And other notable quotes that may have come from the Phoenix Suns coaching staff or Carlos the Jackal.
Line of the Night: Before the game, Suns assistant coach Igor Kokoskov told Channing Frye (2.20) “we pay you to make shots,” so he did. Now, I’m no professional basketball player, but I’m kind of thinking that’s what most of them are getting paid for. Maybe Frye was confused since his teammate Steve Nash (1.69) sometimes seems to get paid to pass the ball, but Nash and guys like Chris Andersen and Ronny Turiaf are certainly in the minority if not simply the exceptions that prove the rule (though Nash did have 20 points (3 threes), so I’m not sure he’s even an exception. On this “shooting night” for Frye, he ended up with 31 points (6 threes, 12-16 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Evidently, even that wasn’t enough, though, as 19 of his points came in the first quarter, causing Suns head Coach Alvin Gentry to say “I guess I’ve got to do the playground thing and tell them when the guy is hot, we need to try and find him.” Again, I have little experience playing or coaching basketball at a professional level (in this case, little is a metaphor for none), but isn’t the job of the coach to tell the players what to do? Or is Steve Nash not as coachable I have been led to believe?
Honorable Mentions: Mike Conley (2.15) scored 22 points with 4 threes to continue a run of increased scoring and decreased assist he’s on. The player rater likes the line because of the 5 steals and 2 blocks, though, whether he’s passing or shooting. Dwyane Wade (1.96) scored 41 points with 12 rebounds and 2 steals, but I’m pretty sure what that game will be remembered for is 11 of the more impressive seconds of professional football you’ll ever see on a basketball court.
Zach Randolph (1.65) went a little beast mode, adding 7 assists to his usual 21 points and 10 rebounds for a near triple-doube. Al Jefferson (1.55) has worked his way up to #28 on the player rater fairly quietly this season. Bouncing back from a night when only his 12 boards and 2 blocks kept him out of Biggest Loser contention, Jefferson put up 32 points (14-23 from the field) with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Mickael Pietrus (1.58) has just been kind of hanging out on the Suns for the most part since coming from Orlando. I guess maybe Channing Frye told him that they get paid to make shots, as he attempted 6 threes, connecting on 3 of them to end with 11 points and 4 blocks. He’s actually averaging 1.6 blocks per game in February, but that only brings his season average to 0.7, and since the 22 minutes he got last night was the most he’s seen in a week, I wouldn’t count on him as anything more than a source of sporadic threes.
Pick Up Lines: Speaking of sporadic threes, Daequan Cook (1.38) played 21 minutes because the Thunder got the jump on the Kings and ran them end to end for a 30 point win. Cook ended up with 20 points (5 threes, 6-9 from the field) and 5 rebounds, but his game log whispers “Don’t pick me up.”
Perhaps the Jazz got confused and thought that Earl Watson (1.00) was a professional basketball playing machine who was paid to make shots since Watson got quite a bit of run for the short-handed Jazz. His 11 points (3 threes) and 3 steals came in 36 minutes on the floor. If I were the Jazz, I wouldn’t be giving too much time to a guy who can’t make more of an impact than that. I know Watson is capable, but he’s not a machine programmed by John Connor and sent back through time to save the NBA. If he gets sent to a team without an All Star point guard, then he might put up stats to make other free agents look like Ken Jennings.
James Harden (1.00) is probably rostered in every league where he has some value, but just in case, last night he scored 12 points (4-4 from the line) and had a strong defensive effort with 2 steals and 3 blocks (34% owned).
Paul George (0.96) put together his 3rd straight “pretty nice” game with 14 points (3 threes), 5 rebounds, and a steal. Speaking of steal, I think it’s time to pick him up! At least for sure in deep leagues, and he’s worth consideration anywhere else; the guy is up to 176 for the season on the Player Rater (154 in the last month), putting him just below Kyle Korver (see below), and he’s still available in 93% of leagues.
I’ve been trying to tell Kyle Korver (0.67) “we pay you to make shots” since the start of the season, and last night he did, going 100% from the floor to end with 15 points (3 threes). I’m surprised he is las high as 12% owned, but he has been making 1.5 threes per game this season, putting him at #175 on the Player Rater, so I guess that’s worth it in deep leagues.
Biggest Loser: While Darren Collison (-0.63) was part of the reason for the Pacers’ 30 point loss, he did manage 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists despite going 1-11 from the field. While it’s a short week and that shooting performance probably means you’ve lost that category if you’re playing Head-to-Head, at least he gave Roto players some stats, and made some sort of impact in what is basically only 2/3rds of a normal week (and the Pacers still have another game coming tonight, and it’s against Detroit, so Collison may still be a worth play). Another Pacer who may still be a worthy play is Mike Dunleavy (-0.43) who I have to call out with his 5 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists, and 2-6 shooting because one of my co-workers took Carlos Delfino out of their lineup (the Raptors only have 1 game this week) to see what pace Dunleavy could set (you see what I did there?). If said co-worker hasn’t learned a valuable lesson yet, I will make sure he knows by EOB today.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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