Way back in September, we published our first depth chart. We’ve tried to keep it reasonably accurate with weekly updates, which on most Saturday afternoons are just one part of the Weekly Fantasy Planner by Jeff Nichols. Last week, with Jeff — who does the lion’s share of work tracking changes — on a foreign business trip, I forgot to fill in. Today, there simply isn’t time for much insight.
Chris Bosh returned to the ACC with a 30-point effort (plus 8 REB and 3 BLK) as the Heat were just a little too good in the fourth quarter. Dwayne Wade also had 30 and LeBron James 26, but the entire Miami team stepped up the defensive pressure when it counted. For Toronto, it was a rare night when both Andrea Bargnani (27) and DeMar DeRozan (28) were scoring, thanks to 16 assists from Jose Calderon. Joe Johnson played 15 minutes off the bench in his return from an illness and should be starting again soon.
In Other Action
DEN @ CHA: Ty Lawson had 14 points and 11 assists but Arron Afflalo was the Nuggets’ best player with 19 PTS and 11 REB as they got past Charlotte. Although Wilson Chandler (6 PTS, 5 TO) was disappointing again, Corey Brewer stepped up with 17 off the bench. Corey Maggette had 19 for the Bobcats before leaving with an Achilles injury and Gerald Henderson stayed hot with 21.
PHI @ WAS: Andre Iguodala (knee) returned, but scored just seven points in 33 minutes as the 76ers inexplicably played one of their worst games of the season. No Philly starter scored more than 11 points and Jodie Meeks, back to a bench role, missed 7 of 8 shots. The Wizards got 16 PTS and 8 REB from Nene before he left with a sore foot, plus a surprise contribution from recently added Cartier Martin: 20 points in 26 minutes. Kevin Seraphin (14 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK) got extra run because Trevor Booker (foot) lasted just six minutes.
NYK @ ATL: Iman Shumpert (25) continues to shine and Carmelo Anthony was outstanding — 36 PTS, 9 REB, 5 STL, 2 BLK — but the Knicks had nobody else involved and the Hawks played better as a team. Joe Johnson (28) led the way, Josh Smith added 23 and Willie Green was hot off the bench, making 8 of 9 for 20 points. Baron Davis, bothered by a sore hamstring, had a rough night filling in for Jeremy Lin, whose return from a knee injury can’t come soon enough.
MIL @ CLE: Ersan Ilyasova had a double-double (20 & 10) in his return from a bad back, and Brandon Jennings (28 PTS, 6 AST) led the Bucks to a very easy victory on the road. Kyrie Irving did score 29, but sprained his shoulder and left early. The rest of the Cavs have been just going through the motions of late.
MEM @ HOU: After sitting out one game with a sore ankle, Marc Gasol was fine (19 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK) and Rudy Gay stayed hot with 20, but the Rockets got 25 from Goran Dragic and a terrific defensive effort by Marcus Camby. In his first start for Houston, Camby swatted six shots and grabbed 16 boards; Samuel Dalembert had a touch of the flu and played less than 17 minutes off the bench. This may be a timeshare going forward.
DAL @ ORL: It was a much better effort by Dwight Howard (19 PTS, 15 REB) but Dallas found a way. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 including the game-winner, Shawn Marion had 15 PTS and 9 REB, while Delonte West chipped in 15 off the bench. Brendan Haywood isn’t a great fantasy asset but his return seemed to make the rest of the Mavericks better.
DET @ CHI: As expected, Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 16, but they are not the same without Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) and simply couldn’t solve the Chicago defense. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 20, Joakim Noah had 19 PTS and 12 REB, Carlos Boozer also double-doubled and this one was never in doubt.
BOS @ MIN: Kevin Garnett scored 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while helping to limit Kevin Love to “only” 22 and 11. The Celtics also got 21 from Paul Pierce, and Avery Bradley added 17 in another start for Ray Allen, who sat out one more but should return soon from an ankle injury.
SAC @ UTA: These teams don’t like each other much, and DeMarcus Cousins battled all night, with 27 PTS, 14 REB and 2 BLK to lead the upset. Marcus Thornton added 26 and Isaiah Thomas 19, but it was poor shooting by the Jazz that made the difference. Derrick Favors went 0-13 and had 9 OREB; the box score tells you most of those misses came from point-blank range. Devin Harris and C.J. Miles never saw the floor in the fourth quarter as Alec Burks (15 PTS) finished both halves.
