I hope the Thunder did a little something special for the Velvet Hoop last night after he – again – pulled his team through to another victory for the second time in as many games. Maybe the coaching staff picked all the red pepper off his DiGiorno pizza, or perhaps they should reupholster one of the locker room lounge chairs with bright turquoise fabric and paint a face on it so Kevin Durant has his own Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Chairy to relax on after games like last night’s. Even when they go on the road, Eric Maynor and Nenad Krstic should have to be in charge of packing Chairy on to the team jet, if for no other reason than because they’re both terrible at geometrically fitting oblong objects into tiny spaces. Durantula didn’t hit another game-winner, but he did score more than 35 points in the final 29 minutes of regulation and overtime. Never mind the two steals and two blocks. Never mind the quartet of threes or the fact that he only turned the ball over twice in 50 minutes of play. Durant scored 47 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, both of which were career-highs. One of the best players in the league literally has a career night in a game that went down to the final shot in overtime, his team better make him a cartoonish stuffed lounge chair, gosh darned it!
Here’s what else went down in a busy night of fantasy basketball:
Nene Hilario – Missed last night’s game with a minor calf injury. Though the game was in Detroit, so his injury status has been upgraded from “missed” to “avoided.”
Al Harrington – Harrington figured between ‘Melo chatter and Nene’s injury, no one would notice if he chucked nine three-pointers (2-for-9). This was the seventh game this season in which he attempted eight or more treys, but only the first in which he didn’t make at least 40 percent of ’em. Jrue story.
Marvin Williams – Played in his first game of 2011 and dropped 7/5 in 13 minutes. He’ll be back to playing 23 minutes and dropping 7/5 in no time!
Carlos Delfino – Ended with 15/5/4 while Earl Boykins (20/1/3) and Corey Maggette (22/4/1 with 6 tovs) both had fine games themselves. The only exciting thing about the Bucks is predicting who will have a good game and who will flop. Just wait until Michael Redd returns! As Journey sang – and I co-opted in a weak attempt at humor – The wheel in the Skiles keeps on turn-in’!
Garrett Temple – 8/3/3 in 18 minutes. He actually looked better than this line would suggest, but I’m not betting on young Bucks until the established Bucks can be counted on.
Paul Millsap – Dude averaged 18.4/8.5 on .566 shooting through November and I was all, “Woot!” This month, he’s averaged 14.8/7.3 on .489 shooting and I’m all, “What!?!” I wouldn’t get rid of him for a signed photo of Punky Brewster (sweet, sweet, Punky Brewster!), but his thumb injury makes his name recognition more appealing than his output and you might be able to swap him for a boat with fewer barnacles hidden under the hull.
Peja Stojakovic – Won’t play Thursday. Even if he did, I wouldn’t roster him until he shows you a little of that Peja spunk from a few years back. I’m talking about his spunk on the court. If Stojakovic offers to show you some of his “spunk” anywhere else, you run and tell the authorities.
Trey Johnson – The NBADL points leader has 10 games to prove he belongs in Toronto. He ended with a 3/0/0 line in 2 minutes, so he’s well on his way.
Sonny Weems – Played in second game after missing 19 straight. 6/4/0 with a steal in 14 minutes.
DeMar DeRozan – He’s averaging 25.2 ppg in his last six. He doesn’t really offer much else, other than solid percentages and the occasional steal. He’s Nick Young after a trip to the barber.
Brandon Rush – Left the game early with a sprained ankle. Better than having a chained ankle, which is what Jim O’Brien will put him in in favor of Paul George (10/7/2/2 stl in 32 minutes). I’m not against this move, but Brandon Rush isn’t even in Indy’s top 5 as far as problematic issues go. Why does he get the stick? Is it because of his 1998 fade? Because that would make a little more sense. Anyway, any league that is rostering Rush should roster George.
Rodney Stuckey – Left after contusing his right shoulder. At least he didn’t transfuse his right shoulder. Last time he did that, the only viable match belonged to an 8-foot Hungarian. For three games, Stuckey ran around with one arm dragging on the ground. His arms looked like the uneven strings of a hoodie sweater after it just got out of the wash.
Will Bynum – 19/4/4 in 21 minutes as Stuckey’s replacement. Up until this point, I wouldn’t own Bynum with your team and as Stuckey’s injury isn’t serious, this point continues.
Jrue Holiday – Ninth double-double of the season (15/5/11 including a steal and two blocks) as he helped himself to a Toronto-style stat-line: It’s friendly, covered in molasses and the United States would never consider letting it happen in its borders.
Anthony Morrow – 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including three threes in 27 minutes. He might be forgotten on a few waivers. Go check yours. I’ll wait. No, it’s totally cool. I’ve got a sodoku to finish up.
Danny Granger – 3-for-11 from the arc. Attempted a season-high 11 threes. Why? Because he started out the game 1-for-1. He went on to miss 80 percent of his attempts after that and helped the Pacers shoot themselves right out of a win against the Magic. Eleven!?! What makes a man, standing at the arc, knowing he’s 2-for-8 or 2-for-9, think, “naw, I got this.” He didn’t have that.
Darren Collison – 21/2/4 last night. He went from 12/4 in December to 16.3/5.8 in January and he’s one of the 10 best free throw shooters in the league. If that’s not enough to convince you to get him in your lineups than you, my friend, have trust issues.
Randy Foye – 20/1/1. Looks to be edging out Bledsoe (5/1/6) for the Gordon stat-vulture pickup.
Kevin Martin – Only played 21 minutes. Then again, he only shot 3-for-11 in those 21 minutes. I’m hoping that’s the connection.
Kwame Brown – 12/10 in 27 minutes. Second straight dub-dub and his fourth in seven games. Well, now I’m just confused.
Marcin Gortat – Cheesy Gortata Crunch dropped a 16/5 line in the first half of last night’s game. Sadly, he only grabbed two boards in the second and ended the game with 16/7. Which is why I’ve decided to start a league that only counts first-half stats. Also, I get first pick. And with my first pick, I will choose Marcin Gortat … and lose to whoever chooses Kevin Durant.