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Court Report: The next Jordan

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

DeAndre Jordan(notes) has been a catalyst for the Clippers, who are winning games these days.

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The Clippers got huge production from their starters, playing an average of 37 minutes, in an impressive 106-93 win over the Nuggets. DeAndre Jordan set the tone, playing more than 40 minutes for the third straight game and totaling 14 points, 20 boards, three assists, and six blocks. Blake Griffin(notes) turned in his usual double-double (22 points, 18 boards, 7 assists), Eric Gordon(notes) was strong (28 points, 4 threes), and both Baron Davis(notes) (16 points, 2 threes, 8 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals) and Ryan Gomes(notes) (13 points, 3 threes) were efficient contributors. Over his past 13 games, Jordan has averaged 9.5 points on 74-percent shooting, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 32 minutes. The big fantasy drawback is that he’s also made just 49 percent of 3.2 free throws per game. The longer Jordan keeps playing like this, the less likely the team will be to push Chris Kaman(notes) back into action. Kaman remains without a timetable in his return from an ankle injury. And don’t look now, but the Clippers have won six of their past nine games.

As you might imagine, the Nuggets were beat in most facets of the game - they shot 38 percent from the field, were out-rebounded 57-43, and had 16 assists to 14 turnovers. Chauncey Billups(notes) (25 points, 10-11 FT, 5 threes, 3 assists, 2 steals), Carmelo Anthony(notes) (31 points, 9 boards), and Nene Hilario(notes) (12 points, 9 boards) at least provided some decent numbers for fantasy owners. Ty Lawson(notes) suffered a knee sprain after playing just nine minutes, but called it minor and will try to play Thursday.

Orlando cruised to its seventh straight win Wednesday, securing a workmanlike 97-87 home win over the Bucks. Defensively, they held Milwaukee to 39-percent shooting. Dwight Howard(notes) played 43 minutes for the second consecutive game, scored 28 points (9-16 FG, 10-15 FT), grabbed 13 boards, and added two steals and a block. Surplus steals have been a welcome added dimension to Howard's game in recent weeks - he's averaged 1.6 over the past 10 games, while also experiencing an uptick in boards (15.5). His blocks (2.4) and scoring (21.1) have remained constant. The new-look Magic are a more athletic team and have upped the pace slightly, and it’s helped lead to more statistical opportunities for Howard.

The Magic shared the shot opportunities past Howard. Jason Richardson(notes) (13 points, 0-5 3pt) had 13; Jameer Nelson(notes) (10 points, 9 assists), J.J. Redick(notes) (10 points, 7 boards, 4 assists), and Gilbert Arenas(notes) (6 points) had nine; and Hedo Turkoglu(notes) (13 points, 1 steal, 1 block) and Brandon Bass(notes) (10 points, 6 boards) each had eight. Bass and Ryan Anderson(notes) each played dealt with foul trouble (23 minutes, 4 fouls for both), necessitating big minutes for D12.

The Bucks are completely lacking on the offensive end these days, having now averaged 86.6 points over the past nine games (3-6). Brandon Jennings(notes) (foot), Carlos Delfino(notes) (concussion), and Drew Gooden(notes) (plantar fasciitis) have combined to average 41.8 points, 4.5 threes, and 8.7 assists on the season, and the team needs Jennings back in particular. Against the Magic, the Bucks managed only 11 assists (9 turnovers), with Keyon Dooling(notes) (23 minutes, 0 points, 0-4 FG, 2 assists) and Earl Boykins(notes) (25 minutes, 4-14 FG, 2 assists) forming a poor platoon at point guard. Andrew Bogut(notes) had a brutal offensive game (6 points, 2-5 FG, 2-10 FT) but still managed defensive numbers (7 boards, 2 steals, 4 blocks). Corey Maggette(notes) reached the 20-point plateau for the first time in a month (25 minutes, 21 points, 7-9 FG, 6-8 FT) and could be leaned on for some offense if he's completely recovered from his concussion.

The Sixers' 109-97 win over the Wizards also happened to be their first home game since December 17. Philly was led by Jrue Holiday(notes) (26 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) and Louis Williams(notes) (26 minutes, 26 points, 7-10 FG, 10-11 FT, 2 threes, 2 steals), while Evan Turner(notes) was largely invisible (27 minutes, 2 points, 1-5 FG, -4). Williams' per-minute numbers are consistent with his career averages, but his minutes are down eight from last season (22 per game) and his 37-percent shooting is a career low. Andre Iguodala(notes) sat his fifth consecutive game while he deals with Achilles tendinitis, and he's expected to be out for another week or so.

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John Wall(notes) had 18 points and 14 assists in the loss, but his standout stat was the single turnover. Wall had totaled 14 assists and 15 turnovers in the previous two games. Elsewhere for the Wizards, Nick Young(notes) provided more volume offense (21 points, 9-16 FG, 2 threes), Andray Blatche(notes) was solid (17 points, 6 boards, 2 steals), and Rashard Lewis(notes) posted his second double-double in six games since joining the team's starting five (18 points, 2 threes, 10 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Lewis had four double-doubles in 86 games for the Magic last season, including the playoffs. JaVale McGee(notes) didn't do much thanks to foul trouble (24 minutes, 4 points, 6 boards, 1 block, 3 fouls).

