Line of the Night: What is better than a 30-30 game from Kevin Love (2.85)? Well, nothing. But a career-high 43 points comes awfully close. Love was 14-23 from the field and 5-5 from three on his way to that career high and he still found time to pull down 17 boards. It has just been an amazing first couple of months from Love this season. He’s been everything you thought you were getting when you drafted David Lee this year.
Honorable Mentions: Anderson Varejao (2.29) pulled down his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 17 rebounds, which would be more impressive if not for the guy who preceded him. He also had 2 steals and 4 blocks. Raymond Felton (2.08) was 3 boards short of a triple-double. He finished with a 23/7/11.
With Rudy Gay serving a one game suspension, O.J. Mayo (2.05) got his starting job back for a night and exploded for 27 points, 5 threes, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 47 minutes. With Gay returning for the Grizzlies next game, expect this to be a one-time deal for Mayo and his minutes to fall back into the low 20’s as he returns to the bench.
Derrick Rose (1.72) did it all against the Clippers except hit a free throw which would have tied the game at 100 with less than a second left. The Bulls lost, but Rose delivered a spectacular 34 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 threes and 2 blocks on the night.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Technically, Ty Lawson (1.95) is only owned in 25% of leagues. With Chauncey Billups out with a torn wrist ligament, Lawson has gotten the opportunity to start and is making the most of it. Against the Wolves, Lawson scored 23 points, adding 9 assists and 3 steals in 35 minutes. Billups is expected back as soon as Denver’s next game and he’s going to try to play through the injury, so keep an eye on Lawson just in case Billup’s injury gets any worse and he has to miss significant time.
Louis Williams (1.94) is currently owned in 40% of leagues, which is generous considering his minutes and lines have been all over the place in December. However, Williams took advantage of the trade-depleted Magic by going 13-14 from the line and scoring 24 points. Seeing that he’s the third guard in the rotation behind Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks right now, I’d leave him as a free agent.
Pick Up Lines: I’m not in love with Nick Young’s (1.23) game fantasy-wise, unless you’re looking for someone who amounts to a points specialist. But he’s definitely worth adding in deeper leagues now that the Wizards have found a way to rid themselves of Gilbert Arenas and his contract. At best, he’ll average 25 points a game on the new-look Wizards. Also worth adding are Kirk Hinrich (0.25) – who got 13 points and 12 assists starting at PG with Wall out – and possibly even Josh Howard (-0.47), who got 22 minutes for the Wizards in his first game back from knee surgery.
Rudy Fernandez (1.00). In what has become an annual tradition, the Blazers have a few guys out with injury, most notably Brandon Roy, and Nicolas Batum, and Marcus Camby, and Greg Oden, and Joel Przybilla. Well, that means plenty of minutes for Fernandez, who got 39 minutes of run against Golden State and scored 15 points, adding 6 boards and 2 threes. If he keeps playing like this, Fernandez may find himself with a larger role even when Roy and Batum return.
Mario Chalmers (0.57) got 29 minutes for the Heat. He only scored 8 points, but did add 6 boards and 4 assists. And Jonny Flynn got 24 minutes in his fourth game back for the Wolves, scoring 12 points with 4 boards. He’ll eventually take the starting job away from Luke Ridnour.
Trade(s) of the Night: The Magic decided they were running the world’s most expensive fantasy team yesterday and shook up a stagnant team by trading Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat to Phoenix for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark. Then in a separate deal they swapped Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas. Are these panic moves by a Magic team that had lost 5 out of their last 6 games or are they stockpiling talent for a playoff run? Or both? We’ll have a comprehensive fantasy analysis of the trade last today.
Biggest Loser: I had to go about 30 guys up the list today before I came across a player who people actually own in most fantasy leagues. And that player is Knicks’ forward Danilo Gallinari (-0.68), who was 3-14 from the field and 1-10 from three, finishing with 7 points and 2 assists in 39 minutes against the Cavs.
And Corey Maggette (-1.08) – 0 points on 0-5 shooting – should come with a warning label: Going from the Warriors to the Bucks is hazardous to your NBA career.
On Tap: Phoenix (12-13) at Oklahoma City (19-8). The Suns could be a little short-handed in this one thanks to the trade that sent J-Rich and Turkoglu packing and the fact that Steve Nash might not play after taking a hard fall in the Suns’ last game. That means we could see a lot of the Suns’ bench in this one.
Houston (11-15) at Sacramento (5-19) – Aaron Brooks is expected to make his return in is game. If he does, it means you can thank Kyle Lowry for his service and drop him once Brooks is starting again. And the Kings… ugh. Samuel Dalembert has been the team’s latest victim. He played less than 5 minutes on Friday, while DeMarcus Cousins got 33 at the center position. Drop Dalembert in normal sized leagues if you haven’t already.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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