Beast of the Night: LeBron James had himself a typically big line to the tune of 35 points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. He shot 57 percent (13-23) from the field, 100 percent (9-9) from the free-throw line and had two turnovers. Through three games, James is averaging 32.7 points on 59 percent shooting from the field and 87 percent shooting from the charity stripe. The odd thing is that he has yet to attempt a single three-pointer. The fact that he’s been such a stud without a three-pointer says volumes about his fantasy value. It’s early, but James looks like the probable top dog in fantasy basketball this season.
Lines for Discussion:
Paul George: 5-11 FG (46%), 4-4 FT (100%), 4 threes, 18 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 TO; George isn’t creeping up on anybody this season, as he’s already owned in the majority of fantasy leagues. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s in for an intriguing season. His fantasy owners should enjoy the ride.
Andrea Bargnani: 9-17 FG (53%), 2-5 FT (40%), 1 three, 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 4 TO; His lack of rebounds is maddening but Bargnani obviously retains value as a center-eligible player who can knock down threes and shoot well from the free-throw line (despite last night’s display).
Boris Diaw: 7-14 FG (50%), 2 threes, 16 Pts, 16 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 6 TO; Diaw is thriving in his first two games of the season as the Bobcats’ starting center. It’s unlikely that he can keep up this near-triple-double pace, especially since Tyrus Thomas has yet to play a game this season, but Diaw looks primed to reward his fantasy owners handsomely in 2011-12.
Ramon Sessions: 4-11 FG (36%), 6-6 FT (100%), 2 threes, 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO; He’s off to a great start, but if Kyrie Irving eventually finds his way (and the smart bet is that he will), Sessions could see his value drop. His owners should just enjoy the ride in the meantime.
Nick Young: 6-12 FG (50%), 6-6 FT (100%), 3 threes, 21 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast; It’s good to see that his foot injury isn’t a big deal. Young is certainly making the case for that starting SG job for the Wizards. Regardless, he’ll remain a strong source of points and threes this season.
Jarrett Jack: 8-17 FG (47%), 5-5 FT (100%), 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 1 TO; No surprise here. Jack played 38 minutes in a blowout victory. With no reliable backup PG on the Hornets’ roster, Jack is in for serious minutes and stat lines for the foreseeable future.
Russell Westbrook: 0-13 FG (0%), 4-4 FT (100%), 4 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 TO; He’s off to a disconcerting start to the season, but Westbrook will bounce back. Now’s the time to buy low if you can.
Manu Ginobili: 6-10 FG (60%), 7-7 FT (100%), 5 threes, 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl; Not bad for 27 minutes of court time. Ginobili is starting the season off like he did last season. Barring any injuries or serious minute constraints, he’ll be a fantasy stud again in 2011-12.
Andre Miller: 2-7 FG (29%), 3-5 FT (60%), 7 Pts, 3 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO; Miller is averaging 27:30 in two games (both blowout victories) and is clearly going to have helpful fantasy value this season, despite coming off the bench behind Ty Lawson.
Landry Fields: 5-10 FG (50%), 3-4 FT (75%), 1 three, 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 4 TO; With Iman Shumpert out at least a couple weeks, Fields’ minutes at SG are safe for the near future.
James Johnson: 6 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 6 Stl, 2 Blk, 1 TO; He might not score too much, but Johnson does everything else. Don’t be surprised if he takes the starting SF gig from the underwhelming Rasual Butler sometime in the near future. Pick Johnson up and don’t look back.
Jerryd Bayless: 13 Pts, 2 threes, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 TO; Jose Calderon (7/3/6) fell back to earth last night, and if he continues to struggle, the door will open for Bayless. Stash him if you’re feeling up for a gamble; otherwise, just keep a close eye on him.
Brandon Knight: 23 Pts, 3 threes, 1 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO; He came off the bench to play nearly 29 minutes and did very well with them. Knight will be inconsistent, especially as he fights for minutes with Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon, but he could be worth a spot at the end of your bench if you really need a guard.
Marvin Williams: 17 Pts, 2 threes, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk; He’s off to a strong start to the 2011-12 season and is still available in the majority of leagues. With five games for the Hawks next week, Williams is worth a short-term stash at the very least.
Carl Landry: 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Blk, 2 TO; Landry is a meat-and-potatoes power forward. He won’t dish out assists or block too many shots, but he grabs rebounds, shoots well and doesn’t turn the ball over often.
DeJuan Blair: 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 TO; He’s a flawed fantasy asset, for sure, but Blair has that starting center job and should accumulate plenty of points and rebounds going forward.
Spencer Hawes: 9 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 4 TO; That’s two rock-solid outings for Hawes in two games this season. It’s still hard to trust that Hawes will maintain this for the rest of the season, but if you need a big man, he looks like a fine addition for the time being.
Jeremy Pargo: 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO; If Mike Conley misses games, Pargo will be worth a look.
Brandon Rush: 19 Pts, 2 threes, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 1 TO; He’s looking good in the early going and is worth a spot on your roster.
Ishmael Smith: 11 Pts, 1 three, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO; So long as Stephen Curry is out, Smith has some value.
Eric Gordon (knee): a swollen knee made him a late scratch last night; monitor his status
Mike Conley (ankle): monitor his status
Jrue Holiday (knee): doesn’t sound serious but keep an eye on him
Chris Wilcox (shoulder): day-to-day
Tyrus Thomas (ankle): day-to-day
Jeff Foster (back): day-to-day
Mike Miller (hernia): day-to-day
Eddy Curry (hip): day-to-day
See if Kevin Martin can get things going tonight, as the Rockets host the Spurs. Also, keep an eye on Terrence Williams.
See if Westbrook and Serge Ibaka can break out, as the Thunder host the Mavericks.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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