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Matt Buser

Court Report: Channing Frye stakes his claim

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Taking a look at the storylines and actionable information from Friday's 13-game slate...

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Channing Frye's(notes) very strong run of games continued Friday, as he scored a season-high 29 points and added, five threes, five boards, two steals, and three blocks in 40 minutes. Frye has now scored in double figures in 11 straight games, averaging 15.1 points on 55-percent shooting, 2.2 threes, 6.1 boards, 0.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 35 minutes during that stretch. His recent play has led to speculation that he'll remain in the starting lineup at power forward once Robin Lopez(notes) is able to return. How Frye wasn't pegged as the starter at power forward from the outset remains a mystery to me but, regardless, his long-term prospects are looking fairly solid at this point.

Hakim Warrick's(notes) tenure as the Suns' starting power forward lasted a grand total of one game, and he's totaled 16 minutes of playing time and six points in two games since, with Earl Barron(notes) taking his place in the starting five. Warrick's rise and precipitous fall within the rotation is a bit curious and we certainly can't assume that he won't be a factor again at some point, given Barron's production in his two starts (22 minutes, 4 points, 23% FG, 3 boards).

Brandon Rush(notes) got his third start in four games for defensive purposes on Friday, turned in another solid performance (36 minutes, 21 points, 3 threes), and should be making his way onto more fantasy rosters. He's going to play steady minutes and clearly will continue to receive regular starts - over the past nine games (five starts), he's averaged 13.8 points on 52-percent shooting, 1.6 threes, 3.9 boards, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 32 minutes.

It's time to get Josh McRoberts(notes) back on more fantasy rosters, as well. He's emerged from a horrific offensive slump in mid-November to average 9.5 points on 58-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 6.2 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.7 turnovers, 0.8 steals, and 2 blocks in 25 minutes over the past six games. Tyler Hansbrough(notes) has been largely removed from the Pacers' rotation, leaving McRoberts with a high level of job security.

Andrea Bargnani's(notes) first double-double of the season came in the Raptors' 20th game, an impressive 111-99 win over the Thunder. Bargnani had 26 points (11-20 FG, 1 three) and added 12 boards, his first-double digit effort of the season. Bargnani hasn't hard problems getting his offense (20.6 points, 46% FG, 82% FT, 1.2 threes) but the lack of supporting stats is why his per-game rank is just 84th on the season (5.3 boards, 1.4 assists, 2.8 turnovers, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks).

Leandro Barbosa(notes) scored a season-high 22 points (7-12 FG, 2 threes) in 26 minutes for the Raptors, bringing his averages over the past six games to 13.8 points on 51-percent shooting, 1.2 threes, and 1 steal in 26 minutes. The offense should keep coming as the team's sixth man, but keep that right wrist problem in mind if you are thinking about an add.

Kevin Durant(notes) missed his second straight game because of a sprained left knee - he'll be re-evaluated Sunday prior to the Thunder's matchup with the Warriors. The team lost for the first time with no Durant (3-10), mostly because Russell Westbrook(notes) was fairly ordinary (20 points, 2-2 FT, 7 assists, 5 turnovers, 2 steals). Serge Ibaka(notes) got another start but continued his recent bout with inconsistency (21 minutes, 6 points, 2-6 FG, 2 boards, 3 blocks).

The Blazers' slide continued Friday as they lost 83-79 to the Wizards, their sixth straight defeat - Portland scored just 33 points in the second half and shot 33 percent overall. The barrage of misses created rebounding opportunities for LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) (15 boards), but it was pretty ugly otherwise. One positive for fantasy owners was Nicolas Batum(notes), who provided a glimmer of hope off the bench (25 minutes, 11 points, 3 threes, 6 boards, 1 steal) … Marcus Camby's(notes) sore right knee limited him to 11 minutes and paved the way for Joel Przybilla(notes) to play 20 minutes in his season debut (4 points, 7 boards, 1 steal).

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The Wizards weren't a heck of a lot better than the Blazers, shooting 42 percent as a team and compiling more turnovers (17) than assists (15). John Wall(notes) was back in the starting lineup but posted his worst line of the season (10 points, 3-13 FG, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 0 steals). One player that did not struggle was JaVale McGee(notes), who posted his fifth double-double in eight games (13 points, 10 boards, 5 blocks).

