Aided by the absence of Kyrie Irving/CLE, the Pacers narrowly beat the Cavaliers . The Heat held off the Raptors at home to end Toronto’s winning streak. In the nightcap, Pau Gasol/LAL and Kendall Marshall/LAL posted excellent stat lines, but the Lakers’ defense was non-existent and the Nuggets blasted them 137-115. The Thunder didn’t need Kevin Durant/OKC for much of the fourth quarter as they handled the visiting Celtics easily. Overall, the road teams won five out of the seven games on the schedule. There is a light schedule in the NBA, with three evening games on tap. Here is today’s Fantasy Spin.
I have been captivated by the roller coaster season of the Philadelphia 76ers. As most of you recall, the Sixers were tabbed by some the worst NBA team in decades entering the season and some expected a single digit win tally by season’s end. So it was a shock when they handed the Heat a loss on the strength of a remarkable debut from an intriguing rookie, Michael Carter-Williams/PHI. They continued their solid play until getting hammered by the Warriors at home. An injury to the promising rookie coincided with a long team slump. Upon his return, the Sixers picked up their play and have started a winning streak. If they keep it up, they will soon be in playoff contention in a remarkably weak Eastern Conference. Last night they fought off the challenge of the Portland Trail Blazers to tally their fourth straight win – all on the road. Today, there are seven games on tap, including a lone afternoon game. Here is today’s Fantasy Spin.
With a string of injuries at the point guard position, the Los Angeles Lakers have dipped into the NBA D-League to look for potential talent, and they may have found a gem.
With injuries to Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry and most recently Jordan Farmar, the Lakers were desperate for help in the backcourt, that’s where Kendall Marshall comes in. The 22-year-old PG out of North Carolina was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2012 but was unable to find his niche in the league. He’s since been playing elsewhere, including with the Delaware 87ers where he was called up from.
Let me throw this out there, I’m not sold on this whole “Marshall Madness” thing quite yet.
Through three games with the Lakers he’s been efficient, averaging about 13 points and eight assists per game, but it was his third game that turned heads.
On Friday night at Staples Center against the Utah Jazz, Marshall recorded 20 points, 15 assists, and six rebounds. L.A. also got the 110-99 win and snapped its six game losing streak.
Give Marshall credit, after the best game of his NBA career, he didn’t recognize his own play but commented on the win instead.
thankful. good win #LaLa
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) January 4, 2014
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni brought up a well-known name after the game. “I’m not making any comparison but Jeremy Lin did the same thing,” he told reporters. We all know about the splash that Lin made in New York with the Knicks a couple seasons ago when he was coached by none other than Mike D’Antoni. Like Marshall, Lin was called up from the D-League and after a few games of riding the bench, had his opportunity. He strung together a series of big games as the Knicks starting point guard and became one of the NBA’s most famous player’s because of it.
There’s no need to caution you all about this, but I will anyways. It’s only one game. Let’s see if he can do this again. Remember, success can be temporary but consistency is skill.
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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops. Follow @BrettNBA
The Raptors continued their surge with a road win over the Wizards. Kyle Lowry/TOR and DeMar DeRozan/TOR have emerged as one of the top guard duos in the league; last night they were supported by 18 points off the bench from Patrick Patterson/TOR. The Warriors shrugged off fatigue and beat the Hawks by a point. Continuing the theme of close games, James Harden/HOU poured in 37 points leading the Rockets to a 102-100 win over the Knicks. The Clippers beat the Mavericks, but lost Chris Paul/LAC to injury. There are nine games on the NBA schedule tonight. Here is today’s Fantasy Spin.
Stephen Curry/GSW was unstoppable and led the Warriors to a win over a full-strength Heat squad in Miami. The Philadelphia 76ers continued to impress with another road win on the strength of great games from Thaddeus Young/PHI and Evan Turner/PHI. Carmelo Anthony/NYK returned and to everyone’s surprise the Knicks bested the Spurs. In the nightcap, Portland blasted the Bobcats by 30 points. Tonight the action begins at 7 PM EST with the Raptors visiting the Wizards and continues through to the Jazz against the beleaguered Lakers. Here is today’s Fantasy Spin.