Although Derrick Rose was able to start, he went 1-13 in 25 minutes and couldn’t finish. C.J. Watson, far from 100% healthy himself, played most of the fourth quarter and the overtime, scoring 16 points and adding 8 assists to spark the Bulls’ victory. LeBron James had 30, Dwyane Wade 21 and Chris Bosh 20 for the Heat, who moved Udonis Haslem into the starting lineup, sending Ronny Turiaf to the bench. As the Miami subs were outscored 47-7 by Chicago’s second unit, and Haslem played just 11 minutes, we can’t call the move a success.
Other Thursday News
LAC @ MIN: We don’t know if the concussion Kevin Love suffered will end his season, but it’s all over for the Timberwolves. The courageous Nikola Pekovic hobbled around on two bad ankles long enough to score 17 points and grab six boards, but Derrick Williams had a disappointing night as the starting PF and Anthony Randolph (16 PTS, 9 REB, 3 BLK) was better off the bench. J.J. Barea (10 PTS, 11 AST) had to leave for eight stitches in his lip, but did return. The Clippers did just enough to win; Blake Griffin (19 & 13) led the way and Mo Williams (14 PTS & 5 AST in under 20 minutes) looked good in his return from an 11-game absence.
DET @ CHA: Greg Monroe (25 PTS, 11 REB) and Jason Maxiell (17 PTS, 5 REB) were too much for Charlotte’s big men. Brandon Knight (21 PTS, 7 AST, 3 REB, 3 STL) also feasted on the Bobcats before garbage time. Byron Mullens is repeating his familiar pattern of a few very good games, then tailing off. He had just 6 PTS and 6 REB in 21 minutes and can safely be dropped in standard-sized leagues.
MEM @ SAS: Memphis didn’t have their legs in the second half and are still missing Tony Allen, whose face is healing from a bad cut that has cost him five games. It was Tim Duncan (28 PTS, 12 REB, 2 BLK) and Manu Ginobili (20 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST) doing most of the damage for the Spurs, who got back in the W column and halted the Grizzlies’ 4-game streak.
DAL @ GSW: Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points and the Mavs’ bench was terrific. Brandan Wright, who we have been touting, had 16 PTS, 9 REB and 2 BLK in 32 minutes; starting C Brendan Haywood played just 11 minutes. Rodrigue Beaubois (11 & 5) played more minutes than starter Delonte West (8 PTS in 15 minutes) and that may be a “who’s hot?” timeshare. David Lee (30 PTS, 8 REB) and Klay Thompson (24 PTS, 8 AST, 7 REB) were stellar in defeat.
Friday The 13th
BOS @ TOR: This is a mismatch, of course. Rajon Rondo has become a triple-double machine (six on the season) and Kevin Garnett is consistently brilliant. Mikael Pietrus played well off the bench on Wednesday in place of Ray Allen, whose ankle is swelling up again. Avery Bradley might get extra minutes this evening; Jose Calderon will be playing with an eye injury and Toronto has no experienced backup PG. With Andrea Bargnani (calf) out and Linas Kleiza (knee) doubtful, Ed Davis is a good play.
NJN @ PHI: It appears that the Sixers have woken up, with two wins this week. Their bench often outscores the starters, especially since Spencer Hawes was demoted. He’ll get more minutes than starter Nikola Vucevic, against easier opposition. Thaddeus Young also seems back in a groove, after a stretch of single-digit scoring games. The Nets haven’t played since getting blown out at home by Philly on Tuesday; Deron Williams and Kris Humphries are their main men, but the team effort is fading.
ATL @ ORL: Dwight Howard (back) won’t play, so Glen Davis should continue his recent hot streak. The Hawks lost a heartbreaker in Boston on Wednesday and should be up for this one against a team without its main defensive presence. Josh Smith might be unstoppable and Jeff Teague has quietly averaged 18.3 points in April.
CLE @ IND: Part of the “silly season” in the NBA every year — the last two weeks that decide most fantasy leagues — is completely unheralded players like Lester Hudson getting hot. Averaging 23 points in his last four games, he’s become the go-to guy for the Cavs, who have nothing to play for, though they did take this Pacers team to overtime in Cleveland on Wednesday. Darren Collison should return, so George Hill may be less of a factor.
