Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night! Well, except for the Hawks, who lost both DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford in last night’s double overtime win against the Cavs. Carroll’s Christmas carol was about hoping his hand and/or thumb didn’t break, as he was in bad pain exiting the game. Diagnosis came out that he has a sprained thumb, and while a non-break is a good news, remember Larry Sanders “just” had a sprained thumb and had to have surgery. Just shatter the champagne bottle you got sprayed with and use it like a weapon like a normal bar fight, Sanders! And to make matters worse, Horford then lost all his Christmas cheer when he hurt his shoulder later in the game and is set for an MRI. It’s his right shoulder vs. a left pectoral tear that ended his year in 2012, but neither of these injuries look too good. Big men waiting in the wings for the Hawks (womp womp) Elton Brand, Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon, and Mike Scott would all stand to get increased roles, especially if both injuries turn out to be serious. I’ve talked about Scott more than a few times as a guy to keep an eye on should there be injuries, and I think he has the most upside by far to emerge. His per 36 of 18.7/7.7/2.0/0.6 with 1.3 treys while shooting 55% from the field gives him a glimmer of hope to be the fantasy contributor I thought he could be. Here’s what else I spotted through the Holidays while opening all of my Brandon Knight basketball cards on Christmas morning:
Larry Sanders – Apparently Santa got his naughty and nice lists messed up. Unless animal cruelty, beating up guys at a night club while his wife was a day out from giving birth, and ruining his fantasy value for almost half of the season gets you in St. Nick’s good graces. Reported that he’ll be back tonight as a Christmas present for fantasy owners. Although right after news broke, Santa shook the milk Sanders left out by the chimney and sprayed it on him, infuriating Sanders who took a swing and broke his wrist.
Jeff Teague - 34/3/13 with 3 swipes. Won the game on a double OT buzzer beater. When asked after the game if he was worried about the Hawks front line injuries he replied, “Centers? We don’t need no stinkin’ centers.”
Shelvin Mack - Picked up some extra minutes at center. Hah – I jest. The Cavs went with a lot of smaller lineups with Jarrett Jack for a lot of Mack/Jack one-on-ones. I have no idea if that’s true, but sounds fun! Got 36 minutes in the 2OT game for 10/7/5/3/0 without a turnover. He’s actually been getting pretty decent run lately and should get a lot of work against smaller lineups with all the bigs getting their talons clipped lately. Worth a look in even deep 14-teamers.
Paul Millsap - Rainbow line! And a dub-dub! Played 48 minutes last night and is about to get run into the ground.
Ersan Ilyasova - Returned to practice and is questionable for tonight. The prognosis of him being fantasy relevant again in shallow leagues? Doubtful. Am I ignoring him on the wire? Probable.
Andrew Bynum - The most frustrating player in the NBA. Ruins a whole franchise in Philly, ruins a whole batch of fantasy players with his 20/10 multi-block upside that we’ve seen a few times, then 0-11 FG or 4/1/0/0/1 downside like we’ve seen the past two games. Finally traded him in the REL deep dynasty league. Thank heavens!
Kyrie Irving - A buy low I gave as a suggestion to a lot of people has been going off lately. About the only Dookie I like in the NBA. Because he’s just plain that good.
Zach Randolph - Rainbow line! Well, not really, but I was thinking the money he’s about to be fined for criticizing the refs last night might fill in for steals and blocks. 23/17/5. Long live T Dog!
Jon Leuer - Wellllll… Not looking so hot lately. New Grizz coach David Joerger is a genius. When a player emerges, the obvious answer is play them less. Only 12 minutes last night, and under 20 minutes in three straight after being over 23 in 10 straight. Provided some instant offense shooting 3-6, but didn’t log any other stats. I don’t think he’s playing worse but…
James Johnson - … The pickup of this JJ has really ate into the minutes. Of course Ed Davis getting healthy is yet another mouth to feed, but 28 mins for Johnson shooting 5-8, hitting a trey for 12/5/0/3/1 with some big dunks. Their offense is so stagnant that his 12 points felt like 30. Rather him over Leuer right now.
Chandler Parsons - The man. Shaved his head for a young fan with cancer, then 15/11/5 for a solid line with big momentum plays.
James Harden - 22-25 at the free throw line. Fear the beard. As in, if you even graze it, you’re called for a foul.
Dwight Howard - Kevin McHale didn’t use him late because a back stiffy. Hopefully he reminds Dwight to call a doctor or physician if that stiffy lasts for more than 4 hours.
Jeremy Lin - 18/6/2 with 4 TOs. Shot 5-13 and overall was a decent Lin-ish game. No real takeaways except you love the 37+ minutes he got last night and big run he’ll get without Patrick Beverley crowding the backcourt for a while. And Aaron Brooks tweaked his ankle and didn’t return to compound the Rockets PG injuries. Not that Brooks would’ve played much more anyway in last night’s game, but Lin is looking at a lot of minutes upcoming. Good for immediate fantasy/bad if you’re worried about his several minor injuries this year. Depends on how full you see the glass.
Terrence Jones – Huge Christmas day delivery of 21/14/1/1/3 with no TOs then played really well last night for 20/5/2/0/2 with no TOs shooting 10-14. 0-2 from deep (0-6 from 3 the past three games) and didn’t look good at all from outside, but I’ve been saying stick with him as he’s El Burro’s El Favorito. Still won’t be worried about a trade taking minutes until it actually happens, it’s not like you can sell him for much in a trade and he’s worth holding on to.
