Some entertaining games on a Tuesday. Highlighted by the playoff-like atmosphere with the Raptors visiting the Cavaliers. Also Dwight Howard received a left quad contusion and didn’t return to the game. Fortunately, that was the only injury of the night. Let’s take a look at who came out on top and who’s at the bottom from tonight’s games.
Study of the Night: Tonight’s biggest stud goes to Kemba Walker. He scored 28 points (12-19 FG, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 2 triples with 2 turnovers. He went into the locker room to get his back stretched out but didn’t seem like there were any problems after his return. He’s been hot lately, averaging 30.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 4.3 triples and 2.0 steals in his last 3 games. And he’s been incredibly efficient as well shooting at 54.2 percent from the field with only 1.0 turnover during that span. He’s been a first rounder so far in the early season and seems like owners who drafted him in the third got themselves a steal.
Kyle Lowry – 28 points (11-23 FG, 2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 triples, 4 steals with 1 turnover. Lowry has been struggling in the early parts of this season. He’s shooting 38.9 percent for the season and has been deferring to his buddy more. However, Lowry has been showing signs of life in the past three games, averaging 21.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.0 triples and 2.0 steals at 46.3 percent shooting. It’s also an encouraging sign that his best game so far has come against the Cavs. Maybe it’s a good stepping stone going forward for Lowry. On a side note, DeRozan seems to have cooled off a bit, hence Lowry might pick up some of the slack.
D’Angelo Russell – 30 points (11-20 FG, 1-2 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 triples, 3 steals and 3 turnovers. DLoading bounced back from the dud he dropped against the Wolves and got his threes dropping tonight.Maybe this is just the start of a really hot streak that Russell is going to have which could make him play more than 30 minutes a game. He’s only averaging 26.8 minutes per game and returning outside of top-130 value. He hasn’t been living up to the hype so far. But that’s mainly because of the Lakers’ bench. They have the best second unit in the league and it’s not even close. This is a good performance for him to get his confidence back.
Nicolas Batum – 16 points (5-9 FG, 2-3 FT), 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 triples, 3 steals and a block with no turnovers. This is the typical Batum game where he has across the board contribution. He’s a counting stat stud and tonight he even added some very efficient percentages with no turnovers. Batum has been struggling with his shot this season, averaging 39.8 percent so this is a very encouraging sign. He has top-50 value in 9-cat right now so once his shots start to fall, he’ll inevitably climb up the rankings.
Brook Lopez – 30 points (10-25 FG, 6-7 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 threes and 3 blocks. After a maintenance day against the Clippers last night, Lopez suited up and looked eager to play. He stayed aggressive throughout the game and got his three ball to drop. What’s even more encouraging is the high number of rebounds. He’s only averaging 4.8 rebounds per game this season, which is rather disappointing considering he’s a seven footer. He’s returning outside top-50 value this season. He’s looking good and healthy but just keep in mind that Kenny Atkinson is always looking at the bigger picture for the Nets.
Dud of the Night: Tonight’s biggest dud goes to Kyle Korver. He scored 4 points, a couple of rebounds and a block with 3 turnovers. He played in 29 minutes tonight and should be doing better. He’s no longer the Kyle Korver of old and hasn’t been the same since that elbow surgery of his. He’s more of a specialist now and is only averaging 2.0 threes per game this season. Considering how good of a shooter he is (or was), he should be averaging more in today’s game. He’s barely worth owning and he’s been averaging a career high 2.4 turnovers per game.
Waiver Wire Gems:
Mike Muscala (13% owned) – 14 points (6-7 FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 triples and a steal in 22 minutes. After a hot start to the season, Muscala has cooled off a bit. Surprisingly enough, his game has a lot of upside and his per 36 numbers are amazing this season, 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 threes. He’s a triple on threat, which makes him appealing. Howard suffered a left quad contusion tonight and if he is to miss any time, Muscala is a good plug-and-play.
Frank Kaminsky – (13% owned) – 20 points (8-14 FG, 1-1 FT), 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 triples, a steal and a block in 27 minutes. Steve Clifford decided to use Frank the Tank and Cody Zeller to close out the game tonight since his shot was falling and Marvin Williams’ wasn’t. He’s averaging 23.1 minutes per game this season and that’s coming from both the PF and C position. He’s still very inconsistent to be owned and too slow to play majority of the minutes at the four. Clifford has too many bigs at his disposal so it can be anyone of Zeller, Hibbert or Kaminsky’s night.
