Home Delivery: The Return of Nellie Ball
Monta Ellis, you have to dribble the ball! With just one second remaining in last night's Warriors-Rockets game, Ellis was called for a travel behind the three-point line with his team down by two. Thus, ruining the triumphant return of Don Nelson. To Nellie's credit, each active, relevant Warrior got enough minutes to post double-figure scoring totals. Ellis led the way with 24 points, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals. But -- there's always a "but" -- he shot just 7-of-24 from the floor and turned the ball over nine times. I can't quite remember the last turnover he had, though.
Anthony Morrow got hot in the second half scoring 18 of his 21 points. He's posted at least 15 points in four straight games and seven of his last eight. Can Nellie please keep him in the lineup? Same goes for Vladimir Radmanovic, who scored a season-best 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. I keep brushing Vlad-Rad off, but as long as he's starting and getting 35-plus minutes per game -- it's getting hard not to recognize the value he has. It's nice to have Nellie back! At least for now.
Also In the Headlines
• Rajon Rondo was strong last night -- 12 points, six rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and a block. He held Tony Parker in check down the stretch as the Celtics picked up their 6th straight victory. The Spurs tied a season high with 18 turnovers. The Big Fundamental -- Tim Duncan -- had six of his own.
• Hopefully you purchased the League Pass and didn't have to watch the Heat-Nuggets game. This one was over by halftime. Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley were the only two Miami players to score in double-figures. A tough game for Miami, who shot just 42.7-percent from the floor.
• The Nuggets had six players reach double-figures against the Heat. Chris Andersen just missed picking up a double-double, scoring nine points and pulling down 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks in 27 minutes. He's more valuable than fantasy owners are giving him credit for. There is no reason why he should be available in 48-percent of leagues. Not with his 33 blocks.
• Aaron Brooks led the way for the Rockets last night with 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting, five three-pointers, seven assists and two steals. Carl Landry wanted to be heard as he -- once again -- scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks off the bench. Landry is a Top 30 players this season. Hello.
• DeJuan Blair notched his second straight double-double, scoring 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and pulling down 11 rebounds. No small feat, as he was defended by Kevin Garnett for a good portion of his time on the court. We went through this early on with Blair. You can't deny that this kid is talented. But as long as Pop keeps him on the bench, there's no reason to get overly excited about the rook. Last night was the first time in nine games in which Blair played more than 17 minutes. Let's see the minutes first before we make him a standard add.
• C.J. Watson keeps doing his thing -- 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, two assists, two treys and two steals in 30 minutes. Over his last three he's averaging 14.7 points, 1.7 threes, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Uh-oh, somebody is cutting into Stephen Curry's minutes. Given the shaky playing time that Don Nelson has thrown Curry's way, I would be concerned if I owned him.
• Chase Budinger scored 11 last night and now has 30 points over his last two. Remember, though, that those two opponents were the Clippers and the Warriors. You can do without him right now in standards leagues.
• It's Friday night and we have 10 games on the schedule.
• First we heard that Kevin Love was supposed to make his season debut on Friday night, though now we're hearing that he'll play on Saturday instead.
• The 0-18 Nets are home to Charlotte, who are 1-7 on the road. I still think win number one comes either against the Knicks on Sunday or in Indiana next Friday. If they are winless heading into the Pacer game next Friday they will be sporting a 0-22 record. Ugly.
• Charlie Villanueva will play against the Bucks Friday night. Same goes for teammate Ben Gordon, who played through a sore ankle on Wednesday.