What an entertaining night with nine games tonight but one of the games got postponed because some unsafe conditions on the arena floor. Still, there were lot’s of tight games tonight and many of them came down to the wire. We also got some injury news regarding Nick Young’s achilles strain, Joel Embiid’s minutes limit is increasing and some possible updates on Tyreke Evans’ and Nerlens Noel’s return.
Pistons 121 – Celtics 114
When the Pistons get their threes going while playing through Drummond, they’re a hard team to beat. Almost everyone on the Pistons played well today and had a positive impact on fantasy teams. KCP led the way with 25/5/4 on 10-17 shooting. He’s really bumped up his efficiency the past two weeks, shooting at 45.1 percent, returning top-60 value. With Reggie Jackson returning, KCP’s usage might take a hit. It’s not a bad idea to sell high on KCP to get a solid mid-round. Marcus Morris had 20/4/3 with 3 blocks and 2 triples. It’s his first good game in a while. Ish Smith flirted with a triple-double with 19/8/8. Reggie’s returning soon and if you can still move him now, I would. Drummond bounced back after being ejected last game, with a monstrous 20 points and 17 rebounds line. His touches in the paint took a dip this year and maybe with Jackson returning, Drummond would get more touches.
The Celtics had no answer for the Pistons on the defensive end and they’re now 4-4 at home. Isaiah Thomas had a team-high 27 points with four assists and three triples. He finally had an efficient shooting night, shooting 10-20 from the field. Thomas hasn’t shot above 50 percent since November 11th. Horford finally slowed down a little bit with 9/5/4 and two blocks. He only attempted five shots and got called out from Brad Stevens for not attempting enough. He’s probably hungover from the happiness of being a dad. Avery Bradley’s rebounding fell back to earth after Horford’s return. He finished with 14/4/6 with four triples. Kelly Olynyk gave some spark off the bench with 19 points and three triples in 25 minutes. Olynyk does have some upside to his game but it’s the minutes that’s a problem for him. You should probably wait for another 20+ minute game before picking him up.
Grizzlies 105 – Raptors 120
It’s unfortunate news that Conley is going to miss six weeks from a fracture in his back. He’s been having a career year and Memphis was rolling. Andrew Harrison got the start and is the pick up from this injury. He finished with a career-high 21 points with four assists, four triples and three steals while doing it pretty efficiently. JaMychal Green probably had his best game this season with 16 points, five boards and five steals. Since Randolph’s been missing games, Green is averaging more than 30 minutes per game and has been solid, scoring in double digits in six of their last seven games. Marc Gasol probably feels lonely now but he still managed to get 18 points, eight rebounds and two triples. He’s playing surprisingly well after suffering a broken foot but now that Grizzlies stockpile of injuries are making them losing games, let’s hope Fizdale doesn’t run Gasol to the ground. Just giving you a list of the injury report from Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Chandler Parsons, Vince Carter, James Ennis and Brandon Wright. A legit NBA-level starting five there.
Kyle Lowry knew this was a game where he could easily get his numbers, seeing that he was up against Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin in the point guard matchup. He ended up tying with his season-high with 29 points on an efficient 8-13 shooting along with eight assists and two steals. It kind of sucks that even against the short-handed Grizzlies, the Raptors played Lowry for 37 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas only played in 23 minutes tonight and didn’t do much with six points. I don’t think it was an ankle issue but more of Bebe and 2-Pat playing well. Patrick Patterson found his shooting stroke. He dropped 14 points and 13 rebounds tonight with four treys. That’s six games in a row where he’s pretty good. He’s averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 triples and 1.7 steals in that span. That’s solid fourth round value in standard leagues. Let’s see how long he can sustain this for.
