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2012 Fantasy Basketball: Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Joe Johnson, Tony Parker and More

Line of the Night:Kevin Love (2.54 WARP) celebrated the return of Kevin McHale to Minnesota by really bearding it up and having a bounce back performance in a loss to the Rockets.

After being mentioned in the biggest loser portion of our post on Sunday, Love scored 39 points – going 5-5 from three and 13-19 overall – and added 12 rebounds in the game. The increasing creepy Kevin McHale approves.

Honorable Mentions: In that Wolves game, Ricky Rubio (0.23) dished out 12 assists (including a few sweet no look/behind the back passes), but he also turned the ball over 5 times and shot 2-10 from the field. I followed some of that game on Twitter (big mistake) and it sounded like God had come down from the heavens to play point for Minnesota. Luke Ridnour (1.08) continues to impress in a more human-like way as Rubio’s backcourt mate; he had 17 points and 8 assists. Oh, and how about the team that won? Kevin Martin (1.49) led the Rockets with 31 points and hit 4 threes on the night, while Kyle Lowry (1.47) had his second career triple-double (just two?) with 16 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

Josh Smith (2.47) went into boss mode against the Bucks and finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in 40 minutes. Joe Johnson (1.16) also scored 28 in the game. Not many of the Bucks’ showed show up to play in this game, the exception being Brandon Jennings (2.19), who scored 21 points, adding 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. That’s now four straight 20+ scoring games from Jennings, who has really stepped up his game this season and is actually shooting half-decently. Mike Dunleavy (-0.22) scored 17 points in 31 minutes off the bench for Milwaukee and is only owned in 4% of leagues night now, but I’m not mentioning him in the pick-up lines below because a) the Bucks’ rotation is a mess right now and b) he’s Mike Dunleavy.


James Harden (2.25) helped lead the Thunder to a 20-point win over the Pistons with 24 points, 5 threes, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. As I’ve mentioned in the comments on a number of posts this year, I was big on Harden coming into the year and he’s a great guard to own if you’re playing the percentages. Overall, it really was a team effort for OKC last night. Russell Westbrook (1.17) had a 24, 5 and 6 and even Serge Iblocka (1.09) chipped in 10 boards and 5 blocks.

A rejuvenated Kevin Garnett (2.06) somehow helped the short-handed Celtics hold the Magic to a franchise-low 56 points and 25% shooting on the night (tip – it involved a lot of fouling that wasn’t called by the refs), and hold Dwight Howard (-0.56) to 4-15 shooting. Garnett chipped in his own 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals (!) and 2 blocks in the game. As much as the Celtics’ fan in me would love to see this type of Garnett show up for every game the rest of the season, I doubt very much he has enough gas in the tank to put up these type of numbers consistently.

The Spurs beat the Hornets and were led by Tony Parker (1.04), who scored 20 points but more importantly dished out a career-high 17 assists. A lot of those assists went to Tim Duncan (1.16), who scored 28 in the game, including the game winning running hook with 1.4 seconds left. For the Hornets, Trevor Ariza (1.91) has proven to be a nice pickup for anyone who grabbed him after he returned from injury. He had 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in the game and even shot the ball well (7-13) which has always been the big problem for Ariza. Jarrett Jack (1.71) also chipped in 26 points and 9 assists.

A Dirk-less Dallas team beat the Suns 93-87, but Marcin Gortat (2.06) was the best fantasy player on the court in this game with 19 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. Gortat is now ranked 22 on our rater for the season and is at least in the discussion for the top-5 fantasy centers in the league. For the Mavs, it looks like Shawn Marion (1.68) is going to be the fantasy winner while Dirk sits out this week. Marion led Dallas with 29 points and hit 4 threes in the game.

Jamal Crawford (1.30) scored 26 points in 32 minutes off the bench for Portland. I was going to mention him in the pickup lines section, but then I saw he’s already owned in 66% of leagues. Carry on.

Waiver Wire Line of the Night: With Luol Deng out with a mysterious wrist injury that may or may not require surgery, Richard Hamilton (1.61) took over some of that scoring slack for the Bulls with 22 points on 10-16 shooting, adding 10 assists in a team high 42 minutes on the court. If Hamilton is still hanging out in your waiver wire, stop reading this and grab him immediately. The double-digit assists are a fluky thing, but he is going to score a bunch for the team – especially while Deng is out – and gives the Bulls a much needed Ray Allen type to play off Rose and Boozer.

Pick Up Lines: Jordan Farmar (1.17) played 32 minutes off the bench for the Nets in that Bulls game and finished with 22 points and 3 threes. While 32 minutes was a season-high for Farmar (he’s averaging 20-23 a game recently), he has become the team’s primary guard off the bench and is definitely worth a look in deeper leagues if you need scoring, assists and threes.

When we discussed Dirk on the podcast, Erik talked about picking up the entire Mavs rotation, including (I think) Ian Mahinmi (1.10). Mahinmi saw a season high 29 minutes off the bench against Phoenix and finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Meanwhile, Lamar Odom (-0.19) had another pedestrian game with 11 points and 5 assists. There are no guarantees that Mahinmi is going to see this much run again (he only got 18 minutes in the Mavs first game without Dirk) but he’s worth a look in deeper leagues while Dirk is sidelined if you need a big.

Goran Dragic (1.10) is starting to see more run for the Rockets, which includes getting some time at SG alongside Lowry. Against the Wolves, Dragic scored 14 points and added 3 steals in 23 minutes. We’ve seen Dragic’s ability to put up huge double-double numbers when he’s gotten the chance to start in the past, so definitely keep an eye on him and his minutes.

Jodie Meeks (1.10) was probably dropped in your league after his ridiculously slow start to the season. While he hasn’t quite entered flame thrower mode yet this season, yesterday’s 15 points, 3 threes and 5 rebounds at least got our player rater’s attention. Checking his game log, as long as you only play him every 4th game, you should get a nice double-digit scoring performance.

Kings’ backup PG Isaiah Thomas (0.67) got 28 minutes of run and finished with 11 points and 8 assists. Thomas has been part energy injection, part mop up guy for the Kings (and there is a lot of mop of duty to be had with the Kings), but his extended run also had something to do with John Salmons, who played only 18 minutes after recovering from the flu this weekend.

Has it been a while since you’ve taken a ride with Grant Hill (0.42)? Maybe it’s time for one more run together for old time’s sake. Hill had one of his best games of the season provided you don’t play in a league that counts turnovers with 19 points and 8 boards (and 8 TOs) against Dallas. Hill has now strung together three decent games in a row and is seeing well over 30 minutes a game recently.

One category beasts: Zaza Pachulia (0.81) grabbed 14 boards against a Bucks team that shot 40% on the night and Avery Bradley (0.85) had 3 steals against Jameer Nelson and the Magic.

Biggest Loser: Round up all the bad performances we’ve had this year and I don’t think you’ll find anything quite as bad as Ryan Anderson’s (-1.29) 0 points, 0 rebounds and 2 assists on 0-8 shooting against the Celtics. Playing with half a team, the Celtics’ somehow held the Magic to historic scoring and shooting lows. Anderson was only one of 13 bad players who stepped on the court for the Magic yesterday, he just happens to be the one owned in 92% of leagues.

With Jamal Crawford’s nice game off the bench for the Blazers, Nicolas Batum (-0.85) only saw 18 minutes off the bench and didn’t do much. He didn’t score and only grabbed 2 boards in the game. I wouldn’t worry too much about Crawford yet if you own Batum. Remember, this game came against the Kings.


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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