Celtics outlast Jazz in OT in Utah
Paul Pierce had 26 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three 3-pointers on 10-of-20 shooting and scored seven straight points in overtime to lead the Celtics over the Jazz on Monday. Kevin Garnett was back in action with 13 points, 10 boards, a steal and a block, and all five starters scored in double figures for the Celtics. Avery Bradley was 8-of-12 with two 3-pointers for 18 points, five boards, four assists and two steals, while Courtney Lee added 14 points, five boards, three assists and a 3-pointer in the start. Jason Terry added 14 points and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes off the bench, while Jordan Crawford played less than five minutes and scored two points. Bradley, Lee and Terry are all worth a look, but are also all a roll of the dice from night to night. Jeff Green was chilly for the second straight game after his 31 points and five blocks on Friday. He was 3-of-10 for six points and not much else, but did play 28 minutes. I still think he’s a must-own player and is going to be a stud the rest of the way. With the Celtics only having two games this week, chances are he was on fantasy benches anyway.
Gordon Hayward got hot and went off for 26 points, two boards, three assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers on 7-of-16 shooting, and is back in must-start territory. He’s scored 17, 23 and 26 points in his three games since returning from his shoulder injury, so make sure he’s not available in your league. Alec Burks played a season-high 33 minutes, and while he had just eight points, he also had five boards and three assists, and helped limit Randy Foye to just 17 minutes and six points. Al Jefferson double-doubled with 15 points, 11 boards, a steal and a block, while Paul Millsap played through a sprained ankle and had 16 points, six boards, five assists, a steal and two blocks in the OT loss. Marvin Williams somehow had 15 points and two 3-pointers, but you can’t trust him with Hayward and Burks coming on. Earl Watson made some news by starting over Jamaal Tinsley (DNP-CD) at point guard on Monday, but had just two points, two assists and four turnovers. This team needs Mo Williams (thumb), badly. Derrick Favors had seven points, six boards and zero blocks off the bench, and played just 19 minutes, mostly due to foul trouble. The trade deadline has passed, and no matter how hard you wish for it, Favors, Jefferson and Millsap are not being traded, fans.
News and Notes
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton’s right heel injury doesn’t look serious and he’s expected to play on Wednesday against the Warriors. Carmelo Anthony avoided a suspension for his flagrant foul on Spencer Hawes Sunday, meaning he’s good to go for his three games his week.
Lamar Odom says he’s finally in shape after last year’s fiasco in Dallas and a slow start for the Clippers this season. He had 18 points, six boards and a steal in his last game and should officially be on your fantasy radar going forward.
Kevin Love is hoping to play in the last 15-20 games of the season for Minnesota after missing time with a broken hand, which could put him back in action sometime between March 15 and March 24. And if that happens, the Wolves’ fantasy playoff schedule is pretty sweet to end the year, as they go 4-4-4-4-4-4-2 to finish out the season. Love wasn’t great the last time we saw him playing, but if he was dropped in your league and you think he could help your team during H2H playoffs, it’s time to pick him up.
Tony Parker is hoping to play on Wednesday after taking a break for the Spurs on Sunday. I’d be shocked if he’s not in the lineup then, while the fact the Spurs only have three games this week and no back-to-backs is good news for everyone involved.
The Nets’ Joe Johnson didn’t sound optimistic about his foot injury, saying it’s not plantar fasciitis, but that his heel is “badly bruised.” He’s iffy for Tuesday’s game, but my guess is he’ll sit out, as the Nets came out and said recently they’ll have no problem benching JJ and Deron Williams for rest between now and the playoffs. C.J. Watson’s still not a must-own player (yet), but I’d be happy to have him in my lineup tonight if Johnson is out. Williams practiced with a compression sleeve on his calf on Monday and is expected to start on Tuesday night.
Kirk Hinrich’s elbow issue is not getting better quickly, leaving him iffy for the whole week. And as long as that’s the case, Nate Robinson is a must-own fantasy player.
Al Harrington could debut on Tuesday for the Magic after missing the season with a knee injury. I doubt he’ll make a huge impact, but could steal a few of Andrew Nicholson’s minutes going forward. Jameer Nelson didn’t travel with the Magic for tonight’s game in Philadelphia, and could miss the whole week with his bruised left knee. E’Twaun Moore and Beno Udrih will pick up his minutes and production for as long as he’s out.
Bulls reserve big man Taj Gibson was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his left knee and is expected to miss two weeks with the injury. If you own Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer, this should mean good things for them going forward.