For people who like politics as much as I (and hopefully you) like fantasy basketball, last night was like the Finals, and seeing all those bar charts of blue and red just made me wish that we could allow 16 teams in our system to compete for that eventual Presidential Championship prize. I mean, we all know that it’s going to be the Heat and the Lakers in the Finals this year, but at least we have different teams competing; James Harden stepping up to lead the Rockets, the new-look Nets, the Bulls are-they-hanging-in-there watch, the quiet-but-always-solid Spurs (with the league’s best record right now), Lob City, and the possibility that the Timberwolves might make the playoffs if Love and Rubio are healthy. I thought I was going to go somewhere with that, but this isn’t a political blog, or even a big-time NBA blog… just a niche fantasy basketball blog, so let’s get back to that…
Injury of the Night: Kyle Lowry sprained his ankle against the Thunder. Aaron Bruski at Rotoworld says he left the arena in a walking boot, so it seems like it might not be that bad. If you were trying to sell Lowry, I’d continue to try and hope to get something done before details come out about how bad it actually is. If you’re trying to buy Lowry, now is a great time to try to steal him away from someone.
Line of the Night: I’m not going to lie, I’m still getting used to the idea of Arron Afflalo (2.34) on the Magic, but his 28 points (3 threes, 5-5 from the line), 5 rebounds, and 5 assists should help shock me to my senses.
Greg Monroe (1.87) put together the fundamentally sound sort of game we (being those of us who drafted him) like to see: 27 points (7-7 from the line), 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. I can’t say for certain why, but I feel bad for him being stuck on that Detroit team. I guess it seems like a waste of his talent.
Joakim Noah (1.45) is not wasting is talent. He carried the Bulls over Afflalo’s Magic with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 blocks. Any non-homer who drafted him is prolly hoping that Derrick Rose doesn’t come back until April. Luol Deng (1.05) are probably hoping the same thing, though they’re more likely hoping that his wrist holds up for the whole season. Deng had 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win.
Let’s be honest (since I was forthright with my thoughts on Afflalo), did anyone else used to think that Ty Lawson (1.37) and Arron Afflalo were the same person? Obviously now that they play for different teams, it blows that whole theory. Anyway, last night, Lawson put up 15 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals. Lawson’s new teammate Andre Iguodala (0.99) did what Andre Iguodala does with 17 points (3 threes), 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. It’s too bad Iguodala is so good at basketball, because without the ability to take over games or be trusted to hit game winners (or get fouled and make free throws) Iggy will never be worth the money that teams have to pay for raw talent like his.
Speaking of taking over games, it will be interesting to see what Russell Westbrook (1.19) and Kevin Durant do down the stretch of close games without James Harden. Obviously Durant will still drain game winners like Liquid Plumbr, but Harden was kind of a safety net in case Durant was in foul trouble and Westbrook was in a frustration funk. 19 points, 8 assists
Serge Ibaka (1.03) got back on the right side of the FG% Gods, going 8-9 from the field to end with 17 points and, of course, 2 blocks. I still think it’s a lot to expect from a guy to repeat a Block performance like Ibaka had last year, especially when you take him as high as a lot of people did the season. You’re kind if setting yourself up for disappointment. But, we’ll see, maybe all my Big Ball teams will lose to people with Ibaka.
And finally, the Poor Man’s Serge Ibaka: JaVale McGee (0.80) had 16 points (7-11 from the field), and 3 blocks.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Thabo Sefolosha (1.15) wasn’t really mentioned in Harden trade analyses, but I’ve contended that he’s one of the most underrated players in the league ever since he was on the Bulls. He doesn’t get a lot of opportunities on the Thunder, but he can be very efficient, and when he makes 3 three en route to 11 points while adding 5 rebounds and 2 blocks, it makes you want to take a look at his game log (5% owned.
Pick Up Lines: Anyone see this one coming? Hasheem Thabeet (0.78) with 10 points (6-6 from the line), 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. At 0% owned, I’m going to say, No, no one saw that coming.
Okay, it’s official: time to pick up E’Twaun Moore (0.70). Last night he added another 17 points (3 threes) and 5 rebounds (15% owned), and while Jameer Nelson still seems to be day-to-day with multiple minor injuries, that just sounds like the sort of thing that means he’ll be out for a couple weeks, or play only 2 of the Magic’s next 6 games…
Tayshaun Prince has been brought up a few times in the comments, but I think Jonas Jerebko (0.69) is probably the better Piston pick-up right now. Last night’s 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals was his second good-looking game in a row, and his second over 25 minutes of playing time (4% owned).
Corey Brewer (0.65) has only shot 35% in 4 game so far, but with 11 points on 3 threes), 8 rebounds and 1 steal he is worth a look in deeper leagues (3% owned). He has exactly 1 steal in all 4 games so far, and his rebounding numbers aren’t too bad. I guess the problem is if you’re looking for Rebounds at the Guard position, you don’t really want a career 41% shooter… Hmmmmmm…
Starting Center for the Magic with his second strong game: Nikola Vucevic (0.63) had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks (45% owned). There’s a reason that he’s up to 45%. That’s his second double-double and he’s over a block a game.
I’m going to throw this one out there mostly for my deep league peeps because it’s going to keep happening. Kirk Hinrich (0.57) played 26 minutes and ended with 8 points (2 threes), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals (40% owned). His 40% ownership is pretty high, maybe as high as it should be, and even though Nate Robinson is going to continue taking significant minutes from Hinrich, he can make a three or two, get some assists and a steal or two. It will happen.
Biggest Loser: I know someone has to take shots on the Magic, but maybe Big Baby should not take so much of that responsibility on himself. Clearly he has some teammates who can out the ball through the net, and last night’s 7-22 from the field (not to mention 2-5 from the line) makes a pretty good case for getting more than 1 assist to go with your 16 points and 10 rebounds. I guess if you’re in a league that counts Double Doubles, then at least Glen Davis (-0.53) offset the pain he caused in the FG% category.
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.
Do not miss a day of the Fantasy NBA. Subscribe to Give Me The Rock right now. You can also get bonus (and easily digestible) content by following GMTR on Twitter, or become a fan of GMTR on Facebook! We are so social!
If you like what you read here, come back every day for new content! And if you come back every day, please consider donating…
Want to see your ad in the GMTR RSS feed? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org