Andre Miller(24) celebrates with teammates Ty Lawson (3) and Nene (31). The trio had plenty to celebrate as Miller led the Nuggets to a big road win and earned our MVP-for-a-day award for last night. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fantasy Basketball-Starting 5-January 19

In the NBA last night we had a number of close, thrilling games including the biggest of possible upsets. The team with the worst team in the league (Washington) took out the team with the best record in the league (OKC), and that wasn’t even the most exciting game.

The candidates for most compelling game included: the Clippers winning on a last shot from “Mr. Big Shot,” he Spurs got their first road win and snapped the Magic’s 5 game roll, the Sixers losing for the first time in Philly in overtime to the Nuggets, and the Kings storming back from 14 down in the fourth to beat the Pacers.

Here’s 9 lists of 5 to break down all the fantasy goodness (and some badness):

5 stars of the night

1. Andre Miller-Den: Miller was the unlikeliest yet biggest of heroes last night against his former team as his 28 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals helped the Nuggets beat the formerly red-hot Sixers in Philly. Not only did he put up those steller numbers throughout the game, he also hit the game winning shot and came up with a steal to seal the game.

2. Steve Nash-Phx: Nash led the Suns into ex-Coach Mike D’Antoni’s new home at Madison Square Garden and came away with a 3-point win. He finished with 26 points, 11 assists, and 5 rebounds.

3. Kevin Love-Min: Love had been consistently spectacular this season. Last night he went for 20 points and 17 boards with an assist, steal, and 3-pointer. He helped the T-Wolves get to 6-8 on the season.

4. John Wall-Was: Wall had his 2nd great game in a row and this time led his team to the W over the team with the league’s best record. Wall finished with 25 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds in 45 minutes.

5. Nene-Den: Nene took advantage of the absence of starting 76ers C Spencer Hawes (achilles) and finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block.

5 nice stat-lines in losing efforts

1. Russell Westbrook-OKC: Westbrook finished with 36 points, 7 assists, 5 boards, and a steal as the Thunder fell in Washington to the lowly Wizards and saw their record drop to 12-3.

2. Dwight Howard-Orl: Howard shot 6-10 from the FT like and 9-15 from the field to finish with 24 points to add to his 25 rebounds, 3 blocks, a steal, and an assist. It wasn’t enough though as the Spurs beat the Magic in OT dropping Orlando to 10-4 overall and 5-2 at the Amway Center.

3. Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant was off his shot (2-10 on 3’s) but had 33 points, 8 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in the Thunder’s shocking loss.

4. Monta Ellis-GS: Ellis finished with 3o oints, 6 steals, 4 assists, a block and a rebound, but couldn’t prevent the Warriors from losing in New Jersey and falling to 5-9.

5. Andre Iguodala-Phi: Iguodala finished with 11 points, 10 boards, and 9 assists, just short of a triple-double. His Sixers also fell just short as they lost to the Nuggets in OT and dropped their record to 10-4.

5 multi-category studs

1. Tony Parker-SA: Parker finished with 25 points to lead the Spurs over the Magic and improve their record to 10-5. He aslo contributed 9 assists and 7 rebounds while shooting 12-23 in 44 minutes.

2. Kris Humphries-NJ: Humphries led the Nets to a win over Golden State with 18 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists, and 2 steals. It improved New Jersey’s record to 4-11 and was their first win at home.

3. Joe Johnson-Atl: Johnson had 24 points, 7 boars, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block to help the Hawks past the Blazers on their way to an impressive 11-4 start to the year.

4. Marc Gasol-Mem: Gasol finished with 22 points, 12 boards, and 7 assists in Memphis’s win over New Orleans. The Grizz record is now 7-6.

5. DeMarcus Cousins-Sac: Cousins finished with a mammoth 19 boards to go with 13 points, 2 assists, and a block.

5 big men coming up large

1. D’Andre Jordan-LAC: Jordan had 19 points with 9 boards, an assist, a steal, and 5 huge blocks in the Clippers win over the Mavs, raising their record to 8-4.

2. Tim Duncan-SA: Tim Duncan put up his 3rd double-double in hid last 5 games and 4th of the year as he put up 17 points while pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 2 helpers and a block.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge-Por: Aldridge had 20 points on 10-19 from the field, but missed his only 2 FT of the night in a critical situation. He finished with 11 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block as well; but Portland still fell to 8-6.

4. Josh Smith-Atl: Smith scored 17 points, while adding 11 board, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals in Atlanta’s win.

5. Ryan Anderson-Orl: Anderson’s final line was saved by his 10-10 from the line as he finished with 17 points and 11 boards despite shooting 3-13 from the field and 1-6 from beyond the arc.

5 great guards

1. Deron Williams-NJ: Williams finished with 24 points and 10 assists while knocking in 4 3-pointers and grabbing 8 boards.

