Line of the Night:Paul Millsap (2.62) led the Jazz to a win over Memphis with 22 points on 8-11 shooting, grabbing 10 boards and blocking 3 shots. It is only Millsap’s 7th game this season of 10 or more boards, which seems low since he’s averaging nearly 8 boards a game. But it just demonstrates how consistent he’s been so far this season. Not too many highs or lows for Millsap… well, except for that game where he was knocking down threes and scored 46 points. That was awesome.
How was your 2010, Paul?
Honorable Mentions: Jason Kidd (2.38) did not record is 107th career triple-double last night, but he came close with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals in a loss to the Bucks. The Mavs are leaning heavy on Kidd right now with all their injuries. It isn’t good news in real life, but Kidd has been killing it lately for fantasy purposes.
Not to be out done by Kidd, Chris Paul (1.98) had 7 steals against John Wall and the Wizards, adding 13 points and 11 assists; Also for the Hornets Trevor Ariza (1.58) played his first good game in about a week, finishing with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. For the Wizards, JaVale McGee (1.66) finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. He’s currently second in the league with 2.6 blocks per game this season. Nick Young (1.36) led Washington with 24 points, adding 5 boards.
Dorell Wright (2.31) – the official fantasy draft day steal of the season – led the Warriors with 30 points while hitting 6-13 from three. Best of all, his FG% (currently 42%) is starting to creep into a non-embarrassing place.
The Timberwolves ran over the Nets 103-88, led by Kevin Love (1.76), who had 23 points, with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Love double-doubled in every single game in December. After one game, he’s on pace to do it in January too.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: We’ve got to go down to the 19th best line of yesterday before we hit a guy available in more than 50% of leagues. And that guy is Jose Juan Barea (1.16), who saw 36 minutes off the bench for Dallas thanks to a Caron Butler injury at the beginning of last night’s game (not to mention Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion also being out).
Barea was not afraid to come out firing in this one, going 11-21 from the field and scoring a career-high 29 points. If Butler were to miss some significant time (and that is the way it’s looking right now) the Mavs may be forced to give Barea some extra run and he’s worth a speculative add in deep leagues, but Jason Terry is really the guy who should benefit the most from Butler’s absence.
Pick Up Lines: After missing most of November and December with injuries, the Chris Andersen (1.01) we know and love is back for Denver. The Birdman grabbed 11 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench for the Nuggets last night and has double-digit rebounding performances in 3 of his last 4 games. Add him if you’re looking for rebounds, blocks and a healthy dose of personality in your lineup.
Earl Boykins (0.92) had a great game off the bench for the Bucks, scoring 26 points while shooting 9-16 from the floor. He’s gotten some decent run while Brandon Jennings has been out and is worth a look in deeper leagues if you’re desperate for a PG.
Injury of the Night:: Caron Butler left last night’s game in the first quarter after injuring his knee and he did not return. Turning to my favorite news outlet, Art Garcia of NBA.com tweeted that Butler may have a torn patella tendon, which if true, could result in season-ending surgery. With the Mavs racking up more injuries than the cast of Spider-Man the musical, Jose Juan Barea has worked his way into the rotation. Jason Terry should also see extra minutes and a bump in value.
Biggest Loser:Michael Beasley (-1.10) put up 10 points, 6 turnovers and not much else in 33 minutes on the court. It simply looks like a bad game for the Beas after he put up two 30+ point games earlier in the week.
Caron Butler’s absence may mean more opportunity for Jason Terry (-0.91), but last night it just meant more opportunity for him to miss shots. Terry was 3-15 from the field, scoring 7 points, with 0 rebounds and 2 assists in 32 minutes. Terry is 6-31 from the field over his last two games.
On Tap: A lot of ugliness on the court today. Memphis (14-19) at LA Lakers (23-10) is the game that features the teams with the best combined record. At least we’ll get to watch the dream PG matchup of Mike Conley vs. Derek Fisher.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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