Deron Williams: I don’t typically like to get to superstar heavy with my three up section because we all know how good the big names are. But yesterday there were a couple of stat lines that just can’t be ignored. One of them was Deron Williams who went off in a big way for 57 points against the Bobcats, the most in a single game this season in the NBA. Williams couldn’t be stopped going 16 – 29 from the field and sinking four treys. He also made it to the line for 21 free-throws and made every single one of them. Amazingly while scoring this many points he also managed to get seven assists, six rebounds, a steal and a block. Williams isn’t a natural number one scorer by nature, but he is embracing the role on a Nets team that needs him to be that and he’s fairing quite well.
Rajon Rondo: Yesterday Rajon Rondo recorded his second triple-double in three games and he did it in a big way. Rondo joined elite company as one of the only guys in league history to go 15-15-15 or better in one game. Rondo had 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists, while tossing in a steal and a block just for funsies. I still have my issues with Rondo, he can’t shoot at all and he misses too many free-throws (4 – 7 yesterday), but I won’t deny that he’s a top 25 option in fantasy basketball at this point. Even if Rondo isn’t hitting more jumpers, he’s at least getting to the rack and scoring more which is an improvement. While there may be things to complain about with Rondo, it’s hard to complain about anything after a game like that.
Metta World Peace: In both games this weekend World Peace showed up in a pretty big way for the Los Angeles Lakers. Peace had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and two three’s on Friday Night. Yesterday he had 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and two more three’s. Peace hasn’t been much of a fantasy factor at all this season, and I still wouldn’t run out to grab him now. But in deep leagues he could be worth a grab in hopes that he keeps contributing. He’s showed in these last couple games that he can still score the ball from time to time and we know he can help with steals if given court time. Don’t rush to grab him, but write him off quite yet either.
76ers Shooting Guards: Doug Collins continues to run out a three man team of shooting guard every game with Jodie Meeks, Lou Williams and Evan Turner all seeing significant time at the position. However they don’t always all see significant time in the same game, as evidence by Meeks playing just 15 minutes yesterday. Meanwhile Turner who had been under 20 minutes in back to back games was on the court for 23 yesterday. There is rhyme or reason to Collins backcourt rotation and it is maddening. Williams has the most value of the three guys because he can play the point too, but even he can be frustrating to own. Because of the unpredictability Meeks and Turner should really be left for the deep league guys at this point and even than they’re likely bench players.
Jose Calderon: After a surprisingly strong first half to the season Calderon has started to tail off and his stats are looking much more ordinary, and much more as expected. In four games since the all-star break Calderon is averaging 7.8 points, 6.3 assists and 0.3 steals per game. He’s been fortunate that Jarryd Bayless isn’t playing well either or else his minutes would be shrinking. But like we saw yesterday when Leandro Barbosa had the hot hand, Calderon will sit if someone else is playing well. If you can still sell him using that first half as leverage, the window is closing.
D.J. Augustin: While he did score 12 points yesterday Augustin did it while going 4 – 12 from the field as he continues to struggle. And this is a bad time for him to be struggling with Gerald Henderson back now, Kemba Walker lurking on the bench and Corey Maggette finally starting to play better. If Augustin isn’t playing well you’ll see it in his minutes soon enough. In these last five games Augustin is averaging 9.2 points per game with 5 assists per game. Meanwhile he is shooting just 28% from the field. Expect Augustin’s minutes to go down as the season wears on while Kemba’s minutes start going up.