Bradley's hot shooting continues
Avery Bradley looked phenomenal once again for the Celtics as he filled in at point guard for Rajon Rondo, who missed the win over the Magic with a sore back after a hard fall in New York Tuesday night. Bradley had 23 points on 10-for-14 shooting. He had just one rebound, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer, but it's worth pointing out that he's on an amazing offensive hot streak, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 69 percent on 3s over his past five games.
He belongs in fantasy lineups, but right now he's mainly good for scoring and 3s, and those aren't categories one should expect him to contribute in long term. It's strange that a player with his defensive prowess hasn't been more useful in terms of collecting steals, but it's probably true that the fact that he doesn't gamble is what makes him so good on defense. For now, I'd have him in my lineup, but don't be surprised if he has an off night here and there.
• Nene returned to the lineup for the Wizards on Wednesday night, scoring 14 points to go along with his four rebounds and two blocks in just 18 minutes off the bench. That's extremely good production given the playing time, but with Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely playing pretty well in starting roles, Nene's minutes might stay on the low side for the rest of the season.
• Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade both missed the Heat's win over the Raptors as they took the night off to rest. With Miami pretty firmly entrenched in the second spot in the Eastern Conference, this could be something that happens a lot over the next week. Unfortunately, Miami doesn't really have any other players worth starting in most fantasy leagues outside of Mario Chalmers, so unless someone catches fire, you'll have to look elsewhere if Bosh and Wade continue to miss action.
• The Nets, too, don't have much to play for these days, and with Deron Williams out of the lineup, it's hard to image the team pressing him back into service if he's not 100 percent ready. Meanwhile, Sundiata Gaines racked up 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in a loss to the Knicks, and now has 13 assists total over his past two games. If you're desperate, he's a decent play in that category as long as Williams is out of the lineup.
• After struggling quite a bit so far through the month of April, James Harden had the best performance of his career against the Suns, as he went off for 40 points on some seriously hot shooting. If you ever considered not playing him due to his recent struggles, this game should make you forget that idea pretty quickly; he's been one of the best players in the league all season, and Wednesday night was a good reminder.
• Darren Collison is questionable for the Pacers for Thursday night's game against the Bucks, and that means George Hill, who played 37 minutes Tuesday night against the 76ers, is probably a good guy to have in your lineup. He's averaging 13.6 points, 5.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 3s over his past five games, and should be good for somewhere around those numbers on Thursday night.
• Make sure you get Jose Juan Barea into your lineup if he's not already there, as the Timberwolves have what looks to be a good matchup against the Pistons. Barea is averaging 17.6 points, 10.6 assists and 2.6 3s in his past five games. With Luke Ridnour out, the Wolves simply have nowhere else to turn at the point guard position, and Barea is playing well enough that he deserves the minutes.
• The Hornets are dealing with a whole mess of injuries to key players, but they got a big performance off the bench from Jerome Dyson in their loss to the Grizzlies. In just his fifth game, the 6-foot-3 guard posted 24 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor and a ridiculous 14-for-16 from the line. Clearly, this is a player worth keeping an eye on when the Hornets go against the Rockets on Thursday night; every year there are players who make a name for themselves on bad teams down the stretch, and Dyson could very well be one of those players.
• When the Heat and the Bulls face off, it'll be interesting to see which players actually suit up. Wade and Bosh should be ready to go, and Luol Deng may also be back in the lineup, but Derrick Rose is still a big question mark. As I wrote above, the Heat don't have any rock-solid fantasy options behind their stars anyway, but for the Bulls, Richard Hamilton -- who is averaging 16.8 points, 3.6 assists, 1.6 3s and 52 percent shooting from the floor over his past five games -- could be a good play.