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Court Report: Confidence is key

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Paul Silas' arrival has boosted the confidence levels of D.J. Augustin(notes) and his fantasy owners.

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The Bobcats remained undefeated under Paul Silas, with Wednesday's 101-92 win over the Cavs marking a second consecutive win. D.J. Augustin had another big game (28 points, 10-14 FG, 5 threes, 6 assists) and really looks like he could flourish under Silas. The self-confidence that was often hard to find under Larry Brown has been on full display over the past two games - it doesn't hurt that Silas has been praising his abilities and allowing him to play to his strengths, neither of which happened much under Brown. Stephen Jackson(notes) was the other big performer for the Bobcats Wednesday (38 points, 3 threes, 2 steals), while Gerald Wallace(notes) was a mixed bag in his return from an ankle injury (9 points, 4-11 FG, 10 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Tyrus Thomas(notes) missed the game with a sprained wrist, but Boris Diaw(notes) didn't do much with substantial playing time (39 minutes, 7 points, 2-7 FG, 5 boards, 4 assists). Thomas is scheduled to undergo an MRI Thursday.

Another game, another loss for the Cavs. The fantasy highlights: Anderson Varejao(notes) continued his strong recent play (9 points, 10 boards, 5 blocks), Ramon Sessions(notes) made an impact (31 minutes, 22 points, 10-11 FT, 4 assists), and Antawn Jamison(notes) added 18 points. Mo Williams(notes) was out because of a hip flexor strain, while Daniel Gibson(notes) left after 23 minutes played with a thigh injury. Both players are currently considered questionable for Saturday. Alonzo Gee(notes) may get a crack at the starting five if Gibson can't go.

The Wizards' 104-98 win over the Pacers was something of a brickfest, with the teams combining to shoot 40 percent from the field (WAS 40%, IND 41%) and 69 percent from the foul line (WAS 71%, IND 67%). There were plenty of counting stats to go around for the Wizards, however. They were led by Nick Young(notes) (25 points, 3 threes, 9 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals), Andray Blatche(notes) (22 points, 11 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks), JaVale McGee(notes) (16 points, 10 boards, 4 blocks), and John Wall(notes) (10 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists). Kirk Hinrich(notes) played only 12 minutes before leaving with a left thigh contusion.

The Pacers' offensive woes continued, and they've now averaged 91 points over their past 11 games (3-8). Danny Granger(notes) has averaged 20.6 points during that stretch, but on just 36-percent shooting, while Roy Hibbert(notes) has averaged 10.1 points on 36-percent shooting. Any progress the team has made on defense this season will be overshadowed before long if this offensive display keeps up. Some of Jim O'Brien's recent decisions are being questioned, and you have to wonder if his continued tinkering with the point guard, shooting guard, and power forward positions are contributing to the overall ineffectiveness of the team. Notables for the Pacers on Wednesday: Granger scored 15 points on seven-of-18 shooting Wednesday, while Hibbert played only 15 minutes due to foul trouble (5 points, 4 boards, 2 blocks, 5 fouls). Mike Dunleavy was the top scorer (20 points, 4 threes), while Josh McRoberts(notes) was back in the starting lineup and resembled the productive McBob (27 minutes, 13 points, 8 boards, 1 steal, 1 block).

Efficiency was the name of the game for the Hawks in their 103-93 win over the Warriors - they shot 51 percent as a team, 42 percent from long range, and had 31 assists to 12 turnovers. Al Horford(notes) (21 points, 10-14 FG, 15 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) and Josh Smith(notes) (22 points, 1 three, 10 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) of course led the way, while Joe Johnson(notes) (16 points, 2 threes, 8 assists) and Mike Bibby(notes) (15 points, 3 threes, 1 steal) also had productive games.

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Dorell Wright(notes) was huge once again for Golden State (48 minutes, 32 points, 13-21 FG, 4 threes, 11 boards, 2 steals), but the team was doomed by a combined 21 points on eight-of-26 shooting from Monta Ellis(notes) (12 points, 2 threes, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks) and Stephen Curry(notes) (9 points, 5 boards, 12 assists). Over the past four games, Wright has averaged 23.3 points on 62-percent shooting, 3.5 threes, 7.8 boards, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks.

