Six-game nights seem so quiet these days and the past couple of nights of basketball have not been scorching the nets so to speak. There were still plenty of tweaks to player values, though, so without further ado let’s check it out.
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The Hornets were the latest team to go into Philly and leave with a win, as they got strong outings from Greivis Vasquez (23 points, nine assists, three treys, six turnovers) and Eric Gordon (19 points, 7-of-13 FGs, two threes, four assists). Al-Farouq Aminu was quiet with five points, eight rebounds, and no steals or blocks in 23 minutes, showing his stripes as a shaky guy in terms of minutes. Still, though, he had been playing well enough to be owned and owners should probably wait and see if he can get back on track.
Anthony Davis scored 10 points with seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in just 21 minutes, and one has to think this is still buy low territory for a guy that could go nuts if and when he is given big minutes. I’ll keep my ear to the ground about any trouble with the ankle, as injury reporting in New Orleans has been shaky in the past.
Andrew Bynum (knees) talked about returning around the All Star break, and while he’s still not doing much of anything physically this qualifies as a decent update. To that end, as long as he’s not filming an action movie with Tom Arnold it’s a decent update these days. As for the game last night, it was another mess for the Sixers but it was a bonanza if you own Jrue Holiday, who put up 29 points with five rebounds, 11 assists, four steals, and four threes.
Jason Richardson was very disappointing with just five points, three rebounds, two assists, and a three in just under 20 minutes, but he had a nice game on Saturday so it’s not out of the question to hold him for another game in a standard league. Dorell Wright scored seven points on 2-of-6 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes off the bench, and he’s worth keeping an eye on but on the whole this is a situation to avoid in general, obviously.
The Pacers walloped the Bobcats and fielded a fairly standard box score last night, with George Hill scoring 16 points with seven rebounds, four assists, and two threes, David West going for 15 and eight, Roy Hibbert scoring a welcoming 18 points with seven rebounds and four blocks, and Paul George being his normal productive self with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two triples of his own. In particularly for Hibbert, they’re not going to get the Bobcats every night so there’s not too much to glean from this outcome.
The Five-Guard Lineup
It’s sad to say, but the Bobcats really need Byron Mullens back. Mullens (ankle) has been cleared to do zero-gravity running and that sounds to me like he’s a few weeks off, still. Tyrus Thomas (three minutes) and Hakim Warrick (14 minutes) have been mediocre at best and awful at worst, and while we could sit here and pick apart Mullens’ game on a lot of levels he at least gives them a chance to win. This leaves the five-guard rotation playing way more minutes collectively than anybody would normally want them to, but it’s the only thing the Cats have right now to keep things competitive. Unfortunately, a five-guard rotation between 2-3 slots every night is not what anybody wants in a fantasy league and it’s hurting them all.
Kemba Walker (13 points, one assist) is struggling in the assists department lately (3.4 asts/gm last five), and Gerald Henderson (15 points, 3-of-10 FGs, one three, three assists) is the only player truly worth owning in a standard format. Ben Gordon (seven points, 14 minutes) is much too inconsistent to rely on, Jeff Taylor (five points, 20 minutes) isn’t producing enough to be considered, and Ramon Sessions (13 points, one assist, 28 minutes) has enough holes in his fantasy game to require large-scale production to justify ownership in standard or moderately deep formats. Walker injured his ankle during the first half of the game and returned in the second half, but without a game until Friday we’re guessing he’ll be okay.
The point guard position in Toronto was full of craziness as both Jose Calderon (hip) and Kyle Lowry (ankle) are in the post-game injury report, but both managed to finish last night’s game and Lowry’s situation in particular was peculiar. Lowry left the game early on and was ruled out for the second half, only to come back in the fourth quarter and lead a massive charge. He finished with 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting (including four threes) with one rebound and two assist in just 15 minutes of action, and he’s more than questionable for tonight’s contest.
Calderon (15 points, five assists, three treys, 29 minutes) is a much better bet to play but is also questionable, and in general the Lowry situation didn’t get any clearer. He’s not happy with his role and the best way to sum things up is that neither the player nor the situation is stable. There is also injury risk to go with all that upside. I think it’s best to treat him like an late-early round, early-mid round guy depending on how you feel.
Amir Johnson played through his dual ankle injuries and scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting with six rebounds, one steal, and one block in another solid night. Alan Anderson left the game due to some dental work and did not return, scoring two points in nine minutes. Don’t use tonight’s game in your evaluations, no matter how painful the result was if he was in your active lineup. Terrence Ross had nine rebounds to go with four points on 2-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes. It’s an interesting number on the glass, but as usual we need to see more before getting too excited for the eventual upside play. Landry Fields scored eight points with 11 rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes, and with his current workload I can’t see passing him up in a standard 12-14 team league unless I’m stacked.
The Nets are 9-1 since P.J. Carlesimo took over but in fairness it has been a pretty easy schedule. Still, it has allowed Deron Williams (21 points, seven assists, 6-of-13 FGs) and Joe Johnson (21 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, two threes) to get back on track. I’ve chronicled the holes in Johnson’s fantasy game a whole bunch, so yes, I still consider this sell-high territory for him.
Gerald Wallace (ribs) did not play and that cleared up a few minutes, but none of the power forward crew was able to take advantage last night. Reggie Evans (seven rebounds), Kris Humphries (five minutes), and Andray Blatche (14 points, two rebounds) are players to avoid in standard formats, though Blatche could theoretically have upside assuming his off the court issues don’t preclude him from any chance at it.