Injury of the Night: Manu Ginobili (currently the seventh ranked player on the GMTR player rater) broke a bone in his left hand during the Spurs game on Monday and is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with the injury. That’s one big nasty ass pill for Manu owners to have to swallow. In Manu’s place over the next month we’re going to see more of rookie James Anderson and Danny Green, as well as Gary Neal when he returns from injury.
In case you were thinking about picking Anderson up, he played 22 minutes in the Manu injury game, shooting 1-6 from the floor and finishing with 4 points. So, you’ll want to leave him as a deep league pickup only and instead focus on a guy like Richard Jefferson if he’s available (I know, I can’t believe I said that). Manu owners just have to sit tight and hope he returns to the court on schedule.
Line of the Night: Jarrett Jack (2.94). Chris Paul who? Through the first week, Jack is putting up CP3-like numbers including night’s 27 point, 5 rebound, 11 assist and 2 block game against the Jazz. Ok, he might not be making his teammates look as good as Paul did (though look at that weak Hornets’ starting 5 without Eric Gordon), but Jack is averaging 8 assists so far this year and is rewarding fantasy owners who took a chance on him as a number 1 or 2 PG.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Love (2.52) was back after getting the LoTN yesterday, with the second best fantasy line of the night thanks to 24 points, 15 rebounds and 4 threes in that Spurs game. I don’t know what more to add about Love at this point other than you’ll be seeing him again on GMTR soon no doubt.
I watched the Wizards battle the Celtics, so while I applaud JaVale McGee’s (2.25) insane 17 points on 8-9 shooting, with 14 rebounds and 3 blocks, just know that it came against rookie Greg Stiemsma, a gassed Kevin Garnett, the undersized Brandon Bass, and Chris “if I played with any less energy I’d be dead” Wilcox. Still, McGee owners will happily take it. In a similar vein, Andray Blatche (1.94) scored 28 points for the Wiz, adding 9 rebounds and a couple steals and blocks. Best line about Blatche last night on Twitter, “[He] seems to be on the Boris Diaw fitness program.” But when he gets his big body barreling towards the basket, watch out…
For the Celtics, Ray Allen (1.87) was 6-7 from three on his way to 27 points and Paul Pierce (1.24) very much looked like a man with a heel problem hobbling on the court, but still shot well enough to finish with 24 points and 8 boards.
Sound the breakout player siren! Paul George (2.03) had his best game so far this season with 21 points on 5-5 from three. George is getting a lot of run at the 2 for the Pacers and should continue to put up strong, if a little inconsistent, numbers all season.
Nets forward Kris Humphries missed this game because of a sore left shoulder, and Shelden Williams (-0.06) – remember him – did nothing with a spot start in his absence. Marshon Brooks (1.15) actually had the best game for the Nets with 21 points, 7 rebounds and a couple steals. He’s worth an add in most leagues if you are a patient person who can deal with wildly inconsistent games. Deron Williams (1.54) took a nasty fall in this game, but finished the game with 22 points and 8 assists and looks to be ok.
Our projections loved Carlos Delfino (1.94) going into the year. And in his second game back from injury, he’s showing why. Delfino played 42 minutes against the Nuggets and finished with a box score-stuffing 14 points, 3 threes, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and a couple blocks. He was helped by the fact that Mike Dunleavy sat in the game with an illness. Denver’s best fantasy performance comes all the way down at #35 on the night courtesy of Ty Lawson’s (0.90) 16 points and 6 assists. Not the greatest fantasy night for them.
You can breathe a little easier today if you own Al Horford (1.78) – 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks – or Steve Nash (1.73) – 21 points, 9 assists. Both seem to be picking up the pace after very slow starts.
Dirk Nowitzki (1.72) helped hand the Thunder their first loss of the season with 26 points on 10-16 from the field. Lamar Odom (-0.11) actually made an appearance in this game with 8 points and 5 boards. Hey, it’s something for Odom owners to cling to.
OKC’s best game came not from Durant or Westbrook, but James Harden (1.08), with 16 points, 7 boards and a couple steals in 31 minutes. And Serge Ibaka (1.00) had a 10 and 8 with 2 blocks on the night. It’s both a good and bad thing that he saw 41 minutes on the court. Ibaka owners are certainly glad to see him get so much play, but you’d think he could do just a little more on the court with all that run.