2. Mo Williams-LAC: Williams came off the bench with the hot hand and hit 11-15 shots for 26 points while dishing 4 assists, swiping 2 steals, and grabbing a board.

3. Nick Young-Was: Young hit 5 3’s and finished with 24 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, and a block in Washington’s stunning victory.

4. MarShon Brooks-NJ: Brooks finished with 22 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists and led the Nets with 41 minutes. He continues to have plenty of value for those who pounced on the waiver wire addition at the beginning of the year.

5. Jamal Crawford-Por: Crawford played well in his return to A-T-L finishing with 22 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, a steal, and a block.

5 more solid guard starts

1. Jarett Jack-NO: Jack continued to be the only real bright spot for the Hornets as he finished with 27 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds while New Orleans fell to 3-11 on the year.

2. Chauncey Billups-LAC: Mr. Big Shot hit the game winner while scoring 21 points, hitting 5 3-pointers, dishing 3 assists, and coralling 8 rebounds.

3. Rajon Rondo-Bos: Rondo left with a wrist injury which looked serious, but turned out to be minor and has him day-to-day moving forward. Before he left he led Boston with 21 points, 3 boards, and 2 assists as they snapped their 5 game losing streak and got to 5-8 on the year.

4. Mike Conley-Mem: Conley had 18 points with 10 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

5. Iman Shumpert-NY: Shump hit 3 3’s and scored 20 points with 4 steals, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds, but the Knicks fell to 6-8 after losing to the Suns.

5 ballers crashin’ the boards

1. Blake Griffin-LAC: Griffin scored just 14 but came up with 17 boards, 7 assists, a steal, and a block to help the Clippers past the Mavs.

2. Tyson Chandler-NY: Chandler finished with 17 boards, 9 points (on 3-4 from the field) 2 assists, and 2 steals.

3. Greg Monroe-Det: Monroe had 12 rebounds to go with 13 points, 2 steals, and an assist in just 28 minutes last night against Minnesota.

4. Marcin Gortat-Phx: Gortat had 11 points to go with his 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists in 38 minutes of playing time.

5. David Lee-GS: Lee had 10 boards, 12 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals but shot just 4-11 from the field in the Warriors loss.

5 air-balls on the stat sheet

1. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Melo shot just 5-22 although he did finish with 12 points and 11 boards to go with 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. His wrist still may be an issue, but that is unconfirmed at this point.

2. Ricky Rubio-Min: Even when Ricky’s off like last night (1-8), he still contributed to the Wolves and your fantasy team with 9 points, 8 assits, 7 rebounds, and an impressive 6 steals.

3. Tyreke Evans-Sac: Evans finished with 7 boards and 6 assists but could only manage 8 points on 3-14 shooting.

4. Randy Foye-LAC: Foye again started for the injured CP3, but last night shot just 2-10 while finishing with 6 assists, 4 steals, and a block, but only 5 points.

5. DeMar DeRozan-Tor: The Raps continued to struggle without Andrea Bargnani. DeRozan shot just 4-16 and scored 11 points while adding just 2 boards and committing 5 turnovers.

5 to consider adding

1. Tayshaun Prince-Det: Prince had 29 points giving him 20+ in his last three games and added to that 3 boards, 2 assists, a block, and a steal. Prince is currently owned in just 8.8% of leagues and could be helpful with the Pistons desperate for scoring.

2.Evan Turner-Phi: Turner came off the bench with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. He’s averaging almost 11 points and over 6 rebounds with almost 3 assits and .7 steal. His playing time has been inconsistent, but his averages make him valuable in way more than the 22.3 percent of leagues where he’s owned.

3. Jason Thompson-Sac: Thompson got the start in place of JJ Hickson and finished with a season-high 26 minutes. He grabbed 10 boards and scored 9 points with 2 steals and an assist. If you’re in a deeper league and need points, boards, or blocks this PF who’s owned in 0.0 percent of leagues is worth a look.

4. Michael Pietrus-Bos: Pietrus roll of the bench for the C’s continues to grow and his shot is starting to come back. He played 23 minutes last night and hit 4-7 3’s and finished with 12 points, 3 boards, and a steal. He’s available in over 99% of leagues, so consider adding him if you need a quick boost in 3’s and steals.

5. Gary Forbes-Tor: With the Raptors desperate for quality minutes, Forbes got 19 minutes against Boston and hit 5-6 shots from the field and 7-8 from the line finishing with 18 points, a board, block, steal, and an assist. He’s owned in 0.0% of leagues, but keep an eye on him to see if his minutes jump after the quality performance.

Tags: Andre Miller Denver Nuggets Fantasy Basketball Advice NBA Recap Oklahoma City Thunder Starting 5 Waiver Wire

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