Arroyo carving out value
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.
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.
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.
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.