The long-awaited debut of Amar’e Stoudemire (6 PTS in 16:41) was dissected by Chris Sheridan and STAT will need to do much more to satisfy Knicks fans and his fantasy owners. Carmelo Anthony (45 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST) and J.R. Smith (28 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL) were a two-man team, as Jason Kidd had an awful night — scoreless in 33 minutes, while rookie Damian Lillard (21 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB) ran wild. Wesley Matthews played a cautious 29:30 on his sore hip, but LaMarcus Aldridge (19 PTS, 14 REB) and Nicolas Batum (26 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB) helped the underdog Blazers shoot over 50% and win the game.
Other January 1 Games
LAC @ DEN: As we suggested might happen, the Nuggets got their revenge for a loss in L.A. on Christmas Day. A bigger surprise than the Clippers finally losing a game was the low score, as they shot just 38.5% and their best fantasy line came from DeAndre Jordan (11 PTS, 11 REB, 3 STL, 3 BLK) of all people. Ty Lawson (Achilles) didn’t play, but Andre Miller (12 PTS, 12 AST) was excellent in his place. The only stat the Nuggets cared about was the W; they got solid efforts from every player, even if the fantasy lines weren’t quite as juicy as owners were probably expecting.
DAL @ WAS: It was like a time warp, as Vince Carter (who turns 36 this month) scored 23 points to lead six Mavericks in double figures. Shawn Marion (11 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST) returned to form, but Dirk Nowitzki (11) played just 17 minutes. For the Wizards, Jordan Crawford (9 PTS in 23:41) was quiet in his first game back from a sore ankle. Bradley Beal had 22 and Emeka Okafor (14 PTS, 11 REB) got his fourth double-doubles in five games.
SAC @ DET: Break up the Pistons! That’s three in a row at home, as Brandon Knight (20 PTS, 4 AST) and Greg Monroe (18 PTS, 11 REB, 2 BLK) led the way and the bench was great again. DeMarcus Cousins (21 PTS, 14 REB, 3 STL) had his mind on basketball; the Kings just weren’t good enough with Marcus Thompson (ankle) joining Tyreke Evans on the sidelines. For Detroit, Will Bynum (15 PTS, 4 AST) continued to impress filling in for Rodney Stuckey (ankle) and Andre Drummond (7 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK) continues to prove he is no ordinary 19-year-old.