Why do deer like salt licks? It’s one of the longest pondered mysteries in the world. Ok, that’s not true at all after I asked Jeeves. According to Wikipedia (I know Mrs. Hanson, I can’t use it as a source but this isn’t a research paper, bitch) “A mineral [salt] lick is natural mineral deposit where animals in nutrient-poor ecosystems can obtain essential mineral nutrients.” Parallels! Those poor Milwaukee Bucks were having such nutrient-poor fantasy lines and highlights of late and just needed some salt to lick. Easy, “that’s what she said” guy (you know if you are). The Bucks had three plays in the Sportscenter top 10! Fantasy wise, Monta Ellis hadn’t scored 30 in 2013. Brandon Jennings hadn’t scored more than 11 in his last four games. J.J. Redick hadn’t scored more than 16 or hit more than 2 threes in a game for his new squad. And Larry Sanders hadn’t… Well he’s been playing awesome, and was awesome again last night. Let’s look at their lines and the rest of fantasy basketball’s noteworthy performances last night:
Monta Ellis – 15-21 34 Pts 1 3PTM 4 Rebs 3 Asts 4 Stls and 1 Blk. I watched the Bucks vs. the Jazz for those Yahoo player highlights, and man, was Ellis unstoppable as the stat line would indicate. I tried getting into moped accidents just to be good at basketball. Ok so that’s not me. But I don’t think it would work anyway.
Brandon Jennings – 8-14 FG (4-5 3PTM) 20 Pts 17 Asts and 3 Stls. Had 2 Pts and 10 Asts at half then 18 Pts and 7 Asts in the 2nd half and OT. Awesome to see a guy be able to transition roles from nothing but facilitator to all-around player at halftime. Also pretty unreal to see 17 Asts following the 19 he put up on Saturday. He’s so hard to guard when he’s on.
J.J. Redick – Had the most points he’s scored since being acquired by Milwaukee (17) and the most 3s (3). However, had eight of those points and two of the triples in OT. Huzzah for extra minutes! Without overtime, it would have been a brutal line of 4-9 FG (1-5 3PTM) 9 Pts 2 Rebs 1 Ast and 1 Stl. I’m still a seller if I can get anything for him with a rival owner seeing his best line since playing for the Bucks. Not to mention Ellis racking up 44 minutes and Jennings 47.
Larry Sanders – The Colonel has been a roto gold mine with buckets of stats lately. 8 Pts 16 Rebs and 6 Blks is Finger Lickin’ Good.
Carmelo Anthony – Left in the second quarter of what could be a Shaqtin’ a Fool-type injury tripping over himself. He had an MRI recently which revealed no damage and apparently he’s played with the injury for a while. Be crazy if the MRI revealed his knees were made of caramel like a Caramello. I don’t think he’ll miss Wednesday Night’s game.
Amar’e Stoudemire – With Anthony out, Stoudemire played a season-high minutes (32) and went 22 and 6. That’s closer to the good ol’ days!
Marreese Speights – Scored a season high 23 points in 32 minutes with Tyler Z out with a tummy bug. Zeller had to go to the hospital though, so that musta been some questionable Indian food. Ask me about my buddy’s 21st birthday at a Thai restaurant some time. Zeller doesn’t have much bulk to lose when you’re puking your guts out, so I could see him missing 2-3 games giving Speights some good short term value in the interim.
Luke Walton – Dishing em out like butterscotches if he was on The Waltons. Had 12 assists in 29 minutes off the bench for the Cavs. It was his most minutes in 2013 and I don’t see this being anything more than an odd function of the game. C’mon Knicks, he ain’t shootin’!
Raymond Felton – Another guy not shooting the ball well of late is my boy Ray-Ray, who was able to rack up double-digit assists for the first time in over a month. If only he could hit those triples like early in the season.
Alec Burks – Played a whopping 36 minutes off the bench for the Jazz and scored 19 Pts (7-10 FG) 3 Rebs 4 Asts and 3 Stls. He looked a little raw still, but played with energy. If he can rack a few games together like this (he has gotten 25+ minutes the past 9), he could have some value to deeper leagues.
