Leading up to last night’s game, it was fairly unclear who would make up for Danilo Gallinari‘s minutes, or if not minutes, his production. If Corey Brewer can go 16/5/3 in 7 mpg, God bless him. But he can’t, so the Nuggets are a game of Clue, right now. Everyone is a suspect, anyone could land in the jackpot at any time and it’s damn near impossible for Ty Lawson not to look good in a smoking jacket. Last night, Rudy Fernandez came through with 17/3/1, with a couple threes and a steal. And while my money is on him to pick up the bulk of Gallo’s slack over the next four weeks, I’m unconvinced he’ll be reliable. He disappears in games and is fairly easy for defenses to shut down. Some other ‘perts have expressed renewed hope in Arron Afflalo bustin’ loose with the added responsibility. Frankly, I don’t see it. Harrington, Brewer, Fernandez; these are the guys who’ll see additional time. Afflalo is a defensive guard whose game doesn’t translate to fantasy hoops. He’s not a scorer and he doesn’t have the ball in his hands enough to rack up assists. Brewer, too, is a situational guy who’ll be out a couple games because his father passed away. And Julyan Stone stood on the court for about seven starter’s minutes last night and I’m still not sure why. Really, this comes down to whether RuFer is available in your league. It’s Fernandez in the library with the noose. Grab him if you can. All other guesses are incorrect. Here’s more fantasy basketball for your eyes.
Chris Andersen – (Cakaw!) Got the start and, (Cakaw!) after earning 10/9 on Monday, (Cakaw!) went 2/2, with 2 blocks. Caka–wait, what? Oh. Ugh.
Kenyon Martin – From the Nuggets to an ex-Nugget, Martin made his season/Clippers debut to the tune of 6/4, with 2 blocks and a steal. The tune needs a little more rehearsing.
Randy Foye – 15/1/2, with a steal and three threes (stutterer!). It looks like he’ll be starting so that Mo can go nuts from the bench. Mo knows bench nuts. Foye will have better games and worse games, but the averages will suggest he should be owned in most leagues.
DeAndre Jordan – Didn’t shoot a shot. Didn’t make a free throw. Didn’t earn an assist. Played 25 minutes and only grabbed four rebounds. THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS BACKCOURT DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR DEANDRE JORDAN.
Ramon Sessions – Started in place of the concussed Kyrie Irving and ended with 24/2/13. The Cavs play tomorrow and Saturday, and there’s a good chance Irving won’t play either of those games, which means there’s a good chance someone just plucked Sessions out of the free agent pool while you were wasting your time reading this blurb.
Anderson Varejao – No one told Andy that when one goes hard to the mothereffin’ paint, that this is a figure of speech and should not be taken literally. Waka Flaka should never be taken literally. Ryan Hollins and Samardo Samuels mightd see bumps in production if the injury is deemed Ryan Hollins-bad, but not enough for you to roster either of them.
Ryan Anderson – 24/8, with 5 threes in the first half. Then went 3/3, with no 3ptm in the second half. Shucks. Maybe the NEXT game will be the one where he drops 48.
Hedo Turkoglu – Hey, dude! Turkoglu! What’s up with shooting 15-for-79 (.190) over the last 12 games (including .167 last night)? Hateyou, Turkoglu.
Mario Chalmers – Was slowed due to a hand injury. When Clapton is slowhand, we get “Layla.” When Chalmers is slowhand, we get Norris Cole. I’d prefer “Layla,” especially considering Cole only went 9/2/4 in a loss last night. If you’re in a point guard pinch, Cole is grab-able, just so long as you know he’s equally droppable.
Stephen Jackson – 17/4/3, with a peppering of good stuff on top, all wrapped up in a scrumptious 33 minutes. Jax is playing well now. When my wife and I get into a fight, inevitably I apologize and inevitably, she takes the opportunity to pile on all the awful things I’ve ever done for which I need to atone. She knows I’m uninterested in fighting anymore and am likely to just do whatever she says. This lasts anywhere from 1-5 days. Consider this Day 1 of Jackson’s atonement. In your lineup he goes.
Drew Gooden – Two weeks ago I told you to stop what you were doing to grab Gooden. Since then he’s averaged 21.5/7.8/2.5. So, uh … you listened to me, right? Cool. Just checking.
