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To call the Golden State Warriors shorthanded Friday night would be the understatement of the year. Don Nelson's club was without Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright. In fact, with so many injuries, the Warriors had to have Marco Belinelli (ankle), despite the fact that he had no chance of playing, just so that they would have the minimum eight players active.
• Chris Paul, Hornets: 43 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and four 3-pointers on 16-for-28 shooting from the floor and 7-for-8 shooting from the line.|
• LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers: 35 points and 18 rebounds with a steal and a block while shooting 14-for-24 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the line.
• Francisco Garcia, Kings: 29 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and four 3-pointers in a loss to the Suns.
• Carlos Boozer, Jazz: 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on just 1-for-9 shooting from the floor.|
• Kevin Love, Timberwolves: 2 points and 6 rebounds on 1-for-3 shooting from the floor in 26 minutes.
• Kevin Durant, Thunder: 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists with no steals, blocks or 3-pointers in a loss to the Blazers.
We've all had a fun time trying to figure out Nellie's ever-changing rotations this season, but not even he could mess this one up. And, for the first time this season, we actually have a clear picture of what to expect in Golden State going forward. With so many injuries, Nelson has no choice but to give Jamal Crawford (39 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 3-pointers), Anthony Morrow (24 points, 5 3-pointers) and Anthony Randolph (20 points, 15 rebounds and a block) plenty of run going forward. Ellis is not expected to miss too much time, but Jackson is done for the year, and Maggette may soon follow suit. With that said, we can feel confident that Morrow and Randolph will be productive fantasy players the rest of the way.
Under the boards
I'll admit that I was wrong about Manu Ginobili's playing time upon his return from an ankle injury. Ginobili saw 36 minutes and put up 16 points with seven rebounds, seven assists and three 3-pointers in a 126-121 victory over the Pacers and looks fine to finish the season for fantasy teams. It would have been nice to see Brandon Rush get after it a little more on the defensive end, but he continued to play well, with 14 points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor. With Mike Dunleavy and Marquis Daniels out of action, Rush is looking like a great pickup with 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers over his past five games. Raja Bell left Friday's contest with a calf injury and could be done for the season. D.J. Augustin (9 points with a steal and a 3-pointer) will start in his absence. Augustin has been highly productive as a starter this season with 20.1 points, 6.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.1 3-pointers in nine starts. He won't be that productive the rest of the way, but still makes for a great late-season addition. Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored 19 points and added a steal and a block while shooting 7-for-10 from the floor in a victory over the Hawks on Friday. Davis has averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and a steal over his past five games and should continue to log heavy minutes while Kevin Garnett sits with a knee injury. The Blazers completely overwhelmed Oklahoma City from the start Friday en route to a 107-72 victory. LaMarcus Aldridge (35 points and 18 rebounds with a steal and a block) has a career night for the Blazers while dominating Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison in the paint.
Talk about making a statement. The Orlando Magic made quick work of the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 116-87 victory Friday night. The game was never really in reach for the Cavs, and both teams decided to rest their starters in the fourth quarter. With that said, don't get too concerned with the lack of minutes for Dwight Howard (27) or LeBron James (32). Kyle Korver was already looking like a fine pickup, but he should see even more playing time with C.J. Miles expected to miss a week with a dislocated finger. Korver saw 32 minutes Friday and finished with 19 points and two 3-pointers. With Randy Foye out of action, Ryan Gomes (25 points, 8 rebounds, 2 3-pointers), Mike Miller (14 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and Rodney Carney (25 points, 5 3-pointers) have stepped up their games for the Timberwolves. If Foye continues to miss time, Carney and Gomes will log heavy minutes for Kevin McHale in Minnesota. Kevin Martin rested his sore ankle Friday night, which was a surprise considering that he dropped 50 on the Warriors in his last game. With Martin out, Francisco Garcia got loose for 29 points, four rebounds, five assists, four 3-pointers and a steal. Garcia should already be owned in your league, but his value gets a big boost if Martin has to miss any more time. Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson continued to put up numbers for Sacramento, as Hawes finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Thompson scored a career-high 23 points and added 6 rebounds and a steal. Hawes and Thompson are receiving a ton of minutes down the stretch as the Kings look forward to next season, and both should be owned in all fantasy leagues at this point. Leandro Barbosa, who had missed the past seven games with a groin injury, returned to the court Friday to score 15 points with a steal and a 3-pointer in just 14 minutes of action. Barbosa had been playing very well before the injury, and he should be picked up for the team's final six games.