Derrick Favors'(notes) first career start was a bit anti-climactic, even though the Nets picked up a 96-94 win over the visiting Bulls. Favors accumulated four fouls in just nine minutes, and his line consisted of seven points, five boards, and a block. Favors is a lot like Amir Johnson(notes) is that there's only so much statistical upside because of how often he fouls people. He's currently averaging 6.5 fouls for every 36 minutes played, along with 12.3 points, 9.8 boards, and 0.9 blocks. Favors certainly warrants a look for fantasy purposes as a starter, but don't get carried away with expectations and don't cut an already useful option to roster him in a standard league.

Kris Humphries(notes) went to the bench to make room for Favors but ended up playing 38 minutes (20 points, 10-15 FG, 11 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Humphries probably won't lose a tremendous amount of his impact, considering he is only averaging 25 minutes on the season, but obviously his starting is the ideal situation. What is also worth noting is that Humphries has an expiring $3.2 million dollar contract, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that he changes addresses around the trade deadline … Also for the Nets: Devin Harris(notes) had a very solid line (18 points, 11 assists, 1 steal) and Brook Lopez(notes) was once again disappointing (14 points, 3 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks).

It was a less-than-stellar night for the Bulls' headliners. Derrick Rose(notes) had 21 points and two threes, but added only one assist and five turnovers. And Carlos Boozer(notes) ended up with only 26 minutes (12 points, 9 boards, 5 assists) and sat the entire fourth quarter. Taj Gibson(notes) followed up his 16/14 production from Tuesday with six points and two boards in just 11 minutes, and Kurt Thomas(notes) remains the starter at center (27 minutes, 7 points, 6 boards, 2 steals).

Toronto was the latest team to take advantage of the favorable matchup with the Cavs, cruising to a 120-105 win on Wednesday. Jose Calderon(notes) was at his best (20 points, 8-10 FG, 3 threes, 17 assists, 2 steals) and everything else fell in line. Five other players scored in double figures, led by Andrea Bargnani(notes) (25 points, 3 threes, 8 boards) and Leandro Barbosa(notes) (27 minutes, 22 points, 2 threes, 3 steals). Linas Kleiza(notes) was notably absent from the festivities, scoring just three points on one-of-four shooting in 21 minutes. Julian Wright(notes) picked up the slack out of nowhere (31 minutes, 15 points, 9 boards, 5 assists).

The Cavs scored 105 points on 51-percent shooting, so this wasn't a loss for fantasy owners, although the production was fairly spread out. Antawn Jamison(notes) led the way and continued his nice run as a starter (32 points, 5 threes, 2 steals, 1 block), while Mo Williams(notes) was okay at best (11 points, 9 assists, 6 turnovers), Daniel Gibson(notes) returned from a thigh injury but left with an ankle injury (26 minutes, 13 points, 2 threes, 6 assists, 2 steals), paving the way for more minutes for Ramon Sessions(notes) (27 minutes, 16 points, 12-12 FT, 6 assists). Anthony Parker(notes) missed the game with back soreness, and Alonzo Gee(notes) got the start (9 points, 1 three, 1 steal, 1 block). Gee could have a chance to stick with the Cavs if he can show something over the next week or so.

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The game of the night was the Spurs at Celtics and it did not disappoint. The Celtics won 105-103, minus Kevin Garnett(notes), thanks to a massive game from Rajon Rondo(notes) (12 points, 10 boards, 22 assists, 6 steals, 1 block) and a near-flawless effort from Ray Allen(notes) (31 points, 13-16 FG, 2 threes, 6 assists). The Celtics shot 61 percent as a team, the highest mark for a team against the Spurs since 1988. Glen Davis(notes) scored 23 points (10-18 FG) while Paul Pierce(notes) added 18 (7-10 FG, 2 threes) … KG was on the practice court Wednesday shooting jumpers but did not discuss his timetable for a return, which figures to be at least another week or 10 days.

An edge in offensive rebounds (15 to Boston's 5) helped keep the Spurs in the game, but they got little production beyond their big three. Manu Ginobili(notes) was excellent (24 points, 7-12 FG, 7-8 FT, 3 threes, 8 boards, 5 steals), while both Tony Parker(notes) (18 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) and Tim Duncan(notes) (18 points, 8-15 FG, 5 boards, 2 blocks) were reasonably effective. DeJuan Blair(notes), Richard Jefferson(notes), George Hill(notes), and Matt Bonner(notes) combined to make 10 of 36 shots (28%).

The Bobcats managed a 108-105 OT win over the Timberwolves with a patchwork lineup. Stephen Jackson(notes) missed the game with a hyper-extended left knee, Gerald Wallace(notes) sat out his seventh straight game because of a sprained left ankle, and Nazr Mohammed(notes) sat out a second straight game with a bruised knee. That meant starts for Gerald Henderson(notes) (33 minutes, 7 points), Derrick Brown(notes) (14 minutes), and Kwame Brown(notes) (36 minutes, 8 points, 14 boards). Tyrus Thomas(notes) played through knee soreness and put up a big line (21 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks) in a season-high 36 minutes. Obviously this has to be qualified with the amount of injuries here, but it's good to see big minutes and a big performance from Thomas in any circumstance. S-Jax is day-to-day and G-Wall is expected to miss another few games.

