It felt like I had a dream. Twelve games, throughout the day. My head is spinning. Thank you, MLK, for what you have created. Us hoops junkies are in your debt.
Let’s dissect, one by one:
Knicks 99, Pistons 91: Not the most exciting game to kick off the day, but some fantasy riches nonetheless. Nate Robinson led all scorers with 27, hitting five threes and 11 of 18 shots. He is way too inconsistent for my liking, but is one of those guys fantasy owners needing to take chances might want to gamble on. David Lee cooled off with just 11 points but still added 15 boards and five assists. Chris Duhon has been held scoreless in two straight games and has just 10 points in his last five. He was viable there for a while but has taken a quick turn for the worse. On the Detroit side, Austin Daye got a start and made us take notice with 16 points and six boards in 32 minutes. Hmm. Ditto for Jason Maxiell, long a fave ’round these parts. Maxiell came off the bench behind Chris Wilcox but had 13 and 6 in 29 minutes to Wilcox’s 0 and 1 in eight. In the end, I don’t have much to say about this mish-mash, other than proceed very carefully and try not to count on too many Pistons for a while.
Wizards 97, Trail Blazers 92: Antawn Jamison (28 pts) and Caron Butler (18-9-4) owners have to be thrilled that Washington is Arenasless. Anyone who picked up Randy Foye is as well. Foye is averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 assists since taking over at point guard for Agent Zero Years Pending a Plea. There was also a sighting of the rare bird Mike Miller, who appears in box scores when you least expect it. He finished with 13-4-4 in 24 minutes and should be monitored from a distance. The Blazers played without Brandon Roy, who has a hamstring injury that is making his owners hyperventilate. Andre Miller picked up the slack with 22 points, and it looks like him, LaMarcus Aldridge (22-15) and Martell Webster (18 pts) acting as the glue and spit keeping this thing together.
Thunder 94, Hawks 91: Heck of a win for the Thunder, who are officially a pesky matchup for any team in the league. This Kevin Durant person is obviously very good, but contributions from Nenad Krstic (16-7) and Serge Ibaka (6-10) keyed the Thunder in this defensive battle. The Hawks shot just 40 percent, including a combined 14-37 from Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Josh Smith was a beast with 18 points, 12 boards, seven assists, three blocks and 6-6 FT shooting. Golly.
Bobcats 105, Kings 103: Gerald Wallace‘s dream season continues. He had 28 points and produces unique box scores regularly. Yesterday his boards were down (just 5) but he had two blocks and connected on 13 of 15 free throws. Ray Felton awoke from a slumber with a 17-9-10 as Charlotte held off a genuinely spunky Sacramento squad. The Bobcats had no answer for Tyreke Evans (13-20, 34 points, 7 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk) and so far Evans is even better with Kevin Martin back in the lineup. If Martin is okay with not scoring 30 every night himself (he had just 9 on Monday), this experiment might work. I still think Sacramento will trade Martin. The Kings have a mess of a rotation for fantasy purposes. Jon Brockman had 14 boards off the bench but no points. Donte Greene is a fly in the ointment of Omri Casspi and Beno Udrih owners. He had 12 and 8 in 33 minutes. Francisco Garcia is also going to return. Evans might be the only safe play here the rest of the way.
Rockets 101, Bucks 98 (OT): The Rockets got away with one here, eking out a win despite Aaron Brooks building a new schoolhouse on 5-for-21 shooting. Playing against Brandon Jennings (9-24), you can get away with that, but both guys flipped the bird to point guard purists on Monday. Luis Scola is a throwback player who will warm the hearts of anyone who appreciates an efficient below-the-rim game. Scola had 27 and 15, and no I didn’t start him in the Damn Lies weekly league, just drop it. Andrew Bogut went all Andrew Bogut on us with a 16 & 17 with six blocks, and for the time being Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (44 minutes, 15-8) and Carlos Delfino (37 minutes, 11-10) are the guys to lean on in Milwaukee after Jennings, Bogut and Luke Ridnour. This could change by tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted.
