Bynum struggles in Florida

December, 21, 2008
12/21/08
11:16
AM ET
Big names came up big Saturday: Jamal Crawford had 50 points, Dwyane Wade had 43, Kobe Bryant had 41, and Chris Paul had 34 points and eight (yes, eight) steals. Plus, Paul Millsap's run of double-doubles reached 15. But since you know these guys are really good, let's address Andrew Bynum, someone good who doesn't look good at the moment. Bynum turned in another clinker Saturday, managing just three points in 12 foul-plagued minutes at Orlando. This comes one night after his four-point, six-rebound showing in Miami.

At least a bad game against Dwight Howard is easy to understand; Friday's performance against the undersized Heat and 6-foot-9 center Joel Anthony is a head-scratcher. Case in point: Brook Lopez dominated Miami to the tune of 22 points, 13 boards and five blocks Saturday. Of course, slumps are inevitable in a long NBA season, especially with a young player such as Bynum. If the 21-year-old doesn't turn it around soon (like Monday at Memphis, for instance), then you can be justifiably concerned.

Under the boards

SATURDAY, DEC. 20
HIGHLIGHTS
Jamal Crawford, Warriors: 50 points, 5-for-8 from 3-point range, 17-of-18 from the free-throw line and 5 assists at Charlotte.
Chris Paul, Hornets: 34 points on 10-for-15 shooting, 9 assists, 8 steals vs. Sacramento.
Dwyane Wade, Heat: 43 points on 13-for-22 shooting and 16-for-18 from the line, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks at New Jersey.
LOWLIGHTS
Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets: 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4 turnovers at Phoenix.
Eric Gordon, Clippers: 4 points (1-for-6 shooting), 2 assists, 4 turnovers at Milwaukee.
Raymond Felton, Bobcats: 14 points on 6-for-19 shooting, 4 turnovers in 45 minutes vs. Golden State.

Speaking of the Lakers, if you, like Kobe, are looking for some help, Derek Fisher is a nice play for the week ahead. Fisher, who is unowned in 27 percent of ESPN.com leagues, dropped a season-high 27 points on the Magic. His three buckets from downtown were especially impressive, considering Orlando is the second-stingiest team against the 3. While the Christmas Day showdown against the Celtics highlights the Lakers' Week 9, L.A. also draws the Grizzlies, Hornets and Warriors, three of the NBA's worst 11 teams in 3-point defense. … Just days after I said that Marreese Speights' penchant for fouling limits his fantasy value, the 21-year-old had another nice night: 12 points and four blocks (and only two fouls) in only 25 minutes against the Pacers. So am I taking back what I said? Yes and no. Keep in mind that Speights got his numbers against the Wizards and a Pacers team minus Danny Granger, Marquis Daniels and Troy Murphy. Let's see how he fares when the Sixers visit Boston on Tuesday. That said, I added Speights (99 percent unowned) in my 14-team league. One can never have enough shot-blockers. … Aaron Brooks is doing well in a starting role (18 points; three 3s; and, believe it or not, 10 boards at Minnesota), but Rafer Alston (hamstring) could be back as soon as Monday. Still, if you're streaming players, try Brooks (97 percent unowned) for Monday, when Houston visits New Jersey. The Nets allow a league-high 8.3 3s per game. … Another thing I recently said is that I like Eric Gordon. That still applies despite Saturday's disaster (4 points, 4 turnovers) in Milwaukee. Chalk that one up to the Clippers' playing their fourth away game (including two that went to overtime) in five nights. In his previous five games, Gordon (89 percent unowned) averaged 16.2 points, 1.8 3s and 1.2 steals. And by the way, Gordon gets the Raptors, who just surrendered 16 3s to the Spurs, on Monday. … It's a shame that Tyrus Thomas sustained a concussion last week, but it's also a shame that it took that injury -- and Drew Gooden's ankle sprain -- to get Andres Nocioni (68 percent unowned) re-established in the Bulls' rotation. With Gooden expected to miss 7 to 10 days, Noc (17.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 3s in his past three games) offers ample short-term value. As for Thomas (91 percent unowned), he had to leave the Chicago bench Saturday because the bright lights were bothering his eyes. He insists, though, that he's getting better, and once he returns, you'll want to add him. … In five games with the Bobcats, Boris Diaw is averaging 16.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 3s. Diaw is still available in 27 percent of ESPN.com leagues, so get him while you can.

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