It’s Lester Hudson’s world and we’re all just living in it. The well-traveled point guard spent time in China and the D-League before getting the call for the Cavs, and boy has he made the best of it. Hudson poured in 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block, and two threes in 36 minutes off the bench last night. Granted, last night’s monster came against the Bobcats, and his previous two monsters came against Jose Calderon and Deron Williams-led squads, with the former being a defensive sieve and the latter not really caring much these days. Hudson does some of his damage against opposing backup PGs and two-guards, too, but it doesn’t matter who he nails when the end result looks like this 3-game output: 24.7 points, 4.7 boards, 5.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.7 threes, 44.4 percent FGs, 90.0 percent FTs (20 attempts). He’s a must-add player if I’ve ever seen one, and I can’t believe I’m typing that.
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I WAS PLAYING PING PONG IN DING DANG
Donald Sloan started again and had his first extremely quiet night with four points, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals, which actually still works if you started him during the five-game week. Beyond that logic, though, he’s a total crapshoot with Hudson playing lights out. Speaking of crapshoot, I am going to spend the rest of the week pounding my head into my desk after adding Anthony Parker on Sunday in my big money league (for $1), but not having the nads to activate him on Monday. I ended up going with Terrence Williams, and the fear was that Parker was going to give me an O-fer as a brittle veteran on a go-nowhere team. As for being productive if in the lineup, I had no questions there, and he proved me right with 19 points, four threes, two rebounds, and two steals in 27 minutes. As the veteran of the bunch, he will be called upon a lot to handle tempo and guide the youngsters. He is a must-own player if you can rifle him into lineups for the remaining four games the Cavs have this week.
Tristan Thompson disappointed with six points, seven boards, and a block, while Antawn Jamison (17 points, 7-of-19 FGs, three rebounds, four assists) and Alonzo Gee (13 points, 5-of-9 FGs, six boards, two steals, one block, one three) continued to keep their foot on the gas.
It’s hard to watch the Bobcats these days, as any rhyme or reason that could be employed when discussing them has gone out the window. Paul Silas, for everything he did to be the counter to Larry Brown’s ragged coaching style, has completely face-planted and I’d seriously demand a refund if I was a Bobcats season ticket holder. D.J. Augustin was given a start at the expense of Kemba Walker last night, and I don’t care if Augustin was both Huey Lewis and the News he wouldn’t be stealing developmental minutes from my lottery pick. And let's just say the Cats are literally trying to 'lose now for the Unibrow' -- I understand that tanking can be good for business, but as a strategy it’s still a gamble and the Cats would be better served picking a strategy (youth) and finding consistency within it.
Augustin scored 16 points with 11 assists and is worth a look going forward, but your guess is as good as mine as to what will go down going forward. Luckily for Walker’s owners he still managed to put up 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting with two threes in 24 minutes, but his production elsewhere suffered as he had just one rebound and two assists to go with a steal. I’m hanging tight with Walker until he becomes a real liability, and my thoughts go out to the poor fans in Charlotte who are forced to watch this train wreck up close.
Bismack Biyombo bounced back nicely from a wretched Monday night and posted 12 points, eight boards, one steal, and three blocks, while Byron Mullens continued to go cold at precisely the time most folks got him in their lineups with zero points, five rebounds, three assists, and a block on 0-for-3 shooting. Gerald Henderson continues to do his thing with 21 points, five boards, and two steals, while Corey Maggette backed up his 23-point night from Monday with four points on 1-of-7 shooting, one rebound, and two steals in 16 minutes off the bench, and Derrick Brown (five points, two boards) has yet to make any noise in the starting lineup. Reggie Williams (knee) is being called probable for Thursday night, but has yet to do anything truly noteworthy this season other than waste opportunities.
ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION
The Magic are such a mess right now, but the removal of Hedo Turkoglu from the rotation due to injury is fairly interesting for fantasy heads like us. While Hedo is a facilitator by nature, he does it on his own terms and the results are often choppy and slow. Insert J.J. Redick, who has a pretty by-the-book glue game, and the Magic become a nice little fantasy squad once the addition by subtraction is complete.
Redick scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting with two threes, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals, and I’m calling him a must-own player in 12-team formats and 10-team owners will want to give him a look, too. Jason Richardson hit just 4-of-16 shots last night for 10 points, two threes, and not much else, but he’ll get that crooked number straightened out. He also needs to be owned under the same conditions as Redick.
Jameer Nelson has officially been freed and put up another 19 points, four boards, seven assists, and three treys, while Ryan Anderson struggled in his second game back from an ankle injury to finish with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, four boards, two steals, and one three. Big Baby scored 12 points with 10 boards, two assists, and three steals, which will be customary for however long Dwight Howard is out. Howard (back) has already been ruled out for Thursday’s practice. Only Dwight knows how bad his back was or wasn’t hurting. I’ll just leave it at that. Big Baby is the man until Howard returns, which could be as soon as Friday’s game.
WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARDS
The post-trade deadline Wizards have been a joy this year, with an assist in the form of injuries to Nene, Trevor Booker, and indifference by Andray Blatche. Kevin Seraphin had a career-night against the Magic, scoring 24 points with 13 boards and four blocks. After a dry spell with the swats he has averaged three blocks in his last three contests. I don’t know if or when we’ll see Nene and Booker, so Seraphin is a must-own player in my book.
‘Bad’ Jan Vesely showed up last night, scoring five points with nine boards and a steal. James Singleton put up a reasonable 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with eight boards and a steal in 23 minutes off the bench, which is a more realistic expectation if you shave off two field goals from last night’s totals. Cartier Martin scored 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting with two threes, three rebounds, and three assists, and I’m okay with expecting that type of performance going forward. He’s a borderline producer best suited for 14-team leagues and streaming owners. John Wall (15 points, full line) and Jordan Crawford (21 points, full line) played to the status quo.
STABILITY, THE OTHER WHITE MEAT
The Celtics and Heat are always good reality television, but the fantasy stability is what keeps owners coming back. Rajon Rondo scored 18 points with 15 assists and a rare three, Kevin Garnett scored 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting with nine boards and two blocks, Paul Pierce put up 27 points with three treys, seven boards, and a steal, and Brandon Bass double-doubled with 12 points, 10 boards, a steal, and a block.
On the Miami side, Dwyane Wade (ankle) returned from his one-game absence to score 20 points with a relatively full stat line, and owners simply need to be on ankle watch – especially in advance of Friday’s game against the Bobcats. Mario Chalmers scored 18 points with three treys, three steals, and a block. Give him a look if he isn’t owned in your 8- or 9-cat league. LeBron James put up an incredibly normal looking 36 points, seven boards, and seven assists with a steal, block, three, and 13-of-14 mark from the foul line. For the love of crumb cake. Chris Bosh added 13 points and nine boards in the win.
Aside from Wade’s ankle, in the fantasy news department from this game Ray Allen is still putting up quiet numbers with ankle issues of his own. He posted nine points on 3-of-7 shooting (including two threes) with one rebound and three assists in 35 minutes off the bench. Look for him to slowly improve, but if you’re not hunting threes there’s a lot not to like right now. Avery Bradley continues to start and post efficient, low-end numbers. He scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting with two rebounds and a three, but he needs to steal the ball and get to the foul line more to truly be a fantasy asset. Greg Stiemsma is a guy worth watching for category hunters as he put up another two blocks, seven boards, and a steal last night.