It’s a busy Friday night with ten games to talk about. Firstly, who’s surprised that Mike Conley returned? He was supposed to miss 6-8 weeks but he’s only missed two and a half weeks before returning tonight. Owners who bought low must’ve been proud. Unfortunately, when one returns, another one goes. Anthony Davis didn’t start the second half, returned to the game but left a few moments later again. They called it a left leg contusion and shouldn’t miss much time but these nagging injuries are starting to pile up. Let’s see what else happened in tonight’s games.
Pistons 108 – Wizards 122
The Wizards have found something that works and have won four of their last five games, thanks to the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Wall finished the game with 29 points, 11 assists, four triples and three steals. He had his jump shot going this game and when he does have it, he’s lethal. Wall is having a top-15 season in 9-cat and he’s averaging 24.2 points for the season, which is a career-high. Otto Porter bounced back with 15 points, eight boards and three triples and doing it efficiently. He only had 10 attempts tonight though and the Wizards have been focusing solely on Beal and Wall on the offensive end.
After scoring a season-high 19 points, Jon Leuer followed that effort up with 17-7-5. What’s more important is that he played over 30 minutes in two consecutive games. Tonight, Marcus Morris’ shot wasn’t falling so Leuer got some of his playing time along with some garbage time as well. He has top-90 value this season and top-50 in the last week. KCP finished the game with 24-6-3 with four triples. He shot 9-17 from the field and it’s the first game he actually looked good since Reggie Jackson’s return. I’m still skeptical on KCP’s production with Jackson’s minutes slowly ramping up.
Nets 111 – Magic 118
It was a back and forth, entertaining game between the battle of the scrubs. After ranting about the Magic has problems on the offensive end, they have now scored more than 108 points in their last four games, winning two of them. Vooch had a strong performance off the bench again with 21 points, 10 boards, three blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. Those few games he rested from that lower back contusion seemed to have paid off. Ibaka also had a good game with 18 points, 10 boards, a whooping five blocks and a triple. After not blocking a single shot in his last two games, a five block performance is certainly a sigh of relief. His blocks comes in bunches this season so sit tight for those games.
The Nets had Jeremy Lin returning (again) from a back problem. He came off the bench for 17 points in 20 minutes. The Nets clearly looks better with Lin on the team but the thing with Lin is that he’s famous for sitting out games if he’s not feeling 100%. So if injuries are nagging him and he has a doubtful or probably sign to play, he’s probably not playing. Brook Lopez went head-to-head against Vooch tonight and he had 22 points, six boards and five blocks. Surprisingly, BroLo had no threes tonight. His threes have been dropping a little bit as he’s only hit one in his last four games. The blocks are a tie in season-high though and that’s probably what you want out of your big man instead of the threes.
Hawks 125 – Raptors 121
The Hawks almost blew a 19-point lead but fortunately, they came out with the win. Dwight Howard had a monstrous double-double with 27 points and 15 boards. Dwight has been really good this season and looks a little bit like Superman this season. He’s returning top-20 value in the last week and that’s taking his free throw woes into consideration. Dennis Schroder had 24 points, six assists and two triples, making 8-12 from the field. The German point guard has been really good lately, returning top-25 value in the last two weeks. He’s averaging 20.8 points, 7.3 assists, 1.8 threes and 1.3 steals on 52.2 percent shooting and 94.7 percent from the line. If you bought low, well done. Now sell high and try for a top-30.
The Raptors fought hard but they finally lost a game. DeRozan finished the game with 34 points, five boards and four assists. That’s three games in a row where he’s scored 30+. He’s starting to roll again and we’ve seen this happen before at the start of the season. Kyle Lowry’s count at 50+ percent is now at 11 consecutive games. He finished the game with 27 points, six assists and six triples on 9-16 shooting. I don’t know what to say apart from I don’t think this will be sustainable. Cory Joseph had a solid outing off the bench with 17-4-4 and a triple. He closed the game out with Lowry and DeRozan on the floor. He’s a deep league player and a streamer for some assists.
