Line of the Night: We’ve seen LeBron James (2.01) get the LotN on a number of occasions. And while his overall line wasn’t as strong as some of his others this year, LeBron’s 35 points and 8 rebounds in a 114-96 win over the Bucks was the best last night’s 6 games had to offer.
Honorable Mentions: Two games after shooting 2-12 from the floor, Carlos Delfino (1.89) led the Bucks with 24 points, hitting 5-8 from three and 8-12 overall and adding a couple steals in 32 minutes. The good news if you grabbed Delfino is that he’s hitting a ton of threes right now (16 over his last 4 games) and remains a must start while he continues to stroke it. And by ‘it’ I mean from three.
Philadelphia won 98-89 over Charlotte and were led by Louis Williams (1.49), who scored 23 points, adding 4 assists and 2 steals in 27 minutes off the bench. The Bobcats’ best fantasy line actually came from Boris Diaw (0.74), who only scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting, but had a crazy 5 boards, 10 assists and 2 blocks in the game. Best news of all if you are a Diaw owner is that he played 39 minutes in this game. Enjoy it while you can.
Well, well, well. With Emeka Okafor a late scratch yesterday with a sore left knee, The Hornets gave the start to Chris Kaman (1.47). And he blew up for 27 points, 13 rebounds and 2 steals in a win over the Jazz, playing nearly 42 minutes in the game. Okafor is day-to-day with the injury, but Kaman could side over to PF when he returns and continue to put up solid numbers (although 27 and 13 probably won’t happen again). I did my due diligence last night and checked all my leagues and Kaman was already owned in all of them, but if he’s hanging out on the wire in your league, he’s worth an immediate grab.
For the Jazz, Al Jefferson (1.46) finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
The Suns played The Warriors, while resulted in a number of good fantasy lines. David Lee (1.32) had a huge 28 point, 12 rebound double-double (meanwhile Ellis and Curry combined to shoot 8-30 from the floor). For the Suns, Marcin Gortat (1.20) had his own 25 point, 12 rebound double-double, adding 2 blocks. Even the newly rejuvenated Channing Frye (1.18) got in on the action by scoring 18 points, adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the game.
Finally, Chris Paul (1.21) – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals and Caron Butler (1.09) – 23 points, 5 threes and 8 rebounds tag teamed the Mavs and might have won if not for a bunch of Blake Griffin’s missed free throws. Dirk Nowitzki (0.48) was only 5-15 from the floor in the game, although he still managed to score 22 points.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: GUSTAVO! With Okafor out with a sore left knee and Jason Smith out with (another?) concussion, Gustavo Ayon (1.48) finally got a start at PF and responded with 13 points (on 6-7 from the field), 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Okafor is day-to-day with the injury and Ayon will likely be pushed back to the bench in favor of Kaman when he gets back, but if you’re in a daily league with a need for a big man, absolutely go ahead and take a shot on Ayon (available in 98% of Yahoo leagues) and hope that he continues to see big minutes for the Hornets, both while Okafor is out and even off the bench when he returns.
Pick Up Lines: Speaking of the Hornets, Greivis Vasquez’s (0.92) second start in a row for the injured Jarrett Jack went a lot better than his first. Vasquez still only shot 4-12 from the field, but finished with 12 points, 10 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes. He’ll be a really nice short-term option while Jack is out the rest of the week, and will be worth owning for the rest of the year thanks to the recent news regarding Eric Gordon (more on that below).
If you are solely – and I mean solely – on the hunt for blocks, Ekpe Udoh (0.73) blocked 3 shots against the Suns last night. He’s been getting pretty good run off the bench for the Warriors in February and has blocked 14 shots so far this month. But that’s all you are going to get.
If you’re in a deep league and need a big (and even Tiago Splitter is out of your price range), there is Nikola Vucevic (0.65), who has been getting about 25 minutes a game off the bench for the Sixers. His line against the Bobcats – 8 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks – is about the best you can hope for from him, however, and the rookie is going to put up inconsistent lines all year.
Old Dogs: Nels, Erik and I are co-managing a team in an ESPN-based experts league, and I picked up Grant Hill (0.82) for us on Sunday (mostly because he played on Monday). I just love it when a plan comes together, as Hill finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists against the Warriors. Long-term, Hill is pretty low upside compared to your typical waiver wire grab though, and I’d suggest using him like I did as a plug and play guy when the matchup is good.
Mike Miller (0.80) hit 3 threes and finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench against the Bucks. It was his best game in at least a week, so leave him as a free agent.
Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith are getting all the attention, but one guy who is already back from China and playing with the Clippers is 34-year old Kenyon Martin (0.76). Martin got 26 minutes off the bench against the Mavs and finished with 10 points and 4 blocked shots. At this point in his career, he’s not going to do enough to be worth owning in all but the deepest leagues.
Eric Gordon to Have Surgery: The Hornets announced yesterday that Eric Gordon will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will miss at least the next 6 weeks. The team isn’t providing much additional information on why, after being out nearly six weeks, Gordon and the team decided that surgery was necessary at this point.
Sorry to all you Gordon owners who were strung along for weeks and weeks, but at least this finally clears things up: Gordon can be dropped in all but the deepest leagues. Yes, there is an outside chance that he comes back at the very tail end of the NBA regular season, but at this point I think it’s safe to assuming the worst when it comes to his knee.
Better news for Derrick Rose owners: An MRI revealed that Derrick Rose has no structural damage in his injured back (it’s only muscular), so he remains day-to-day and his primary treatment at this point includes rest and massage (where do I sign up?). He could be back on the court as soon as tonight’s game against the Kings, but I’d much rather the team take it a bit slow and make sure he doesn’t reinjure himself. And this is coming from a guy who owns Rose in a 30-man league, where I’ve been forced to start Sebastian Telfair at PG this week.
Speaking of Telfair, I watched a little bit of the Suns/Warriors game last night and the first play I see Telfair and the Suns second unit run went like this 1) the Suns casual pass the ball around the perimeter for 15 seconds, 2) someone (maybe Markieff Morris) bobbled one of passes and it bounced back towards the half court line, 3) Telfair runs and grabs the ball, then proceeds to dribble around the three point line for about 7 more seconds, 4) then right before a shot clock violation, he launches up what looked like a one-handed turnaround shot from about 20 feet that wildly misses…
I take it all back, Derrick Rose come back now!
Return of the Hibachi? The Lakers worked out Gilbert Arenas over the weekend. And according to an ESPN report, he looked “slimmed down” and “explosive” during his workout, although the Lakers have yet to offer him a contract.
Biggest Loser: Blake Griffin (-1.39). The player rater doesn’t take into account real life disappointment, but it might as well today. Griffin’s 20 points and 7 rebounds looks pretty damn good on the face of it, but what killed his line and likely cost the Clippers a win in reality was a 2-9 game from the line. He also had 4 turnovers and was empty everywhere else.
Tyrus Thomas (-1.16) played 9 minutes off the bench against the Sixers and put up a snazzy 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists and 0 blocks. And if Thomas isn’t blocking shots, he isn’t worth owning anymore.
Just in terms of expectations versus performance, Paul Millsap’s (-0.57) 4 points on 2-9 shooting, with 5 rebounds and 1 assists might be the most disappointing performance last night. While this was a particularly bad game for Millsap, he does appear to be slowing down a bit from his hot start in December and January and you want to take time to start exploding trade options if you’re a Millsap owner.
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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