Bucks Down Nets - Mike Dunleavy had 15 points, four boards, six dimes, two steals and a 3-pointer last night, and remains a nice add in all formats, despite coming off the bench “behind” Tobias Harris. Ersan Ilyasova finally cooled off on Monday, finishing with four points on 2-of-6 shooting in 24 foul-plagued minutes, but will bounce back. Brandon Jennings went bonkers with 34 points, six 3-pointers, seven rebounds, seven assists and two blocks, as trade rumors appear to have gotten him fired up. Drew Gooden was also solid again with 23 points, eight boards, seven assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, and if you played them over a 4-gamer with just three games this week, so far, so good.
Kris Humphries went nuts with a career-high 31 points and 18 rebounds on 11-of-15 shooting, and also had two steals and three blocks in the loss. Anthony Morrow got hot for 17 points and a 3-pointer on 8-of-11 shooting, but you can’t expect him to shoot it like this on most nights. Gerald Green had 11 points and six boards in 30 minutes, and remains a player to keep a very close eye on going forward, despite being on his second 10-day contract.
Bobcats Take Hornets – Bismack Biyombo hit 6-of-7 shots for a career-high 12 points to go along with seven rebounds, a steal and four blocks, including the game-saver against Trevor Ariza. Make sure BB is not available in your league. Gerald Henderson played very well with 15 points, six boards, three assists, a steal and a block, but didn’t hit a 3-pointer, despite being a shooting guard.
The Hornets got 15 points, four boards, nine assists, a block and a 3-pointer from Jarrett Jack, while most of his teammates were solid, but not spectacular. Trevor Ariza had 12 points and a full stat line, and should be starting in most leagues.
Knicks Lose Again – J.R. Smith played just nine minutes and had five points, as his up and down season continues. Like many of his teammates, he’s simply too inconsistent to be relied upon. Carmelo Anthony hit just 8-of-21 shots for 21 points, eight rebounds and a 3-pointer, Jeremy Lin had 15 points, eight assists, three steals, three blocks and a 3-pointer, and committed just three turnovers in the loss. Amare Stoudemire added 20 points, but had just three rebounds and a block as the Knicks lost for the sixth straight time, and have only won two games since Melo returned from a groin injury. Blame Melo and his negative body language all you want, but three boards from Amare is simply unacceptable. One person we can’t blame for New York’s problems is Lin, and I doubt any of his owners are complaining about the eight dimes, three steals and three blocks.
For the Bulls, Taj Gibson quietly had 15 points and 13 boards off the bench, Derrick Rose had 32-6-7, and Joakim Noah returned from an illness with 12 points, 10 boards, five dimes, two steals and three blocks. Deng should be back soon, which will hurt Kyle Korver (nine points, two 3-pointers in the start).
Spurs Handle McGee, Wizards – The Spurs welcomed back Tony Parker from a thigh injury with 31 points, seven assists and lights-out shooting (13-of-18), but just beware that Gregg Popovich could choose to sit him at any time, as the Spurs still have nine sets of back-to-back games this season (and even more if you count back-to-back-to-backs). Tiago Splitter had 17 points, seven boards and a steal on 7-of-9 shooting in 20 minutes, while DeJuan Blair added 11 points and 12 boards in 26 minutes, making them both worth a look in fantasy leagues going forward.
JaVale McGee went off for 21 points, 15 rebounds, a steal and a block on 9-of-13 shooting, and is off to a great start in his five-game week. Trevor Booker had just 11 points and three rebounds, while Andray Blatche added nine points and four boards in 17 minutes off the bench. This looks to be heading toward a timeshare in the near future, but I’m still not feeling Blatche in fantasy. And speaking of timeshares, Jordan Crawford started and hit 7-of-18 shots and three 3-pointers for 19 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Nick Young had 18 points and four 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench. If you started one of these two guys, the week got off to a great start.
Utah Downs Detroit – The Jazz got a big game from Al Jefferson (see above), while Devin Harris returned from an illness for 19 points, eight assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Gordon Hayward (8 points) and Josh Howard (9 points) weren’t great, but still have four more games this week to prove their worth.
The Pistons got 29 points, four boards, seven assists and two steals on 10-of-17 shooting from Rodney Stuckey, who came in hot and should have been in all starting lineups this week. Greg Monroe had 14 points, five boards, five assists, two steals and a block, but the rest of the Pistons were fairly underwhelming. Jason Maxiell did add eight points, four boards and three blocks in another start, and still looks like a nice add in many leagues right now.
Wolves Win Over Suns – Luke Ridnour wasn’t great last night, but still had 10 points, four rebounds, nine assists and a block in the absence of Ricky Rubio, and remains a must-own player. Nikola Pekovic, who destroyed owners last week when he missed a couple games, remained hot, going for 24 points, eight boards and two steals. He’s averaging nearly 23 points, 11 boards and a steal over his last three games. Kevin Love was at it again with 30 points, seven boards and five more 3-pointers, as his dream season continues. If you’re looking for a Derrick Williams or Michael Beasley update, please see the injury report at the start of this column.
For the Suns, those of you who grabbed and started Jared Dudley for his five-game week couldn’t be happier right now. He went off for a season-high 28 points to go along with nine boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers on 10-of-15 shooting in the loss. I had him on my roster in League Freak, but cut him briefly a while back and allowed Rick Kamla to pick him up. Now Kamla is torturing me with him this week, which isn’t fun. Steve Nash had 25 points, 10 assists and two 3-pointers, Channing Frye went off for 18 points, five boards, four dimes, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers on 7-of-11 shooting, Grant Hill had 10 points, four assists and a steal in 32 minutes, while Shannon Brown added 11 points, five boards and three assists on 4-of-13 shooting in 28 minutes. When Grant Hill gets a random day off in the midst of this “old-man’s nightmare,” Brown could have a big game. Marcin Gortat was the lone disappointment, with just eight points, four rebounds and zero blocks, but he still has four games this week to make up for it.
Boston Clips Clippers – Rajon Rondo had 12 points, 10 assists, three steals and six turnovers in Monday’s win, Ray Allen scored 15 (and avoided a major injury – see above), Paul Pierce had 25 points, seven rebounds and three 3-pointers, and Kevin Garnett added 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in another start at center. If KG doesn’t qualify at center in your league yet, I’m not sure he will. Brandon Bass, who looks like a smart pickup with news that Chris Wilcox is likely done for the season with a heart problem, added 10 points and nine boards in the win.
For the Clippers and their five-game week, Randy Foye and Caron Butler laid eggs. Foye was 1-of-4 with three points in 20 minutes, while Butler was 3-of-13 for seven points, but at least had nine rebounds. I thought Foye was good to go, but Mo Williams was too hot tonight. Mo-Will had 21 points, four steals and a 3-pointer, Blake Griffin added 24 points, nine boards and a block, hitting 9-of-15 shots and 6-of-8 free throws, and DeAndre Jordan had six points, 13 rebounds, a steal and a block. If you started any of these guys not named Foye or Butler, things seem to be off to a good start. Chris Paul was shaky early in this one, but looked great in the fourth quarter, and still has four games this week to make up for last night’s 14-point effort on 3-of-12 shooting.