Today’s the day where All-Star starters are announced. Did your pick make it through? The media and players’ vote really played a big part in the starting line up didn’t it? Firstly, I’m glad Zaza Pachulia and Dwyane Wade didn’t make it to the game. The others, I don’t really mind as you can make an argument for every starter in the game. Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double is not enough for him to land a starting spot. It would be fun to see Westbrook, Harden and Durant on the same team again. Anyways, we have five games on the schedule tonight and injuries are dropping left and right and I’ll have a injury news section at the bottom to catch up on all the news.
Suns 103 – Cavaliers 118
An easy win for the Cavs tonight. LeBron did his thing with 21-9-15 and was one board shy off a triple-double. Kevin Love didn’t play tonight with that lower back tightness and it was James “Champ” Jones who got the start and he did his part with 14 points and four triples. It’s not fluke that he hit his threes but he’s not really worth an add. Iman Shumpert started for this third straight game and had his third straight solid performance. He finished with 17 points, five triples, a steal and a block. He’s averaging 62.9 percent shooting in the last three games and it doesn’t seem sustainable. If you want to ride the hot hand then give him an add if you’re in a 14-team league. Tristan Thompson dislocated his finger in the middle of the game and came back to the game in the second half. He finished with two points, six boards and two blocks in 20 minutes.
Suns had a monstrous game from Tyson Chandler tonight. He finished with 22 points and 16 boards in 30 minutes. What stomach virus? As long as he’s on the team, Alex Len will probably be stuck on the bench. Chandler’s name is mentioned in trade talks and he might get shipped to a contender but until that happens. Len is going to be bad. He played eight minutes with four points and three boards. That’s not something you want. Eric Bledsoe went full LeBron against LeBron as he had 22-6-9 with four steals and two triples. Charles Barkley named him to his All-Star team. He’s good but may not be at that level yet. What’s good for Bledsoe is that he’s returning top-15 value in the past two weeks and is still healthy. Devin Booker cooled off as he went for 21-7-8 on 4-of-12 shooting. The rebounds and assists are a season-high so it’s a good step for his development to build an all-around game. He’s really good for a punt field goal team.
Mavericks 95 – Heat 99
The battle of the tanking teams and the Heat won (lost? depending on how you look at it?) this one. Goran Dragic had a very efficient 32 points with six boards and four triples. He shot 11-of-15 from the field tonight and it’s one of his good games. If he gets traded this season, his value is going to take a hit but now that Rudy Gay is out, the Kings is probably not a destination for Dragic anymore. Hassan Whiteside played 29 minutes with 13 points and eight boards but no blocks. He twisted his ankle in this game but did return. Hopefully he’ll be find with that sprained ankle. Tyler Johnson continues to be solid with 23 points and two triples. He’s been returning top-50 value in the last week and is one of the leading shot blockers in the guard position. His value will take a huge bump if Dragic gets traded so keep holding onto him for that possibility.
Dirk said he twisted his ankle in this one but he played through it. He finished with 19 points, four boards, two steals and a triple in 29 minutes. Dirk has been getting random steals and blocks here and there. He definitely has more opportunity to protect the basket if he’s playing the center position. The Iron Man, Wesley Matthews continued to knock down triples for the Mavs as he dropped four triples to add with 18 points and five boards. He’s averaging 2.9 threes for the season and 3.7 threes in the last week. Matthews probably won’t be playing 37.4 minutes per game as he did in the last three games as Mavs are eventually going to play more youth to get that worst record. It’s hard to recommend to sell high as 2.9 threes per game is hard to find and it’ll be a big loss to teams but if you can somehow manage to plug that hole, I would trade him for someone good and not on a tanking team.
Wizards 113 – Knicks 110
The Wizards survived a Knicks comeback in the fourth, thanks to John Wall’s splendid play. He had that nasty behind the back cross on Brandon Jennings to lead to the dunk to ice the game. He finished with 29-5-13 with three steals and a triple to show that he’s equally deserving to be on that All-Star starting line up. Otto Porter had another 9-cat friendly line with 23 points, six boards, six triples, a steal and a block with efficient shooting in both percentages and zero turnovers. He’s always up there in the rankings but that’s because of his super low turnover numbers. Bradley Beal struggled a little bit with eight points and five assists on 4-of-13 shooting in 38 minutes. He’s in a slump as of late but at least he’s healthy right?
The Knicks continued to disappoint the fans. They give this slight hope of having the chance to win a game by coming back in the fourth quarter but ended up thrwing it away by iso-ball and little movements that gifted Wizards the victory. Carmelo Anthony had 34 points with 25 of them coming in the second quarter. He added 10 rebounds, three treys and a steal in 35 minutes. He played most of his minutes in the power forward position and Jeff Hornacek is probably going to stick with this for a while. Kristaps Porzingis finally returned from his sore Achilles. The MRI results was good news so he was good to go tonight. He finished with 15 points, five boards in 29 minutes off the bench. He had that nasty put back dunk in the middle of the fourth quarter but he didn’t attempt a single shot in the fourth in the last 5 minutes. That’s the main problem that he’s facing this season and that’s playing with Rose and Melo.
