Day 89: Where Kyrie Irving Will Break You
Line of the Night: Amazingly, with a number of great performances last night, including a triple-double, it was actually Deron Williams’ 27 points on 10-15 from the field, with 5 threes, 11 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks (2.91 WARP) in a loss to the Rockets that was the best overall fantasy game of the night. Not surprisingly, this is Williams best game of the year so far, although he’s playing well enough recently that he’s ranked #11 overall over the last month of the season according to the player rater, sort of vindicating those who took a gamble on him in the first round of drafts this year.
Honorable Mentions: Kemba Walker took advantage of Ricky Rubio and the lax Minnesota defense to put up his best line of the season so far (and he’s had a few good ones), scoring 25 points, and filling up the box sore with 3 threes, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks (2.59 WARP). If you are handing out awards for breakout player of the year, I think Walker might have to be the frontrunner right now, right?
James Harden helped the Rockets to a 119-106 win over the Nets with 29 points, going 13-14 from the line, with 7 assists and a couple steals (2.55 WARP). Harden is still ranked 6th on our rater for the season, and given the injuries to Kevin Love and now Chris Paul, has he become the new de facto third pick in drafts next year? And Chandler Parsons chipped in 16 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists (1.98 WARP) as he attempts to become the best fantasy player from the 2011 draft not named Kyrie Irving.
Ty Lawson hit 11-15 shots against the Kings to finish with 26 points, 4 threes, 6 assists and 4 steals (2.47 WARP). After being kicked to the curb by many a fantasy owner after his horrible start to the season (and rightfully so), Lawson is #31 on our rater over the last two weeks of games.
Blake Griffin nearly triple-doubled for the Chris Paul-less Clippers, scoring 24 points, with 8 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 steals (2.04 WARP). Unlike, say, Matt Barnes, Griffin does not seem to be missing Chris Paul all that much as he’s posted two of his best lines of the season during the three game stretch that Paul has just missed.
We finally get to Nicolas Batum, who triple-doubled for the second time this week (show-off) with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, adding 4 threes for good measure (2.00 WARP). Why no line of the night? The fact that Batum also turned the ball over 5 times kept him off the podium. Still, I don’t think any Batum owners are crying about turnovers today.
Add George Hill to the list of guys who almost triple-doubled last night. Hill bounced back from a couple sub par games to score 22 points, with 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals (1.97 WARP) against the Jazz.
Jrue Holiday dropped 35 points on the Knicks, shooting 16-25 from the field, with 5 rebounds and 6 assists (1.91 WARP). Raymond Felton returned for the Knicks in this game and despite being thrown back into the starting lineup, looks to need a little time to get back up to speed on both sides of the ball – he was also 2-8 from the floor with 8 points and 3 assists on offense (-0.22 WARP). Felton’s return also meant that Jason Kidd (-0.80 WARP) only saw 15 minutes in the game. Although he did start, he was completely ineffective, failing to score or assist in the game. I wouldn’t necessarily drop Kidd on this one performance, but keep watch on his minutes closely now that Felton is back for the team.
Kyrie Irving (1.33 WARP). Balls.
Oh, and did you hear about Ersan Ilyasova’s big double-double? Yeah, you probably don’t want to if you were one of those owners who dropped him this year.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Luke Ridnour (49% owned) gets no respect. Despite being the 73rd ranked player for 9-cat leagues over the last two weeks of games, Ridnour’s ownership rates still hover below 50%. And while Ricky Rubio finally had that good game everyone has been waiting for since he returned from injury, it was Ridnour who really took advantage of the Bobcats’ defense to score 22 points on 9-14 from the field, adding 3 threes, 7 rebounds and 7 assists (1.89 WARP) in nearly 41 minutes on the court. Ridnour should continue to play alongside Rubio in the Wolves backcourt, and while his upside isn’t as high, he’s worth a look in a lot of leagues if you need a PG eligible player.
