What a night! We had eight games on the schedule and a lot of good games. Giannis vs Porzingis is one to watch! Embiid gave everything he had against the Celtics! A fight broke out in the Staples Center. Grizzlies came down from a 24-point deficit against the frigging Warriors. We had a Caris LeVert appearance for dynasty players. Overall a pretty fun and healthy night. Let’s take a look at what happened.
Rockets 100 – Magic 93
The second game of a back-to-back and the Rockets still managed to pull a win with a subpar game from James Harden. He finished with 14-7-10 on 4-15 shooting. We call it subpar but these are the kind of averages Jason Kidd had when he won the MVP. It speaks volume of the quality of players that we have in the league compared to before. Montrezl Harrell played the least minutes since December 23rd even though he got the start. He had nine point, four boards with a steal and a block. He’s done a solid job replacing Clint Capella but because of his 6’8 frame against the bigs that the Magic have, he was on the bench more. He’ll bounce back. Sam Dekker had his occasional good game with seven points, eight boards with a triple and a steal in 18 minutes. There’s no doubt D’Antoni likes him but he’s not producing consistently yet. He’s more of an 16-team or 18-team guy.
D.J. Augustin continued to come off the bench with 19 points and four triples in 29 minutes. They were winning more games with Augustin on the starting line up and now have lost two straight with him on the bench. I don’t know what the Magic are doing. Are they trying to tank? Augustin’s only a deep league guy if you need some threes and occasional assists. Aaron Gordon continues to show us his upside potential with 18-6-7 with two triples and a steal in 36 minutes. That’s four straight games in double digits and that’s his longest stretch this season. He’s a top-75 player in the last week and top-60 player in the last two. He’s getting things along. Serge Ibaka had a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards. It’s only the second time he grabbed double digits rebounds in consecutive games but the lack of blocks and threes lately from Ibaka is pulling his value down.
Timberwolves 105 – Wizards 112
The Wizards are now one game away from .500 and it’s basically been the starters carrying the Wizards every game. John Wall had 18 points and 18 assists. I’ve been really impressed with his efficiency this season in terms of shooting the ball. He’s averaging 46.7 percent from the field and it’s the best since he came into the league. He’s a first-round player even when considering this turnovers. Otto Porter did a little bit of everything with 17 points, six boards, three triples, two steals and a block. He’s been averaging 1.3 blocks in his last six games and he’s now a triple-one threat every night. Markieff Morris is actually playing solidly with good consistent defensive effort but it doesn’t really translate to fantasy. He had 15 points, six boards and a triple. It’s his lack of threes, steals and blocks with poor field goal percentage that is hindering his value. He has scored in double digits in the past seven games though.
The young Wolves are on another 3-game losing streak and even Andrew Wiggins couldn’t shoot their way out of this tonight. The defensive effort from the Wolves weren’t there so the Wizards shot a combined 58.2 percent from the field. Andrew Wiggins scored 41 points on 16-30 shooting and added two steals and a triple. He had a single rebound and two assists tonight so it was all points for Wiggins tonight. Gorgui Dieng had another solid night with 15 and 11 with two steals and a triple. He’s a quiet top-35 player in the last two weeks with some really good steals and percentages. Karl-Anthony Towns continued to struggle shooting the ball. He finished with 18-10-5 on 7-of-17 shooting. This is his third straight game shooting below 50 percent and coincidentally, it’s their third straight loss. KAT is being double teamed every time he catches the ball down low in the post. He’s still learning how to operate down low efficiently.
Sixers 106 – Celtics 110
The Celtics got a win from a go-ahead jumper from the three-point line by Al Horford. It was an entertaining game and the Sixers were awfully close of getting this win. Al Horford had 19-12-4 with four triples and two blocks. Horford’s on a role lately, averaging 20.3 points with 3.3 threes per game in his last three games. His role was to stretch Embiid out to the three-point line and he did his job really well by hitting those threes, including a big one to win the game. His buy-low window should be shut now. Avery Bradley is kind of under the spotlight with Isaiah Thomas getting all the attention. Bradley had another solid game with 26 points, nine boards and six triples. He’s returning a solid top-35 value and is a top-25 player in the last two weeks. Jae Crowder dropped an egg tonight after ranting about cheering for other players. He really gave reasons for the fans to boo him in this one. I usually like sending cheap offers after egg performances. He’ll bounce back though.