Nuggets 104 – Spurs 118
A weird night for the Spurs as Tony Parker was ruled out before the game, then Pau Gasol fractured a bone in his finger, which I will talk a bit underneath in the Injury News section. Lastly, Pop got ejected in the second quarter so a bit of a weird night and eventful night for the Spurs. Kawhi did his same old thing as he finished with 34-5-4 with two triples and two steals. That’s his fifth straight 30+ point performance to celebrate his second straight All-Star appearance. David Lee had his best game of the season with 10 points and 16 boards in 33 minutes as he got the start for Gasol. Dejounte Murray started for Tony Parker and had his best game in his young career with 24 points, three triples, two boards, two assists and a steal. He also made all seven of his free throw attempts in this game. He’s the point guard of the future and dynasty leagues should really like him. When Parker is gone, probably not next year, Murray is going to take the torch.
A career night for Nikola Jokic as he feasted inside the paint. He went off for 35 points, 12 boards, four assists, two triples and two blocks. He’s really good and should be a first round pick in next year’s draft. The Nuggets had Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur missing tonight so they were a bit thin for this game. Will Barton got the start and continues to impress whenever he starts. He finished with 18-3-7 with two blocks and a triple. I’m curious to see whether Mike Malone will start Will Barton over Harris when he’s healthy. Jamal Murray got some run tonight finally and had a solid outing. He scored 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting but he did add six boards, two triples and two dimes in 26 minutes. It’s the most he played since December 20th and the Nuggets are trying to fight for that 8th playoff spot so Murray may not get that much run in the second half of the season.
Timberwolves 104 – Clippers 101
The Timberwolves had an impressive win on national television and didn’t lose this one in the second half. Thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns who dropped 37 points with 15 points in the fourth quarter, including many clutch buckets to help get the win. He also added 12 boards and five assists to his monstrous line. He’s been returning first-round value for the month of January and is finally giving owners what they want. Ricky Rubio didn’t play in the second half as he left the game due to a hip tightness. He didn’t score in 17 minutes while only handing four assists and grabbing four rebounds. If he misses any time, Kris Dunn should get the start. Rubio’s name is also thrown in the trade rumours so if he does get traded, Dunn’s going to get the full-time job for the point guard. Dunn started the second half and finished with 5-4-4 with a steal and a block. He’s not known for his offensive skill set but he can hustle and play some defense which can translate to some steals.
With Blake Griffin and Chris Paul out, the Clippers scored as a committee as everyone stepped up a little bit but it wasn’t enough. DeAndre Jordan was a beast down low and had a career-high 29 points with 16 boards and two blocks. He’s throwing his name into the All-Star picture and with Chris Paul out, this is his chance. Raymond Felton got the start and did his best CP3 impression by handing dimes and throwing lobs up to DeAndre Jordan. He finished with 10-4-8 with two steals and is looking solid. Austin Rivers continued to flourish as he scored 20 points with two threes before he got fouled out. He’s averaging 17.0 points and 1.7 triples in the last three games but he’s only a points and threes guy, meanwhile Felton can contribute to other categories.
- Rudy Gay went down last night and is now out for the rest of the season with a full rupture on his left Achilles. It’s unfortunate news for Gay as he’s in a contract year and was really excited to leave Sacramento. He’s probably going to opt in to his $14.2 million player option next season and would keep getting them paycheques. Fantasy wise, Gay is droppable in all leagues. The pickup seems to be Garrett Temple and Anthony Tolliver then Matt Barnes in that order. During December 14th to January 4th, Gay missed 10 of 11 games in the span. Temple was ranked 85 in 9-cat in that span with averages of 10.2 points, 3.4 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.5 triples and 1.3 steals in 29.9 minutes. Kings will go a lot smaller and Temple will get a good bump. Tolliver was ranked 103 in that span and it’s a combination of rebounds and triples that he’ll provide. So it really depends on what your team needs. Matt Barnes is washed up and I would only give him an add if it’s a really deep league.
- Pau Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal in his left hand in the lay up lines. These kind of injuries usually takes up to 40 days on average. Really depends on the treatment and what type of fracture it is. I’m guessing he’ll be out for four weeks and the Spurs is already pretty thin in the front court department. David Lee started in his place and played well with a double-double. In the two games that Pau missed before this season, Dedmon got the better minutes between him and Lee though. Dedmon also has the fantasy friendly production and I’ll be giving him a speculative add in 12-team leagues.
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!