Last night was another big one in the NBA as 11 games filled the Saturday night schedule. The highlights included the Bulls and Thunder winning again, the Clippers taking the battle for LA, and the Washington Wizards continuing to struggle (well, except for one-see below). The Blazers dropped their 3rd in a row, and the Celtics couldn’t beat the Pacers while dropping their 4th in a row.
So if you were just focused on the NFL craziness that was the first day of the Divisional round, catch up on everything you missed and figure out who’s going to help get your fantasy team t the next level.
Here’s 7 lists of 5 from last night’s action to start your Sunday with:
5 stars shining bright
1. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Kobe broke 40 for the 4th game in a row as he went 14-28 while scoring 42 points and adding 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. He’s the best player in the NBA right now, but even he couldn’t get the win for the Lakers last night as they fell to the Clippers and dropped to 9-5 overall.
2. Chris Paul-LAC: Paul left with an injury late (severity unknown) but finished with 33 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals to lead the Clippers past Kobe’s Lakers in the battle for LA part 1. The win gets the Clips record to 6-3.
3. Kevin Love-Min: Love had 3o points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The only downside to K-Love’s game was his 0-4 from the outside including a 3 at the buzzer which would have won the game.
4. Kyle Lowry-Hou: Lowry had a season high 33 points to go with 8 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal, and a 3 that helped force OT where the Rockets won to get to 5-7 after defeating the visiting Blazers.
5. Russell Westbrook-OKC: Westbrook was on his way to a triple double before sitting out the 4th quarter. He finished with 21 points, 8 boards, 8 assists, and 3 steals. The Thunder cruised over the Knicks to get to 11-2
5 solid starters:
1. Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant didn’t play the 4th quarter either but still finished with a solid line of 28 points, 2 boards, 2 steals, a block, and an assist.
2. David Lee-GS: Lee had 24 points and 16 boards with 3 assists and a block. Unfortunately for him, the Bobcats still beat his Warriors for just their 3rd win while dropping Golden State to 3-8.
3. JaVale McGee-Wsh: McGee played 43 minutes for the hapless Wizards who fell to 1-11 despite McGee’s 23 points, 18 boards, and 5 blocks.
4. Gerald Henderson-Cha: Henderson helped the Bobcats get to 3-10 with a win over visiting Golden State last night with 26 points, a block, 3 assists, and 6 boards.
5 board crashers
1. Blake Griffin-LAC: Griffin played 45 minutes against the Lakers and finished with 22 points and 14 boards with 5 assists and a steal. The Clippers look good and Blake’s at the heart of it, as long as CP3’s injury isn’t serious or recurring.
2. Andrew Bynum-LAL: Bynum had 16 rebounds and 12 points against Blake and the Clippers and added 4 assists for good measure. Bynum’s a solid start with huge upside with his board numbers skyrocketing this year from a 7.3 career average to 13.8 so far this season.
3. Carlos Boozer-Chi: Boozer had 13 boards and 17 points for the Bulls to go with a block, a steal, and 2 assists. It wasn’t the prettiest win ever, but the Bulls beat the Raptors to get to 12-2 and 5-0 at home.
5. Marc Gasol-Mem: Gasol had 20 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks as the Grizz beat the Hornets in Memphis to get to 5-6.
5 dealing assists
1. Ricky Rubio-Min: Rubio appears to be in the starting lineup to stay. Last night he had 18 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 steals. He and Love make the Wolves a fun team to watch for the first time in a long time.
2. Derrick Rose-Chi: Rose was big down the stretch for the Bulls even though his shot was off (7-20) and finished with 18 points, 11 assists, 3 steals, 4 rebounds, and 2 3-pointers.
3. Jeff Teague-Atl: Teague had a great night against the Wolves playing 42 minutes while dishing 10 assists and scoring 20 points with 3 steals and 3 rebounds as well.
4. John Wall-Was: Wall had 9 assists, 9 rebounds, and 19 points with a block. He also had 8 turnovers.
5. Mike Conley-Mem: 7 assists to go with 17 points, 2 steals, and a rebounds in 42 minutes. He’s a solid PG own again after early injury issues.
