Line of the Night: All it took was losing his starting job to give Richard Hamilton (2.08) the kick in the ass he needed to start playing well again. Two games after being moved to the bench, Hamilton scored a season-high 35 points, shooting 6-10 from three and 13-20 overall. Hamilton has been put on notice for being a distraction to the Pistons, but as long as he’s scoring and the Pistons are winning, all is good in Detroit.
Honorable Mentions: Shane Battier (1.93) a triple-double threat? He scored 13 points, with 10 rebounds and 7 assists in Houston’s win over the Clippers; With Carmelo Anthony out for personal reasons, J.R. Smith (1.86) got the start in his place and scored 22 points, going 4-10 from three with 7 boards 2 steals; Joe Johnson’s (1.72) elbow must be doing pretty good. He scored 23 points, adding 5 rebounds and 7 assists against the Cavs; and Chris Paul (1.73) scored 12 points with 14 assists in the Hornets win. Although he’s a little young to be turning into Jason Kidd… Paul’s scoring has dropped from nearly 23 ppg two years ago to 16 ppg this year. He’s taking 5 less shots a game than in the 2008-09 season.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Technically, Hamilton and Battier are only owned 40-something percent of leagues, but Tracy McGrady (1.87) is a real waiver wire player who is owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues. That’s actually pretty damn high for a guy averaging 17 minutes and 5 points a game so far this season. Against the Raptors, McGrady exploded for a season-high 17 points, adding 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 24 minutes off the bench. However, he’s way too inconsistent to recommend adding.
Pick Up Lines: Gary Neal (1.48) hit 5 threes for the Spurs in 26 minutes off the bench, scoring 22 points. George Hill is out for with a sprained toe, so Neal makes a good short-term play if you need threes.
DeAndre Jordan (1.28) double-doubled for the Clippers with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He’s only owned in 15% of leagues, so grab him if you need rebounds and blocks.
Marcus Thornton’s (0.83) lines have been all over the place lately. But the good news is that he’s started to get some decent run off the bench after being left for dead earlier in the year. Thornton scored 18 points and hit 4 threes in 19 minutes against the Nets last night (now that’s some solid per minute production). Keep an eye on him for now.
Coaching Move of the Night: Larry Brown is out as the Bobcats head coach. He’s being replaced on an interim basis by Paul Silas. Silas has been out of the league for the past 5 years, which is not exactly what you want in a head coach coming to a team that is a Gerald Wallace injury away from complete disaster. Fantasy-wise, we’ll have to wait and see if this means more playing time for Tyrus Tomas, the only Bobcat with some potential who isn’t starting for the team.
Biggest Loser: Andrea Bargnani (-1.23) managed to score 16 points off 6-17 shooting in the Raptors loss to the Pistons. But the real crime comes from his 2 rebounds in 33 minutes. Bargnani has a rebounding rate of 9.6% this season (the percentage of rebounds he grabs while on the floor), lowest of any center getting more than 20 minutes a game this season, and lower than Brook Lopez (10.3), Nenad Krstic (11.4) and Channing Frye (11.6). Actually the surprise there might be how horrible Brook Lopez has been on the boards this season.
Dishonorable Mentions: If his performance of late is any indication (3 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists against the Celtics last night) the Jodie Meeks (-1.30) experiment is about to come to an end in Philadelphia, which means good things for Louis Williams.
Baron Davis (-1.03) shot 2-9 from the field, scoring 5 points with 4 turnovers. Maybe he was too excited thinking about the rumored trade that would send him to the Bobcats for D.J. Augustin.
On Tap: San Antonio (25-3) at Orlando (16-12). The new-look Magic are still looking for their first win together, while fantasy owners are looking for Richardson, Arenas and Turkoglu to starting making some shots. I think we can agree that not much has gone right for them in their past two games.
Miami (21-9) at Phoenix (13-14) – Mike Miller is back for the Heat. He got 4 minutes in the Heat’s last game. Talk about working someone slowly back into the rotation. Still, he is worth a grab if he’s hanging out on your league free agent list. Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat should make their debuts for the Suns in this one. A look under the hood demonstrates that this trade isn’t as bad as it first seems for Phoenix.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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