Derrick Favors – Started monstrously with 8 Pts and 7 Rebs in the first six minutes and ended the night with 23 Pts and 15 Rebs in only 30 minutes. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin played Enes Kanter and Paul Millsap down the stretch (no Al Jefferson still) instead of leaving Favors in despite the huge numbers. Don’t do us fantasy players no favors!
Tobias Harris – Everyone loved to jump off the bandwagon because one bad game, but my boy T-Hair bounced back with 15 Pts 1 3PTM 5 Rebs 2 Ast and 2 Stls. Not huge, but still fantasy-worthy.
Arron Afflalo – Probably the Magic’s best scorer, Afflalo finally topped 20 after five games being under, going 26 5 and 5. Glad to have a full Nelson instead of an empty Nelson.
Jameer Nelson – Returned after missing six straight games with a Patella injury. And the Magic were extremely cautious letting him play 37 minutes!? Sheesh Orlando. I guess they think Nelson is back to 100%. Went 15 Pts 2 3PTM 4 Rebs 7 Asts and a steal. Not a bad return.
Brittney Griner – Everyone laughed when I took her with my first pick in my hybrid NBA/Women’s NCAA Fantasy league. Went 21-28 for 50 Pts! Get her in the NBA.
Al-Farouq Aminu – The roto darling had another one of those lite-scoring, other-stats line of 7 Pts 8 Rebs 2 Asts 1 Stl and 3 Blks. Worth picking up if you need across the board peripheral stats.
Dwyane Wade – 15-23 FG 32 Pts 7 Rebs 10 Asts and playing unreal. Can he and LeBron get co-MVPs?
Derrick Williams – With Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko out, the surging other D-Will played a monster 45 minutes going 10-22 FG 25 Pts 10 Rebs and 1 Ast. Would be nice to see a steal and/or a block, but I’ll take it. I’m gonna try something new here. Gus Ayonin’! (Fantasy Basketball version of Cust Kayin’? Maybe?)
Dante Cunningham – With the aforementioned Wolves front line injuries, D-Cunn came off the bench to play 39 minutes! Not as shocking when you see that the ghost of Greg Stiemsma got the start. Cunningham wasn’t dominant in those minutes going 8 Pts 11 Rebs 2 Asts 1 Stl and 1 Blk, but that’s a usable line. Worth keeping on eye on if you need a spot start from a big.
Dahntay Jones – In proving that starts and minutes can mean absolutely nothing, Jones got the start with Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson out and played 35 minutes. His line? 2-7 FG 4 Pts 2 Rebs and 3 Asts. The Hawks should just have played 4 on 5.
Corey Brewer – Took over the Nuggets scoring off the bench, taking a season high number of shots with a fantastic line of 11-20 FG 22 Pts 4 Rebs 3 Asts and 2 Stls. Has 8+ points in all of the last 11 games and will get a handful of other stats. Worth a look in deeper leagues.
Meyers Leonard – Quietly had 12+ points in the last three games and played 21 minutes in the last two, with a line of 15 Pts and 6 Rebs last night. The Trailblazers need contributions off the bench (lead the league in scoring % from starters) and Leonard could get some extended run as the season wears down and young guys get a few more minutes.
Josh McRoberts – Another off the grid player since his move to Charlotte, McRoberts has three straight decent roto lines including last night’s 9 Pts 8 Rebs 3 Asts and a block. 20+ minutes off the bench in those last three and McRoberts could be a baby-Aminu. That’s not really a nice compliment in truth.
Byron Mullens – Got benched after only 3 minutes due to his sore right knee. It’s apparently not a long term concern, but players in weekly leagues that have him in probably want to shoot themselves for owning any Bobcats.
Amir Johnson – Went 10-10 from the field to go 23 and 15. 12 of those boards were offensive! Amir will show you offensive.
Andrea Bargnani – Vintage 2009! Bargnani went 8-18 FG (5-7 3PTM) 26 Pts 7 Rebs and a block. Hadn’t done much until last night, but looked confident and I would pick him up if he’s on your wire.
Next Game: I’ve got highlights for Memphis @ Cleveland on Wednesday Night so I’ll be watching for the much-publicized matchup of Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington against their old team. OK, so I’m stretching for a headline. As always post your questions and comments below!