Knicks 106 – Timberwolves 104
In a matchup between the two second-year big man, it was Porzingis and the Knicks who got the win. He continues to be the man for this Knicks team while carrying for majority of the game with 29/8/4 with three treys and a pair of blocks. He’s just outside the first round value border but with the Knicks playing him more as the five, his blocks are going to come and that will boost his value. While Porzingis does the carrying, Melo became the closer for the team. He hit another game winning jumper against the Wolves while he couldn’t even buy a bucket for the entire game. He had 14 points on 5-16 shooting and that’s three bad shooting nights in a row and single handedly lost you your field goal percentage category. He’s shooting 26.7 percent on 20.0 attempts from the field in the past three games. He’s not going to be this bad but it’s a good time to buy low right now. Courtney Lee sprained his left ankle and didn’t return. If he were to miss anytime, Justin Holiday might get some run.
Wizards 115 – Thunder 126
It was Scott Brooks against his old team tonight and Westbrook welcomed him back with another triple-double. He had 35/14/11 with two steals this helped him leapfrog LeBron in the all-time triple-double list. It was all hero-ball for the Thunder towards the end of the game. It went to overtime and Westbrook had 14 points in that span with a whooping 70.4 usage rate. Dipo had a solid game as well with 25/6/6 and five treys. When Dipo gets his treys going, he’s at his best. He’s hitting them at 40.2 percent this season, which is a big improvement from last season’s 34.8 percent. I think it’ll stick. The Thunder went small a lot and basically shared the center minutes between Adams (28), Grant (23), Sabonis (19) and Kanter (15). The Thunder have a lot of players playing the four/five spot and minutes are an issue there.
Bradley Beal led the team with 31 points in 41 minutes. I talked about Beal’s minutes before so don’t want to sound like a broken record but he’s going to hurt himself soon and it’s inevitable when he’s averaging 39.5 minutes in his last four games. John Wall had a double-double with 15 points and 15 assists in 44 minutes. Otto Porter had 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals while being efficient again. Kelly Oubre had 27 minutes and it was his second good game in a row. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds with two triples. He may be the only guy that Scott Brooks trust coming from the bench. After a hot start to the season, Gortat is starting to slow down a little bit. He finished with 12 points and 11 boards. It’s not bad but he’s returning outside top-80 value in the last two weeks. With Mahinmi coming back soon hopefully, Gortat may see some minutes reduced at the age of 32.
Lakers 96 – Bulls 90
The Lakers got the win over the Bulls tonight with no Russell and Young. Uncle P is going to miss 2-4 weeks from an achilles strain and it’s unfortunate since he was having a career year on the offensive end and playing hard on defense. I have him on my team and I can’t believe I’m going to miss him. Ingram got the start at the two and played 41 minutes. He finished with 8/3/3 with a couple of steals. Walton likes Ingram because of his versatility but even in 41 minutes, Ingram still isn’t ready to produce the good stuff. As time goes on, he’ll improve but I see him more of a player to own in the second half of the season. Julius Randle came back and hauled in 20 rebounds! He added 13 points on some inefficient shooting but the hip issue didn’t seem like it was bothering him. His understudy also gave a solid 12 points, 11 boards and three steals in 26 minutes. They’re sharing minutes at the four spot but Walton is going to use more of them together at the four and five for the rest of the season.
Jimmy Butler couldn’t get buckets tonight. He did have 22 points but he also shot 4-18 from the field and air-balled a three in crunch time. It was ugly. Credits to him because he did get to the line a ton to get the points. He’s a stud and it was an off game for him. Weird that the bad game came against the Lakers as they’re not known for their defense. Just one of those nights. RoLo was the bright spot with 10 points, nine boards and a crazy eight blocks, nearly grabbing a triple-double! He’s a solid center piece to their offense this year but his field goal percentage is a little down. He’s getting a lot of tips and put back attempts and that’s causing him to miss those bunnies as each tip counts as an attempt. Rondo had his fourth good game in his last five. He had 14/8/6 with two steals and two treys. Maybe there’s a little something left in the tank for Rondo.
