Ten games on the schedule and it was a very busy night. There were just too many games that I wanted to watch. The young talent in this league is crazy. The NBA is in good hands for sure for when the LeBron era passes. Few match ups you should’ve kept an eye out. Giannis vs KAT. Porzingis vs AD. Jokic vs Embiid. A few of them are going to take the mantle of being the face of the league and watching them develop right now is a joy to watch. Oh and we also have a 52 point game tonight!!! Let’s take a look at what went down in tonight.
Bulls 101 – Pacers 111
Paul George had his second straight 30+ point game with 32 points. He added three triples and two steals but didn’t really contribute much to the rebounding and assist numbers. He’s returning top-20 value this season and really stepped up his efficiency compared to last season. His attempts are slowly creeping up as well after deferring to his teammates earlier in the season. Glen Robinson III started again and had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in 24 minutes. He’s not really worth owning but I think there’s a chance he’ll stick in the starting line up with Monta Ellis off the bench. Speaking of Monta, he had two points, a rebound and an assist in 13 minutes. He’s still limited by minutes restriction but even when he was getting starter minutes, he’s not really worth owning in 10 or 12-team leagues.
Cristiano Felicio was the Bulls’ best performer with a double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes. He took some of Robin Lopez’s minutes right now and is the back up center. Deep league’s may want to grab him for some boards and big man stats since Robin Lopez seems to be trending down. RoLo only played 19 minutes with none in the fourth. He finished with two points and two rebounds. He’s trending down a little bit with his minutes being more sporadic lately compared to the start of the season. He’s still a hold though. Nikola Mirotic jacked up 11 threes and only hit two of them. He also added with eight points, six boards and three blocks in 27 minutes. The minutes are there lately since the Bulls are desperate for some three point shooting. Rondo got benched for MCW in the second half but don’t drop him just yet.
Nets 95 – Wizards 118
Surprising contributions from the bench. Especially by Trey Burke tonight by the Wizards. He finished with 27 points on 10-12 shooting and hitting all five of his three-point attempts. He had zero points in his last two games and only played in a combined 15 minutes. It was a garbage time special and Bradley Beal didn’t play so Wizards needed some outside shooting. With Beal out with an ankle issue, you’d expect Otto Porter to see a bump in usage rate but that wasn’t true. He only finished with 12 points and two threes on 10 field goal attempts. He has been solid and is still returning top-20 value for the season. If I can get another top-20 player for Porter, I would do it. I just don’t think he’ll sustain this value of his for the entire season.
Dynasty league players who has Caris LeVert are probably excited of having him on their team. He played 24 minutes tonight and some of them came from garbage time. He finished with 12 points on 4-5 shooting with two triples and two steals. The rookie has some upside to his game and is a known shooter in the college game. In his final year with Michigan, he averaged 1.9 threes per game on 44.6 percent from range. He’s a good player to stash in really deep leagues for some playing time in the second half of the season. Trevor Booker only played in 20 minutes tonight but he still had 16 points, seven boards and three triples. His minutes are dropping to 23.7 minutes in the last two weeks. And in that span, he’s returning outside top-190 value. The steals have significantly dropped off and if he can’t sustain those threes, his value takes a bit hit as he doesn’t really contribute other stats in elite levels.
Heat 114 – Celtics 117
It was all about Isaiah Thomas tonight. On the second night of a back-to-back he dropped 52 points with nine triples! He shot 15-of-26 from the field and hit all 13 of his attempts. He scored 29 points in the fourth including a deep deep, very deep triple to ice the game. Isaiah’s returning top-15 for the season! He’s averaging 27.7 points per game and people saying he can’t sustain his points with Horford on the floor, where you at? Al Horford bounced back from a dud yesterday. He had 21-6-4 with three triples. No blocks from Big Al though but that buy-low window is going to close really fast. Avery Bradley was ill tonight so Marcus Smart got the start. He didn’t do much with 6-4-2 and two steals in 34 minutes. He’s been playing alright, returning top-80 in the last week but he really hurts your field goal percentage like really badly.
Josh Richardson is a must own! You should’ve grabbed him a game or two ago. This may be the breakout that we’re all waiting to happen for Richardson. He finished with 19-6-8 with four steals, two blocks and two triples! What a line by Richardson. There was no Dragic again today though and Dion Waiters still not close to returning so owners can continue to reap in the goodies that Richardson brings. James Johnson also had a good game with 22-3-6 with four triples, two steals and two blocks! He only played in 24 minutes and I still don’t understand why Luke Babbitt took 16 minutes away from JJ. Whiteside continued to have subpar games with 11 points, eight boards, a steal and a block. He hasn’t scored more than 12 points in his last four games. It’s hard to buy low on Whiteside since teams who picked him are probably punting ft%. Whiteside did leave the game in the fourth when he was poked in the eye and didn’t return. If he misses time, Willie Reed and JJ should be the benefactors.
