Dirk Nowitzki threw a dagger at the Knicks, Raymond Felton was arrested on gun charges, and guys like Derrick Favors, Rajon Rondo and Andrew Bogut were back in action on a five-game Monday night. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Dirk Shocks Knicks, Felton Arrested
If you haven’t seen Dirk Nowitzki’s crazy buzzer beat that came a couple hours before Raymond Felton was arrested, check it out now. Dirk love playing in the Garden and while last night’s performance wasn’t spectacular (15 points and one rebound), the dagger he hoisted made up for 32 minutes of misery. Jose Calderon was money against Felton with 20 points, six assists and five 3-pointers, Monta Ellis scored 22 with six dimes, and Vince Carter stayed hot off the bench with a season-high 23 points and seven 3-pointers. Starting center Samuel Dalembert had six points and 10 rebounds, but didn’t block a shot, while Brandan Wright came off the bench for 12 points, four rebounds and one block. Shawn Marion has been highly inconsistent lately and disappeared with just four points and four boards, despite playing 37 minutes. Carter is the better play right now.
First, the basketball news. Carmelo Anthony went nuts with 44 points, seven 3-pointers and a full stat line, but was crushed when Dirk’s ugly jumper rattled, bounced and fell home at the end. The only Knicks worth fantasy money last night were Melo, Tyson Chandler (12 & 12) and J.R. Smith, who had 15 points, four rebounds and seven assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. played 31 minutes and had 10 points and two 3-pointers.
Like most of you, I awoke to the news that Raymond Felton was arrested sometime after the game on felony gun charges. And given what happened to Plaxico Burress when he shot himself in the leg a few years ago, this could end poorly for Felton. There are some conflicting reports as to what exactly went down. Did he point a gun at his girlfriend or wife? Or did his wife, who is filing for divorce after just 19 months of marriage, simply get mad at him and take his unregistered weapon to the police? The facts will eventually come to light and he’ll be in criminal court in Manhattan some time on Tuesday. Felton, who had eight points and seven assists, had already worn out his welcome in New York long before the arrest and now Knicks fans should be prepared for a full dose of Pablo Prigioni, and maybe some D-Leaguer they bring in if Felton is going to miss time. And seeing how he’s splashed upon the front page of every newspaper in New York, it would be surprising if he doesn’t. Somewhere in the great state of Texas, Jeremy Lin is in a state of disbelief, just like Knicks fans.
Milwaukee Trounces Philly
O.J. Mayo came out of nowhere for 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting with seven 3-pointers in a romp over the Sixers. Now that he’s been cut by every disgruntled fantasy owner he had, Mayo might finally be ready to play again. But given that Larry Drew’s his coach and this is the first meaningful game Mayo’s played in months, I’m not exactly doing cartwheels. If you have someone to cut and you want to take a flier on Mayo, go for it. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ramon Sessions, Jeff Adrien, Khris Middleton, Brandon Knight, John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova, all played pretty well last night, while Nate Wolters started and played just 15 minutes on his wobbly ankle. Despite initial reports that he would play, Caron Butler sat out with his bum ankle, and before reading too much into any of this nonsense, keep in mind the Bucks were up 78-54 at halftime and cruised to a 130-110 win.
As for the Sixers, an erroneous report that Elliot Williams was in the starting lineup caused me to make a last-second daily league switch which turned out to be painful. Williams actually came off the bench behind Tony Wroten and James Anderson. They say it’s not whether you start, but it’s who gets minutes and who finishes. However, I’m not sure I buy that idea in the NBA, as I knew I was doomed as soon as Williams was not on the court to start the game. The Sixers were a disaster again, Thaddeus Young was tremendous, and Michael Carter-Williams, Anderson and Wroten all managed to score in double figures. Arnett Moultrie had six points, eight boards and a block, while Byron Mullens had nine points, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 14 minutes off the bench. Out of the bigs in Philly, Mullens is the one I expect to emerge. And as for my man Williams? How about two points on 1-of-5 shooting in 17 minutes? Thanks, buddy.
Warriors Down Detroit
Andrew Bogut returned from a shoulder injury and had four points, seven boards and a block in 29 minutes. The numbers weren’t great, but the minutes were good and now we’ll have to see how his shoulder feels the day after. Despite Bogut’s return, Jermaine O’Neal had 16 points, 10 boards and three blocks. The old man is playing great ball right now, but the longer Bogut is back, the worse things will get for O’Neal and his legs. The two big men started alongside each other with David Lee (flu) out, which spelled doom for owners of Draymond Green, who was a popular daily league play with Lee out. Green played 20 minutes off the bench for six points, five rebounds, two steals and a block, and I bet it would have been more had he been in the starting unit. And a shout-out to Klay Thompson for making some shots (8-of-12, two 3-pointers) for 19 points in the win. Andre Iguodala has been playing better lately, but last night wasn’t good with four points on 2-of-10 shooting. My guess is Lee will be ready to go on Wednesday at Chicago, which will likely send O’Neal to the bench.
Brandon Jennings hit just 4-of-13 shots, but still finished with 11 points and 10 assists, and even got some run in the fourth quarter. Will Bynum was quiet off the Pistons bench with eight points and four assists in just 16 minutes. He has been playing very well, but wasn’t needed as much last night since Jennings actually performed as if he knew how to play basketball. Kyle Singler had 18 points and a full stat line in 44 minutes, and simply won’t go away. He’s pretty much a must-own player at this point, as he’s been doing this for a month now. Greg Monroe stayed hot, ‘good’ Josh Smith just missed a triple-double, but also hit just 9-of-24 shots and missed all three of his free throws. And Andre Drummond did Andre Drummond things with 11 points, nine boards and three blocks.
