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Matt Buser

Court Report: Hit and miss

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Brook Lopez(notes), Pau Gasol(notes), and Trevor Ariza(notes) kept delivering their usual production Friday, but big nights from Roy Hibbert(notes) and Chris Duhon(notes) weren't so easy to see coming.

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Roy Hibbert was huge on Friday against the Nets, scoring a career-high 20 points in 27 minutes while grabbing seven offensive boards (9 overall) and blocking three shots. Maybe it was the matchup, as Hibbert went for 19/10/3 in 32 minutes the last time the teams met (Nov. 17). In theory, Danny Granger's(notes) injury presents an opportunity to step up, but he had averaged 5.6 points on 40-percent shooting, 3.1 boards, and 0.8 blocks in 18 minutes in his previous 10 games, and totaled 6/4/0 in Granger's first game on the shelf Wednesday. Hibbert's next two games feature matchups with Brendan Haywood(notes) (Saturday) and Dwight Howard(notes) (Monday), so it's not going to be easy to string together a few solid outings.

Tyler Hansbrough(notes) has been very solid in consecutive games since Granger was lost to injury. He followed up his first career double-double Wednesday (13/11, 3 assists, 1 steal, 22 minutes) with a robust line in 25 minutes Friday (21 points, 7 boards, 3 steals). His role is still being established, but he's led Pacer reserves in minutes in consecutive games and could be a source of scoring and hustle stats to deep-leaguers.

• Brook Lopez was huge once again (25 points, 14 boards, 2 steals, 3 blocks) and is on a real roll. Over the past nine games, he's averaged 24.3 points on 51-percent shooting, 88-percent free throw shooting (8.4 attempts), 10.8 boards, 2.1 assists, 2.9 turnovers, 1.3 steals, and 1.6 blocks.

Devin Harris(notes), on the other hand, is still trying to find a groove three weeks after his return from a groin injury. Friday was pretty typical in that he offset some decent counting stats (18 points, 2 threes, 3 assists, 2 steals) with poor efficiency (6-of-16 FG, 4 turnovers). In 11 games since his return to the lineup, he's averaged 16.7 points on 36-percent shooting, 2.5 boards, 4.8 assists, 2.9 turnovers, and 2.2 steals.

• Friday's game was a microcosm of the Nets' failures thus far: the team shot 36 percent from the floor, 23 percent from three, and totaled just 12 assists. As a team, the Nets are comfortably in last place in all three categories on the season (41% FG, 26% 3PT, 16 assists per game).

Trevor Ariza kept up his standard production Friday to the tune of 13 points (5-of-13 FG), two threes, 12 boards, three assists, two turnovers, and two steals. Ariza has been a source of big-time counting stats (17.7 points, 2.3 threes, 5.4 boards, 3.5 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.6 blocks) and horrific efficiency (39% FG, 68% FT, 2.5 turnovers). A question for you roto managers: how is the Ariza owner faring in your league? In the Friends and Family League, HoopsKLYCE has him on a team with Dwight Howard - he's faring well in counting stats (fourth overall) and has 8.5 points in FG%, 4.5 in FT%, and 3 in TO. Oh yeah, and check out this comparison.

• Not much to complain about in terms of production from any of the 76ers' starters Friday (check the numbers here) but the team dropped it's 12th straight game as their bench was outscored 36-6. Carl Landy keeps getting it done (33 minutes, 20 points, 12-of-14 FT, 7 boards, 2 blocks) and his season averages now include 16.3 points on 56-percent shooting, 88-percent foul shooting, 6.2 boards, and 1.5 steals-plus-blocks. Landry currently ranks in the top 10 for MVPs/Keys to Success in both roto and h2h.

• The Hawks blew out their opponent for the second consecutive game, handling the Raptors 111-89. Jeff Teague(notes) got run in both games, posting solid lines on both Wednesday (22 minutes, 8 points, 4 boards, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) and Friday (21 minutes, 11 points, 7 assists, 3 steals, 1 block). He'll scrap for minutes most nights, but he was a productive college player and would warrant a look if anything were to happen to Mike Bibby(notes) or Jamal Crawford(notes).

Jose Calderon(notes) was set to return Friday after two games on the inactive list, but was a late scratch from the starting lineup and then lasted only seven minutes before aggravating his hip flexor strain. His short-term availability is unknown at this point, but Jarrett Jack(notes) looks that much better as a potential roster add.

• Things were flowing for the Mavs in Miami Friday, as they had 30 assists on 39 made field goals. Deep-leaguers will want to think about giving Juan Jose Barea a look for as long as Josh Howard(notes) plays limited minutes. He's replaced Rodrigue Beaubois(notes) as the starter at shooting guard and has averaged 13 points, 2.5 threes, 8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 32 minutes over the past two games.

• Josh Howard was active Friday (23 minutes, 5 points, 4 assists), so he'll sit out the team's game on Saturday to avoid the grind of the back-to-back this soon after rejoining the active roster.

Jermaine O'Neal(notes) missed Friday's game because he was still with relatives following a family funeral, but he's expected to return to the team on Saturday and be back in the lineup Sunday.

• It's be nice to see Brad Miller(notes) pick things up again, as he's back in the starting lineup for the Bulls and posted 12 points and 13 boards in 27 minutes Friday. But the Bulls are going to keep giving Taj Gibson(notes) run (albeit as a reserve), Tyrus Thomas(notes) should be back within 10 days or so, and Miller totaled eight points and seven boards in 40 minutes in his first two starts.

