The diagnosis is negative! Rejoice! It turns out that Paul Pierce’s foot is NOT broken, just sprained. He has been updated from headache to day-to-day. Right now it seems that a return to action this weekend is likely. And boy do the Celtics need him. They have been old awful of late, losing four of their last five. Even the young guys like Kendrick Perkins are struggling. Perk hasn’t hit the double-digit scoring mark in any of his team’s last eight games. In fact, the Celtics in their last 10 are 22nd in the league in offensive efficiency and
24th in points per game. They’re also 29th in rebounds per, with the New Jersey Nets (holla!) sitting just behind them. So, day-to-day doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
There were plenty of good, bad, ugly and indifferent lines on Tuesday night. Let’s see if you can tell which are which!
Kevin Durant has kept his streak of scoring at least 25 points alive. It is now sitting at 22 games. He dropped 33 points and 11 rebounds on the Hawks. Ladies and gentlemen, your second best player in fantasy basketball.
Vince Carter (remember him?) is back from vacation. He took time off from checking his voicemail to play in a good ol’ basketball game last night. And boy did he play. After finishing the month of January with 8.7 points, 0.8 threes, and a 28.4 FG%, it was nice to see him hit 7-of-15 shots and sink two 3-pointers on his way to scoring 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Rejoice! The last time Carter played this well was on Dec. 30 against… the Bucks. Wait, he can play against the Bucks 82 games per year? No? Oh well.
Jameer Nelson (knee) and Mickael Pietrus (ankle) both sat out against said Bucks. Both were considered questionable heading into this one, with Nelson actually indicating that he’d likely play. But, neither ended up getting any PT. Still, Jason Williams continues to make it seem like anything is possible. Can you believe he’s the only “Ja(y)son Williams” who is not wearing a suit right now on a regular basis (whether it be for a job at ESPN or court dates).
You asked for Devin Harris and you got him. In a big way! After missing four straight games (15 on the season) the biggest underachiever on the biggest underachieving team (in the history of the game) posted only his second double-double of the season — 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 10-of-11 free throws, and 14 assists in 40 minutes. Peek-a-boo! There’s my boy. No more of this 37% shooting BS, okay? What you liked about this performance was the quickness he showed, the endurance, and the report he had with Brook Lopez (27 points on 11-of-16 shooting). If these two guys played this well together all season long the Nets would have at least 7, maybe 8 wins. Six of Harris’ assists were at the rim, which is a good sign for Lopez owners. Get yours, Harris, but make sure to keep Lopez in the loop.
Ben Wallace made a little history with his single block last night against the Nets. He became the first player under 6’10” to compile 2,000 blocks in his career. What a feat. In case you’re wondering, Earl Boykins has 29 career blocks (including one, if I recall, on Melo… is that right?).
Zach Randolph would like to use a free pass for his 8-point, 4-rebound performance against the Cavs. Listen, if you own Randolph you know he has about 15 more of those saved up in his back pocket. The dude has been unbelievable this season. You can chalk this one up to the fact that the Grizzlies had played four games in the last five nights and were playing in the second night of a back-to-back set in which they beat the Lakers in an emotional game and then had to take on the Cavaliers. Not easy.
Corey Maggette (hip) sat against the Rockets. This gave (gulp) Coby Karl a chance to show us what he’s capable of — 12 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal in 37 minutes. You’ll never see a line like that again out of Karl. Unless he’s playing against his dad’s team and his pops calls for the defense to play a five-dudes-follow-Monta-Ellis defensive set, leaving Karl free to roam.
Hedo Turkoglu (busted up face) didn’t play against the Pacers. He’s considering wearing a mask to protect his pretty face. I’m not sure this is true, but isn’t that how Batman got into doing what he does? (And I’m not talking about saving Gotham, I’m talking about dominatrix. Google it.)
Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh combined to score 69 points against the Pacers. Bosh had 35 and Bargnani had…. let me see…. carry the one… add two…. buckled my shoe…. 34 points! These guys need a nickname. Almost three years ago to the day, when I was writing a fantasy hoops column on NBA.com I had come up with, for no real reason, the idea to call Bosh and Bargnani the “Righteous Brothers.” Really, I have no idea why. It was just the first thing that came to mind. Nevertheless, Raptors fans KILLED me on one of their message boards. You would have thought I called them “Captain and Tennille.”
Dudes were pissed! What’s really wrong with the Righteous Brothers anyway?
Well, that’s the big news of the evening.
Wednesday night’s action is in for a treat — as are you. For it’s THE RETURN OF… LOST!! I mean… GREG FOX! Back from reconstructive shoulder surgery (in which he can now throw a baseball 100 mph, a-la Rookie of the Year.) Enjoy.