A blizzard forced the Pacers game against Chicago to be postponed, which was good news for the tired, sore Bulls. Luol Deng (shoulder, ankle) might not have played anyway; now he gets to rest until Saturday night, when he won’t really be needed against the lowly Wizards at home. There’s a lot more fantasy news from the other 12 games on a busy NBA night; here’s my Spin.
December 26 Games
MIA @ CHA: No more letdowns against inferior teams. The Heat methodically took care of business, with LeBron James (27 PTS, 12 REB, 8 AST, 4 STL, 2 BLK) and Dwyane Wade (29 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST) both playing more — and better — than expected. Hope you followed my advice and picked up Hakim Warrick (18 PTS, 9 REB) but remember, he’s inconsistent. While Kemba Walker (27 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST) had another good game, the Bobcats’ losing streak now stands at 16 games.
NOH @ ORL: Although the return of Ryan Anderson (15 PTS, 5 REB) to Orlando didn’t help his 3-point shooting (1-for-5; now 5-for-25 over four games), the Hornets won a road game. Greivis Vasquez was excellent (27 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB) and Robin Lopez (29 PTS, 3 REB, 3 BLK) is enjoying a career year. Rookie Anthony Davis helped out with 12 PTS, 11 REB, 2 STL and 2 BLK. Jameer Nelson (28 PTS, 10 AST, 5 REB) and Nikola Vucevic. (19 PTS, 9 REB) led the Magic, who have yet to win in three tries since leading scorer Glen Davis injured his shoulder.
CLE @ WAS: It was the Kyrie Irving show: 26 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and a refusal to lose. Tristan Thompson (15 PTS, 12 REB) was the next-best Cavalier. Shelvin Mack (6 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST) was a surprise starter at PG for the Wizards and might be worth owning in deeper leagues for the next month or so until John Wall is fully healed. Jordan Crawford (17 PTS) returned to his sixth man role and scored 17 in less than 27 minutes. Nene (16 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK) played 26 minutes in his second consecutive start.
DET @ ATL: An incredible 39-point fourth-quarter comeback for the Pistons forced overtime, and the Hawks needed a second extra period to finally win. Absolutely out of nowhere, Will Bynum scored 31 points in 36 minutes to lead the Detroit second unit, while the starters — who trailed 81-62 after three — never returned. Rodney Stuckey (16 PTS, 11 AST, 5 REB) was terrific in 44 minutes, even returning to finish the game after an apparently severe ankle sprain, and Andre Drummond (16 PTS, 12 REB) played a career-high 36 minutes. Josh Smith (31 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST, 2 BLK) and Al Horford (22 PTS, 10 REB) were strong up front for Atlanta, while SG Louis Williams (18 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST) played 48 minutes in another encouraging start.