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2012 Fantasy Basketball: Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and More

Line of the Night:Kevin Durant (2.86). On a night where Old Man Kobe dropped 40 again, it was actually Durant’s 29 points on 11-17 shooting, with 10 rebounds, 3 threes and 4 blocks that was the best of the night for fantasy owners. Just an amazing performance from Durant considering this was the Thunder’s fifth game in six days. And fifth win in six days.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Paul (2.61) scored 27 points, adding 6 rebounds, 11 assists and 3 steals as the Clippers beat the Heat in OT. DeAndre Jordan (1.41) decided that no one was going to invade his airspace as he blocked 6 shots and grabbed 11 boards in the game. Jordan is now averaging an insane 3.4 blocks a game this season.

LeBron James (-0.32) did have 23 points, 13 boards and 7 assists in the game, but his 37% shooting from the floor and 53% from the line directly led to the Heat loss. Mario Chalmers (1.39) continues to play like he’s a good PG – he had 18 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in the game and has quickly made Norris Cole (-1.27) an afterthought. And good news for Dwyane Wade (0.68) owners – he was back in the lineup last night and finished with 17 points on… 6-17 shooting. The good news is that he’s back, not the shooting.

As mentioned above, Kobe Bryant (2.32) dropped 40 points for the second night in a row, adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists as the Lakers beat Utah in OT. He wants to prove he’s still got a little gas in the tank apparently. Al Jefferson couldn’t get his shot to fall in this game (he was 5-17 from the floor), so it was actually Paul Millsap (1.70) who led the Jazz with 29 points and 9 boards.

Really, there were a ton of good fantasy performances last night this could go on all day – Anthony Morrow (2.04) hit 5 threes on his way 23 points in a game where Denver and New Jersey combined to score 238 points. Morrow is officially warmed-up it seems, although he’s one of the only healthy wings on the Nets at the moment. Danilo Gallinari (2.03) scored 22 points on 7-11 shooting in the game.

Roy Hibbert (1.86) scored 12 points with 11 rebounds and 4 blocks against a Hawks team that lost Al Horford 6 minutes in to a left shoulder strain. If Horford can’t go by their next game, Zaza Pachulia is your new starting center Hawks fans! Lockout shortened NBA basketball, baby!

Tyreke Evans (1.85) scored 29 points and locked up the FT% category for his owners by going 14-14 from the line in a win over Toronto. Meanwhile DeMarcus Cousins (1.21) had 21 and 19 in the game and didn’t kill you in the FT% category by going 9-11 from the line. Jose Calderon (1.73) continues to impress. He had 13 points and 10 assists in the game.

Finally, the Blazers lost to the Magic 107-104, but the won the fantasy battle thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge (1.89), who had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals and Jamal Crawford (1.74) who came off the bench for near season high 30 minutes to score 24 points with 5 assists. Crawford owners, do yourself a favor and don’t look at his game log this season. It will depress.

Let’s move onto the good stuff…

Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Jordan Farmar (2.38). I thought Deron Williams might have sat out last night for the Nets. No, Farmar just managed to score a game-high 26 points on 6-8 from three in less than 23 minutes off the bench in a crazy paced 123-115 game against the Nuggets. The Nets did trail big in this game (surprised?), giving Farmar more run than normal. Unless D-Will were to get hurt, it’s hard to imagine Farmar can maintain much of any fantasy value, even with the rest of the team doing their best impersonation of a MASH unit.

Pick Up Lines: In that same Nuggets/Nets game, the temptress known as Rudy Fernandez (2.28) scored 15 points, adding 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals. Unlike Farmar, Fernandez is seeing a consistent 27-28 minutes a game and he’s shooting over 50% from the floor over his last 4 games. Grab him and ride out the hot streak if you’re looking for a guard.

