Fantasy Spin: Lakers Heating Up As Kobe Shoots Less, Passes More

MIL @ DET: After winning the first quarter, the Pistons took the rest of the night off. Brandon Jennings (30 PTS, 6 AST) destroyed Brandon Knight (10 PTS, 3 AST) and when Larry Sanders (3 PTS, 3 REB) got into foul trouble, it was Samuel Dalembert (12 PTS, 10 REB, 3 BLK) to the rescue. Mike Dunleavy (17) led the Bucks’ bench, which scored 59 points. The lone bright spot for Detroit was Andre Drummond (18 PTS, 18 REB in 27:40) who did much of that damage before garbage time. Fantasy owners calling for the rookie to start should keep in mind that he won’t have his 20th birthday until August. Just wait until he grows up.

January 30 Game Previews

WAS @ PHI: The much-improved Wizards and John Wall will not get much brotherly love from the homestanding Sixers or their fans. The amazing Jrue Holiday is a must-start, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are playing well and even Nick Young has been on a tear while Jason Richardson misses time with a knee injury. If Bradley Beal finally rests the sore wrist that has slowed his production recently, Jordan Crawford will benefit. Ride the strong back and renewed determination of Emeka Okafor for as long as his hot streak lasts.

DET @ IND: Who knows how much pride and resilience the Pistons will show after an embarrassing collapse at home last night? They might give up again at the first sign of adversity. Paul George, David West and George Hill are very strong plays; Lance Stephenson is a ‘live’ sleeper.

TOR @ ATL: Even when the Raptors play great, they don’t know how to close out games. Jose Calderon will get the lion’s share of PG minutes with Kyle Lowry (back) questionable, and Amir Johnson should get his minutes back from Aaron Gray, whose gigantic game against Andrew Bogut and the Warriors was a one-time miracle. Al Horford (hamstring) should play for the Hawks, Josh Smith is must-start and Jeff Teague is capable of big numbers. Atlanta should win at home, but it might be close.

SAC @ BOS: There’s hack-a-Howard, and there’s taunt-a-Cousins. Thin-skinned and short-fused, DeMarcus Cousins can be taken out of his game by a referee’s call, a coach’s glare or an opponent’s trash talk. Kevin Garnett is the acknowledged master of the latter skill, joining Larry Bird and Michael Jordan on the all-time “in your head” team. This is a great chance for Boston to sort out its post-Rajon Rondo rotation. Avery Bradley will have some quiet offensive nights and Paul Pierce will become more of a playmaker. The PF ‘battle’ between improving rookie Jared Sullinger and fading veteran Brandon Bass is over if Sully can stay out of foul trouble.

ORL @ NYK: It seems that Raymond Felton returned just in time, as Jason Kidd (back) is far from 100% and will be limited if he plays. The same goes for Tyson Chandler (neck) who could use a rest, but will grind it out. That means it’s Carmelo Anthony against the Magic, which is great for Melo owners. Normally-reliable Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick both went ice-cold in Orlando’s latest defeat, and Arron Afflalo (calf, Achilles) is hurting. You can use Nikola Vucevic and consider Glen Davis, but I’m looking to other games for my daily-league picks.

MIA @ BRK: The best game in the East tonight, as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade take on the Nets. Chris Bosh may be hampered by a toe injury, making Brook Lopez a solid play. Deron Williams is battling the flu but expected to suit up. I’m feeling the Heat, in a low-scoring dogfight.

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