Averaging 48% FG, 77% FT, 1.4 3PM, 8.3 pts, 3.5 rebs, 1.1 ast, .6 stl, and .7 blk this season, Brandon Rush has one of those underappreciated fantasy contributors from the mold of Shane Battier (not THIS year Shane Battier, but previous years). You may look at those numbers and be like “Yo Redacted (friends call me by my last name), those numbers look gross and not in the good way”. Well those numbers are good enough to be 107 on ESPN’s player rater for the year and 94 (112 avg stats) on Yahoo’s. That means Rush is worthy enough to be owned in every league (10 teams and up) and is currently owned in 2.4% of ESPN leagues. Let’s look at last night’s line: 3-6 FG, 2 3PM, 4-4 FT, 12/3/0/1/2. Not sexy, but solid. Kinda like Kristen Wiig. A guard that gets blocks, hits the 3 (49% this year!!), and doesn’t tank your FG%. You’ll take that for a player on the end of your bench. Looking a little closer, Rush’s minutes have increased recently because Dorell Wright has completely fallen off and Dominic McGuire is Dominic McGuire (oh and the whole Stephen Curry ankle injury thing that you may know about). So unless you have a stacked team, give Rush some consideration. Here’s what else happened on a very busy day in the NBA:
Evan Turner - Had a monster line of 26/9/2, shooting 11-19 from the field (1-3 from 3) while the 76ers routed the Celtics 103-71. Ever the crafty coach, Doug Collins, had Turner tank his stats over the past month to take the Celtics by surprise. Collins – 1, Rivers – 0!
Paul Pierce - Led the Celtics with a craptastic 16/4/0/1, including going 5-13 from the floor. Midway through the 3rd quarter, the game was stopped so that the feces sprayed all over the court could be cleaned up.
Metta World Peace - After a couple serviceable games played with more than 30 minutes on the floor, MWP took a step backwards tonight playing a mere 26 minutes (1 of 6 FG, 3/3/1/1/) in a loss to the Wizards. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points…granted, it only took him 31 shots to get there. If you were like me and listened carefully, you could hear Phil Jackson laughing.
Trevor Booker - One of the reasons the Wizards won was because of Booker’s 18/17/1/1/1 while shooting 7-9 from the floor (grab him if you need boards!). After the buzzer sounded, JaVale McGee ran up to Booker and exclaimed “JaVale McGee!!!” before racing into the locker room.
Andray Blatche - Since returning from injury, Blatche has played 21, 13, and 10 minutes. I don’t even need to tell you the line. With the way Booker is playing, don’t look for that to change anytime soon.
Samuel Dalembert - After a putrid stretch Dalembert seems to be turning around for the better, averaging 37 minutes and 50% FG with 14/12/1/.7/1.3 in his last 3. During his 34 minutes in a loss to the Raptors last night, he put up 14/6/1/0/1. Yeah, it’s nothing to go home and tell your mom about, but then again why would your mom care about your fantasy basketball team?
Linas Kleiza - 19 pts., including 3-4 from beyond the arc (56% in his last 5 games), Kleiza provided a much needed spark off theToronto bench. Grab him if you’re in need of 3′s, Comrade.
Devin Harris - 9/4/4/1 with 1 3PM. Remember when he averaged 21/3/7/1.7 while shooting 82% FT back in 2008-2009? He just had to go all Lindsay Lohan on us. Sigh.
Kemba Walker - Put up a very respectable 11/2/5/1.6/.4 and shot 88% from the line in his last 5 games (19/2/5/3/1 last night). Add him if you can take the low FG% (41% last 5). On a related note, the Bobcats stink. If you took away the “starters” and “bench” designations on the box score, how many starters could you accurately guess? Don’t cheat!
Brandon Jennings - Scored 11 points on 4-18 shooting. It was bound to happen after shooting 44%, 53%, and 48% in his previous three. Jennings was heard muttering “I was on FIRE last night in beer pong.” Well maybe that explains the shooting, Brandon.
Derrick Rose - Ravaged the bucks for 30 points (14-14 from the line) and came 2 rebounds shy of a triple double. OK, so Rose may have contributed to Jennings’ shooting woes too.
Taj Gibson - 10/7/0/0/2. Well that was boring. If you need to catch up in blocks he’ll help you though.
