Happy New Year! In case you missed any NBA action while you were doin’ your thing ringing in the New Year, here’s some Sunday morning reading to check out with your coffee…
On the final day of 2011 the NBA featured 7 games on the schedule which feels like a slow day with this compressed schedule of an NBA season. The big news was the Pistons getting their first win, the Thunder staying undefeated, and the return of the big-man in LA. Here’s a recap of all yesterday’s fantasy hoops action in 6 lists of 5.
5 who finished the year right
1. Andrew Bynum-LAL: The big-fella came back from suspension with a flourish and those who passed him up because of it may regret it if he plays like this all year. He finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, a steal and an assist.
2. Manu Ginobili-SA: Ginobili bounced back from a rough game (covered here) to lead the Spurs with 23 points on 9-10 shooting from the field. He had 5 3-pointers, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists as well.
3. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Bryant played facilitator tonight as he finished an assist shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10 boards, a steal, and 9 assists.
4. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Without Amare, ‘Melo played a well-rounded game to lead the Knicks to victory with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal.
5. Stephen Curry-GS: With backcourt mate Monta Ellis at a family funeral, Curry did his best to pick up the slack as he scored 21 points, had 4 assists, and grabbed 4 rebounds. Philadelphia still won, but Curry did his part.
5 who dropped the ball
1. Danny Granger-IND: Granger shot 4-15 while adding only 3 rebounds and 3 steals to his 11 points.
2. Ty Lawson-DEN: Lawson failed to reach double digit scoring for the first time this year and finished with only 9 points. His 8 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals were still solid, but he only took 8 shots.
3. Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant took this one easy, playing only 26 minutes while his team cruised to the W. He finished with 4-11 shooting, 12 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Not a horrible night, and the fact that his team can win without him going off is a good sign, but if you own him in fantasy you were definitely hoping for more.
4. Steve Nash-PHX: Nash hasn’t found his groove yet this year and shot 3-10 from the field Saturday and finished with 8 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.
5. Metta World Peace-LAL: World Peace went 0-8 shooting on Saturday (insight your own punch line here) and finished with 0 points, 4 turnovers, 2 rebounds, and an assist.
5 solid big-men
1. Tyson Chandler-NY: Chandler picked up the offensive slack without Amare in the lineup for the Knicks and finished with 22 points (making all 10 FTs), 7 rebounds, an assist, and 3 blocks.
2. Al Jefferson-UTA: Jefferson was about the only thing that went well in the Utah starting 5 as he finished with 21 points, 11 boards, and 2 blocks.
3.Greg Monroe-DET: Monroe had another solid night scoring 19 points with a block, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists in the Pistons first win of the season.
4. Luis Scola-HOU: Scola finished with 21 points, 2 steals, and 7 rebounds against Atalanta.
5. Dejuan Blair-SA: Blair is still available in many leagues and has looked very good for the Spurs up front. Last night he had 17 points and 10 rebounds to go with an assist and 2 steals.
5 solid guards
1. Kevin Martin-HOU: Martin put up 20 shots last night and ended up with 27 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in the Rockets victory.
2. Lou Williams-PHI: Williams drilled 4 3-pointers while scoring 23 points with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
3. Joe Johnson-ATL: Maybe J.J. heard I was going to name my category for players who score points but don’t contribute in other areas after him (I threatened yesterday) because today he had only 15 points but added 4 boards, 3 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks.
4. Russell Westbrook-OKC: Westbrook let the Thunder in scoring with 18 and added 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds.
5. Darren Collison-IND: Collison finished with 15 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and a steal against the Pistons.
5 impact players off the bench
1. Al Harrington-DEN: Harrington continued his strong start to the season as he put in 21 points to lead the Nuggets along with 21 points to go with 3 rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
2. Thaddeus Young-PHI: Young is an impact player off the bench almost every game and last gith he scored 18 while grabbing 6 rebounds and getting 2 steals and an assist.
3. Josh Howard-UTA: Howard came in and scored a season high 18 points while grabbing 7 boards, and grabbing 2 steals, and a block.
4. Tracy McGrady-ATL: Yes, that T-Mac went for 13 points and 6 rebounds off the bench for the Hawks in 25 minutes of play.
5. Tyler Hansbrough-IND: Hansbrough finished with 5 boards, a block, and a very nice 3 steals to go with his 16 points in 28 minutes off the Pacers bench.
5 players you should consider adding
1. Spencer Hawes-PHI: Hawes is the starting C for the 76ers and put together another solid across-the-stat-sheet line last night. He finished with 14 points, 12 boards, 2 assists, and a block. He’s has at least 1 block and 10 boards in every game he’s played so far this year and has had double figure scoring in all but 1 (where he scored 9). It’s early, but this may be a breakout year for the 7-footer out of Washington. He’s currently only owned in 34 % of leagues.
2. Jonas Jerebko-DET: He’s been featured before as a possible addition here and last night had 20 points to go with 12 rebounds in his best game of the year. He’s only owned in 1.3 % of ESPN leagues
3. Hakim Warrick-PHX: Warrick has had double digit points in every game he’s played averaging 15.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and .7 blocks. Last night he had 15 points, 3 assists, and 2 boards. The Suns are still figuring out who they have doing what but Warrick has been good when given the opportunity and could have value if he gets more PT. He’s owned in a miniscule .2 % of leagues.
4. Jordan Hill-HOU: Hill started for the Rockets and in just 28 minutes managed 15 rebounds, 1 block, an assist, a steal, and 11 points. Hill’s a hustle guy who can get boards, blocks, and a good FG% if he’s getting minutes. If he plays this way that may be just what happens. He’s more of a wait-and-see at this point then an add but he is available in 99.6% of leagues.
5. George Hill-IND: Hill had his second solid night seeing plenty of minutes off the Pacers bench. He finished with 16 points, 1 assist, and 5 rebounds. He’s owned in 56 % of ESPN standard leagues.