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With only three games on tap because of the Super Bowl, it was a slow day in the daily fantasy basketball world. The Celtics dominated the Clippers for most of the game Sunday afternoon but lost control late as things got close at the end. Paul Pierce (22 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast) led the way for the C’s, as they held on late to win by two. Jeff Green (14 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 BS) and Jason Terry (14 Pts, 6 Ast, 2 Reb) were huge off the Boston bench and are playing much bigger minutes with the Celtics dealing with multiple injuries. Eric Bledsoe (23 Pts, 10 Ast, 7 Reb) had a monster game with CP3 out again, and Blake Griffin (20 Pts, 11 Reb, 5 Ast) put on a nice performance as well in the loss.
Dwight Howard missed his second straight game with a shoulder issue, leaving big minutes for Pau Gasol (23 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast) and Earl Clark (17 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 Blk) to post monster stat lines. Kobe Bryant (18 Pts, 5 Ast, 3 Reb) stayed pretty quiet in the win. For Detroit, it was Greg Monroe (20 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast) and Will Bynum (18 Pts, 10 Ast) helping the Pistons come real close to a home victory.
The Heat dominated the Raptors in the 2nd half of their game, with the Big Three carrying the way: LeBron James (30 pts, 7 Ast, 8 Reb), Dwyane Wade (23 Pts, 5 Ast, 5 Reb) and Chris Bosh (28 Pts, 5 Reb 1 BS) all produced big fantasy games. Rudy Gay (29 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast) and Demar DeRozan (27 Pts, 3 Ast, 3 Reb) did their best to keep this game interesting, but in the end Toronto was no match for the veteran Miami squad.
The Bulls will likely be without Joakim Noah again, making Taj Gibson worth another start. Carlos Boozer is still a game-time call; my guess is he will play, because last game he was on the court warming up but decided last minute not to go.
The Magic will be in Philly without three of their starters (Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Arron Afflalo, not to mention Big Baby Davis done for the year). Look for guys like E’Twaun Moore, Moe Harkless, Andrew Nicholson and even someone like Ishmael Smith to pick up the slack. Jason Richardson has been ruled out for the 76ers, making Nick Young a solid play once again.
The two usual studs of the night, LeBron James & Kevin Durant, should be monitored throughout the day, as both are dealing with minor injuries and could be held out of their respective games. Side note: KD put up a career high 52 points against Dallas about three weeks ago, just sayin’…
The Utah Jazz will be without Gordon Hayward and Earl Watson again. Randy Foye has seen an increase in minutes and has been playing very well with these two out of the lineup.
For the Trail Blazers, Wes Matthews is a game-time call after missing his last game with an ankle injury. Victor Claver started, but it was Luke Babbit making the bigger fantasy impact.
Picks of the Night:
Jrue Holiday – Will be at home matched up against the injury-riddled Magic. This game has blowout written all over it, but I still expect Jrue to do enough damage early when he’s on the court.
Nikola Vucevic – The only remaining starter for the Magic is in line for a big night. He’ll be forced to play big minutes and his price tag really isn’t that high on most sites given his steady production.
Al Jefferson – Should be able to have his way with the young and immature DeMarcus Cousins tonight.
Ish Smith and E’Twuan Moore – They both should be starting tonight given the fact that the Magic have no other healthy guards on their roster. Even in a blowout, these guys are going to have to play big minutes.
Randy Foye – Depending on the site you play, his price could be out of sleeper range. That being said, I still expect big things from him tonight against a Sacramento team that gives up a lot of threes.