James Johnson scored only 5 pts, but grabbed 5 boards, blocked five shot, made 2-of-3 from the floor and sank a three. This is why he’s valuable. Skip the scoring. It’s not there. Won’t happen. Ignore it. Grab him anyway. Of all the secondary players that are still mostly available in fantasy leagues (>25 percent owned), Johnson is the player that really shouldn’t be unowned the most. And while that wasn’t my bestly constructed sentence, don’t allow it to cloud your judgment. Johnson has averaged 23 min./ 4 pts/ 4 rbds/ 2 ast/ 3 blks+stls. Not everyone can own LeBron and Durant and normally the end of most fantasy benches are filled with guys doing one or two things well. Johnson doesn’t do anything phenomenally, but he also will fill up the box score on most nights. Guys like that at the end of your bench are often the difference between first place and Mike Millerville. Scroll down and stare at the text until a rocket appears (joke’s on you. The Rockets didn’t play last night).
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Dwyane Wade – He hinted at having plantar fasciitis – just a hint. He’s so coy. He’d never just come flat out and say he has foot aches. C’mon. All he’ll need is rest, but with most NBA teams playing three games a night from now until June, plantar fasciitis might as well be a missing eyeball. Time to find out if Wade can out-tough Kobe in the playing-through-excruciating-pain department. A department almost as depressing as the men’s suits section in Sears.
Danny Granger – Out with food poisoning. Meatlof, meatloaf, double beatloaf. Dan hates meatloaf. Either that or Dahntay Jones.
Tyler Hansbrough – First two assists of the season. What’s weirder: Psycho-T’s pair of assists tonight or Andrea Bargnani grabbing double-digit rebounds two games in a row? I’m going with Bargs. He had two double-doubles all last season and those games were three months apart.
Elton Brand – 6/5/1 and Sir Elton hasn’t scored more than 12 points in a game yet. Maybe his knee is acting up. Maybe age is catching up to him. Maybe it’s both. He’s like my uncle if my uncle had ever been good at something in the past.
Jrue Holiday – Cold again. For the fifth time in eight games, he’s doled out fewer than four assists. I’m not panicked. We’re still within the window of time a player would have been in preseason training in a normal season. If he’s still averaging fewer than five assists per game a month from now, then I’d put on mascara and begin crying so I get that creepy streaky-eyed thing that only the craziest of girls get.
Joakim Noah – 4/8/0, with 2 blocks. Noah didn’t take a single shot in this game. Still cold. Still startin’. It’s early. Chill.
Carlos Boozer – Shot 9-for-13 including six straight shots that barely ever touched the iron. He still stopped to scream unto the heavens while the rest of his team ran to the other end of the floor. It’s his thing. Like Aniston’s “Rachel” hairdo.
DeMar DeRozan – When we last met DeDe he had just finished sinking five threes on his way to 25 points. In the three games since, he’s shot .267 (8-for-30) and averaged 8.7 ppg. Quick! Everybody close your eyes and don’t look at DeRozan. If we pretend not to notice, he’ll go back to scoring 20+ points a game. That’s how Toronto do.
Vladimir Radmanovic – In for Marvin Williams. He sank a quartet of treys on his way to 14/6 in 39 minutes. Williams is out at least one more game, so it would behoove you to stream him. Everyone wants to be behooved. Except horses, because walking around becomes very painful.
DeShawn Stevenson – Was scratched from the lineup. MarShon Brooks took his place. If you owned Stevenson and Brooks is still available, you don’t need my help because you’re in a league all by yourself. As a side note, is it possible to see Brooks’ name without the mind’s eye seeing it as “Mar$hon?”
Tyrus Thomas – 6 pts/ 5 rbd / 1 blk in his first three games of the season. PREDICTION: At some point, in the next three games, he’s going to go off and everyone’s going to rush to pick him up and end up dropping someone more valuable than he is. Then he’s going to average this again for another three games. Then one more big game. Rinse, repeat. Barf.
Iman Shumpert – 16/6/4, with 3 steals as he slipped into the starting lineup. I’m-a just let that lie there for a second. Soak it in. Swish it around. Twirl it. Hold it by the stem. Sniff it. … Now drink.
Toney Douglas – “Well, that was fun.” – Douglas, on his seven-game tenure as the Knicks’ starting PG (2/1/0, in 13 minutes last night).