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Studs Of the Night
Joe Johnson went crazy, hitting 13-of-20 shots and a career-best 10-of-14 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 37 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block. He scored 29 in the third quarter alone and has been rolling a bit for the injured Nets. It’s hard to say how long he can keep it going and it’s safe to say that this will be his best line of the year.
Celtics center Jared Sullinger went off for 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and a 3-pointer, hitting 7-of-14 shots and 9-of-11 free throws. He’s not bothered by the return of Kelly Olynyk, and owners should keep running him out there as long as he’s starting.
Josh Smith had 30 points, with seven rebounds, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 13-of-29 shooting in a win over the Pacers. Smith is feeling it, scoring 61 points in his last two games, hitting 26-of-46 shots. He shot four 3-pointers last night, which is an easier pill to swallow when he’s playing so well. Now looks like a great time to sell-high on Smoove. The Pacers lost for just the fourth time this season.
LeBron James hit 13-of-17 shots for 30 points, nine boards, nine assists and a steal, but what’s new? He also suffered a sprained left ankle, but I would be shocked if he misses Wednesday’s game against the Pacers, which is now one of the best rivalries in the league.
Lance Stephenson had a career-high 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a 3-pointer on 9-of-14 shooting in the Pacers loss to the Pistons, and is off to a great start for those of you who played him for the four-game week.
Martell Webster exploded to hit 9-of-13 shots and six 3-pointers on his way to 30 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block for the Wizards. Starter Trevor Ariza had just 10 points and Webster has hit double figures in scoring in three straight games. The timeshare is on, and inconsistency will follow. It also doesn’t help that Bradley Beal was back in action last night. Beal, who had missed nine straight games with a leg injury, hit 9-of-16 shots and three 3-pointers to go along with seven rebounds in 30 minutes. Get him back in your lineup, and think about selling high on Webster after his big game.
Alec Burks got hot and hit 12-of-17 shots and two 3-pointers for 31 points, seven assists and four steals. He’s been hit or miss all season long and hit 7-of-25 shots for a total of 16 points over his last two games, so don’t feel too bad if he was on your bench this week.
Jordan Hill started for the Lakers again and had 21 points, nine rebounds and a block on 8-of-8 shooting. As long as he’s starting for Mike D’Antoni, he should be owned in all leagues and starting in most of them. Hill was the Waiver Wired cover boy this week, for good reason.
Andray Blatche had 20 points, five rebounds and two steals on 8-of-12 shooting for the Nets, as Brook Lopez sat out again with an ankle injury. Any time Lopez is out, Blatche is a strong play, although Lopez shouldn’t miss much more time, if any. He initially said he was going to play last night, but couldn’t go, which is annoying.
Nick Young had 23 points, four rebounds, a block and five 3-pointers off the Lakers bench. That makes 10 straight double-digit games for Young, who should be owned in most leagues. Xavier Henry had 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 27 minutes. He also came off the bench and might be a better option than starter Jodie Meeks, although both players will struggle with consistency.
J.R. Smith started again and finally woke up for the Knicks, hitting 6-of-16 shots and five 3-pointers for 18 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals. He likely did this because I told people it was probably time to cut him yesterday, and we can only hope the slump is over. Smith has basically been useless thus far, but that could change quickly if his head is screwed on tightly.
D.J. Augustin came off the Bulls’ bench and played 37 minutes at point guard, hitting 5-of-15 shots and two 3-pointers to finish with 14 points, eight assists and a steal. Marquis Teague started, but failed to score and played just 11 minutes, meaning DJA looks like a decent add with Derrick Rose out for the season, and Kirk Hinrich dealing with a back injury. I really didn’t expect DJA to be much of a fantasy force, and while he’ll take a hit once Hinrich is healthy, it didn’t stop me from dropping Pablo Prigioni (broken toe) for him last night.
James Anderson hit 7-of-14 shots and three 3-pointers off the Sixers bench for 17 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal. He’s hit double figures in scoring in four straight games and is still a decent player to own, even though he’s not starting.
Enes Kanter hit 6-of-11 shots for 14 points and eight rebounds, but played just 17 minutes for the Jazz. That’s not enough run for him to produce consistently, so don’t get too excited about tonight’s performance.
Duds Of the Night
Spencer Hawes hit just 1-of-5 shots for two points, seven rebounds and no blocks for the Sixers. He may be dealing with a sore knee and also scored just two points last Monday. Maybe, like the Boomtown Rats, he doesn’t like Mondays, as he scored 20, 15 and 16 points in his three games sandwiched between the two bad one.
Roy Hibbert had just six points, four rebounds and two blocks on 2-of-12 shooting against Andre Drummond, which is a big factor in why the Pacers lost to the Pistons. Hibbert had been playing very well, so look for him to bounce back against the center-less Heat on Wednesday. Andre Drummond had nine points, nine rebounds and nothing else, while also missing 5-of-6 free throws, so the two centers offset each other last night.
