Line of the Night: Kevin Durant (3.33 WARP) currently sits at the top of our player rater by a huge margin, averaging 1.44 wins/week this year in 9-cat leagues compared to the second best player, LeBron James, at 1.10 wins. And I can see why. Last night was at least the third line of the night performance from Durant so far this season as he led the Thunder to an overtime win over the Sixers with 37 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks in nearly 50 minutes on the court! With Harden gone this season, Durant has actually become a bit more of a playmaker in addition to all the scoring – he’s averaging 4.5 assists per game – up from 3.5 lasts season.
Honorable Mentions: The Thunder miss Harden, but they still pack as good of a one-two punch as anyone in the league with Durant and Russell Westbrook (2.23), who scored 30 points, adding 5 rebounds and 9 assists in the overtime win. After a slow start to the season, Westbrook is coming around, averaging over 27 points, 8 assists and 2 steals per game over the Thunder’s last 4 games.
For the Sixers, Thaddeus Young (1.95) used the overtime have his best game of the season by far, scoring a season-high 29 points and grabbing a career high 15 rebounds. Evan Turner (1.32) actually looked confident on the court as he dropped 26 points in the game.
What’s better than an overtime game? How about a double-OT game, which is how Charlotte beat Washington 108-106. Byron Mullens (2.36) was the performer of the night in this game, playing nearly 46 minutes and finishing with 27 points and 8 rebounds while hitting 5-11 from three. Mullens appears to be fashioning himself as the next Ryan Anderson, the problem is that he’s only shooting 29.7% from three so far this season, so there has been a lot of 0-fers in between his three point barrages. Still, that’s like complaining the 20 dollar bill you found on the ground is a bit frayed around the edges. We’ll all happily take it.
Chris Paul (2.04) finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals as the Clippers lost to the Hawks.
Here is one reason why the Aaron Brooks starting experiment is going to continue for the Kings (and why you should drop Isaiah Thomas if you still own him). Tyreke Evans (1.66) had his best game of the season with 27 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. No one on the Kings is ready to say it’s a cause and effect relationship, but Brooks is being aggressive, Evans is being more aggressive, and the Kings are at least showing some signs of life.
Metta World Peace (1.63) continues to play like he’s in the movie Speed 3, and some crazy killer will blow up his family if he goes below 55 mph on the court. Against the Mavs, Peace had 19 points, 5 threes and 6 rebounds in 31 minutes, and he now sits at #44 on our player rater for the season.
And finally, a huge 22 and 19 from Carlos Boozer (1.51) against the ragtag collection of players that the Bucks use as big men. More on that below.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Martell Webster (1.76) – who is currently coming off the Wizards’ bench in case you don’t follow Martell Webster’s career very closely – used the Wizards’ double-OT game to play a season high 35 minutes, scoring a season high 21 points with 3 threes. It wasn’t enough to prevent the Wizards from falling to 0-11 on the season. And despite the good game from Webster, “season high” and “double-OT” are usually good indications that Webster will not have a repeat game like this anytime soon.
Pick Up Lines: There might still be time to jump on the Antawn Jamison (1.74) bandwagon after his second straight strong performance. This one came as the Lakers just destroyed the Mavs, and Jamison finished with a season-high 19 points (on 7-11 shooting from the field) and season-high 15 rebounds. He’s only owned in about one-quarter of leagues at the moment, but Jamison has gone from an afterthought in the Lakers’ offense to a main beneficiary in the D’Antoni offense for his ability to stretch the floor better than Pau Gasol can. Yes, this one came in a blowout and it remains to be seen if Jamison can maintain long-term value, but in D’Antoni we trust. At least in fantasy.
Samuel Dalembert was a surprise DNP for the Bucks (because it wouldn’t be the Bucks if Scott Skiles didn’t play mind games with his players). Joel Przybilla got the start instead (and did nothing), but it was Larry Sanders (1.43) who benefited with some extra playing time to finish with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks. While Sanders has been the best of an inconsistent bunch of players, betting on anyone in the Bucks’ frontcourt is sort of like going shopping at Walmart on Black Friday. The deals are enticing, but you might end up shot arguing over a parking space.
For the reasons mentioned above, I’d be surprised if Aaron Brooks (1.38) is not the Kings starter the rest of the season. He’s not a traditional PG by any stretch of the imagination, but as last night’s 13 points, 3 threes and 4 steals shows, he can contribute very well in certain categories. He should make a nice add if you are punting assists.
Mo Williams is day-today with a sprained foot, which means we’ve been getting to see a lot of Jamaal Tinsley (1.06) lately. Against the Kings, Tinsley finished with 14 points, 4 threes, and 7 assists in 31 minutes. His scoring in this game was a fluky thing and Tinsley is pretty much only going to get you assists, but if you’re desperate in that category, over the short term Tinsley is your man while Williams is out.
Zaza Pachulia (0.91) got the start at center for the Hawks and came up big with 19 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes against the Clippers. The promotion could be a temporary move and it came after a couple games in which Pachulia played less than 20 minutes off the bench, but it’s something to at least keep an eye on as Pachulia has shown he can at least be a competent center for leagues that require two starting C spots.
Injury Report! Brandon Jennings turned his left ankle in fourth quarter of last night’s game and had to be helped off the court. He’s already said he intends to play on Monday, but it’s the type of injury that could at least keep him out a few games. Beno Udrih would be the guy if Jennings can’t go, and is worth a look to all you streamers out there.
Biggest Loser: The Mavs got destroyed by the Lakers 115-89 and no one was worse in the game than Darren Collison (-1.12), who shot 1-10 from the field to finish with 2 points, 4 assists and 4 turnovers in 24 minutes. Collison has been pretty much what we expected from him so far this year, and should be back to mediocre PG by the Mavs next game.
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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