Last night’s game provided a very nice example of the difference between fantasy basketball and real NBA basketball. Not because someone with 8 blocks ran away with the Line of the Night, but because the 5 of the top 7 Honorable Mentions came from guys on the losing end of their games. Yet if you have them on your fantasy team, then they’re helping you to win whatever match-up you’re embroiled in.
Line of the Night: DeMarcus Cousins (2.76) couldn’t beat Dallas by himself despite 25 points, 18 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 blocks. Marcus Thornton (-0.38) returned for the Kings, but put up a Biggest Loser-worthy line, going 7-16 from the field, which was good enough to net him 16 points, but combined with 1 rebounds, 0 assists, and 4 turnovers, it wasn’t doing the Kings a whole lot of favors.
Then there was LeBron James (2.35), who scored 36 points (13-14 from the line), with 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in the Heat’s second loss to the Celtics in as many tries. Mario Chalmers (1.56) added 18 points (3 threes, 6-9 from the field), and 3 steals, but when your team is starting Ronny Turiaf at Center, your GM is probably looking at your team’s salary information and hoping that Steve Nash will take a 67% pay cut to come play with your three handsomely paid All Stars. On the other end of the floor, Paul Pierce (1.47) put up 27 points (3 threes), with 7 rebounds.
Our other Honorable winner was Louis Williams (1.73), who had 20 points (5-8 from the field, 8-8 from the line), 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in the win for the 76ers. Granted, they were playing New Jersey, so it’s not like they weren’t the odds-on favorite in that one.
Rounding things out for the guys with high ownership rates… One game after beating Chicago and Derrick Rose in overtime, Tyson Chandler (1.48) and Carmelo Anthony (1.46) couldn’t stop the Bulls without D-Rose. Chandler had 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks while Carmelo put up 29 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals, but at home, the Bulls were able to pull away from the Knicks and push to a 3 game lead in the Eastern Conference while pushing the Knicks down to 8th, where they would face the Bulls in the first round. I don’t think they’d be looking forward to that one.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Last Night Kenneth Faried ran away with the LotN and the WWLotN. I consider Kevin Seraphin (2.35) his fantasy basketball twin because they are both young guys on teams that swapped PF/Cs at the trade deadline but ended up letting the back-up PF/Cs play through and shine. Seraphin had 24 points (11-16 from the field), 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks (30% owned) and is a must add for anyone who needs Big Ball categories (FG%, PTS, REB, BLK).
Pick Up Lines: Kyle Korver (1.75) lit it up for the Bulls last night, coming off the bench behind Richard Hamilton to score 14 points (3 threes, 5-8 from the field), with 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks (17% owned). Korver is still good for just threes, though, and the rest of those stats are pretty much a fluke. Even with Derrick Rose out, Korver’s position with the team is pretty much the same as it ever was.
Here come the Cavs!
Am I dating myself again if I say “Does anyone else remember Troy Hudson’s magical 2-year fantasy tour?” Probably.* Anyway, that’s kind of all I can think when I think of Lester Hudson (1.64) and his 25 points (5-5 from the line), 8 rebounds, and 6 assists (24% owned). That performance came off the bench, but Hudson still got 36 minutes of PT backing up Donald Sloan (0.09) and Anthony Parker (1.61), the latter of whom had 19 points (4 threes, 7-11 from the field), and 2 steals (3% owned). Finally, there was Alonzo Gee (0.96) and his 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals (34% owned). Grain of salt time: All of these performances came against the Bobcats. With Anthony Parker back and Hudson and Gee continuing to light it up (as much as one can light it up for the Cavs), it looks like Sloan is probably the odd man out.
Understandably, Spencer Hawes (1.40) now appears in the Waiver Wire section of the GMTR Daily Post… He’s been injured practically the whole season and his comeback thus far hasn’t exactly been a Spencer Hawes Blues Explosion of basketball skills. Yet, after 19 points (7-11 from the field), 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks, Hawes is now averaging 9.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks over the last 4 games (45% owned). Okay, not exactly must add material, but definitely worth looking into.
Biggest Loser: There were quite a few candidates for Biggest Loser, but since the first lot of them aren’t that high up on the ownership ladder, and Ryan Anderson (-0.49) (7 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists, 2-10 from the field) and the aforementioned Marcus Thornton are just coming back from injuries, I decided to give them a break and go one deeper to… Chris Bosh (-0.36) whose relative run of on-fireness (for him at least) comes to a close not with a roaring howl of pain, but a whimpering 5-13 (38%) from the field, 3-5 from the line, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 turnover. Sure, you’ll take the 13 points and 9 rebounds if you’re a fantasy owner, but the 38% is going to hurt whether you’re playing fantasy, or trying to show that you’ll be able to beat the Celtics in a playoff match-up.
* Nels Dating Himself – A Play In 7 Lines
So, where do you want to go to dinner tonight?
Some place nice.
Nice? We just went some place nice last night! What do you think I am, made of money?
And what do you think I am? Some slut who’s going to put out after one dinner at a fancy restaurant? This is over.
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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