The D-Wade show continues
• Ben Gordon, Bulls: 43 points (14-23 FG), 8 3-pointers against the Heat.|
• Joe Johnson, Hawks: 30 points, 4 3-pointers, 2 steals versus New Orleans.
• Dwyane Wade, Heat: 48 points (16-21 FG), 12 assists, 5 3-pointers, 4 steals, 3 blocks against Chicago.
• Tyson Chandler, Hornets: 2 points, 5 rebounds at Atlanta.|
• Tyrus Thomas, Bulls: 4 points, 5 rebounds in Miami.
• Hedo Turkoglu, Magic: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists at Detroit.
Of course, in this instance, Dwyane Wade was the hot shooter, extending the game into two extra sessions and 257 combined points before deciding he'd had enough and called it a night. Wade's version of "calling it a night" involved purloining John Salmons and canning the runner for 3 as the buzzer sounded.
Mr. Wade delivered a cornucopia of statistical goodness onto fantasy owners' laptops around the globe, allowing for four elite-level nights and seven additional fantasy-worthy efforts.
Lost in the shuffle was poor Ben Gordon, who seems to have recently mentally filed for free agency. In his past two contests, Gordon has shot 24-for-42 for 77 points and 12 3-pointers. And don't forget John Salmons, who parlayed 54 minutes into 29 points, two blocks and two assists (on only 10-for-24 shooting, but his owners will take it), and Derrick Rose, who scored 23 points but somehow managed only three assists. Up front, Joakim Noah (11 points, 15 rebounds) and Brad Miller (9 points, 10 rebounds) made the most of their time-share.
What made Wade's night all the more impressive was his ability to elevate his teammates' numbers. Yes, he scored 48, but he also dished out 12 assists, including a visceral alley-oop to Jamario Moon that constituted his third-most thrilling moment of the night. Moon (13 points, 2 blocks), Udonis Haslem (10 points, 8 rebounds), Jermaine O'Neal (11 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals), Mario Chalmers (17 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 3s), and Michael Beasley (18 points, 7 rebounds) all were beneficiaries of Wade's heroics.
Oh, and in case I forgot, both teams also combined to shoot 84 percent from the line (62-for-74). All around, an astounding amount of "Better Basketball," that is, unless you're Tyrus Thomas (4 points, 4 fouls).
Under the Boards
Hornets-Hawks was calibrated, its defense at playoff-level intensity, making for an ugly game with some uglier field goal percentages (a combined 40 percent from the field). David West still supplemented his meager 16 points with 20 rebounds. Marvin Williams sat due to the back injury he sustained Saturday and could be out for the near future. The Pistons are rolling without Allen Iverson (and Rasheed Wallace, who left early with a calf strain). Richard Hamilton (29 points) tallied a career-high 14 assists, including a shockingly beautiful feed to Jason Maxiell for a dunk. Antonio McDyess turned back the clock with 13 points and 18 rebounds. Dwight Howard continued his binge of double-doubles with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. Javaris Crittendon (two points) finally got a start at point guard for the Wizards, but didn't land on the fantasy radar as distinctly as I'd hoped. The Timberwolves are tough to watch without Al Jefferson, but are putting up some nice numbers. Kevin Love (16 points, 11 rebounds) is finding some consistency in Al Jefferson's absence. Sebastian Telfair (14 points, 6 assists) has put together the best month of his career. Unfortunately, Randy Foye had to be carried to the locker room with an ankle sprain. Consider him day-to-day. Caron Butler (27 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) cracked a double-double for the first time since February 8. Aaron Brooks (19 points) rebounded from Sunday's Shaq collision and continued to make his time-share with Kyle Lowry look like a poor choice of substitution patterns. Joel Przybilla (12 points, 18 rebounds) and the Blazers took it to the Lakers in Portland. Supersub Travis Outlaw scored 22 points in 25 minutes. Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom might find themselves on the sidelines for a game or so in the wake of Ariza's decidedly flagrant foul on Rudy Fernandez. It was a scary moment, but I'm betting Fernandez (11 points) will be back sooner than later.
John Cregan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.