Merry Christmas everybody! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and caught up with the NBA games over the break. Apologies for the absence over the Christmas break but I’m back and ready to get rolling again. We got four games to dive into, highlighted by some lineup changes, the usual Westbrook’s triple double and the typical top performers such as Marc Gasol and James Harden. Let’s get cracking.
Grizzlies 103 – Celtics 113
The Celtics are finally closing games out and have now won 6 of their last 7 games. Avery Bradley finally bounced back with 23-7-4 with two steals, a triple and a block. He’s been a bit underwhelming last week when Isaiah Thomas was on fire but things should be back to normal from now on. Brad Stevens was running with the hot hand with Gerald Green. He played 19 minutes, scoring 19 points, five boards and three triples. He hasn’t been getting consistent minutes and have more DNP’s than games played. But recently, Green seems to have leapfrogged Terry Rozier in the pecking order. Still hard to own him in any leagues though. Thomas had 21 points and seven assists, while Jae Crowder had 17 points, seven boards and three triples. Both have been solid early round players. Al Horford has been disappointing, returning top-40 value in the last two weeks. His shots haven’t been falling and he couldn’t sustain his insane amount of blocks.
No Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons tonight for the Grizzlies. That means another night of Marc Gasol doing the heavy lifting. He had 26-4-9, three triples, three blocks and two steals. He’s been a stud and is returning top-30 value for the season. Grizzlies have been losing more games than winning recently though. Tony Allen continues to do Tony Allen things with 17 points, eight boards and four steals. He’s an elite steals specialists and has been grabbing a decent amount of boards as well. Because of his steals, he’s returning top-70 value in the last two weeks. Z-Bo continues to outplay JaMychal Green with 16 and 10. Meanwhile Green finally shot above 50 percent but only scoring eight points. He did have two steals and two blocks so believe it or not, it’s one of his good games.
Thunder 106 – Heat 94
Westbrook had his 15th triple-double for the season and within those 15 triple-doubles, Thunder has won 12 of those games. Keep getting them numbers Brodie! He finished with 29-17-11 and is still averaging a triple double for the season. Seems like he’s going to keep this up. Alex Abrines has another good shooting night, scoring 14 points with two triples in 22 minutes. He’s averaging 3.3 threes in his last four games. His job is to knock threes down and if he can do that, Billy Donovan will roll with him more. He’s a threes specialist for deep leagues. Steven Adams has 15 points and eight boards with two blocks. He hit 7-of-10 shots but he only played 22 minutes because of foul troubles. Adams has been really good lately, returning top-50 value in the last two weeks but I think his touches will get a hit when Oladipo returns.
The Heat were without Goran Dragic tonight. He’s out with back spasms and those are the little nagging injuries that will make you miss a game here and there. Josh Richardson got the start as the point guard and he finally had a good game. He finished with 22 points and two triples. It’s his first double digit scoring game since December 14th. It’s also his first game with above 50 percent field goal. Tyler Johnson had 15 points and two triples. It’ll be interesting to see how the Heat shuffle their lineups when Dion Waiters return. Justise Winslow had another bad game with 7-3-5 on 2-of-10 shooting. I don’t like the experiment of Winslow as the small ball four, partly because I like James Johnson more and he’s the better player. However, it seems like it’s Winslow’s best position right now since he doesn’t have an outside jumper. When the Heat gets healthy, Spo is going to run more three guard lineups with Winslow at the four.
Rockets 123 – Mavericks 107
This wasn’t a fair fight. Rockets were just too good and too explosive for the Mavs to handle. Harden finished with 34-5-11 with four triples. Ryan Anderson had a good game with 22 points and four triples. He’s getting more playing time at the five since Capella’s injury and seems to enjoy it quite a bit. He’s rank 16 in the last week and rank 22 in the last two weeks. He’s also getting some blocks in that position. This is a sell high right opportunity. When Capella returns in a couple of weeks, Ryno’s value isn’t going to be this high. Sam Dekker got some run tonight, finished with 9-11-3 with three steals and a triple. He’s still more of a deep league guy and he hasn’t really flourished since Capella’s injury. One thing’s for certain is that D’Antoni likes this kid. Meanwhile Trevor Ariza got ejected from the game but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to get suspended.
The Mavs are slowly becoming healthier and healthier. Andrew Bogut returned to the lineup today and played 11 minutes. He had six boards and two blocks and doesn’t seem to have any fantasy appeal as of late. Dirk played on the second night of a back-to-back but he struggled shooting the ball. Owners have to stick with him for the meantime. It’s going to be rough. Justin Anderson played 21 minutes with 13 points, eight boards, two triples and two blocks. It’s good to see Anderson using his athletic ability to get some defensive stats. This is the most minutes he’s had since December 12th and as the Mavs get healthier, Harrison Barnes is going to slide back to his natural position, meaning Anderson and Dorian Finney-Smith will get less playing time.
Jazz 102 – Lakers 100
It was a turnover festival for the Jazz but somehow they escaped the Staples Center with a win. Gordon Hayward played really well with 31 points, nine boards and three triples. He’s going to be an All-Star this year. He’s returning top-40 for the season and he’ll be around that vicinity at the end of the season. Joe Ingles continues to hit threes, with three of them tonight along with 13 points. He’s leading the league in three point percentage and is a specialist if you want some threes. He’s getting minutes off the bench as the sixth man but when Rodney Hood starts to get it going, his minutes will be pretty sporadic. Speaking of Hood, he’s still struggling but the encouraging sign is that he’s played 25 minutes. He went 1-of-7 from the field and can’t buy a basket. Literally missed a bunny underneath the rim and that’s when I felt for him. It’s in his head. Derrick Favors started today and Boris Diaw moved back to the bench. Favors did manage to have eight points, six boards and a steal in 22 minutes. He’s progressing slowly and the Jazz is being patient with everyone.
The Lakers only hit four threes and one of them was a Julius Randle heave. Lou Williams led the team with 22 points and two threes. His field goal percentage is dropping so his value is taking a hit. He’s returning top-90 in the last two weeks and that’s more realistic for him in terms of the rest of the season outlook. Luol Deng had nine points, nine boards and a triple one. I thought Deng would have decent value to start the season but it took him two months to get it going. He’s a must own now and is returning top-60 value for the last two weeks. Meanwhile Nick Young and D’Angel Russell couldn’t buy a bucket, combining to shoot 4-of-19 including D-Lo’s airball to win the game. Uncle P is as streaky as they come. He can hit seven triples in one game and zero the next so it’s a give and take kind of relationship.
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!