The Wolves were a two-man show. Kevin Love(notes) played 46 minutes, scored 35 points (11-16 FG, 10-11 FT), and added three treys, 15 boards, and five assists. Michael Beasley(notes) played 48 minutes, scored 28 points, and added two threes and 12 boards. The was the extent of the useful lines for Minnesota, who didn't get much from players like Luke Ridnour(notes) (8 points, 4 assists) or Darko Milicic(notes) (3 points, 7 boards, 5 turnovers, 3 blocks).

Monta Ellis(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes) led the Warriors in their win over the Hornets. Ellis had 29 points, three treys, four assists, and two steals, while Curry went for 21 points and added four steals. Dorell Wright(notes) didn't help anyone's field goal percentage (5-15 FG) but filled the stat sheet otherwise, as usual (3 threes, 2 steals, 1 block). Andris Biedrins(notes) (ankle) and David Lee(notes) (back) returned from their respective injuries but were both limited, allowing Louis Amundson(notes) (22 minutes, 12 boards) and Ekpe Udoh(notes) (18 minutes, 6 points, 1 block) to remain in the rotation.

The Hornets got good production from the majority of their starters in the loss to the Warriors, including Chris Paul(notes) (24 points, 2 threes, 6 boards, 13 assists), David West(notes) (16 points, 9 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block), Marco Belinelli(notes) (16 points, 2 threes), and Trevor Ariza(notes) (15 points, 2 threes, 10 rebounds, 2 steals). Emeka Okafor(notes) was limited by foul trouble (23 minutes, 6 points, 10 boards, 6 fouls).

The Blazers got by the Rockets 103-100 despite Kevin Martin’s(notes) best efforts. Martin followed up Monday’s season-low eight points with 45 Wednesday, making 13 of 18 shots, 13 of 15 free throws, and hitting six of eight threes. Monday also marked the first time all season that Martin failed to reach double figures. There weren’t many highlights beyond Martin, although Shane Battier(notes) had another good line (13 points, 1 three, 4 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks). Aaron Brooks(notes) missed the game after aggravating his ankle injury Monday, allowing Kyle Lowry(notes) to play 39 minutes (8 points, 7 assists); Brooks is day-to-day and will get at least a few more days of rest.

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LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) led the way for the Blazers (27 points, 13 boards), a fairly common theme these days. LMA has posted a first-round impact over the past month, averaging 23.1 points on 52-percent shooting, 9.1 boards, 1.1 steals, and 1.6 blocks in 16 games. Aldridge dedicated himself this past off-season to getting stronger and becoming more assertive and it’s been showing on both ends of the court. Past Aldridge, the Blazers had seven players average 28 minutes and score between nine and 14 points. Details here.

The Hawks have everything falling in Utah Wednesday and rode 51/56/89 percentages to a 110-87 road win over the stunned Jazz. Joe Johnson(notes) made some shots for the second straight night (28 points, 10-17 FG, 5 threes), Jamal Crawford(notes) was at his best (34 minutes, 26 points, 9-18 FG, 4 threes, 4 assists), and Al Horford(notes) (18 points, 8 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks) and Josh Smith(notes) (12 points, 1 three, 4 assists, 2 steals) helped fill in the gaps. Utah played without Paul Millsap(notes) and was listless on both ends of the court. One highlight for the Jazz was Andrei Kirilenko’s(notes) line (19 points, 3 threes, 6 boards, 1 steal, 3 blocks). Millsap has a bruised right hip and is questionable for Friday at this point.

The Suns went with an oversized lineup in an attempt to match up with the Lakers, starting both Robin Lopez(notes) and Marcin Gortat(notes) in the frontcourt. Lopez ended up playing only 12 minutes (2 points, 1 rebound, 3 fouls) and gave way to Channing Frye(notes) for the most part (27 minutes, 10 points, 3 threes). Gortat had another solid statistical effort with big minutes (35 minutes, 12 points, 9 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Steve Nash(notes) double-doubled (11 points, 10 assists) and Jared Dudley(notes) played big reserve minutes (31 minutes, 21 points, 3 threes, 6 boards, 2 steals), while Vince Carter(notes) wasn’t a big help in this one (28 minutes, 13 points). Alvin Gentry is likely to continue to shuffle his lineup in an attempt to spark the scuffling Suns – Wednesday’s loss was their sixth in seven games and 10th in 13 games.

Kobe Bryant(notes) had the Lakers’ best performance, scoring 24 points and adding seven boards and five assists. Pau Gasol(notes) scored just six points in 35 minutes but did have nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks. Andrew Bynum(notes) (14 points, 7 boards), Lamar Odom(notes) (24 minutes, 12 points, 10 boards), and Ron Artest(notes) (11 points, 3 threes, 4 assists) were the other notables for the Lakers.

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