Before we get started on tonight’s FFF, I have two words to scream in caps. GEORGE HILL!!! Alright so we have six games tonight and of course the biggest news from tonight is George Hill’s return after a 13-game absence. I thought he could’ve played earlier but Jazz aren’t in a rush to get him back since they were 19-13 without him. He didn’t seem to have any rust on him but we’ll talk about him later. Meanwhile, I urge you to go check out this clip of Kemba premature celebrating! It’s going to be the newest and hottest meme. Check it out here! Let’s take a look at tonight’s games!
Heat 82 – Hornets 91
The Hornets are rolling right now. They’ve won five of their past six games and the only game they lost to is a Randy Foye buzzer beater. Yes so they’re rolling and Nic Batum probably has a lot to do with it. He finished with 16-13-8 with three steals and a block. He’s been flirting or even grabbing triple doubles in almost every game in the last two weeks. He’s been returning late first round value in standard leagues in that span. I can see a dip coming along but it won’t be a bit drop since the only drop is fg% but he’s only at 44.2 percent in the last two weeks. Kemba is also adding a strong performance to his All-Star resume, finishing with 22-7-4 with four triples. He’s going to have his first All-Star game this year. Marvin Williams played 25 minutes tonight with 13 points, a triple and a steal. His minutes haven’t reach 30 since December 17th, yet he’s still being productive. His broke out of his shooting slump and is returning top-70 in the last two weeks.
The Heat is struggling and they’re only one loss away from being the bottom of the East. They also got even more bad news about Goran Dragic as his back tightened up on him. The back is probably going to cost him to miss a game here and there and it’s these type of injuries that will keep nagging you for quite some time. Maybe it’s good news for the people who wants Heat to tank. Tyler Johnson played well off the bench again and if Dragic misses any time, Johnson is going to benefit from it. He finished with 18-7-5 with two triples, two steals and two blocks. He’s returning top-50 in the last two weeks so he’s pretty good. Josh Richardson has back-to-back 20 points or more games. He had 20 points, three triples, a steal and a block. This is the upside that owners drafted or picked him up for.
Thunder 80 – Grizzlies 114
Grizzlies were led by Marc Gasol while Mike Conley missed another game. He had 25 points, eight boards, five blocks and a steal. He didn’t hit a three this game and his threes are starting to take a hit. He’s still a stud and there’s nothing more to say about him. Troy Daniels came off the bench for 22 points and six triples in 18 minutes. He can give you 20+ points on any given night but he can also drop duds equally well too so it’s more of a luck based pick up with Daniels. JaMychal Green finally broke out of his slump and had a good game. He had 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 34 minutes. He also added two triples, a steal and a block and that’s two games in a row where he’s getting versatile stats. Some sites are saying drop him before but I wasn’t a fan of that. Green is a player I like and he’s a versatile big that could give a triple-one and decent boards. Just hold onto him. Z-Bo added 21 points and eight boards in 21 minutes and is playing some center in the second unit. He’s a good handcuff guy with Green.
Westbrook got himself ejected this game and only played in 21 minutes. He finished with 21 points, 5 boards and surprisingly no assists. He was clearly bothered by Tony Allen this game and was really frustrated. His assists numbers took a hit but he’s still averaging a triple-double. Steven Adams also struggled from the field after averaging 73 percent from the field in the last two games, he finished with six points on 1-of-9 from the field and 4-of-8 from the line. He did add 15 rebounds and two blocks though. Just an off game from Adams. Kanter had 19 points, and five boards with no triples, steals and blocks. That’s the Kanter we all know. Kanter with blocks is just weird.
Celtics 118 – Cavaliers 124
Kyrie has been really good and by really good, I’m talking about top-5 good. He’s ranked fourth in 9-cat in the last two weeks and tonight he finished with 32-5-11 with three steals and two triples on 12-of-17 shooting. Uncle Drew hurt his hamstring a little bit and didn’t finish the last couple minutes of the game but it’s been reported that it’s just cramps. He’ll be fine after a day’s rest. Love added 30 points and 15 boards with six triples and two steals. Yes, he’s good too. He’s returning late first round value for the season! Meanwhile LeBron took a back seat with 23-8-11 with three blocks and two triples. He played 44 minutes tonight and that’s a bit too much for me. Cavs needed every bit of their stars to win as it was a playoff intensity kind of game.
The Celtics lost a tough one but it was a close game. Isaiah Thomas continues to do well with 31-3-9 with two triples and two steals. He was perfect at the line with 13 attempts and is the best free throw percentage contributor in fantasy. Jonas Jerebko is a name I didn’t expect to talk about but he played well off the bench with 12 points, seven boards, two triples and two steals. Brad Stevens likes him because he can stretch the floor but he should be left off on all wires. Avery Bradley had a good game with 23 points, four steals and three triples. He jammed his thumb while trying to block LeBron. Went for X-ray and it was negative. Doesn’t seem like he’ll be missing any games, he’s a warrior. Al Horford did struggle a bit with six points on 3-of-9 shooting, while adding a rebound and three blocks. He’s a bit inconsistent as of late and a buy-low offer for horford isn’t that bad of an idea.
