Daily Lies & Statistics: Randolph the Red-Hot Grizzly

Just spent five days with a 5-year-old and 4-year-old, so it will take a few weeks to get certain holiday-themed songs out of my head. After a while you just start making up your own lyrics, as I’ve done with Zach Randolph. If you ever saw him before this year, you’d never even say he glowed.

Zach Randolph is giving End-of-Days enthusiasts reason to prepare by actually thriving on and helping a young Grizzlies team

Until now, that is. Z-Bo’s last five: 28.2 ppg, 18.2 rpg, 58.2 FG%. Z-Bo’s December: 23.3 ppg, 14.3 rpg, 51.4 FG%. Z-Bo’s season: 20.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 50.6 FG%. He’ll go down in history for this stretch of play, as any fantasy owner who probably drafted him in the late rounds is beaming right now. Randolph went off last night vs. Washington for 23 & 19 and is as regular a double-double machine as there is in the NBA right now.

The Grizz beat the Wiz without Rudy Gay last night, as O.J. Mayo picked up the slack with a 28-7-6 and Mike Conley (22-4-5) and Marc Gasol (20-11) also were excellent. Memphis is now 14-16 this year, while Washington fell to a fetid 10-19. This was with Gilbert Arenas dropping 30 and his sidekicks Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison each contributing 24. When all three are healthy and playing well, and they still can’t win, it is time to consider some major changes. Nothing would shock me as we move toward the deadline in terms of what the Wizards will do to blow this team up. It might be time to take the dream to the vet and put it to sleep.

So I’m in a surly mood as the Celtics lost consecutive games to the Clippers and Warriors. Both without Paul Pierce, but still. Fantasy owners had to be thrilled with Rajon Rondo‘s 30-3-15 with three steals, but this was an inexcusable two-game turd. Oh, Monta Ellis can score in case you hadn’t noticed. Thirty-seven more in the scoring column for Monta last night, which was 37 more than my last-minute start in the Damn Lies league, Stephen Curry, and 37 more than Andris Biedrins, who I also have but didn’t start. Biedrins had missed the last 24 games with what can only be described as “me owning him”. I’m legendary for the kryptonite affect I have on nearly every player I ever draft.

Charlotte topped Milwaukee last night, 94-84, in a game that saw Scott Skiles bench several of his starters for the entire second half. The announced attendance for this barnburner was 15,473 Charlottans (like that?), but I suspect they were counting both people in seats and individual popcorn kernels at the concession stands to arrive at that number.

If I’m looking for a drug that will make me dance around like a maniac and have unbelievable sex with my girlfriend, I’m going to try some Yi. Jianlian that is. With 29 points and seven boards last night against the Thunder, he is now averaging 22.7 and 7.0 in the three games since he’s returned from injury. He’s the classic “As Soon As You Insert Him Into Your Lineup He’ll Finish With 5 and 3” guy, but this is rather intriguing news for his fantasy owners. The Nets, at 2-29, have nothing to lose except games on the road to the John Wall sweepstakes, so I think Yi will perform pretty well even when the law firm of Chris Douglas-Roberts returns to action.

The Suns handled the Lakers last night, 118-103, and there are some chinks in L.A.’s armor after that Christmas Day game (The Foam Finger Massacre – let’s see if that catches on). Kobe Bryant is playing hurt, admirably he’ll have you believe, and you could probably chop off his arms and he’d still more than double anyone else’s shots on his team. The Suns got 26 points from a player whose nickname is “Stat”, Amar’e Stoudemire. It would be nice if “Stat” notched a block once in a while. Phoenix does have one of the league’s most surprising success stories in Jared Dudley, who poured in 19 points in 28 minutes last night and is shooting 50.9 percent from three-point range for the year. Dudley has definite deep league value right now.

Philadelphia had a nice win at Portland until you realize the Blazers were trotting out Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph at center. Portland’s gotta make a deal here soon, so keep your antennae up. It might be worth hanging on to a Jerryd Bayless in case the Blazers move Andre Miller or Steve Blake in efforts to grab a big man.

Carmelo Anthony went down shooting at Sacramento, taking 35 shots to score 34 points in a 106-101 loss to a Tyreke Evans-less Kings squad. Ty Lawson owners should expect Chauncey Billups back any day now to try to stem a three-game skid. The Kings, meanwhile, are doing a very good Rockets imitation by comparatively thriving without Kevin Martin. It is always fascinating to see teams do much better without their supposed “best player”. Tracy McGrady is learning, much to his surprise, that he’s not needed or wanted any more. Will the same happen to Martin? The Kings say they want to roll out a Martin-Evans backcourt, but Beno Udrih is playing so well with Martin gone, and Evans has done much more damage as a two-guard, that things could really get messed up. In Martin, the Kings have a great chip to use go after another big man (but please, guys, not Emeka Okafor or Sam Dalembert and their albatross contracts) and turn themselves into a pesky potential playoff team. C’mon Maloofs, make a deal!

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