• Plenty of offense to go around in the early games Friday night, with four games going into overtime. The Wizards and Knicks got things started, with New York pulling out the 118-116 win, and the teams combined for just 10 points in the overtime period. Sergio Rodriguez(notes) had a Duhon-like line (5 points, 1 three, 7 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 steals), but you get the feeling he's going to improve, the exact opposite of the feeling you got from Duhon. David Lee(notes) (25 points, 16 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) and Al Harrington(notes) (37 points, 5 threes, 7 boards, 2 steals) were huge for the Knicks, while Tracy McGrady(notes) was reasonably effective in his 26 minutes (23 points, 8-of-17 FG, 3 boards, 3 assists).
James Singleton(notes) got the start but played only 10 minutes (4 points, 2 boards, 1 steal, 3 blocks) because of an ankle sprain (it did not appear to be serious). JaVale McGee(notes) was huge off the bench (27 minutes, 18 points, 10 boards, 5 blocks) and was a reserve in the game because he was late to the team's shootaround. Andray Blatche(notes) continued his ridiculous roll (26 points, 1 three, 18 boards, 6 assists, 8 turnovers, 1 steal, 3 blocks) - over the past six games, he's averaged 25 points on 57-percent shooting, 11.2 boards, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 38 minutes. There's no reason to "sell high" here - just ride it out, as the Wizards have the most games remaining and the most games during the default h2h playoffs (12).
• The Cavs will find out soon exactly how significant Shaquille O'Neal's(notes) right thumb injury is. He'll have an MRI Saturday and he could miss anywhere from a few weeks to the remainder of the season, depending on the results. If he has just a sprain, he may not be out long; if he has a ligament tear, he could need surgery and be out for a while. Anderson Varejao(notes) is the clear beneficiary here, no matter how long Shaq is sidelined. He made his first start since the sixth game of the season Friday (23 minutes, 11 points, 8 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 6 fouls). Mo Williams(notes) (22 points, 6 threes) and Antawn Jamison(notes) (22 points, 1 three, 11 boards) were big-time in the win over the Raptors and should see their usage increase while Shaq is sidelined.
• Chris Bosh(notes) missed his fourth consecutive game because of a left ankle sprain. He may be able to go Sunday, but he was a limited participant in the Raptors' Thursday practice and isn't going to force anything when it comes to re-joining the active roster.
• If you have Jason Kidd on your team (19 points, 4 threes, 16 boards, 17 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals Friday) and don't win your h2h matchup this week, then something is definitely wrong. During the Mavs' current six-game win streak, he's averaged 15.3 points on 46-percent shooting, 3.2 threes, 7.7 boards, 11 assists, 2 turnovers, and 2.8 steals.
• Yes, I'm okay with you dropping Marvin Williams(notes). Maybe all that untapped potential will show itself next year, but a more likely situation is that we just stop hearing about there being lots of potential that remains untapped. Sure, he'd have more usage opportunities elsewhere, but nothing really stands out about his game on offense or defense, and we're now 340 games into his NBA career.
• Josh Smith(notes) looks poised to really finish the season on a serious upward trend. In 11 February games, he's averaged 18.3 points on 55-percent shooting, 9.6 boards, 5.4 assists, 2.2 turnovers, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 38 minutes. After last years regression, this was considered by most to be a pivotal season in his maturation process, and it would be difficult to script a better season thus far for the 24-year-old.
• Another big night from Brandon Roy(notes) (45 minutes, 23 points, 1 three, 4 boards, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal, 1 block) and a triumphant return from Marcus Camby(notes) (42 minutes, 9 points, 11 boards, 3 steals, 3 blocks) have to have a number of fantasy owners feeling pretty good. Nate McMillan kept the rotation tight in overtime loss to the Bulls, with four starters playing at least 42 minutes and only three reserves seeing more than 5 minutes of action.
• Joakim Noah(notes) played a solid 27 minutes for the Bulls (8 points, 11 boards, 1 steal), which in turn limited Brad Miller's(notes) night (19 minutes, 1 points, 2 boards). Taj Gibson(notes) dealt with foul trouble (25 minutes, 8 points, 6 boards, 1 block, 5 fouls), clearing the way for Hakim Warrick(notes) to get solid run (34 minutes, 15 points, 4 boards).
• Another ugly one for the Timberwolves Friday, so Kurt Rambis went 12 deep in the blowout loss to the Thunder. Al Jefferson(notes) played just 18 minutes (12 points, 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 block), while Darko Milicic(notes) saw 25 minutes of action (6 points, 9 boards).
• Another big game for Russell Westbrook(notes) (18 points, 7-of-11 FG, 8 boards, 15 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 steals), who is definitely peaking right now. His per-game rank over the past month is 28th, thanks to averages that include 19.4 points, 6.4 boards, 9.7 assists, 2.6 turnovers, and 2 steals in 37 minutes.
