Line of the Night: It was only a matter of time before Kevin Durant (2.82 WARP) broke out in a big way; and that came last night against the Grizzlies, where Durant scored 34 points, adding 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a couple blocks. It came in a whopping 44 minutes, but if you’re the Thunder you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when you don’t have the league’s best sixth man to give your starters a breather. It’s also Durant’s first game over 30 points this season. He truly is a microbe y’all.
Honorable Mentions: Carlos Boozer (2.00) took advantage of an overtime game to score 28 points, adding 14 rebounds in a win over Phoenix. This is Boozer’s best game of the season by far this year, so expect a return to the more modest Booz in the Bulls next game.
Greivis Vasquez (1.85) abused Jeremy Lin on his way to 24 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists for the Hornets. While the points are an aberration for Vasquez, lost in his high assist numbers is the fact that he’s also currently averaging over 4 rebounds a game so far this year. Ryan Anderson (1.49) also chipped in 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, while Anthony Davis (0.84) had a much less impressive 8 points and 4 rebounds, but buoyed up his fantasy value with 3 blocks and 2 steals in the game.
Houston’s best fantasy game came way of James Harden (1.32), who scored 30 points, which is his first 30 point game since he exploded for that 45 point game in his second game with the Rockets.
The Clippers took down a three-legged version of the Heat, led by Chris Paul (1.84), who scored 16 points and added 10 assists, 4 steals. Blake Griffin (1.23) also had a big double-double with 20 and 14.
A big game from Andrei Kirilenko (1.49), who is one of the only Minnesota starters not currently injured. All those injuries allowed Kirilenko to run wild and do his thing with 26 points, 3 threes, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks against the Bobcats. He’ll be a very strong play until Love gets back on the court at least – or he gets injured himself. Charlotte was led by Byron Mullens’ (1.87) 12 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks. He is a must own in all leagues at this point, although the three point shooting has calmed down lately (Mullens has 3 threes in his last 4 games) after everyone finally realized, hey, Byron Mullens is a horrible three point shooter.
Rudy Gay (1.55) – with 28 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists – and Zach Randolph (1.47) – with 20 points and 11 rebounds – out duoed the Thunder duo to get the 107-97 win. It’s Gay’s second best fantasy game of the season so far (his best came on Sunday against Miami) and is an indication that, yes, Gay is starting to heat up this year after a slower start.
A huge 19 points and 18 rebounds for Greg Monroe (0.93) as Detroit completely embarrassed the Sixers 94-76. More on Philly’s notable performances in a bit.
Finally, Harrison Barnes (0.85) finally came alive for the Warriors, posting only his second positive WARP game all season with 19 points and 13 rebounds thanks to his nearly 40 minutes on the court. Expect inconsistency from Barnes all year long as the Warriors seem like they are going to throw out different lineups every game depending on their opponent. That means big minutes for Barnes one night, and half as much the next.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: We have not seen Beno Udrih (1.49) around these parts in a while. With the Bucks cruising to a win against the mess of the Pacers, Brandon Jennings got some extra rest and Udrih got some extra run to finish with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals in 27 minutes. Udrih is averaging only 19 minutes a game this season and this performance came in a blowout, so he’s not worth picking up in all but the deepest leagues.
Pick Up Lines: Samuel Dalembert’s (1.39) ownership rates have (rightfully) slid below 50% based on his start to the season, but is he starting to turn things around? Last night’s 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks represent his second pretty good game out of three (high praise, I know). He’s still averaging less than 20 minutes a game though, so I’d simply keep an eye on him rather than pick him up at this time.
Sebastian Telfair (1.34) scored 17 points (and hit 4 threes) in 25 minutes off the bench for the Suns thanks to an overtime game against the Bulls. The Suns have been running a pretty short rotation – they must be playing in a imaginary playoff series – which means that Telfair has been getting pretty good minutes for a backup PG, but come on, he’s Sebastian Telfair, he’s had two legitimately good games out of 9 so far this season.
