Line of the Night: With Tyrus Thomas suspended by the league a game for flagrant foul on Emeka Okafor, Boris Diaw (3.24) got 40 minutes of run and exploded for 25 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 blocks. It’s a reminder of just how good Diaw can be at his best, which unfortunately for fantasy owners, is not very often.
Honorable Mentions: The NBA ran with a full schedule of games on MLK Day starting at 1 pm EST (which an awesome thing), so we can’t even begin to account for all the great fantasy performances. But I’ll try to do my best like I’m Boris Diaw on a good night.
Deron Williams (2.83) finished with the second best LotN with 28 points, 11 assists and 6 threes in a loss to the Wizards. The Wiz came out victorious thanks to strong performances from Andray Blatche (1.92), who blatched his way to 21 points, 11 boards and 4 blocked shots and John Wall (0.51) who almost triple-doubled the wrong way with 19 points, 15 assists and 7 turnovers. Nick Young (1.59) was also an efficient 7-12 from the field, scoring 25 points. Squint hard enough and that Wizards’ starting lineup starts to look pretty, pretty, pretty good. Their bench is atrocious though.
Danny Granger (2.44) – with 32 points and 4 threes – and Darren Collison (2.41) – with 30 points and 8 assists – accounted for over half of the Pacers scoring in a loss to the Clippers. What the Pacers didn’t count on is Blake Griffin (2.27) accounting for 100% of the awesomeness on the court with an insane 47 points (on 19-24 shooting from the field) and 14 rebounds. It was his 27th double-double in a row and the highest scoring game in the NBA so far this season.
Amare Stoudemire (1.70) scored 41 points as the Knicks and Suns finished with a combined 250 points. Vince Carter (2.35) led the way for Phoenix with 29 points, 5 threes and 12 rebounds.
The Hawks edged out the Kings thanks to strong performances from Al Horford (2.35) – 23 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 7 blocks as well as Joe Johnson (2.15), who scored 36 points.
The Prince of Percentages,Dirk Nowitzki (2.06), welcomed himself back for real yesterday with 32 points (going 4-7 from three) with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Jason Kidd (-0.52) had one of the wackiest lines of the year, missing all 7 shots he took and finishing with 0 points, 1 board and 13 assists.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: This is like the fourth time I’ve mentioned Ryan Anderson (1.83) on GMTR in the past week. I think he’s getting ready to file a restraining order against me. But the man has been feeling it lately and against the Celtics he was 4-6 from three, scoring 16 points and adding 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. He’s currently owned in only 27% of Yahoo leagues, so come join me on the bandwagon while there is still room. I’ll be the guy there with the Ryan Anderson blow up doll.
Pick Up Lines: We may have seen the last of Ben Wallace as the Pistons starting center, especially if Greg Monroe (1.58) continues to be a double-double threat every night. Last night he put up 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Monroe has been averaging around a 13 and 10 since January 4 and is currently available in about two-thirds of leagues. If he’s available in yours grab him now.
We keep waiting for Rudy Fernandez (1.24) to break out given that Brandon Roy is sidelined with old man knees, but he can’t quite put up consistent enough lines to warrant a pickup. Against the Wolves yesterday, Fernandez was an abysmal 3-11 from the floor, but did hit a couple threes and had 5 steals.
Taj Gibson (1.23) blocked 6 shots to go along with 10 points and 7 rebounds filling in for the injured Carlos Boozer. The Booz is day-to-day with an ankle sprain, and Gibson will make a solid play as long as he’s out.
Lines I refused to believe: Kwame Brown (1.28), who scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in an overtime game against the Sixers. That’s two huge double-doubles in a row for Brown, but before you pick him up, remember he’s Kwame Brown. Are you going to believe 2 games of evidence or 10 years?
Return of the Night:Kevin Garnett (0.53) returned for the Celtics after missing 9 games and put up a solid performance – scoring 19 points and adding 8 boards in 31 minutes. It’s nice when guys come back without any rust and you can immediately stick them back in your lineups.
Biggest Loser:Stephen Jackson (-0.82) was determined to make a three against the Sixers, even if it took him 11 attempts to do so. In the end, his 5 turnovers and 7-24 shooting (1-11 from three) overshadowed his 15 points and 7 boards.
Rudy Gay (-0.70) also had a horrible shooting game against Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls (I’m not sure if Tom suited up or if that was just Brian Scalabrine). Gay shot 1-10 from the field, finishing with 9 points and 6 boards.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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