Line of the Night: With Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and George Hill all sitting last night for the Pacers (the team is locked into the three seed in the East) Paul George (2.32) got to run wild over the Pistons and finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals on the night. Granger is expected to sit again for the Pacers last game on Wednesday, so expect another huge game from Paul to finish out the season.
Honorable Mentions: Tony Allen (2.10) has been horrible since coming back from injury in mid-April (I know, because he’s on my roto team and I’m capped with moves for the year, so I haven’t been able to dump him), but last night with a little help from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offense, he set a Grizzlies’ franchise record with 8 steals to go along with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Says Allen about his performance, “I was alert and felt good in the passing lanes.” No kidding.
Wesley Matthews (2.01) continued to burn hot over the last month of the season, scoring 24 points, with 3 threes, 6 rebounds and 4 steals as Portland got blown out by the Spurs. Matthews got 45 minutes in this game because Jamal Crawford sat with knee tendonitis and Nicolas Batum was out again due to his quad injury. Raymond Felton (0.25) made a surprise return after missing 3 games and finished with 13 points and 7 assists. I guess that means he’s good to go for the team’s last game on Thursday, but who knows with this season.
The Spurs were led by the unexpected duo of Stephen Jackson (1.83), who had 12 points, 4 assists and 5 steals, and Tim Duncan (1.53) with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Duncan saw a team high 26 minutes in the game as Gregg Popovich worked his magic to seemingly make minutes disappear from the game. Duncan and Jackson, I’d watch a buddy cop movie starring those two.
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Elton Brand (1.49) had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks as the Sixers locked up a playoff spot with a win over the Nets. Andre Iguodala (1.28) finished with a 14, 7 and 9 while getting a team high 41 minutes, but strained his Achilles late in the game. With a playoff spot locked up, Doug Collins said after the game he plans to rest Iguodala and Brand and probably Lou Williams over the team’s final two games. This means we’ll get a heavy dose of Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen and Thaddeus Young on Wednesday and Thursday, so plan your lineups accordingly.
Ersan Ilyasova (1.42) was huge yet again for the Bucks, finishing with 19 points and 15 rebounds against the Raptors. Brandon Jennings (1.09) added 25 points, 3 threes and 5 assists in the game.
The Wizards handed the Bobcats their 21st straight loss (and kept them on the trajectory to become the worst NBA team of all time). They were led by John Wall (1.01) who finished with 16 points and 14 assists. Nene Hilario (0.75) had 18 and 6 in just 21 minutes and they also got a surprise performance out of Jan Vesely, but more on that below.
Charlotte was “led” by D.J. Augustin (0.48) with the 42nd best fantasy line of the night thanks to 15 points and 6 assists. Augustin had sat out the Bobcats previous four games, and his return pushed Kemba Walker (-0.52) back to the bench for only 14 minutes. The Bobcats can’t even do garbage time right this season.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Jan Vesely (1.64) has been starting for the Wizards for a month and has quietly put together a decent run of competence over the last couple weeks, sporting a two-week WARP of 0.34. Last night in a win over the Bobcats, he had his best game of the season, going 8-8 from the floor and finishing with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals (3% owned). The Wizards still play two more games this year, so those in deeper leagues looking for a boards/steals option to plug into your lineup could do worse than grabbing Vesely.
Pick Up Lines: This is the time of the season where everything we think we know goes out the window. So it’s no surprise that James Johnson (1.56) blew up against the Bucks a couple weeks after getting mysteriously benched. Johnson finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks (34% owned). He’s worth a look for the Raptors’ final game on Thursday against the Nets.
Danny Green (1.41) somehow managed to go 4-4 from three and score 18 points in only 15 minutes on the court as the Spurs blew out the Blazers 124-89. He’s been playing well recently (averaging 2.7 threes and 12 points a game over the last two weeks) despite getting his minutes reduced along with the other Spurs’ starters as they rest up for the playoffs. It’s tough to recommend picking up a guy getting 15-20 minutes a game, but somehow Green is making it work. The Spurs also play on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
The Pacers rolling with their B team allowed Leandro Barbosa (1.25) to see 29 minutes off the bench (his highest since he’s been on the team) and Barbosa made the most of the opportunity with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. With Granger a good bet to sit out on Wednesday, Barbosa should again see good minutes again in that game.
MarShon Brooks (1.07) has quietly returned to his early season form for the Nets. Against the Sixers, Brooks scored 18 points, adding 4 assists and 2 steals in 34 minutes. He’s scored in double-digits in 8 of his last 9 games and is someone to look at if you need to pick up some points on the last day of the season, which is the next time the Nets play.
With Drew Gooden (-0.99) taking a crap all over last night’s game against the Raptors (he finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes), the Bucks turned to Ekpe Udoh (0.94) who had one of his strongest games with the team, finishing with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in 30 minutes (10% owned). Unless the team decides to sit Gooden, Udoh will likely go back to seeing less than 20 off the bench for their last two games on Wednesday and Thursday and is a tough guy to recommend because of that.
Marreese Speights (0.55) finished with 17 and 10 for his second straight double-double. Who would have thought in the battle for playing time against Zach Randolph, that Speights would come out on top? Right now, he’s the better fantasy option out of the two.
Tristan Thompson (0.28) had 19 points, 9 boards and 4 blocks for the Cavs. Unfortunately, he also shot 3-10 from the floor and 6-10 from the line, but if you are looking for boards, blocks and some points, the Cavs still have games remaining on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Biggest Loser: George Hill sat out for the Pacers, which is great news for Darren Collison (-1.32), right? Turns out, not so much. A.J. Price got the start at PG for the Pacers, but Collison still got 31 minutes of run off the bench and all he could manage was 4 points on 1-8 shooting, with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 turnovers. Hill is expected back for the Pacers last game on Wednesday, so Collison should be pushed back to limited minutes off the bench again for that one.
Zach Randolph (-1.13) played all of 19 minutes off the bench for the Grizzlies and finished with 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assists on 1-5 from the field. Randolph has one double-double in his past six games, not exactly what was expected from a guy who averaged 20 and 12 last season.
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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