Channing Frye (11% owned) – 21 points (7-10 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds and 5 triples with a block in 20 minutes. The Cavs are a little thin up front and Frye is getting minutes as the back up center behind Thompson. He’s been on an absolute tear with his threes this month and he’s averaging 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 threes with 0.8 blocks per game. He’s returning top-70 value right now and the combination of his high volume threes along with a block is very appealing. He’s only averaging 18.4 minutes per game so he doesn’t need heavy minutes to produce the goodies.
James Johnson (4% owned) – 13 points (5-8 FG), 4 rebounds, 3 triples, a steal and a block. That’s three good games in a row for JJ and 4 out of the last 5 games. The Heat are on a six game losing streak so Spolestra really needs to find something that works quick and JJ could potentially be part of an answer. He’s a triple one threat that could get a good amount of rebounds. If gets minutes, his stock is going to skyrocket. Deep leagues should go ahead and pick him up and standard leagues should keep an eye out.
Jerian Grant (1% owned) – 18 points (6-13 FG, 4-4 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals, 2 triples in 30 minutes. He got the starting gig over Isaiah Canaan tonight since Rondo and MCW are both out. It’s just a sore left ankle from Rondo tonight and he’ll probably be suited up for the Jazz on Thursday. Grant doesn’t have any appeal in fantasy leagues at all but if you got him in your DFS lineup tonight, well done my man.
Raptors vs Cavaliers
- JV got 34 minutes tonight, which is the most he played since opening night. He ended with 14 points and 9 rebounds. It’s hard for JV to step it up when the system surrounds Lowry and DeRozan. Also with JV playing 34 minutes, that means everyone’s favourite Brazilian, Lucas Noguiera only played 10 minutes and had 5 fouls. Going forward he’ll be better and he does have upside but consistent minutes will be hard to get.
- The Cavs got good games from almost everybody with 5 players in double digits. LeBron again flirted with a triple double with 28/9/14. Love’s field goal has never been amazing but he still had himself a double double. The scorer on this team is Kyrie and he had himself an efficient game with 24 points with a couple of threes.
Hawks vs Heat
- Paul Millsap continues to struggle with his shot and somehow he’s forgotten how to block shots too. He’s a buy low player right now but don’t expect him to have the defensive numbers he had last year. With Dwight holding down the paint and many fours in the league standing out at the three point line, it’ll be hard for him to get those numbers.
- Whiteside has a monstrous game again with 19 points and 25 rebounds. Josh Richardson had a good game with 19 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals and a triple. He played 38 minutes tonight which is a season high. With Dragic out, Spolestra elected to use the Richardson-Waiters-Johnson line up for majority of the time. They were close to a win but when Dragic returns, you probably won’t see much of this.
Hornets vs Timberwolves
- Cody Zeller looked good and I projected him to have a good season with him gaining most of the minutes out of all the big man. Surprisingly, his free throws have been terrible, averaging 65.1 percent at 4.3 attempts per game. So it’s a good sign that he’s hitting them tonight.
- Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns all shot below 45 percent today and they couldn’t get the win against the Hornets. It was a close game and the young Wolves had every opportunity to take the lead. They’re still inexperienced and have their learning curves but those three can coexist together which is a good sign. Rubio also looked the best out of them tonight with 11/8/8 and a couple of threes.
Bulls vs Trail Blazers
- Gibson and Lopez are looking solid at the four and five spot. Mirotic hardly getting any run and it seems like it’ll stay like that at the mean time. Seems like Wade’s threes aren’t falling anymore but he’s still getting his points. Jimmy Butler continuing his first round performances with 27/13/5.
- Both Dame and C.J. didn’t show up today, shooting a combined 14-of-39. When these two get cold, Portland are basically done. They’ll bounce back.
Nets vs Lakers
- Bogdanovic help BroLo a bit by dropping 29 points but it wasn’t enough for the Nets. Trevor Booker is still solid and is looking like the steal of the year candidate. Kilpatrick is cooling off and his ownership in leagues would probably take a hit. RHJ continues to look like a flop and only played in 18 minutes tonight.
- Lakers’ bench got a lot of hype and attention but tonight, it was the starters that was doing majority of the damage. Mozgov dropped 20 points tonight and Randle has a triple double with 17/14/10. He’s fitting in to the Draymond role nicely with his edge and I’m really liking him.
That’s it for today’s edition of FFF. Follow me on Twitter and really enjoying the questions and feedback I’m getting. Until next time!