Pick Up Lines: With Jason Richardson missing his third straight game due to left knee synovitis and Dorell Wright picking up the DNP, Nick Young (17% owned) got the start for the Sixers and went off, scoring 20 points, with 3 threes and 4 assists (1.39 WARP) thanks to a team high 41 minutes. Richardson has recently said that his knee is less than 50%, so he could end up missing a number of games with the injury, making Young a solid pickup in the interim.
I think we’ve hashed through Amir Johnson (45% owned) enough on this blog lately. Like every non-superstar, he’s streaky and going to have ups and downs, Andrea Bargnani is also expected back in the next 1-2 weeks. In the meantime, get Johnson in your lineup for lines like the one he put up last night against the Cavs: 18 points and 12 rebounds (1.07 WARP). Disclaimer: Results not typical and may vary.
Chris Paul missed his third straight game with a bruised right kneecap, so Eric Bledsoe (26% owned) got another start and exploded for 11 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals (0.99 WARP) in 34 minutes. Bledsoe had been one of the best per minute producers in the league this season, and it’s nice to see that he’s continuing that in a starting role. We’ve all seen that knee injuries in the NBA can spiral out of control (John Wall anyone) so if you have any capacity to grab Bledsoe, you definitely want to make that move. Even if he doesn’t really fit your team, he could have tremendous trade value if Paul’s injury becomes serious.
We might have to rename this section the Carlos Delfino (30% owned) honor roll, because we seem to run into this guy every day. Delfino had another good game off the bench for the Rockets, scoring 13 points, with 3 threes, 5 rebounds and 2 steals (0.92 WARP) in only 28 minutes. It’s Delfino’s 6th positive WARP game in a row and he’s averaging 3 threes a game over the past two weeks. I still have the nagging feeling that Delfino will eventually crash and burn, but at this point we just need to give in and enjoy the Delfino experience.
Jose Barea (10% owned) came off the bench for the Wolves to score 19 points, adding 4 threes, 5 rebounds and 4 assists (0.78 WARP) in 32 minutes. The minutes are about 10 more than he’s typically been getting for the Wolves, but this is Barea’s 4th straight positive WARP game and he’s played well enough over the past week that he’s worth a look in deeper leagues.
In his second game with the Cavs, Marreese Speights came off the bench for 27 minutes and finished with a solid 17 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block (0.56 WARP). The opportunity will be there for Speights on a Cavs team without any depth at any position really and Speights has shown ability in the past to score, board and block shots, so he could be big if the minutes break right for him. Or he could also flame out like he’s done in Philly and Memphis. But if you are looking for a guy with upside right now, Speights has that in spades.
And although he’s owned in slightly more than 50% of leagues right now, it’s worth mentioning that Michael Beasley had his second good game out of three for new Suns Coach Lindsey Hunter, going 11-16 from the field to finish with 25 points and 6 boards (1.09 WARP). I don’t like the fact that Beasley’s performance is built on the back of a 70% shooting night, but there is no arguing that he’s got new life under the Suns new coach.
Biggest Loser: Yikes. Bradley Beal has gone from flying high to low, low, low. He’s not just having run of the mill bad games recently, he’s has put up three biggest loser level performances in three of his last four games. Last night against the Bulls, Beal scored 4 points (on 2-10 from the field), with 0 rebounds and 1 assists (-1.11 WARP) in 29 minutes on the court. Beal is apparently dealing with a wrist injury – which Randy Wittman doesn’t think has any effect – and has also seen his minutes reduced thanks to the return of Jordan Crawford. While Beal does have some tantalizing upside, don’t let him destroy your team waiting around for it; he can be dropped in standard leagues right now.
That run of huge double-doubles that Carlos Boozer has a few weeks ago is a distant memory at this point. Boozer struggled in a loss to the Wizards, scoring 6 points (on 3-9 from the field), with 2 rebounds and 0 assists (-1.05 WARP) in 24 minutes . It’s his third negative WARP game out of his last five, an indication that Boozer is struggling lately.
Daily rankings and stats come from the FBC 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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