Greivis Vasquez held his starting job last night, which may or may not be a sign of things to come, and scored 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (including a three) with five assists, six turnovers, and a steal in 38 minutes. Jarrett Jack played 30 minutes and scored 16 points on a matching 5-of-11 shooting line with seven rebounds and three assists. There’s not much to say that I haven’t already, and if the two keep going like this it won’t really matter – they’ll both be worth owning. Marco Belinelli kept his foot on the gas with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, so we’ll forgive him for hitting just one three. He’s also worth owning while he’s hot if your format values 3-point shooting.
Chris Kaman continued to be a volume shooter, with 21 points on 10-of-25 attempts, adding 13 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks. He’s a sell-high guy with the chance he lands in a less-rosy situation after being traded. Trevor Ariza played just 20 minutes and missed all six of his field goal attempts, but he did grab six boards with three assists and two blocks. We’ll be on injury-alert over here, but after being ridden hard by Monty Williams it’s likely he just got some rest on the tail-end of a triple-set of games. Gustavo Ayon, who I told owners to hang onto in case he fared well last night, did me right by grabbing 17 rebounds to go with his nine points, four assists, two steals, and one block. Last night will go a long way toward securing minutes when Emeka Okafor (knee) returns after the All Star break. That said, Jason Smith (concussion) is said to be returning after the break, so Ayon will have his work cut out for him.
Jameer Nelson kept things moving with 10 points and seven assists last night, and should be owned in 12-team formats right now. Hedo Turkoglu gave it go despite a viral infection, and put up a modest 10 points, three assists, and two rebounds, but owners would be wise not to put too much stock into this particular game. Half the league checked out early tonight and he was sick.
RIPPING THE NETS
MarShon Brooks scored a career-high 24 points with five rebounds, four treys, and two assists, and I have no idea why he was so available three weeks back. But he was, and I own him a bunch, so I guess I’m not complaining. Brook Lopez played 27 minutes and scored 15 points with four rebounds and two blocks, so in other words he’s right on track. Anthony Morrow continued to struggle, scoring just four points on 2-of-7 shooting, but I’m not giving up in 12-team, 8/9 cat formats. The break, along with the 3-point shooting competition, is coming at just the right time. Shawne Williams had foot surgery, ending his season before it ever began.
EYE TO EYE
Tristan Thompson finally showed some of that promise he’s been short on lately, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds and a steal in just 16 minutes. He was removed because of his faulty foul shooting late, though, highlighting a problem he’ll have going forward. He’s a fine stash right now and could end up being a monster down the stretch. Semih Erden (eight minutes) was specifically called out for his lack of effort by Byron Scott last night, and here’s guessing that the two don’t see eye to eye. That’s enough to keep him on the waiver wire outside of deep formats. Daniel Gibson (1-of-9 FGs) struggled, as did Kyrie Irving (2-of-13 FGs, six points, 11 assists), and the Cavs looked like they flamed out after a tight win on Tuesday.
Jeremy Lin didn’t stop last night with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, nine assists, two steals, and a three in 33 minutes before getting an early night’s rest, as the Knicks easily dispatched the Hawks. Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block, and a three in 27 minutes, and Amare Stoudemire scored seven points on 3-of-8 shooting with 10 rebounds and a block in just 24 minutes. With the All Star break and a game against the Heat looming, I’m backing off any hard analysis of this lightly contested game.
Steve Novak hit five 3-pointers for 17 points, and call me crazy, but I like his chances of being a viable 3-point shooter in 12-team leagues. J.R. Smith scored 12 points with five steals and a three, and we regrettably hyped him due to a miscommunication with one of our morning blurbers. For whatever it’s worth, I have not had any real faith in his ability to help 12-team owners and when Iman Shumpert returns, he’ll have precedence over J.R., who will be relied upon only when the Knicks can’t get offense elsewhere. And yes, Smith only landed in New York because Melo’s agent basically runs the Knicks.
Joakim Noah triple-doubled with 13 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, and a block last night, and I may back off some of the sell-high talk as Omer Asik has reportedly struggled as of late. As a general thread, though, when the Bulls return to full health I expect Noah and Carlos Boozer to return to their pattern of trading off big games. An improvement by Asik could also do the trick. Derrick Rose (back) said that he’s pain-free, which in the world of back injuries is great news. Owners can lower their guard for the most part.
Devin Harris is improving, and certainly looks more confident on the floor, as he scored 10 points with eight assists in 25 minutes last night. He’s still in a time-share with Earl Watson (23 minutes, two points, five assists), but he’s worth a look if you’re desperate at point guard. Gordon Hayward is a team-player, and too much so, putting up just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting with two rebounds, two assists, and three steals in 30 minutes. Josh Howard was the winner of the Raja Bell adductor absence, scoring a season-high 19 points with six rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a three in 32 minutes, but C.J. Miles did not join his party with just six points on 2-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes. With so many games I did not have time to go to the tape, but after watching each offensive possession from Tuesday it’s interesting to see the Jazz work out of their double-post offense. Al Jefferson (18 points, 8-of-20 FGs, 11 rebounds) and Paul Millsap (25 points, 10-of-17 FGs) are featured in nearly every set, with the rest of the offense stagnant as the two posts take a few too many shots. That will need to change for anybody else to have consistent value going forward, and Bell’s return will only complicate matters.