Gilbert Arenas Can't Buy a Free Throw
Note to Gilbert Arenas: you have to make your free throws. He shot just 1-of-6 from the line on the night, with two key bricks in the final 26 seconds of the game that helped seal the loss for the Wizards. Aside from a poor showing at the line, Arenas turned in a fairly standard line -- 24 points on 11-of-23 shooting, eight assists, zero steals and four turnovers. Though my favorite stat of the night had to be the zero rebounds that the Wizards pulled down in the second quarter. Zero. Think about that one.
The Celtics had a balanced attack. Each starter scored in double-figures, with Rajon Rondo taking the lead. He scored 21 points on 10-of-20 shooting, with 11 assists to just one turnover, yet he failed to pick up a steal for the first time all season. He got on the floor with Arenas late in the fourth, almost coming away with one -- but to no avail. When you think about it, it's almost as surprising of a stat as the Wizards getting shutout on the boards in the second quarter. To be fair, he did pick 12 steals over his last three. So I'll cut him some slack.
Also In the Headlines
• The Pistons were without Ben Gordon, Tayshuan Prince, Richard Hamilton and Will Bynum last night. All but Prince were sidelined by various ankle injuries. All at the same time? It almost reminds me of that scenario where a bunch of high school girls make a pact and get pregnant at the same time. Something strange is going on in Detroit. Though I'm sure the team's not losing much sleep over the injuries, seeing as the Pistons pulled off their fourth straight win last night in a close one against the Nuggets. The bulk of the scoring came from Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey, who combined for 52 of the team's 101 points. Villanueva topped the 20-point mark for the first time since November 18. Chaz has gotten a feel for the mask. I can see him starting to turn the corner here, though, to be honest with you, this isn't the first time I've said that.
• Carmelo Anthony -- 40 points on 16-of-28 shooting -- is back on track. The horrendous performance in Philadelphia on Monday night is behind him. And just in time for the "Allen Iverson: This Is Your Life" road tour to end -- at Philly against Iverson on Monday, in Charlotte against Iverson's former coach Larry Brown on Tuesday, and then in Detroit against the team the Nuggets traded Iverson to last night. A lovely way to spend the week.
• The Utah Jazz dropped 120 points on the Orlando Magic last night. This was not the same offense that scored just six points in the fourth quarter of last night's game against the Lakers. Deron Williams led the charge with 32 points on 9-of-18 shooting, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Both Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer finished the game with double-doubles, while the Jazz as a team posted a 28:6 assist-to-turnover ratio. It's good to be home, isn't it?
Lost and Found
• Kenyon Martin (finger) sat out once again last night, though he did say he expects to play on Saturday. Hey, thanks.
• Andrei Kirilenko, as expected, did not play. He didn't travel with the team, so who among us wasn't surprised not to see him on the court. No real surprise either to see him injured. Kirilenko's been known to miss a few games every now and then, if you know what I mean.
• Ben Wallace pulled down 16 boards and posted two steals and a block against the Nuggets. He's ranked 68th overall in standard eight-category leagues, and yet is still available on over 40-percent of the wires. That's what's up.
• Andray Blatche was active last night, scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and five steals coming off the bench. Although he was aggressive -- and impressive -- against the Celtics, this was only the second time in the last seven games that he scored in double-figures. The minutes and touches really aren't there for Blatche to make him a standard add.
• C.J. Miles posted a season-best 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting and three treys in 28 minutes. He definitely was not shy about taking long-range jumpers. This was the third straight game in which Miles has scored in double-figures. He should be looked at in deep leagues for his scoring, three-point shooting and ability to pick a few steals.
• Ryan Anderson was the hot hand in the first half of last night's Magic-Jazz game. He finished the night with 16 points and four treys in 26 minutes. It should be noted, though, that Mickael Pietrus left the game in the first quarter (eye) for a spell and Rashard Lewis was in early foul trouble. The same consideration should be made when looking at Matt Barnes, who scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes. Neither player sees enough minutes on a regular basis to warrant an add. Barring an injury, both should only be looked at in deep leagues or for standard leaguers who are desperate for threes.
• There are 11 games on the slate tonight.
• Josh Howard is scheduled to play tonight against the Heat, though he will likely sit out on Saturday.
• I think Taj Gibson might be a nice deep league add tonight against the Warriors. He's put up double-figures in three of his lat four, as the Bulls are desperate for some scoring punch.
• Check in on Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon before starting them against Atlanta. If Calderon is out, Jarrett Jack is a nice option.