Eight games on a Wednesday and we got LeBron vs Giannis in a round two battle. Tonight’s games also features some pretty entertaining match ups such as Boogie vs Gobert, Marc Gasol vs Drummond and Towns vs Millsap. Who says the league has no good big men anymore. The league’s in capable hands in terms of big men! They’re just more skilled and athletic so they don’t need to post up and harm their body down low that much! This can sustain and extend their playing careers as well. They want to play as long as they can so they can cash in on their paycheques right? Let’s take a look at the games tonight.
Bucks 102 – Cavaliers 113
The second night of a back-to-back against the same team and it Cavs came out on top again. Kevin Love missed his second game and JR Smith probably needs surgery on his thumb and is scheduled to miss weeks. The obvious pick up is Iman Shumpert, he finished the game with 10-3-4 with three treys, a steal and a block in 29 minutes. He’s an add in 14 teams or deeper. Not sure if he’s a must-own in 12 team leagues though. If you want some three and steals specialist for a couple of weeks and have someone to cut, then Shump is alright. Meanwhile, Kyrie had 31-6-13 while LeBron had 29-9-6 with four triples. LeBron has hit nine threes in his last two games.
The Bucks lost twice to Cavs in two days and they were close relatively close before the fourth quarter started. Clearly Giannis and Jabari needs a little more help as seen in these two games. Imagine if they have Middleton on their team, how exciting would that be! Giannis finished with 28-5-5 with two steals, a three and a block. He also made 13-of-14 from the line and that’s pretty impressive considering that he was a punt ft% candidate last season. He’s hit a three in four straight games. He’s clearly been working on that shot and is getting more confidence in shooting them. I didn’t expect him to make this jump so quickly. He’s averaging 26.3 points, 9.8 boards, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals, 1.8 threes and 1.5 blocks in his last four games. What a stud. Meanwhile, Jabari had 27 points and four threes. He was the go-to scorer for the Bucks tonight, attempting 20 shots and making 11 of them. He’s been really good lately, averaging 24.3 points in his last four games.
Timberwolves 92 – Hawks 84
T-Wolves won their second game in a row and it’s their first winning streak of the season! The young Wolves didn’t really close this game out perfectly but it’s good to see them win a close game. They got some key offensive boards and second chances to kill some time off the clock. It was a pretty balanced effort from the Wolves tonight. Gorgui Dieng is a 48% midrange shooter and hit a key basket with under one minute left of the game to ice it. He finished the game with 12 points, nine boards, three blocks and a steal. He’s been protecting the basket more as of late, averaging 2.2 block in his last five games. Ricky Rubio has 10-5-8 with two threes and two steals in 33 minutes. He’s been good recently and his playing time has become more consistent. He’s returning top-50 in the last week. Did you buy low on Rubio?
The Hawks had zero fast break points tonight but whats crazy about this stat is that the Wolves had 17 turnovers. When you don’t take advantage of the opportunities given to you, you don’t win games. They also missed out on Dwight Howard this game so it was Paul Millsap starting at center again with Kyle Korver sliding into the starting line up. Millsap finished with 18-9-7 with two steals. His percentages have been pretty bad though and KAT and Dieng was just bothering him. Kyle Korver finished with 10 points, five boards, four blocks and two triples. The blocks were a fluke and three of them came on Shabazz Muhammad. Mike Muscala started the second half over him since the Wolves were just too big for the wings to handle the four spot. Muscala had a good game with 16 point, four boards and three triples. Dwight’s still day-to-day so Muscala’s value isn’t going to be sustainable.
Grizzlies 98 – Pistons 86
Fun fact: Grizzlies have never lost a game on the second night of a back-to-back this season. These crazy stats always feature Grizzles, such as games decided with 5 points or less. It really shows the mental strength and capabilities of this Grizzlies team. Of course thanks to their leader Marc Gasol. He was a beast again and was basically the only guy in double figures. He finished with 38-5-4 with a triple two (two steals, blocks and triples). He scored 38 points on only 17 attempts and was 82.4 percent from the field tonight! We’re almost two months into the season and him and Harden are my two MVP’s. He should be starting in the All-Star game right? Mike Conley finished with 9-5-4 with three triples and two steals in 24 minutes. He shot 3-of-10 tonight and is still easing his way into things.