Spurs 97, Hornets 90: The Spurs had lost two straight and needed this one. Tim Duncan made sure they got it with 21-15-3 and Tony Parker had his way with 25 points. DeJuan Blair continued his strong play with an 8 & 13, in, importantly, 33 minutes. We’re looking for consistency in games Duncan plays going forward. George Hill has emerged as the starting two-guard for San Antone, and should be added in all deep leagues. Underwhelming stat lines from the Hornets in this one, but Marcus Thornton contributed 16 off the bench. He’s a nice deep-league add as well.
Clippers 106, Nets 95: We’re still not over the Blake Griffin injury. Why, basketball gods, why? Chris Kaman returned to the lineup and had a 22-7 with three blocks in 30 minutes. Marcus Camby went off for a 17-14-4-2 stl-3 blk special, and as long as these two are healthy sit back and enjoy the numbers. The Nets are officially annoying and Devin Harris is the Annoyer in Chief. He annoyed with 10 points on 4-10 shooting in 33 annoying minutes. Brook Lopez had 23 points, eight boards and four blocks, and is almost as good as his brother (stay tuned).
Timberwolves 108, 76ers 103 (OT): The Sixers had Minny on the ropes, leading by 20 late in the second, only to blow it and lose in overtime. Well done, Eddie Jordan. And this was a T-Wolves team playing without Kevin Love, who was sick. Jonny Flynn was sick in the other way, going for 29 points, nine assists, two threes, two steals and 9-10 FT. When Jordan loses his job, we’ll look to this game as the killer. Wait, Allen Iverson hasn’t made Philly better? Could that be?
Warriors 114, Bulls 97: I’m writing this paragraph like a proud mother might write about her newborn son’s first poop on Facebook. I started Corey Maggette, Stephen Curry AND Andris Biedrins this week in the Damn Lies league, and was rewarded with what critics say is the “…Feel-good box score of the year!” Maggette was his usual unbelievable self, going for 32-6-5 with 10-11 FT. Curry was brilliant with a 26-10-6, plus 5 three-pointers. Biedrins deserves a belated Golden Globe for his 9 & 19 with eight blocks. I’m still glowing. The Bulls disappointed in this one, but anyone out there still unafraid to start John Salmons was rewarded with 25 points. Kudos.
Memphis 125, Phoenix 118: Is Memphis another team nobody wants to play? I think yes. Yes they are. Zach Randolph continues to play out of his mind (27-11 vs. Suns), while Rudy Gay (31 pts, 9 reb, 3 3pt, 3 blk) and O.J. Mayo (28 pts, 5 3pt, 3 stl) are torching folks from the perimeter. Marc Gasol provides a steady center (19-7-4, 2 blk) and Mike Conley just has to not kill them from the point guard spot. Somehow, a fun and entertaining team that is causing matchup problems for tons of opponents. The Suns got just 12 points from Amare’ Stoudemire, and Alvin Gentry inserted Robin Lopez and Leandro Barbosa into the starting lineup for Channing Frye and Jason Richardson. Here comes the tinkering, followed by the griping. This isn’t good, if you ask me. Richardson is already perplexed. Regardless, Lopez is turning into a fantasy force, averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 boards and 4.0 blocks in his last three. Grab him just in case this sticks.
Mavericks 99, Celtics 90: This game made me sicker to my stomach than the awful hangover I had on Sunday. The C’s are playing with no urgency right now and miss Kevin Garnett‘s presence. Fantasy-wise, Boston’s top players had pretty good games but Rasheed Wallace (11 & 3 in 35 minutes) got exposed by a red-hot Dirk Nowitzki (37-7). Jason Kidd dished out 17 assists as the Mavs shot an unheard-of 57.4 percent in Boston.
Lakers 98, Magic 92: L.A. wins despite Kobe Bryant unleashing a 4-of-19 stinkbomb. A nice win for the Lakers, who needed 22 points from Shannon Brown off the bench and another listless Vince Carter performance (3-11, 9 points) to earn the victory. Anyone who picked up Matt Barnes and started him was rewarded with a nice line of 13-7-7 with two blocks. Barnes has been the second best Magic (Magician?) lately after Dwight Howard.
My fingers are tired, but get this. Tom Lorenzo will be back tomorrow to recap Tuesday’s TWO-GAME slate. Then, I’ll be here Thursday morning following Wednesday’s THIRTEEN-GAME schedule. When Tom skipped his turn last week, he new what he was doing. Get well soon, Greg. That’s a demand.