The biggest story in last night’s 11 NBA games is definitely the end of the Heat’s 9-game winning streak in Utah. Not only did the Heat lose, the way they lost raised all kinds of questions about LeBron at the end of games (and we’ve been down this road before). His huge night gets him #1 on our stars list below, but he’s got to take that shot. He doesn’t even have to make it, but he does have to be willing to take it.
In other action, the Celtics won their 3rd since the break, the Hawks and Grizz came back and won, the Hornets knocked off the Mavericks, the Spurs ans Sixers won big at home, the masked mamba did it again, and the Clippers continued their mid-season swoon in Phoenix.
Here’s 7 lists of 5 to start off your Saturday right and help get you caught up on all last night’s fantasy hoops happenings.
5 to be glad you have
1. LeBron James-Mia: James finished with 35 points, 10 boards, 6 assists, and 3 blocks. His numbers were once again awesome. While Heat and James fans may be upset with the final pass to Udonis Haslem, his fantasy owners won’t notice that amid his array of other accomplishments. The Heat’s first loss in 10 games dropped them to 28-8 on the year.
2. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Still sporting the mask, Kobe had 38 with boards, 3 assists, a stel, and a block as he led LA past Sacramento at the Staples Center to get to 22-14 on the year and an impressive 16-2 at home. Oh, and he’s 2-0 as the masked mamba…
3. Josh Smith-Atl: Smith had 24 points, 19 boards, 3 blocks, and 4 assists against the Bucks. Smith had those numbers despite not playing much in the fourth as the Hawks reserves led a furious comeback that eventually got Atlanta to 21-15.
4. Brandon Jennings-Mil: Jennings led the Bucks with 34 points, while also adding 9 assists, 3 boards, and 2 steals. Despite his efforts, the Hawks came back and dropped Milwaukee to 14-22.
5. Paul Pierce-Bos: Pierce shook of a shooting slump and dropped 27 on New Jersey last night in the Garden. He added 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and a block. The win was the C’s third in a row as they moved to 18-17 on the season.
5 to run the point
1. Ty Lawson-Den: Lawson had 15 assists while captaining the Nuggets ship to 117 points in Houston where they got to 20-17. He added 22 points, 7 boards, and 2 steals as he looks to be getting back to peak performance level after his injury.
2. Rajon Rondo-Bos: Rondo had 13 assists and 5 steals to go with his 14 points. Where he plays for the rest of the season may still be in question, but he’s got definite fantasy value across the board in points, steals, assists, and rebounds (for a guard).
3. Derrick Rose-Chi: Rose had 19 points and 9 dimes to go with 3 steals and a board as the Bulls beat the Cavs sans-Kyrie to get to 30-8 on the year. Rose only had to play 28 minutes so he should be fresh moving forward.
4. Jose Calderon-Tor: Calderon had 9 dimes, 10 points, 2 rebounds, and a steal for the Raptors as they fell just short against the Grizz to fall to 11-25.
5. Monta Ellis-GS: Ellis had 7 assists as he continued to fill in for the injured Steph Curry while still scoring 20 points and adding 3 steals and 3 rebounds in the Warriors loss in Philly. The L drops the Warriors to 14-19 and a tough 5-10 away from the O.
5 to light it up
1. Kevin Martin-Hou: The saga of Kevin Martin continued last night as he poured in 35 points in a losing effort as the Rockets scored 105 but lost to visiting Denver to fall to 21-16 on the year and 15-5 at home. Martin had 6 points last game and 14 the night before and continues to be a roller-coaster, but he can score in bunches when he’s on.
2. Dwyane Wade-Mia: Wade scored 31 points on 10-20 shooting with 6 boards, 2 assists, and a steal in Miami’s road loss to Utah.
3. Brook Lopez-NJ: Lopez followed his 38 point performance Tuesday with another nice game last night against Boston. Lopez hit 10-21 shots from the field on his way to 28 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, a steal, and a block. The end result for the Nets wasn’t good though as they got crushed and fell to 11-26 on the season.
4. Drew Gooden-Mil: Gooden had 26 against Atlanta along with 10 boards, 2 steals, and an assist in 38 minutes.
5. Lou Williams-Phi: Williams poured in 25 to lead the Sixers past the Warriors and to 22-15 on the year. He added 3 assists and 2 rebounds off the bench for Philadelphia.
5 to patrol the paint
1. David Lee-GS: Lee played 41 minutes for Golden State and finished with 15 boards and 24 points along with 3 assists and 2 steals.
