So I was at working my job logging highlights last night for the Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks (which was on the ESPN broadcast), and there were at least 20-30 updates/mentions/ohhhhh-ing and ahhhhh-ing about the Heat Cavs game where the Heat found themselves down more than 20 only to come back and win it. Jeff Van Gundy is like that annoying friend you keep around in your group – he does something funny half the time then irks you the other half. On the tip-off between Chris Kaman and Brook Lopez he said, and I’m paraphrasing, “that was the worst tip in NBA history, they shouldn’t be allowed to tip off ever again!” Pretty good stuff. Then, and admittedly I was checking the score too, all he and the other guy were talking about was the Heat game. What about the other fans? Even at halftime, the crew said they would give highlights for the Thunder game and Bill Simmons was like, “no I’m watching the Heat game.” I get it ESPN it was the biggest game of the night, but sheesh.
After a rough first half, LeBron James absolutely went off, ending his night with both a rainbow line and a triple-double going 8-22 FG (3-7 3PTM) 25 Pts 12 Rebs 10 Asts 3 Stls and 2 Blks. If that’s not gonna win you your first round of the playoffs, then you need better ancillary players! Ok so I’m a hypocrite and my open is all about the Heat game and nothing else… Let’s just dive right into other action:
Jonas Valanciunas – Got a rainbow line of 18-8-2-2-2 in 31 minutes starting for the Raptors. Pretty close to the 20-10 I predicted for him yesterday. Creeping up into probably should be owned territory. Not quite in must own. Shoots efficiently, a good free throw shooter (6-6 last night at the line), and will do enough in other categories.
Byron Mullens – It’s the ghost of Christmas past! After getting benched, missing time with injury, and being shunned like the kid who picks his nose, Mullens returned to the fantasy discussion with 7-11 FG (3-4 3PTM) 25 Pts 5 Rebs 2 Asts 2 Stls and 3 Blks. Rainbow it up! Played 28 minutes last night and 30 the game before and was owned virtually everywhere in the first half this season. Another big to probably pick back up.
Wayne Ellington – With Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters out, the Cavs chose to start Ellington over C.J. Miles and it played big dividends with an almost win against the Heat. Wayne went 7-17 and played a whopping 41 minutes, hitting 3 3’s and a 20-7-4-1 line. Yesterday I said “[Ellington would be] getting lots of shots in this one]” That’s me quoting me! Definitely worth an add while Waiters is out.
Kyle O’Quinn – Played 25 minutes off the bench with Nikola Vucevic out. Use those minutes wise, young one! Went 12-14-4. If Vuc is out Friday and you’re in a super deep league, you might hit a double-double with the Irishman. Ok so I doubt he’s really Irish….
Raymond Felton – Gets a fantasy bitch slap from me. Got him at a good price in a few leagues, made me look like a genius early on, then he gets hurt, then he puts out games like last night. 7-2-4-1 with 1 three. Ugly.
Monta Ellis – In a battle to out-ugly each other, Ellis went 2-14 for only 5 Pts in 40 minutes against the Hawks. He’ll be fine.
Devin Harris – Actually made use of his starting nod last night, going 15-1-6-2 with a 3. 6-7 at the free throw line as well shows he was driving some. Also the 39 minutes are encouraging. Still don’t buy his fantasy vitality yet, but if he’s gonna play 40-ish minutes a night, you gotta take notice.
Jerryd Bayless – The flavor of the week from December now has double-digit points in four straight and put up 20 last night. A little paltry in other categories, but his 28 minutes led the Grizz bench by far off the pine and deep league owners should take notice.
Jeff Green – Back to the bench and a sigh of despair from all those who nabbed him. 27 minutes 4-8 FG 13 Pts 2 Rebs 1 Stl 1 Blk. Still worth owning, but don’t expect the Edna eruptions. I hate getting that in crosswords now, if it’s 4 letters and anything about volcanoes we know what it is!
Gordon Hayward – It’s good to get some stuff right! I expected him to score at least 20 and he went 9-15 FG (3-4 3PTM) 27 Pts 8 Rebs 2 Asts and a steal. 42 minutes as the starter as well. Gotta love the raging Mormon doing his thing! (No idea if he’s Mormon).
Jeremy Lin – Has flashes of that stroke he had in New York last year, and now has 20+ Pts in 3 straight. With all the hype died down, he might be a good value next year in drafts.
Brook Lopez - As stated in the open, I watched this game and Lopez was downright unreal. I know that’s hard to articulate in words since he is a little oaf-ish, but owned the paint, owned the boards, pretty much owned the Mavs. 15-22 FG (8-10 FT) 38 Pts 11 Rebs 1 Ast 1 Stl and 2 Blks. If he stays healthy he could be a hall-of-fame big man. Gus Ayonin!
Kawhi Leonard – My boyfriend went 4-7 FG (1-2 3PTM) 4 Rebs and only 1 Blk as his stats for only 9 Pts in 33 mins. Ugh. Still think he’s a premiere player.
Next Game: I lucked out and get the Pistons @ Heat Friday night. See if the Heat get it to 25. I’ll definitely be tweeting during that one as the whole sports community will be…. Shoot your comments below!