Jodie Meeks had two points on 1-of-8 shooting in another start for the Lakers. That makes three single-digit scoring nights for Meeks, who simply isn’t living up to the starting hype.
Corey Brewer hit 1-of-8 shots for four points and that makes three straight single-digit scoring nights, while he scored just 10 and 11 points in the previous two games before that streak. He’s averaging just 8.6 points on 35 percent shooting over his last five for Minnesota, meaning he should be on fantasy benches until he breaks out of the funk.
Gordon Hayward hit just 2-of-8 shots, was 0-for-4 from downtown and finished with just seven points, three boards, two assists and a steal for the Jazz. He was hot coming in, but couldn’t get it going against LeBron, D-Wade and company last night.
Trey Burke hit just 1-of-8 shots for three points and four assists, but was consistently scoring in double digits and playing well coming in. Both of them should bounce back quickly.
Trevor Booker cooled off for the Wizards, hitting all three of his shots and finishing with six points, four rebounds and a block in 32 minutes. With Nene due back as early as Wednesday, Booker’s run is probably about over, for now.
Amare Stoudemire played just 19 minutes and hit 1-of-7 shots for four points and four rebounds for the Knicks. There was talk of him playing 30 minutes last night, but it didn’t happen. His next injury is likely just around the corner, but he’s been playing well enough to be used in most leagues for now.
Jimmy Butler hit just 1-of-11 shots for four points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 28 minutes for the Bulls. He’s going to be a lot better than this on most nights and now looks like a good time to make a low-ball offer for him. Butler is a must-own player in all formats in my book.
Tobias Harris hit just 1-of-7 shots for five points and seven rebounds for the Magic, and is averaging just 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19 minutes in his three games since returning from a high ankle sprain. It’s a broken record, but the Magic are too deep for Harris to go on a tear like he did last season, and he’s hit just 7-of-23 shots (30 percent) since returning. I actually dropped him in a league earlier on Monday and I’m not looking back.
James Harden’s ankle injury isn’t as bad as the Rockets initially thought, but he’s still a little iffy for Wednesday’s game.
Kevin Martin, who was initially listed as a go last night, ended up being a late scratch due to his sore knee. Hopefully this is the only game he misses.
Brook Lopez’s ankle injury kept him out last night, despite him saying earlier that he was going to play. Buzzkill. Hopefully he’s back for the next one.
Mike Conley missed Grizzlies practice with a bruised thigh and will be questionable for Tuesday and Wednesday. If he’s out, look for Jerryd Bayless to play well.
Tony Parker suffered a right shin bruise and didn’t return for the Spurs last night, leaving him iffy for Wednesday vs. the Suns. I hope he’s not out for 10 games like Eric Bledsoe was when he suffered a similar injury.
Jeremy Lin’s back spasms are expected to keep him out again on Wednesday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can rely on Patrick Beverley or Aaron Brooks, although the chances of them playing well increase substantially when Lin is in street clothes. Chandler Parsons had an ingrown toenail removed on Monday and is also dealing with a sore back. All signs point to him playing on Wednesday, but it’s not guaranteed.
Glen Davis played well despite a shoulder injury and had 14 points and 11 boards in 32 minutes. He’ll have some inconsistency due to Orlando’s depth, but remains a must-own player.
Kirk Hinrich’s back injury kept him out of Monday’s game and will leave him iffy for Wednesday. If he’s out, look for D.J. Augustin to have another nice game.
Rodney Stuckey is apparently dealing with a shoulder injury and played just 16 minutes for Detroit, finishing with two points against the Pacers. This one came out of nowhere, as he had scored 17, 17 and 20 points in his previous three games. Yes, he ruined me in daily leagues on Monday.
Jordan Farmar could return from his hamstring injury on Friday for the Lakers. I’m guessing he’ll start at point guard once he’s back, likely killing any chance of Kobe Bryant gaining point-guard eligibility in fantasy leagues.
Pablo Prigioni broke his toe on Monday and will miss a couple weeks for the Knicks. Beno Udrih is next in line at point guard, and had 12 points and five assists in 30 minutes. Tyson Chandler could return from his broken leg on Wednesday, and it will be interesting to see what Andrea Bargnani’s role will be when it happens. My guess is Bargs will be OK, but even more inconsistent than he already is.
Kris Humphries returned from a knee injury and hit 4-of-5 shots for eight points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes for the Celtics. I’m ignoring him for now.
Tiago Splitter returned for two points and three rebounds in 19 minutes for the Spurs, but I’m not racing to pick up any role players for Gregg Popovich.
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