With double the administrative workload at the NBC office yesterday, we’re going to leave today’s Dose to just recaps and big news.
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THUNDER ROLL OVER THE LAKERS
Serge Ibaka was not suspended for last night’s game, which was an all-around joke, but fantasy owners wouldn’t complain as he moved toward his normal 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting with six rebounds, two blocks and a three. Russell Westbrook AKA ‘The Glare’ scored 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals, and Kevin Durant had 26 points, nine boards, five assists, three steals and three blocks.
LAST MEN STANDING
Metta World Peace (16 points, three treys) turned his ankle late in last night’s game, so Earl Clark (13 points, 11 boards, one block, one three, 30 minutes) and Antawn Jamison (eight points, eight boards, one three, 22 minutes) get even more standing in their current roles as the last men standing in L.A. Kobe Bryant left briefly due to his right arm pain, but returned to the game to finish with 30 points on 8-of-19 shooting (3-of-7 3PTs, 11-of-12 FTs) with three rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes. As usual, count Bryant out going forward at your own risk. Steve Nash scored 20 points with four rebounds and four assists and with the upcoming four-game week he looks like a solid bet for a little bit, but then a two-game week kicks in following that and is a thorn in Lakers owners’ sides.
Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points on 6-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 3PTs, 8-of-9 FTs) with three rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block, while Marcus Thornton hit 12-of-21 shots for 32 points with five treys, four boards and two assists in 35 minutes off the bench. This production was always available to Keith Smart, who chose to disrupt team chemistry to give Aaron Brooks countless minutes. Brooks passed through waivers without a single claim early this week. Thornton should be owned in all formats even if Keith Smart could decide that Thornton doesn’t play well after 32-point outings on Tuesdays in March and bench him.
DeMarcus Cousins was awful last night but salvaged a 1-of-12 shooting line with eight points, 13 rebounds, three assists and a career-high five blocks. Tyreke Evans scored seven points on 2-of-5 shooting (including a three) with one rebound and two assists, and while I’d stick with him in general he could get into the pouting stage of the season where he’s mad he’s not dominating the ball. John Salmons scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting (including three treys) with four rebounds, two assists and a block, and he’d be the first guy I’d sit in order to get Jimmer Fredette extended minutes but what do I know I’m just friends with a doctor. When Salmons comes back to earth shooting the ball I’d think well after everybody has figured it out the Kings might decide it’s time to let the kids play.
TAKING CANDY FROM BABIES
The Nuggets have owned the Kings this season and last night’s win was easy to see coming, and so were the big lines in the box score. That’s because the Nuggets like to get out and run and the Kings don’t like to run back, and if they do run back the idea of transition break defense often gets confused for breakdance fighting, or just fighting in general (refs, fans, you name it). Ty Lawson scored 24 points with seven assists and a full line, Kosta Koufos did what big men do to the Kings with 15 and eight with a block, Danilo Gallinari bounced back from a chilly pair of outings to score 23 points with five treys, four rebounds and four assists, and Kenneth Faried went for 19 and 12 with a steal and a block.
With the starters humming, Wilson Chandler (four points, 1-of-7 shooting, four rebounds, three steals, 21 minutes) and Corey Brewer (five points, two steals, 21 minutes) never got going, which is why we’ve pegged them as deep league assets only.
It was same story, different night with the Sixers losing to the Celtics at home in a snoozer game. Jrue Holiday was his normal solid self with 18 points, five boards, 10 assists and four steals, and Evan Turner hit just 6-of-19 shots but managed 18 points to go with nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Thaddeus Young scored 19 points on 9-of-20 shooting with 10 boards, two steals and one block, and Dorell Wright stayed on the radar with 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting, seven boards, two steals and two threes in 23 minutes. Wright could be worth a short-term look while Nick Young (ankle) appears to be out for the next week, but there’s a lot not to like here. Royal Ivey saw 37 minutes and scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting with two rebounds, three assists, two threes, and three steals, and I’d rank him slightly behind Wright if you’re looking at short-term pickups, hopefully in deeper formats.
The Celtics were more than happy to pick up the tab on the aforementioned snooze-fest, taking a road win over the Sixers that at least had a few fantasy surprises. The biggest of which was the outburst from Avery Bradley, who hit 10-of-15 shots (including two threes) for a season-high 22 points with seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 34 minutes.
Between he and Courtney Lee (five points, 2-of-7 FGs, four rebounds, four assists, three treys, 29 minutes) I like Bradley because at least he presents some unknown upside, whereas Lee is mostly a known commodity at this point. I’d say Bradley is worth an add in standard leagues after this performance, but I’m couching my enthusiasm until he can do it again against a team not circling the drain. Lee left the game with an eye injury but it was hard to tell if he was benched for that or just because of the game flow, but any time off would obviously help Bradley and the Celtics’ favorable schedule helps everybody.
Jordan Crawford scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting (including two threes) with four rebounds, three assists and one steal, but putting up numbers has never been his problem – getting playing time is the issue right now. He played just 16 minutes last night and that number needs to rise before owners should make any moves toward the waiver wire.
NEWS AND NOTES
Byron Scott said he was “not impressed” with Marreese Speights’ 23-point outburst, which at least gives me some comfort as I pitched him to the wire in a big money format a week or so ago and had to watch a potential breakout. Tyler Zeller will play and Dion Waiters is still questionable as the two battle back from illness. Bradley Beal (ankle) is doubtful for tonight’s game, so give the Wizards wings Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster added consideration.
Gary Neal (Achilles, foot) is probable tonight, adding to the flavor of the Spurs’ four-man point guard rotation. Carmelo Anthony (knee) is day-to-day and an MRI revealed no structural damage. Some rest here could do him good. Goran Dragic (back) will play tonight, which was aided by the fact the Suns have not played since Friday. Danny Granger (knee) is questionable for tonight and really is questionable for this year as he suffered a setback. Owners will want to watch this closely.
Zach Randolph (ankle) is still limping badly and looks real iffy for tonight, and with Darrell Arthur (neck and his back) out the window is open for Ed Davis to have a nice night. Kirk Hinrich is having trouble putting pressure on his foot and Nate Robinson was a must-add player as of yesterday. Carlos Boozer (personal) should play tonight.
Andrei Kirilenko (quad) and Nikola Pekovic (ab strain) will not play in any of the Wolves’ next three games, keeping the door open for Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham, and Greg Stiemsma in their respective roles. Mo Williams (thumb) practiced on Tuesday but will not play on Wednesday, and it’s probably time to stash him. Al Jefferson (ankle) is doubtful to play tonight and competing ideals are going to be tested – Jefferson’s desire to get back on the floor and the Jazz’s desire to let the kids play.
Jermaine O’Neal looks like he’ll miss all of this week due to his daughter’s heart surgery, and our thoughts will be with him hoping she has a swift recovery. Andrew Bynum (knee) is staring down a lost season, which is why he’s not on any Rotoworld rosters this year.