As we enter into the first full week of the 2nd half of the season, the NBA seized control of Sunday with 8 solid games featuring a throw down in Hollywood between the Lakers and the Heat, overtime in Boston between the Knicks and the Celtics, another OT thriller in Houston as the Rockets hosts LA’s other team, a revenge game for Chicago in Philly, and a career night from one of the potential free agents this coming summer. Plenty to get caught up on so let’s get rolling…
On this 5th day of March we’ll get you caught up with 5 lists of 5 in today’s edition of the starting 5.
5 Super Studs
1. Rajon Rond0-Bos: Rondo had an incredible stat line with 18 points, 17 boards, 20 assists, a steal, and a block as he played 48 minutes in the Celtics OT win over the Knicks. The Celtics are showing signs of life winning their 4th in a row to get to 19-17.
1A. Deron Williams-NJ: Deron Williams scored a Nets franchise-record 57 points on 16-29 shooting with 4 threes, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, a block, and a steal. He knocked in all 21 FT’s that he took and led many fantasy owners to come-from-behind victories with his monster night.
3. Derrick Rose-Chi: Rose helped the Bulls erase an ugly memory of the last time they were in Philly (2/1) as they beat the Sixers in their own building behind last year’s MVP’s 35 points, 4 threes, 8 assists, 4 rebouds, a steal, and a block. The win gets Chicago to 31-8 as they race Miami for the top spot in the East.
4. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Kobe stayed hot behind the mask with 33 points, 3 boards and an assist as he led LA over the visiting Heat to run the Lakers home record to 17-2 and get them to 23-14 overall.
5. LeBron James-Mia: James couldn’t prevent the Heat from losing back-to-back games on the road as they fell to 28-9 after their loss in LA. It was hardly a bad night statistically for the King as he played 43 minutes while scoring 25 and adding 13 boards, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
5 Fantastic Forwards
1. Paul Pierce-Bos: Pierce’s big game was overshadowed by his PG’s performance but he did have a team-high 34 on 13-23 shooting with 4 threes, 3 assists, 7 boards, 2 steals, and a block in Boston’s win.
2. David Lee-GS: Lee had 22 points and 12 boards with 2 assists and a steal as the Warriors fell to the Raptors in Toronto as their record fell to 14-20.
3. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Anthony shot 8-21 from the field on his way to 25 points along with 2 assists and 7 rebounds. The Knicks struggled at the end in the Garden and with a sub-par night from Jeremy Lin, Melo’s efforts proved too little as the Knicks fell back below .500 to 18-19
4. Corey Maggette-Cha: Maggette had 24 points, 7 boards, an assist, and a steal. He’s about all Charlotte has right now and will continue to get lots of looks. Gerald Henderson’s recent return could cut down a little on his scoring opportunities but having another decent scorer on the floor should help Maggette’s numbers long-term.
5. Elton Brand-Phi: Brand had a solid overall game finishing with 14 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal.
5 Great Guards
1. Ty Lawson-Den: Lawson led the Nuggets with 22 points while handing out 11 assists and falling just a rebound shy of a triple-double. He added a steal and 2 threes as he helped Denver hand San Antonio just it’s 3rd home loss of the year as they climbed to 21-17. Lawson outdueled Tony Parker in last night’s late game.
2. Tony Parker-SA: Parker ended up with a fine statistical game despite the Spurs loss dropping them to 25-12. He ended with 25 points to go with 7 assits, 3 boards, and 2 steals.
3. Chris Paul-LAC: It was all CP3 as the Clippers edged Houston in overtime at the Toyata Center. Paul had 28 points and 10 assists with 4 boards and a steal. No other Clipper had more than 15 points but Paul’s big night got LA to 22-13 for the season.
4. DeMar DeRozan-Tor: DeRozan played 46 minutes against the Warriors and led the Raps with 25 points on 9-17 shooting with a three, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Toronto moved to 12-25 with the win over they Curry-less Warriors.
5. Kevin Martin-Hou: Martin went just 6-22, not helping anyone in percentages, but did hit 3 threes and score 25 points. He also had a team-high 8 assists, 3 boards, and a steal in his 42 minutes.
5 Solid Starters
1. Andrew Bynum-LAL: Bynum had 13 boards, 4 blocks, and 16 points against the Heat in the Lakers win. He’s been a consistent and solid contributor in those 3 categories the majority of the season.
2. Marcin Gortat-Phx: Gortat had 14 points a game-high 17 boards with 2 blocks, an assist, and a steal. He was part of a balance Pheonis attack that beat the Kings in the desert to get to 17-20 overall and 10-9 at home.
3. Joakim Noah-Chi: Noah has been playing extremely well of late averaging 11 points, 13 boards, and almost 5 assists over his last 5 games. He had 18 rebounds, 4 assists, and 11 points in the Bulls win over Philadelphia last night.
4. Amare Stoudemire-NY: Stoudemire played a team-high 38 minutes for New York and scored 16 points on 16 shots from the field with 13 boards, 2 blocks, and an assist. It was his best rebounding night since the end of January and he continues to be a huge part of the Knicks although his scoring output hasn’t been at elite levels in a while
5. Tyreke Evans-Sac: Evans had 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal as he tried to get the Kings past the Suns. In the end, Nash, Gortat, and Dudley proved to be too strong for Sacramento as the Kings slipped to 12-25.
5 Relevant Risers
1. Brandon Bass-Bos: Bass had 18 points with 3 boards and a very nice 4 blocked shots against the Knicks last night. He played 30 minutes despite leaving with a rolled ankle which shouldn’t be a concern moving forward. Since his return from injury he’s averaging 13.5 points, 2.0 blocks, 5,0 boards, and even 1.0 assist. If his last 4 games are an indicator of how he’ll play the rest of the season, you’d better hurry up and grab him since the 60% number of league’s he’s available in is going to be shrinking rapidly.
2. Ekpe Udoh-GS: Udoh finally got the starting nod and was able to play 32 minutes. It wasn’t his best game as he finished with just 7 points, 3 boards, a steal, and a block. The encouraging fact here is that he got the start over Biedrins and when Steph Curry returns this week (presumably) he’ll be upgraded along with the rest of Golden State. Udoh is owned in only 4.6 percent of legues and is a great addition if you need blocks and some points and boards.
3. Samuel Dalembert-Hou: Dalembert had a great run earlier this season and is still owned in 68 percent of leagues which shows you the lack of depth at the center position. He got 36 minutes of time and looked like the Sam-Dal from earlier in the year with 17 points , 3 blocks, and 12 boards. When he plays that many minutes, he’s a great starter. The problem has been the inconsistency in playing time. Watch what happens going forward-if it’s under 30, don’t bother; if it’s over 30, he’s a huge asset as a big man in your fantasy lineup.
4. Steve Novak-NY: Novak hit 4 threes off the bench and finished with 14 points in 27 minutes for the Knicks in Boston. He’s been consistent with 5, 4, and 5 his previous three games. If you’re in need of threes and points (he doesn’t add much else), he’s owned in only 11 percent of leagues and the Knicks have a nice schedule for the week ahead.
5. Ronnie Brewer-Chi: Brewer isn’t getting huge minutes, only playing 15 last night, but he is making his minutes count. Last night he had 6 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocks in those 15 minutes. On Friday night he played more (23) and scored more (13). In his last 5 games he’s averaging just under 10 points a game, a steal a game, and almost 4 boards. He’s not an elite option, but he can be a value add in deeper leagues or if you’re streaming starters he can fill in a few games. He’s available in 98.9 percent of leagues.