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Russell Westbrook(notes) made nine of 16 shots en route to 23 points Friday, and brought his shooting percentage back up over 40 percent - he had made just 25 percent of his shots over the past three games (11 of 44) and entered Friday's action at 39.6 percent.

Jeff Green(notes) averaged 1.4 threes, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks over the season's first eight games and has averaged 1 three, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 12 games since.

Mike Conley(notes) had his best game of the season against the Thunder Friday (38 minutes, 20 points, 2 threes, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals). His averages over the past four games include 15.5 points on 52-percent shooting, 2.3 threes, 4.8 assists, and 1.8 steals in 35 minutes, so perhaps there is still hope after all. Jamaal Tinsley(notes) scored two points in 10 minutes, and they were his first points in four games.

Zach Randolph(notes) continues to be an absolute beast on the offensive boards. He grabbed 11 more on Friday (20 overall) and sits atop the league with 105 overall. On the season, he's averaged 4.8 offensive and 5.6 defensive boards in 22 games.

Andre Miller(notes) saw 32 minutes of playing time for the short-handed Blazers (20 points, 2 threes, 6 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal) and should provide more consistent numbers for fantasy owners for as long as Rudy Fernandez(notes) is on the shelf. Over the past five games, he's averaged 16.2 points on 52-percent shooting, 1 three, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in 30 minutes.

Shaquille O'Neal(notes) left Friday's game after getting poked in the eye. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for precautionary tests and he's considered questionable for Sunday.

• Starter J.J. Hickson(notes) played just 10 minutes while Anderson Varejao(notes) pick-and-rolled his way to 22 points, and added 10 boards, two steals, and a block in 36 minutes. Varejao's per-game averages over the past 11 games - all as a reserve - include 8.7 points on 51-percent shooting, 8.1 boards, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 30 minutes.

• You just never know what you are going to get from Chris Duhon. He scored 22 points in a matchup with Chris Paul(notes) Friday, hit six threes, and dished nine assists (no turnovers). Duhon was started in 37 percent of Yahoo! leagues (54% owned) after totaling 13 points on 4-of-19 shooting (21%) over his past two games.

Boris Diaw(notes) has slowly been making his way off of fantasy rosters - he's down to 77-percent ownership, and Friday's line isn't going to do anything but expedite the process (10 points, 0 threes, 2 boards, 0 assists, 1 turnover, 0 assists, 0 blocks). I'm giving him one more week, as the Bobcats' next five games include two matchups with the Knicks and a game against the Pacers, but you won't be blamed for bailing at this point. In 11 games since the Stephen Jackson(notes) trade, Diaw has averaged 10.2 points on 45-percent shooting, 1 three, 3.5 boards, 2.4 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks, and his 28-point, five-three performance from December 5 is propping up those numbers.

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• Another solid game for Manu Ginobili(notes) (22 points, 4 threes, 4 boards, 2 steals, 1 block) makes two in a row. That's not earth-shattering stuff, but it's a good sign for a player who has been looking to regain his confidence as much as anything since returning from his groin injury.

• Hack-a-D12 was in full affect Friday, as Dwight Howard totaled one field goal and 17 free throw attempts (8 makes) in 41 minutes as the Suns beat the Magic 106-103. Robin Lopez(notes) and Jarron Collins(notes) combined for eight fouls in 10 minutes of playing time.

Jason Williams(notes) had another off game Friday, with zero points, six assists, and four turnovers in 28 minutes. After totaling 59 assists and 11 turnovers in his first ten games as the starter, he's totaled 11 assists and seven turnovers in the past two games.

Steve Nash's(notes) 20 points, two threes, and 18 assists Friday pushed his season averages to 17.6 points, 1.7 threes, and 11.3 assists in 23 games. While it's ridiculous to call him "hands down the MVP of the league at this point", as Jeff Van Gundy did on television before Friday's matchup with the Magic, he certainly is playing some good basketball at age 35. With that said, he has totaled just seven steals through 23 games.

Kevin Love(notes) returned to the starting lineup for the T-Wolves Friday and grabbed 19 boards in 33 minutes, although he hit just three of 14 shots en route to seven points. He did hit one of two threes, giving him six makes on 10 attempts in five games. Al Jefferson(notes) double-doubled for the fifth consecutive game (24/13) and has averaged 17.6 points on 49-percent shooting, 13 boards, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks since Love returned to action.

Ryan Gomes(notes) had averaged 20.3 points on 59-percent shooting and 1.2 threes in his previous six games, but got a tough matchup in Ron Artest(notes) and came away with just four points on 2-of-6 shooting.

• Pau Gasol continued his exceptional play, with 17 points, a career-high 20 boards, seven assists, one steal, and one block. After 10 games, Gasol is averaging 17.8 points on 58-percent shooting, 91-percent foul shooting. 10.6 boards, 4.1 assists, 1.8 turnovers, and 1.3 blocks.

Kobe Bryant(notes) suffered an avulsion fracture (when a piece of bone is pulled off by a tendon) of his right index finger in the second quarter, but returned and played with the finger in a split. Things were fine in the comfortable win over the T-Wolves but, as the AP recap notes, it's too early to tell how this might affect Kobe moving forward and he could necessitate a splint for up to six weeks.

Michael Redd(notes) will return to the Bucks' active roster on Saturday. He said his knee is 100 percent now and that he was attempting to play at 70 or 80 percent during his three-game stint a few weeks. back. He'll come off the bench initially. Brandon Jennings(notes) (knee) did not practice Friday but Scott Skiles called it precautionary and he's expected to be in the lineup on Saturday, as well.

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