Raymond Felton - On the off chance that someone dropped Felton during his stint in the Blazers’ second unit, pick him up. The past two games Felton has started, including last night’s explosion against the T-Wolves (11-18 from the field, 23/9/4). Asked what caused the rise in his play, Felton replied “Well, Rubio and I play words with friends. I told him I was going to keep shooting on him until he could use ‘kerf’ properly in a sentence. Such bull****.”
Nikola Pekovic - Pekovic played 30 minutes in Saturday’s game, missed Monday nights game with a sore right foot, and then said early on Wednesday that he was feeling better. Yet when game time rolled around, Pekovic registered another DNP. Coincidentally, heavily anticipated video game Mass Effect 3 had a midnight release on Monday night… hmmm.
LeBron James - Business as usual with 31 points on 12-20 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks against the Hawks minus Joe Johnson. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the line was stricken from the record because Bron Bron did not attempt a shot in the final 5 minutes of the game.
Zaza Pachulia - 3 double doubles in his past 4 games and not much else. Reminds me of the Hawks in general… Josh Smith and not much else. He’ll be a steady source of rebounds the rest of the season since Al Horford will not be back until the Playoffs.
MarShon Brooks - After a 3 game stretch of inexplicably shooting six shots or less, Deron Williams has been finding Brooks again. Taking 11 and 13 shots in the past two games look for Brooks to continue putting up impressive numbers for a rookie (14/4/2/1 with 1 3PM while not destroying your FG%). Brooks’ 19 points helped but when Jordan Farmar hit the go ahead 3 pointer to win the game against the Clippers, DeShawn Stevenson could be heard taunting the dejected Clips, shouting “Welcome to Sob City”. No one knew for sure if he meant the Clippers or the Nets themselves.
Randy Foye - Yeah, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul did their thing but Foye came out as the biggest surprise. Scoring 24 points, including going 5 of 10 from downtown in a losing effort against the Nets, Foye will be a nice source of three’s as long as he’s starting.
Grant Hill - You know what’s sexy? Olivia Munn and Christina Hendricks have leaked “personal” photos that have went viral (no I’m not giving you a link, go google it pervs). You know what’s not sexy? Grant Hill’s fantasy line of 10/3/2/1/1. Don’t look for him to put up gawdy numbers, but they’re well rounded and have some value in roto leagues.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook - Avon put up 31/6/3/3/2 and Stringer put up 31/3/10/4. Not to be denied, James Harden (Marlo?) put up 30/4/4/1/2/2. Clearly this whole team should just be renamed with characters from “The Wire”.
J.R. Smith - Exploded with 22 minutes off the bench while scoring 18 points (4 from behind the line), shooting 50% from the field (!), and chipping in 4 rebounds along with 2 steals. When J.R. hit his fourth trey, the swagger was so great that the roof blew off the arena. You’ll see lines like this from J.R. every once in awhile, but expect alot of inconsistency due to his low minutes (about 20 a game).
Iman Shumpert - Started in place of Landry Fields and shot 1-5 in 29 minutes to go along with 2 pts, 1 rebound, and 4 assists. Blech. I have a feeling the starting SG spot is going to be a carousel so hold on tight.
Manu Ginobili - It looks like he’s back. 17/4/6/1/1 with 3 3PM in 26 minutes. You’ll take it and you’ll like it.
Alonzo Gee - Cleveland is bad. Not Charlotte bad, but still pretty bad. Fortunately, bad teams can still give you great fantasy production. Gee’s line of 19/7/3/4/1 with a trey is waiver wire gold. Just watch out for evil leprechauns. Seriously, they’re real.
Nene and Danilo Gallinari - Nene and Gallo played 22 minutes each in their second game back from injury. Look for them to ease back into game shape over the next week and a half. If an owner is frustrated with the production, jump all over ‘em like a spider monkey.
Trevor Ariza - Scored 20 points on 9-16 shooting (42% on the season) while also contributing 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Ariza explained that before the game Tim Tebow touched him.
Jimmer Fredette - Poor Jimmer. Stuck on a team with approximately 15 guards, he finally got some burn playing 28 minutes and scoring 11 points while contributing 1 rebound, 5 dimes, at steal, and 1 3PM. Don’t even think about picking him up.
Mike Conley - 12 assists and 2 steals… Nice! 1-5 from the field to go along with 2 points… Boo.