There were eight games on the schedule Monday night and some dynamic performances, including an explosion from rookie Dion Waiters.
Knicks Beat Sixers
Knicks starter Ronnie Brewer somehow had a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers at small forward, but I’m not buying him at this point. Jason Kidd fell back to earth with just three points, four rebounds and two assists, and as his past owners know, you have to expect nights like these just as often as the good ones. J.R. Smith came through with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers, and is approaching must-own status, despite coming off the bench.
Evan Turner bounced back with 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists and could be available in your league. Just keep in mind his surge was related to the fact Jason Richardson was out with a sprained ankle. That also led to a big night for Dorell Wright, who started and had 14 points, nine boards, a block and a couple 3-pointers, despite hitting just 4-of-14 shots. Spencer Hawes has quickly fallen back to earth after a big opening night and had just two points, seven boards and zero blocks in 21 minutes. Maybe he was intimidated by Tyson Chandler, who wasn’t at full strength, or maybe he was in shock that he came off the bench behind Kwame Brown (who exited with a calf injury and didn’t return). Hawes has the potential for a big game every night, but has never been consistent enough to be a reliable starter. And things will get even more clouded when Andrew Bynum is back.
Wolves Down Nets
Nikola Pekovic bounced back with 21 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, a steal, four blocks and a 3-pointer for the Wolves. He is really looking like the Kirilenko we all remember from four years ago, meaning he’s going to be one of the steals in fantasy if he stays healthy all year. J.J. Barea played through a head injury and had six points and six assists, Dante Cunningham double-doubled with 11 points and 11 rebounds (I’m ignoring him for now), and Chase Budinger finally showed up with 16 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting. He’s been highly disappointing after a great training camp and will not shoot it this well on most nights. I’m in the process of dropping Bud in several leagues, despite the nice night. And don’t look now, as the Wolves are 2-1 without Kevin Love.
The Nets got nice games out of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, while Kris Humphries’ swoon continued. He had just two points and four rebounds in 23 minutes while Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche ate up 35 minute off the bench. Humps has a total of seven points and nine rebounds through two games, so bench him until he figures things out or this becomes a full-blown trend. Gerald Wallace missed this one with a sprained ankle and remains day-to-day.
Suns Cooled By Heat
Jared Dudley played poorly for the fourth straight game and is being dropped in a ton of leagues right now. I might drop him too, but I still expect him to be putting up good numbers sooner than later. Shannon Brown had 18 points and three 3-pointers off the bench and would likely be the guy to replace Dudley in the starting five if the Suns make a move. Michael Beasley has been hit or miss early in the season and hit just 3-of-13 shots for seven points last night, but I’m holding onto him as long as the Suns still have some faith in him.
Mario Chalmers almost double-doubled with nine points, 11 assists, three steals and three 3-pointers, and Ray Allen came through again for the Heat with 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and three 3-pointers. It’s early, but I was wrong about Allen, who might end up saving Dwyane Wade’s legs this season. Allen is averaging 29 minutes per game.
Grizzlies Silence Jazz
Marc Gasol went nuts with 22 points, eight boards, eight assists and three blocks on 6-of-11 shooting, and even made all 10 of his free throws in the win. Zach Randolph awoke with 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Quincy Pondexter should be ignored in most leagues despite scoring 15 points in the win.
Mo Williams had 17 points and eight assists and looks like one of the better value point guards in the league, and Gordon Hayward got on track with 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting as the Jazz fell to Memphis. Al Jefferson double-doubled with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but hasn’t lived up to the hype thus far. Now is a great time to go after him with a low offer. Derrick Favors should still be owned in fantasy leagues despite coming off the bench, and had 14 points, eight boards, three steals and a block last night.