Bucks 99 – Timberwolves 116
Andrew Wiggins had 31-5-6 with a steal. The assist numbers were a surprise and seems to be dishing more off the pick and roll. Zach LaVine hit six triples to go along with 24 points. He’s one of the most consistent shooting guard in the league right now. Probably more consistent than Klay Thompson. Karl-Anthony Towns had a strong double-double with 18 points, 16 boards and two blocks. It’s getting hard to see how KAT is going to return first round value. As long as he’s taking those threes, his field goal percentage is going to take a hit. His turnover numbers have been going up as well, averaging 3.5 in the last two weeks but that’s because teams are doubling him down low all the time and he’s passing it out. You can see his assist numbers have went up, averaging 4.4 per game in the last two weeks as well. He’s still learning.
Giannis had 25-7-5 with a steal and a block. Also had some good moves on the post with some Kobe-esque fadeaways. You can’t stop that when he’s got that shot rolling. Jabari Parker was also solid with 20-6-3 with two triples and two steals. It’s good to see Jabari contributing other stats apart from points. He’s returning top-20 in the last two weeks with 23.8 points, 6.5 boards, 3.7 assists, 1.8 triples, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks. It’s good to see him nailing his threes as it really opens up his game a lot more. The rookie, Malcolm Brogdon got the start tonight with Delly out with a hamstring issue. He finished with 11-4-4 with a triple and a steal. He’s looking really composed as a rookie and is going to get the starting job sooner or later. He’s worth owning in standard leagues as well with a good outlook for the rest of the season.
Pistons 98 – Hawks 105
Paul Millsap had a solid outing with 26-6-5 with two steals and a triple. It’s good to see him bouncing back after having duds in his last two games. After a slow start, Millsap is slowly adjusting to life with Dwight in the paint. The blocks aren’t going to be there as projected but the threes, steals and assists are there. Dwight Howard has actually been really good in fantasy. He finished with 10 points and 15 boards with a block. He’s returning top-15 value in the last two weeks while averaging 14.0 points and 18.0 boards but it’s his free throws that’s making him solid in 9-cat. He’s averaging 62.5 percent in that span. Kyle Korver came off the bench with 22 points and three triples. He’s averaging 2.2 threes in the last two weeks and that’s the only contribution that he’s providing which makes him a streamer at best.
Jon Leuer finally had a good game as a starter and I’ve been talking about Leuer since the start of the season. He had an efficient 22 points, six boards, two triples and two steals. He looked like he didn’t fit in the starting unit but this game clearly shows he deserves it. Marcus Morris sat out the game with a sore knee so this means Tobias Harris slid in at the three. He only had 14 points, five boards and two triples and the bench role seems to suit him more. Either way, SVG is trying to find the lineup that he likes best because the Pistons are losing games. I think in the long run, Marcus Morris might be coming off the bench instead of Tobias. Ish Smith played 25 minutes and it was the most he played since December 6th. SVG said he’s going to use the double point guard line up more often and this means Ish with Reggie Jackson on the floor more often. He finished with 7-4-3 with a triple and a steal. Deep leagues that needs assists might want to take a look at him. The Pistons have now lost seven of their last eight games.
Clippers 116 – Rockets 140
A very balanced effort from the Rockets to reach 140 points tonight. James Harden had a triple-double with 30-13-10, five steals and two triples. Eric Gordon had 19-4-3 with four triples off the bench. Trevor Ariza has 18-4-7 with five triples and two steals. Such diverse lines from the Rockets top three performers but it was Montrezl Harrell that surprised people with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 9-of-11 from the line. Can I just say Mike D’Antoni should be the coach of the year if the season ends right now. Why would the Rockets make Kosta Koufos a priority when you have Harrell playing this way. With Capella returning next in a month’s time, the Rockets are going to be pretty deep.
The Clippers are short handed with no Blake Griffin and Chris Paul so you’d expect they would struggle on getting points on the board. However, it was the other way when they couldn’t play any defense against the Rockets and gave up 140 points in 48 minutes. DeAndre Jordan had 20 points, 13 boards and a block on 9-of-11 shooting. He’s been playing well without Blake or CP but clearly the Clips needs them to return. Raymond Felton had 26-5-8 with four triples and took advantage of Paul’s absence and Austin River’s ejection. He’s a good short term add if you want point guard stats for when Paul misses any more time. Marreese Speights has actually been quietly solid over the last week or two. He’s not getting minutes in the 20’s but he’s producing enough to be returning top-90 in the last two weeks. He’s averaging 12.3 points, 4.3 boards, 2.0 triples and 0.8 blocks in that span. He’s worth a look for big man stats with threes.
Knicks 92 – Pelicans 104
Jrue Holiday had 12-4-11 with two blocks and a steal. He’s not really living up to the hype and has been kind of disappointing. It’s largely due to his subpar free throw shooting, averaging 67.7 percent for the season. It seems like an anomaly since he’s a career 79.4 percent shooter from the line. Tyreke had another good game with 16-5-4 with two triples and that’s back-to-back good games from Evans. He’s still under minute restrictions but he played 18 minutes tonight and it’s the most this season. Dante Cunningham played 35 minutes but only had eight points while adding two triples, two blocks and a steal. He’s getting heavy playing time, averaging 34.5 minutes in the last three games, while having 1.7 threes, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. If that suits you, go grab him.
