It’s Monday! A brand new slate for a new matchup! Unfortunately we start the week with some injury news to Clint Capella and Blake Griffin. So let’s talk about them a little bit. Capella is going to miss several weeks, and there’s no clear number on that. I think Nene or Montrezl Harris will start the game but the Rockets are going to go small a whole lot. That means for quite a big chunk of the game, Ryan Anderson is going to play the five with Harden, Beverley, Gordon and Ariza. I also think Sam Dekker is going to get a bump in minutes but in terms of who to pick up, there isn’t much appeal in standard leagues. Deep leagues should give Montrezl Harris a look. The three times he played more than 20 minutes, he’s averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 boards and 2.0 blocks per game. He’s athletic and can play the Capella role pretty well.
In terms of the Blake Griffin injury, he’s projected to miss 3-6 weeks. Last year when Griffin missed time, it was Wesley Johnson who got the start as the Clips went small a lot. This season, the two games that Griffin missed prior to this surgery news, it was Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers who got the start for each game. It’s a toss up really. Marreese Speights will also get a bump in minutes. Austin Rivers always has solid games when he’s inserted into the starting line up. Raymond Felton could get some double point guard duty with Chris Paul. Luc Mbah a Moute is definitely going to play the four more and that might be an ideal role for his style of play. If I had to choose, I would go with Austin Rivers in deep leagues, then LMAM and Speights in that order.
Wizards 105 – Pacers 107
The Pacers won the game thanks to a Thaddeus Young game winner. He finished the game with 12 points, 11 boards, two treys and two steals and it’s his second double-double of the season. Thad Young has been pretty disappointing compared to his last year with the Nets but he’s still returning top-80 value for the season with strong field goal percentage with solid boards and steals. Paul George led the way with 27 points on 10-21 shooting along with nine boards and two threes. That’s back-to-back games where he attempted at least 21 attempts and has started looking for his shot a bit more. Coincidentally, they came out with wins in both of these games. He’s the closer on this team and should do more of that and not defer the ball to Jeff Teague.
The Wizards’ three game winning streak was snapped tonight. However, Otto Porter looked good tonight. He had 17 points, nine boards, three blocks and two threes. He attempted 13 shots tonight and it’s his highest since November 25th. His attempts dropped to 8.5 a game in the last two weeks and is frozen out of the offense by Beal and Wall. He’s returning top-60 during that span. I was kind of skeptical on Marcin Gortat’s outlook for this season but he has proved me wrong. He hit 10-15 shots tonight and finished with 21 points and 13 boards. I thought Ian Mahinmi would eat into his minutes when he returns but he’s only played one game this season on November 26th and hurt himself again after that. Gortat’s returning top-60 value and is a solid mid-round big.
Pistons 82 – Bulls 113
Good win by the Bulls as they ended their three game losing streak, including two ugly losses to the Bucks. Rajon Rondo nearly had a triple-double tonight with 10-8-14 along with three steals and two treys. It’s one of his better games this season and it’s good to see that Rondo is still capable of putting lines like this. Taj Gibson had a good game as he was perfect from the field, finishing off with 16 points on eight attempts. He added four boards, a steal and a block. He only played 19 minutes tonight and that’s back-to-back games where he played less than 20 minutes. The low minutes is a combination of different things, such as both games were either blowout wins or losses. Also Fred Hoiberg seems to have found some minutes for Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio. It’s also not good for Gibson when Mirotic gets to play as well after two DNP-CD’s. Speaking of Mirotic, he played 21 minutes and scored 13 points with three triples. Hard to pick him up off the waivers though.
No lineup change yet but after an ugly loss like this SVG immediately came out and said he’s going to shake things up on Wednesday’s game. I’m guessing Jon Leuer is going to replace Marcus Morris. But there could be more, maybe Ish Smith might get a start ahead of Reggie Jackson. It was ugly tonight for the Pistons. Leuer and Harris were the only players in double figure. Leuer missed a game with back spasms but returned tonight and had 16 points and five boards. He’s clearly trending up. He’s averaging 17.3 points, 5.7 boards and 2.7 assists on 76.7 percent shooting from the field. He’s been really good at both percentages this season. KCP had six points and all of it came from the free throw line. He couldn’t buy a bucket from the field. That’s a new low. Reggie Jackson had seven points and only attempted five shots. The Pistons are now 3-6 after Jackson’s return, potential Ewing theory.
