Kevin Durant recorded his first career triple-double and Brandon Roy is having his seventh knee surgery, putting his career in jeopardy (again). It was a busy weekend in the NBA, so let’s get to it.
Games Played Week 4
4 Games: Hawks, Nets, Bobcats, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Hornets, Knicks, Magic, Sixers, Spurs, Raptors
3 Games: Celtics, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Thunder, Suns, Blazers, Kings, Jazz, Wizards
2 Games: Bulls, Grizzlies, Heat
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Kevin Durant had a career-high 10 assists for his first triple-double on Sunday, finishing with 25 points and 13 rebounds in an easy win over the Warriors. But more importantly, he’s now drained seven 3-pointers in his last two games after hitting just eight of them in his first nine games. Durant isn’t quite as dominant as LeBron James right now and it’s a little surprising that this was his first triple-double, as LeBron flirts with them nightly. Nonetheless, he’s having a great season, it got even better on Sunday and the Thunder play three times this week, while LeBron’s Heat go just twice.
Kobe Bryant also triple-doubled with 22 points, 11 boards and 11 assists, but to much less fanfare, as this was the 18th of his career. He’s going to get along just fine with Mike D’Antoni, who is with the team but not yet coaching off the bench.
Brandon Roy will have more surgery on his right knee this week and will miss at least a week. We’ve been down this road before, as Roy has not only had six knee surgeries already, but famously returned very quickly after his last arthroscopic procedure, and then later retired from the game. Maybe this isn’t that big a deal and he’ll bounce back to finish the season, but given his history, you have to think his career is once again in jeopardy. If Alexey Shved is still available in your league after my Waiver Wired column hit on Sunday, go get him.
Andray Blatche had 22 points on 11-of-12 shooting in just 19 minutes on Sunday for the Nets. He added just two boards and while Blatche is showing signs of life, he’ll obviously need more minutes to be worth owning in most fantasy leagues. And as long as Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace are healthy, Blatche is going to continue to see less than 20 minutes a night. As for Wallace, he finally returned to the court on Sunday and had four points in 25 minutes. I’d bench him until he gets back to 100 percent if you have options. Deron Williams dinged his elbow in this one, but played through it and I’m guessing he’ll be fine.
The Kings broke out a new starting lineup against the Nets, “featuring” Aaron Brooks at point guard instead of Isaiah Thomas, and John Salmons at small forward instead of James Johnson. I took the bait and grabbed Brooks “just in case,” but have already moved on in most leagues after he posted four points and zero assists in a pathetic 18 minutes. Of course, Thomas was even worse with one point on 0-of-3 shooting in 14 minutes, while Jimmer Fredette had three points in 10 minutes. The Kings’ backcourt is an absolute mess and at this point, I’m going to try to avoid them all until Keith Smart figures it out or loses his job. And for the record, he says he’s sticking with the new lineup. Whatever.
Roy Hibbert was atrocious for the Pacers again on Sunday and I don’t recall my former hometown team looking worse than they have lately. Roy hit just 3-of-10 shots for six points, eight rebounds and two blocks, as well as committed six turnovers. He’ll get it worked out. He has to. But as for when it will happen, I have no idea. Two words – Buy (very) Low.
J.J. Redick was out with the flu Sunday making him iffy for Monday’s game, and the start of a promising four-game week. Hopefully we’ll find out his status before your lineup is due. E’Twaun Moore had 16 points, four assists and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench, but those minutes and numbers are on their way down now that Jameer Nelson is healthy and once Redick is back. I have dropped him in several leagues.
Jose Calderon wrapped up a fantastic week for the Raptors without Kyle Lowry, averaging 13 points, 13 assists, 2.5 3-pointers over his last five games. Make sure he’s in your lineup, as it doesn’t sound likely that Lowry will play this week. Linas Kleiza has hit double figures in four straight games, making him a sneaky pick-and-play with Landry Fields and Alan Anderson out indefinitely.
Sixers Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, and Cavaliers Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson (two straight double-doubles) all had big lines on Sunday and are worth a look on your waiver wire this morning. Dorell Wright disappeared again and played just 12 minutes, and I’m moving on for now.