Go vote Embiid for All-Star and give him that date he wants to have with Rihanna. Considering the Sixers’ record, you may not vote for him but you have to admit the All-Star game would be more fun with him in the lineup. He was awesome this game with 23-8-3 with two blocks and a triple. He made all 10 of his free throw attempts but unfortunately he only played in 26 minutes tonight with some foul trouble. Nerlens Noel had a good one with 13 points, eight boards, three blocks and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench. Brett Brown’s just playing him to show off his market value right? Jahlil Okafor didn’t play in this one with a scheduled rest. Noel owners should probably pray for a trade. He has major top-40 upside.
Cavaliers 116 – Nets 108
The Cavs got their big three back and even against a team like the Nets, all three of them had to play more than 35 minutes. LeBron James had 36-9-6 with two steals on 14-of-20 shooting. He’s quietly the underdog of this season’s MVP race but he’s equally deserving compared to the other two candidates. I don’t like how LeBron’s playing so many minutes and his minutes are only going to trend down as the season progresses to allow him more rest and when the Cavs locked down the first seed. Kyrie Irving came back from a hamstring issue that he missed three games for. He finished with 32-3-4 with three triples and two steals. He was picking up steals and dropping dimes left and right before his absence so I’m expecting the assist numbers to climb back up. No Kyle Korver yet and I did a piece about the trade yesterday.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 23 points and five treys in 31 minutes tonight. His inconsistency is starting to show after having a semi-consistent first couple of months. He scored in single digit in his last two game before this outburst. He’s nothing but points and threes so if that suits your team, he’s alright for a flier. Caris LeVert had a good night for dynasty owners or super deep league owners. He finished with 19-4-5 with two triples in 27 minutes. His minutes are a season high and it’s definitely trending up with the youth movement starting to show. He’s a good player and I’m already stashing him in a 16-team league. He has legit upside to his game and he’s actually pretty good, I like him. Meanwhile Brook Lopez had 19 points but he grabbed only a single rebound. He’s a definitely the best center if you’re in a punt rebounds team right?
Knicks 116 – Bucks 111
A rematch of the Knicks and the Bucks after Giannis’ hit that buzzer beater. It was the Knicks who came out and got that win from a crucial three-pointer by Carmelo Anthony to ice the game. Melo had 26-6-10 with four triples. He was only 8-of-20 from the field and 6-of-9 from the line but owners wouldn’t mind the percentages when he’s dropping dimes and doing all sorts of things on the floor. The assists are a season-high and when Melo makes plays for others, the Knicks are a better team. Kristaps Porzingis returned and showed no problem with his achilles. He finished with 24 points, six boards, three triples and three blocks on 9-of-14 from the field. He only played 30 minutes tonight and was bothered by foul troubles and partly a semi-minutes restriction. Derrick Rose didn’t play in the fourth quarter and finished with 12 points and eight assists in 32 minutes. Ron Baker played well and Hornacek rewarded him with the entire fourth quarter. I have to say the ball movement was much better with Rose off the floor.
Giannis was bothered a little bit this game with Porzingis’ length. Yes they matched up together and boy was it fun to watch. He finished with 25 points, six boards, five blocks, two triples and two steals on 9-of-21 shooting. Owners wouldn’t mind the percentages with stats like that. Greg Monroe had 19-7-4 with two steals and a block in 28 minutes. He’s definitely the center to own in the long run. He’s just the better player compared to his counter part, John Henson. Henson had a measly four points, six boards and two blocks in 20 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon had 10-6-5 tonight and it’s one of his average games. The rookie has been playing well since being promoted to the starting line up.
