Around The League: December 7 – 9: Weekend Roundup

Another weekend that was chock full of basketball goodness. We saw plenty of big games from plenty of different guys. There were some shooting clinics from guards like O.J. Mayo, and some big man rebounding from the likes of David Lee and Joakim Noah.

There were also some solid waiver wire worthy performances from the likes of Andrew Nicholson and even Ersan Ilyasova. It was a busy basketball weekend and here’s a recap of exactly what you need to know from it.

  1. O.J. Mayo – SG, Dallas Mavericks: As O.J. Mayo started to cool off the talk of sell high started and there was something to it for sure, but you have to be having second thoughts now. The thing with Mayo is that while he’s going hit some slumps, he is a legitimate top of the line scorer in fantasy leagues and a serious top 50 player. On Saturday Mayo went off for 40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 6 3-pointers. He’s gone for 23 or more three times in the last four games. And the other thing is that he does more than score. Getting close to 4 boards and 4 assists from a shooting guard who shoots first is a nice little perk. Unless you’re selling him for a top 25 guy, I wouldn’t sell on him personally.
  2. Joe Johnson – SG, Brooklyn Nets: If you want to see the season of Joe Johnson recapped look at the box scores from this weekend. Johnson was really good on Friday scoring 32 points including hitting 4 threes and pulling down 5 rebounds. Yesterday, Johnson was really bad going 2 – 8 from the field with just 6 points and 4 assists. Johnson’s role on the Nets is different considering the talent around him compared to what he had around him in Atlanta from an offensive standpoint. The shot totals are going to vary a lot, but that’s not the only issue. The extras that Johnson once brought to the table are inconsistent right now and it’s hard to even value him as a top 50 talent anymore based on the inconsistencies and up and down play.

More News and Notes You Need to Know

  • Is anyone as good as David Lee in fantasy basketball talked about less? This weekend Lee went for 30 points and 15 rebounds on Friday and for an encore Saturday he posted 24 and 17. Lee has somehow quietly posted a season average of 18.5 points and 11.3 rebounds. And for those who claim he’s a two category guy, he’s got very strong ratios and above average assists and steals for a big man.
  • It was a career game for young Pistons point guard Brandon Knight Saturday as he scored a career high 30 points to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal and 5 threes. This came on the heels of a 21 point game Friday. Knight is averaging 18.4 PPG in this last five and is becoming a go to option in Detroit.
  • After missing several games with injury Andrei Kirilenko returned Friday with a nice game. Kirilenko had 8 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 4 steals. If that doesn’t sound like a good fantasy line to you than you’re only looking at the points. Kirilenko may take a scoring hit compared to his early numbers going forward, but he does so many things so well that he’ll continue to make a big impact on your fantasy squad.
  • Stats keep piling up for George Hill who scored 15 points in each of two games this weekend. He also added 10 assists in Friday’s game and had 4 rebounds in each of the two. Hill has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners all season consistently turning in 12 – 14 points and 5 – 6 assists every game. The numbers aren’t eye popping, but he’s getting the job done almost every game.
  • Slowly Ersan ilyasova is working his way back into more playing time. On Friday he had 21 points, 12 rebounds and made 2 threes  in just 20 minutes. He reached double figures in scoring again yesterday and saw 26 minutes on the court. I’d add him in my leagues where he is available just in case a breakout is coming.
  • Friday was probably the game of Joakim Noah’s life as he went off on Detroit for 30 points, 23 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. His 10 points and 11 rebounds yesterday paled in comparison, but he’s now gotten a double-double in 5 of his last 6 games and has 11 blocks in his last four games. He’s finally becoming that elite center he has been projected as for so long.
  • With Tyreke Evans still struggling with an injury John Salmons has entered the Kings rotation and turned out to be a pretty solid ball handler for them. Salmons was awful on Friday, but bounced back Saturday for 19 points and a surprising 11 assists. Salmons also had 7 assists in a game last week. I wouldn’t count on long term value, but while he’s hot Salmons could make a nice fill in play.
  • As the Magic begin to spiral downward the young players are going to get more and more playing time. Andrew Nicholson got over 20 minutes in two games this weekend and ended up with a combined 30 points and 12 rebounds. Sunday alone he had 16 poins, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. If the Magic are going to give him playing time he deserves a spot in deep leagues and keeper leagues. Expect the ups and downs that will inevitable come though.
  • After more talk about a benching last week J.J. Hickson once again quieted that with back-to-back double-double’s this weekend. Hickson had 28 points and 27 rebounds in two games over the weekend and seems safe once against as a starter, still averaging a double-double for the season.
  • At some point John Wall will come back and the Jordan Crawford point guard experiment will end, but so far it’s gone a lot better than I expected. Saturday Crawford had a really strong game with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. He’s averaging 18.8 pts and 5.8 asts per game over the last four and for the time being should be owned in all leagues.

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