It was a Sunday of home-cooking in all but one of the five NBA games last night. The only team to lose at home was Oklahoma City who usually dominates at home. The Hawks get the biggest win for going into the Thunder’s back yard and getting their first win. The worst loss could surely be the Thunder, but I’ll actually go with the Suns who were way up before falling apart and losing by 11 in Orlando.
Each day we’ll break down the top five starters and five sleepers to make sure you know about as you plan your fantasy hoops teams going into the rest of the season. All our posts can be found by clicking here where you can subscribe to our RSS feed for just the starting 5 posts. Every day except Sundays (until NFL season wraps up) check back to find out who’s shining and who’s rising….
Starting 5 Fantasy Basketball Stars
1. Kevin Durant-Oklahoma City: Durant fell just two assists short of his first career triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and two blocks. The Thunder couldn’t get the win, but numbers like those will help his fantasy owners do just fine.
2. Dwight Howard-LA Lakers: Howard and the Lakers got off the schneid and got a win by demolishing the Pistons. Howard finished with a league-high 28 points (tied with Kevin Martin) and added seven boards, three blocks, and a couple steals. Howard has performed at a first-round level in all his games as a Laker. If this is him working his way back to health, look out later in the season.
3. Kyle Lowry-Toronto Raptors: Lowry has gotten off to a great all-around start in Toronto and had another incredibly balanced line last night. He had 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals which actually are numbers that are slightly down from his production in each category from the night before against Brooklyn. If you stole him in the fifth round or later, congratulations and enjoy him as long as he can stay healthy.
4. Al Horford-Atlanta Hawks: Horford dominated the Thunder big men in the Hawks win in OKC. He had 23 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block. Horford owners are hoping he emerges as a top big man, and this was a big step in the right direction.
5. Carmelo Anthony-New York Knicks: Anthony continues to lead an inspired Knicks team. He poured in 27 points to go with five rebounds, an assist, steal, and two blocks. Anthony is playing well from the four and gets another shot at Philadlephia tonight.
Starting 5 Fantasy Basketball Stars
1. J.J. Redick-Orlando Magic: Redick had 24 more points last night after 21 to open the season. He may get more time with Hedo Turkoglu out and Arron Afflalo sliding to the SF spot and he’s shown his fantasy relevance shooting well (6-8 on three’s, over 60% in both games) and handing out six assists in each of his first two contests as well. He’s only owned in 16% of leagues but is an important part of the rebuilding Magic’s plan for this year.
2. Nikola Vucevic-Orlando Magic: Vucevic had 18 points and 13 boards in 37 minutes while adding a steal and three assists. He’s the starting Center in Orlando and could be a cheap source of boards and scoring with high percentages if he plays big minutes like last night. He’s owned in just 2.8% of ESPN leagues.
3. Jonas Jerebko-Detroit Pistons: The Pistons got absolutely rolled in LA, but Jerebko came off the bench with a solid game finishing with 18 points, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He’ll be the first player off Detroit’s bench for the time being and could work his way into a larger role. He’s owned in 0.2% of leagues and is worth keeping an eye on his minutes and production as the season progresses.
4. E’Twaun Moore-Orlando Magic: I’d normally stay away from three sleepers on the same team, but these three Magic players are all solid options and stepped up big time last night. Moore started for an injured Jameer Nelson and finished with 15 points, six assists, three steals, and three rebounds. He’s been very effective in Orlando’s first two games and could be a huge find if the oft-injured Nelson continues to struggle with his quad or other issues. He’s owned in just 0.1% of leagues.
5. Alan Anderson-Toronto Raptors: Anderson is virtually unowned and had scored only three points in Toronto’s first two games. Last night, he played 31 minutes and scored 18 points including four three-pointers and added three rebounds and an assist. If he gets the time and opportunity, he can knock down his shots.