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NBA Fantasy Basketball: Pierce, Amare, Garnett, Rondo, Allen

Line of the Night: The Knicks pushed the Celtics right until the end, but it was Paul Pierce (2.41) who hit a jumper with 0.4 seconds left to give the Celtics a 118-116 win in New York. Pierce also killed it fantasy-wise, delivering a New York-enhanced 32 points, 10 boards and 4 assists. He was efficient as usual, shooting 10-18 from the field and 10-10 from the free throw line on the night.

Honorable Mentions: The only thing that can stop Amar’e Stoudemire (1.88) right now is father time (but just barely). Amar’e sank a three pointer at the buzzer to give the Knicks the apparent win over the C’s. However, the shot left his hands after the final buzzer. Amar’e was still a beast even if the three didn’t count as he scored 39 points, adding 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. And it’s clear that Celtics’ fill-in center Semih Erden is definitely not someone who can stop Amar’e.

In the win, both Kevin Garnett (1.71) – with 20 points 13 rebounds – and Ray Allen (1.68) – 26 points off 4-5 from three – got the usual Knicks’ fantasy boost in their stats. Rajon Rondo (0.14) did have 14 assists, but also turned the ball over 6 times.

Defense was optional as the Suns took out the Wolves 128-122. The only shots that Channing Frye (2.28) made in this one were threes. Fortunately, he hit 7-12 from behind the arc on his way to 21 points, adding 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Jason Richardson (0.58) scored 29 points with 8 boards, and Steve Nash (0.58) finished with 19 assists. It’s no surprise that Kevin Love (1.86) led the Wolves with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant (2.17) dominated the Pacers in a 109-94 Lakers’ win. He scored 31 points on 11-18 shooting, with 6 assists 4 threes. Pau Gasol (1.16) finished with 28 and 8 and Lamar Odom (0.42) pulled down 17 rebounds.

Carlos Boozer (2.10) torched Ed Davis and the Raptors for 34 points and 12 rebounds. He’s going to get plenty of opportunity now that Joakim Noah is going to miss some time (more on that below).

Finally, Andrew Bogut (1.74) shot 7-11 from the field and blocked 7 shots against the Spurs.


Waiver Wire Line of the Night: I’m going with Spencer Hawes, partly for his stat line (16 and 12 with 5 blocks) and partly for blocking the human highlight reel Blake Griffin twice on the same play (the second block was a statement). That’s his second good game in a row and he’s getting a decent amount of minutes on the Sixers in December. Add him if you’re looking for boards/blocks.

When Thabo Sefolosha (1.3) scores more than 10 points in a game, he usually ends up on our waiver wire list. The problem is that he’s only scored in the double-digits in 8 of OKC’s 26 games and the rest of his game is too inconsistent to recommend picking him up. Last night against the Rockets, he scored a season high 15 points, adding 9 boards and a couple blocks in 24 minutes. Consider him a deep league special at this point.

It was a career night for Joey Dorsey (1.12) thanks to an Andrea Bargnani DNP. Dorsey got the most minutes of his entire three-year career (28) and responded with a career-best 12 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. If Bargnani misses any additional time with his sore knee, Ed Davis (10 points and 10 boards in the spot start) actually makes a better long-term pickup than Dorsey.

Need big man help? DeAndre Jordan (0.97) had 15 points, 6 boards and 3 blocks in another start for the Clippers. He’ll get enough minutes while Kaman is out to be worth looking at in deeper leagues. Drew Gooden had a 20 and 11 off the bench for the Bucks.

Injury of the Night:Joakim Noah is expected to miss the next 8-10 weeks after deciding to have surgery to fix a torn ligament in his right thumb. The injury happened back in Nov and Noah had been playing through the plan over the past couple of weeks, but according to ESPN Chicago:

“I feel like it’s just tough not playing at a high level,” Noah said following Wednesday’s game. “It’s hurting and I’m playing and I’ve got to take anti-inflammatories every time I play. I can’t practice. I have to get right. I have to get right and get back to this team.”

The injury means you want to grab Taj Gibson if he available in your league. We’ll also see more of Omer Asik and they’ll possible have to oil up Kurt Thomas and wheel him out to the court. But as long as the Bulls feel they can survive with Boozer at center, Gibson is probably their best bet at PF.

Biggest Loser: It wasn’t a complete disaster for Eric Gordon (-1.12) in a loss to the Sixers. I mean, he did have 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 37 minutes. But he also shot 6-18 from the floor, 3-6 from the line, and turned the ball over 5 times. I wonder if he was having trouble concentrating on his shot while being heckled by Donald Sterling.

Can we just undo the four-way trade that sent Trevor Ariza (-0.83) to the Hornets (not to mention Troy Murphy to the Nets and Darren Collison to the Pacers)? I think everyone would be happy to jump in a DeLorean and revisit a happier time. Ariza played a season low 19 minutes, shooting 0-3 from the field and scoring 0 points with 2 boards and 1 assist. I’ve said it before

On Tap: San Antonio heads to Denver, where there will be more words spoken about the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors than about the actual game. With Chancey Billups out with a wrist injury for the next couple of games, Ty Lawson makes a good short-term pickup and possibly a decent long-term one if you feel like betting against Billups’ future with the team.


Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).

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