Line of the Night: No, the LotN doesn’t go to Melo, who willed the Knicks to their first win in seven games in OT against the Magic. Rather, it goes to a guy who gets 0.01% of the attention Melo has this year. Thaddeus Young (1.72) scored 21 points for the Sixers in less than 25 minutes off the bench, adding 7 boards, 2 steals and 4 blocks as they beat the Bulls 97-85. Young’s problem is that he likes to sprinkle in complete duds (like Sunday’s 4 point affair) in between his truly solid performances, which makes him the Nicolas Cage of the NBA.
Honorable Mentions: All it took was an injury to Jameer Nelson, a game against the Knicks and overtime for Jason Richardson (1.64) to look like his old self again. J-Rich scored 24 points for the Magic, adding 4 threes, 4 assists and 4 steals. Now, without that perfect storm of events, he can return to scoring 13 points a game. As I mentioned up above, Carmelo Anthony (1.12) led the Knicks to a much needed win with 39 points and 10 rebounds – although his strategy of taking as many shots as possible doesn’t change whether the Knicks are winning or losing.
Darren Collison (1.42) showed up against the Celtics after three horrible performances in a row last week. His 17 points on 8-9 shooting with a couple steals is almost enough to forgive the paltry 3 assists. On the other side of the ball, Rajon Rondo (1.17) “only” had 8 assists himself, but scored 22 points on 9-13 from the field.
The Bucks may have melted down (is that a politically correct phrase to use now?) in the fourth quarter against the Bobcats, but both Brandon Jennings (1.41) – 26 points, adding 9 rebounds and 5 assists – and Andrew Bogut (1.28) – 26 points (13-19 from the field), 9 rebounds, 2 blocks – had strong games in the loss.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: With the Jazz hurting and Andrei Kirilenko MIA with some nerve problems in his knee (as well as Raja Bell spraining an ankle), Utah turned to the only man up to the task of filling in for AK’s hair. And that’s Gordon Hayward (0.93), who played 37 minutes off the bench against the Wizards and finished with 12 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Haywood is not going to be the most consistent player since his minutes still vary quite a bit game-to-game, but he is currently available in 97% of Yahoo leagues and makes a decent poor man’s Kirilenko while the Russian is out (he’s day-to-day, but it sounds like one of those unofficial shut down type situations).
Pick Up Lines: Speaking of the Jazz, Earl Watson (0.50) had his second really good game (out of 4) since filling in for the injured Devin Harris. Watson finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists in 33 minutes on the court. If you need a fill-in PG for the last couple weeks of the season Watson is probably the best you’ll come across (provided Devin Harris remains out). The only really bad game he’s had as a starter was the game the Jazz got blown out against Dallas this weekend.
Was I just talking about the Jazz? Right, Derrick Favors (0.93) had his first double-double off the bench for Utah with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in 23 minutes. I’m not in love with Favors this season because he’s typically been getting less than 20 minutes a game off the bench, but with all the Jazz injuries at the moment, he’s at least worth a look in deeper leagues.
Is Jordan Crawford (0.91) really only owned in 36% of leagues right now? Crawford was a brutal 1-10 from three last night against the Jazz, but did take enough shots to score 25 points, with 5 rebounds and 4 steals. I do like some of the things that Crawford brings to the table, but the dude needs to calm down with the itchy trigger finger. Since joining the Wizards, he’s taking over 15 shots a game and is shooting 38% from the field. He’s also making 18% of his threes at over 4 attempts per game. I think it’s time his teammates staged a three-point intervention.
With Andre Blatche still injured and Trevor Booker missing last night’s game with a foot injury, rookie Kevin Seraphin (0.64) got 21 minutes of run for the Wizards and scored 6 points, with 8 rebounds and a couple of steals. The Wizards are running short on options thanks to all their injuries, but I’d want to see a repeat performance from Seraphin before picking him up.
Yes, I know there were some other games in addition to the Wiz/Jazz last night too. Spencer Hawes (0.62) scored 14 points and had a couple blocks for the Sixers. He’s actually been putting up some decent point/block numbers over his last 4 games – although I don’t know if I trust him enough to actually pick him up; and Brandon Bass (0.47) has been playing well lately for the Magic, with five double-digit scoring games in a row. His latest included 14 points (7-9 from the field) and 6 rebounds against the Knicks.
With the Spurs missing 4 of their starters last night, did anyone step up enough to be worth a short-term pickup (other than George Hill, who scored 27 points, but is owned in 50%+ of leagues)? Eh, no. Maybe Tiago Splitter (-0.19), who was the best of the fill-ins with 14 points and 9 boards in 28 minutes. James Anderson started for Ginobili and scored 5 points in 18 minutes, Matt Bonner had 6 points in the start at PF, and Gary Neal had 8 points on 3-14 shooting off the bench.
Biggest Loser: A mostly invisible game for Landry Fields (-0.74) against the Magic. Fields started, but managed only 3 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 25 minutes on the court. Melo seems to have zapped Fields mojo in the month of March.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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