Line of the Night: The Bulls cruised to a win over a Bobcats team playing without Stephen Jackson, and as a result, Derrick Rose (2.18) cruised to the best line of the night by filling up the box score with 20 points, (only) 6 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. As I wrote in GMTR’s SI column this week, the Bulls have one of the easiest schedules from now until the end of the season, so Rose owners should be feeling very confident heading into the stretch run.
Injury of the Night: Someone who is not feeling so confident about the stretch run is Carlos Boozer, who limped off the floor after injuring his ankle in the fourth quarter of the game. Bulls’ fans and Boozer owners can direct their hate mail to Kwame Brown (not that he needs any more), whose flagrant foul on the play caused the injury. X-rays were negative and we’ll know more about the severity of the injury today. If Boozer misses any time (and history would strongly suggest yes) expect Taj Gibson to reenter the starting lineup and become an immediate fantasy add. In his first go-around filling in for Boozer at the beginning of the season, Gibson averaged 11 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game. Grab him if he’s available.
Honorable Mentions: 22 points, 8 assists and 3 steals for Jrue Holiday (1.92) as Philly went to overtime against Oklahoma City; Kevin Durant (1.78) scored 34 points and had 16 rebounds in the game.
Carmelo Anthony’s (1.60) game winning shot against the Grizzlies with less than a second left was the cherry on a fantasy sundae that included 31 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists; Mike Conley (1.61) had the best performance for Memphis and continues his year-long impersonation of a good PG with 20 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals (but I’m on to you Mike…).
Overall, Kevin Love’s (-0.06) fantasy game wasn’t great because channeled Dwight Howard and missed 7 of the 15 free throws he attempted, but Love did have 16 points and 21 boards for his 52nd straight double-double, the longest streak since Elvin Hayes had 55 in 1973-74. Brook Lopez (1.47) is working on his own double-double streak (currently at 2) thanks to a 26 points and 10 rebound game against the Warriors and the invisible Andris Biedrins.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Other than the whole taking Carlos Boozer out thing, the Bobcats were so fantasy friendly last night that Kyle Korver (1.48) scored 20 points on 4-7 from three in less than 17 minutes on the court. Unfortunately for Korver, he’s averaging right around 17 minutes a game recently. Unless he’s playing the Bobcats every night, 17 minutes ain’t going to cut it for fantasy. Leave him as a free agent.
Pick Up Lines: The only explanation is that John Kuester is on a personal crusade to get John Kuester fired. After benching Tracy McGrady (1.39) for five straight games, he inexplicably started him last night over Rodney Stuckey, who was arguably been the Pistons’ best player over the past few weeks. The move was certainly good for McGrady, who scored 15 points, and added 7 rebounds, and 9 assists in the loss. It was equally as bad for Stuckey, who we’ll get to below. I’d try and get into Kuester’s head to imagine how this will play out for McGrady, but I’m afraid I’d see things in there that I can’t unsee.
C.J. Miles (1.32) got the start at SF for the Jazz thanks to some Andrei Kirilenko back spasms. Miles finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in the start. Kirilenko is day-to-day with the injury, but Miles had been playing well lately even off the bench and is worth a look, especially as long as AK is out.
Tony Allen (1.18) hit 7-8 shots against the Knicks to score 22 points, adding 2 steals in the game. Playing the Knicks + hitting all your shots = an unusually good game for Allen, but on the plus side he got 30+ minutes on the court for a second straight game. He’s worth owning in deep leagues and just ride the hot streak while you can.
Nenad! The one benefit to playing with Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal is you’re going to find yourself with a lot of playing time as the only healthy center among that trio. So, on a night where the Celtics had trouble getting anything going against the Clippers, Nenad Krstic (1.16) was their most consistent player, scoring 20 points and grabbing 9 boards. Krstic will continue to get a lot of regular season minutes and score in that lineup, and he can be a serviceable C in deeper leagues.
Toney Douglas (1.05) continues to start and play well in Chauncey Billups’ absence. His latest line included 18 points and 10 assists against the Grizzlies. Mike D’Antoni says Billups will definitely return for Sunday’s game, while Billups says that one cannot be definitive about anything in this world and that life can only be seen in shades of gray. One thing is for certain, however, and that’s that Douglas will get at least one more start at PG for the Knicks tonight.
Jodie Meeks (1.04) is on a roll. His 17 points in an OT game against the Thunder is his 6th straight double-digit scoring game. He also added 3 threes, 7 rebounds, and a couple steals in 42 minutes. And he’s available in 90% of leagues at the moment and is worth a serious look in most leagues. So no smiling when you add him to your team.
Darrell Arthur (0.96) had a Knick enhanced 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. He’s been inconsistent on a game-to-game basis, but Arthur is doing a good job of scoring, blocking shots and grabbing some boards on the majority of nights.
Finally, Tyler Hansbrough (0.81) had a 21 and 10 for the Pacers after a WWLotN yesterday. Nels covered his situation pretty good in yesterday’s post. In short, should get some nice minutes as the Pacers crawl to the finish line.
Biggest Loser: So McGrady started at PG for the Pistons, which pushed Rodney Stuckey (-1.08) to the bench. The result couldn’t have gone worse for Stuckey, who scored 3 points and had 1 assist in only 16 minutes on the court. This could be very bad news for Stuckey, but he could just as easily return to the Pistons starting lineup for their next game. We’ll have to wait and see what other tricks John Kuester has up his sleeve.
The biggest loser is really getting to know Darren Collison (-0.99) this year. In fact, they’ve already exchanged numbers so they can text each other during the off season. Collison latest bad line included 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 turnovers in the Pacers’ beat down at the hands of the Wolves. I’m not saying Collison is droppable, but the guy has 2 assists total in his last three games.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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