Raptors 91 – Suns 99
The Suns beat the Raptors. Wow. Bledsoe bounced back with a good game with 22-5-10 with three steals and two blocks. He’s surprisingly still healthy and haven’t missed a game yet. Still risky though right? Devin Booker had 19-5-5 but continued to struggle from the field, shooting 6-of-19. This guy has the potential to be a star in the league but fantasy wise, it probably won’t translate. He’s ranked outside top-120 in the last two weeks and that’s considered relatively good for him. He’s averaging 40.1 percent from the field and his field goal percentage volume is the sixth worst in the league. He’s worse than the likes of Mudiay, Covington and JR Smith to name a few. Dragan Bender cooled off after having two decent games. He played only 11 minutes tonight and there was no garbage time so no playing time for Bender.
I was doing my All-Star votes lately and was struggling to pick between Lowry and Kemba for my Eastern backcourt. Interested to see who you would pick between the two. Lowry finished with 24-5-5 with three triples, two steals and a block. He’s been first round for the entire season but is famous for this second half drop offs. If you can get a first rounder in return, a true stud, I would do it. He hasn’t had a good second half season in quite some time. Jonas Valanciunas played 19 minutes, 10 boards and eight points. He only had four field goal attempts and he’s only averaging 7.9 attempts in the last two weeks. Can’t believe he’s not getting unleashed even without Biyombo on the team. There’s not much to say since the Raptors have the second best record in the East so Dwane Casey must be doing something right. Meanwhile Bebe played 22 minutes and dropped an egg in points, grabbed a rebound and blocked two shots. He’s nothing but a streamer right now. Patrick Patterson had a strain right knee and didn’t return. If he were to miss time, Carroll would slide to the four spot more often with Terrence Ross and Normal Powell playing the three.
Sixers 83 – Jazz 100
George Hill finally returned and owners who waited for him patiently was rewarded, that’s if you played him in your lineups today, not caring about rust. Well he definitely looked good with 21-8-6 with three steals, two triples and a block. He shot 8-of-10 from the field and really didn’t look like he had any problems after missing a month of basketball. Shelvin Mack should be dropped now and he probably has no value. Strangely, when Hill returns, Rodney Hood finally had a good game. He hit his first triple since his game winner against Dallas, which was two weeks ago. He finished the game with 20 points and four triples. He hit his first shot, which was a three, and looked good so this guy only needed a bit of a confidence boost. Rudy Gobert snapped his 11-game double-double streak by having nine points and 13 boards to go along with two steals and two blocks. If he made one more free throw then he would’ve prolonged the streak but he went 3-of-11 from the line.
The Sixers had no Embiid tonight so Jahlil Okafor got the start. He looked good but his moves and the way he plays reminded me a little bit of Al Jefferson honestly. A peak Big Al was a beast and he used to be drafted in the first round back in his Timberwolves day. Okafor finished with 13 points and four boards. Nerlens Noel finally got some run and he indeed did play more than 20 minutes. He finished with 14 points, six boards and a steal in 22 minutes. I don’t know whether this performance earned him some playing time but I think Brett Brown will play Noel more often. Only because he needs to show the league the potential that Noel has to trade him off. He’s going to get traded and the question is where. Dario Saric came off the bench for 14 points, four boards, a triple and a block in 25 minutes. That’s two decent games from Saric and three games that he’s getting over 25 minutes. He’s a 14 or 16-teamer right now.
Mavericks 101 – Lakers 89
The Mavs are the worst rebounding team in the league and they out-rebounded the Lakers by quite a significant lot. Defense and rebounds win you games according to Charles Barkley and the Mavs did just that. Harrison Barnes played well and is looking like he deserves that contract that he has. He finished with 17-9-4. The four assists is a tie in season high so let’s see if he can be more than just a points guy. He’s returning top-70 in the last two weeks. No Dirk so Dorian Finney-Smith got the start. He impressed and took advantage of the nationally televised games. The rookie he finished with 12-3-2 with three triples and a steal. He has upside to his game but he wasn’t consistent even when Dirk was out previously. This game did come against the Lakers so stats are definitely inflated. Andrew Bogut,Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri shared the center minutes between the three of them (22, 14 and 12) and right now seems like Bogut has the most fantasy value as a rebounds and block streamer.
Nick Young shot four threes in the first quarter and made all four of them. He finished the game with 17 points and five triples with a steal. It’s good to see Young bounce back to becoming Uncle P and he’s a good source of points and threes. I’m also pretty impressed with his defense as well and it’s translating to steals, averaging 1.3 steals in the last two weeks. D’Angelo Russell had a good line with 15-4-6 with two steals. However, he struggled shooting the ball again and didn’t really play that well. His minutes are starting to creep up a little bit to 28.5 minutes in the last two weeks, when he was under 26 to start the season. He’s a candidate to be a good second half of the season player. If you’re punting field goal percentage and you don’t have DLoading, sneaking in a low offer for Russell is something I would recommend. Luol Deng cooled off with three points on 1-of-4 shooting in 34 minutes. He was a must-own player returning top-50 in the last two weeks. This was an off game for a lot of the Lakers so keep holding on to him for now.
That’s it for Thursday’s FFF. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!