Welcome back fans of guys putting an orange ball through an eerily similar shaped rim! The Day Before Tomorrow is back in action this season to give you all the news and notes from around the NBA the day before… well… tomorrow. That’s actually today if you are calendar impaired or just don’t like to think. Let’s dive in…
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–Lebron James finally had the true breakout game we have been waiting for this season. He posted 38 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. The line lacked steals and blocks, but he did hit 5 of 8 from behind the three point line. He also shot well over 50% from the field. The Rockets are a pretty inferior team, but James was still needed to hit the game winning shot and he did just that. There is basically nothing you can complain about with James at this point in his career, he is barely even turning the ball over for someone who handles it so much. He and Durant are the clear cut top 2 in fantasy basketball.
-JJ Hickson did his best last night to quiet the talk of Meyers Leonard getting more run at his center spot and hey, 19 points and 18 rebounds will do just that won’t it? He isn’t doing much in the steals and blocks department, but for how late he was drafted, you can’t ask for much more out of the guy, so lay off! Hickson is getting solid run in almost every game and should continue to put up double-doubles for as long as he can hold off Leonard.
–Alexey Shved didn’t get the start for the Timberwolves. As usual the team chose to use Malcolm Lee as a laughable starter, while they brought the more talented Shved off the bench. Shved didn’t shoot well, but still posted a solid line, showing just how good a player he is. He finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. The man can flat out play basketball, the problem here is that the Wolves backcourt is awfully crowded when healthy. Feel free to run him out there nightly as long as Roy, Barea, Rubio and Budinger are sidelined, but his run could be short-lived.
–Omer Asik continues to rebound like a mad man and I believe that he will sustain top 5 or 10 rebounding numbers for the entire season. In more good news, he was spectacular in other facets last night adding 19 points, 3 assists and a block while shooting it very well from the free throw line. He was 11 of 14 last night, but for a 50% free throw shooter, that isn’t likely to continue. If you can sell very high on him, it’s probably worth it, but he should help carry your team in rebounds the whole year, so holding isn’t a bad move either.
–Quick Injury News: Nikola Pekovic is a bad, bad man. He sprained his ankle last night and on the way, WALKING, out of the stadium was asked about it and said, “I don’t use crutches.” The general consensus is he will be fine going forward. Kyle Lowry is out again and owners need to make sure to acquire Calderon as a handcuff as soon as he gets back if they haven’t done so already. Jameer Nelson will be a game time decision tonight, which takes some shine of E’Twaun Moore. Mo Williams played well coming back from injury last night, but looked to re-injure himself late. Keep an eye on the news for Mo. Shawn Marion looks likely to be out another week.
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
CLE @ BKN
POR @ SAC
Irving is a rock-solid stud and gets a pretty solid matchup with the Nets tonight. Lillard struggled last night, but he should take advantage of the Kings weak PG defense. Morris gets the start with both Blake and Nash injured, he is a value play more than anything, but should be locked into 35+ minutes.
Smith has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy players this season and while I don’t expect his ridiculously high shooting and three point percentages to continue, he will continue to see the volume he needs. Redick is now in the starting lineup and should be good for 35 minutes or so and his usual solid shooting and all around game. Stephenson appears to have settled into Danny Granger’s starting spot and has looked good recently.
Batum continues to be as good as anyone in fantasy basketball, look for him to explode against the Kings after a fairly ho-hum night last night. Carmelo is the best player playing today and the Magic have been playing small at the forward positions a lot, Melo should be in for a big night. Kleiza saw extended run yesterday with both Landry Fields and Alan Anderson out and the overtime periods. Both should be out again tonight, so look at Kleiza as a value play.
Aldridge should bounce back from a fairly slow night against the likely shorthanded Kings. Mullens has been struggling with his shot again, but this is a game I expect him to go off like we all know he can. Vucevic has been playing heavy minutes and remains a great value at this point.
Howard was his usual force for the Lakers last time out and he matches up well with an unathletic Spurs frontcourt. Jason Thompson is starting at center and should dominate the glass as long as Cousins remains suspended. Davis doesn’t have a great matchup, but he hasn’t disappointed much this season outside of the game most of the Magic were benched.