Line of the Night:Andrei Kirilenko (2.61) was questionable to play in last night’s Jazz/Magic game with a right quad injury. His decision to play worked out well, as AK finished with 17 points, 13 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks in an old fashioned Utah beat down of Orlando. We’ll forgive Kirilenko for rocking the worst haircut since Rod Stewart wanted you to think he was sexy, because he’s on pace to have his best statistical year since 2006. One warning sign, however, is that AK’s minutes are up to nearly 34 a game from 29 last year, so hopefully his hair can hold up under the additional workload.
Honorable Mentions: Kirilenko wasn’t the only Utah player to have a great fantasy game yesterday. Deron Williams (2.06) was aggressive all night long on his way to a season-high 32 points. He also dished out 9 assists and hit 4 threes. Al Jefferson (1.85) scored 16 points, adding 8 boards and 3 blocks. C.J. Miles (0.97) scored a season-high 26, while assistant coach Scott Layden had a season-high 36 high fives.
Say what you will about Andrew Bogut’s (2.13) propensity to get hurt (and we’ve said plenty) but as long as he’s on the court he’s a dominating Aussie force of nature. Against the Rockets, Bogut put up a 24 point, 22 rebound double-double, adding 5 blocks in nearly 40 minutes on the court. It was Bogut’s fourth straight double-double since returning from back and elbow injuries earlier this month.
It was the NBA’s official double-double night: David West (2.00) had 24 points (on 11-18 shooting) and 13 rebounds in a Hornets loss to OKC; the good Doctor Love (1.82) had a 27 point, 18 rebound double-double. His prescription for you is more rebounding; Marcus Camby (1.74) put up season-highs in points and rebounds with 16 and 18 against Phoenix; how much of a surprise has Roy Hibbert (1.61) been this season? He had 13 points and 14 rebounds (not to mention 6 assists and 3 blocks); DeJuan Blair (1.26) had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs; and Russell Westbrook mixed up the formula with 29 points and 10 assists. He almost made it a triple-double with 7 turnovers. Whoops.
LeBron James (1.67) didn’t have a double-double, but almost posted a trip-dub with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists as the Heat held the Warriors to 86 points. Also no double-d for Serge Ibaka (1.60) but he got the start with Nenad Krstic sitting with a back injury, and his 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks was good for the 11th best line of the night. Finally, Derrick Rose (0.77) scored 29 points for Chicago and did everything but literally drive a stake through Kobe’s heart in a win over LA.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Luke Ridnour (1.93) posted a season-high 20 points and 10 assists in a win over the Pistons. Ridnour can be a passable fantasy PG when he’s starting, but with Jonny Flynn currently rehabbing in the D-league, that might not be too much longer. At the very least, they’ll be splitting time at the position and that should wipe out any fantasy value Ridnour currently has.
Linas Kleiza (1.50). Erik’s favorite Lithuanian posted a double-double of his own with 26 points (4 threes) and 12 rebounds while going 11-16 from the field. That’s two straight games of 30 minutes for Kleiza after a long run of sub-20 minute games. Will it keep up? Probably not, which is why I’d be hesitant to add him.
Sonny Weems (1.37) took advantage of a fast paced Nuggets/Raptors game to score 21 points, adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He’s an incredibly streaky shooter, but if you can catch him during a hot streak he can be a very good scorer.
With Carmelo Anthony out with a knee issue, Gary Forbes (1.29) got his second start in his place and had a much better game with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Forbes is available in about 99% of leagues, but unless you are a Melo owner, his value will be too short lived to be worth a pickup.
Jose Calderon sat with some mysterious foot injury, giving Jerryd Bayless (-0.93) the spot start. Bayless was horrible – with 3 points on 1-9 shooting – but it is a situation to keep an eye on to see how serious Calderon’s injury is.
Biggest Loser: Damn Nicolas Batum (-1.13). 71 percent of leagues are being patient with you and this is how you repay them: 0 points, 1 rebound and 0 assists while shooting 0-7 from the field. That has to be in the running for worst line of the year. Still, Batum was looking good leading up to this game and I think you’ve got to hold onto him and hope he bounces back.
On Tap: Utah (17-7) at Dallas (18-4) – The Mavs come to this one looking for their 12th straight win. Gordon Hayward will probably get another start for Utah in place of the injured Raja Bell, but it’s CJ Miles who is likely to take advantage of the extra playing time.
Miami (16-8) at Sacramento (5-15) – Tyreke Evans is shooting under 40% from the floor so far this season and an MRI shows that he has an inflamed arch in his foot. He’ll take a dose of tough pills and play through it, but be on the lookout for Pooh Jeter if Evans were to miss any time.
Cleveland (7-15) at Houston (8-14) – It was a hard lesson for Byron Scott to learn – 6th and 7th men are only valuable to your team when you actually have 7 quality players. When you have 4, it doesn’t work out so well. Anyway, the new Cavs starting lineup features Antawn Jamison at PF and Daniel Gibson at SG. That’s a plus for fantasy purposes (sorry JJ Hickson owners) although we’ll see if it translates into actual wins.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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