Andris Biedrins(notes) missed his sixth consecutive game Wednesday because of a sprained left ankle and may miss the team's entire five-game road trip. As of Wednesday, his ankle was still swollen and painful and he's yet to be able to exert any effort with it. Louis Amundson(notes) made his sixth straight start Wednesday (22 minutes, 10 points, 7 boards, 1 steal) and will continue to be the main beneficiary of the excess playing time while Biedrins is out.

The Celtics lost the game to the Pistons Wednesday but the only loss that concerned the team on this night involved Kevin Garnett(notes) limping off the court in the latter stages of the first quarter. KG injured his right calf while landing a jump stop just before an uncontested dunk - initial X-rays were negative and Doc Rivers said after the game that he didn't think it's that serious, but this will obviously need to wait for a Thursday update. KG has been a production monster lately, and any significant time off would be huge for all involved parties. Glen Davis(notes) went on to play 37 minutes Wednesday (12 points) and is clearly next in line on the depth chart. Paul Pierce(notes) was the only Celtics player to show any real signs of life after KG was hurt (33 points, 11-16 FG, 8-8 FT, 3 threes, 8 assists, 5 turnovers, 4 steals).

The Pistons got double-digit scoring from six players in the win over the Celtics, led by Tracy McGrady's(notes) season-high 21 points (7-11 FG, 6-6 FT, 8 assists, 3 steals). T-Mac got the start in place of Rodney Stuckey(notes), who sat because of a stomach virus. McGrady has put together some production over the past seven games (23 minutes, 11.6 points, 54% FG, 82% FT, 1.1 threes, 4.3 boards, 3.9 assists, 1.1 steals), albeit without any consistency thanks to the perpetually degraded state of his health. McGrady played a season-high 31 minutes on this night, so we'll have to see how he's feeling when the Pistons play again on Friday (@PHO). The other Pistons to reach double figures were Tayshaun Prince(notes) (18 points), Charlie Villanueva(notes) (14 points, 4 threes), Ben Gordon(notes) (12 points, 2 threes), Austin Daye(notes) (12 minutes, 12 points, 2 threes), and Chris Wilcox(notes) (27 minutes, 10 points, 8 boards, 3 steals, 1 block). Greg Monroe(notes) played just nine minutes and appears to be falling behind Wilcox on the depth chart.

Andrew Bynum(notes) replaced Lamar Odom(notes) in the starting five for Wednesday's game and played a season-high 30 minutes (18 points, 8-12 FG, 6 rebounds, 1 block). Odom played 31 minutes and delivered some solid numbers as a reserve (24 points, 10-15 FG, 1 three, 5 boards). His fantasy impact will take a hit if only by virtue of his current season average of 36 minutes starting to drop a bit, but we've seen him do plenty as a reserve over the past few seasons and Bynum's continued health is no lock, so I'm not suddenly in panic mode as an Odom owner. We knew this was coming from the outset and we've certainly got a high return on investment to this point of the season.

Chris Paul(notes) scored 20 points on eight-of-14 shooting versus the Lakers, but his teammates made just 25 of 65 shots (38%), including a combined six-of-27 (22%) from Marco Belinelli(notes) and Marcus Thornton(notes). David West(notes) attempted to play through an ankle injury he suffered in the first half but was clearly limited (28 minutes, 8 points, 4 boards).

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The Nuggets scored a 119-113 victory over the Timberwolves despite being without Carmelo Anthony(notes) (personal), Nene Hilario(notes) (hamstring), Al Harrington(notes) (thumb), and Kenyon Martin(notes) (knee). Chauncey Billups(notes) continued his hot shooting (36 points, 9-14 FG, 6-6 3PT, 12-13 FT, 3 steals) and Arron Afflalo(notes) was solid (17 points, 2 threes, 6 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block), while Ty Lawson(notes) (33 minutes, 19 points, 5 assists) and Chris Andersen(notes) (30 minutes, 11 points, 7 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks) were big off the bench. Over the past four games, Billups has averaged 27 points on 63-percent shooting, 97-percent foul shooting, 3.8 threes, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals. The Nuggets don't play again until Saturday - Melo is expected to be back with the team Thursday, but we're not likely to get definitive updates on the other three's injuries for another day or two.

