Late last night I turned on the TV to see if any of the west coast night games were still going on. The first play I saw when I hit the Warriors/Cavs game was Monta Ellis with a full extension pull back cram. He was back. The return to action couldn’t have gone any better for Ellis (well, accept of course the Warriors lost on a buzzer beater by LeBron… Who of course had another monster night). Ellis had 20 points, his usual high field goal percentage and put up a little bit of everything else. This is what really jumped out at me though. Ellis was coming back from a major, major injury. How often do we see players return and play 15 to 20 minutes their first game back? Don Nelson? The crazy man starts Ellis and plays him 34 minutes! I’m not 100% positive that this is a good thing or bad thing for owners. I think good, but we’ll have to see how Ellis achilles responds. Either way, Ellis looks good to be back in your starting lineup next week. There were a ton of stats last night. Let’s get to it.
Mike Conley â€“ The Mike Conley showcase is on, and the kid is responding. Conley had 18 points, 4 threes, 6 boards, 4 dimes, and 2 steals last night. He should be picked up in 14 team leagues. If you need a spot starter, Conley might be a nice addition.
Charlie Villanueva â€“ It continues! Charlie Villanueva has disappointed fantasy owners in just about every week of the season. But not this week. Chuck V. had another huge game with 27 points, 5 threes, and 7 boards. I can’t promise he’ll do it again next week, but that’s three 20+ performances in a row.
Kevin Durant â€“ 46 and 15? Durant has had an incredible fantasy season and will be a first or early second rounder in next year’s draft.
Gerald Wallace â€“ These are the nights that owners were hoping from Wallace when they drafted him. Wallace had 28 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. That’s a complete line.
Mike Miller â€“ Shhhhhh… Miller is starting to play better. He went for 12 points, 9 boards, and 5 dimes last night. Anyone drop him in your league? Could be a sneaky pick up right now.
Boris Diaw â€“ I continue to pat myself on the back for this one. Diaw had 26, 11, and 4 last night and got the revenge win over his former squad.
Eric Gordon â€“ In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Gordon is nasty. EG dropped 41 with 5 threes. He really is Cuttino Mobley 2.0 with a little better three ball. He doesn’t give you anything else other than points and percentages but Gordon should be in the conversation for rookie of the year.
Marcus Camby â€“ Camby was actually a game time decision last night. He didn’t play, but he should have a chance at being in your lineup next week.
Elton Brand â€“ Brand is scheduled to return and come off the bench tonight for the Sixers. Ideally he gets 25 minutes tonight so we can all feel comfortable about starting him next week.
Kirk Hinrich â€“ If the Bulls aren’t calling around trying to trade Hinrich right now they are crazy. Hinrich kind of looks like three years ago Hinrich. He finished with 17 points, 7 dimes, and 5 boards last night. Mr. Paxson, we fantasy owners call this TRADING HIGH.
Joakim Noah â€“ Can I say “I told you so”? 14 minutes, 6 fouls, 3 boards.
Jose Calderon â€“ Forget Calderon looking like Calderon last night (23 and 10), he hit 4 more free throws in a row and now has made 83 straight! WOOOO! Who needs fantasy stats when you have that streak!
James Posey â€“ With the Hornets severely depleted right now, James Posey played 39 minutes at everywhere from shooting guard to power forward. He hit 7 threes and scored 24 points. I’m not a big fantasy fan of Posey but the Hornets may have no where else to turn. He could be a decent source of threes for the next week.
Brian Skinner â€“ Great start Doc. First Skinner puts up a couple pedestrian lines while DeAndre Jordan goes nutty. Then Skinner misses last night with the flu. I apologize about that one.
Josh Smith â€“ That’s the Josh Smith we’re talking about! 24 points, 8 boards, and 3 blocks. We missed those blocks.