Beast of the Night: Chris Paul finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 14 assists and 2 steals last night in an easy victory over the Nets. He shot 75 percent (6-8) from the floor and had just one turnover. CP3 is putting up stats that make him the top dog in fantasy basketball so far this year and has somehow managed to do so in quiet fashion.
Lines for Discussion:
Joe Johnson: 9-17 FG (53%), 2-2 FT (100%), 3 threes, 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast; This was his first “business as usual” game since he heroically returned early from his elbow surgery. Johnson is a good candidate to finish the season better than he started it.
Carlos Boozer: 11-18 FG (61%), 8-11 FT (73%), 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 7 Ast, 5 TO; Boozer has worked himself back into fine form and should only get more consistent as he gels with Derrick Rose and asserts himself with Joakim Noah out of the lineup.
Rashard Lewis: 4-10 FG (40%), 8 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO; For his owners who were hoping for Lewis to recover some of his value in D.C., this line was surely a hope-killer. He came off the bench and only played 22:29, but Lewis isn’t likely to bounce back anytime soon.
Kirk Hinrich: 6-14 FG (43%), 7-8 FT (88%), 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO; Spock’s been solid lately, mostly thanks to John Wall’s ongoing string of DNPs. One thing to note is that Hinrich hasn’t hit a three-pointer in his last five games, each of which have been starts. He is a good sell-high candidate.
Wilson Chandler: 9-15 FG (60%), 3 threes, 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 TO; Those who thought he would slow down after his hot start were dead wrong. Chandler is here to stay.
Paul Millsap: 10-16 FG (63%), 3-4 FT (75%), 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 TO; This was his first double-double since Nov. 17, which tells of how far Millsap has fallen off since his monstrous start to 2010-11. He remains a solid all-around fantasy player, but his ceiling appears limited.
J.R. Smith: 8-18 FG (44%), 2-2 FT (100%), 4 threes, 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO; He started in place of Carmelo Anthony and put up one of his better liens of the season. Smith might get sucked into the trade vacuum surrounding Anthony, so that deserves some monitoring.
Josh Howard: 13 Pts, 1 three, 1 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 TO; Two of his three games back have been decent and he deserves a look if you have dead weight to swap.
Nick Young: 22 Pts, 3 threes, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 4 TO; He really needs to be owned in more leagues than he is right now.
Richard Hamilton: 35 Pts, 6 threes, 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO; Do you think he was upset with being pushed to the bench? He played more minutes than Ben Gordon and put up a superior line. This could get messy, but Rip should be considered in all leagues.
Tracy McGrady: 17 Pts, 1 three, 7 Reb, 7 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 TO; A tip of the hat to T-Mac, but nothing else. Pick him up only if you love getting your heart broken.
Sasha Vujacic: 12 Pts, 2 threes, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO; The Machine has turned into a reliable fantasy option and should be given a look so long as Anthony Morrow is out.
Martell Webster: 16 Pts, 2 threes, 2 Reb, 4 TO; He’s the real deal. Make room for him if you can.
Ty Lawson: 22 Pts, 2 threes, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 TO; He put this up despite Chauncey Billups’ start.
Kenyon Martin: 8 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 St, 1 Blk; He returned and was put into the starting lineup right away. K-Mart deserves a look in deeper leagues.
Gary Neal: 22 Pts, 5 threes, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 TO; He’s doing an admirable job of filling in for George Hill and has put together back-to-back 22-point games.
Shane Battier: 13 Pts, 3 threes, 10 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO; This was a beastly line from Battier, who remains a solid fantasy player in all categories besides field-goal percentage.
Rajon Rondo (ankle): isn’t likely to play on Christmas, but getting closer
Jermaine O’Neal (knee): was supposed to return last night but had a bout with the flu
Carmelo Anthony (personal): missed last night due to a death in the family, expected back after Christmas
Jason Maxiell (finger): dislocated a finger last night and is day-to-day
Brian Cook (ankle): out three more weeks
Chris Kaman (ankle): out of his walking boot, still out indefinitely
George Hill (toe): didn’t travel with the team to tonight’s game in Orlando
Amir Johnson (back): left last night’s game with back spasms, day-to-day
Phoenix will unveil its new lineup against the Miami Heat tonight. Marcin Gortat is the guy to watch here.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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