Celtics Wax Bucks Behind ‘Good Green’
We got a dose of good Jeff Green last night, who torched the Bucks for 29 points, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 11-of-22 shooting. I’ve given up on trying to figure out when he’s going to be hot or cold, and am just going to keep plugging him into my weekly lineups going forward. There’s nothing worse than having Green on the bench when he goes nuts. Brandon Bass was poked in the eye and didn’t return on Monday, and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Which is a shame since he was playing well. He still finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block in the win. Jerryd Bayless saw an opportunity with both Rajon Rondo (knee) and Avery Bradley (ankle) out, but hit just 2-of-10 shots for four points. Rondo should be back on Wednesday, while Bradley is likely out through the break. Phil Pressey got the start for Rondo and had 13 points, six assists, a steal and three 3-pointers in the easy win. Jared Sullinger was solid again with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Kelly Olynyk had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and could be a sneaky add if Bass is going to miss time. This is another sign that Brad Stevens has given up on Kris Humphries. Gerald Wallace got a start in place of Bradley, but scored just eight points to go along with three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Larry Sanders has a fractured orbital bone and is out indefinitely, although a one-to-six-week timetable sounds likely. I've heard of a lot of folks dropping him for Chris Kaman. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. John Henson got the start last night, but left early with a right ankle injury after landing on the foot of Zaza Pachulia, who was also in the starting lineup with Ersan Ilyasova (back) out. Pachulia had eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, and is officially worth owning with the news on Sanders and Henson. O.J. Mayo missed yet another game for the Bucks with an illness that won’t go away. Maybe it’s a case of LarryDrew-itis. With so many Bucks’ big men hurting, Miroslav Radujica could end up making some noise going forward, but he played just seven minutes last night. The Bucks were a mess again, as usual, as Gary Neal got loose for 17 points in just 19 minutes. Khris Middleton struggled with foul trouble and hit 2-of-6 shots for eight points and five rebounds, but was coming in very hot. Stick with him. Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 1-of-5 shots for four points off the bench, and as you know, I’ve given up on him for this season. Nate Wolters made another start and had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals on 2-of-9 shooting, but I just don’t trust the guy. And Luke Ridnour was out with a back injury, in case you care.
Rockets Blitz Wolves Despite Love
Patrick Beverley is quietly hot again and had 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals and four 3-pointers in the win. He’s an unreliable scorer, but is averaging 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five. Those are nice numbers and I’d recommend picking him up if he was dropped in your league. Terrence Jones bounced back from an off night and had 14 points, but somehow didn’t have a rebound. Hang in there with him while he figures out how to break out of his funk. Chandler Parsons also bounced back with 20 points and six assists, and like most of his teammates, is really struggling for consistency right now. James Harden was disappointing again, hitting just 4-of-14 shots and three 3-pointers for 19 points, five rebounds and five assists, and simply isn’t the same player we were watching a year ago. I just hope that he’s fully healthy and just in an extended funk. Dwight Howard had 18 points, 15 boards and three blocks, as all five Houston starters scored at least 14 points in the easy win.
Kevin Love was back after his scary fall over the weekend and didn’t miss a beat, going off for 31 points, 10 boards and a 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Chase Budinger started for Kevin Martin, who is out indefinitely with a broken thumb, and had 15 points, seven rebounds and a 3-pointer on 5-of-14 shooting. I used him in my daily league and he contributed to my win, so give him a look if you need a deep-league pickup. Corey Brewer was in foul trouble and had just five points in 18 minutes, but I still think both of these guys are going to have some good games coming due to Martin’s injury. Ricky Rubio was back to struggling on offense, hitting just 2-of-10 shots for seven points, but did have seven boards, nine assists, a steal, a block and a trey.
Globetrotters Destroy Washington Generals
OK, so it was really the Warriors blitzing the Sixers 123-80, but you get the idea. Andrew Bogut sat again with his shoulder injury and Jermaine O’Neal also missed this one with his sore back and old legs. Marreese Speights scored a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting, and also had eight rebounds and three blocks, which can be directly tied to the absence of the two big men. If you want to use Speights in a daily game if Bogut and JO continue to miss time, go for it, but don’t expect a similar performance from him, like, ever. David Lee returned from a shoulder injury and had 13 points and 13 boards in 31 minutes, meaning he should also be OK for his next one. Klay Thompson was disappointing with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Michael Carter-Williams had 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and a 3-pointer, but didn’t have a steal or block. Spencer Hawes was awful with six points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Thaddeus Young hit 5-of-15 shots for 12 points and just two boards, but at least had three steals. The Sixers have lost by 45 and 43 points in their last two games, which is very Washington Generals-esque. They’re just the second NBA team to lose back-to-back games by 40 points.
News and Notes
Kobe Bryant says he’s still planning on play again this season, but I’m not buying it. And if you're eternally looking for updates on Jrue Holiday, I don’t know what to tell you, except that we’re only as good as our sources and there just isn’t any information about there. If we don’t get a timetable during the All-Star break, it could be time to cut bait. And yes, Eric Bledsoe sure sounds on track to play again this season, and possibly sooner than later, but I’m still a little skeptical. Monta Ellis reported no side effects on his hamstring injury after playing (and struggling) in Sunday’s game, and sounds like a go on Tuesday night. Steve Nash still sounds on target to play on Tuesday despite his left leg pain, while Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Xavier Henry are all out through the break, at least. Trey Burke has a sore back and is a little iffy for the Jazz tonight. Anderson Varejao’s back MRI came back negative but he’s questionable for Tuesday vs. the Kings, while teammate C.J. Miles is in the same boat with a foot injury.