Stephen Curry continues top-5 season

February, 28, 2013

Well, on the one hand, the Golden State Warriors just missed what would have been a huge win for them in Madison Square Garden playing without a suspended David Lee on Wednesday night. On the other hand, that story was upstaged by Stephen Curry's 54 points: an announcement to the rest of the league that he's one of the elite players in the game right now.

Curry, you'll remember, was usurped by his teammate, Lee (or Zach Randolph or LaMarcus Aldridge, depending on your allegiances), for a spot in the All-Star Game earlier this month, but on Wednesday night, Curry absolutely carried a Warriors team that had pretty much nothing else going. He was the only starter in double figures, and yet his team barely lost a close one on a night when Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and Tyson Chandler had a career-high 28 rebounds for the home team. That's impressive stuff, and it jibes with the fact that he's currently a top-five fantasy player as well. Amazingly, it will be a debate next season whether you should be drafting Curry ahead of guys like Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook; given his injury history, I certainly didn't think we'd be in this position at this time. Let's just hope he stays healthy; I know I'm already looking forward to the next time Curry visits the Garden.

Looking Back

• The Magic got thrashed by the lowly Kings, but the fantasy story was new Magic acquisition Tobias Harris. Harris finished with 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor and 4-for-5 shooting from the line. He also made a 3-pointer, grabbed six rebounds and chipped in a couple of steals as well. His shot chart for the night is a thing of beauty, consisting almost entirely of shots in the paint or 3s from the corner. If he's the kind of player who is going to make 3s and get to the line while playing in the neighborhood of 30 minutes per game, he's going to be a very valuable very quickly. Pick him up while you can.

• I don't know for sure how much time Kyrie Irving will miss with his sore right knee, but in the two games he's missed, Shaun Livingston is averaging 15 points, four assists and a block on 56 percent shooting from the floor in 33 minutes per game. Livingston, of course, is a supremely talented player with a horrific injury history, but his talent makes him worth paying attention to if Irving misses more time. Livingston should at least provide decent production in the assists category when he plays.

Donatas Motiejunas was impressive for the Rockets in his first career start, putting up 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes. The Rockets' high-paced system may allow him to continue to rack up decent assist totals for a big guy, as he's a willing and good passer. It looks like he'll probably hold on to the starting job for a while, so he's a must-add in many leagues.

Kevin Durant had his third triple-double of the season for the Thunder in a win over the Hornets. It's amazing: Even though LeBron James is playing better basketball than anyone I've seen since Michael Jordan in his prime, Kevin Durant is still the best fantasy player by a healthy margin.

• The training staff in Phoenix might be doing its most amazing work yet in the case of Jermaine O'Neal. Jermaine looked washed up as recently as last season with the Celtics, but he's posting his highest PER since 2006-07, and over his past five games he's averaging 12.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and shooting 54 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, he's available in most fantasy leagues, so you should pick him up immediately if you need a big man.

Paul Millsap missed Wednesday night's game for the Jazz with a sprained right ankle, and Derrick Favors filled in admirably, finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Obviously, Favors needs to be in your lineup if Millsap misses anymore time.

Looking Ahead

• I don't think Ian Mahinmi is worth starting for the Pacers with Roy Hibbert suspended for Thursday night's game against the Clippers, and Danny Granger certainly doesn't look like he's ready to pick up any of the slack, either. Stick with your normal lineup in this case; it could be a huge night for David West, though.

• It will be interesting to see how the 76ers respond to coach Doug Collins' meltdown after Tuesday night's terrible loss to the Magic (a team that then lost by 24 to the Kings on Wednesday night). It's the Bulls, though, who will be without a key player in Taj Gibson. Expect a big game out of Carlos Boozer, who could see a favorable matchup against the smaller Thaddeus Young from time to time.

Derrick Williams is putting up enormous numbers lately, and Thursday night's game against the Lakers should be no different. Williams is averaging 18.8 points and 10.6 rebounds over his past five games and is still available in many fantasy leagues.

Fastbreak Player of the Night

Let's go with David West. The Clippers don't do a great job on opposing power forwards, and West is averaging 20 points on 62 percent shooting from the floor over his past five games.



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