It was a big night for Bradley Beal. King B.B. hit 5 of 7 from beyond the arc to finish with 22 points (tied for team high), 5 rebound, 4 assists and a steal. However, that was overshadowed by news that John Wall expects to return this Saturday, or soon thereafter. There has been chatter amongst the people (“viewers like you” – PBS) expressing concern about Beal’s role when John Wall returns. Well, Wall will (!) likely eat away at the minutes belonging to Garrett Temple (9/4/3), not to mention that Wall will well (!!) be served by coming back slowly. The Wizards will probably not even reach double digit wins by the All-Star Break. Wall is signed through 2014, so why risk his health by throwing him in for 35 MPG overnight? Exactly. Exactly. That’s not to say you should ignore Wall, just to say that Beal will retain value. Here’s a few other news from last night:
Thebo Sefolosha – He scored 14 points, but the last three games he scored 7 or less. He added 1 assist, 1 block and 2 rebounds, which is on par for him.
Jason Terry – With Rajon Rondo out due to suspension, you’d think Terry could take advantage. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. In 30 minutes, Terry went for 2 points (1-7 FG, 0-3 3P), 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. In fact, ever since the calendar flipped to 2013, he’s been playing more like Leandro Barbosa (8/0/3).
Steve Novak – Hit a perfect 3 for 3 from downtown to finish with 9 points and 2 rebounds. He missed his one two point attempt, which is a lesson for all the three point specialists in the world.
Amar’e Stoudemire – Again improved with 13 points, plus a whisper of 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. To recap, his 4 games thus far: 6/1/0, 10/2/0, 11/4/1, and now 13/2/2.
Dion Waiters – In the past 6 games, he’s scored 13+ points at least, but not more than, 4 times. This includes last night, where he went for 18 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Taj Gibson – He produced 18 points, 7 rebounds, a steal and 2 blocks. On January 2, he tallied 21/11/3 with 4 blocks. Even with Joakim Noah (11/11/4 with 4 blocks) back in the line up, Gibson still saw over 23 minutes on the court. Do you feel blood flowing to your sensitive area? Well, the problem is that between then and now he also had a 17 minute performance of 5 points, 9 rebounds and no blocks, and he has been averaging 7/5 on the season, a career low. I’m not willing to bank on him finally “breaking out,” but your mileage may be different than mine.
Manu Ginobli – Earned team best 21 points and 4 assists, as well as a respectable 5 rebounds and 2 three pointers. Ginobli has been fantasy productive all season, so regardless of his “6th Man” status, there’s no need to worry about his minutes or stats. You know, in case you were.
Anthony Davis – He played great defense all night, but as far as fantasy relevant stats, he went for 17 points, 9 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 steals and a block. Considering he has been lackluster over the past few games, it’s nice to see a strong output.
Al-Farouq Aminu – After falling off the fantasy map, he went for 4 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 5 turnovers. Don’t look now, but he is seeing more than 30 minutes per game and grabbing reasonable numbers of rebounds (about 10 per game).
Elton Brand – With 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks, it’s a bit of a let down from the 5 block explosion 2 days prior, but it’s refreshing to see some decent reboundage.
Gordon Hayward – He came off the bench for nearly a team best 34+ minutes, plus an indisputable team best 27 points, including 4 of 5 from beyond the perimeter. He also threw in 6 boards, 5 assists and 2 blocks. It’s his best rebounds/assists performance since December 12.
Mike Conley – He continued his torrid dimes pace with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, a steal and a block. That’s 3 games in a row with at least 8 assists.
Isaiah Thomas – Hie took 7 shots from behind the arc and missed them all, finishing with 2-12 field goals, 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. Every time we believe he’s about to break out, he brakes.
Arron Afflalo – Following 29, 19 and 28 point performances, he went and got another 24 to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Portland Trailblazers – Their starting 5 each played greater than 41 minutes (thanks to overtime), and the “worst performer,” Nicolas Batum, went for 14 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal and a block. They are now 4 games over .500 and easily one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. When looking for new writers, one of the questions I ask is to briefly explain whether the potential writer thinks Portland will make the playoffs. I ask just to see the person’s thought process and how they approach their writing, but really I may not consider anyone that says no just on principle.