-Rajon Rondo continued his primetime dominance with another triple-double, his fourth of the season, last night. He torched the Knicks for 23 points, 10 boards and 11 assists and they had no answer for him with Iman Shumpert not ready to shut people down yet. Rondo is a roller coaster, but at least his high points are very high. I wouldn’t recommend every selling low on a guy with his skill set.
-Carmelo Anthony dueled Rondo all night despite his jumper not falling early. He shot well below 50%, but still managed 28 points and added 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 three on the evening. He’s right up there with Durant for best scorer in the league when his shot is falling and he still sports a dream playoff schedule to keep his owners from trading him.
-Goran Dragic broke out of his funk as the Suns won their second straight game under new coach Lindsey Hunter. Dragic scored 28 points with 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 3 threes on the evening and it looks like the Suns may finally be unleashing their best player. There was talk about using Kendall Marshall more, but he has totally held that at bay for the time being.
-Amir Johnson is looking like himself against since being re-inserted into the starting lineup. He tore through the Magic last night for 21 points and 10 boards, including 1 steal and 3 blocks in 37 minutes of play. He’s one of the most energy packed bigs in the league, so when he’s healthy and gets this many minutes, the sky is the limit in solid matchups.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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HOU @ NOH
OKC @ SAC
UTA @ LAL
(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: JJ Barea
Irving is averaging 25 ppg at home and 24 ppg when on at least one day’s rest, he’s also coming off a 40-point game against a solid Celtics defense. Vasquez faces the Rockets, a team getting totally demolished by guards. Wall gets the Wolves and the still rehabbing Ricky Rubio in a game that may be his first start of the season. Barea continues to be forced to play heavy minutes in an injury filled backcourt with Rubio still on a minutes limit and struggling.
Value Play: Bradley Beal
Ellis faces the Cavs, who have been dominated by shooting guards most of the season and Ellis is hot once again. Korver is playing heavy minutes for the Hawks because he has too and has been shooting lights out over his last 5 games. Gordon gets the other side of the Rockets horrendous guard defense in what should be a high scoring game, he should bounce back nicely from his slow games against the Spurs. Beal has been bothered by a wrist injury, but he should bust out of his funk against Luke Ridnour and the Wolves.
Value Play: Derrick Williams
I prefer Durant to Lebron today, but only because of Tayshaun Prince’s defense on Lebron. Smith went nuts with Al Horford out last game and there’s a chance he will be again against what should be a tired Boston team. Kirilenko has a great matchup tonight with the Wizards, who just don’t have a forward who can match his length and skill combination. Williams has a much better matchup today with the Wizards than he did last time out with the Nets, so look for him to bounce back.
Value Play: Ivan Johnson
Boozer has taken at least 14 shots in his last 12 games and should be very solid against the Warriors weak power forward defense, especially when David Lee slides to center. Thompson has been absolutely on fire and gets one more game without a real backup big man to siphon minutes. Ibaka has the best power forward matchup of the night and his ceiling remains sky high. Ivan Johnson may draw another start after being impressive for the Hawks last time out.
Value Play: Chris Johnson
With no excellent matchups at center tonight, Gasol leads the way against Brook Lopez and the rest of the Nets frontline. Davis looked healthy last game and played 30 minutes despite foul trouble, you have to love his matchup with the Rockets tonight. Splitter gets another chance to be the roll man for the Spurs and Tony Parker, a role he excelled in last time out. Johnson has thoroughly outplayed Greg Steimsma the last three games and looks to be playing more minutes than him now.