Six games on the schedule for a Wednesday night in the NBA. T.J. McConnell hit his first buzzer-beater in his life for the Sixers to beat the Knicks. We have our Isaiah Thomas fourth quarter explosion again. A Russell Westbrook triple-double again. A LaVine-less Wolves beating the Rockets. Cavs losing two straight games with Korver not hitting a three in three straight games. And the Clips on a five-game winning streak. We got some late scratches tonight and some injury scares so let’s get to tonight’s games.
Knicks 97 – Sixers 98
The Sixers have now won four of their last five games, thanks to T.J. McConnell’s buzzer-beater to beat the Knicks. He finished with 8-6-7 with two steals in 34 minutes. He’s made me looked good so far in my this week’s Adds & Drops. He’s averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 boards, 10.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 35.6 minutes for this last three games. He’s a top-80 player in that span and is worth owning in standard leagues especially after this performance from tonight. Jahlil Okafor sat out with another DNP-CD and is worth dropping in 12-team leagues. Joel Embiid had a scare after twisting his ankle but he returned and finished with 21 and 14 with a steal and a block. That ankle is going to swell up tonight so keep an eye for his status for Friday’s game. Nerlens Noel continues to impress with limited minutes as he played 21 minutes with 13 points, eight boards and two steals. If he stays in Philly, he’s going to be limited to nights like these but if he’s traded to a team with a starter position, he has top-40 upside.
This is an all time low for the Knicks, losing nine of their last ten games and nothing is worse than losing to a buzzer beater to crush your morale even lower. Derrick Rose returned from his absence and started in this game. He finished with 25 points and four assists. He’s a low-end point guard that’s worth owning for his points but he doesn’t give much of anything else. Kristaps Porzingis had another dud with seven points and three boards. He had a usage rate of 17.9 percent this game and is lowest since October 29th. He was bothered by foul trouble a bit this game but that’s two games with KP shooting below 30.0 percent. If it’s anytime to buy low, it’s now. It was Kyle O’Quinn that got majority of the center minutes tonight with 24. He had his occasional good game with 10 points, 15 boards, two steals and two blocks. His minutes are still inconsistent as he would sometimes get minutes in single digit. He’s a deep league player to own and I’m talking about 16-team or 18-team leagues.
Wizards 108 – Celtics 117
The Celtics got the win over the recently hot Wizards with a big fourth quarter. Isaiah Thomas again was the closer for this game with 38 points with 20 points coming in the fourth quarter. He added six boards, five assists and five threes. He’s really elevated his game this season and should be a lock for an All-Star appearance. He’s a first-round player in standard leagues and is a legitimate stud. Jae Crowder had a good game with 20 points, five boards, four triples, a steal and a block. It’s amazing that he’s able to have this sort of line with a usage rate of 14.3 percent. After three dud performances from Crowder, owners should breathe a sigh of relief after tonight. Terry Rozier got some run tonight as he played 25 minutes, finishing with 11 points, four boards and two triples. Avery Bradley and Jaylen Brown were missing from tonight’s game but keep in mind that Rozier only played three minutes and was lost in the rotation for a while. Need to see this consistently before recommending a pickup.
The Wizards cooled off a bit tonight and largely due to John Wall not making his shots in this game. He finished with 9-7-10 on 4-of-21 shooting. The last time he shot 20 percent or lower was on opening night. He’s clearly bothered by his wrist problem I think he’ll miss some time. X-rays came back negative and he’s scheduled for an mRI. If he misses any time, Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky are going to share minutes while Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are going to get a bump. Beal finished with 35 points on an efficient 13-of-26 shooting. Ride Beal until he breaks. Porter had 20-6-5 with three steals and two triples on 9-of-12 shooting and zero turnovers. His turnovers are so low that it’s playing into his value in 9-cat. He’s ranked 12 in 9-cat for the season after this performance and owners who passed up on him are kicking themselves in the butt.
Grizzlies 95 – Thunder 103
Another triple-double for Russell Westbrook, his 18th for the season. He finished with 24-13-12 with two steals and a block. Although the shooting was inefficient and the turnovers were high, owners are kind of immune to those kind of stuff anyways. Enes Kanter played 30 minutes tonight against the Grizzlies as Billy Donovan needed bodies to bang down low with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Kanter finished with 19-13-3 with two steals and is a DFS play whenever the Thunder play the Grizzlies. His minutes this season hasn’t really changed from last year but his usage rate has gone up from 23.5 percent to 26.6 percent. Steven Adams dropped back down to earth as he finished with 12 points, eight boards and two blocks on 6-of-13 shooting. It feels like a long time since he shot below 50 percent from field. He’s a solid mid-round big with some good upside if he can keep the blocks rolling.
Mike Conley led the team with 22-4-6 with three steals and three treys. Conley’s minutes have been really high, averaging 37.4 minutes in the last three games but he hasn’t been that efficient compared to the early season success that he had. Remember this guy had a broken back a couple weeks ago and supposedly, he should still be out but miraculously, he had a speedy recovery. We’re waiting for that game where Conley explodes. For now, he hasn’t been bad, returning top-40 value in the last week. Chandler Parsons was one of the recommended drops this week but he scored a season-high 14 points in 18 minutes. It’s the most minutes he played since his return from a bone bruise. He didn’t manage to grab any boards, or hand out any dimes and shoot any threes though. He’s slowly (and I mean really slowly) trending up and is hard to stash.
