Wizards Down Detroit
John Wall scored 28 and hit 14-of-15 free throws, and Trevor Ariza double-doubled with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and added three 3-pointers and six steals in the win. Martell Webster was quiet with 10 points and four rebounds, but still managed to hit a couple 3-pointers, while Nene was OK off the bench with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes. Ariza has ruined Webster, while Bradley Beal’s ability to play through a bruised knee is also hurting Webster. Trevor Booker started over Nene, but had just six points and five boards in 22 minutes. Both big men probably belong on benches until Nene moves back into the starting five, which may or may not happen.
The Pistons got 15 points and 14 assists from Brandon Jennings, but he ruined a great night by turning it over six times. Greg Monroe (22 & 10) and Andre Drummond (15 & 16) joined Jennings with a double-double, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope broke out with a career-high 17 points and three 3-pointers. We’ll need to see him do this more often before biting on him in fantasy, especially when you consider he didn’t score after halftime. Josh Smith bounced back with 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals, but hit just 6-of-19 shots. His poor shooting can be forgiven, as tonight’s line was nice compared to his recent struggles. Rodney Stuckey was out with his shoulder injury and is no longer a must-own player for the short term.
Bulls Beat Grizzlies
Jimmy Butler played through his sore toe and played well, finishing with a season-high 26 points, four rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers on 6-of-10 shooting, and also hit 12-of-14 free throws. Once healthy, he should perform something like this on a semi-regular basis. Carlos Boozer broke out of a slump with 21 points and 10 boards, while Joakim Noah had eight points, 10 rebounds, three steals and four blocks for a fat stat line, despite hitting just 2-of-9 shots. Kirk Hinrich had six points and four assists, while D.J. Augustin added 10 points, nine assists, four steals and two 3-pointers off the bench. The timeshare is in full effect. Luol Deng was a game-time decision, but sat out again with his Achilles injury and remains day-to-day.
Mike Conley broke out of a funk with 26 points, six rebounds, nine assists and six steals, and owners can breathe a sigh of relief now that his slump might finally be over. It can easily be argued that this was his best game of the season. Zach Randolph double-doubled with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Waiver Wired highlight James Johnson came through again with 13 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks. He should officially be picked up in all leagues until he cools off.
Dallas Hangs On Over Wolves
Shawn Marion went nuts, hitting 14-of-19 shots and four 3-pointers for a season-high 32 points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. After back-to-back four-point games, Marion is cooking again, scoring 14 and 32 in his last two games. Marion hadn’t scored 20 points in a game since way back on Nov. 18, so this looks like a nice sell-high opportunity. Monta Ellis hit 3-of-14 shots for nine points and 10 assists. He’s been playing well, so don’t let this one bother you. Samuel Dalembert started again and had nine points, seven rebounds and a block, while Brandan Wright came off the bench with 14 points and three rebounds in just 18 minutes. Wright’s value takes a hit as long as he’s coming off the bench.
Kevin Love was very Kevin Love-ish with 36 points, 11 boards and two 3-pointers, Corey Brewer broke out of a funk with 16 points, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and Ricky Rubio came through with nine rebounds, 13 assists and three steals, despite hitting just 1-of-3 shots for four points. He’s been frustrating to own, but still holds a ton of value when he’s got it going. The bench scored a total of five points for the Wolves tonight, all of them coming from J.J. Barea in his 17 minutes of action.
Pelicans Squeak By Blazers
Anthony Davis was back to form last night with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks on 13-of-19 shooting, while Jrue Holiday torched Damian Lillard for 31 points, seven rebounds, 13 assists, a steal, a block, a three and just two turnovers. Jrue hit 1-of-9 shots on Saturday, so this was a fun turnaround. Tyreke Evans stayed hot off the bench with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks on 9-of-15 shooting, but he’s helped by the fact that Eric Gordon missed his third straight game with a hip injury. Al-Farouq Aminu, another Waiver Wired gem, had nine points, 15 rebounds, two steals and a block, and should also be owned in most leagues until he cools off. Jason Smith was out with a sore knee and is officially dead in the water in fantasy as long as Davis and Ryan Anderson (13 points) are healthy.
LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points) and Damian Lillard (29 points, five 3-pointers) did what they do, Nicolas Batum had a quiet night with seven points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Wesley Matthews added 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in the close loss. Generally speaking, all five Blazers’ starters should be owned in fantasy. Robin Lopez had just seven points and six boards, but tied a career-high with six blocks in the loss.
Heat Downs Denver
Despite supposedly being listed as doubtful with his groin injury, LeBron James started and had 26 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, a block and five 3-pointers. And that is why you always start LeBron unless you know for a fact he will be in street clothes. Dwyane Wade graced us with his presence for 12 points and a quiet line, playing just 18 minutes before leaving with back spasms. If you thought he might play through his back-to-back this weekend, think again. Consider Wade iffy for Thursday’s game against the Warriors, and then expect him to sit out at least of one of two games on Saturday (ORL) and Sunday (TOR). He’s been rough to own in weekly leagues and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Mario Chalmers quietly added 10 points, nine assists and a 3-pointer, and continues to be one of the more underappreciated point guards in the league. Ray Allen sucked it up and played through his right knee tendinitis and had 13 points, seven rebounds and two 3-pointers in the win. He probably would have played less than 31 minutes if Wade didn’t get hurt. Backup point guard Norris Cole got tangled up with Ty Lawson and landed on his face, but was able to walk off under his own power. Michael Beasley hit the game-winning 3-pointer, not that he’s relevant in fantasy as long as LeBron can walk.
