Line of the Night: LeBron James (2.98) led the Heat past Kobe Bryant and the Lakers with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. Talk about multi-category contribution. That is why LeBron sits alone atop the Player Rater. And why is the only player to have won LotN more than once so far in only 26 short days (he’s had the best line 3 times). And while he’s there and Kevin Durant is not a slightly more distant second and Russell Westbrook is a disappointing 40th… Westbrook has signed a 5-year, $80 million contract extension to form something like the anti-Heat… two superstars in a town with about 25% of the metro population of Miami, no beaches, and tornadoes.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Martin (2.22) only made 3-3 free throws, but he ended up with 32 points because of 5 threes, and also grabbed 8 rebounds. On a night when there were only 3 games (still more than the “usual” two that are played on Thursday nights), that was enough to put him in second place.
If Kobe Bryant (2.15) had scored another 40 points, the Lakers would have won by 5, but he only managed 24 (3 threes, 5-5 from the line), with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Pretty good night for fantasy owners even if the Lakers lost. And speaking of Lakers, Pau Gasol (1.75) had 26 points, and 8 rebounds in the effort, while Andrew Bynum (1.11) contributed 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Here’s to Samuel Dalembert (1.27) who finds himself owned in 78% of leagues now that he’s starting for Rockets. Good that people realize that you can’t just get 15 points, 17 rebounds, and 2 blocks from some white guy you picked up off waivers just because he also happens to be starting for the Rockets.
Finally, Al Jefferson (1.14) put together another squarely solid game with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: There’s quite a few Jasons in the NBA, but this is actually the first time we’ve ever tagged Jason Smith (1.32) in a post at GMTR. He had his third (non-consecutive) good fantasy game for the Hornets with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks (4% owned). He’s not starting at PF ahead of Carl Landry and whoever else they tried to start at PF before Smith. If it’s good enough for Chandler Parsons, it should be good enough for Smith.
Pick Up Lines: Rodrigue Beaubois (1.28) was a very efficient 6-9 from the field to end with 17 points and 2 blocks (7% owned). I wouldn’t count on that from him, since he did it in only 18 minutes, and it was his best game in a week.
In his second game back from a calf-strain, Courtney Lee (1.23) put up 17 points with 2 threes and 3 steals (4% owned). The Rockets are pretty thin, so Lee should probably be picked up in deep leagues right away and definitely flagged for review in 12 and 14 team leagues. He’s already averaging 9 points with a three and a steal, so if you need that and can afford to skip a big contribution in rebounds and assists, consider courting Courtney. (Yes!)
C.J. Miles (1.20) appears in this space again with 17 points (6-6 from the line), and 2 steals (43% owned). I’m too lazy to look up his ownership rate last time, but I’m pretty sure it’s higher now.
Shane Battier (0.94) started his first game for the Heat, and played his best game for them with 11 points (3 threes), and 6 rebounds (18% owned). Hold on a moment, though, because let’s remember that Dwyane Wade is injured and Battier was starting at SG. He might have a short run, but as soon as Wade returns, Battier is back to non-contributor… probably the 3rd or 4th (or 5th) guy off the bench.
I wish I had more to report, but with only 3 games yesterday, there’s just those two 4-star rec’s up there (Jason Smith and C.J. Miles, in case you missed it). That does give me time to go back and try to pick up any unanswered comments, though. Sorry if we don’t get back to you – with just the 3 of us, it’s hard to keep up with 20-some odd questions a day… They’re all good questions though, so keep it up!
Biggest Loser: All right folks, it might be time to give up on Devin Harris (-0.75). After 1 points on 0-7 from the field with 2 rebounds, and 2 assists… I think anyone still waiting to see if he’ll come back has waited long enough. There are a lot of free agent options out there this season and you’re missing out on them if you’re still hoping Harris makes something of the season.
Meanwhile, someone you should hang on to, despite his terrible 10 points 1 rebounds 1 assists 3-14 from the field is Jason Terry (-0.56). Some of his numbers are down, but that includes his turnovers while his steals and threes are actually up. Then there’s Jason Kidd (-0.15) who crafted a line like only Kidd can… 2 points on 1-4 with 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and 6 turnovers. If you have Kidd, your team is probably constructed such that you don’t care about the FG% or the Turnovers, so that’s a pretty nice line in spite of what the player rater says.
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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