Rockets 105 – Timberwolves 119
The Wolves snapped the Rockets’ nine game winning streak. Even though they caught them on a second night of a back-to-back, still impressive. They also did it without Zach LaVine as he sat out with a hip problem. He was limited participant in yesterday’s practice and was a GTD for tonight. He’s day-to-day for now. Brandon Rush got the start and played all the minutes he could handle. He finished with 12-4-3 with four triples, three steals and two blocks in 36 minutes. Who would’ve thought the veteran could come in and fill the stat line like this. The Wolves play again on Friday and if LaVine misses that game, Rush is an add. Karl-Anthony Towns followed up his 34-11-4 effort with 23-18-5 with three blocks and a steal. He shot 10-of-17 from the field and it’s back-to-back games with 50 percent or more shooting. Ricky Rubio handed out a career-high 17 assists to add with 10 points. He’s trending up and good things happen to Towns and the Wolves when you give the ball to Rubio to orchestrate. The Wolves have won their past two games.
The Rockets were without Eric Gordon with a sprained big toe and that’s the same injury as George Hill when he missed 13 games. James Harden had 33-6-12 with two triples, two blocks and a steal. He couldn’t have another 40+ point triple-double this game but we’ll give him a pass. Patrick Beverley dropped an egg with zero points, three boards and three assists in 34 minutes. He’s dealing with some wrist pain since a couple of weeks ago but he’s still playing it without using it as an excuse. If the wrist gets worst, the Rockets are going to miss him. Ryan Anderson had a solid night with 18-7-4 with five triples and a steal. His usage rate is down this season and so are the points but he’s been knocking down a lot of threes and is returning top-75 value this season.
Cavaliers 86 – Blazers 102
Both the Blazers and the Cavs are on a second night of a back-to-back with both teams not getting much sleep the night before. Both teams struggled to get into Portland due to the heavy snowstorm. But it was the Cavs who looked slow and Blazers looking fresh. C.J. McCollum was everywhere tonight, finishing with 27 points, 4 boards, five triples, four blocks and a steal on 11-of-20 shooting. Even with Dame on the court, C.J. continues to roll and is the third best player in fantasy in the last week and second best player in the last two weeks. Damian Lillard continues to look like he’s taking a back seat since his ankle injury to McCollum. He finished with 14-3-3 on 5-of-15 shooting in 32 minutes. He’s slowly easing his way back into things. Allen Crabbe had another strong outing with 24 points, three triples, a block and a steal. He’s scored in double digits in seven of his last eight games and is a good streamer for threes and points.
The Cavs waived the white flag on the seven minute mark of the fourth quarter by subbing the super deep bench players on. After a tough loss against the Jazz last night, the Cavs just looked slow on both sides of the court. LeBron James had a team-high 20 points with 11 boards and four dimes but he shot 5-of-12 from the field. Kevin Love struggled with 17 points, eight boards and three treys on 5-of-15 shooting. Kyrie Irving was worse with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting. The big three won’t get anywhere with performances like that. Kyle Korver, the new acquisition of the Cavs also looked lost on the court and only had two points on 1-of-5 shooting. He hasn’t hit a single three for the Cavs these two games and is still trying find his place on the court.
Magic 96 – Clippers 105
The Clippers have won their last five games. Even most of those teams aren’t really strong competition, they act as good confidence boosters. J.J. Redick had a good game against his former team, finishing with 22-6-5 with three triples and a block. What a diverse line from J.J. especially the boards and the assists. He’s rolling lately in this winning streak and is even pulling down boards, averaging 5.7 boards in his last three games. DeAndre Jordan continues to be a beast down low with 10 points, 20 boards, two steals and three blocks. D.J. has been averaging 12.3 points, 15.7 boards, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks in the last three games. Even though the blocks aren’t as high as they used to be, he’s slowly working his way up the ladder. Chris Paul had 18-7-6 with four steals and a triple. He’s still a top-5 player in 9-cat, thanks to his elite number in assists and steals and efficiency in both percentages and low turnovers in that position.
The Magic were without Serge Ibaka as he hurt his shoulder in the game against the Lakers. Jeff Green started the game but really gave an opportunity for Aaron Gordon to flourish in the 3-4 role as they interchanged throughout the game. Also the Clippers went small with Mbah a Moute at the four so Gordon really took advantage of that. He finished with 28-3-3 with four triples. His offensive game is on the up but I want to see those athletic ability to translate to defensive stats more. He dropped a dud in his last game and that’s what you get with Gordon and that’s supreme inconsistency. But there’s no doubt that his upside isn’t high. Jodie Meeks came off the bench for 14 points, five boards, five steals and two triples in 28 minutes. He played more minutes than Evan Fournier (25) tonight but Meeks only scored a combined 11 points in his last three games. If his threes are falling consistently, he’s a good 16-team league guy.
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!