I don’t know what’s going on with the Knicks. They’re now at a three-game losing streak. Porzingis had a good game with 21 points, 12 boards with two steals and two blocks. He didn’t have a three and that’s the first time since December 15th when he was shut down by Draymond. Carmelo Anthony played 40 minutes and I don’t think that’s the way to go for the 32-year old. He did have 26 and 13 but it took him 22 attempts to do that. Joakim Noah cooled off after a brief stint of good games. He was totally outplayed by Anthony Davis and made him look bad. In 16 minutes, he dropped an egg in points with six rebounds. Jeff Hornacek is using his centers based on match ups and tonight it was KP at center more often.
Blazers 94 – Spurs 110
The Spurs had an ugly first half but seems to have turned on the switch in the second half. Thanks to Danny Green and his hot shooting. All of his 18 points came from the three point line and it’s the hottest he’s been since forever. The last time he hit six triples was January 27th of 2016. Almost a year ago. He’s been pretty good lately, contributing stats across the board and is rank 40 in the last week and rank 56 in the last two weeks in 9-cat. Kawhi Leonard sat out and we got a lot of Jonathan Simmons tonight. He had 19 points, two triples and two blocks. Kawhi doesn’t seem like he’ll miss any more games but so Simmons isn’t really worth owning. Manu Ginobili is actually playing really well, ranked 51 in the last two weeks. It’s hard to recommend him as a pick up since he basically sits in every back-to-back’s so he’s a max three game week player which isn’t that good of a streamer.
Damian Lillard is still out with a sprained ankle and it’s his third straight game. He’s known for being durable so he’ll be back soon. CJ McCollum had to do the heavy carrying with 29 points but he only had two boards and one assist. He didn’t get much help tonight. Moe Harkless was the second leading scorer on the team with 12 points, three steals and two triples. He’s been really solid and is still worth owning since Aminu’s return. Allen Crabbed was their third and last player in double digits with 11 points and a triple and is only a streamer for threes. Everyone else on the Blazers isn’t really worth mentioning tonight.
Sixers 124 – Nuggets 122
What a game this is. It had a really good big man match up and it also came down to the wire. The Sixers narrowly escaped with their third road win of the season. Joel Embiid was the main exhibit of this game against Nikola Jokic and he didn’t disappoint, finishing with 23-6-5 with three blocks, two steals and a triple. He even had a clutch free throw that he hit and gave the shh finger to the crowd. Ersan is so consistent and healthy this season and I’m actually really surprised. He finished with 23 and 13 with five triples. He’s returning top-35 value in the last week and top-45 in the last two weeks. Sell high! He’s not going to be like this the entire season especially with Ben Simmons returning. TJ McConnell was the starting point guard and had 17-2-8 with three triples. He’s a good short term add for assist numbers since Sergio Rodriguez is out with an ankle sprain and is looking to miss time.
Nikola Jokic also went at Embiid tonight with 25-7-4 but he had no triples, steals and blocks this game. He was also in foul trouble so he only played 22 minutes. This Denver team is fun to watch now especially with Jokic as their future star. Gary Harris missed the game winner but he had a decent game with 17-4-4 and two triples. He’s extremely underrated and is a good swingman that plays both side on the court. Jusuf Nurkic got some run tonight with 19 minutes. It’s the most he played since he was a starter on December 12th. He only had two points and four boards and he should be dropped in all leagues. Denver is looking to trade Faried but I’m not sure if they can get any value in return. Also the trade deadline isn’t until February and stashing Nurkic until then isn’t a good idea.
Mavericks 99 – Warriors 108
The score is closer than its suggests. This game was a blow out, thanks to Klay Thompson’s 17 points in the third quarter. He finished with 29 points with five triples. He’s quietly hitting 5.0 triples in his last three games and is returning top-20 value in that span. Kevin Durant had his first triple-double of the season with 19-11-10 and two triples. He’s a stud. Stephen Curry only had 14-4-5 with three triples. He’s going to be alright. He doesn’t need to score 30 with five triples a game every night now that he has Durant on his team. Draymond was close to a triple-double with 13-8-7 but no steals and blocks for him. Basically, all four of them are studs and there’s nothing much to talk about in terms of fantasy.
Harrison Barnes had a semi-revenge game against his old team. He finished with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He also added three triples, two steals and a block and these fantasy goodies from Barnes are worth cherishing. Dwight Powell had a good game with Andrew Bogut out. The Mavs needed Powell’s versatility instead of Salah Mejri’s size so Powell got the bulk of the minutes. He had 10 and 13 with two blocks and is a good streamer for when Bogut is resting. Seth Curry had 11 points and five assists and was only three points shy from his older brother. Probably the closest he’s been. He’s been solid and if he’s on the wire, you should pick him up for some threes, assists, and steals until JJ Barea returns.
A bit long today, went over 3k but details matter right? Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!