Sure, LeBron James had a triple-double on one good leg, but the top fantasy basketball story is Chris Sheridan finishing 12th out of 18 in the $22 Challenge. Thinking the Pistons might show up to defend their home court, he used two potential bargains — Jason Maxiell and Viacheslav Kravtsov — who did very little. “PrincessDuckling” won the $180 first prize, “tommyboy42609” earned $112 for second and “mr92,” the only person who doubled his chances of winning by entering two teams, finished third and fourth for a total of $108. My team came seventh and won the $5 bonus for beating the expert.
We have folded the Week 18 Planner into the Spin today, and our Depth Chart has been updated to reflect the less-than-spectacular results of the trade deadline. Five pages of fantasy fun begins with what happened last night and what might happen today.
February 23 Game Recaps
HOU @ WAS: As we told you, Emeka Okafor is a stud (17 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK, 2 STL) and Bradley Beal (21 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL) is steadily improving. Trevor Ariza (18 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB, 4 STL) is now a jack-of-all-trades sixth man and John Wall (12 PTS, 11 AST, 4 REB) sets the tempo. Newest Rocket Thomas Robinson did not play, and Jeremy Lin (5 PTS, 6 AST in 26 minutes) wasn’t feeling well, but Houston battled until the end. James Harden (27 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL) and Chandler Parsons (24 PTS, 7 REB, 5 3PTM) had the best lines.
CLE @ ORL: The newest Magic players fit right in — Beno Udrih (10 PTS, 7 AST, 3 REB, 2 STL) played 27 minutes and Tobias Harris (14 PTS, 6 REB, 3 BLK) was the seventh man. Cleveland got an unexpected boost from Tyler Zeller (16 PTS, 7 REB) and Alonzo Gee (17 PTS) as Kyrie Irving (12 PTS, 9 AST, 3 REB) was content to set them up and was needed for less than 30 minutes in an easy victory. Marreese Speights (18 PTS, 8 REB) was the game-high scorer in 22:45 off the bench.
DEN @ CHA: Both teams were tired, but Denver is better. Ty Lawson (20 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) kept them in front all the way, Andre Iguodala double-doubled (13 PTS, 10 AST, 5 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) and JaVale McGee made the most of 17 minutes — 17 PTS, 6 REB, 3 BLK) — as the Nuggets shot 53%. As usual, Kemba Walker led Charlotte (24 PTS, 5 AST) but for the second straight night, Byron Mullens was badly off-target, missing eight of nine attempts. Jeffrey Taylor came off the bench to score 18, and unhappiest Bobcat Ben Gordon, scoreless in 12 minutes, can be cut.
IND @ DET: The long-awaited return of Danny Granger (knee) was far from brilliant; he went 1-for-10 in 18:36 off the bench. Indiana completely shut down the Pistons for the second consecutive night; the first half was truly ugly (39-28) and the rest of the game boring. Will Bynum scored 15 points in 15 minutes then got ejected for assaulting Tyler Hansbrough. Giving up about ten inches and 80 pounds, the Thrill went for the groin, something many opponents have considered against Psycho T. A suspension seems likely. George Hill (17) and David West (16) led the Pacers.