J.J. Hickson had 12 points, 11 boards and two steals, Kenneth Faried returned to the starting lineup and had eight points and four rebounds in 22 minutes, which is sadly typical these days. Maybe he’ll eventually get it going, or maybe he won’t. Just hold onto him though, as his trade value is probably in the toilet right now. Ty Lawson had 26 points, seven dimes and five 3-pointers, and he’s stated that he’s had a tough time deciding whether to be aggressive and score or be passive and, uh, pass. Tonight we got a dose of aggressive Ty. Jordan Hamilton’s run as the starting shooting guard could be about over, as he played 10 minutes and scored three points. Randy Foye came off the bench for 11 points and seven assists in 34 minutes. I would not be surprised to see him back in the starting five for their next game.
Jazz Top Bobcats
Trey Burke had 21 points, five assists and three 3-pointers, and hit the game-winning shot tonight, as he continues to make noise as a ROY candidate. Marvin Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds in another start, and Alec Burks scored 14 with six rebounds, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer off the bench. Marvin and Burks are both shaky fantasy starters, but deserve to be watched closely in all formats. Derrick Favors was quiet with 13 points and four rebounds, but at least added a couple steals and three blocks to help make up for the quiet night and six turnovers. Richard Jefferson and Gordon Hayward were both quiet, and looking at the box score, it’s a little surprising the Jazz were able to win this game. Enes Kanter was coming off a big game, but disappeared again with four points in 14 minutes. He’s too inconsistent to be started as long as he’s coming off the bench, but I’m still a fan of holding onto him if you can.
The Bobcats got 19 points and a rare two 3-pointers from Gerald Henderson, while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker scored 18 points. Jefferson added 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and a rare 3-pointer, while Walker hit 6-of-17 shots for six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. I was hoping for a little more from Jefferson against his former team, but there was certainly nothing wrong with his game tonight. Josh McRoberts had five points, eight rebounds and two assists, and Anthony Tolliver struggled to hit just 1-of-6 shots for three points and seven rebounds. The fact that no other Bobcats did much outside of the three big scorers is why the Jazz were able to win this game.
Suns Spank Clips
Goran Dragic lit it up for 20 points, four assists and five steals – in the first half - on Monday. Gerald Green also caught fire early and had 14 points, four 3-pointers and two blocks in the first half as the Suns built a 61-40 lead by halftime. Dragic finished with 26 points, eight assists, five steals and a 3-pointer on 10-of-15 shooting, and Green added 21 points, five 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks on 8-of-14 shooting off the bench. If you can figure out when Green is going to get hot, do yourself a favor and go play the lottery. Markieff Morris double-doubled with 11 points, 12 boards, a steal and a block, continuing his inconsistent ways, while Channing Frye hit four 3-pointers for 12 points, two steals and two blocks, and also continues to tease his owners with good games and quiet nights. Marcus Morris was due for a bad game, as he consistently alternates the good ones with stinkers, and stuck to that trend with one point on 0-of-6 shooting. Miles Plumlee was quiet with six points and seven rebounds, but did have three more blocks. Eric Bledsoe appeared to hurt his right leg, but was able to return for a few minutes before taking a seat for good in the blowout. He finished with just seven points, four assists and two steals on 3-of-10 shooting, and also hit just 1-of-4 free throws. Owners, me included, just have to hope that his leg is fine and he’ll be out there for the next one.
The Clippers box score was forgettable, with Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford each scoring 15 points, while Chris Paul finished with 11 points and seven dimes on 5-of-14 shooting. The final score of this game was 107-88, which tells you everything you need to know about how bad they were tonight against the league’s most surprising team.
News and Notes
Carmelo Anthony has been doing some running on his bum ankle and it sounds like he’ll play on Thursday, but don’t put that in ink just yet. We probably won’t know for sure until Thursday comes, but for now, it does appear that he’ll play this week. Raymond Felton isn’t expected to play through his groin injury Thursday, which means more Beno Udrih.
Al Horford will have season-ending surgery on his torn pectoral muscle today and will miss the rest of the season. Hello, Mike Scott, and hello some possibly heavy, yet inconsistent minutes for Elton Brand and Pero Antic. None are must-own players, but I think Scott is worth stashing in case he stays hot.
Jordan Farmar skipped Monday’s practice to have treatment on his sore left ankle, but is expected to play on Tuesday. Xavier Henry was also included in this week’s Waiver Wired, but has been shut down with a bone bruise to his right knee. He could miss a couple weeks and can be dropped for a hot free agent, like James Johnson or Al-Farouq Aminu. Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Wes Johnson all get a boost with Henry shut down. Chris Kaman (ankle) also skipped practice, but should be available on Tuesday, but Pau Gasol is due back for that one, which should really hurt Kaman, and limit the recent prowess of Jordan Hill.
Andrei Kirilenko is expected to play against the Spurs on Tuesday, but I’m not racing to pick him up. I’m assuming his next injury, or an aggravation of his back problem, is just around the corner.
The Bucks’ John Henson will miss at least three games and could miss a few weeks with his left leg injury, which is good news for Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova, and bad news for his owners.