It was a busy night with 24 teams in action so I’m just going to cover the major fantasy stories. For the entire story of Wednesday night, be sure to browse through the player news today. Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link. Follow Steve Alexander on Twitter by clicking here.
Chicago beats Orlando in triple-OT – Joakim Noah threw down 26 points, 19 boards, six assists, two steals and two blocks in the triple overtime thriller, having his way with Glen Davis and anyone else who got in his way last night. Jimmy Butler played 60 minutes and scored 21, Tony Snell came out of his shell with 15 points and a full stat line, while Mike Dunleavy and D.J. Augustin both played well. Carlos Boozer powered through a bout with the flu for 23 points, but had just one rebound, while Taj Gibson was quiet despite getting 43 minutes for the Bulls.
The Magic were once again without Nikola Vucevic (concussion) and Arron Afflalo (foot), which helped clear the way for Victor Oladipo to go nuts with a career-high 35 to go along with four boards, eight assists, a block, three steals and a 3-pointer. It wasn’t that long ago I was fielding questions about dropping him, which feels like a bad dream at this point. Tobias Harris made use of the extra clock with 22 point and 16 rebounds, while Jameer Nelson had another big night with 31 points, six boards, 10 assists and three 3-pointers. He cramped up near the end of the game, but should be fine.
Charlotte loses at Philadelphia – Kemba Walker was great again with 26 points, five boards, eight assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers in the loss, and Al Jefferson added 24 points, eight boards and a block. Things were relatively quiet for the Bobcats, except for the fact Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played just 17 minutes and scored one point. I don’t see many reasons to own him in standard leagues.
The Sixers saw big lines from Michael Carter-Williams, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, and it was nice to see Turner return to form with his first 20-point game in over a week. Hawes has hit double digits in scoring in three straight now, while MCW is finally starting to look like pre-knee infection MCW. Thaddeus Young has really cooled off and had 11 points and five boards last night, meaning the sell-high window has officially closed, while James Anderson started, but scored just six points. He should bounce back soon. Nerlens Noel has been cleared for b-ball activity, but there's still no guarantee he plays this season. I'm ignoring him.
Miami drops third straight at Washington – The Heat got 25 points and a full line from LeBron James, but he hit just 8-of-18 shots, which isn’t great for Bron’s high standards. Chris Bosh delivered with 26 points and seven rebounds, while Mario Chalmers (Achilles) sat out again, pushing Norris Cole into another start. Cole had 15 points, seven dimes and three steals, but the Heat lost again. That makes three straight L’s to the Knicks, the Nets and the Wizards, which isn’t exactly murderer’s row in the NBA. And while it doesn’t mean much in fantasy, from an NBA and human perspective, it was great to see Greg Oden back on the court last night, even if he had just six points and two rebounds in eight minutes. This was his first game since December of 2009 and word on the street is that he’s going to have to be able to do more than this, or he may be replaced by Andrew Bynum sooner than later.
The Wizards got nice games out of Nene (he’s red-hot), Bradley Beal (he needs more than 29 minutes) and John Wall (who played very well), and also got a fluke double-double from Trevor Booker, who hit all five of his shots and played 29 minutes. He’d been rendered useless by Nene’s return to form, so I wouldn’t get too excited about Booker’s 13 points and 11 boards last night.
Toronto beaten at Boston – The Raptors got the standard goods from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, while Jonas Valanciunas had an off night. Patrick Patterson crashed back to earth with two points and four boards on 1-of-3 shooting, which could signal the end of his hot run. John Salmons quietly had 13 points and a fat stat line, and is challenging Terrence Ross for playing time and production.
Boston got a whopper from Jared Sullinger, who went nuts with 25 points, a career-high 20 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. It was impossible to see this coming a week ago when he had two points and three rebounds in 12 minutes, which came after a couple weeks' worth of struggles. But he’s back in the starting lineup and killing it again for the Celtics. Jeff Green struggled again, but can’t play much worse, Avery Bradley survived a right hand injury to score 20 points on 8-of-21 shooting, and Phil Pressey somehow had zero points and 10 assists in a start after the Jordan Crawford trade. Pressey’s run will be short-lived, as Rajon Rondo is expected to make his season debut on Friday. Jerryd Bayless crashed hard with one point and missed all his shots. He’ll be better than this on most nights, but this one stung owners who were looking for a monster line after Crawford was sent packing. And I was one of them.
Memphis beats Bucks – Marc Gasol is back, but in name only. He didn’t even score, marking just the second time in his career he’s gone without a point. He did play on the second night of a back-to-back, which is awful encouraging, and now looks like a good time to try to steal him from another owner. Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee, who were both very hot, were invisible last night, and both should bounce back soon. On the other hand, Ed Davis (14 points, 9 rebounds) and James Johnson (15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 6 blocks, 1 3-pointer) posted one of those lines that makes you say “wow.” Of course, given how quiet he’s been lately, it was likely wasted on a ton of fantasy benches with so many other options last night.
Oh, the Bucks. Where do I begin? Or should I even start? Larry Sanders played 37 minutes but managed just 10 points and 12 boards, which is better, but still not good enough. John Henson had eight points, 13 rebounds and a block, which is OK, but not good enough. Luke Ridnour started at shooting guard, which is not OK. Khris Middleton was limited by his sprained ankle and played just 12 minutes, which is not OK. Giannis Antetokounmpo had six points, one rebound and one assists, which is not OK. Ersan Ilyasova hit 2-of-11 shots for four points, which is not OK after teasing us with 29 points on Monday. O.J. Mayo played seven minutes and didn’t score, which is not OK. As you can see from this highly analytical paragraph, the Bucks are not OK and I can’t really advise you to start any of them on your fantasy team, with the exception of Brandon Knight, who actually played well, or should I say, was OK last night.