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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Bargnani goes off versus Pacers


Andrea Bargnani cranked off a season-high 34 points against the Indiana Pacers Tuesday evening, while knocking down 14 of his 21 shot attempts. His scoring has been a little inconsistent lately (he shot 1-of-9 from the floor for two points Thursday), but his overall fantasy game remains delightful because the only holes in his statistical game are in assists (1.0 per game) and steals (0.3 per game). He displayed his versatility Tuesday by adding four 3-pointers and a block. Bargnani was only 2-of-6 from the free throw line in the game, but on the season he's shooting 78.4 percent and his career mark is 82.3 percent.

So far this season, he's averaging career bests in scoring (17.5), rebounding (6.2), 3-pointers (1.6), blocks (1.4) and field goal percentage (.478). That combination of great percentages, scoring and hustle stats make him a fantastic all-around fantasy option in any format. Keep in mind that after the All-Star break last season, Bargnani posted better numbers than he has so far this season. That means we could see an even bigger finish this season as the Toronto Raptors aim for the playoffs.

Looking Back

TUESDAY, FEB. 2
HIGHLIGHTS
Andrea Bargnani, Raptors: 34 points (14-21 FG), 4 3-pointers against the Pacers.
Monta Ellis, Warriors: 34 points (13-22 FG), 2 steals, 2 blocks versus the Rockets.
Devin Harris, Nets: 24 points (7-14 FG, 10-11 FT), 5 rebounds, 14 assists against the Raptors.
LOWLIGHTS
Brandon Jennings, Bucks: 2 points (1-7 FG), 4 assists against the Magic.
Yi Jianlian, Nets: 3 points (1-12 FG), 5 rebounds versus the Pistons.
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies: 8 points (3-14 FG), 4 rebounds, 5 turnovers against the Cavaliers.
Devin Harris returned from his sore wrist Tuesday and looked great: 24 points (7-of-14 field goals), 14 dimes and three turnovers in 38 minutes of work. Not surprisingly, he was also big at the line, knocking down all but one of his 11 tries. Nights like this are why I drafted Harris early in most of my leagues, but his inability to stay healthy makes him so frustrating. If you have any common sense, you'll take advantage of this beautiful line and trade Harris to someone who is desperate before he gets hurt again.

• Speaking of studs who can't stay on the hardwood, Chris Kaman returned from a two-game absence due to a sprained ankle. He looked to be 100 percent, as he took the Chicago Bulls' frontcourt for 21 points (10-of-20 field goals), 11 boards, three assists and a block. With his long track record of long-term injuries, you'd be wise to ship Kaman off to another team soon, just like Harris.

Looking Ahead

• There was a report Tuesday that Paul Pierce may have a broken foot, but the Boston Celtics later announced that he simply has a mild sprain and is day-to-day. Unlike the aforementioned injury-prone Devin Harris and Chris Kaman, Pierce has been a model of health throughout his lengthy career. But keep in mind that he's 32 years old now, and with that workhorse history, he has a lot of wear and tear on his body after playing 854 NBA games. He's entering the part of his career in which his health will become a regular concern, so be cautious in relying on him too much. As for Wednesday's tilt with the Miami Heat, he may end up a game-time call.

• On Tuesday, Marco Belinelli started in place of Hedo Turkoglu, who was out with a fractured orbital bone, and was 7-of-13 from the field for 21 points, five boards, two dimes and three triples. Belinelli teases us with games like this every week or two, but his role as a reserve has kept him from being consistent. Turkoglu may skip Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks, too. If Belinelli gets another start, he could be a nice short-term filler on fantasy rosters against the run-and-gun Knicks.

Tom Carpenter is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.