Beast of the Night: Carlos Boozer pummeled the Spurs with 27 points, 14 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He shot 60 percent (12-20) from the floor and a perfect 3-3 from the line while turning the ball over just once. He’s been a roller coaster all season but last night’s line against Tim Duncan and the Spurs, one of the teams favored to get to the Finals, has to inject some confidence in his owners. The window to buy low on Boozer might be closed.
LeBron James – 9-17 FG (53%), 6-9 FT (67%), 1 3Ptm, 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 TO; It was business as usual for the King last night. He continues to be pedestrian from the free throw line and it looks like this might be his career-long fantasy Achilles’ heel.
Anderson Varejao – 5-7 FG (71%), 2-4 FT (50%), 12 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 TO; Sideshow Bob continues to be a strong source of rebounds and steals.
Shaquille O’Neal – 7-13 FG (54%), 14 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 ast, 5 Blk, 3 TO; Whenever The Diesel doesn’t shoot free throws, it’s a great thing for his fantasy owners. He’s still a DNP risk down the line so if you own Shaq, don’t get too attached just yet.
John Salmons – 6-13 FG (46%), 1-1 FT (100%), 1 3Ptm, 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk; A pretty decent line from Salmons, who’s upside with Ben Gordon’s departure seems to be suffocated by Luol Deng’s comeback. He’ll find a way to consistently produce soon and looks like a good buy-low candidate.
Wesley Matthews – 5-8 FG (63%), 1-3 FT (33%), 1 3Ptm, 12 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Stl; Yes, he’s an actual NBA player. The shooting guard for the Jazz came off the bench and put up a solid line on Thursday. He shouldn’t be picked up just yet and will only warrant attention if Deron Williams or Ronnie Brewer misses time with injuries.
Antonio McDyess – 2-5 FG (40%), 2-2 FT (100%), 6 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk; He looks to be the Spurs’ sixth man and is backing up the streaky Matt Bonner, who is a lock to start for the foreseeable future. This has to be disappointing for those that drafted McDyess thinking he was going to start. He’ll have more value later in the season.
Waiver Wire Appeal:
Taj Gibson – 11 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk; So long as he’s starting over Tyrus Thomas, the rookie deserves consideration in deeper leagues.
DeJuan Blair – 14 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Blk; When he plays 20+ minutes, Blair is a good source of points, rebounds, steals and field goal percentage. His value will see a boost later in the season when Tim Duncan gets more rest.
D.J. Augustin (ankle): likely for tonight
Richard Hamilton (ankle): traveling with team, but still wearing protective boot; unlikely for tonight
Andris Biedrins (back): unlikely for tonight
Chase Budinger (ankle): says he’ll play tonight, but monitor until game time
Trevor Ariza (flu): unlikely for tonight
Andrew Bynum (elbow): avoided serious injury, unlikely for tonight
Pau Gasol (hamstring): practicing now, but not quite ready to play; unlikely for tonight
Daequan Cook (shoulder): unknown timetable for return, doubtful for tonight
Devin Harris (groin): out another 2-4 weeks
Chris Douglas-Roberts (flu): questionable for tonight; Terrence Williams could start in his place
Vince Carter (ankle): unlikely for tonight
Leandro Barbosa (wrist): questionable for tonight
Mike Miller (shoulder): out at least another week
Kevin Martin (wrist): will decide whether to have surgery on broken left wrist today
Look for Shane Battier to benefit from the probable absences of Ariza and Budinger tonight.
Gasol vs. Gasol might be delayed, but look for Marc Gasol to put up a nice line against a depleted Lakers frontline.
LeBron makes his one and only appearance in New York this season. Expect a huge night from him. Also, expect him to bring along a colossal elephant, which everyone will talk about.
Phoenix’s high-octane offense meets Boston’s stalwart defense. Fantasy owners have to hope Phoenix will win this battle of styles.
Anthony Randolph could finally play decent minutes tonight for a diminished Warriors squad, which welcomes back Baron Davis and the Clippers. Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby might have a feast.
For Next Week:
4 games: DAL, GS, HOU, LAC, MIN, NO, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR, UTA
3 games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, LAL, MEM, MIA, NJ, NY, ORL, SA
2 games: IND, MIL, SAC, WAS