No lineup change again. SVG is just playing with us right? Apparently, Jon Leuer got into a minor car accident and missed out on the morning shoot around so that’s why they didn’t implement change. Well you lost another game SVG. Leuer should be starting in place of Marcus Morris on Friday. Morris had a horrible shooting night, going 1-of-11 from the field. He did have 12 points by shooting 10-of-14 from the line. SVG elected to close the game out with the cold Morris instead of Tobias Harris. Tobias only played in 27 minutes tonight and had 7-6-3. Meanwhile Jon Leuer was their best performer again with 18 points, six boards, a triple and a block. That’s four straight games with at least 16 points off the bench. I’m kind of liking his bench role. I don’t think he’ll get that many looks in the starting unit. He’s returning top-35 in the last week and he’s ranked 41 in the last two weeks.
Wizards 107 – Bulls 97
Wizards bounced back after losing to the Pacers the other night and is looking good again. They’re climbing the standings in the Eastern Conference and has now won seven of their last nine games. John Wall is the focal point and Scott Brooks is using him like he’s Westbrook. Wall finished the game with 23-6-9 and three steals. Wall’s been really good, retuning top-15 value in the last two weeks. Those two surgeries on his knee doesn’t seem to hinder him at all. Bradley Beal struggled tonight but still hit some crucial baskets to clinch the game. He scored 21 points on 7-on-17 shooting. He can still put up points even if he’s struggling but that’s about it. Otto Porter had five attempts from the field and finished with eight points, two rebounds and two treys. He had back spasms and left the game. It’s going to keep bothering him the entire season and the Wizards look best when Porter doesn’t shoot more than 10 times.
The Bulls lost another one and it’s their fourth loss in their last five games. Taj Gibson had a really good game though, with 17 points, 11 boards and three blocks in 34 minutes. His minutes were trending down only because the previous games were blowout wins and losses. Whenever Taj plays more than 30 minutes, he’s been really good. Nikola Mirotic shown signs of life with 11 points, six boards and three triples. Yes, he has upside but he’s also frustrating to own. He played 21 minutes tonight so it’s around his season averages. Hard to see him get more minutes than that but the Bulls really need three point shooting as they’re the last in the league. Rondo with 3-6-10 but he shot 1-of-10. After a pretty good game the other night, he can drop duds like these.
Thunder 121 – Pelicans 110
The Thunder are treasuring every win they can get with Victor Oladipo out. Westbrook is doing everything for the team and he finished with 42-10-7 with two triples and a steal. He’s in scoring mode right now with Dipo out and has scored 88 points in his last two games. What a beast. Billy Donovan went with more Enes Kanter tonight, playing him 34 minutes. Turns out Kanter plays better with more minutes! Who would’ve thought? He finished with 14 points, 14 boards and two blocks. Kanter’s been consistently blocking shots this season, doubling his averages from last season. They got some unexpected help tonight as well with Alex Abrines dropping five threes to go with 18 points. 30 minutes is a season high, when he’s averaging 12.8 minutes. Seems like a fluke to me.
Anthony Davis continues his strong play with 34 points, 15 boards, two blocks, a steal and a triple. No leaving to the locker room, no injuries. Overall a good night for Brow owners. He’s behind Durant in 9-cat rankings right now. Davis got some help tonight. Jrue Holiday added 23 points, 10 assists and two triples. I think Jrue is a buy low guy. He’s only returning outside top-100 value in 9-cat and I think he can be top-50 by the end of the season. His value is taking a hit because of his low free throws but he’s a consistent 79.6 percent shooter from the line.
