LeBron James, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Ty Lawson, Ersan Ilyasova and Andre Drummond all had massive lines on Monday night, Derrick Favors went MIA, and the Lakers and Bucks both won on the same night for only the second time all season.
I’ll be at the Stephen Malkmus show in Atlanta tonight and you can follow me on Twitter if you like hokey pictures, etc.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $80,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
LeBron Blisters Bobcats For 61, But He’s Not The First
LeBron James simply went off in his clear mask last night. He hit eight 3-pointers, once of which was like something you’d see at a Harlem Globetrotters game. He couldn’t miss and was playing with the most confidence I’ve ever seen from him. He finished with a career-high and Heat franchise-record 61 points as the Heat crushed the Bobcats. The funny thing is, LeBron’s big night isn’t even the worst one the Cats have given up this season, as Carmelo Anthony torched them for 62 back on Jan. 24. I was about ready to get excited for Kevin Durant’s next matchup against Charlotte, but quickly realized that he has also scored 61 against the Bobcats this season - but it took him two games to do it. They also gave up 43 to Stephen Curry this season. The MVP race got a little tighter last night, especially considering Durant hit just 8-of-24 shots on Sunday…against the Bobcats.
Part of the reason LeBron felt free to shoot it whenever he wanted is that his good buddy, Dwyane Wade, was on the bench, resting in street clothes. I had a tough decision to make in a weekly playoff league regarding Wade. I decided to roll the dice and gamble that he’ll play tonight, and in the other two Heat games this week. As I wrote yesterday, even though all signs were pointing to a big week from Wade, he was bound to disappoint his owners. I’ve got him in the lineup and am just praying he makes it through the next three games in one piece, but I sort of wish I had just plopped him on my bench and rolled with a red-hot Will Bynum instead.
For Charlotte, Al Jefferson’s huge line of 38 points and 19 rebounds on 18-of-24 shooting was completely overshadowed by ‘The Mask.’ Jefferson’s had a monster season since recovering from a sprained ankle and is returning mid-second round value, according to Basketballmonster.com. Kemba Walker’s slump continued against Mario Chalmers, who was awful, hitting 1-of-7 shots for the Heat. Walker has hit exactly three shots in four of his last five games and is averaging 13.6 points on 31 percent shooting over that stretch. Hopefully he’s getting it out of his system just before the playoffs start.
Grizzlies Beat Wizards
I’m still not sure how it happened but Tayshaun Prince managed to get loose for 21 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers on 8-of-11 shooting as the Grizzlies beat the Wizards. Ignore him. Marc Gasol had 10 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocks for one of his most exciting lines of the season, but something still just doesn’t feel right about his game. It’s been a disappointing season and the knee injury is likely to blame.
Trevor Booker had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Wiz, and should be fantasy-relevant the rest of the way with Nene’s season likely over. All five Wizards starters were in double figures, with John Wall leading the way with another big stat line.
Nets Stun Bulls
Shaun Livingston had 14 points and five steals to keep his fantasy value alive, while Marcus Thornton crawled back into his hole, hitting 1-of-7 shots for three points in 20 minutes. Feel free to stash him, but don’t start him until he proves he can play well on more than one night a month. Joe Johnson finally came to play and hit 7-of-11 shots and three 3-pointers for 19 points, but still didn’t do as much as his owners need him to. Despite the absence of Kevin Garnett (back) again, Andray Blatche came off the bench and had 11 points, five boards and a steal. He’d be in so much better shape if Jason Kidd would just start him already.
The Bulls were led by reserve D.J. Augustin who hit 4-of-9 shots for 16 points and four assists, which pretty much tells the story. Joakim Noah cooled off in a big way with 10 points, six boards and just one assist, which should mean he’ll be ready to explode again in the next one, and Carlos Boozer had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the ugly loss.
Detroit Downs Knicks
I know you’re not going to believe this, but the Knicks lost again, this time in Detroit. Amare Stoudemire was a good daily play for me with 22 points and six boards on 9-of-11 shooting, but you have to watch for news on him carefully before using him, as he sits as often as he plays. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the losers with 28 points and with every loss it looks like he’s one step closer to leaving New York. Tim Hardaway Jr. was 0-for-6 and failed to score in 22 minutes, and simply isn’t doing much in fantasyland even when his shot is falling. I’m avoiding him and you probably should too.
The Pistons got 16 points, three assists, three steals and a 3-pointer off the bench from Will Bynum, who is hot enough to be owned in all leagues right now. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 3.0 boards, 5.8 assists and 1.0 steals over his last five games, and did last night’s damage in just 18 minutes. The player of the game was Andre Drummond, who racked up 17 points, a career-high 26 rebounds, two steals and three blocks on 6-of-9 shooting, destroying Tyson Chandler (18 rebounds) along the way. If you had Drummond, Kevin Love and LeBron in a daily money league, you probably won.