Arroyo carving out value

March, 5, 2010
03/05/10
10:01
AM ET

The Miami Heat managed to steal one from the Los Angeles Lakers in a thriller Thursday night, with the typically great production of Dwyane Wade (27 points, 14 assists) matched by an uber-efficient performance from Quentin Richardson, who nailed seven 3-pointers. He scored a season-high 25 points, needing just 13 shots thanks to all the long bombs, and it will be interesting to see if this results in increased playing time for the notoriously inconsistent gunner. Already coming off 15 points and seven rebounds versus the Golden State Warriors, there's always a chance Q-Rich can carve out a significant role for a team sorely lacking in wing players.

Another strong performance from Carlos Arroyo gave Wade even more help, as Arroyo made a strong case to take over the starting job with 17 points and five assists, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line. Toss in the 14 points and five assists he had versus the Warriors and Arroyo is averaging 15.5 points and 5.0 assists in his past two games, all without a single turnover. With the Heat desperate for any kind of help at point -- Mario Chalmers has regressed in his sophomore year and Rafer Alston picked up a DNP-CD -- the Heat surely wouldn't mind if Arroyo stepped up to the plate and placed a strangehold at the position.

Looking Back

THURSDAY, MARCH 4
HIGHLIGHTS
Mehmet Okur, Jazz: 24 points (8-10 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 3-pointers versus the Suns.
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies: 31 points (12-18 FG, 7-8 FT), 18 rebounds against the Bulls.
Quentin Richardson, Heat: 25 points (8-13 FG), 7 3-pointers, 5 rebounds, 3 steals versus the Lakers.
LOWLIGHTS
Channing Frye, Suns: 3 points (1-4 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists in 15 minutes versus the Jazz.
Pau Gasol, Lakers: 10 points (4-11 FG), 9 rebounds, 1 assist against the Heat.
Paul Millsap, Jazz: 4 points (1-5 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists versus the Suns.
You can tell the Heat still aren't very high on Michael Beasley, who was firmly planted on the bench in crunch time. Instead, the veteran presence of Udonis Haslem replaced him, and it proved key as Haslem hit a couple of big jumpers down the stretch. Beasley's game has really fallen off the rails recently, averaging below 30 minutes in February while shooting below 42 percent from the field. Don't forget he was dangled in trade talks, too. There's no telling when -- or if -- he'll get his mojo back, so feel free to drop him for a hot hand. … Grant Hill has struck the fountain of youth in recent weeks, with his 17 points versus the Utah Jazz marking the seventh time out of his past nine games he's scored at least 16 points. He's averaging 14.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in that span to go along with great percentages, making him a quality option right now. … The loss of Joakim Noah (foot) for what may be the rest of the season has killed the Chicago Bulls on the boards; on Monday, Josh Smith went off for 18 boards and on Thursday Zach Randolph followed suit, grabbing nearly as many boards as the whole starting Bulls' front line (19). Keep that in mind when other power forwards get a crack at the Bulls.

Looking Ahead

A rejuvenated Ron Artest has been putting in work on the defensive end recently, with 16 steals in his past three games. With Stephen Jackson struggling with his shot recently (27-for-77 in his past five games), Jackson could do a lot of harm to your field goal percentage when he faces Artest Friday. … Chris Bosh is expected to return Friday from an ankle injury that caused him to miss six games, and has a good chance to go off against the poor defense of the New York Knicks. … Make sure to keep an eye on Jose Juan Barea this weekend, who, with the injury to Jason Terry, could really take the opportunity and run with it, carving out fantasy value along the way. … Jameer Nelson tends to torch the overmatched point guards of the Lakers, so don't be surprised if he finds a way to go off against the top-ranked team in defensive efficiency Sunday.

Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

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