-LaMarcus Aldridge enjoyed the lack of defensive attention that comes when your entire starting five is finally fully healthy again and it didn’t hurt that the Magic don’t have a single player with a hope of stopping him. Aldridge rolled to 27 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists on Monday night in an Overtime win for the Blazers. JJ Hickson took advantage as well with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Damian Lillard has 18 points and 10 rebounds and Wes Matthews had 24 points including 4 threes. An all-around solid game for the Blazers core.
-Jameer Nelson continued to be white-hot against the Blazers in the overtime game as well as he tallied 21 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal on his way to setting the franchise record for assists. Nelson has no competition at point with ETwuan Moore still sidelined and is racking up stats. JJ Redick (29 points, 6 threes, 5 assists) and Arron Afflalo (24 points, 5 rebounds) both were solid, if not spectacular, from a fantasy standpoint as well. These three should continue to carry the Magic in the scoring department. Nikola Vucevic continued his tear with Big Baby out, posting 17 points and 13 rebounds for yet another double-double.
-Gordon Hayward was solid once again for the Jazz with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks on the night. Hayward’s fantasy value has been climbing of late along with his minutes and we saw last season the kind of stellar value he can provide when his minutes are consistent. He contributes in every category and with Mo Williams out, may be the best creator on the Jazz. He has a chance to be the next big thing off the wire.
-Eric Gordon scored 24 points with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block on Monday night, while shooting 9 of 22 from the field. Gordon’s usage rate is clearly going to stay sky high and hopefully his assist numbers improve if that’s the case. Gordon is playing pretty heavy minutes now and is clearly the team’s go to guy. Grievis Vasquez (14 points, 11 assists) continues to play well with him in the lineup, so we can quiet concerns on him for the time being as well.
-Scott Skiles is no longer coaching the Bucks (Yay!), in what appears to be a mutual parting of ways. The Bucks brass wasn’t happy with how he was using their players and Skiles “hated his team” which actually makes sense because, well, what defensive minded coach wants Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and Mike Dunleavy on the same squad?
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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LAL @ HOU
PHX @ MIL
(Guys I am trying to get into lineups tonight, ranked on comparison to perceived value.)
My early daily DraftDay Freeroll lineup is to the right.Check out our EFF Matchups to determine the best plays for yourself.
Value Play: Toney Douglas
Steve Nash should continue to produce in Mike D’Antoni’s offense going forward and it will be more centered around his passing with many of the Laker bigs sidelined this week. With Scott Skiles out, no one really knows what the Bucks will look like tonight, but the backcourt has been the one constant all season and Jennings thrives in chaos. Holiday is a little banged up, but he should show well against Deron Williams and the Nets tonight. I’d rather gamble on Toney Douglas for cheaper tonight than guess which Wolves guard is the best with Rubio back.
Value Play: Jared Dudley
Bryant, as I say almost everyday he plays, is almost impossible to sit and for some reason, he never reaches Lebron-level salary. Harden is pretty similar to Kobe in that regard, except that he throws up a dud once in a while, both should be solid in a fast-paced game against each other, with few bigs likely to be on the court tonight. Lou Williams has been on a tear and the Wolves backcourt defense is one of the worst in the league. Dudley has struggled over his last four, but as long as he’s starting, he should continue to get minutes and now has a very low price tag.
Value Play: PJ Tucker
AK47 has been solid in almost every game this season that Kevin Love has missed and with Pekovic a GTD as well, he could have a lot of room to operate. MWP is starting and providing great value again and with all the Lakers bigs hurt, he’s going to play a ton tonight. George has really struggled the last few games, but he’s got some upside for a discounted price against a banged-up Lebron at home tonight. Tucker had the best game of his career in his last outing and has been decent since being promoted to starter.
Value Play: Dante Cunningham
Smoove should handle the TWolves without Kevin Love and possibly without Pekovic pretty easily as long as his hip isn’t giving him trouble, but he looked fine last time out after injuring it. Jamison quickly went from DNP to starting with all the Lakers frontcourt injuries. PatPat is a guy I expect to continue to get extended minutes due to his recent play and the Rockets may choose to use him at center to matchup with the Lakers going small tonight when Sacre isn’t in the game.
Value Play: Larry Sanders
Hibbert finally had a breakout game the other night and should fair pretty well against a Heat team getting torched by big men. Horford should excel for similar reasons as listed for Josh Smith above, but he has no injury concern to worry about and is a much safer play. Lopez has been very solid of late and gets a nice matchup with LaVoy Allen and Spencer Hawes tonight. Sanders is a gamble with the new coach, but he’s playing too well just to disappear in any scenairo, so he’s well worth the risk in my eyes.