Line of the Night: There was certainly no crying after the game for Carmelo Anthony (2.25) and the Knicks, who crushed the Jazz last night 131-109. Anthony scored 34 points in the win, shooting 4-5 from three and 12-16 overall, in only 30 minutes on the court.
Honorable Mentions: Melo’s tag team partner, Amare Stoudemire (1.53), somehow managed to score 31 points on 12-15 shooting with 3 blocks before leaving the game in the third quarter and playing just 24 minutes. Despite the embarrassing loss, the Jazz were again led by Al Jefferson (1.45), who put up 36 points (on 17-26 from the field) and added 12 rebounds.
But the Knicks didn’t have all the fun. Kevin Love (2.09) fell short of a 20/20 game, but did have a sweet 23 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 threes against the Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki (1.42) scored 25 points in the game and hit all 10 of his free throws, while Jason Kidd (1.45) finished with 13 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals.
Most improved fantasy player this season? Kyle Lowry (1.45) certainly deserves consideration for the way he made Aaron Brooks obsolete in Houston (in fairness, Aaron Brooks did as much to advance that cause as Lowry). In the Rockets’ 123-101 win over the Kings, Lowry had 19 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 threes
Derrick Rose (1.30) took advantage of the Chris Paul-less Hornets on his way to 24 points, 9 assists, and a couple blocks. And that leads us to…
The Chris Paul Injury Update: Paul sat out last night’s game with a concussion that he suffered over the weekend. The only word on his injury is that he’s currently day-to-day. According to Coach Monty Williams, they “won’t know how many games Paul might miss until they speak with doctors today in New Orleans.”
Sounds like an injury that could keep Paul out at least a couple more games, so if Jarrett Jack is available in our league you might as well grab him even if you despise the guy. He’s a decent scorer (he scored 23 points starting in place of Paul against the Bulls) but the rest of his stats are only going to make you miss CP3 that much more.
In other injury news, Channing Frye is expected to miss 2-3 weeks after dislocating his shoulder in the Suns last game. It remains to be seen what the Suns do in Frye’s absence. Hakim Warrick probably picks up most of his minutes and is worth a look in deep leagues despite his inability to do anything other than score and board.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Technically, it’s Chase Budinger (1.92), who sneaks in under our self-imposed 50% ownership guidelines for waiver wire players by being owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues (maybe we’ll lower that threashold next season). The red-headed wonder filled up the box score against the Kings with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 threes, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Other than one game on Feb 27, Budi has been solid as the Rockets starting small forward.
Pick Up Lines: I thought that Chauncey Billups would only miss a couple games with his injury (at least that’s what the New York Daily News told me… which is the problem of getting news from tabloids). Instead, Billups sat out his fourth straight game last night and Toney Douglas (1.35) again made the most of his extra playing time. Douglas got the start and scored 20 points in only 23 minutes, hitting 5 threes and adding 6 assists. If you play in a daily changes league, ride him on a day-to-day basis as long as Billups is out.
Marco Belinelli’s (1.20) on-again off-again affair with the Hornets’ starting lineup is on-again. In his latest start, Belinelli played 44 minutes and scored 17 points with 9 boards. Like Jack, he’ll get plenty of run with Paul is out and is worth a short-term pickup.
Brian Cardinal (1.04), who you might not know is now a member of the Dallas Mavericks, got his first significant playing time since… about 2006. Cardinal hit 4-8 from three on his way to 12 points with 3 steals. While he is currently available in 100% of leagues right now, this is the type of out-of-nowhere performance that demands an encore performance before anyone actually picks him up. Well, other than at the bar after the game, where you are free to do whatever you want with Brian.
Gerald Henderson (0.99) has been streaky for the Bobcats since entering the starting lineup, but the good news is that he’s currently in the middle of a hot streak, scoring 20 points on 10-18 shooting with a couple steals against the Clippers. He’ll be hot and cold all year, but overall he’s worth owning as long as he continues to see more than 30 minutes a game.
Courtney Lee (0.93) scored 19 points with a couple of blocks in the Rockets; blowout win. Lee has been getting about 30 minutes a game lately and his numbers are on the rise. He’s worth a look in deep leagues despite the fact that he doesn’t do any one thing particularly well.
Biggest Loser: If you’re a PG and have more turnovers than assists, well, you’ve just failed at your job. That’s what happened to Jameer Nelson (-1.18); in addition to his 4 assists and 5 turnovers, Nelson shot 1-7 from the field and finished with 2 points and 0 rebounds. Says Stan Van Gundy about the game, “The only guy who played really bad was Jameer.”
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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