Hornets 88 – Celtics 96
The Celtics won this game by a strong fourth quarter and really looked good. They just can’t do it consistently. After a few slow games, Al Horford had a good game with 18-8-5 with five blocks and two steals. He’s averaging a career-high in blocks but I can’t see him average 2.5 blocks for the entire season. Isaiah Thomas returned from a groin injury and finished with 26 points while adding five assists and two triples in 35 minutes. He’s scoring a lot this season and is a solid top-35 asset.
No Kemba Walker tonight so Nicolas Batum had to do majority of the carrying. He finished with 22-10-5 with three steals and two triples. The field goal percentage is a problem with Batum but if he’s contributing stats across the board, you shouldn’t worry about his percentages. He’s a good punt fg% player anyways. Marvin Williams had 12 points, six boards and two threes in 31 minutes. He shot 5-10 from the field and his percentages are slowly creeping up. His rebounding numbers aren’t there but I think that’ll creep up. But if you want to drop him and he’s doing more harm than good, I understand.
Clippers 102 – Heat 98
Before this game DeAndre Jordan and Hassan Whiteside had some words for each other through the media. It’s fair to say D.J. came out with the win and the individual win tonight. He finished the game with 12 points, 19 boards and three blocks. He even made more free throws than Whiteside. I guess D.J. was right when he said his play got him to an All-NBA and All-Defensive team. Where’s the All-Star appearance D.J.? Are we going to talk about Redick’s shooting woes? He finished the game with 17 points and two triples but 5-of-16 from the field. He’s returning outside top-100 and the percentages have been down. He’s averaging 35.2 percent from the field in the last two weeks and if the percentages aren’t there. He would just be a player contributing threes.
The Heat almost came back into the game and stole one against the Clippers. Goran Dragic led the way with 21-6-11 and two steals. He’s been solid as of late, returning top-50 value in the last two weeks. I’m thinking with Dion Waiters returning soon, it’s going shave off some of Dragic’s production. With a fully healthy Heat team, Dragic probably won’t be a top-50 player. James Johnson came off the bench with 12 points, seven rebounds and a block. All his production came in the second half as he was bothered by foul trouble in the first. He played the entire fourth quarter and the Heat’s offense was focused around J.J. If he’s on your waiver, he should be picked up.
Bucks 95 – Bulls 69
That’s two blowout wins for the Bucks against the Bulls and it wasn’t even close. Giannis had a Giannis game with 22-7-11 along with three steals, two treys and a block. He’s hit four threes in his two games against the Bulls. Once he develops his threes, he’s going to be a fantasy gold mine and that will come sooner than later. He’s already the third best fantasy player in 9-cat. Greg Monroe came off the bench for 14 points and 12 boards. He’s getting consistent minutes now, averaging 21.4 minutes in the last two weeks. In that span he’s averaging 11.3 points, 7.0 boards and 1.5 steals. He doesn’t need high amount of minutes to have fantasy value.
The Bulls have been bad these two games. Coincidentally, Nikola Mirotic had two DNP-CD’s in these two games. I’m not saying they’re correlated with anything (or am I?). He should be dropped in all leagues. Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Robin Lopez, Doug McDermott, Rajon Rondo and Denzel Valentine all shot below 36 percent from the field. That’s saying something and no one had relevant production to be talked about.
Lakers 100 – Sixers 89
Julius Randle finally had a good game as he finished off with 25-9-4 with three steals. He’s been really bad before this game, only scoring a combined 8 points in his previous two games. But we’ve all seen what he’s capable of at the start of the season. The problem is whether you think Randle can get back to playing like that. When he plays well, Lakers wins games so Walton needs to figure how he can get him to play more consistently. D’Angelo Russell looked pretty good tonight with 15 points, seven boards and three triples. His assist numbers and usage rate are taking a hit and Walton is clearly trying to ease his way back into mix. He’s a buy-low candidate but owners who drafted Russell probably paid premium for him so it’ll be hard.
