John Wall records first triple-double
John Wall had what might have been his best game as a pro against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night with the first of what will certainly be many triple-doubles, finishing with 19 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. He had six steals, too, just in case you got bored by the first three numbers.
Wall has already proven beyond any doubt that he's an electrifying player, and given his predilection for racking up steals and assists, he's looking like a pretty phenomenal fantasy option, too. Even considering all of that, his most important stat from the win against the Rockets might have been his one turnover. It's the first time in a week he's had fewer than six miscues, for one thing, but it also seems to point, at least circumstantially, to the fact that he's a pretty quick learner who cares about correcting his flaws (of which there are not many).
Basically, the sky is the limit for Wall, and even though the chances are he's going to be a headache for fantasy owners in leagues counting turnovers all season long, the takeaway from Wednesday night is that Wall is going to dominate games this season in a multitude of ways, and he's just going to keep getting better. Scary thought.
After struggling to start the season, Ersan Ilyasova and Corey Maggette have had back-to-back productive games off the bench for the Bucks. Ilyasova had 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes, and Maggette scored 20 points in 30 minutes while missing only one shot from the floor. Following the news that Aaron Brooks will be missing 4-6 weeks for the hard-times Rockets, rookie point guard Ishmael Smith is looking like a pretty excellent pickup. In splitting point guard duties with Kyle Lowry, Smith put up 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 3-pointers in 26 minutes, and looked extremely controlled for a rookie point guard. If you just lost Brooks, Smith is certainly worth a look. Yao Ming also went out of the game for the Rockets after just six minutes after straining a tendon in his leg. One would think he'll probably miss some time, but this comes after the news earlier in the day that the Rockets would perhaps starting playing Yao more. Keep an eye on this situation if you've got Yao on your roster. Kris Humphries had a huge night for the Nets, finishing with 13 points, 17 rebounds and 2 blocks against the Cavs. Those numbers come with the caveat that Troy Murphy -- who missed the game with a sore right foot -- should be back soon and Derrick Favors continues to play well in limited action off the bench; still, if Murphy does miss more time, Humphries should be able to put up some decent stats in the interim. Toney Douglas had a terrible night off the Knicks bench against the Warriors, but the important thing to note is that he played 35 minutes. As long as he's getting minutes for the Knicks he's going to be worth having in your lineup every night. Lou Williams left the 76ers loss to the Thunder after just 17 minutes of action with a bruised shoulder. If he misses significant time, it should mean more action for 3-point specialist Jodie Meeks (17 points and four 3s against the Thunder). Michael Beasley (42 points and nine rebounds) had the best game of his career in the Timberwolves' win against the Kings. Fantasy owners can hope that this is the beginning of Beasley starting to tap his vast potential as a player.
The Celtics and Heat face off for the second time this season in Thursday night's marquee matchup, although it might not be the fantasy explosion we'd normally hope for. Both teams hang their hats on the defensive end, and in their first meeting the two combined for just 168 points. It might, however, be a good night to play "Big Baby" Glen Davis for the Celtics if he's on your roster. The Heat have been giving up big numbers to big guys, and with Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal both banged up for the C's, Baby could have himself a nice night, no matter how good the defense is. Elsewhere, the Nuggets have to follow up getting historically lit up by the Pacers with a tough game against a red-hot Lakers team. Aaron Afflalo has been great lately for the Nuggets, but he's going to have his hands full with Kobe Bryant, and I'm not expecting him to have enough energy to light it up on the offensive end.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.