Clippers 106 – Kings 98
The Clippers won this game from a really strong second quarter, outscoring them by 34-12 in those 12 minutes. Chris Paul returned and had an efficient 12-5-12 with three steals and a triple. He was on minutes restriction so he only played 32 minutes, which already exceeds his limit for this game. Everything was fine for him though and the Clips came out with the win. DeAndre Jordan couldn’t miss tonight as he finished with 20 points, nine boards, a steal and a block on 9-of-10 shooting. The blocks are a little disappointing this season. He’s only averaging 1.7 for the season and has never averaged below 2.0 since 2012-13 when he only played in 24.5 minutes per game. He needs to be better. Austin Rivers started again even with Chris Paul in the lineup. He finished with 24-6-2 with two triples on 9-of-15 shooting. That’s back-t0-back games with 20+ points but it’s the consistency that’s the problem with Rivers, he’s kind of worth owning for the time that Blake is out though
DeMarcus Cousins had an awesome game with 25-11-7 with three triples, three steals and two blocks. He seemingly did everything for the Kings but obviously it wasn’t enough. Rudy Gay returned and had a decent game with 18 points, seven boards and a triple. He obviously has some rust in him but he played in 33 minutes so there’s not minutes restriction on Gay right now. Both Darren Collison and Ty Lawson had good games together and they both were on the floor to close the game out. Collison had 20-5-3 with three triples. Ty Lawson had 17-4-6 and that’s two straight games with 15+ points for Lawson. The point guard situation is a mess and the Kings are one of the active teams before the trade deadline. No idea who’s going to get traded.
Heat 100 – Lakers 127
It was feisty one with two ejections this game. Jordan Clarkson got ejected for shoving escalating and seemingly trying to fight Goran Dragic. He only played 10 minutes with four points and literally nothing else. He played well in his previous game so his ejection in the third kind of interrupted his momentum. He’s actually a little bit disappointing to own this season since the news of Luke Walton using him off the bench and not even playing the point guard role. He’s a top-130 player which results in a late-round player for 12-team leagues. D’Angelo Russell had another good game with 19-6-5 with three steals and a triple. That’s five straight decent games from him and the upside that owners drafted him for is starting to show up. Brandon Ingram had his best game as a pro with 17-6-4 in 28 minutes. I need to see him string a few games like that before I recommend owning him but he is owned in in 43 percent of the leagues already.
Goran Dragic got ejected in this one from an altercation with Clarkson. He finished with 16-3-3 with two triples in 23 minutes. #FreeWillie is starting to trend. Willie Reed finished with 22 and 12 with three blocks. He’s worth owning whenever Whiteside misses time and if the Heat are truly tanking, Whiteside might sit more games. Whiteside is returning soon though. James Johnson is unleashed! He had 20 points, five boards, four triples, two steals and a block. He’s a triple-one threat and able to grab boards and assists as well. He was fouled out in this one but he had a good game there’s more to come with Justise Winslow out for the season.
Grizzlies 128 – Warriors 119
The Grizzlies were down at one point 90-66 in the third quarter and came back to win this one in overtime. What an epic come back as the Grizzlies beat the Warriors for the second time this season. Zach Randolph was a beast down low with 27-11-6 on 12-of-17 shooting. That’s prime Z-Bo right there and when he gets it going down low in the post, he’s unstoppable. Mike Conley hit a bunch of clutch jumpers, including the game-tying jump shot. He finished with 27-4-12 with three triples. He always has good games against the Warriors, and this is the best game he’s had since he broke his back. Tony Allen was talking about first team all-defense again as he finished with 11 points, 12 boards and six steals. He’s worth owning with his steals alone.
A rare game when Stephen Curry had 30+ points but the Warriors lose. Curry had 40-4-6 with five triples. He took 27 attempts tonight and he’s feeling it right now. He’s being more aggressive and not deferring anymore. This is the Curry of last season and that’s back-to-back games with 25 or more attempts. Kevin Durant was still able to get his numbers with 27-13-4 with three blocks. He was a little bit off this game though as he shot 7-of-17 from the field and 13-of-18 from the line. A weird game where both of his percentages were off. Draymond Green had 11-8-4 with three steals and a triple. He wasn’t looking to score the entire game and six of this points came in the over time. Draymond has been filling the stat sheet recently but his free throws and turnovers are hindering his value.
Friday’s FFF is over. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!