WAS @ NYK: This one should be easy for the Knicks. Though Kevin Seraphin has been terrific while filling in for Nene, he is no match for Tyson Chandler in size or experience. And who is going to stop Carmelo Anthony? Also playing well for New York has been Iman Shumpert, who starts at SG but ends up handling the ball quite a bit as Baron Davis is hobbled by various aches and pains.
CHA @ MIA: One thing about Charlotte’s 3-27 road record puzzles me. How in the world did they win three? The Heat, disappointed by last night’s loss in OT Chicago, should take it out on the worst team in the league. Only the likelihood of garbage time coming very early prevents me from predicting 100 points combined by the Big Three.
PHO @ HOU: These are two of the five teams bunched within 2.5 games in the West. Only three will make the playoffs, so the intensity level will be high. Goran Dragic remains the starting PG for the Rockets, with Kyle Lowry gettting stronger every game. Luis Scola matches up well vs. Phoenix, whose best forward recently has been rookie Markieff Morris. It’s possible that Grant Hill will return from arthroscopic knee surgery just two weeks ago.
MIL @ DET: The Bucks are desperate, sitting in ninth place, two games out of the playoffs. That should inspire them to a road win over a team that played last night. Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are both capable of huge numbers against the Pistons guards but Drew Gooden (back) is far from 100% so Ekpe Udoh may have to fill in.
SAC @ OKC: This could be just the tonic for the Thunder, losers of four of their last six. The Kings don’t play much D and apart from DeMarcus Cousins, they don’t have enough talent. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant figure to put up huge numbers tonight and James Harden might play a lot if the starters get rested in the second half.
UTA @ NOH: The Jazz cling to playoff hopes. Good matchups in the frontcourt, with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap taking on Chris Kaman and Jason Smith. If the Hornets are without Eric Gordon (back) again, Marco Belinelli will get his shots. Greivis Vasquez, playing well as the starting PG, is more consistent that Utah’s Devin Harris. The difference-maker could be Gordon Hayward, who scored a season-high 29 on Wednesday.
DEN @ LAL: Kobe Bryant went for treatment yesterday and you know he can play through pain. It’s possible he could return any time, but we’re guessing he sits again tonight. That would mean more touchess for Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and the resurgent Metta World Peace. A 27.5% shooter in January, the artist formerly known as Artest is hitting 54.2% in April and averaging 19 points in his last four games. It’s no easy task for the Nuggets, though Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo are playing well and Danilo Gallinari is back. Too bad they can’t stop Bynum.
DAL @ POR: While he’s a long way from being LaMarcus Aldridge, look for J.J. Hickson to have another big night. I also like Raymond Felton, whose April averages (14 PTS, 9 AST) are way up over previous months. Dallas played last night and the Blazers are better-rested, so this is no cinch for the Mavs.
The Spin is here every day before 8:00 EDT except for Sunday, when we post by noon. Follow me on Twitter in between.
|Sure Things||Over $14,000|
|Hunches||$9,000 to $14,000|
Thursday didn’t go so well, as I “keyed” on Derrick Williams and was expecting much more from Chris Paul. Didn’t finish anywhere near the money with a total of nine different teams, but that happens. I’m still ahead $27 for Week 6 and will be investing at least that much tonight.
All week, I’ve been talking about playing the maximum three teams in the Guaranteed Prize Pool leagues. Obviously, if the guys you use “everywhere” don’t perform, you lose three times as much. But it’s the unexpected in-the-money finishes from lineups you might not have used, plus the chance to win two or three prizes in the same league when your picks are more accurate, that makes me like this strategy.
I’m in the $2 and $5 Salary Cap leagues again, three times each, for a total of $21 — that’s three entries in a $600 GPP, and three in a $1,000 GPP. The most challenging league of all is the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll. Every Friday, you can register for DraftStreet (that’s always free) and no deposit is required. Join the Freeroll by clicking this link and you have a chance to win part of the $350 cash prize. $125 goes to the winner, $80 to second, $55 to third, plus you can brag that you beat me and Chris Sheridan.
Note that the DraftStreet computers adjust player values each day. If you like LeBron James, for instance, he costs $20,686 in the Freeroll, not the $20,913 listed in the chart above. Andrew Bynum’s salary is $18,409 in most leagues today, but only $16,941 in the Freeroll. I like him at any price. Best of luck with all your teams, tonight and for the rest of the season.