New Jersey and Charlotte went into overtime and still combined to score only 175 points, thanks to 32-percent shooting from the Nets and 36-percent shooting from the Bobcats. For the Nets: Brook Lopez(notes) somehow managed to grab only two of the games 110 rebounds and did not fare well against the Charlotte defense (13 points, 3-10 FG). Jordan Farmar(notes) had another strong game (16 points, 10 assists, 2 turnovers) and got help from Travis Outlaw(notes) (21 points, 6 boards, 3 steals) and Anthony Morrow(notes) (19 points, 3 threes). Troy Murphy(notes) actually led the Nets' reserves with 22 minutes (1 point, 0-2 FG, 8 boards, 3 steals, 1 block). For the Bobcats: A 62-48 rebounding advantage led to three double-doubles - Boris Diaw(notes) (11 points, 16 boards, 8 assists, 4 turnovers), Gerald Wallace(notes) (12 points, 13 boards, 5 blocks), and Nazr Mohammed(notes) (14 points, 11 boards, 2 blocks). Stephen Jackson(notes) posted quite a full line in his return from a one-game suspension (25 points, 12-13 FT, 3 threes, 5 boards, 6 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 steal, 2 blocks).

Devin Harris(notes) (knee) will attempt to participate in the Nets' Saturday practice and, if all goes well, he could return to the lineup as soon as Sunday.

Evan Turner(notes) has returned to a bench role for the 76ers, with Doug Collins calling a starting five with both Turner and Andre Iguodala(notes) "just not a great fit." Turner had 11 points and four boards in 19 minutes Friday and will be a fantasy asset at some point, but it's not going to happen while Iguodala is on the roster this season. Jodie Meeks(notes) got the start at shooting guard versus the Hawks (19 minutes, 9 points, 2 threes)

Marvin Williams(notes) led the Hawks in scoring Friday (22 points, 7-12 FG, 8-8 FT, 4 steals) and has averaged 18.5 points in the two games that Joe Johnson(notes) has missed thus far. He'll certainly be in line for more usage with JJ sidelined for at least the next month, and it will at the very least be interesting to see how he and the rest of the Hawks perform without their max contract "star" player. Al Horford(notes) and Josh Smith(notes) struggled with their shots Friday (combined 9-30 FG) but certainly contributed otherwise (combined 23 boards, 9 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals, 2 blocks).

A stomach virus kept Dwight Howard(notes), Jameer Nelson(notes), J.J. Redick(notes), and Mickael Pietrus(notes) out of action Friday, but he Magic were still able to comfortably handle the Pistons in Detroit. They shot 60 percent as a team, led by Brandon Bass(notes) (27 points, 11-12 FG) and Vince Carter(notes) (25 points, 10-15 FG, 2 threes, 9 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 steals). Marcin Gortat(notes) got the start at center and was, of course, productive (14 points, 7-9 FG, 11 boards, 1 steal, 3 blocks). Howard and Pietrus are also expected to be out Saturday.

Tayshaun Prince(notes) reached the 30-point mark for the second time in four games (30 points, 11-15 FG, 2 threes), but he didn’t get much help otherwise. Ben Gordon(notes) had nine of the team's 22 total rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench (5 points, 2-11 FG), while Jason Maxiell(notes) had six points in 21 minutes and all zeros for the rest of his line. Three of the Pistons' starters (Maxiell, Richard Hamilton(notes), Ben Wallace(notes)) combined to average 19 minutes and 6.7 points.

The Knicks' speedball attack continues to roll. Friday's win over the Hornets came courtesy of more strong lines from Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) (34 points, 15-22 FG, 10 boards, 2 steals, 1 block), Raymond Felton(notes) (17 points, 2 threes, 13 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal), and Wilson Chandler(notes) (14 points, 4 threes, 9 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Chandler made his third straight start in place of Ronny Turiaf(notes) (knee), who will be a game-time decision Saturday.

The Hornets were without David West(notes), who missed the game because of a stomach virus, with Jason Smith(notes) getting the start in his place (15 minutes, 12 points, 5 boards). Trevor Ariza(notes) scored a season-high 21 points (9-21 FG, 9 boards, 3 steals) and Chris Paul(notes) had another double-double (17 points, 2 threes, 10 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals) in the loss.

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The Celtics beat the Bulls with ruthless efficiency, limiting Chicago to 42-percent shooting while making 53 percent of their own attempts, outrebounding them by 10 (44-34), and dishing 29 assists versus just nine turnovers. Kevin Garnett(notes) was downright studly (20 points, 7-11 FG, 17 boards, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals, 1 block), Rajon Rondo(notes) did his thing (12 points, 6 boards, 19 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 steals), and Paul Pierce(notes), Ray Allen(notes), and Shaquille O'Neal(notes) combined for 44 points.

Carlos Boozer(notes) made his second start for the Bulls since returning from his broken hand but was once again limited (21 minutes, 12 points, 2 boards). Derrick Rose(notes) came in below his recent production (20 points, 7-17 FG, 8 assists, 4 turnovers), while Joakim Noah(notes) followed up his bizarre zero-rebound effort against the Magic Wednesday with 14 points and 10 boards.

