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Dose: Down Goes Pau Gasol

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Dose: Clash of the Titans
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We saw the best NBA game of the year as titans of the West clashed in San Antonio and Big Wednesday brought …

5 Games: POR

4 Games: ATL, BRK, CLE, DET, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, PHX, SAS, TOR, UTA

3 Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, HOU, MIL, ORL, PHI, SAC, WAS

2 Games: GSW

Click here if you want to re-visit last week’s Waiver Wired column, which broke down the remaining weekly schedules, as well as back-to-back games information for players who might miss time. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here

Sunday night was quite eventful for me. Despite missing two games from Kyle Korver and one from Anthony Davis, I managed to hang on for a tie against the LeBron James owner in League Freak, where we start just six players. My dominant bench won me the tiebreaker so I’m moving on to the Final Four, where I’ll lock horns with the Kevin Durant owner this week. I’m really not looking forward to just three games from DeMarcus Cousins and owning the unplayable Russell Westbrook, so I may have to get creative with my lineup. Boogie was sure huge on Sunday though, going off for 32 points, 12 boards, four assists, two steals and a block on 14-of-19 shooting. All of that was great, but I just needed the rebounds, and then had to sit and watch Paul Pierce play for the Nets. Pierce didn’t have a great night and finished with just four rebounds, despite that game going to overtime, giving me the eventual win by a grand total of four rebounds for the week.

I’m still alive in a couple other league’s playoffs, have all four of my NCAA Final Four teams left (with Virginia winning it all over Louisville), and even won some daily money despite having a goose egg from Wilson Chandler. It might be time for me to buy some lottery tickets.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $8,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Sunday Headlines

Jarrett Jack Did What?

While Boogie Cousins was doing serious work in my League Freak lineup, Jarrett Jack was doing work on my bench. I feel like I’ve been writing about Jack in Waiver Wired every week since the start of the season, and while he’s shown some hope of breaking through, it never really happened until Sunday night. Jack torched Sir Raymond Felton for 31 points, five rebounds, 10 assists, a block and a 3-pointer on 13-of-19 shooting in 42 minutes. The Cavs stopped the Knicks eight-game winning streak and Jack has never looked better. Felton will take a lot of the blame for the Jack explosion (much of which happened in the fourth quarter), but still had a nice fantasy line himself, with 14 points, six rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three 3-pointers for the Knicks. Waiters had 22 points and two 3-pointers and with four games next week, and no Kyrie Irving in sight, both Cavs guards look like strong fantasy options. Luol Deng made a surprise return from his sprained ankle and scored 13 points off the bench, but I don’t really trust him. C.J. Miles was out of the lineup again with a sprained ankle, but he’s not really a factor after playing a total of two minutes since Feb. 21. Carmelo Anthony scored 32 for the Knicks, but missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, helping the Knicks blow a 17-point lead. Iman Shumpert sat out on Sunday with the flu, not that you noticed.

Pau Gasol Hospitalized With Illness

Pau Gasol left Sunday’s game with nausea and dizziness, received three liters of fluids in an ambulance and was then taken to the hospital for observation. It doesn’t sound like this is anything life threatening, but it might be enough to shut Gasol down for a bit. I’ve been joking/hinting that a mysterious back injury was coming for Gasol, as it is just hard for me to imagine him making it through the rest of the season with nothing to play for. However, this illness doesn’t sound like a joke and I hope that Gasol makes a quick recovery. We’re still awaiting information on Gasol’s condition and outlook, but you shouldn’t be surprised if this is enough to end his season. Which leads me to…

Jordan Hill Did What?

With Gasol limited to just 19 minutes, Jordan Hill made the most of his return to the starting lineup, racking up a career-high 28 points, 13 rebounds and a block while hitting 9-of-15 shots and 10-of-13 free throws in a win over the Magic. I dropped Mike Dunleavy to pick Hill up, as he appears to finally be back in Mike D’Antoni’s good graces. Big men usually don’t stay there for long, so I’m just hoping that Mike D will give Hill four more games worth of big minutes, although I haven’t actually decided if I’m going to use him or not. Jodie Meeks scored 13 with two 3-pointers and six steals, and Nick Young racked up 26 points and two 3-pointers off the bench, but I don’t know that you can trust any single player on the Lakers right now, as Mike D can’t seem to make up his mind on most nights.

Kevin Love With Another Monster Line

Kevin Love went nutso again on Sunday with 36 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and three 3-pointers. He just missed a triple-double, but became the first player since Russell Westbrook in 2010 to drop that kind of line. Please, Kevin, keep playing through the end of the season.

Sunshine

The Suns got nice lines from several players last night. Goran Dragic had 18 points, six assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers and Eric Bledsoe had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. See guys, you can play together if you try! P.J. Tucker had 18 points, eight boards and two 3-pointers in another start, and Markieff Morris flew high off the bench with 25 points, eight boards, two blocks and three 3-pointers on 10-of-13 shooting. If we could just figure out on which nights PJT and Markieff were going to go off, we’d all be rich.

