Heat Hang On Vs. Bobcats
LeBron James hit 13-of-14 shots for 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals and five turnovers. And sadly, the only shot he missed was a bunny of a layup he was probably fouled on. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also played well, but the Heat still look like a team that’s just coasting along, waiting for the playoffs to start. And that’s a dangerous game.
The Cats welcomed back Byron Mullens, who surprisingly got 28 minutes to finish with 12 points, nine boards, two steals and a block. Of course, he hit just 5-of-14 shots and looked rusty, but owners have to feel pretty good about his return from a nasty ankle injury. I picked him up in a couple leagues and threw him out there this week.
Blazers Top Wolves
Wesley Matthews played through his sprained ankle and had a huge first half, but cooled off to finish with 22 points, three boards, five assists and four 3-pointers on 7-of-11 shooting. Hopefully you were brave enough to put him in your weekly lineup (although I was not that smart). Nicolas Batum’s wrist is an obvious problem and he doesn’t want to shoot the ball right now because of the pain. He took just four shots in 35 minutes to finish with four points, three boards, two assists, SEVEN turnovers and two blocks. Props to Batum for trying to play through this thing, but if it doesn’t feel better soon, my guess is he’s going to have to sit out a few games until it starts feeling better. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge went off, as usual, and J.J. Hickson had just eight points and nine boards, marking just the eighth time this season he didn’t hit double figures in at least one of those two categories.
The Wolves got Ricky Rubio’s best line of the season with 15 points and 14 assists in 33 minutes, and he might finally be ready to get his season started. The 15 & 14 were both season highs for Rubio. Nikola Pekovic double-doubled with 13 points and 11 boards, Derrick Williams was atrocious again (0-for-5) and Andrei Kirilenko left after just 14 minutes due to a left quad injury. If he’s out, Williams simply has to bounce back. Dante Cunningham picked up AK’s slack last night with a career-high 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting off the bench, while J.J. Barea added 17 points and a full stat line off the pine. Alexey Shved cooled off with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, but should bounce back in his next one.
Thunder Thrash Mavs
Kevin Durant played through a rib injury and double-doubled, Russell Westbrook led the way with 24 points and seven assists, and Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin also chipped in with solid scoring nights in the easy win. Nothing to see here.
The Mavs got a big line out of Shawn Marion (23 points on 10-of-14 shooting), but O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand were all too quiet in this one. Dirk was playing through a strained adductor and looked rusty after missing a couple games. Dominique Jones blew up for 15 points in 14 minutes, which was a fluke, while Bernard James made another start at center, finishing with two points, six boards and four blocks. He just doesn’t score enough to be a real fantasy option, while I’m still not sure what Brand did to Rick Carlisle’s Wheaties. Vince Carter missed this one with an illness, but should be back on Wednesday.
Jazz Beat Kings in OT
Randy Foye had 20 points, six assists and three more 3-pointers in an overtime win, while Al Jefferson chipped in with 15 points, 12 boards, five assists, a steal and two blocks on 7-of-17 shooting. Paul Millsap added 14 points and four boards, while Alec Burks (14), Derrick Favors (13 & 9) and DeMarre Carroll all hit double digits off the bench. Foye is really feeling it right now, averaging 16.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games, making him worth a pickup in almost any league.
DeMarcus Cousins was ejected after picking up a couple technical fouls after just 19 minutes. He reportedly told an official to "stop acting like an effing female,” which is classy. He’s sitting on 12 technical fouls and will face a one-game suspension when he picks up his 16th. Tyreke Evans had 20 points, Isaiah Thomas added 17 points, three assists and two 3-pointers, and Jason Thompson played 45 minutes and awoke from a coma to drop 23 points and 10 rebounds on the Jazz. I have no idea what got into Thompson, but he was unplayable coming into this one, and Cousins’ ejection certainly helped his cause. Now let’s see him do it again. Marcus Thornton had nine points off the bench in 26 minutes, but still isn’t doing enough to be starting for fantasy teams.
Monday News Headlines
Michael Beasley was arrested on Jan. 25 for criminal speeding and driving with a suspended license, but at least wasn’t busted for doing anything else, like alcohol or drugs, although he did keep it real by having a loaded gun in his car, as well. I’ve got him in some lineups with four Suns games this week, which should make for an interesting ride.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is iffy for the week for the Bobcats with a concussion and dropping him for a hot free agent makes sense.
Devin Harris won’t play for the Hawks on Tuesday and is another guy who can be dropped for a hot free agent.
Gordon Hayward was out again for the Jazz with his shoulder injury and hasn’t even shot the ball since suffering the injury.
Jeremy Lin is a game-time decision for Houston Tuesday after spraining his ankle in practice. Carlos Delfino is day-to-day with his elbow injury and I dropped him in a couple daily leagues because of it.
Manu Ginobili isn’t likely to play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, while Tim Duncan is day-to-day with his knee and ankle problems. Both Spurs are pretty iffy this week, in my opinion.
Andrea Bargnani is still not ready to go for the Raptors with his elbow injury, and they’ll likely try to trade him once he’s healthy.
JaVale McGee is expected back for Denver from a shin injury on Tuesday.