5 trending up
1. Nicolas Batum-Por: Batum played 42 minutes off the bench and had 29 points, 6 3’s, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, a steal, and an assist. We call that a breakout game, but his value could still be limited by playing time.
2. Andre Iguolala-Phi: The new AI had 23 points, 4 assists, 5 steals, and 7 boards in 35 minutes to lead the Sixers past the Wizards in Washington.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge-Por: The Blazers lost their third in a row but Aldridge contributed 22 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks. He’s been as solid as any player this year, and is trending toward elite status.
4. Danny Granger-Ind: Granger has been showing signs of life the last couple games and his shot selection is improving. Last night he hoisted 19, but did finish with 21 points 3 steals, a block and 5 rebounds against the Celtics.
5. Greivis Vasquez-NO: Vasques played 28 minutes off the bench and had 14 points, 6 assists, 3 boards, and a steal.
5 trending down
1. Rashard Lewis-Was: Lewis hit just 1-10 shots from the field in 22 minutes last night. He finished with 8 boards, a block, and an assist. He doesn’t need to be on your roster. There’s much better options out there.
2. Iman Shumpert-NY: Shumpert only scored 6 points on 3-10 shooting against OKC last night. It was the first game this year he’s been held to single digits. He did get a steal, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, but his owners want more points and steals from Shumpert. He’s averaging 2.4 steals per game and his shot hasn’t been on yet. I’d still hold if you can, but the blowup in numbers from starting for Mike D’Antoni hasn’t happened yet.
3. Monta Ellis-GS: Ellis had tough game fro the field shooting just 6-26 with 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal. When Stephen Curry returns, Ellis will be able to slide back into his more natural position at off-guard.
4. Sacramento-The Kings scored 23 points in the first half against the Mavs in Dallas and finished with just 60. Tyreke Evans had 3 points on 1-8 shooting, JJ Hickson had 3 points on 1-8 shooting, Francisco Garcia played 25 minutes without scoring, and Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 14 points on 4-14 shooting. The team shot an extremely ugly 25.6% from the field and 9.5% from behind the arc.
5. Spencer Hawes-Phi: Some are jumping ship on Hawes due to his health concerns. He was limited again last night to just 19 minutes but instead of 10-10 (which he got in 19 minutes Friday) he had just 4 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, and a block. If he’s healthy he’s proven very valuable across the board for fantasy owners so I advise holding onto him if you at all can.
5 to think about adding
1. Kemba Walker-Cha: Walker got his first NBA start and not only helped the Bobcats win, but he also lept back into fantasy relevance with 23 points, 4 boards, 5 assists, a block, and 2 steals. If he’s starting and playing 39 minutes like last night he’s going to be huge. He’s owned in only 47% of leagues but if he starts that’ll be 100 very soon.
2. Byron Myllens-Cha: Mullens is flying off the waiver wire with good reason. He had 20 points with 7 rebounds and 2 assists last night and has has 21, 18, and 20 since he’s been inserted in the starting lineup. He’s probably not going to contribute much in peripheral categories, but points and boards he can help you. He’s owned in 53% of leagues and climbing quickly.
3. Nate Robinson-GS: Robinson has 12 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a rebound. He’s seen plenty of minutes in Steph Curry’s absence and he closes out the week at Detroit tonight. He’s a solid spot start if you need guard stats. He’s only owned in 32% of leagues.
4. Ivan Johnson-Atl: Johnson may be the beneficiary of the Al Horford injury. Last night he played 25 minutes and had 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 10 points. If the minutes come his way, he’s worth a look since he’s available in 99.7 % of leagues.
5.Mickael Pietrus-Bos: Pietrus hasn’t found his shot yet (1-6 last night) but is getting the minutes (19 last night) off the bench for the Celtics. He only had 4 points and 1 steal in his stat line, but be aware of his roll on his new team. He’s currently owned in .2% of leagues.