Danny Green - Just needed a couple boards to go rainbow, but tough to rebound anything when you’re on fire! Just a really shiny line of 7-7 FG (5-5 3PTM 3-3 FT) 22/0/2/3/2. As the voice of Mortal Kombat would say, “Flawless victory!” Then when it’s over, you hit L1 L1 circle circle triangle R1 and he emerges with a giant spur on his boot and hops on Dirk Nowitzki like riding a horse and it yells “Bestiality!” I mean, “Animality!” Easy mistake…
Kawhi Leonard - I’m gonna throw some crazy numbers at ya. According to Basketball Monster, Kawhi is ranked #26 overall in Total Value. Twenty-sixth! That shocked me. I thought it was be surprising and worth mentioning if he was in the 40s… Of players in the top 30, he’s the only guy averaging under 31 minutes, going only 28:41 a night. I think almost anyone would posit Leonard will be playing 30+ minutes down the stretch as old guys get rested (we already saw that scenario against the Warriors a week back) which would vault his value even higher. Maybe a slight buy low window open, and I’d try to sneak him out.
Jose Calderon - Another guy who’s value overall shocked me. Ranked 30th in total value according to their algorithms. Helps he’s had a nice stretch lately, but I think I was undervaluing just how little he’s turning over the ball at only 1.2 a game. That’s actually the lowest in his career even when he was only playing low-2o minutes a game. Sure the assists aren’t in the 8-range like we’ve seen earlier in his career, but he’s hitting 2.8 treys a game at almost 50%. He might be a buy low if someone isn’t as enthused, if you’re hurting in TOs or need treys and a bit of everything else.
Chris Paul - Just plain took over the Clippers offense, but it wasn’t enough. A ridiculous 34/2/16/6/0 line shooting 16-29 (2-3 3PTM) and only one TO.
LaMarcus Aldridge - Was the Blazers MVP of the night, sure, but he does it a little more quietly in my opinion. 32/10/4 with no TOs on 15-31 shooting. And by quietly I mean within the game, his numbers this year are anything but quiet.
Robin Lopez - I can’t believe he’s the best Lopez in the NBA right now, by default… How he went 11/15 last night I’ll never know. The only few boards I remember it was like watching a giraffe swing T Rex arms at the rim at attempted tip ins. “Now let us gently touch our tips!”
DeAndre Jordan - Fouled out, but 19 rebounds. A weird looking 2/19/1/1/2 line. One of these things is not like the other!
Carmelo Anthony - Got his Christmas wish, which was not to be abused by Kevin Durant in front of the whole world. Questionable again tonight with the bum ankle.
Russell Westbrook - Trip dub! Spreading all sorts of Holiday cheer. Especially in his outfits.
Tim Hardaway Jr. - Looked really good out there the portions of this game I caught. 8-19 (2-7 3PTM) 21/5/2/0/0. He’ll be a scoring/threes kinda guy, but in deeper leagues, it’ll be mighty valuable. Slim was definitely Hardaway on Christmas.
Tyson Chandler - I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always felt he was a little overvalued. 5/9/3/2/0 is a solid Holiday at the office, don’t get me wrong, and he’s been solid since returning. I owe you an IOU on being skiddish about snatching up Tyson. I was chicken.
D.J. Augustin vs. Kirk Hinrich - “Hey Mr. DJ, send the white boy to the bench!” 13/2/5/2/0 with two treys in 33 minutes while Hinrich was boring in just over 20 minutes. DJ should be starting. Still think he’s a hold in very deep 12-teamers and beyond for the diming and steals upside.
Mirza Teletovic - I mean, it’s just flabbergasting that he’s starting for the Nets and is somewhat fantasy relevant for deeper leaguers. 8+/4+ in 5 of the last 6 with 16 treys hit in that span. ThrAGNOF!
Paul Pierce - Thought George Hill‘s head was a piñata. Led to Reggie Evans seeing some minutes and nabbing 13 boards. Trying to talk about anything positive with the Nets is a fool’s errand. Grasping at straws! A bridge too far! Peeing into the wind!
Jordan Hill - Dude, play him Doh-Toni! Letting Shawne Williams get 16 minutes to go 3/5/0/0/0 and 1-4 from the field does not seem to gibe with Hill going 9/10/1/3/3 in just over 24 minutes. “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Pau Gasol will be out tonight, so Hill should get a big opportunity. Should is the operative word. D’Antoni should shave off that rape stache…
Jordan Farmar - Disappointed in his debut as the starting PG for 3/5/2 with 4 TOs shooting 1-7. I obviously think he’ll do better, but my expecations remain fairly low. Still would rather have Augustin, par exampla.
Klay Thompson - Christmas rainbow! 23/5/4/2/2 but is usually not multi-cattin’ in this joint.
Jimmy Butler - Listen, I loved the guy heading into the year, but this toe thing just stirs up injury after injury. “On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A knee giving out, a sprained an-kle, and it stemming from a bad toe injury!” Still topped 33 minutes for 15/5/4 – dude’s a beast – but I still scurred.
I hope everyone had a fantastic 2013! We’ll be back with Daily Recaps starting next Thursday (Jan. 2) and back on the normal M-F schedule from then on. Happy New Years to everyone in the Razzball Nation and thanks for stopping by!