2. Andrew Bynum-LAL: Bynum had 19 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 assists in the Lakers win last night.
3. Marcin Gorat-Phx: Gortat had 18 points and 14 boards with 2 assists ans 2 blocks against the Clippers as the Suns got a big win to get to 16-20 on the year.
4. Rudy Gay-Mem: Gay had 23 points along with 12 boards, 4 assists, a steal, an a block to help Memphis squeak past Toronto as they raised their overall record to 21-15 and their road record to 7-10.
5. Chris Kaman-NO: Kaman helped the Hornets spoil Dirk’s return from his bad back by beating the Mavs to get to ust 9-27. Kaman shot 9-18 while grabbing 13 rebounds and adding 3 assists.
5 to feel confident starting
1. Marc Gasol-Mem: Gasol had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, and a block while playing a team-high 41 minutes against the Raptors.
2. Luol Deng-Chi: Deng had a team-high 24 points to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal against the Cavs. He plays monster minutes most nights and is an across-the-board contributor.
3. Kyle Lowry-Hou: Lowry continued his solid play scoring 17 points to go with 5 assists and 7 rebounds in Houston’s loss.
4. Kevin Garnett-Bos: KG had 20 and 10 with 3 assists and a steal against the Nets. He’s looked greatly revitalized recently and has 18 or more in each of his last 5 starts reaching 10 rebounds in all but one of those games (where he had 8)
5. Al Jefferson-Uta: Jefferson had 20 points and 6 boards with 2 assists, a steal, and a block in 31 minutes to lead the Jazz past the Heat.
5 to wonder about
1. Greivis Vasquez-NO: Coming off the bench, Vasquez could only manage 2 points on 1-6 shooting but was able to register 7 assists, 6 rebounds, a steal, and a block in his 19 minutes.
2. Jason Terry-Dal: Terry played 23 minutes but could only hit 1 of his 9 shots and finished with 2 points along with 4 assists and a rebound as Dallas fell to the Hornets dropping their record to 21-16.
3. DeMar DeRozan-Tor: DeRozan’s up and down season went down again last night as he only was able to score 4 points on 2-8 shooting in 35 minutes. He added 2 boards and 2 blocks, but his owners need more from him.
4. Kris Humphries-NJ: With Lopez back in the rebounds and scoring for Humphries were bound to take a down-turn. Last night’s 6 points, 5 boards, and 3 turnovers and a incredible -32 +/- in just 25 minutes would seem to be the start of that trend.
5. D.J. Augustin-Cha: Augustin had his 2nd game in a row under 10 points netting just 2 last night on 1-9 shooting to go with 2 steals, a rebound, and 5 assists. The ‘Cats got crushed and fell to 4-30.
5 to watch on waivers
1. Roddy Beaubois-Dal: Beaubois started for the first time in 13 games and made Rick Carlisle’s decision pay off. He scored 25 points as well as adding 4 steals, 3 assists, 2 boards, and 2 threes. He’s the best guard add at this point of the year and he’s still available in over 97 percent of leagues. If he keeps his starting job, he’ll be one of the best pickups of the second half.
2. Kenneth Faried-Den: Faried had another double-double last nigth with 16 points and 11 boards with 2 steals, 2 blocks, and an assist. He continues to shine in starters minutes (30) and will continue to see time until the Nuggets start getting healthy. Until then, he’s a great add and is only owned in under 5 percent of leagues
3. Devin Harris-Uta: He’s only available in 30 percent of leagues due to his recent surge, but Harris continues to play well as of late having scored 10+ in 6 of 7 (9 in the other) and is averaging over 5 assists and 1.4 steals per game over his last 5. If he’s available he makes a good add.
4. Francisco Garcia-Sac: His playing time is all over the place, but when he gets minutes he produces. He led a rally against the Lakers last night with 18 points, 3 boards, 3 steals, 2 assists, and a block. Garcia’s only owned in 1 percent of leagues, but if he starts getting increased time could be a instant fantasy factor.
5. Ramon Sessions-Cle: Sessions probably won’t be a Cav after the trading deadline and if he starts where he goes expect his 32 percent ownership to skyrocket. Last night he had 16 points and 7 assists starting fro the ill Kyrie Irving. He could be a starting PG (or at least get starters minutes) in which case greatly enhancing his fantasy value. It would definitely be a speculative add at this point to roster Sessions, but it may pay off in the end.