There were blowouts in both Thursday night games and we have a dozen Friday contests to preview, but first a word from our sponsor. Please join the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll at DraftStreet. It’s literally money for nothing. There is no entry fee, no obligation and the winner gets $100 in U.S. currency. Fourteen other cash prizes will be awarded — second is worth $60, third $30 — and it’s always fun, win or lose. Pick an 8-man team, without exceeding the $100,000 salary cap, and it’s a one-day fantasy ‘season’ for tonight’s games only. Details (and my picks) will follow in the DraftStreet Diary later this morning; you have until 7:00 EST to enter and can make unlimited lineup changes until that deadline. Good luck!
February 7 Game Recaps
LAL @ BOS: That was no contest. Despite playing a tough game the night before in Canada, the Celtics had more energy and desire. The loss of Pau Gasol (foot) may have been the final straw for the Lakers. Dwight Howard (9 PTS, 9 REB) returned from a three-game absence but looked slower than usual, didn’t block a shot, hit just one of six free throws and committed four turnovers before fouling out. Kobe Bryant (27 PTS, 7 REB) had zeros in the assists and steals columns, and Metta World Peace shot 2-for-13, but at least he didn’t attack someone half his size.
Boston is now an incredible 6-0 since losing Rajon Rondo (knee) for the season. Paul Pierce (24 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST) had the best fantasy line, and Kevin Garnett (15 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL) is the emotional leader. Jeff Green (19) and Jason Terry (15) have been great off the bench during the win streak. While relentless defensive pressure by Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee doesn’t show up in box scores, it certainly helps on the floor.
CHI @ DEN: The wounded Bulls never knew what hit them. Joakim Noah (2 PTS, 5 REB in 23 minutes) was clearly slowed by his sore foot, Richard Hamilton (1-for-7 in 17 minutes) is slumping badly and their leading scorer was Daequan Cook (19), who saw action only because Marco Belinelli (ankle) couldn’t play. Carlos Boozer (18 PTS in 22 minutes) still has a tender hamstring and is now the subject of trade rumors; most Raptors fans would swap Andrea Bargnani for him in a heartbeat. Ty Lawson (16 PTS, 12 AST) had a productive 30 minutes, Kenneth Faried (21 PTS, 12 REB) threw down some monster dunks, and if you see a guy today grinning ear-to-ear for no apparent reason, he probably picked up Wilson Chandler (24 PTS, 2 REB, 2 STL in 18:41) as a free agent.