Jose Calderon Takes Elbow To The Face

Jose Calderon took an elbow to the nose early on Sunday and night and didn’t return to the game. He tweeted that it was “nothing to worry about” and said he’d have to see how it feels in the morning. If he ends up missing time, Devin Harris would be the guy to plug into your lineup, but I simply don’t trust that he can stay healthy. Harris hit 4-of-15 shots and three 3-pointers for 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes last night.

Aaron Brooks Still Playing Well

I don’t know how he’s doing it playing behind Ty Lawson, but Aaron Brooks had 13 points, seven assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes off the bench Sunday. He hit just 4-of-13 shots, and had just six points and two assists in his previous game. Lawson was out last Wednesday when Brooks went bonkers with 27 points and 17 assists, but it looks like he might still be a low-end, deep-league option if you’re hurting for dimes.

O.J. Mayo Did What?

O.J. Mayo came back to life on Sunday against the Kings, hitting 9-of-14 shots and two 3-pointers for 21 points and four assists off the Bucks bench. Mayo hadn’t even played in his previous six games and had amassed a total of seven minutes in his previous nine games, so he’s far from trustworthy. But the fact Larry Drew finally turned him loose in a blowout could be a sign that they’re going to free Mayo over the final few weeks of the season. If you want to take a flier on Mayo and put him on your bench until we see what happens, go for it.

Marcus Thornton Scores 20

Good Marcus Thornton showed up last night after the Nets got off to a terrible start, hitting 7-of-11 shots and four 3-pointers for 20 points and seven rebounds. His game log continues to be a ping-pong ball, as he’s scored 20, 9, 11, 8, 19, 5, 5, 27, 4, 20, 3 and 25 points in each of his March games. He has hit 12 3-pointers over his last five games, but as you can see by those numbers, he’s simply as hit-or-miss as they come. Start him at your own risk, whether it be nightly or weekly.

Victor Oladipo On A Roll

Jameer Nelson was out again with a knee injury, allowing Victor Oladipo to get loose for 21 points, five rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers. He is averaging 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, and it’s not a coincidence that Nelson has been out for the last three of them. Nelson could return at any time, which might hurt Oladipo, and he’s gone through droughts and hot streaks all season. But if you own Oladipo, I say you roll the dice and forget about Nelson’s possible return.

Andre Iguodala, Nikola Pekovic, Kyle Korver, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Ersan Ilyasova All In Limbo

Andre Iguodala – The Warriors have no plans on rushing Iguodala back from his knee injury and we simply have no idea when he’ll play again. He shouldn’t be in starting lineups right now, and can even be dropped in some cases. Harrison Barnes has been filling in for him, but has looked terrible doing so.

Nikola Pekovic – He was out again with his ankle injury on Sunday and while it sounds like there’s a chance he could play this week, I am not feeling him. Gorgui Dieng has been a nice fill-in, and I’d continue to roll with him until you see Pekovic on the court.

Kyle Korver – Korver has missed two straight games with a back injury and I have no idea on his status for the upcoming week. And therefore, he will be on my bench in weekly leagues. Shelvin Mack should be the primary beneficiary if Korver remains out.

Dwight Howard – Howard has missed three straight games with his ankle injury and the Rockets have actually won all three games. Howard practiced on Saturday and Sunday, but we still haven’t heard a firm target date on his return. Maybe he’ll play on Monday against the Bobcats and for what it’s worth, he’s in my weekly league lineup as of now. And man, do I need him to play.

Russell Westbrook – While Westbrook’s knee injury he suffered on Friday was a mild sprain, he did require an MRI, which is no joke. He practiced on Sunday and with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, he’s almost guaranteed to miss one, if not both, of those games. I own him in League Freak and simply don’t trust him enough to put him my lineup, despite the four-game week. The Thunder actually don’t have a back-to-back situation the following week, so Westbrook might be a safer play in that one. I’m benching him, but if you want to use him and hope for three games this week, it could pay off. Your call.

Dwyane Wade – Wade sat out on Saturday in order to rest and also took Tuesday off. This week, the Heat play on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It’s hard to imagine him playing in all four of those, and owners who start him in a weekly have to hope he plays in three of them. And given that the back-to-back on Friday and Saturday is at Detroit and at Milwaukee, it’s possible he could just take the whole weekend off. Good luck figuring things out with Wade. Update: He's already listed as doubtful for Monday, so if you were thinking about trying to use him, you better think again. 

Rajon Rondo – Rondo sat out last Monday and then played very well on Wednesday and Friday. The Celtics only play three times this week and none of them are back-to-back, meaning Rondo should play in all three games.

Ersan Ilyasova – Ilyasova played on Sunday night against the Kings and had 14 points in 24 minutes. The latest plan from the Bucks is to rest Ilyasova in back-to-back games, so the thought is that he will sit out on Monday at the Clippers. It’s not a guarantee that he’ll miss that one, but if you’re playing the odds, you have to assume he’s out. The Bucks only play three times this week, so you can probably find a safer option, as I’m guessing he’ll only play on Thursday (Lakers) and Saturday (Heat).

Good luck in Week 22!

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