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LaMarcus Aldridge returned from his back injury to score 23 points and grab eight rebounds on Friday. He's ready to roll this week.
Dwight Howard erupted for 28 & 20 vs. the Nuggets, and the buy-low window probably just got locked from the inside.
Mike Conley's quiet brilliance continued with 17 points, five assists, six steals and one block on Friday. He's setting new career-highs in points (15.1), FG percentage (51 percent), 3-pointers (1.8), FTs made and attempted (2.5/3.1), and steals (2.5), while hovering just below his career-high for assists with 6.3 per game.
Isaiah Thomas was a candidate for stat of the night on Friday, when he appeared on the court for two seconds. Yes, 1/30th of a minute. He scored 14 points with six assists...no wait, no he had lots of zeroes, even though Tyreke Evans (knee) was sidelined and Aaron Brooks was ineffective (nine points, one assist, three turnovers) before fouling out in 30 minutes. In related news, Jimmer Fredette scored 12 points with three assists in 17 minutes. It's enough to make me crack a molar.
George Hill may have gained some confidence with his buzzer-beating, game-winning floater on the road in L.A. on Tuesday -- he chewed up the Kings' backcourt for 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, with four 3s, six boards, eight assists and one steal, all without any turnovers.
David West also continued his phenomenal season, scoring 31 points on 13-of-20 FGs, with 11 rebounds and two blocks. He leads Indiana with 17.4 points per game while chipping in 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks -- the Pacers' decision to gamble on him after knee surgery has paid off richly, and his fantasy owners couldn't ask for more.
Nicolas Batum is in the midst of a wicked five-game slump, and all I can say is "Buy Low." He may be prone to brief droughts, as we are witnessing, but we've already seen his untouchable ceiling and I'm not at all scared off by this week.
Wesley Matthews has been playing through a sprained thumb and the results are not palatable -- he scored five points in 31 minutes on Friday and personally I'd bench him in 10-team leagues until his shooting touch returns.
Anderson Varejao had 20 & 18 vs. the Hawks and he's rebounding at a Worm-like pace over the past two weeks. Or better yet, here's some historical perspective from last night's Andy blurb: "[Varejao] became the first player since Moses Malone to have 10 points, 15 rebounds, and five offensive rebounds in seven straight games." Good times.
Kevin Love still hasn't found the range, and he finished Friday's game 5-of-19 from the field, but he'll get things turned around soon enough. Nikola Pekovic had 14 points and 16 rebounds and appears unaffected (or aided, even) by K-Love's return to the PF spot.
Antawn Jamison scored 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting, hitting five 3-pointers, while Pau Gasol had six points, seven rebounds and eight assists in 28 minutes. The past week seems to have shown that Antawn is absolutely worth owning under Mike D'Antoni, while Pau won't be the first-round fantasy talent we've come to rely upon.
Gerald Wallace scored 20 points with five 3-pointers, a new career high. Brook Lopez wasn't around to get his touches in the post, which opened up more shots for Crash, and this scoring outburst feels like a fluke.
Ersan Ilyasova picked up a DNP-CD on Friday, a turn of events that should be stunning, but seems frustratingly predictable given Ersan's play this season. Yuck.
Kevin Martin's recent cold patch is behind him, as he dropped in 19 points and a decent stat line in 30 minutes on Friday. Russell Westbrook freaked out to the tune of 23 points, three 3-pointers, 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals, Kevin Durant scored his typical 25 points with four more blocks, and Serge Ibaka swatted seven shots before fouling out in 25 minutes. There's a fantasy bonanza underway in Oklahoma.
There are plenty more notable performances (Jodie Meeks scored 21 points, Evan Turner stayed hot with 25 & 10, Lavoy Allen double-doubled) but you can read all about those right here.