Isaiah Thomas (1.62) – the extra “a” is so people don’t accuse him of running the Knicks into the ground – scored 20 points and added 6 assists off the bench for the Kings. The 5 foot 8 inch Thomas has gotten extra run the past two games because Marcus Thornton is day-to-day with a thigh injury. Jimmer Fredette (-0.39) is actually starting in place of Thornton, but was 3-10 the floor and didn’t do much else on the court. I’m guessing the fact that Thomas was guarded by Jose Calderon and Anthony Carter might have had something to do with this performance. Plus Thornton is expected back soon, so leave Thomas on waivers.

One PG who did sit out last night was Derrick Rose, who was wearing a walking boot yesterday after injuring his big toe on Tuesday. No Rose, no problem. The Bulls’ third string PG John Lucas (1.25) stepped up and nearly triple-doubled with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in 46 minutes on the count. Lucas clearly doesn’t lack in confidence – he jacked up a team high 28 shots in the game and was 1-7 from three. Any fantasy value that Lucas has is tied to Rose and a lesser extent C.J. Watson, both of whom are expected back soon if not by the Bulls next game. Still, Rose owners might want to protect themselves just in case and grab Lucas as an insurance policy.

Stop reading this and immediately grab Chandler Parsons (1.14) if he still happens to be available in your league (and he’s only owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues at the moment). Parsons was only 4-10 from the floor against the Spurs for 8 points, but he filled up the boxscore in other ways with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. As I mentioned in the comments of yesterday’s post, the scoring is going to be hit or miss for Parsons (get it), but he’s the type of player who is going to contribute in most of the other categories, including threes, steals and boards.

Quick Hits: Leandro Barbosa (1.03) saw 29 minutes off the bench for Toronto and finished with 24 points on 11-18 shooting. I’m not a huge fan of Barbosa as a mostly empty points guy, but his minutes are creeping up on a Raptors’ team that could clearly use some scoring. He’s worth a look if you need some points.

Corey Brewer (1.18) scored 19 points in only 16 minutes on the court for Denver by going 7-8 from the field and 3-3 from three. That’s an impressive display of per-minute scoring that won’t happen again anytime soon.

Omer Asik (0.79) had 14 rebounds for the Bulls, no doubt assisted by the Wizards’ inability to shoot straight. He’s getting 20+ minutes a game for the Bulls and is worth a look in deep leagues, but mostly he’s freaking out Noah owners who are seeing a lot of Noah on the Bulls’ bench in the fourth quarter of games.

Trevor Booker (0.26) saw 31 minutes in a start for the Wizards and finished with 8 points, 10 boards and a block. Booker isn’t going to light it up, but he can contribute to fantasy teams just based on the sheer number of minutes he’s getting as long as Andray Blatche remains out.

Sound the Shaking Things Up Alarm: One of the early coaching moves this season is to rearrange your underperforming starting lineup. First it was the Wizards, then possibly the Wolves, now it’s Gregg Popovich’s turn. Not satisfied with the defense of the Spurs this season Pop pushed Gary Neal to the bench and started the rookie Kawhi Leonard (0.22) at SG. It worked, because the Spurs’ won and Leonard finished with 11 points, 8 boards and a couple blocked shots in 38 minutes on the court. According to Pop, “He’s playing defense. That’s why he’s starting.” Leonard is worth an add in all leagues if he can stay in the starting lineup while Manu is out. Gary Neal is now droppable.

Biggest Loser: One of the Wizards many problems is that Nick Young (-1.12) is taking over 13 shots a game for the team. The Nick Young who is shooting 38% from the floor this season and has shot 43% for his career. Young was 2-11 from the floor against the Bulls and finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 0 assists for a Wizards team that could only muster 64 points on 31% shooting. 31%! John Wall (-0.53) was also 4-13 in that game, but at least he had 8 assists.

If you decided to start Carlos Boozer (-0.70) last night because he had a favorable matchup against the Wizards, well, I’m sorry to say you chose wrong. With John Lucas sucking up shot attempts like a Hoover vacuum, Boozer was only 2-7 from the floor and finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds.

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