Spurs 94 – Mavericks 87
Spurs rested their three oldest players in Gasol, Parker and Ginobili tonight and nearly lost to the Dirk-less Mavs. It was a weird game for the Spurs. At one point in the second quarter, they were leading by 13 points and then they were down by thirteen points in the third quarter but came back to win the game with some clutch buckets. It was an ugly win but the Spurs are still undefeated on the road and that makes it eleven straight. Patty Mills led the Spurs with 23 points as he got the starting position. He had some crucial clutch buckets to ice the game and looked like the Mills we saw in the Olympics. Dedmon also got the start and he played well, grabbing 10 boards while adding six points, three blocks and two steals. Deep leagues should give him a look.
Wesley Matthews scored 26 tonight with five triples and has now scored 20 points or more in back-to-back games. He missed on game this season and has looked relatively healthy but he’s only returning top-120 value. Meanwhile Seth Curry finished with 14 points and two triples but he went down with a mild sprain right knee. No news about him after the game but I’m guessing he’ll miss time. Devin Harris did return though but probably shouldn’t be owned. Harrison Barnes had 17 points on 8-15 shooting and this comes against Kawhi so that’s pretty solid.
Hawks 107 – Suns 109
Brandon Knight had a team-high 23 points and Watson went to the three guard lineup a lot tonight. He’s probably doing a lot more harm than good to your team though. Devin Booker had 13 points on 5-13 shooting and is still struggling to shoot the ball. He’s averaging 41.5 percent for the season and maybe he’s just not that great of a shooter. Tyson Chandler and Alex Len shared minutes tonight and they both had six points and nine rebounds. Sooner or later, Watson is going to have the bulk of the minutes to Len. He has to right?
Dennis Schroder had a game-high 31 points with four rebounds and nine assists. After scoring 24 points in his previous game, he turned it up even more tonight. Maybe he’s found something that’s working for him. He had to put points on the board tonight since Millsap’s out with a hip issue. Mike Muscala got the start but dropped an egg in 29 minutes. Bazemore had a good game with 22/5/3 with four treys and three steals. That’s two 20-point games in his last three. He isn’t bad but he’s just returning outside top-100 and he really needs to step up his efficiency.
Heat 106 – Nuggets 98
Whiteside had a beastly game with 25 points, 16 boards and four blocks. That’s two 25+ points 15+ rebounds in his past two games. His blocks took a dip this season and he’s not really returning first round value in 9-cat, partly because of his free throws but you’re definitely punting that with Whiteside right? Wayne Ellington was a surprise tonight and DFS owners who took a gamble on him probably won some money. He finished with 22 points, five triples and four steals with Waiters, Winslow and Richardson on the sideline. Hard to see that happening again. James Johnson had a solid game with 10/7/5 with three steals and two blocks. He’s worth owning for those triple one’s and he’s the better player out of the options Spolestra has.
Pacers 109 – Blazers 131
The Blazers torched the Pacers for 131 points! Led by Dame with 28 points and 10 assists with 4 steals. After a stretch of some poor shooting, Dame has returned with some really good games. Moe Harkless helped out with 23 points and has been really good this season. He’s sort of like Marvin Williams of last season but younger. I’m curious to see what will happen to his minutes when Aminu returns. Evan Turner was a bright spot off the bench with 13/4/6 with three steals. He seems to have found something in the Blazers offense recently, averaging 11.7 points, 4.7 boards, 4.0 assists, 1.3 treys and 1.0 steals in his last three games. He’s not a consistent three point shooter but if you want some Iggy-like stats, Turner isn’t bad.
Still no Paul George for the Pacers so it’s Jeff Teague’s show. He finished with 25/5/8 and has been really good this season. He has top-40 value in standard league but I’m not that big of a fan of Teague. Myles Turner continues to look like a future star with 19 points and 10 boards. Glen Robinson III started in George’s place and finished with 15 points and two triples. He’s been pretty solid since George’s and Miles’ absence. With them returning, I’m expecting him to get some minutes in that rotation.
A bit lengthy today but hope you still enjoyed it! Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!