Let’s talk a little about Nerlens Noel. He played 8 minutes tonight with two points, five boards and a block. He was talking to the media about how he’s “too good to be playing 8 minutes”. It’s funny that he’s complaining as he just came back from an injury. The Sixers are also stacked up in the front court. The Sixers are going to have to “figure this shit out” but who didn’t see it coming as the Sixers only picked front court players all these years in the draft. The chances of him getting traded were pretty high but after this outburst to the media, what kind of teams realistically want a player with an ego that big? Aside from that Jahlil Okafor looked good and finished with 14 points, eight boards and a block in 24 minutes.
Kings 96 – Grizzlies 92
No Rudy Gay and no Omri Casspi so Garrett Temple continued to start and he did well again. He finished with 17 points, six boards, four assists while adding three triples and two steals. He’s getting a lot of run lately and that’s three solid games in a row. Today’s especially a good sign because he shot below 50 percent and still had good value. He’s a good short term play for when the players get healthy. Long term wise, we’ll still have to wait and see. Kosta Koufos played 30 minutes while scoring 16 points, grabbing 13 boards and adding three blocks. He hasn’t been bad in his past three games, averaging 12.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in that span. Another deep league add if you’re in need of a big guy streamer. Can’t see him doing this consistently when Gay comes back.
The Grizzlies finally lost a game when it’s decided by five points or fewer. Good news is that Mike Conley came back. Potential Ewing theory situation? Conley started the game but was on a minutes restriction, finished with 8-3-6 with two steals and a block in 29 minutes. There’s bound to be some rust with him. I wonder if the fracture is healed entirely. His schedule is 6-8 weeks but he only needed two and a half weeks to return to the floor. I’m a little skeptical about that. Meanwhile, Marc Gasol continues to be a beast with 20 points, six boards and four assists. He also added two blocks but surprisingly had no threes tonight.
Pelicans 100 – Rockets 122
An early triple double for Harden again as he finished with 29-11-13 and six threes. He’s good and the Rockets have now won nine straight games. If this keeps up, Harden’s going to be the MVP this season. I want to talk about Patrick Beverley. Surprisingly, he’s getting a lot more ball handling responsibilities in D’Antoni’s system. He’s also doing everything on the floor as well, rebounding, defending and even hitting threes. When Harden’s on the bench, the Beverley and Gordon combination is still out scoring opponents. He finished the game with 13-11-8 with three triples tonight and is returning top-50 in the last two weeks. What a surprise.
Anthony Davis didn’t start the second half and was questionable to return. Then the Pelicans got him back on the floor and he looked okay but then they ruled him out completely and diagnosed him with a left leg contusion. He looked good enough to return on the floor to run up and down so it doesn’t seem like he’s going to miss games. However, the problem with Anthony Davis are the nagging injuries that always makes him miss a game here and there. He finished the game with 19 points in 23 minutes. Cheick Diallo got some run tonight, finished with 10 points, seven boards and a block in 22 minutes. Glad Alvin Gentry gave him some run when there was no AD. For teams in 20-teams or more, you should give him an add.
Mavericks 100 – Jazz 103
The Jazz couldn’t buy a bucket in the fourth as they had a seven minute drought without a field goal until the last three from Rodney Hood to ice the game. He finished with 15 points, two triples and two steals. He’s been decent since his two game absent. The Jazz had no George Hill tonight again and it was Dante Exum who got the start. Him and Shelvin Mack seems to take turns on the starting point guard position. Exum finished with 11 points and that’s about it. But it was Shelvin Mack that closed the game out with 11-3-3 in 28 minutes. Not much appeal from the both of them and George Hill should be returning soon hopefully?
Dwight Powell played more than Salah Mejri tonight but that’s because Mejri was in foul trouble for the first three quarters. Powell finished off with 10 points, four rebounds in 24 minutes. I’m not entirely sure if he’s the guy to own. When the Mavs are playing teams with big centers, Carlisle likes to give Mejri a bit more run as he’s a good defensive, shot contesting center. Mejri finished off with seven points and five boards. He even closed the game out and Carlisle needed his big frame to go against Rudy Gobert. I think the two of them will continue to share minutes while Bogut is out. Deron Williams looked good tonight. Maybe playing in Utah gave him some memories of his good old All-Star days. He had 18 points, seven assists with two steals.
That’s it for tonight’s edition of FFF! Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!