Clips Roll Over Pelicans
The Clippers handled the Pelicans despite a relatively quiet night from Blake Griffin, who had 22 points and just four rebounds, but he did come through by hitting 10-of-14 free throws, which has become the norm for him. DeAndre Jordan had another monster stat line, Chris Paul double-doubled and Jamal Crawford stayed hot with 24 points, five dimes and seven more 3-pointers. Matt Barnes was solid with 12 points, three boards, three assists and two 3-pointers, and deserves a look in most leagues, while Hedo Turkoglu (remember him?) and Darren Collison each scored 12 points off the bench. And no, I’m not picking up Turk.
The Pelicans got 26 points, 11 boards and two blocks from Anthony Davis, while center Alexis Ajinca came off the bench for a career night featuring 19 points, 12 rebounds and a block. How he did that against Jordan remains a mystery and he’s now worth keeping a close eye on again. Brian Roberts struggled and played just 19 minutes, but I don’t think it’s time to panic. Just hope he bounces back in the next one, as he had been playing well prior to his last two games. Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon didn’t do much, while Anthony Morrow and Austin Rivers each scored in double figures off the bench. The Pelicans backcourt is a bit messy right now, and I’d avoid all of them in daily money league action.
Jazz Beat Boston
Derrick Favors returned from his hip injury and hit 8-of-9 shots for 20 points, four boards and three blocks. Props to you if you had the guts to start him last night (or in a weekly league). Marvin Williams broke out of a funk with 19 points, seven rebounds, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on 8-of-10 shooting, but was awful in his previous few games. Maybe he feels more comfortable when Favors is out there to handle the big-man duties. I don’t trust Marvin, but had him in a lineup last night with Favors on my IR, so I’ll take it. Enes Kanter went back to the bench and had 12 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes. I am just as mad as you are that he can’t start alongside Favors, but there’s not much we can do about it. Gordon Hayward was quiet again with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting, but at least came through with 10 dimes. Hayward was the only starter not to score in double figures last night. Alec Burks had 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but take a look at his game log before getting too comfortable with him.
The Celtics welcomed back Rajon Rondo from a day of rest, sort of. He had 18 points and 10 assists, but the C’s are considering disciplinary action against him for staying behind the team in L.A. while they traveled to Sacramento. Jeff Green had 21 points and two 3-pointers and Kelly Olynyk got hot off the bench for 21 points, eight boards and a 3-pointer. Jared Sullinger was out with a mild concussion, which is the reason Olynyk was turned loose last night. Brandon Bass played 39 minutes and I still like him as an under-the-radar own right now, but hit just 2-of-11 shots for eight points, eight boards, a steal and two blocks.
Injury Report & Monday News
Ty Lawson – Lawson remains questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Blazers with a broken rib. My guess is he plays tonight, but it’s only a guess.
Nikola Pekovic – He’s still iffy for Tuesday night with an ankle problem and there are conflicting reports. He’s been out for about a month and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play tonight.
Kevin Martin - We’re still awaiting a report on Martin’s thumb after he visited with a hand specialist on Monday.
Jimmy Butler – The Bull will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning and may or may not paly tonight due to a rib injury. We should know his status prior to tip off.
Nene – Nene will miss four to six weeks with a sprained left MCL, leaving the rest of his fantasy season in doubt. Go ahead and cut him. I like Kevin Seraphin as my first choice for his replacement, followed by Trevor Booker and then Al Harrington.
Paul Millsap – Millsap’s bruised knee will keep him out of Tuesday and Wednesday’s games, but I was unfortunately taking my daughter to the doctor with a case of strep throat on Monday, and have him stuck in a lineup. And there’s no excuse for that, as I should be reading Rotoworld on my phone all day, just like you.
Amir Johnson – Johnson’s ankle injury is not severe and he’s hoping to play on Tuesday night. He’s heating up and is not a bad start tonight if he plays.
Kawhi Leonard – Leonard practiced in full on Monday and looks ready to go on Wednesday. Of course, Gregg Popovich has the final say in that matter, but I think he plays.
Tony Parker – Parker remains out indefinitely and as long as that’s the case, Patty Mills is a sneaky play.
Eric Bledsoe – He played 3-on-3 on Monday and is nearing a return, but I doubt we see him this week, as the Suns want him to fully practice before playing again.
LaMarcus Aldridge – He’s iffy for Tuesday, but given that the Blazers wanted to re-evaluate him on Tuesday makes me think he won’t go. If he doesn’t, Thomas Robinson could be the man (again).
Danny Granger – He didn’t practice or play on Monday and we really don’t know if he’ll ever play for the Sixers as he continues to work toward a buyout.
Timofey Mozgov – Tinafey will start at center on Tuesday, sending J.J. Hickson to the bench. Pick. Him. Up.
Metta World Peace – He was bought out by the Knicks on Monday and now we’ll have to wait for him to clear waivers to see where he lands.
Glen Davis – Was picked up by the Clippers but didn’t play on Monday. And seeing how he’s behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on the depth chart, it’s hard to see him having value again this season.