POR @ LAC: It’s so difficult to predict the future. LaMarcus Aldridge (elbow) didn’t play, so understudy J.J. Hickson took over the starring role with 29 PTS and 13 REB and Portland came very close to a huge upset. All five L.A. starters and sixth man Nick Young scored in double figures but it took a late layup by Chris Paul (20 PTS, 14 AST) to decide the outcome.
NJN @ GSW: Johan Petro (8 PTS, 7 REB) is now the starting C by default and Deron Williams was only 2-13 from the floor. Somehow, the Nets won. Gerald Williams (24 PTS, 18 REB) and Kris Humphries (20 PTS, 9 REB) were outstanding, and D-Will did hand out 20 assists. David Lee, as usual, led the Warriors with 27 but his seven turnovers were costly.
Saturday Night’s Alright
NOH @ LAL: This one is a matinee, so be sure to set those daily lineups early. It should be no contest, as the Hornets are beset by injuries to Jarrett Jack and Trevor Ariza, plus a nasty flu bug that has sidelined Chris Kaman for several games. Look for Carl Landry to continue his strong play and Marco Belinelli to shoot often. The usual suspects should do well for the Lakers.
CHA @ DET: Get Reggie Williams in your lineup, as he will be starting for the next week at least. Kemba Walker is also trending upward, if only because D.J. Augustin is going in the opposite direction. While the Pistons aren’t very good either, maybe Austin Daye will step up tonight.
CLE @ NYK: This one will be almost unwatchable if Kyrie Irving (shoulder) doesn’t play. Both teams will be tired, so there could even be a Toney Douglas sighting and plenty of “garbage-time” minutes. The Knicks should win easily, not because they are a juggernaut — Cleveland has simply been terrible in losing their last six.
ATL @ PHI: Perhaps the Sixers were looking ahead to this game when they played so poorly last night in DC. A better effort will be needed tonight, though the Hawks are not the greatest road team. I can’t come up with any strong player recommendations; Evan Turner is a hunch.
MEM @ MIL: Both teams played last night, both had to travel, both are in tight playoff races. It’s clear that Zach Randolph is not himself, leaving the Grizzlies short at PF. The Bucks also have a deeper bench; Mike Dunleavy scored 16 in 19 minutes last night.
IND @ SAS: Remember, you never know when Gregg Popovich will give one of his veterans a night off. The most consistent Spur has been rookie Kawhi Leonard, but the same depth that makes this team a playoff threat can be frustrating to fantasy owners. The Pacers “need” this game more for playoff seedings but it won’t be easy. George Hill will be playing his former team for the first time.
NJN @ SAC: It seems like every team is playing a back-to-back. Gotta go with the Kings, off an emotional road win against a conference rival. The Nets winning two straight on the road does not compute. Tyreke Evans (back spasms) didn’t play last night; check for status updates today.
UTA @ LAC: Off a very disappointing loss at home, the Jazz must travel to L.A. and the Clippers, suddenly on a roll, will try to win a fifth straight game. Blake Griffin has been great (averaging 22 PTS and 11 REB in the streak) and the PG situation in Utah is shaky, so we like CP3 a lot tonight.
The Spin is here every morning before 8:00 Eastern except for Sundays, when we post by noon. Follow me on Twitter for updates.
|Sure Things||Over $14,000|
|Hunches||$9,000 to $14,000|
It simply wasn’t my night. There were an incredible 886 entries in the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll, and I finished at #557, wrong on both my high-priced guys (Kevin Love and Josh Smith) and the $4,000 “bargain” Norris Cole. Congratulations to “sbbj1025” who got 46 or more points from five different players to win the $125 first prize. He even used Luke Babbitt (salary a mere $2,035) and got a contribution!
There’s now just $24 left in the $100 bankroll for Week 4; the same picks that let me down in the Freeroll did no better in my Salary Cap and Snake-Draft leagues. I’ll be back in my usual $2 and $5 Guaranteed Prize Pool leagues today, hoping for better results.
If you haven’t checked out Draft Street yet, it’s free to join and there are free leagues where you can get started. See you there!