Here is the morning round up of news and notes from around the league. With just a few games on the schedule last night, I broke it down game-by-game this time.
Washington Wizards 116, Philadelphia 76ers 115 (OT)
Elton Brand had a big night against the Wizards, racking up 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals. If he could average those numbers, he'd be well on his way to living up to the salary he's being paid this year.
The fact is: He won't. That's the end of the story. He will not do this with any consistency. He's been a good player, but pretend last night never happened.
In other 76ers news, Lou Williams scored 30 points in only 32 minutes on the floor last night. Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 13 assists in the same game. If these guys keep playing in such polar opposite ways, Philadelphia will find a way to use them both.
Holiday fits better with Andre Iguodala, but scoring points is the name of the game. Keep an eye on this situation. If Williams keeps scoring, he could cut in to Holiday's play time.
John Wall looked like the kind of player most people think he can be. Wall scored 29 points, dished out 13 assists and stole the ball nine times. Still, you have to expect some growing pains in his first year in the league. Assuming you're not in a keeper league, you may look at selling Wall high.
Obviously, don't sell him unless someone is willing to offer you someone extremely valuable. While Wall won't average these numbers, he's still going to have a very nice rookie year. I actually picked him to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Nick Young and Andray Blatche of the Wizards benefited from Wall's big night, putting up 20 and 23 points respectively. Blatche also included eight rebounds. Wall has shown that he can drive a team. If he continues to perform, the stock of the players around him will continue to rise.
Atlanta Hawks 100, Cleveland Cavaliers 88
Marvin Williams scored 22 points in 36 minutes of action. Do I think this is a trend? No.
J.J. Hickson continues to impress in his starting role with the Cavs. Last night, he scored 31 points and pulled down five rebounds in 32 minutes of play time. You might still have a chance to buy Hickson from owners who don't fully believe in him yet.
Boston Celtics 109, Detroit Pistons 86
Jermaine O'Neal is really the only player to note from the Celtics last night. In his first start at center for Boston, O'Neal scored 12 points with five rebounds in 21 minutes on the floor.
He may turn into a solid player for the Celtics, but don't go crazy for him in fantasy leagues. With a deep bench that includes Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal will have a hard time seeing enough time on the floor to be a big fantasy difference maker.
Aside from O'Neal, everybody else on the Celtic roster did pretty much what they're expected to do.
The Pistons continue to struggle. Charlie Villanueva scored 17 points. Other than that, there's really nothing to mention. The team had a fairly lackluster night. Honestly, there will probably be a number of those this season.
Miami Heat 129, Minnesota Timberwolves 97
When will Kevin Love get the playing time he deserves? In just 26 minutes against the Heat, Love scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds. He's playing great in the minutes he's getting. Everyone's noticed, but Kurt Rambis.
Michael Beasley left the game with a bruised hip but still managed 11 points in as many minutes. Keep an eye on the bruised hip, but it shouldn't effect him very long.
This just in: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are good.
It looks like James Jones is going to have plenty of opportunities to score this year. Against the T'Wolves, he was 5-for-9 from 3-point land and totaled 17 points. Go ahead and pick him up off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Portland Trail Blazers 90, Milwaukee Bucks 76
The Blazers divided up the stats fairly evenly last night. No one really had a big night and no one had an awful night. With the final score of 90-76, however, the viewer had an awful night.
We've written a few times about Corey Maggette's being overlooked in many fantasy drafts. Sixteen points in 17 minutes is a good example of how good he can really be. You might still have the opportunity to get Maggette cheap from an owner that took him rather reluctantly.
As I said before, the viewer lost out here. That reflects in the stat lines.
Los Angeles Lakers 124, Memphis Grizzlies 105
Rudy Gay is scoring some points this year. Last night, he put up 30 on Ron Artest. He's becoming more and more of what the Grizzlies have really lacked over the last few years/forever.
Mike Conley signed a five-year, $45 million contract with Memphis yesterday. While that contract may be bloated with respect to his career thus far, he's having a good 2010. He followed up a very nice monetary day for himself with 16 points, eight assists and three steals.
As with the Celtics last night, the Lakers lineup put up the stats we've come to expect. The only exceptions to this might be Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Artest scored only five points to go along with a poor defensive night. Barnes was the opposite side of the spectrum, scoring 16 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Barnes may be earning himself even more playing time on an aging lineup that needs a deep bench to maintain it.
Orlando Magic, New York Knicks PPD
Debris fell inside the arena as asbestos was being removed in Madison Square Garden yesterday. Last night's game was postponed as a safety precaution.
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