Suns 108 – Timberwolves 115
I thought the Wolves were going to give up another lead in the second half but thanks to a timely and-1 bucket by KAT with a few minutes remaining in the fourth after a couple of offensive rebounds, the game looked safe from then on. Towns finished the game with 28 points, 15 boards and two blocks on 11-18 shooting and hit all five of his attempts from the line. That’s eight straight double-double from the big KAT and this is a solid performance to follow up his 41 point effort. Andrew Wiggins had 26 points, three steals and a triple. He only grabbed four boards though. He’s basically nothing but points but if those steals and threes starts dropping, Wiggins’ value will go up. Zach LaVine had 23 points and four triples. He’s super consistent this season and has 20 or more points in four straight games. Good to see the three young Wolves all have good games to come out with the win.
The Suns were led by Eric Bledsoe tonight and he was trying to will his team back into the game. He had 27 points on 9-20 shooting along with two steals and two blocks. He was everywhere and considering that his groin is bothering him, that’s pretty impressive. Bledsoe isn’t the most durable guy, so he’s a ticking time bomb for me. He’s returning top-50 value right now after a slowish start to the season. I recommend to sell him when you think his value is at it’s peak though. Brandon Knight added 21 points in 29 minutes as Watson closed the game out with the three guard rotation plus Tucker. Knight has been bad and he’s only averaging 1.0 three per game for the season. He’s not really worth owning in standard leagues.
Hawks 110 – Thunder 108
It was an entertaining, back and forth game and the Hawks came out with the win. No Dwight Howard tonight and it was Paul Millsap who took the center position with Kyle Korver inserted into the starting line up along with Bazemore and Sefolosha. Millsap finished the game with 30 points, 11 boards, three treys, a steal and a block. He was a beast tonight and scored when the Hawks really needed a basket. He’s always good without Dwight but when playing with Dwight, he’s a bit underwhelming. Dennis Schroder led the team with 31 points on 10-16 shots and 10-10 from the line. He added eight assists and five boards with a three. He went at Westbrook tonight and was fearless so it was really entertaining. He’s clearly trending up and and is returning top-30 value in the last two weeks.
The Thunder was close to tie the game and if it wasn’t for Steven Adams deciding to dunk the ball instead of laying it up, the game could’ve went to overtime. Steven Adams cooled off after hitting 19 points in his previous game. He finished with six points, nine boards and three steals. Remember the time he started off hot from the free throw line? His free throws have been trending down and he’s only hitting them at 65.5 percent in the last two weeks. Russell Westbrook did everything again and hit clutch buckets but it wasn’t enough. He finished with 46-11-7 with three triples. He hit 16-33 shots and it’s pretty efficient in Westbrook’s standards. There was no Oladipo tonight and he’s not even dribbling or shooting with his right hand since it still hurts. Still seems like he’s going to miss a couple more games, which is unfortunate since the Thunder really needs him right now.
Mavericks 107 – Nuggets 117
You heard of this guy called Nikola Jokic? He’s a stud! He finished the game with 27 points, 15 boards and nine assists with a triple. He was close to his first career triple-double but there’s no doubt he’ll have more opportunities to accomplish that feat. He’s such a good passer and really unlocks a lot of different things for the Nuggets on offense. It’s funny how a line up change probably saved Malone’s job when he should’ve done this ages ago. They won three straight games since Jokic got the starting gig, who would’ve thought. It wasn’t just Jokic though, as Gary Harris also had a really good game with a career-high 24 points along with four assists, four triples and two steals. If you drafted him and been patient for this long, it’s paying off isn’t it? The last three games since his return, he doesn’t seem like he has any rust on him. He’s averaging 19.3 points, 3.0 boards, 4.0 assists, 2.3 treys and 1.7 steals in that span. He’s good.
Mavericks remained competitive for the entire game but just wasn’t good enough. It was Dwight Powell’s matchup tonight since Carlisle thinks he’s a better fit on Jokic instead of Salah Mejri. Powell played 29 minutes with 11 points, nine boards and three blocks. The rebounds and blocks are a tie in season-high, which is a positive sign but it seems like Carlisle is just going with whichever center matches up best with the opposing team. The Mavericks next game is against Mason Plumlee and the Blazers and I’m guessing that matchup fits Powell better as well. Deron Williams looked solid with 23 points, eight assists and three triples. That’s five straight games with 15 or more points by Williams and he’s been getting heavy minutes as well. With J.J. Barea returning, Carlisle doesn’t need to play Deron that many minutes each night.
That’s it for tonight’s edition of the FFF. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!