Lopez leads Nets over Rondo-less Celtics
A sprained ankle for Rajon Rondo means that Jason Terry might just salvage something out of his five-game week after all. Terry and Leandro Barbosa started as the Celtics backcourt and played well. Barbosa had 17 points, two assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, while Terry had 10 points, four rebounds, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in a loss to the Nets. Courtney Lee also played well off the bench with 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a 3-pointer, while Jeff Green fell back to earth with just five points and six boards on 2-of-6 shooting. As for Rondo, he remains day-to-day making him questionable for Saturday’s game against the Raptors, and if he misses that one, he might also miss Sunday at Detroit. The Celtics play just three times next week, meaning that a healthy Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are the only must-starts in Boston. I have already started dropping Brandon Bass where I own him.
The Nets got another whopper out of Brook Lopez with 24 points, six rebounds and four blocks on 11-of-14 shooting. I’m no longer even making fun of his rebounding because he’s averaging a career-high 2.3 blocks after swatting just 1.5 of them in his last full season. I actually drafted Lopez as a potential buy-low guy this year, and the teams he’s on are doing well. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams (who tweaked his leg last night) are both suddenly playing better, Kris Humphries had another double-double and Gerald Wallace missed another game. The man named Crash has now missed seven straight games with a sprained ankle and has scored a total of 10 points this season. He has to be close to getting back, but it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll play against the Kings on Sunday. Something tells me that the two extra full days off should have him ready for that one, and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact Wallace has on guys like Lopez and Johnson.
Knicks stay perfect with win over Spurs
Don’t look now, but the Knicks are undefeated at 6-0 after taking down the 7-2 Spurs. Raymond Felton is living up to the Rotoworld hype after losing weight and getting out of Portland. He had 25 points and seven dimes, Jason Kidd traveled back in time for 14 points, four 3-pointers, two steals and three blocks, Tyson Chandler double-doubled and J.R. Smith had 17 points off the bench and a full stat line (as usual). Carmelo Anthony was the most disappointing player for the Knicks last night, hitting just 3-of-12 shots for nine points, but did have 12 rebounds in the win. Melo is going to have a lot of big games this season, and his value may not be lower than it is right now if you want to target him in trade. Ronnie Brewer played through his knee injury but has cooled off after a hot start. I cut him and moved on in my deep leagues and you should too. As for Kidd, if he’s available in your league he’s worth picking up as long as he’s getting solid minutes for the Knicks.
The Spurs, for some reason, decided to keep everyone guessing and started DeJuan Blair at center tonight, and he bumbled his way to two points and zero rebounds in eight minutes. I don’t try to understand Gregg Popovich. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan had their normal big games, Manu Ginobili made it through 26 minutes and scored 12 points, while Kawhi Leonard finally had a mini-breakout with 16 points, nine boards, two steals and three 3-pointers. Owners who were thinking about moving on from Leonard will probably rethink the move after tonight’s game, but I think the one thing we can expect from anyone on this team not named Tim or Tony is inconsistency. Despite coming off the bench, Tiago Splitter had 13 points, but no rebounds in 17 minutes, and Stephen Jackson double-doubled with 10 points, 11 boards and two 3-pointers off the bench, but again, I’d be scared to actually put them in one of my lineups. Splitter’s last three games: 13 & 0, 9 & 9, 6 & 2. Enough said.