The Wolves got yet another double-double from Kevin Love(notes) (26 points, 14 boards, 5 assists) and big numbers from Michael Beasley(notes) (33 points, 12-20 FG, 2 threes, 5 rebounds, 4 assists). Luke Ridnour(notes) played in excess of 30 minutes for the third time in four games (37 minutes, 20 points, 8-10 FG, 8 assists, 2 steals) and does not appear ready to concede playing time to Jonny Flynn(notes) (12 minutes, 0 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers), let alone the starting gig. Over the past four games, Ridnour has averaged 17.8 points on 61-percent shooting, 93-percent foul shooting, 1.8 threes, 7.5 assists, 1.8 turnovers, and 1.3 steals in 33 minutes.

The Thunder didn't have to push their starters too hard in a 114-93 blowout of the Nets. Kevin Durant(notes) played 30 minutes (27 points, 11-19 FG, 3 threes) and Russell Westbrook(notes) played 29 (17 points, 7 assists, 3 steals). James Harden(notes) reached double figures for the ninth consecutive game (30 minutes, 11 points, 1 three, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block), while Serge Ibaka(notes) was limited by foul trouble (15 minutes, 9 boards, 3 boards, 1 block, 4 fouls) … For the Nets, Avery Johnson gave at least eight minutes to all 12 of his active players, while no player topped 31 minutes. As a team, they compiled 14 assists versus 23 turnovers.

Dwyane Wade's(notes) massive run continued Wednesday, as he scored 45 points on 17-of-24 shooting and added seven boards and two steals in the 125-119 win over the Rockets. Check out some splits for Wade:

first 14 G: 21.1 pts, 44% FG, 16 FGA, 0.9 3pt, 5.7 reb, 3.7 ast, 3.1 to, 1.2 stl, 1.1 blk

past 18 G: 27.2 pts, 53% FG, 18.2 FGA, 0.9 3pt, 7.1 reb, 4.5 ast, 3.1 to, 1.8 stl, 0.9 blk

past 10 G: 30.1 pts, 52% FG, 20.1 FGA, 1.5 3pt, 6.5 reb, 4 ast, 2.4 to, 1.6 stl, 1 blk

The Heat also got the usual from LeBron James(notes) (20 points, 6 boards, 9 assists, 1 steal) and 21 points from Chris Bosh(notes). The straight platoon continued for Carlos Arroyo(notes) (24 minutes, 11 points, 2 threes, 3 assists) and Mario Chalmers(notes) (24 minutes, 8 points, 1 three, 4 assists, 1 block).

Houston couldn't pull out the win over the Heat but they should take a bit of solace in the fact that they were the first Miami opponent to top 100 points since November 27, a streak of 16 games. The 119 points were the most allowed by the Heat on the season. The major contributors were Kevin Martin(notes) (21 points, 4 steals), Aaron Brooks(notes) (20 points, 8-8 FT, 9 assists, 0 turnovers), Luis Scola(notes) (22 points), and Chuck Hayes(notes) (13 points, 8 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal). Kyle Lowry(notes) also showed that he can contribute with reserve-level minutes (24 minutes, 11 points, 3 threes, 7 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal).

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The 76ers got double-digit scoring from seven of eight active players, shot 55 percent as a team, and made 30 of 35 foul shots in their 123-110 win in Phoenix. Jrue Holiday(notes) led the way with 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting, his third straight game topping the 20-point mark. Philadelphia also got big numbers from Andres Nocioni(notes) (22 points, 12 boards) and, inexplicably, Evan Turner(notes) (30 minutes, 23 points, 9-12 FG, 2 steals). Nocioni started once again for Andre Iguodala(notes), who missed his second consecutive games with Achilles tendinitis. Spencer Hawes(notes) rebounded from a recent stretch of poor games to post his fourth double-double of the season (26 minutes, 10 points, 11 boards). In the 11 games where he's seen at least 24 minutes of playing time, Hawes has averaged 11.2 points on 50-percent shooting, 0.5 threes, 8.2 boards, and 1.5 blocks in 27 minutes.

