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Friday, March 12, 2010
Maggette back in top-50 form


Corey Maggette has been dropped in quite a few leagues during the past couple of weeks due to his bum hamstrings, but with 24 points versus the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, he's once again looking like a top-50 player. He added six assists and five rebounds while putting in work from the free throw line (8-of-9), and Maggette now has scored 18-plus points in all four of his games since returning from injury. The fact is, when Maggette is healthy, coach Don Nelson will play him, and he's been quite productive as a small-ball power forward.

Monta Ellis also returned from a back injury, scoring 17 points in 27 minutes before fouling out. The return to health of Ellis and Maggette will end up putting a bit of a squeeze on Anthony Morrow (nine points on three 3-pointers in 34 minutes), who quietly had ranked 32nd on the Player Rater in the past 30 days. Morrow will retain solid value for his 3-pointers and percentages, but he's no longer a must-start as long as the health of Ellis and Maggette permit them to be out there. (Knock on wood.)

Looking Back

THURSDAY, MARCH 11
HIGHLIGHTS
Andray Blatche, Wizards: 30 points (12-19 FG, 6-6 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 steals versus the Hawks.
Jamal Crawford, Hawks: 29 points (9-11 FT), 4 3-pointers, 3 assists against the Wizards.
JaVale McGee, Wizards: 20 points (10-13 FG), 9 rebounds versus the Hawks.
LOWLIGHTS
Rashard Lewis, Magic: 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals against the Bulls.
Jameer Nelson, Magic: 9 points, 3 assists, 2 3-pointers versus the Bulls.
Derrick Rose, Bulls: 3 points (1-4 FG), 2 assists in 12 minutes (sprained wrist) against the Magic.
Along the front line, however, the Golden State Warriors are as small as ever with Andris Biedrins (abdominal) likely out for the season and Ronny Turiaf still battling a knee injury. That led to a game-high 17 rebounds from Marcus Camby for the Blazers, although he strangely finished without a steal or a block. If Turiaf's injury lingers, Anthony Tolliver (14 points, 11 rebounds, two 3-pointers and a block) could really cash in and provide a lot of multicategorical value. … Despite a near-pathological refusal to assert himself on offense, Mike Miller had a strong all-around game versus the Atlanta Hawks with nine points, seven assists, five rebounds and a steal. With strong percentages (he's shooting better than 52 percent from beyond the arc this season) and the ability to supplement his lack of scoring with more assists, he's a great value, considering he's available in more than half of ESPN leagues. … Derrick Rose sprained his wrist in the first quarter against the Orlando Magic, and the Chicago Bulls quickly collapsed en route to a 29-point pounding. Rose is scheduled for an MRI on Friday, and if he's out for a while, that leaves the Bulls little incentive to rush Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) back. Kirk Hinrich and Brad Miller could end up sustaining their value for the rest of the season.

Looking Ahead

George Hill is quietly developing into a consistent player and looks to be in store for a strong stretch run with Tony Parker (broken hand) out for the rest of the regular season. He is still available in three-fourths of leagues and should continue his strong play against the Minnesota Timberwolves (27th in defensive efficiency) and the Los Angeles Clippers (22nd) this weekend. … Speaking of the Clippers, how bad has Baron Davis been recently? He's shooting a brutal 34.6 percent from the field in 11 games since the All-Star break and recording less than one swipe per game. You can only hope you'll find out later that he's been playing through pain. The tough defenses of the Charlotte Bobcats and San Antonio Spurs won't provide much of an antidote. … Can you believe Jrue Holiday is shooting nearly 62 percent from the land of plenty in March? Toss in 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game, and he looks like a solid option versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.