Daily Lies & Statistics: Melo out, man.

Once in a while, on those special nights, you get a chance to see ‘Top 5 Melo’ do his thing. It’s not often that we put Carmelo Anthony in the discussion for the Top 5, even Top 10 (or 15, really) fantasy basketball players. On Monday, against the Rockets, if you were watching this one on League Pass you heard Clyde Drexler go as far as declare that Anthony is the best scorer in the game. If you were new to the game of basketball and this was the first NBA game you watched all season — 45 points on 18-of-35 shooting, three treys, and 10 rebounds — I’m sure you had a hard time disputing that claim. And, to be honest with you, I can’t trash Drexler’s claim. Very few guys have the inside-outside game that Anthony does. He’s

Every once in a while Little 'Melo' Anothony rises above the competition to a level of greatness.

so strong that he can work it inside against anyone, while at the same time he has such a smooth touch that his range extends well beyond the 3-point line. On the other hand, when you’re calling games and someone is dropping 45 points on your team — with ease — it’s pretty easy to make a statement like that and feel like you don’t need to bring Kobe Bryant’s name into the discussion.

Or Aaron Brooks! (j/k). It was, however, Brooks’ late jumper that gave the Rockets the go-ahead bucket. And it was the 60 combined points between Brooks and Kevin Martin that kept the Rockets in the game. The man who Greg led with yesterday, Hluis Scola, also continued his display of greatness H-ness as he once again double-doubled, dropping 23 points and 11 rebounds on the Nuggets. Tune in to the next Rockets broadcast as I’m sure Drexler will declare Scola as being the best “something” in the game. Best dude to sit down and have some alfajores with?

How about these guys? One of them has to be great!

Toney Douglas and Jrue Holiday are two rookie point guards who are giving fantasy owners something to be excited about down the stretch. Both are starting for their respective team, and on Monday they squared off. Douglas had a nice second-half surge that helped his New York Knickerbockers win their second straight game (a winning streak!) — 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, two 3-pointers, seven assists, and three steals. Holiday did his part, scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting and adding eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals. He had to help make up for Andre Iguodala’s disastrous 5-of-22 shooting night. Clyde Drexler could have done better!

The Celtics blew-out the Pistons, ending this one by halftime. They were able to give their starters some much needed rest, but in turn gave fantasy owners some unwelcome agita as none played more than 28 minutes. For the Pistons, Tayshuan Prince went down after just seven minutes of action with a back injury. You can probably say goodbye to him for a while. They were also once again without Rodney Stuckey, who is still likely a few games away from returning. Will Bynum, however, continues to do a fine job filling in for Stuckey at the point — 16 points and seven assists in 34 minutes.

Shaun Livingston started at point for the Wizards against the Jazz, and as I expected he didn’t provide much value. I was getting e-mails from readers who were asking about his status as a waiver add. I think it’s been a nice comeback for Livingston, but he’s still a ways away before he becomes a viable add in 12-team leagues.

Deron Williams played through pain in his shoulder and hip on Monday night. The good news for fantasy owners was that he double-doubled (17 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, 29 minutes), while still limiting his minutes in a blowout victory. The last thing you want is for D-Will to miss a week or two.

The Golden State Warriors held close with the Lakers all night, thanks to the second-half performance of Stephen Curry. After picking up three early fouls, Curry had to spend much of the first half on the bench, while watching Monta Ellis struggle (5-of-23 shooting on the night). Still, Curry was able to come in and play a fierce (finger snaps!) final 24 minutes, finishing the game with 29 points, five treys, nine assists, and five rebounds. Chris Hunter chipped in with a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds. He’s a deep-league option at best.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 29 points, while Andrew Bynum finished the night with 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Yet, both players managed to combine for 17 turnovers! It doesn’t get much uglier than that.

Baron Davis and his 17 assists weren’t enough for the Clippers, as Chris Kaman continued his struggles on Monday night. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a dominant performance out of Kaman. Against the Hornets he scored eight points on 3-of-15 shooting and pulled down just three rebounds in 31 mintues. I would not want to be a Kaman owner right now. He’s looked like he checked out for the season. If that’s the case, DeAndre Jordan (11 points, 11 rebounds) looks like he could be a nice late option.

Morris Peterson drilled five 3-pointers against the Clippers. It’s too bad for him that Marcus Thornton continues to play so well. I don’t think we’ll see many more value games from Peterson the rest of the way.

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