The Power Forward situation in Phoenix is dreadful. Luis Scola returned to the starting line up, and only managed to play for 13 minutes. Thanks to terrible shooting, he finished the night 4 points to go with a rebound, assist, steal and block. Markieff Morris, meanwhile, had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. That craptastic line was still better than Scola’s, so he may go back to starting games. His 10/5.5 average over the past 2 weeks isn’t going to earn him a Hall of Fame plaque, but the Suns also aren’t contending, so they can do whatever they want at PF. If I had to have one of them, however, I would still go with Scola. Even from the bench, and ignoring last night, he is still producing 12/6.5, which, obviously, is better than M&M. I’d frankly ignore both, but you may not have that option. Good luck to you. Also, shame on me for leading with Scola twice within 7 days. Let’s say I’m leading with Markieff Morris instead. Problem solved. Here’s what else happened in the NBA:
Joe Johnson – Hey, look who finally decided to show up this week? He nailed 4 of 6 from downtown to finish with 23 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds because it is pretty much impossible to play 43 minutes without at least getting 2 rebounds.
Kris Humphries – With 11 points, 2 rebounds, 0 blocks, and 0 everything else, he is literally killing me. The Associated Press wrote “Former Raptors Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries both had big games for the Nets,” which only leads me to believe the guy writing for the AP does not play fantasy basketball. Evans at least had 11 rebounds to go with his 9 points.
Ed Davis – His previous high was 28 minutes, and he wasn’t on many people’s radars. Well, with Kleiza and Lowry both sitting out, there were minutes to spare, so Davis ate up 45 of them for 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist.
Jose Calderon – Crazy as this sounds, but if he wasn’t having a career low in FG%, I think he’d be rocking a career high in points. Instead, it’s another 4-13 game with just 10 points, but a whopping 15 assists, which is why I continue to love him. If he was scoring 14 PPG, he’d be owned in 86% instead of 66% of leagues. All he has to do is hit 2 more shots a game. Oh, well.
Josh Smith – On a team with guys named Devin, Teague, Zaza, Korver and Ivan, Josh Smith is too generic. We need something exciting to call him. Yes, I know everyone calls him J-Smoove, but that just makes it sound like someone has a speech impediment. Anyway, J-Smoof scored 16, grabbed 11, dished out 3, stole 1 and rejected 5.
Zaza Pachulia – His 7 points, 9 rebounds is him slamming his head on his own ceiling. If this was the best the Soviets could produce, it’s no wonder the USSR collapsed.
E’Twaun Moore – ET phoned in 11 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. He then ate some Reese’s pieces, stared at Drew Barrymore, healed a plant, and other ET references.
Jameer Nelson – He had 12 points, including 2 of 5 from downtown, but a Jameer with only 2 assists is Jafar from helpful.
C.J. Miles – The Pacers were under Ceej with Miles on the Court, who hit 8 of 18, including 6 of 9 from behind the arc, to finish with 28 points. While Cleveland is hobbled, grab Miles for short term bursts in points and threes.
Kyrie Irving – After his big return, he slowed down a bit with 9 points (missed all 3 from deep), 1 rebound, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Roy Hibbert – Ugh, Dr. Hibbert missed all but 1 of his 7 shots, but like Blanka, he made up for it with 12 boards, an assist, a steal, and 3 blocks. Ignore the 5 turnovers and you’ll survive.
Nate Robinson – Nate the Great finished the night with 14 points, 4 assists, and 2 threes. He’s a source for moderate points, threes and assists. He’s only 22% owned. You’re probably taller than him. Don’t delay.
Jimmy Butler – James Servant tallied up 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 dimes. He’s not really an option except in the deepest of leagues; a line like that only shows up once per month.
Blake Griffin – He shot 9 of 17 from the floor but only hit 1 of 5 from the free throw line. Maybe he should just run up to the line and throw it, or ask a team mate to throw a hand in his face. Anyway, he had 19 points, 5 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
Matt Barnes – I briefly considered adding him to one of my teams yesterday. After his production of 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks (including 3 threes), I briefly considered adding him again. The only reason I didn’t is because he is too streaky, but he is an excellent streaming candidate for teams that lost a spot to guys like Bynum, Wall or Granger, or, obviously, in deeper leagues (14+, I’m thinking). Of course, the caveat is that if you’re in a deeper league, every player of interest is already owned and you’re debating adding Marcus Camby.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Rookie sensation #3 shot poorly (33%), but still had 11 points to go with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Ben Gordon – From the bench, he played 23 minutes, missed 5 of 6 three point attempts, and finished with 9 points, 2 boards, 1 assist and a block.
Harrison Barnes – The other Barnes started for a mere 18 minutes, ending the night with 8 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals. There doesn’t appear to be an injury concern, just a “I haven’t scored more than 10 points since November 19” concern.