• Speaking of peaking... Stephen Jackson(notes) put a pair of bad shooting nights behind him and was also huge on Friday (32 points, 3 treys, 11 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals) and his per-game rank over the past month is 17th. His averages during that span include 23.9 points on 46-percent shooting, 2.1 threes, 5.5 boards, 4.6 assists, 3.2 turnovers, 2.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 42 minutes.
• The 36-year-old Theo Ratliff(notes) got his third consecutive start Friday and posted a "typical" line (29 minutes, 5 points, 4 boards, 4 blocks). He also did a good job on Marc Gasol(notes) for much of the night (31 minutes, 6 points, 3-of-10 FG). Oh, and I almost forgot: Tyson Chandler(notes) doesn't need more surgery, so that's cool, I guess.
• Tony Parker(notes) was out Friday, but this time due to food poisoning. George Hill(notes) was very good, yet again (38 minutes, 26 points, 3 treys) and I'm going to go ahead and suggest that his percent-owned number should be higher than 34 percent. Hill was actually the only Spurs starter that got significant run, as the team was down 17 to Houston after the first quarter. Tim Duncan(notes) (24 minutes, 17 points, 8 boards, 1 block) was clearly flustered during the game and played just six minutes in the second half ... The Rockets were a three-man show, getting 94 of their 109 points from three players: Kevin Martin(notes) (33, 14-of-14 FT), Aaron Brooks(notes) (21, 13-of-23 FG), and Luis Scola(notes) (30, 14-of-14 FT).
• Robin Lopez, just two games removed from two points and two boards against the Thunder, was in full beast mode Friday, going off for 30 points on 13-of-16 shooting and 12 boards in 37 minutes. You would think it had something to do with Chris Kaman(notes) (19 minutes, 12 points, 5 boards) getting ejected in the first minute of the second half, but Lopez scored 19 of his 30 before halftime. Obviously Lopez has been inconsistent to this point - hopefully this big game gives him some confidence and inspires a bit more steady production the rest of the way.
• Take a look at the Clippers' box score. That nine-man rotation is what you should expect to see the rest of the way, with Kaman playing more minutes and DeAndre Jordan(notes) and Craig Smith(notes) playing a few less.
• Kenyon Martin(notes) sat out Friday's game because of a left knee bruise and is currently day-to-day. And in case you didn't notice, Chris Andersen(notes) (26 minutes, 8 points, 5 boards, 2 steals, 3 blocks) is back to doing his thing - over the past month, he's averaged 7.8 points on 54-percent shooting, 6.5 boards, and 2.2 blocks in 23 minutes.
• Chris Paul(notes) remains on schedule with his rehab and could return in roughly two weeks, according to Jeff Bower. That would be at around the five week period, and his surgery was expected to necessitate four to six weeks off. Meanwhile, Darren Collison(notes) just keeps plugging along, as he had 16 points and seven assists Friday.
• Spencer Hawes(notes) is back in the starting lineup for the Kings, as Jason Thompson(notes) is out for up to two weeks because of two non-displaced fractures in his lower back. Hawes responded well after being inactive for the team's previous game, posting 15 points, one three, 12 boards, five assists, one turnover, and a block in 37 minutes of a very good win over the Jazz. It appears that he and Westphal worked out their differences beforehand. Also in the starting five for the Kings: Beno Udrih(notes), in yet another shuffle by Paul Westphal. Considering the outcome, Udrih (42 minutes, 25 points, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals) could stick alongside Tyreke Evans(notes). Donte Greene(notes) was saddled with a DNP-CD, while Omri Casspi(notes) and Francisco Garcia(notes) each played 18 minutes.
• Another start and excellent night for Louis Williams(notes) (37 minutes, 16 points, 1 three, 5 boards, 7 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals). Not so much for Elton Brand(notes) (31 minutes, 2 points, 1-of-6 FG, 4 boards), who struggled against the pair of 7-footers on the Lakers. Samuel Dalembert(notes) did not struggle - he bested his scoring output of the past four games combined (22) with 24 points, and added 11 boards and a block in 34 minutes.
• The Celtics are going to take the cautious approach with Paul Pierce's(notes) sprained right thumb, with Doc Rivers saying he'll miss at least the next couple of games. Marquis Daniels(notes) will continue to get the starts in his place, and we can only assume at this point that Pierce will be out for much of Week 19.
"The only thing I'm going to do (Saturday) is come in and get some more work in, a great workout in before the game, and continue to see how it feels. Then, Sunday, I'll do the same thing, see how it feels. I'll decide what I can do with my body."
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