Finally, we have to mention Carmelo Anthony’s (1.56) 35 point and 11 rebound game in a loss to the Raptors. Anthony took 31 shots in this game and was responsible for about 40% of the team’s shots on the night.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: On a night where Ricky Rubio had a quiet 6 points and 3 assists, it was Luke Ridnour (1.32) who picked up the slack, scoring 19 points and dishing 9 assists. Technically still the starter for the team, Ridnour’s numbers this year are almost exactly in line with what he’s done in past years – 11 points, 4 assists and a three a game in 27 minutes – making him waiver wire fodder that is only worth consideration in deep leagues or as a plug and play if the weekly schedule is nice.
Pick Up Lines: Getting his first start of the year for the sick David Lee, Dominic McGuire (1.19) was one of the few bright spots for the team in a loss to the (not sucking anymore?) Suns. McGuire scored 14 points and added 9 rebounds in 26 minutes. Lee could be back to the lineup as soon as the Warriors next game, so I would not run out and grab McGuire unless Lee were to seriously get hurt… (not wishing for that).
It really could be Richard Jefferson (1.17) who picks up the Spurs’ scoring slack during Manu’s absence. Jefferson scored 16 points and hit 4 threes in 33 minutes last night and is currently available in 67% of Yahoo leagues. It’s like a reversed version of New York, New York – If Jefferson can’t get it done here, he can’t get it done anywhere. Still, speculatively add him away.
With Jermaine O’Neal hurting (I’ll wait for everyone to get over that surprise), Greg Stiemsma got the start at center for the Celtics and finished with 13 points, 7 boards and a couple blocks in 21 minutes. I get some Brian Scalabrine flashbacks when I watch him play – mostly because he’s an awkward looking white dude – but he’s worth an add if you are in need of a big man as long as O’Neal is sidelined (he’s day-to-day with a hamstring at the moment).
Marshon Brooks (1.15), who I mentioned above is a talented scorer in a packed Nets lineup at the moment. I foresee him frustrating fantasy owners all season long as one night he’ll get 30 minutes and the next he’ll get 15. Still, worth an add if you can take it.
Rasual Butler (1.12) is still in the league? Wow, not only in the league, but starting for the Raptors. Still, yesterday’s 13 point, 10 rebound game should be tempered with the fact that the Raptors had a sizable lead on the Knicks almost all night, giving Butler a season high (by far) 37 minutes on the court. Butler has yet to play more than 20 minutes in any other Raptors game this season, so leave him as a free agent for now.
Tracy McGrady (0.88) anyone? Anyone? No? McGrady drank some rejuvenation juice against the Heat last night, scoring 16 points with 7 rebounds and 3 threes in 26 minutes on the court. You know, his name has become a joke over the past couple of years, but McGrady is playing pretty well for the Hawks right now and is worth a look in deeper leagues. Grab him before he hits a wall.
Quick Hits: Shane Battier (0.71) – with 11 points and 3 threes – had his first good game of the season off the bench for the Heat. I’d want to see him repeat that performance before picking him up however. Power forward Jason Smith (0.80) got 25 minutes of run off the bench for the Hornets and finished with 16 and 8. But he’ll only have long-term value if he takes the starting job away from Carl Landry. Ian Mahinmi (0.43), with 10 points and 9 rebounds, continues to put up nice lines in limited minutes for the Mavs. It’d be nice from a fantasy perspective to see him get a consistent 25 minutes a game before I’d want to pick him up.
Your Latest DeMarcus Cousins Update: Both Paul Westphal and Cousins seem to be sticking with their stories. Cousins is traveling with the team and will dress tonight, but he’s not expected to start. Keep him benched if you own him for now.
Biggest Loser: Time to drop Ed Davis (-1.02) if you’re an owner in one of the 51% of leagues were he’s still in play. Davis played only 15 minutes against the Knicks, scoring 2 points with 1 rebound. That’s been par for the course for him so far this year on a Raptors team that is giving Jamaal Magloire 14 minutes a game off the bench as well.
Anthony Morrow (-0.87) – 2 points on 1-8 from the field – is another guy you want to drop, as he’s getting crowded out of the Nets rotation by Brooks. Brandon Jennings (-0.88) had 3 assists to 6 turnovers against the Nuggets, also helping you lose the FG% category by shooting 5-16 from the field. And then there is poor Dorell Wright (-0.14), who scored no points on 0-4 shooting, with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Are you panicking yet Wright owners?
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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