Kings 94 – Jazz 93
The Kings were down the entire game and at one point was down by 20 points. Considering that this was on a second night of a back-t0-back, it’s a pretty impressive win by the Kings. After dropping 55 points last night, Boogie struggled shooting the ball, going 5-18 from the field. He did score 21 points by going to the line 13 times. Turns out he made the game winning free throw and did enough to bother Gordon Hayward’s last shot to win the game. Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi continued to miss out. Ty Lawson had a good game with 19 points but he missed those last two free throws and really gave a scare to Kings’ fans. Meanwhile Darren Collison has been bad, scoring eight points, one board and one assist. He’s averaging 7.8 points, 1.8 boards and 3.3 assists in his last four games.
Rodney Hood missed out on tonight’s game and is probably still having some stomach problems. Joe Ingles got the start and contributed stats across the board. He finished with 10-5-4 with two triples and two steals. He hasn’t been bad when he gets minutes but Hood doesn’t seem like he’ll miss too much time. Rudy Gobert continued his double-double streak with 17 points, 14 boards with three blocks. He did everything he could to bother Boogie tonight and it was an entertaining matchup to watch those two go at it. It’s either Rudy or Gordon or maybe both that will get their first All-Star appearance. Hayward finished with 28 points, 10 boards and two triples.
Rockets 125 – Suns 111
After the Spurs snapped their winning streak, the Rockets look to build another winning streak and there was no way the Suns could stop the Rockets from raining threes. They dropped 18 threes on the Suns and the score seems closer than it suggested. James Harden had 27-5-14 with five triples and is a stud. Eric Gordon scored 24 points and hit seven triples. He’s right behind Curry in threes right now in averages but he overtook Curry in 3-pointers’ made. That’s Stephen Curry, the best shooter in history. That’s something you tell your grandkids about. Patrick Beverley almost had a triple double with 18-9-9 with two triples. He’s been really good since his return. Ryan Anderson added three triples and 15 points. Montrezl Harrell started the game and scored 17 points with three blocks. Looks like the guy to add with Capella out. Basically, the Rockets had seven players in double figures.
Devin Booker led the way with 28-6-7 with two triples but he needed 25 shots to do that. His efficiency is a problem and isn’t doing anything else but scoring and handing out a couple of dimes. He’s not that good of a three point shooter as advertised and seems like there’s more hype than the overall package suggests. Brandon Knight had his second straight solid performance with 17 points, five boards, two triples, two steals and a block. Alex Len had a good game with nine points, five boards and four blocks in 24 minutes. He should be playing over Tyson Chandler but I doubt the Earl Watson is going to do anything to change that. He’s friends with Chandler back in his playing days and gave him a long contract so I doubt he would sit Chandler out.
Mavericks 96 – Blazers 95
The Mavericks survived a scare. They were leading by 25 points midway through the third quarter and gave that all up and even gave a chance for Blazers to win the game by turning the ball over in an inbounds play. Harrison Barnes led the team with 28 points and seven boards. He had no assists, steals, treys and blocks though so this is the typical Barnes that we’re all accustomed to seeing. Deron Williams had 23-5-5 with two triples. That’s back-to-back games with 23 points by D-Will and it’s good to see that he has something left in the tank. How many games can you possibly win with Deron and Barnes as your leading man. They’re scraping out wins, 4 wins in their last 8 games. Aren’t they tanking?
The Blazers outscored the Mavs in the second half 57 – 34 but it wasn’t enough. This is the problem for the Blazers lately. They can’t play consistently for 48 minutes. They can heat up for 40 points in a quarter and drop a dud with 15 points in the next quarter. They lost four straight now and maybe the Blazers of last year over achieved. Dame had 29 points but was really bothered by Wesley Matthews the entire game, and especially the last shot to win the game, shooting 10-of-23 from field. C.J. McCollum also had a bad shooting night, finishing with 13 points on 6-of-16 shooting. C.J. has been a stud and is returning second round value so he’ll bounce back. Portland just needs to find ways to win games and if both their star players have bad shooting nights, they don’t have enough offensive power to win games.
That’s it for Wednesday’s FFF. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!