Four games on a Thursday Night to breakdown on FFF. There were some national televised games which may give an extra motivation for players to step up. Some tight games and clutch plays from some players. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers of today.
Stud of the Night: Kawhi Leonard can’t be stopped. If anyone is still unsure about who’s team is the Spurs, it’s Kawhi’s. After dropping 35 on the Dubs, he followed that up with 30 points on 11-21 shooting, 7-7 from the line, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and a triple with only 1 turnover in a tough win against the Kings. The Spurs needed every bit of Kawhi’s contribution and is officially the closer for the team. He’s been averaging 11 free throw attempts per game for the past two games and is clearly making an emphasis on getting more points from the freebies. He also has been making plays for other teammates off the pick and roll more often and his assist numbers should see an uptake. Seeing Kawhi’s emergence is a joy to watch and owners should continue to enjoy the ride. He’ll probably be in the talks of the best 9-cat player throughout the season.
- DeMarcus Cousins – 37 points (10-22 FG, 14-16 FT), 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 triples and a steal with 3 turnovers. Boogie and Kawhi cancelled each other out in this game but the Spurs were just a better team as of now. Cousins has been pretty efficient these two games and is not showing any signs of rust. Boogie hit his threes tonight and is a good shooting night for him. Just be aware that his field goal percentage will probably drop back to the mean.
- Blake Griffin – 27 points (9-22 FG, 8-9 FT), 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, a block and a triple with only 1 turnover. This probably isn’t a stat line that we’re used to seeing from Griffin. The defensive stats isn’t his best known repertoire but if he can occasionally contribute in steals and blocks, owners wouldn’t mind it. The free throw shooting has been on point and the Griffin that used to be punt worthy is no more. He looks healthy as ever and showcased some athletic dunks. The quad injury doesn’t seem like it’s bothering him anymore which is a good sign. This might be Blake’s career year.
- Paul Millsap – 28 points (11-20 FG, 3-4 FT), 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 triples and a block with two 2 turnovers. The season opener for the Hawks went well as they beat the Wizards in the fourth quarter. Millsap looked aggressive as the Hawks go-to scorer and meshed well with Dwight. He was top-10 last season and should be hovering around that vicinity as well this year. He’s a triple one threat on any given night and should be seen more often here.
- Markieff Morris – 22 points (9-18 FG, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 triples, 2 steals and a block with no turnovers. He had this fantasy friendly line in only 28 minutes of play tonight as they lost to the Hawks in their season opener. Morris has upside to his game and is a triple one threat but whether he can stay disciplined for the entire season is remains to be questioned. This is a good start and should boost his confidence but I don’t think he’ll lead the team in points and field goal attempts for the entire season.
Fool’s Gold: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points on 5-13 shooting but with his quality, he should be doing better after having a good night against the Dubs. He also only had 5 rebounds and an assist but that’s pretty much it. It was clear he was bothered by Cousins on the defensive end and ended up settling for a lot of contested fadeaways. Hopefully he’ll bounce back against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans next game but it’s clearly obvious this is Kawhi’s team and not his. Keep a lookout of the trade rumours though.
Dud of the Night: Kent Bazemore played 26 minutes and only had 7 points on 1-7 shooting. He also added 3 rebounds, a steal and a block with 4 turnovers. The Hawks have plans for Bazemore to handle the ball more often and with his inexperience in that role, turnover numbers are expected. He was outplayed by his understudies today and didn’t look good. What makes matter worse is his dirty foul on John Wall which was called a flagrant one. He’ll bounce back but don’t expected his field goal percentage to be as high as last season.
Gems in the Waiver Wire:
- Dewayne Dedmon – 12 points (5-6 FG, 2-2 FT), 7 rebounds and 4 blocks in 24 minutes of play. What a monstrous line by Dedmon. Two games into the season and I’m liking his energy on the floor aleady. He played some tough defense on Boogie tonight and closed the game out instead of Gasol. Spurs still has two more games this week with a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday. He’s a good streaming option especially on Sunday since Pop might not play the starters as much on the second night of a B2B.
- Thabo Sefolosha – 13 points (6-8 FG, 0-2 FT), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and a triple in 22 minutes of play. Sefolosha was never really known for his play making so the 5 assists are a bit surprising. He is still a good player who can get some steals and threes. Especially with Korver trending down, the Hawks might want more defense on the wings. It’s a logjam in the wing positions for the Hawks and 20 minutes seem about right for Thabo.
- Moe Harkless- 23 points (10-15 FG, 2-2 FT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a triple in 32 minutes. Harkless has the starting gig as the small forward and with Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe behind him, he’s going to have a hard time of playing 32 minutes every night. Portland does goes small a lot but there’s also Aminu trying to fight for the stretch four minutes.
That’s it for Thursday’s FFF! Follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!