Tuesday nights have a knack for being light, fun nights that include a few big lines, a breakout player or two, and otherwise serve as a way to get prepared for Big Wednesday. Last night was no different as Samuel Dalembert came out of nowhere to put up a 17-of-21 shooting line, Pau Gasol went down to plantar fasciitis, and there was plenty of action to talk about this morning.
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Teague Pass Alert
Jeff Teague continued to pour it on in a forgettable loss to the Pacers, scoring 24 points with eight assists, a steal, and a block. With the team lacking playmakers, he’s going to tote the rock enough to be a threat for big numbers nightly.
The Paul George show went on as he scored 29 points with five treys, five boards, and four assists, as did the impressive play of Lance Stephenson (14 points, six boards, three assists, two threes, one block). Stephenson has somewhat risky short-term appeal in standard leagues with Danny Granger’s return nearing.
Gasol Goes Down
Pau Gasol may have heard a “pop” in his plantar fascia during last night’s game, but that sound you heard was Laker nation getting kicked in the groin. He will get evaluated today and one has to think he’s in for a significant absence, so Antawn Jamison (nine points, eight boards, one three, 37 minutes) has immediate appeal that could turn into lasting appeal should Gasol and Dwight Howard (shoulder, day-to-day) remain out. Metta World Peace did not play after getting assessed a one-game suspension for punching Brandon Knight in the throat, but I’d have to be fairly loaded not to take a flier on Jamison at this point.
Earl Clark (14 points, 12 boards, one steal, one block, 42 minutes) should have been owned before tonight and his value gets solidified with Gasol’s injury. Kobe Bryant’s right forearm issue is lingering and he had another subpar night shooting the ball, hitting 9-of-24 shots with zero threes and an otherwise full line. It’s got to kill him that Howard isn’t playing, right or wrong.
Same Old Story
The Nets couldn’t buy a bucket last night as Deron Williams (5-of-13 FGs), Joe Johnson (4-of-15 FGs), and Gerald Wallace (3-of-10 FGs) were the main culprits. Brook Lopez hit just 11-of-25 shots, but at least that led to 30 points, 11 boards, and three blocks in a loss to the wounded Lakers. Wallace finished with nine points, three rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a three in 36 minutes, and owners should get used to calling this type of production a win. Chances are he’ll step into a slightly better offensive role (it can’t get worse), but barring a major injury he is an expensive glue guy on this team and nothing more. In the one league I added him in I’m holding for the time-being.
Pulling the String
The Suns went into Memphis and snagged a win, which may say more about the Grizzlies than anything right now. Lindsay Hunter pulled some interesting strings benching Jared Dudley (0-for-5 FGs, 17 minutes) for Kendall Marshall (11 points, four assists, three treys, 33 minutes), and seeing those 3-point makes one has to think he’ll be going the Jason Kidd route to shooting in the NBA. I need to see more than one good game to think that Marshall has any portion of his shooting issues worked out, and he is still nowhere near a threat to Goran Dragic (17 points, four assists).
Marcin Gortat scored 20 points with seven boards but annoyingly did not have a steal or block, and Michael Beasley did what Michael Beasley does with six points and five boards in 21 minutes off the bench. Blame it on the off-court drama if you want, but the bottom line is that consistency may be a career-long issue.
Flushing It Out
I’m going to give Memphis a pass for another week or so, as they dealt with the Rudy Gay drama that appeared to be pretty bad internally and could easily need that time to get right. Zach Randolph’s back injury wasn’t an issue as he went for 21 and 13, but everybody else suffered except for Jerryd Bayless, who scored 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He’s not positioned incredibly for long-term value, but the Grizzlies might have him pegged for some of Gay’s touches. He’s worth an add, but carries some risk of fizzling out. Tayshaun Prince scored 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals in his first start. He appears to be cemented into a heavy role and is worth a look for his low-end value.
Every time my Warriors have me on the edge of believing that they’re a solid bottom half of the bracket playoff team they go and do something to muck it up, as they did in last night’s blowout loss in Houston. Yes, every team will have their off-nights and it’s not a good idea to factor any such night too heavily into an evaluation. But from coach to player they complained about the Rockets running up the score – as if the Rockets were supposed to cross halfcourt and just hand them the ball – and it’s this kind of stupid that worries me the most.
After lucking into an addition by subtraction situation dealing Monta Ellis, enhanced by additions of Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, and Draymond Green, they have been very good frontrunners. But between running players onto the court too early, a rah-rah attitude that fails to look at its own flaws, and questionable decision-making out of the coaching box I still need to see more to be convinced that this group has any chance of getting out of the first round barring a weird matchup. I like what GM Bob Myers has done, but Mark Jackson’s wistful, coach by narrative philosophy overseeing a group of contracts that can’t win a title isn’t doing it for me long-term, either. Once Warriors fans get over the honeymoon of having an owner that actually cares, these will be issues that need resolution.
As for the game, Golden Boy David Lee hit 8-of-10 shots for 18 and seven, but was typically worked over down low in a reminder that there are two sides of the floor. Stephen Curry hit 3-of-12 shots for seven points and nine assists, Klay Thompson hit 3-of-5 shots for six points and not much else, and the bench played most of the second half in the Warriors’ 31-point loss. Jarrett Jack scored 20 points with five assists, Carl Landry scored 12 points with five boards, and Andrew Bogut played 25 minutes on his way to 10 points, nine boards, three assists, and one block. Bogut won’t play tonight against the Thunder but he has done well when on the floor so owners should hold on for now.
Rockets Tie NBA 3-Point Shooting Record
The Rockets cruised and tied an NBA record for 3-pointers made with 23 triples, and heading that list was iffy for last night Jeremy Lin (ankle), who hit five total to finish with 28 points, nine assists, and one steal. Hopefully he was in your lineup. There weren’t any major revelations and owners shouldn’t read into a blowout win of this type, though Patrick Patterson’s 12 points and 10 boards continue a recent return to productivity. Carlos Delfino (elbow) did not play last night and is already ruled out for tonight’s game.