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Saturday, January 10, 2009
Dunleavy looking very healthy


FRIDAY, JAN. 9
HIGHLIGHTS
Dwyane Wade, Heat: 41 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 1 3-pointer in an overtime victory over the Kings.
LeBron James, Cavaliers: 38 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks and 3 3-pointers while going 13-for-25 from the floor and 9-for-9 from the line in a dominating victory over the defending champs.
Chris Bosh, Raptors: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal while shooting 11-for-13 from the floor and 10-for-12 from the line in a victory over the Grizzlies.
LOWLIGHTS
Paul Pierce, Celtics: 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting from the floor with just 5 rebounds, 1 assist and no steals or blocks in a loss to the Cavs.
Rafer Alston, Rockets: 5 points on 1-for-7 shooting from the floor with 6 assists, 3 steals and no 3-pointers against a poor Thunder defense.
Mike Bibby, Hawks: 7 points on 2-for-10 shooting from the floor with just 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 3-pointer in 22 minutes.

Despite logging just 23 minutes in his second game of the season, Mike Dunleavy exploded for 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 3-pointers and a steal while shooting 8-for-14 from the floor in a 121-119 loss to the Lakers. Most would have expected Dunleavy to take at least a week or two to get back into game shape, but he has wasted no time proving his worth in Indiana. I know it's only been two games, but Dunleavy looks primed to catch fire now that he's healthy. He's a perfect fit for this offense and has posted brilliant per-minute numbers in his first two contests. Given his production, it won't be long before he's earning 35 minutes per game, and it wouldn't be surprising in the least if he comes close to matching his career-high numbers from a season ago.

Under the boards

Andrea Bargnani continued his hot streak with Jermaine O'Neal out of action with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 3-pointers in a victory over the Grizzlies. Bargnani is now averaging 20.8 points, 1.2 blocks and 3.2 3-pointers this month, and should be grabbed in leagues of all sizes despite the impending return of O'Neal. … In the same game, point guard Will Solomon scored 10 points with 9 assists and 3 steals. He's filled in admirably for Jose Calderon and will continue to do so while Calderon mends. … Atlanta was blown out of the gym by the Magic on Friday night, so don't get too concerned when you see the low minute totals from the starters. Al Horford did leave the game early with a knee injury, so we'll have to check his status later today, but the rest of the Hawks starters were benched after going down 71-33 at the half. … Rasual Butler caught fire from downtown Friday against the hapless Clippers, finishing with six 3-pointers and 27 points on the night. Butler is a fine 3-point specialist option in deeper leagues, but he will be hard-pressed to repeat this performance. … Mardy Collins had another nice outing for the injury-depleted Clips with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists while adding a steal and a block. Go ahead and grab him in deeper formats, as it looks like he's going to get plenty of run until the Clippers are healthy. … Tracy McGrady returned to the Rockets lineup, but Ron Artest sat with a lingering ankle injury. We can't trust either of these guys to suit up on a regular basis, and that has cleared the way for Von Wafer to show his stuff in Houston. Wafer scored 14 points with a steal and a 3-pointer Friday and is averaging 15.0 points, 1.2 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his past five games. … I don't trust him, but after dropping 23 points with 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 3-pointers Friday, Charlie Villanueva is now averaging 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 3-pointers per game since the New Year. Proceed with caution, folks. … While Caron Butler struggled, Nick Young lit up the scoreboard for the Wizards with 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting and two 3-pointers. Young has a boatload of potential, but we'll need to see this a few more times before he becomes a relevant fantasy player in anything other than deep fantasy formats. … Thanks for nothing, Linas Kleiza. One game after dropping 21 with four 3-pointers on the Miami Heat, Kleiza shot just 0-for-6 from the floor and finished with 1 point despite logging 34 minutes. Kleiza should benefit from Carmelo Anthony's injury, so let's stick with him for one more game and hope this was just an off night. … Both Rodney Stuckey and Josh Howard left their respective games with injuries Friday night, so be sure to check back in later today for a status update. Stuckey's sore back isn't a big cause for concern, but Howard's wrist injury looked painful. Owners will want to grab Jose Juan Barea for a short-term boost in points and assists. … Perhaps John Salmons and Kevin Martin can coexist after all. Salmons posted 29 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists to go along with a steal and two 3-pointers while Martin finished with 28 points on the night. Before last night, Salmons had seen his fantasy stock plummet with Martin back in action, but Friday was a sign that he's ready to turn things around again. … Spencer Hawes returned to action with a 19-point effort and should be reactivated in fantasy leagues. His return put a damper on Jason Thompson's first start in a month, as Thompson managed just four points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes. … With 23 points, 10 rebounds and 2 3-pointers, Michael Beasley is now averaging 15.0 points, 7 boards and 1.2 3-pointers since the New Year. Now would be a good time to pick him up if he was dropped in your league.