It played out in my mind like a WWE storyline. The brothers were once tag team partners, only to separate and clash again as mortal enemies. The epic battle would feature, blood, guts, and… well, it all falls apart when you realize their names are “Brook” and “Robin”. Just looking at the Suns-Nets boxscore from last night, it was more like G.L.O.W. (minus the G), as the game not only featured Brook and Robin Lopez, but a Net named Courtney and a Sun named Channing.
Still, there was something palpable in the air as the behemoth Lopez brothers squared off in the first time that Robin was seeing major minutes in a starting role for his team. We’ve known how good Brook is. But his brother has been tearing it up lately and is the hottest fantasy hoops add in the land right now. How did this catfight go down? I’d call it a draw, unless you think the final score matters. Then I’d call it a huge win for Robin, as the Suns cruised, 118-94. Brook did dominate for 26 points and 13 rebounds, but Robin held his own: 20 pts, 7 reb, 8-10 FG.
Yes, folks, it is time to pick up Robin Lopez, as Tom, Greg and I all attempted to do at the same time last night in the Damn Lies league. Since replacing Channing Frye in the starting lineup four games ago, he has averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 boards and 3.3 blocks while shooting 27 of 38 from the floor. This could very well be permanent, and it makes the Suns tougher and stronger. Well, I could make the Suns tougher and stronger, and I’m 6’0″ in heels. But still.
Wednesday night was a busy one with an unlucky 13 games featuring 400 players who were better than Martell Webster, who I started this week. Let’s take a look at what stood out…
Me starting Webster: My other choices? Luis Scola and Matt Barnes. Barnes was 10-16-6 with 3 steals vs. Indiana. Webster was 1-9 for two points in 20 minutes at Philadelphia.
An OT beauty in Golden State: Gotta love overtime games featuring Warriors. 123-118 win for Denver, with Chauncey Billups going bananas for a 37-8-8 and six threes. Monta Ellis one-upped him with a 39-6-10, but it is Corey Maggette who is officially tearing up fantasyland. With his 33-9-6, 12-12 FT game last night, he is now averaging a 29.2-7.8-3.8 in January while shooting 91.3 percent from the line on nearly 13 attempts per contest. He’s also shooting 58.2 percent from the floor this month. Very few guys in the league can dominate like this without doing much at all in the three-pointer, steal or block categories. Yes, I own him, and yes, he makes up for Webster. Barely. And I’m talking about his whole January barely making up for Webster’s one clunker last night. Man, I’m bitter.
Utah wins in San Antonio: Nice job by the Jazz as Carlos Boozer went off for 31, 13 and three blocks and Andrei Kirilenko dropped 26-8-2 with two steals and a block in a throwback performance. Eleven more rebounds, and two blocks to boot, for DeJuan Blair.
Delfino shines as starter: The Bucks shuffled lineups again, moving a struggling Ersan Ilyasova to the bench and going with a far-easier-to-pronounce Carlos Delfino at the ‘3’. Delfino responded with 22 points, eight boards, four assists and four threes, and should be picked up if you can afford the roster spot. He’s averaging 18.3 points in his last four with 13 threes.
Roy returns, but is ineffective: Brandon Roy owners have to be happy that Roy is back on the court (he played 18 minutes last night), but he really felt his hamstring injury and is still a candidate to take a few days off. Andre Miller continues to tear it up, either auditioning for a trade or finally endearing himself to Portland. He had 24 points and is averaging 21.0 in his last four games.
Tyrus Thomas, Tease: Yup, I started Webster over Thomas as well. Thomas snuck up on us for 18 points, six boards, three blocks and a pair of steals at the Clippers. Nobody knows when this guy is going to go off or do nothing, and it is becoming a headache. I’m waiting for at least three good games in a row before I think about trusting him. Meanwhile, Marcus Camby had 25 rebounds last night and is single-handedly winning fantasy matchups for his lucky owners right now.
Wolf in sheep’s clothing: Corey Brewer is another guy who needs to give us fantasy peeps a heads up before he decides to go off on a given night. He was sparkling in a 94-92 loss to Oklahoma City last night, scoring 25 with five boards, six asssists, five steals and a couple of threes. I’d call him a must-own, but I’m sure he’ll revert to six points in his next outing.
He has a ceiling, but it’s a fresco: Gerald Wallace continues to paint masterpieces in every boxscore, and last night’s beauty was a 20-10-2 with five blocks, two steals, two threes and 8-8 FT. And this was in a major blowout over Miami. By the way, Charlotte is 21-19.
Quick hits: Kevin Martin may have aggravated his wrist vs. Atlanta, but he did play 38 minutes and had 23 points. Keep an eye on this situation (did I really just use the word ‘situation’ without initially referencing Jersey Shore?)… Mike Conley and Jamaal Tinsley split point guard duties last night, and Tinsley played well, but don’t worry. Conley was just in foul trouble… I refuse to discuss the Celtics right now, even their fantasy lines. Rodney Stuckey lit ’em up for a 27-11-6 last night.
Tonight: Lakers at Cleveland, featuring the two most annoying humans on the planet, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, thanks to those Nike ads. These teams last met on Christmas Day in L.A., a Cavs win that featured foam hands being hurled onto the court in the least-dangerous riot ever. Also, the Clippers go to Denver at night after playing at home, and Denver is back home a night after playing an overtime game at Golden State. Who puts these schedules together? The players will probably be sleeping through this one, and so will I.
Till next time, bros.