November 20, 2008
Here's another dose of quick-hitters from a Wednesday night around the NBA.
• Dwyane Wade has simply been unbelievable this season - tonight he posted the second 40-point, 10-assist, 5-block game in league history (he actually went for 40/11/5), bringing his season averages to 28.2 points, 7.8 assists, 2.5 steals, and 2 blocks.
• JaVale McGee cracked the starting lineup for the Wizards tonight and that's not likely to change any time soon. His minutes (23) and production (5 points, 5 boards, 0 blocks) were modest against the Hawks, but the starting role should only mean good things for his fantasy impact. His per-25 minute averages include 10.6 points, 7.1 boards, and 1.4 blocks.
• With Josh Smith and Al Horford out with injuries, Marvin Williams played 45 minutes and had one of those big games he has every once in a while: 21 points, 1 three, 14 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Those big numbers boosted his season averages to right about where they were last season, although he's added a three-point shot (1.3 per game). This is the second consecutive year in which plenty of people had him pegged him as a breakout candidate - tonight was either the start of that or simply the result of his team being shorthanded, and I'm leaning towards the latter.
• Horford doesn't look like he'll be out long, but Smith is expected to miss another four or five games.
• So is Andrea Bargnani back to revolving bad/good games? He scored just five on Tuesday but went for 25 against the Heat tonight, including three treys and 2 blocks. Obviously he needs to be universally rostered, but your guess is as good as mine as for how the numbers balance out moving forward.
• We had a Shawn Marion sighting tonight to the tune of season-highs in points (20) and boards (14). Now just throw in a few blocks and threes (he did have two steals) and start doing it regularly, and there will be no hard feelings.
• I don't have doubts that Kevin Love is going to make a fantasy impact, but I'm not sure how long we're going to have to wait for it. Jason Collins is getting the starts at C and Craig Smith made the noise off of the bench tonight for the Wolves (21 points, 5 assists in 26 minutes). Love played 20 minutes, compiling nine points, four boards, and two blocks.
• Here's a tip: start players when they face the Thunder. All four starters for the Clippers were big-time tonight and they officially lead Basketball Monster's ease rankings.
• If I were to set the over/under for Kevin Durant's end-of-season rank at last season's mark of 63, what are you taking? Supporting stats like those he posted tonight (3 boards, 1 assist, 5 turnovers, 0 steals, 0 blocks) sure aren't going to help him beat it. He did hit two threes tonight on three attempts, however, and a few more of those makes could help - he averaged 4.4 attempts from long-range last November, and he's averaged 1.2 attempts in 10 November games so far this season.
• Donte Greene got the start for the Kings tonight, while Mikki Moore missed the game due to an ankle sprain, and he responded with 15 points and three treys in 35 minutes. He's a great athlete, but was terribly inefficient as a freshman at Syracuse (.418 FG%, .345 3PT% .707 FT%, 2:2.6 AST:TO) and it's hard to imagine that he made that big of strides in shot selection and fundamentals over the summer. He'll get some run while Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia remain sidelined (until sometime next week) so we'll get a better picture of where he's at.
• Josh Howard was out of the lineup tonight with an ankle sprain, and his status should be updated tomorrow. Gerald Green and James Singleton were in the starting five, but Jason Terry was the star off of the bench, scoring 31 in 35 minutes.
• So Tracy McGrady was the one who was going to shut things down for a while, but Yao Ming was the one that actually ended up sitting out Wednesday. He didn't play for precautionary reasons, so there's no need for anyone to worry about anything in the long-term concerning his surgically-repaired left foot, right?
• Andrei Kirilenko's season averages after 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals, and four blocks tonight: 14.7 points, 6.8 boards, 1.4 steals, and 1.7 blocks. We've missed you, AK.
• Carlos Boozer left the game tonight after 20/11 in 34 minutes with a strained left quad that isn't expected to sideline him long. Deron Williams is "getting stronger" but still has no firm date for a return.
• Portland trampled the Bulls this evening, limiting them to 35 percent shooting in the 42-point win. LaMarcus Aldridge topped the team as a +38 in 26 minutes, while Rudy Fernandez was a +25 in his 18 minutes of action. The Blazers spread the wealth around, with eight players scoring at least nine points, and Greg Oden packed 11 points, 10 boards, and three blocks into his 17 minutes of action. Luol Deng didn't suit up for the massacre because of a left groin strain and could miss another game or two.