Don't trust Steve Nash and the Suns the rest of the way
Friday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies all but confirmed our worst fears about the Phoenix Suns' fantasy prospects for the final week of the season. With the playoffs now out of reach, it was thought the Suns might rest their starters, and as suspected, not one Phoenix player broke the 30-minute mark against the Grizzlies. Most concerning was the lack of minutes for Steve Nash (19), Shaquille O'Neal (17) and Jason Richardson (25) on the night. The Suns had been a cash cow for fantasy owners during their push for the playoffs, but it looks like head coach Alvin Gentry is going to spread the minutes around equally the rest of the way. Those that were relying on Nash, Shaq and J-Rich may want to think about considering alternative options for Phoenix's final three games of the season.
Under the Boards
• Chris Paul, Hornets: 42 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and three 3-pointers while shooting 14-for-25 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the line.|
• Josh Smith, Hawks: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks on 10-for-19 shooting from the floor.
• Tony Parker, Spurs: 31 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor.
• Devin Harris, Nets: 1 point, 2 rebounds and 2 assists on 0-for-5 shooting from the floor before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.|
• Andray Blatche, Wizards: 5 points, 2 rebounds and a block in just 11 minutes of action.
• Andrea Bargnani, Raptors: 9 points, 3 rebounds and a block while shooting just 4-for-16 from the floor and 0-for-4 from the 3-point line.
Devin Harris had a miserable night for the Nets, going 0-for-5 from the floor before leaving the court with a shoulder injury. His status for the remainder of the season is in doubt and owners will have to make a decision if they want to carry him the rest of the way. Chris Douglas-Roberts saw some extra run with Harris down and scored 16 points while adding two blocked shots in 30 minutes. Give CDR a shot if it looks like Harris will be shut down. Lou Williams scored 17 points while adding a steal in just 23 minutes for the Sixers on Friday. Williams has filled in admirably for the injured Thaddeus Young and is averaging 16.4 points, 1.8 steals and 1.3 3-pointers over his past five games. Marvin Williams returned to the lineup for the Hawks, but scored just five points in 12 minutes as Mike Woodson is playing it safe to keep Williams healthy for the playoffs. Ronald "Flip" Murray will take a hit in production but still scored 15 points in 33 minutes on the night. Michael Beasley started in Jamario Moon's absence (groin) and scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and snagged two steals in 38 minutes. Beasley's rookie season has been a disappointment, but he could pay dividends over the last few games of the season if Moon is forced to miss more time with the injury. Glen "Big Baby" Davis put up 22 points to go with eight rebounds and two steals in the Celtics' victory over the Heat. He is averaging 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals over his past five games and is a solid fill-in for the injured Kevin Garnett. With their loss to the Thunder, the Bobcats are officially out of the playoff race in the East. That means we're likely to see a healthy dose of D.J. Augustin the rest of the way. Augustin scored 20 to go with a steal and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes in the loss and will be a major force for points, steals and 3-pointers for the remainder of the season. It's nice to see that Caron Butler (21 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists) and Antawn Jamison (24 points, 12 rebounds and three 3-pointers) can produce despite the fact the Wizards have nothing left to play for. Their production over the past week has been a pleasant surprise, but even more surprising has been the play of Brendan Haywood. Haywood dropped 15 points and 9 rebounds with 5 blocks on Friday night and is averaging 10.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over his past five games. He makes for a fine addition if you need help on the glass or in the shot-blocking category.
Wilson Chandler continued his hot streak with 22 points and eight rebounds while adding a steal and a 3-pointers in a victory over the Orlando Magic. Chandler is averaging 18.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 3-pointers, 1.2 blocks and a steal over his past five games. It was nice to see Tim Duncan (14 points, 9 rebounds) on the court for more than 30 minutes Friday, but he is going to be awfully tough to rely on the rest of the way. Seeing just 28.6 minutes per game over his past five, we'll have to lower our expectations for Duncan going forward. Andrew Bynum scored 13 points and added six rebounds in 30 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury. It looks like Bynum will provide modest stats for fantasy owners down the stretch. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol (12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block) will get a chance to rest a little after playing heavy minutes in Bynum's absence. Those that thought DeAndre Jordan would be a solid pickup for the last week were severely disappointed to see Marcus Camby (22 minutes, 0 points, 11 rebounds) and Chris Kaman (29 minutes, 14 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks) back on the court Friday night. Surprisingly, despite the return of Camby and Kaman, Brian Skinner managed to put up 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a victory over the Kings. With Camby and Kaman back in action, it will be tough to rely on any one player in the Clippers' frontcourt going forward. Yao Ming missed Friday's game, which explains the huge nights for Luis Scola (28 points, 9 rebounds) and Dikembe Mutombo (10 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks). Yao's injury is not considered serious, but the Rockets may opt to limit his minutes to keep him fresh for the playoffs. With that said, Scola looks like a fantastic play for the remainder of the season. The Warriors got Andris Biedrins back Wednesday, but they were still shorthanded Friday with Monta Ellis and Jamal Crawford joining Stephen Jackson, Brandan Wright and Corey Maggette on the shelf. Ellis is thought to be out for the Warriors' final three games and Crawford's status could be in jeopardy as well. Anthony Randolph (17 points), Kelenna Azubuike (32 points, three 3-pointers) and Anthony Morrow (16 points, 3 steals and two 3-pointers) will be huge the rest of the way as the Warriors pack it in. C.J. Watson (18 points, 9 assists, 3 steals) could also make for a sneaky pickup for the final few games.