Klay Thompson – He made 5 of 13 threes to finish with 27/7/4/2/1. Hell of a night. Based on what he’s done all month, next game out he’ll have 10 points, then the game after that 23.
Jarrett Jack – He Jacked up 14 shots, making 9, including 2 threes, for 20 points, 4 boards, 4 dimes and a steal. He’s been seeing some time and making it worthwhile with 10+ PPG and 5+ APG.
Ray Allen – Outside of the big three, Ray was the only guy who scored more than 8 points, and not counting Ray and the big three, the Heat averaged 2.5 points per player. I’m surprised the Heat lost with a 4 man team. Anyway. Allen’s line: 14/4/4.
Derek Fisher – If I told you the fisherman led his team in blocks, would you believe me? Well, yeah, it’s not like I lie. Odd, though, right? Anyway, he had 10 points (2-3 from deep), 4 assists, 3 boards, 2 blocks and a steal. He also fouled out.
Elton Brand – He likes to creep into the public consciousness from time to time, and last night he had 9 points, 7 rebounds and a steal. He’s averaging about 7 & 7 over the past 2 weeks.
Rajon Rondo – Oh so close to a triple double with 16 points, 15 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, a block and 5 turnovers.
DeMarcus Cousins – Sat out due to a one game suspension for a low blow to Mayo. He’s more of a mustard guy.
Tyreke Evans – He led the team off the bench with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a three. John Salmons was second on the team with 16 points (1-5 from downtown), 3 boards, and assist, and 2 blocks. The Kings scored 85 points.
Ersan Ilyasova – He only played 24 minutes but produced 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He even tossed in a three pointer. He’s beginning to average 16/8 per night, and he’s worth grabbing if he’s still available in your league.
Bradley Beal – With 20 points, 6 assists, 2 steals and 4 rebounds, he led the Wizards to…oh, they still lost. He’s been smoking hot recently.
Nene – Maybe he should add the Hilario back to his name, because his return hasn’t been all that exciting. Still, the man is working his way back, and he produced 13/9/3 with no blocks.
Toney Douglas – Still staying relevant for the time being with 12 points, 2 threes, and 1 each of rebounds, assists and steals. I said relevant, not exciting.
Patrick Patterson – His 3 blocks highlighted an otherwise average line of 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Gotta like those 3 blocks, though. It’s kind of like when you go to see an older band and only one original member is left. You still get to hear the songs, right?
Brian Roberts – He led the Hornets with 16 points (4-6 from deep), plus 4 assists, 2 steals and a board. I guess this is what he’s up to when the Orioles are in the offseason.
Austin Rivers – With 38 minutes, he had 12 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Hey, he’s not entirely dead. By the way, I was in a Toys R Us last night and saw some Walking Dead action figures. They had “Well Zombie,” which is (spoiler?) just a fat, bloated carcass that splits in half. I didn’t see Austin Rivers on the shelf, however.
Serge Ibaka – The Second Sultan of Swat had 3 blocks on the night, 68 on the year, and finished with 7 points and 6 rebounds.
Danilo Gallinari – He had a smooth shot last night, hitting 9 of 13 (4-5 from downtown) to wrap up the evening with 24 points, but he also had 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals to go with that.
Kenneth Faried – One of these days, I expect the sweat from his dreadlocks to drag him to the floor, but last night was not that time, as he had a team leading 26 points and 14 rebounds. He also had 3 steals and an assist.
J.J. Barea – Although he missed his 2 three point attempts, he still had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals.
Nikola Pekovic – I’m surprised he’s only 67% owned, considering he just had a 22 point, 11 rebound, 2 assist, 2 block performance. Do I need to feature him every week? Don’t make me repeat myself. Don’t make me repeat myself. Don’t make me repeat myself.
Marc Gasol – Didn’t have a great night despite 39 minutes, finishing with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists…oh yeah, and 6 blocks. I guess he was too busy blocking the ball to rebound. Fair enough!
Mike Conley – Despite 35 minutes himself, he only finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. It’s a bit baffling, because the Grizzlies are not a bad team, but they sure played lacklusterly, if that’s a word.
Tim Duncan – There has to be a term for a double double of this magnitude: 22 points, 21 rebounds (technically he had what I like to call the double double and a half with 6 blocks on the stat line). Maybe we can dust off the glossary and start adding terms. Give me some ideas so I can feel bad about rejecting them.
Paul Millsap – He had a less impressive doub-doub and a half with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, plus a block and a steal for good measure.
Gordon Hayward – Thanks to 4 threes and 7 of 14 shooting, Hay ward ya come off the bench finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a block. He doesn’t usually offer much in terms of peripheral stats, but he’s solid for points and threes. Over the past 2 weeks, he’s been averaging approximately 17/8/3/2/1.