The Suns scored 110 points themselves, so it wasn't a loss from a fantasy perspective. Steve Nash(notes) was huge (23 points, 3 threes, 15 assists) and had at least 15 assists for the third consecutive game. Vince Carter(notes) was reasonably productive in his Phoenix debut (18 points, 1 three, 1 steal, 1 block), Grant Hill(notes) added 17 points, and Mickael Pietrus(notes) scored 15 points and hit three treys. This also marked the second consecutive game in which Marcin Gortat(notes) (35 minutes, 13 points, 5-7 FG, 6 boards, 2 blocks) out-produced Robin Lopez(notes) (13 minutes, 8 points, 2 boards, 3 fouls). Jared Dudley(notes) returned to a bench role as expected and scored seven points in 21 minutes.

The ever-streaky Channing Frye(notes) has gone cold. He made just two of seven shots on Wednesday and his averages over the past six games include 8.8 points on 33-percent shooting, 1.2 threes on 21-percen shooting, 6.5 boards, 0.8 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 4.5 fouls in 30 minutes.

The Kings got their sixth victory of the season in dramatic fashion, as Tyreke Evans(notes) hit a game-winner from midcourt as time expired in the 100-98 win over the Grizzlies. Evans was solid overall Wednesday (21 points, 8-17 FG, 2 threes, 2 steals), but we'll have to see if the good vibes carry over and how his plantar fasciitis responds to the team's upcoming back-to-back (Sat @DEN, Sun PHO). Also for the Kings on Wednesday, Beno Udrih(notes) posted another good line (24 points, 2 threes, 6 assists), Francisco Garcia(notes) got another start (27 minutes, 9 points, 3 threes, 2 steals), and DeMarcus Cousins(notes) turned in his best line of the season out of the blue (37 minutes, 21 points, 16 rebounds, 2 steals).

Memphis got a massive effort from Zach Randolph(notes) in the loss (35 points, 15-27 FG, 17 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals), but shot just 38 percent as a team otherwise. The Grizz came into the game averaging the fewest attempts (12.8) and makes (4.4) from three-point range as a team, but took things to a new low with only three attempts in this game, while making one.

The short-handed Jazz were able to handle the Clippers on the strength of a huge game from Al Jefferson(notes) (season-high 31 points, 13-22 FG, 10 boards, 3 blocks). Andrei Kirilenko(notes) missed the game because of a strained lower back, while C.J. Miles(notes) didn't play because of flu-like symptoms. Rookie Gordon Hayward(notes) made his fifth start of the season and turned in what was easily his best game of the season (44 minutes, 17 points, 3 threes, 6 boards, 3 assists). Mehmet Okur(notes) scored 13 points in 16 minutes but then left the game with a lower back strain of his own. The Jazz play in Portland on Thursday night, and both AK and Okur have to be considered questionable at this point.

The Clippers got solid lines from their building blocks for the future in Blake Griffin(notes) (30 points, 12 boards, 1 block), Eric Gordon(notes) (19 points, 1 three, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block), DeAndre Jordan(notes) (14 points, 5-5 FG, 7 blocks), and Al-Farouq Aminu(notes) (29 minutes, 13 points, 3 threes, 8 boards). Griffin also made his only three-point attempt and has made four of five attempts over the past six games - is it possible that he's going to go Kevin Love on us and start raining triples on a regular basis? Jordan is really settling in as this team's starting center - over the past 11 games, he's averaged 9.5 points on 75-percent shooting, 8.5 boards, 0.9 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 31 minutes. Given the current makeup of this team, Chris Kaman(notes) will just be getting in the way of progress if/when he eventually returns to the lineup.

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