Jerryd Bayless– Left early with ankle soreness. You know what? Just drop him. Don’t even think about it all that much. He’s been off and on your roster so many damn times already, what’s one more spin around the carousel?
DeMar DeRozan – Sank 4 threes on this way to 25 points. Do that for the rest of February and we’ll be square from January.
Jeremy Lin – 23/4/10 for his first career double-double. AND THE LEGEND CONTINUES! It just goes to show, if your team is struggling, start every last one of your point guards at some point in the season. You never know, one of them might turn out to be Asian-Canadian with a Harvard education. I don’t want to be a huge stick in the mud, but it’s still worth noting that 1) he’s averaging 39 minutes in his last three, which he is unlikely to sustain, 2) Monday’s game was against the respectable Jazz, yes, but the other two were against D.C. and Jersey, and 3) the Knicks are an emaciated team without it’s two best players in the lineup and with it’s scheduled starting PG a week or two away from returning. These are Jeremy Lin’s salad days.
Steve Novak – Thirteen 3ptm in his last two games, as the Knicks have won its last three. Clearly Carmelo Anthony will have to win his job back when he returns from injury.
Bill Walker – 5/6/1, in 21 starter’s minutes. What? You didn’t really think there was enough room for Lin, Novak AND Walker to go H.A.M. while ‘Melo and Amar’e were absent, did you? That’s just too much Cinderella Story for one town, even if that town happens to be New York City.
Tony Parker – Last night, the Spurs did tapas together in Philly. Tony Parker asked everyone if they wanted the last steak skewer. No one did, so he took it. Back at the hotel, they had one free upgraded suite. Parker asked everyone if they wanted the upgrade. No one did, so he took it. Last night, Parker kept asking if anyone else wanted to score some points. No one did, so he ended with 37 points. That’s 100 over the last three games.
Gary Neal – 18/5/6, with 4 3ptm last night. And you wondered why this non-descript bench player is owned in over 60 percent of leagues. You didn’t wonder? Well, perhaps being a little more inquisitive would do you some good.
Spencer Hawes – Missed last night’s game. MRI came back negatory. Tony Battie didn’t play, Nikola Vucevic played, but you wish he hadn’t (he had more fouls and turnovers than rebounds, assists and points combined). Really, Thad Young will see the biggest bump and Thad Young is almost certainly already owned.
Paul George – 5/3/1, with a pair of steals in 29 minutes one day after I spent 250 words explaining how friggin’ brilliant he is. Awesome George. Thanks. I asked you never to contradict me in public!
Kirk Hinrich – Season-high 17 points, season-high three treys. Skip him. Avoid the season contact high.
Trevor Ariza – Everything goes better on Ariza … except for the bulk of NOLA’s shooting. Dude’s a terrible shot, which is why he goes through ebbs like the one he’s in now. What ebb you say? The “.390-FG%-since-January 18” ebb. Oh right. You forgot about that.
JJ Barea – 17/3/6 in bail-out minutes for the super-cold Rubio. I wouldn’t put much stock into Barea. Barea hates stock. Gives him gas.
Mike Conley – This begins our stars-who-didn’t-suck-but-nevertheless-let-fantasy-owners-down-last-night section of Razzball. Conley ended with seven assists and four steals, but only two points on 1-for-8 shooting. He did a lot to help your team and a fair amount to hurt it. That’s okay, I guess. But he’s shot sub-.300 in six of his last 10 games. Go ahead and monitor that.
Kevin Martin – 4-for-24 in his last six halves of basketball, including 0-for-8 from behind the arc. No clue what his deal is, but if you want to bench him until he shows up again, I wouldn’t blame you. This streak is more disappointing then getting a new Walkman for Christmas, but no batteries with which to operate it.
Ben Gordon – Returned for the first time since January 20 and ended with 14/5/2, 2 stl and 4 tov. That’s a pretty okay line for a creaky Gordon. It’s a killer line for anyone on the Bobcats and it’s the type of line I’d get tattooed to my lower back if it happened to me.
Dirk Nowitzki – He’s averaging 26/8 on .615 shooting from the floor in his last three. This is a bigger relief than the time my dog came home after I had spent all weekend thinking he was dead. Turns out he just spent three days inseminating all the neighborhood bitches. So, yeah. Anyway, this is happier than that.