Day 105: Where the Spurs Could Win with Justin Bieber as their PG
Line of the Night: It was a long nine games to wait while Chris Paul sat with a bruised kneecap, but Paul is now back in a big way, scoring 21 points on 9-11 from the field, with 11 assists and 5 steals (2.75 WARP) in a win over the Sixers. Even more amazing, this all came in less than 25 minutes on the court. The Clippers are the only team in the league to have 3 games this week, so Paul owners look to be in good position to completely dominate this short week before the All-Star break.
Honorable Mentions: Bradley Beal scored a career high 28 points, adding 4 threes, 2 steals and 2 blocks (2.50 WARP) while playing 36 minutes against the Bucks. I’m surprised that Beal got so many minutes after he’s been averaging 25 a game before getting hurt, but Jordan Crawford has been reduced to getting DNPs, so the Wizards’ SG position looks like Beal’s to lose. As long as he can keep his FG% north or 40%, he’s another player in position to have a strong post All-Star run.
And also for the Wizards, Nene Hilario had one of his best games of the season with 21 points, going 10-13 from the field, and adding 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals (2.07 WARP). That Ersan Ilyasova… not the world’s greatest interior defender.
The Bucks were led by Monta Ellis – who bounced back from a horrible performance on Saturday with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals (1.95 WARP) last night. Brandon Jennings, however… yikes. More on him later.
Dirk Nowitzki had his best game of the season BY FAR, scoring 24 points, with 3 threes, 7 rebounds and 2 steals (2.28 WARP) against the Hawks. Congratulations if you’ve been holding on to Dirk all this time, he is slowly, but surely starting to flash some of that old Dirk magic.
The Hawks got two great performances in this game – Al Horford scored 21 points, going 10-14 from the field, with 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks (2.08 WARP). And Josh Smith scored 26 points, adding 4 threes, 13 boards and 6 assists, although he did also turn the ball over 5 times (1.80 WARP). Who wouldn’t want a guy like Josh Smith on their team! Well, other than the Hawks, as Smith is still one of the more likely players to be moved before the deadline.
If before the season, I told you that you had to pick from Anthony Davis or Ryan Anderson, many people would have went with Davis. And while Davis played 17 minutes last night and shot 0-7 from the floor, Ryan Anderson scored 31 points off the bench, adding 5 threes and 2 blocks (2.27 WARP) in 31 minutes. Anderson is ranked #19 on the season on our rater, Davis is currently ranked at #56 (and falling). And while we’re taking about the Pelicans, their other big man Robin Lopez, came through with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks (1.95 WARP). Lopez has definitely has his ups and downs this year, but this is his 8th straight double-digit scoring game, so ride RoLo while he’s hot.
Injury of the Night: Leandro Barbosa is expected to miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee last night. Barbosa was only averaging 12 minutes a game this season, but those are 12 minutes that now go to Avery Bradley, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. Maybe this injury will finally be the thing that gets Jason Terry back on track.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: The fantasy basketball masses aren’t the fastest group of people, so excuse us for harping on Nick Young (33% owned) some more despite the fact that news broke that Jason Richardson is going to miss the rest of the season after deciding to get surgery on his ailing knee. Yes, Young is coming off two pretty bad games where he didn’t shoot all that well, but last night he broke out for 29 points, adding 4 threes, 5 assists and 3 steals (2.19 WARP) against the Clippers. Barring a complete breakdown, Young will start for the Sixers the rest of the year and is worth a look if you need a SG type.
Pick Up Lines: Al-Farouq Aminu (18% owned) had his second good game in about a month, scoring 12 points and adding 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks (1.86 WARP) against the Pistons. This might be the start of another run for Aminu, but considering juts how bad he’s been leading up to this game, excuse me for not running out to grab him just yet.
Reggie Evans (7% owned) was just eating glass last night for the Nets, grabbing 22 rebounds in their overtime game against the Pacers. He also scored 8 points and blocked two shots (1.17 WARP). Amazingly, the 22 rebounds isn’t even a season high for Evans (he had 23 against the Sixers in January). Ultimately, Evans is the definition of a one-category wonder. If the only thing you’re looking for is rebounds, he’s your man, but he typically does nothing else on the court and isn’t worth using in all but the deepest leagues.
The Spurs sat Duncan, Ginobili and Parker last night and still beat the Bulls 103-89. How? On the back of Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Boris Diaw (5% owned) of all people, who started at PF and scored 10 points with 3 steals (1.16 WARP) in 36 minutes on the court. Not exactly the craziest stat line for all those minutes, but Diaw becomes a deep league option as the Spurs continue to sit Duncan.
Jeff Green (21% owned) scored 18 points, going 5-8 from the field and 7-7 from the line (1.11 WARP) in 24 minutes off the bench for the Celtics against the Bobcats. Green was one of our second half breakout players in our podcast this week, and you’ll want to try to find a way to pick him up with you’ve got the room on your team.
Biggest Loser: Brandon Jennings shot (although I originally wrote down the word “shit” by accident) 3-17 from the field against the Wizards, with 1 rebound and 7 assists (-0.61 WARP). I’ve said it before, but games like this are what separates Jennings from the next tier of PGs, he’s going to have to develop some consistency before he’s considered an elite fantasy PG.
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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