First Heat Win In Denver Since 2002
Yes, the mighty Heat won for the first time in Denver since January of 2002 behind LeBron James’ 27 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists, a steal and three blocks on 11-of-23 shooting. If you’re lucky enough to own LeBron, chances are you’re winning your league. Bron hurt his shoulder last night, but played through it and I’m not concerned. The big news is that Dwyane Wade was out with his foot injury, which he aggravated in Wednesday’s disastrous performance and we basically saw this DNP coming from a mile away. Wade’s current problems include the foot, a jammed thumb and the surgically-repaired knee he’s playing on. The Heat are off until Saturday at Phoenix and Wade looks like a game-time decision for that one. Mike Miller started in his place and had 12 points, five rebounds and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes. He might be worth a deep-league add if you’re desperate for 3-pointers, but I think I’d rather own Atlanta’s Kyle Korver in that instance.
Chris Bosh has cooled off and had 14 points and just three rebounds, which is disappointing since big men tend to do very well against Denver. Expect him to break out of his funk soon. Shane Battier appears to be the big winner in Wade’s absence and had 18 points and six 3-pointers to go along with a steal and two blocks. Maybe he’s worth a look for as long as Wade is out, but he’s not really trustworthy either. Mario Chalmers left this one with a strained right triceps and didn’t return, allowing Norris Cole to take over. He had just seven points and three assists in 39 minutes, but should be a guy worth a look in some leagues if Chalmers is going to miss time.
The Nuggets got 16 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and a block from Kenneth Faried and I’m hopeful that no one reading this is on a list of people who dropped him after he got off to a very slow start. Ty Lawson disappeared, missing all seven of his shots and failing to score, while handing out eight assists. He’s not exactly killing it this season, but my guess is he’ll get it going soon. He’s a good guy to target in a buy-low situation. Danilo Gallinari still hasn’t hit 50 percent of his shots in a single game, and is another guy I’d make some buy-low offers on. Based on the Season Pass Live Chat I held on Wednesday, a lot of JaVale McGee owners are thinking about dropping him, but he had 18 points, six rebounds and four more blocks off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting. He’s averaging 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks, and I’d recommend grabbing him in any leagues where he was dropped. Kosta Koufos is struggling and it looks like George Karl is finally ready to roll with McGee at center, so dumping Koufos makes sense if you’ve got him. With Lawson’s off night Andre Miller came through with his best game of the season with 19 points, five boards, seven assists and two 3-pointers. His assists have been solid all year, but the rest of his game has been pretty inconsistent. He’s averaging 10 points and 5.4 assists on the season, making him worth a look if those numbers are better than another guard on your roster is posting.
News and Notes
Washington’s A.J. Price was available to return Wednesday despite a sprained ankle and should be held in all leagues, especially with recent news that John Wall still has no timetable and might not be back until Christmas. The Wiz signed PG Shaun Livingston on Thursday and he could split minutes with Price, but I’d rather own Price at this point.
The Wolves have signed Josh Howard and he’s expected to see limited minutes on Friday. I’m not expecting any miracles, but he’s at least worth keeping a close eye on going forward. Center Nikola Pekovic is hoping to play tonight against the Magic, but coach Rick Adelman doesn’t sounds as confident. He’s a game-time decision with a sprained ankle. J.J. Barea (foot) is iffy for Friday and would likely split time with Luke Ridnour at PG once he’s healthy. Ridnour is hot and looks like a must-start until further notice.
Brandan Wright didn’t even get off the Dallas bench on Wednesday and I’d recommend dropping him for Chris Kaman or Elton Brand if you can. Shawn Marion (MCL sprain) may try to play on Friday at Indy, but it’s not a sure thing.
Kyle Lowry is expected to miss another one or two weeks with his ankle injury, but at least there doesn’t appear to be any structural damage. However, me freaking out on Twitter while watching him go down appears to have been quite warranted. Terrence Ross and Linas Kleiza (who has a sore ankle) are both going to see a big boost in minutes with news that Landry Fields (elbow surgery) and Alan Anderson (foot) are going to miss several weeks with their injuries. I picked up Kleiza on a flier, while Andrea Bargnani, who should see some time at small forward, should also see more shots. And it goes without saying that a red-hot Jose Calderon should be owned in all leagues right now.
Rodney Stuckey will start for the Pistons on Friday after missing a game with the flu, meaning Kyle Singler isn’t likely to repeat Wednesday’s 16-point performance. However, Singler has played well and may be able to stay relevant, especially if Lawrence Frank keeps playing him despite the fact Corey Maggette is finally healthy again. I don’t think Singler’s worth holding in most leagues as long as those other guys are healthy.
Kobe Bryant (foot) and Jordan Hill (wrist) are expected to play in Mike D’Antoni’s debut tonight against the Spurs, Steve Blake (abdomen) is iffy/doubtful and Steve Nash (leg) has already been ruled out.
LaMarcus Aldridge (wrist) made it through an entire practice and it sounds like his sore wrist won’t cost him any games for now. I’m still mildly concerned about it, but you have to keep starting him if you own him (obviously).
A lot of fantasy leagues may be decided on Friday night with nine big games on the schedule, so be sure to check out the new Saturday Dose with a bottle of Gatorade while you recover from Friday’s festivities.