Wizards Wax Clippers
Martell Webster stayed hot and had 21 points and five 3-pointers in the Wizards’ win. He’s played over 30 minutes in five straight games, averaging 15 points and three 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting during that stretch. It doesn’t look like Trevor Ariza is going to steal Webster’s job any time soon and Webster is a guy who can help a lot of fantasy teams right now. Emeka Okafor was solid again with nine points and 14 rebounds, while John Wall and Nene played well, and Garrett Temple added 15 points while filling in for Bradley Beal. Beal was out again with his wrist injury, but it does sound like he’ll return at some point this week.
The Clippers got 17 points, nine assists and two blocks out of Eric Bledsoe and if you rolled the dice on him in a weekly league, so far, so good. I benched him for Nate Robinson, just because I was worried about Chris Paul returning mid-week and raining on his parade. We’ll see. Blake Griffin was a late scratch with a hamstring injury and something tells me he was in a ton of lineups last night, as the news was late breaking. Lamar Odom started in his place and had three points and nine rebounds before fouling out. DeAndre Jordan exploded for seven points, two blocks and a career-high 22 rebounds in 40 minutes, while Jamal Crawford went for 28 points, three boards, three assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in the loss. Paul has missed eight straight games and remains iffy for the week, while Griffin is day-to-day with his injury, as well.
Sixers Spank Magic
The Sixers enjoyed an easy night against a beat up Orlando team featuring a D-League-like lineup that most casual NBA fans would have trouble picking out of a lineup. Jrue Holiday double-doubled, Nick Young scored 15, Spencer Hawes finally broke out with 21 points, 14 rebounds and a block, and Thaddeus Young left the game with a hamstring injury that could keep him out “a while.” And with Young out, Hawes should have a good week for his new fantasy owners. Evan Turner disappeared, but should bounce back quickly. Jason Richardson’s not expected back anytime soon from his knee injury, meaning Nick Young should be owned in most formats.
The Magic’s starting five was Ishmael Smith, E’Twaun Moore, Moe Harkless, Josh McRoberts and Nikola Vucevic. And not surprisingly, they got run out of the building. Moore was solid with 18 points on 9-of-17 shooting and Harkless played 43 minutes for 10 points, five rebounds and a full stat line, but hit just 4-of-13 shots on the night. I picked him up late and threw him in a couple lineups, as Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Arron Afflalo and DeQuan Jones are all going to be a little iffy for the week. This depleted Magic lineup scored a total of 61 points last night.
Pacers Beat Bulls
George Hill played through a shoulder injury and went off for 22 points, six assists and four 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting, Lance Stephenson scored 15 points, and Paul George and David West both posted monster lines for the Pacers. Roy Hibbert had a forgettable night with six points, nine boards and a block on just 3-of-11 shooting. Stephenson is averaging 15.5 points, 1.5 3-pointers and a steal in his last four, but will fall off the map once Danny Granger finally returns.
Nate Robinson stayed hot with 19 points, five boards, nine assists, three steals and three 3-pointers. The reigning Player of the Week should be in all lineups with Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose not expected to play this week. All five Bulls starters scored in double figures, including Taj Gibson who had 10 points, 11 boards and five blocks as Joakim Noah sat out another game with plantar fasciitis. As long as he’s out, Gibson’s a must-start player. Marco Belinelli overcame a sprained ankle and had a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, but we’ll have to see how he’s feeling this morning. Jimmy Butler played 29 minutes but never really got cooking, finishing with 10 points and three steals. I’d hang in there with him, especially if Belinelli misses any time with his ankle injury. Carlos Boozer had 10 & 5 in his return from a hamstring injury.
Knicks Crush Pistons
The Knicks weren’t impressed with Jose Calderon’s debut, although Raymond Felton didn’t fare much better. Felton hit 2-of-5 shots for four points, five rebounds, nine assists and two steals, but owners were looking for more. Jason Kidd started at shooting guard, but hit just 1-of-7 shots for three points and three assists in 20 minutes. I see no reason to be holding Kidd right now. Tyson Chandler had eight points and 20 rebounds (for the third straight game), J.R. Smith scored 16 with five 3-pointers off the bench, Amare Stoudemire added 20 points, three rebounds and a block, while Carmelo Anthony raked for 27 points and a full stat line with great shooting percentages.
Calderon started and had 15 points and three assists on 7-of-12 shooting, while Brandon Knight, who slid over to shooting guard, hit just 2-of-10 shots for five points in 28 minutes. Greg Monroe had a nice double-double, but Kyle Singler, Jason Maxiell and Andre Drummond (eight minutes, sore back) were all awful in this one. Drummond says he will play Wednesday, but his minutes have been too shaky for him to be relied upon in fantasy right now. Rodney Stuckey had 14 points, seven boards and three steals off the bench in 30 minutes, while Will Bynum added 13 points in 21 minutes. I’m avoiding both players for now, but you’ll want to keep an eye on Detroit’s rotation going forward. It was tough to learn much from this one, as the Knicks blew their doors off starting with the opening tip.