Line of the Night: He may not have gotten the highest technical score from our computer judge, but since humans still rule this world (Watson aside), I’m impressed enough with Blake Griffin’s (1.83) 33 point, 17 rebound, 10 assist triple-double that I’m going to hand him the LotN. Yeah, anytime you go to double-overtime like the Clippers and Wizards did last night, you’re going to have more opportunity to rack up those oh-so-important counting stats, but it’s still an impressive performance from Griffin even if it took 51+ minutes to achieve.
Honorable Mentions: Dorell Wright (2.59) had the actual best line of the night according to the GMTR player rater, thanks to a career high 34 point game. He finished 14-21 from the field, with 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 threes and 3 steals in a loss to Houston. In your average keeper league, Wright makes one hell of a keeper since he was drafted in the later rounds of most drafts this season (if at all).
For his part in the game, Kevin Martin (1.88) dropped 34 points with 4 threes on the Warriors; while Chuck Hayes (0.64) had his first career triple-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Josh Smith (1.97) scored 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a loss to the Sixers. It was the first time that Smith scored more than 17 points this month, probably because this was only the Hawks’ second non-blowout game in the past three weeks. I feel better about his prospects going forward, simply because the Hawks can’t be involved in blowouts constantly (or can they)?
The Suns were tired last night. They were coming off their triple-OT game the night before and playing a SEGABABA against Toronto. Fortunately, they had the perfect player for this situation, Aaron Brooks (1.75), who had been saving his energy this season by taking the drastic step of not playing for the Rockets. Brooks took control of this game scored a season high 25 points off the bench for the Suns. He added 8 assists and 3 steals in 34 minutes on the court. The Suns have today off, so expect Brooks to return to a quieter bench role when the team plays again on Friday.
The big man edition: Kris Humphries (1.90) took advantage of some poor shooting performances in the Nets/Cavs game to finish with 18 points, 23 rebounds and a couple of blocks; JaVale McGee (1.86) had a triple-double of his own sort with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 11 salutes during the game. He added 4 of the strongest get-this-shit-out-of-here blocks you’ll see this year; and Dwight Howard (1.74) had 33 points (on 11-15 from the field), with 11 rebounds and 3 blocks as the Magic beat down the Knicks.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Carlos Delfino (1.81) scored 30 points in his second straight game, adding 5 threes and 4 steals against the Kings. Delfino also got 40+ minutes of run for the third straight game, as Corey Maggette has been completely erased from the Bucks’ rotation. While Delfino makes a good add for the last few weeks of the season, he’s already owned in 49% of Yahoo leagues and just slides in under our 50% threshold.
Pick Up Lines: I was oh-so-close to giving Courtney Lee (1.62) a spot start last night in one of my leagues since the Rockets were playing the Warriors. That would have been a much better idea than my eventual play of Tiago Splitter as Lee not only got to play the Warriors, but got the start at SF for the injured Chase Budinger. Lee played 42 minutes and exploded for 25 points (on 10-16 shooting), with 4 threes and a couple steals. The Rockets only play twice this week (their next game is on Sunday) and Budinger could be back for that game, so avoid Lee and his usually pathetic lines unless Budinger’s diagnosis gets worse.
Gary Neal (1.17) scored 25 points in 24 minutes for the Spurs, and added a season high 6 threes and 5 rebounds. Neal is what he is: a streaky shooter getting 20-25 minutes a game off the Spurs’ bench. When his shot is falling he looks like a non-tatted version of J.R. Smith, when they aren’t, well it’s still kind of like J.R. Smith on a bad night. Leave him as a free agent.
Sasha Vujacic (1.15) played a team high 43 minutes against the Cavs (thanks to a Damion James foot injury), and he finished with 18 points, 4 threes, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. The Nets have the best fantasy schedule the rest of the way, so Vujacic may have a surprisingly good end to the fantasy season. Yeah he’s a douchbag, but he could be a valuable add if you need help in threes, especially if James decides to shut it down for the year.
Just in case you weren’t paying attention (and I wasn’t), Yi Jianlian (0.63) has now started 5 games in a row for the Wizards at PF thanks to the Andray Blatche injury. Only two of those five games have gone well for Jianlian – and one of those was last night’s double-OT game against the Clippers – where he had 18 points, 7 rebounds and a couple steals in 42 minutes on the court. Yi is worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues simply because he’s starting and playing some big minutes, but his track record demands we all lower our expectations.
Quick Hits: Richard Hamilton (1.00) is still hanging out on the wire in two-thirds of leagues. He scored 27 against the Heat last night and makes a pretty safe add if your jonesing for some points; Kirk Hinrich (1.38), who hasn’t exactly been lighting it up in his tenure with the Hawks, scored 16 points and added 8 assists against the Sixers, but he’s 46% owned at the moment; and our boy Jodie Meeks (1.00) scored 15 points on 5-6 from three against the Hawks. Meeks is averaging 3 threes a game (while taking 6.3 per game) in the month of March, and that 48% from three is a big reason for the hot streak.
Biggest Loser: The reemergence of Rip Hamilton has killed any fantasy value Ben Gordon (-0.92) had left in the tank. Gordon had 0 points, 0 rebounds and 1 assist in only 11 minutes of run against the Heat. He can be dropped in all leagues as long as Hamilton and John Kuester have kissed and made up like they were Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in Black Swan.
Playing against the Celtics may be hazardous to your fantasy health. Mike Conley (-0.84) was 1-9 from the floor against the C’s. He did have 9 points and 5 assists, but also turned the ball over 5 times.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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