I had plans on getting up at the crack of dawn and cranking out this Daily Dose by 9 a.m., but it didn’t happen. In any case, here’s what went down on New Year’s Eve in the Association.
Jameer Nelson (hip) and Gustavo Ayon (thigh) were out for the Magic last night, but Nikola Vucevic went off for 20 points and a franchise record 29 rebounds in an overtime loss to the Heat. I had him in a couple weekly lineups and am sitting in first place thanks to Vucevic’s strong play this season. Arron Afflalo went off for 28 points and a full stat line, and J.J. Redick had 23 points, five 3-pointers and five assists off the Magic bench. Hedo Turkoglu had nine points, eight assists and a 3-pointer for the Magic, and is worth a pick up in most leagues, although I imagine he’ll struggle with his shot all year. With Ayon out, Andrew Nicholson drew the start and had 10 points in 17 minutes. He’s a rookie and will continue to have some good and bad nights as long as Ayon and Glen Davis (shoulder) are out. LeBron James had 38 points and another fat stat line for the Heat, who should have been able to manhandle this Magic team without overtime.
Gerald Wallace wins the award for most annoying fantasy presence to end the year, as his guarantee to play last night ended with another DNP due to a lingering knee injury. Don’t say you’re “definitely” going to play, unless you’re definitely going to play. I’m not going to complain too much though, as I’m going against Crash in my two most important leagues. One of those is League Freak, the league started by Rick Kamla, and I appreciated hearing him chatter about me on the Fantasy Insider show yesterday, which you can watch here, in the pickup/drop segment.
The Nets were a disaster last night and got blown out by the Spurs, as Deron Williams hit just 3-of-11 shots and the starters were benched for much of the second half in an ugly loss. MarShon Brooks welcomed the absence of Avery Johnson with 16 points in garbage time, and is worth keeping an eye on now that Johnson is no longer calling the shots in Brooklyn.
Josh Smith returned for the Hawks from a one-game absence with a hip injury and you have to give the guy credit. If he’s banged up, chances are he’s going to play. Hopefully you started him in your weekly leagues, as he went off for 17 points, four blocks and two 3-pointers despite sitting out for most of the fourth quarter in a lopsided loss. Lou Williams had 21 points and three 3-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting, while Al Horford was stellar with 18 points and 13 boards with the same shooting line as the Hawks were blown out by the Rockets.
Carlos Delfino went off with 22 points and six 3-pointers on 8-of-10 shooting, while Jeremy Lin, James Harden and Omer Asik all had nice games against the Hawks. Chandler Parsons had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting, which will tend to happen on nights when Delfino is doing his Larry Bird impression.
Rudy Gay was another New Year’s Eve buzzkill after hitting just 3-of-17 shots and ruining field goal percentage for the week for many fantasy owners. He’ll bounce back, but overcoming that shooting line is going to be tough. Mike Conley hit just 3-of-9 shots for nine points last night and shot 34 percent in December. He’s a better player than that and should be a buy-low target in all leagues.
George Hill was another disappointment on Monday, as he was expected to play through his groin injury and then didn’t suit up. D.J. Augustin started in his place and had 17 points, six dimes and four 3-pointers, and could be ready to take on a bigger role for the Pacers if Hill’s groin keeps him out for a few games. Roy Hibbert was dreadful again after hitting just 3-of-11 shots, but at least had six boards and four blocks. If he ever starts making shots, he’s going to be a beast.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was another injury victim for the Bobcats due to being hit in the eye on Saturday and sat out last night. He’s day-to-day. Jeff Adrien went off with nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 23 minutes last night, but should return to obscurity once MKG is back.
Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson were awful for the Bulls, and are big reasons the Bobcats were able to snap their 18-game losing streak last night. Noah had two points, four boards and two blocks, while Nate hit just 2-of-11 shots in a start for dinged up Kirk Hinrich (knee). Both players will bounce back in their next one, and any time Hinrich is out, Robinson is must-start material.
Derrick Rose isn’t “anywhere close” to playing, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, which falls in line with what I’ve been saying about Rose lately. Despite the fact I recently bought matching pairs of D-Rose Adidas kicks for my five-year-old son and I, the fact of the matter is I don’t think he’ll play in more than 20 games this season.