Rockets destroy Jazz
James Harden had a big game for Houston and was joined by Jeremy Lin, Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris in double-figures scoring. Delfino is suddenly playing consistent ball and is worth a pickup in most leagues, draining four more 3-pointers last night. Marcus Morris did his damage, which included four 3-pointers, in just 15 minutes, but I don’t trust him or Patterson right now.
Gordon Hayward was out Monday with his shoulder injury on his shooting arm. He wasn’t exactly in beast mode this season, so make sure he’s on your bench until further notice. The Jazz saw only Randy Foye (12), Al Jefferson (10) and Derrick Favors (11) in double digits, and were never in this game.
Kings hang on to beat Wizards
Isaiah Thomas was the story for the Kings with 22 points, four boards, seven dimes and a 3-pointer on 9-of-16 shooting. He had been struggling and I was getting a lot of questions from owners wanting to drop IT2 for the Celtics’ Avery Bradley, and my advice was ‘don’t do it.’ Thomas will continue to be up and down, but might also be ready to get hot. John Salmons left the game with an illness after playing just 12 minutes, although he wasn’t even expected to play. Francisco Garcia got hot early and finished with 17 points, three steals and four 3-pointers on 6-of-10 shooting. I guess I should have started him in my 30-team league. Jason Thompson has become unplayable, but Thomas Robinson, who looks like a nice stash, is still not doing enough consistently to be considered a must-own. T-Rob had nine points, three boards, a steal and two blocks last night.
For the Wizards, John Wall had 19 points and six assists on 9-of-16 shooting, while Emeka Okafor blew up for a season-high 23 points and 15 rebounds. Okafor is must-start at this point. Martell Webster stayed hot and got off to a good four-game start with 18 points and two 3-pointers, but Bradley Beal’s bum wrist appears to have come into play again, as he had just six points on 2-of-6 shooting. I’m not dropping Beal, and am just hoping his wrist injury heals soon. Nene struggled and Kevin Seraphin had 12 points and seven boards, and it’s impossible to figure out which guy is going to get hot from night to night. And Jordan Crawford hit just 1-of-5 shots for four points in 17 minutes, meaning he’s not startable as long as Beal continues to play.
Denver sneaks by Pacers
JaVale McGee sat out for the Nuggets with a knee injury and will have an MRI today. It’s not like he was a must-own player to begin with, but if nothing else, this means more minutes for Kosta Koufos for as long as he’s out. KK had nine points, 11 boards and three blocks in another start, while Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and three more 3-poiners in the win. Ty Lawson stayed hot and Andre Iguodala double-doubled. Kenneth Faried was in foul trouble and played just 12 minutes last night. George Karl hasn’t been too kind to Faried’s fantasy owners this season, but he’s simply too good to cut in my book. Now is the time to make some low-ball offers on the Manimal.
Paul George had another big line for the Pacers in the loss with 23 points, 10 boards, five assists, four steals, a block and four more 3-pointers. He’s having a dream season and is only going to get better. Lance Stephenson, who did nothing in his previous game, blew up for a season-high 20 points with eight boards, four assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers. This one looks like a fluke to me. Roy Hibbert’s shot disappeared last night (3-of-12), but he had been shooting it better lately, so I’m going to call it an off night.
Bulls trump Bobcats
Luol Deng returned from his hamstring injury and had 12 points, four boards, a block and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Get him back in your lineup. Despite the return of Deng, Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 19 points with six boards and a block in 31 minutes. Maybe he’ll get some nice run at shooting guard going forward, and he’ll be worth hanging onto if it happens. Nate Robinson filled the stat sheet with 15 points, seven boards, four dimes, three steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers. I put him in several lineups with four games, and so far, so good. Joakim Noah stayed hot with 13 points, 18 boards, seven assists and five blocks in the win, while Carlos Boozer was quiet. Both players are having fine seasons for the Bulls.
Kemba Walker stayed hot with 18 points, four boards, six dimes and two 3-pointers, while Ben Gordon had 18 points and four 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench for Charlotte, and is heating up again. Jeff Adrien started at power forward and had a career high with 14 points, 10 boards and two blocks in 35 minutes. He hasn’t played well lately, but could get hot if he continues to start, but that may not last long with Byron Mullens nearing a return. Bismack Biyombo had eight points, nine boards, a steal and a couple blocks, and is suddenly becoming relevant again, averaging more than 10 boards per game over his last four.
Injury & Lineup Updates
Nikola Pekovic (thigh contusion) and Alexey Shved (ankle) both went through Monday’s Timberwolves practice and it sounds like both of them are expected to play on Wednesday against the Clippers.
Dion Waiters will start over C.J. Miles in Cleveland, as it appears a case of the flu cost Miles his starting gig. Not that I disagree with the move.
There are conflicting reports on when we’ll see Andrew Bynum on the court this season, but it looks like the one about him returning before the All-Star break might be false. Then again, we had a report Saturday that Bogut was going to miss another month, and then he started for the Warriors. It sounds like Bynum will start practicing soon, but still hasn’t tried lateral movement, um, which is kind of important in this whole process. One wrong move and Bynum could end up right back where he started. As I’ve said before, I’m not stashing him, as guys with knee injuries and their expected triumphant return have constantly disappointed this season.
Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley look like the starting backcourt for the Celtics right now, and we’ll have to wait and see which one emerges with more fantasy value.