Beast of the Night: Kevin Durant ended 2009 with a furious run that included last night’s line of 31 points, 1 three, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers. He shot 55 percent (12-22) from the field and 75 percent (6-8) from the free throw line. Durant has scored 30+ points in six straight games and there’s no reason to think he can’t keep this up well into 2010.
Derrick Rose â€“ 7-18 FG (39%), 8-8 FT (100%), 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO; He’s still not living up to expectations but Rose picked things up in December and seems primed to be a steady starting PG for most squads for the rest of the season.
Joakim Noah â€“ 5-8 FG (63%), 5-6 FT (83%), 15 Pts, 21 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 8 TO; This was a nice bounce back from his 4-point, 5-rebound performance on Tuesday. Noah remains a fantasy beast.
Luol Deng â€“ 3-10 FG (30%), 1-2 FT (50%), 7 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Blk, 3 TO; Tyrus Thomas (19 points, 7 boards, 2 dimes, 2 steals and 1 block) is clearly denting Deng’s value, as expected. His ailing thumb isn’t helping either. Congratulations if you sold high on him.
Ben Gordon â€“ 7-16 FG (44%), 4-4 FT (100%), 3 3ptm, 21 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 TO; He outdueled Richard Hamilton last night but will probably be inconsistent going forward.
Aaron Brooks â€“ 11-26 FG (42%), 2-3 FT (67%), 6 3ptm, 30 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 TO; He’s on an offensive tear lately but will hit another rough patch soon enough.
Carlos Boozer â€“ 7-13 FG (54%), 3-4 FT (75%), 17 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 TO; As many expected, Boozer’s cooled off considerably since his hot streak in November and at the beginning of December. He could be a decent buy-low candidate.
Samuel Dalembert â€“ 4-9 FG (44%), 8 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 7 Blk, 2 TO; His stats have little appeal on most nights, but he’s still a solid source of rebounds and blocks.
Allen Iverson â€“ 1-4 FG (25%), 5-5 FT (100%), 7 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl; He barely played in the second half and his knee is limiting him right now. Iverson’s worth holding onto but he’ll require a good deal of patience from his owners.
Chris Kaman â€“ 11-21 FG (52%), 4-4 FT (100%), 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk, 4 TO; The Kaveman’s really picked things back up since the middle of December and remains one of the bigger surprises this season.
Waiver Wire Appeal:
Drew Gooden â€“ 10 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk; His minutes are largely dependent on Erick Dampier‘s foul trouble or matchup issues, but when he plays, Gooden produces usable fantasy lines.
Kyle Lowry â€“ 12 Pts, 2 3ptm, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO; He does a lot with the minutes allotted him and should be on many fantasy radars now.
Ben Wallace (ankle): sprained it, left the game, returned, monitor his status
Rodney Stuckey (ankle): check his status
Ron Artest (concussion): unlikely to return tonight
LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle): will be held out of practice today, game-time decision Saturday
Chauncey Billups (groin): questionable Saturday
Carmelo Anthony (ankle): should play Saturday, check his stauts
Hedo Turkoglu (knee): doubtful for Saturday
Tyreke Evans (ankle): probably out this weekend
Beno Udrih, Donte Greene and Omri Casspi will carry the offensive load for the Kings as they visit the Lakers. Kobe Bryant could have a few lessons in store for Greene, who could draw that defensive assignment.
For Next Week:
4 games: ATL, CHI, LAL, MEM, MIA, NJ, NO, ORL, POR, UTA, WAS
3 games: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GS, HOU, IND, LAC, MIL, MIN, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAC, SA, TOR
2 games: NY