Amazing late rallies, upsets and huge individual efforts highlighted a dozen Friday games in the NBA, and there’s even more fantasy hoops news. A record 1,080 teams entered last night’s Freeroll at DraftStreet, and “npd828” scored 290.25 points to win the $100 first prize. Well done!
February 8 Game Recaps
LAL @ CHA: For three quarters, it looked like the low point in the Lakers’ season. Kobe Bryant was scoreless in the first half, but finished strong (20 PTS, 8 AST, 7 REB) and Dwight Howard (12 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK) was more active than he’d been the night before. Earl Clark (17 PTS, 10 REB) also bounced back from an off-night and Jodie Meeks hit four triples off the bench. Byron Mullens (20 PTS, 12 REB) has given Charlotte a lift since returning from his ankle injury and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (4 PTS, 10 REB) was back from his concussion. Kemba Walker (8 PTS, 8 AST) and Gerald Henderson (20 PTS, 10 REB, 3 STL) were very sharp, but the Bobcats lack a ‘closer’ and had no answer for Bryant in the final seven minutes.
BRK @ WAS: If making your teammates better was a fantasy category, John Wall (15 PTS, 9 AST, 4 REB, 4 STL) would be on all my teams. He’s not the greatest shooter (6-17 last night; 42% career) but has brought out the best in Martell Webster (16 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL) and inspired Nene (20 PTS, 11 REB, 2 BLK) as the Wizards are suddenly giant-killers. Winners of eight of their last nine at home, they beat the Thunder, Knicks, Bulls, Hawks and Clippers before the Nets. Deron Williams (20 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST) was only 7-20 from the floor, Brook Lopez (13 PTS, 8 REB, 4 BLK) went 3-for-11 and my hunch play Andray Blatche was a huge disappointment, as Brooklyn shot 33% for the night.
TOR @ IND: So far, so good for Rudy Gay as a Raptor. Making up for a slow start with a furious finish, Gay (23 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 5 STL, 2 BLK) rallied his team in the fourth and they won it in overtime. Amir Johnson (14 PTS, 14 REB, 2 BLK) was also clutch in the late going, and DeMar DeRozan (22 PTS) is getting more open looks as opponents can no longer key on him. Andrea Bargnani had 14 points in 29 minutes off the bench in his second game off the long layoff, and rookie Jonas Valanciunas (14 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLK) started the second half; pick him up in deeper leagues. David West (30 PTS, 8 REB) and Paul George (26 PTS, 14 REB, 5 AST) were outstanding for the Pacers, who weakened down the stretch; it was their fourth game in five nights.