The Rockets were gracious enough to provide fantasy owners with some serious fireworks Friday, by way of 127 points on 60/70/89 percentages in the 127-111 win over the Grizzlies. Kyle Lowry(notes) went nuts (28 points, 11-15 FG, 4 threes, 12 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals) but was in an active roster spot in just 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Kevin Martin(notes) (28 points, 5 threes, 9-9 FT, 2 steals), Shane Battier(notes) (12 points, 2 threes, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals, 1 block), and Brad Miller(notes) (23 points, 7-7 FG, 3 threes, 7 boards) provided the other major lines. Luis Scola(notes) dealt with foul problems and continued his recent uninspired play (26 minutes, 15 points, 3 boards, 5 fouls).

Some of the Grizz also got in on the fun, including Rudy Gay(notes) (29 points, 2 threes, 1 steal, 1 block), Marc Gasol(notes) (20 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 3 blocks), and Mike Conley(notes) (19 points, 8 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals). O.J. Mayo's(notes) four-game streak of double-digit scoring came to a resounding end, however (24 minutes, 3 points, 1-5 FG).

Tim Duncan(notes) turned in a stellar overall line versus the Timberwolves (22 points, 9-14 FG, 10 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals, 4 blocks) and played as many as 35 minutes for just the third time in 19 games. Richard Jefferson(notes) was also excellent, posting his first double-double of the season (15 points, 2 threes, 10 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks), while Manu Ginobili(notes) filled it up despite a terrible night from the field (16 points, 1-10 FG, 13-13 FT, 1 three, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block).

Kevin Love's(notes) minute restrictions are, thankfully, a distant memory at this point. He went for another 25 points and 18 boards in 43 minutes against the Spurs Friday, pushing his season averages to 18.9 points and 15.1 boards in 34 minutes. Over his past dozen games, Love has averaged 20.2 points on 45-percent shooting, 89-percent foul shooting, 1 three, 17.1 boards, 2.6 assists, 2.5 turnovers, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 38 minutes.

It's been a similar story for Michael Beasley(notes), who scored 28 points on Friday and is now averaging 21.6 points in 33 minutes on the season. Over his past 11 games, Beasley has averaged 26 points on 49-percent shooting, 1.1 threes, 6.8 boards, 1 steal, and 1 block in 37 minutes.

The Nuggets shot just 40 percent as a team on Friday but pulled out a win over the Clippers thanks to a whopping 45 made free throws on 59 attempts. Of note for the Nuggets was a third consecutive strong game for J.R. Smith(notes) (25 minutes, 21 points, 3 threes) and six blocks in 22 minutes for Chris Andersen(notes).

The Clippers were once again led by Eric Gordon(notes) (24 points) and Blake Griffin(notes) (17 points, 12 boards, 2 blocks). We're going to have to wait and see how the returns of both Baron Davis(notes) (20 minutes, 8 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 5 steals) and Chris Kaman(notes) (13 minutes, 10 points, 6 boards, 1 block) affect Gordon and Griffin, who have really been coming into their own over the past few weeks.

The Jazz got solid games from their frontcourt pairing of Al Jefferson(notes) (18 points, 8 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks) and Paul Millsap(notes) (21 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks) versus the Mavs, but rest of the team shot just 34 percent. Deron Williams(notes) had a poor offensive game (12 points, 4-13 FG), but did contribute elsewhere (5 boards, 7 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 steals, 1 block).

Dirk Nowitzki(notes) rebounded from his worst offensive showing of the season Wednesday (10 points, 4-11 FG) with 26 points on 12-of-18 shooting, and added one three, two steals, and a block in 35 minutes. Jason Kidd(notes) had a rare night where his shot was falling (15 points, 6-8 FG, 3 threes, 7 assists, 2 turnovers), and Caron Butler(notes) may finally be turning a corner - over the past four games, he's averaged 17 points on 55-percent shooting and 1.5 threes.

The Lakers got just the matchup they needed to end their four-game losing streak, as they stomped the visiting Kings in Los Angeles, getting Kobe Bryant(notes) (27 minutes) and Pau Gasol(notes) (27 minutes) some much-needed rest in the process. It was a poor showing for the vast majority of the Kings, with the lone exception being Jason Thompson(notes), who logged his first double-double of the season (19 points, 10 boards) in his third straight start. After the game, Paul Westphal talked about switching up his starting five yet again, with the most notable change likely to be Beno Udrih(notes) reclaiming his starting spot from Luther Head(notes).

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