Line of the Night: It’s easy to love what Kevin Love (3.08) doing this year – and that’s putting up double-doubles like he’s the love child of Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone. Love personally abused the Knicks with 33 points, 15 rebounds and 3 threes. He also set a franchise record by hitting his 8th three point shot in a row (over multiple games) and now owns every single Wolves franchise record in existence, include the hot dog eating record (29 in 10 minutes).
Honorable Mentions: It’s tiring to play BOTH sides of the court, and as good was Love was on offense, he and the Wolves took it easy on the defensive end in a 121-114 loss to New York. Wilson Chandler (2.01) – with a 21/4/5 – Raymond Felton (1.83) – with a roto friendly 18 points (5-8 from three), 11 assists and 4 steals – and Amare Stoudemire (1.68) – with 34 points on 15-23 shooting – all had lines that fell within the top 11 of the night. Amare has now scored 30+ points in five straight games.
Eric Gordon (2.04) scored 29 points for the Clippers on an efficient 10-17 shooting. He also hit the go-ahead three with under a minute left to lift the Clips over the Kings in the battle for not having the worst record in the league. Advantage: Los Angeles.
Josh Smith (1.97) was the biggest man on the court last night (figuratively, since they were playing Orlando) as his 19 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks gave the Atlanta a rare win in Orlando. How high would you have to be to draft Chris Bosh over Smith?
In his second game after returning from injury, Kevin Durant (1.92) scored 29 points, helped by the fact that he went 14-14 from the line. But – uh oh – he was left on the bench for most of the third quarter (as was Jeff Green) because the team needed “more energy” against the Bulls. On the other side, Carlos Boozer (1.40) had his best game with the Bulls, scoring 29 points and adding 12 boards.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: As I mentioned in GMTR’s Sports Illustrated column this week, Brandon Rush (2.00) is currently in some sort of strange time share situation with Mike Dunleavy (1.25) where they seem to be alternating starts based on the match up – call it shooting guard by committee. But the odd couple 2.0 is making it work. Rush did not start against Toronto, but scored 26 points on 6-8 from three. Dunleavy started and put up 11 points, 5 boards, 2 steals and a block. If their friendship falls apart, Rush and Dunleavy are going to split the court in half with duct tape and be forced to stay on their respective sides.
Pick Up Lines: Thanksgiving is behind us, but we had a full plate of great waiver wire performances last night. Jazz 6th man C.J. Miles (1.95) scored 20 points, adding 3 threes, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He’s getting good minutes and hitting threes, if your team needs that kind of thing.
Eight turnover games aside, Josh McRoberts (1.68) has quietly been putting up some decent fantasy numbers. His latest 12 points, 7 board, 6 assist and 3 block game was more than decent, although it came in a blowout of the Raptors. He’s owned in 20% of Yahoo leagues right now and that definitely will be rising.
Omri Casspi (1.69) had a great game for the Kings with 21 points and 10 rebounds, which probably means he’s going to be benched for their next game. Donte Greene is still starting, so the minutes will likely be too inconsistent to warrant picking up Casspi.
Available in Deep Leagues: All the following guys are available in more than 95% of Yahoo leagues – and you’ll see exactly why that is. Raja Bell (1.25) hit 4-5 threes on his way to 14 points. It was his first good game in a year; Carlos Arroyo (1.12) scored a season-high 18 points in 32 minutes for the Heat although, again, he didn’t do much else; Ryan Gomes (1.07) got 29 minutes off the bench for the Clippers and finished with 17 and 9. He’s consistently mediocre if you’re desperate; and Nenad Krstic (0.99) scored a season high 18 points in 22 minutes for OKC. Joakim Noah was in foul trouble all night, which could have something to do with his strong game.
Biggest Loser:John Salmons (-0.85). Dwyane Wade (with 25 points and a career high 14 rebounds) had it going on last night. His counterpart on the court definitely did not. Salmons shot 2-11 from the field on the night, scoring 7 points in the loss.
On Tap: Washington (6-13) at LA Lakers (14-6) – Pau Gasolis tired, likely from carrying the Lakers on his back for the past month. But the good news for LA is that Andrew Bynum completed a full practice with the team without experiencing any pain in his knee. There is still no official timetable for his return, however.
Phoenix (11-9) at Portland (9-11) – Channeling Chris Farley: How about that Wesley Matthews? Huh? He’s pretty good, right?
Golden State (8-12) at Dallas (16-4) – The Mavs been playing great D lately (thanks Brendan Haywood?). GSW as we know, does not. Poor defense usually wins out in these situations, so expect a high scoring game or a Dallas blowout in this one.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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