’s not consistent enough to be worth owning in normal size fantasy leagues.
A career-high 18 points for the other Nikola, Nikola Vucevic (1.29), who added 8 rebounds and 3 blocks off the bench for the Sixers. Like Barea, he’s not seeing consistent enough minutes to be worth a pickup, especially if Spencer Hawes decides he’s going to actually play another game this year. But for now, he’s splitting time at center with the yes-I’m-still-in-the-league Tony Battie and only getting about 20 minutes a game on average.
Steve Novak (1.19) continues to tear it up even with Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup. Novak hit 5-10 from three on his way to 17 points and a couple of steals as the Knicks destroyed the Hawks, 99-82. Novak got some extra run in this game because of the blowout (Amare only played 24 minutes and Melo 27), but on most nights he’s going to be pushed to the back of the rotation and will have a hard time seeing enough action to even be worth owning as a three point specialist.
In the revolving door known as the Nuggets’ big man rotation, Kenneth Faried (1.15) got another start at PF with Nene out. He only played 22 minutes, but managed to score 12 points, adding 9 rebounds and 2 steals. With Ty Lawson and Rudy Fernandez both sitting the game out, rookie Jordan Hamilton (1.18) also saw a season high 24 minutes off the bench, scoring a career-high 18 points, with 4 threes and 7 rebounds. Provided the Nuggets get healthy after the break and Wilson Chandler joins the team, both of these guys are going to find it tough to carve out consistent minutes off the bench.
Gustavo Ayon (1.17) only scored 9 points in his 9th straight start for the Hornets, but did grab 17 boards against a Cavs team that is starting Semih Erden at center. He’ll likely be back on the bench when Okafor gets back, but should put up some decent defensive numbers as long as he’s getting 25 minutes a game.
Bismack Biyombo (1.02) is inviting you to another one of his block parties. This time against the Pacers, he had 10 boards and 6 blocks in 33 minutes in the start. Biyombo now has 15 blocks over his last 3 games and I think we all know what he brings to the fantasy table at this point.
In a deep league? Francisco Garcia (0.82) has now gotten two good games of run thanks to John Salmons completely being dropped from the Kings’ rotation after he’s been completely ineffective in all aspects of the game this season. Meanwhile Garcia got 34 minutes off the bench and did what he usually does by bringing the defense against the Wizards, scoring 12 points with 5 boards, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He’s worth keeping an eye on to see if the minutes remain for him even after the break.
Injury Notes: It’s exactly what Stephen Curry owners’ fear on a nightly basis – Curry injured his foot in the first quarter of last night’s Warriors’ game and was not able to play in the second half because the injury was too painful. X-Rays were negative, but the phrase “plantar fasciitis” is being mentioned. Thank god the all-star break is coming up, giving Curry almost a week to rest. If he were to miss any time, Nate Robinson becomes an immediate add again.
Drew Gooden has already missed some time with a “wrist injury”, but we finally know more specifics. Before Wednesday’s game Gooden said that he has a slightly torn ligament in his wrist (a la Kobe Bryant). But instead of having surgery, he’s going to try and play through it starting next week after the break. This is the type of injury that could linger all season for Gooden, so his owners might want to start shopping him around once he gets back on the court.
Joe Johnson is going to miss the all-star game with a knee injury, but the good news is that it’s “only” tendinitis and not anything more serious. According to the team, he’s going to be evaluated prior to the Hawks’ first game back from the break on the 29th.
Biggest Loser: Kobe Bryant (-1.13) was able to get his in the Lakers/Mavs game with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, but it came at a high price: 4-15 shooting from the floor and 7 turnovers. He also missed two free throws with 37 seconds left that would have helped put the game away.
Ricky Rubio (-1.13) managed 7 points and 6 assists in 32 minutes for Minnesota. But he also had 6 turnovers and shot 2-7 from the field and 1-6 from the line.
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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