Rondo nearly triple-doubles in win
The Celtics got their five-game week off to a good start as Rajon Rondo missed a triple-double by one rebound and Brandon Bass fought off a hand injury for 16 points, five rebounds, a steal and two blocks in a win over the Bulls. Rondo has had 10 or more assists in 31 straight regular-season games.
Nate Robinson had 11 points, seven assists and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes, which was a little disappointing since Kirk Hinrich sat out with his hip injury. Robinson is a must-play for as long as Hinrich is out. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah both had big nights, meaning it was a quiet game for Carlos Boozer, who didn’t play in the fourth quarter. As owners of all of these guys know, it’s nearly impossible for all of them to put up big numbers on the same night. In other Bulls news, Derrick Rose has begun cutting on his surgically repaired knee and could join the team soon, but I’d still be shocked (and I mean shocked) if he plays prior to February’s All-Star break.
Ridnour, Shved strong, Pekovic injured in Wolves win
Luke Ridnour had 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two 3-pointers, as his back is clearly feeling healthy these days. Malcolm Lee started at shooting guard, but it was rookie Alexey Shved who came through with 16 points, four rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a 3-pointer in the win over Dallas. If you picked up Shved and put him in your lineup, well done. Shved is worth a pick up with Brandon Roy’s knee acting up. Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points but couldn’t finish the game after suffering a sprained left ankle in the second half. Hopefully this is unrelated to last season’s bone spurs, so watch the Rotoworld News Page for updates on Tuesday. If he’s out, look for Lou Amundson and Greg Stiemsma (shot blocker extraordinaire) to share time at center.
The Mavs saw Brandan Wright disappear in a start, finishing with just two points and zero boards in nine minutes. Chris Kaman, Troy Murphy and Elton Brand got most of the big man minutes, and this could signal the end of Wright’s run – especially once Shawn Marion (knee) is back. O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison played well for the Mavs, but the rest of the team was pretty much a disaster. Vince Carter played though a hip flexor, but was just 1-of-7 for four points in 29 minutes. He had scored in double figures in six of his seven games coming in, and was averaging 17 points over his last three games. Hopefully the hip isn’t a problem during the rest of the week, as it sounds like it almost kept him out of this one. Brand had just four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes, and I dropped him last week in most of the spots I owned him.
Suns beat Nuggets behind Dragic
Kosta Koufos cooled off for the Nuggets with four points, three rebounds and two blocks, while JaVale McGee came to life off the bench with 16 points and two blocks, but just three rebounds in 24 minutes. Maybe George Karl will eventually humor us and just start McGee. Danilo Gallinari hit 6-of-16 shots for 15 points, nine boards and two 3-pointers, and if you’re scoring at home, he’s yet to hit half his shots in a single game this season. Kenneth Faried had a double-double with 14 points, 11 boards and a block, and the Manimal is simply a blast to own right now.
The Suns beat the Nuggets with seven players in double figures, led by Goran Dragic with 21 points, four boards, seven dimes, two steals and four 3-pointers. He’s easily living up to the hype. Jared Dudley is coming on and had 15, despite the fact Shannon Brown stayed hot off the bench for 19 point and four assists. He’s scored between 18 and 24 points in four of his last five games, making him worth a look on the wire, along with Dudley. Markieff Morris had a season-high 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and a 3-pointer for his best game of the season. He’s quietly been playing well, but is only worth a look in real deep leagues as long as Luis Scola is healthy.
Smoove leads Hawks over Blazers
Josh Smith battled through a bout with the flu and a season-long slump to play well in the fourth quarter, leading the Hawks to a gutsy win at Portland. He finished with 19 points, 11 boards, a steal and a block, rewarding owners who rolled the dice on him in a 3-game week. Kyle Korver caught fire, hitting 5-of-8 shots and four 3-pointers for a season-high 16 points in the win.
Damian Lillard actually played like a rookie, hitting 5-of-18 shots for 12 points, two assists and four turnovers, but it’s hard to be mad at him. Maybe it’s a sign that Jeff Teague (13 points, eight dimes) is maturing. J.J. Hickson went off for season highs of 19 points and 18 rebounds, and also blocked a shot in the loss. This was his fourth double-double of the season and second straight, and he’s turned out to be a very valuable center, just as we predicted. As usual, all five Blazers played well, while their bench tallied just six points.
Stephen Curry missed practice due to the flu, but I’m guessing he’s fine for Wednesday.
Darius Morris, and not Chris Duhon, will start at point guard for the Lakers Tuesday.
Gerald Wallace is doubtful to play on Tuesday due to his lingering ankle injury.
Nene still doesn’t sound close to a return and I probably wouldn’t bother holding him.