Jordan Crawford (1.33) exploded for 21 points after being held to single digits in his previous 4 games. He also hit 3 threes and added 7 assists for the Wizards. A.J. Price left the game last night after rolling his ankle on the giant clown feet of Chris Kaman, and it was Crawford who replaced him as PG (Worst. PG. Ever?). It remains to be seen how serious Price’s injury is, but if he misses time expect Crawford to get some extra run and be worth a pickup if he’s available in your league. Jannero Pargo could also see some additional playing time, but he’s Jannero Pargo – 10 year NBA veteran and current third string PG for the Washington Wizards – and not worth picking up under any circumstances.
After a solid game against the Pistons earlier in the week, Marcus Morris (1.20) had another strong game with 13 points, 3 threes and 3 blocks in 25 minutes off the bench for the Rockets. The minutes have not been ideal for Morris, but there is opportunity for him on that Rockets team since Patrick Patterson (6 points, 5 rebounds last night) has not exactly been setting the world on fire. Morris is more a guy I’d watch at the moment, but if he starts to get a consistent 25 minutes a game either as a starter or off the bench, I’d look to add him at that point.
Kyle Korver (1.17) was not the trendy Atlanta Hawk fantasy pick going into the season (that was Lou Williams), but Korver certainly has outplayed Williams so far this year. You know exactly what your going to get from Korver – and in fact he hit a couple threes on his way to 14 points – unlike the crapshoot that Williams is going to give you at the moment. And yet, part of me still like Williams a bit more given the ceiling that he has.
Oh, Kevin Seraphin (1.12), it’s much too early in the season to be teasing fantasy owners like this. After three games in which he hit a total of 5 shots and played 15 minutes or less per game, Seraphin busted out and finished with a 16, 5, 5 in 22 minutes against Dallas. I am sure he’s going to be a hot pickup today, the problem is that 22 minutes still isn’t that great. The Wizards have been using a rotation that goes about 27 deep (and includes the ball boy I think) which has been limiting the amount of time that Seraphin has been seeing. He also went 8-10 from the floor in this game, so I’m going to call this a lucky one for Seraphin and say that he falls back to earth in the Wizards’ next game.
Injury Report: This update on John Wall has got to make you very nervous if you own him. I’m no doctor, but the injuries that require “rest” as the primary mode of healing – especially those in the knee – tend to go very badly in terms of timetables and getting back on the court when expected. Just ask Eric Gordon.
Rajon Rondo left last night’s Celtics game in the third quarter and did not return after injuring his ankle. He could miss tonight’s game with the injury, but it does not appear to be serious.
Biggest Loser: As mentioned above, the Pacers got their asses handed to them 99-85, although a 32 point 4th quarter from the Pacers made the score closer than it actually was. The biggest culprit for the Pacers in this one was George Hill (-1.01), who finished with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and shot a miserable 1-10 from the field in 30 minutes of run.
With the Andrew Bynum injury, Spencer Hawes (-0.72) has gotten every opportunity to succeed. Instead, he’s failed in every way imaginable, including last night’s 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assists on 1-5 shooting in only 15 minutes on the court. It was part of the Sixers’ “well-balanced” attack that shot a brutal 29.8% from the floor as a team against the Pistons. Jrue Holiday (0.04) shot 4-13 on the night, Jason Richardson (0.37) was 3-12 and Thaddeus Young (-0.44) was 2-11. Oh, and in completely unrelated news, you can now buy Sixers tickets for 10 cents each.
Injury watch! Dwyane Wade (-0.64) has a sprained left foot, but decided to play through it against the Clippers. That ended up being a bad decision, as Wade finished the game with 6 points (on 2-10 from the field) with 6 assists and 5 turnovers in 29 minutes. The injury is bad news either way for Wade owners – either he plays through it and gives you stat lines like this, or sits down until the injury is healed. But if this is what he’s going to do playing through the pain, we’ll take the rest please.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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