We got six games to cover on FFF. We got an Andrew Wiggins game-winning buzzer beater. We have Blake Griffin returning for the first time in a month from his knee surgery. The Sixers beat the Clippers without The Process. We have the Wizards attending the Celtics’ funeral with a new rivalry brewing in the East. A 3-6 or a 4-5 matchup in the playoffs between these two teams would be fun to watch. It was also a weird night in fantasy tonight as Nerlens Noel and Tyson Chandler were the best performers from tonight’s games.
Spurs 108 – Raptors 106
The Spurs are starting to have injuries piled up now with Kawhi Leonard having a sore hand, Jonathan Simmons with a wrist problem, Tony Parker missed his fourth straight game with a foot problem and would likely miss more and finally, Pau gasol with a broken hand. David Lee got the start for Pau Gasol this game and it seems like a game of roulette for Pop when it comes to starting Lee or Dedmon. Lee finished with 11 points and five boards in 21 minutes. Meanwhile Dedmon had seven points and four boards in 19 minutes. The Spurs went small a lot with LaMarcus Aldridge at the center and Kyle Anderson at the four. LMA had 21 points and seven boards but he missed two crucial free throws that could potentially let the Raptors beat them. You’d expect him to have a good game with Kawhi out but he’s been a bit quiet this game. He’s a top-70 player in the last two weeks and Aldridge owners are probably frustrated so sneaking in a buy-low offer for him would be a good idea.
The Raptors were without DeMar DeRozan today and is expected to miss out on tomorrow’s game too. Norman Powell got the start and he was impressive. He finished with 16 points, four boards, two steals and a block on 8-of-16 shooting with no turnovers in 39 minutes. He’s always impressive whenever he gets starting minutes but Coach Casey never seems to be giving him minutes. He’ll be expected to start tomorrow again. Terrence Ross also got some run as he scored 21 points with three triples, two blocks and a steal in 30 minutes. Patrick Patterson returned to the starting lineup over Bebe and he had a solid line with 12 points and two triples. Hard to own him though as he only jacks up threes with limited rebounds. Bebe returned to the bench but had some solid contribution with 10 boards, six points, two blocks and a steal in 26 minutes. Casey played him some minutes alongside Valanciunas but majority of his minutes was at the back up center position.
Celtics 108 – Wizards 123
The new rivalry in the NBA? The Wizards wore all black to the game tonight, signifying that they’re heading to the Celtics’ funeral. It wasn’t too much of an onslaught but the Wizards were leading the entire game and got the bragging rights. I love the tension between two teams, some healthy competition is good for the league. John Wall did a bit of everything this game with 27-7-7 with three steals, a triple and a block. Those knee procedures that we were all scared of at the start of the season is nothing to him. He’s a stud. Bradley Beal finally broke out of his four-game slump with 31 points, five assists, two steals and two triples. Continue to ride or die with him. Markieff Morris has been really good lately as he had a double-double with 19-11-4 with two blocks. He’s been a top-30 player in the last two weeks and he’s definitely a sell-high candidate.
The Celtics is probably humiliated after this loss. The usual suspects stepped up but they got no help from the other guys. Avery Bradley missed out again on this one with sore achilles. Marcus Smart got the start with 13 points, five boards, four steals and two triples. He got benched at the fourth and even threw a tantrum about it. Isaiah Thomas cooled off in this one as he dropped 25 points and 13 assists. Yes, a 25-point performance for Thomas is considered cooling off. Al Horford had 22 points but he only grabbed two rebounds. After a hot start to the season, Horford’s been really disappointing. With low number of rebounds, low field goal percentages and he couldn’t sustain those high amount of blocks. Jae Crowder had 17-6-3 with three triples and is as solid as they come. He’s one of the best three point shooters in the league in terms of percentages and his free throws have been really good as well. He’s almost a Porter-lite in terms of fantasy.
Bulls 100 – Magic 92
Dwyane Wade found the fountain of youth as he finished with a team-high 21 points, seven boards, three assists with a whooping seven steals and a block. Wade talked about the Bulls playing desperately against good teams and coming out with wins but slacking off against teams they should beat. He clearly looked desperate in this one and feasted on the wing combination of Jeff Green and Aaron Gordon. Jimmy Butler helped out with 20-8-4 with three steals and is a first-round stud. Doug McDermott had his occasional good game with 12 points and four triples but is hard to be trusted with after those poor performances in that five-game week they had. Taj Gibson has been disappointing as of late. He had seven points, six boards with a steal and a block but he shot 2-of-6 from the field and 3-of-6 from the line. He’s lucky that his understudy is Nikola Mirotic. Over the last two weeks, Gibson is ranked 248.
The Magic are banged up and they started their two small-ball four’s as their shooting guard and small forward. Gordon and Green started together and it looked pretty ugly. Jeff Green had the better fantasy game with 13 points, seven boards and a steal. Gordon had 13 points, six boards and a triple. It was on the defensive end that they got eaten up. Serge Ibaka had a good game as he finished with 16 points, eight boards, three triples, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. He got a little bit more run this game as the Magic were banged up. If he can do this consistently, he’ll be a top-30 player for the season. Elfrid Payton dropped a fool’s gold after a solid outing against the Dubs. Payton had 10-7-5 but he had no triples and no stocks (steals and blocks). He also shot 5-of-16 from the field, missed his only two free throw attempts and had a staggering eight turnovers. He’s capable of dropping ugly lines but he’s been alright lately.
Clippers 110 – Sixers 121
The Sixers won a game without Joel Embiid?! Embiid was out with a knee problem and Jahlil Okafor was also out with some sore knees as well. Nerlens Noel got fully unleashed this game and probably had the line of the night with 19-8-5 with three blocks and two steals on 8-of-10 shooting. This is his upside everyone. He was drafted in the top-40’s last season and if he gets traded and earns starting minutes, he’ll be a beast. Robert Covington also had a versatile line with 14 points, eight boards, three steals, two triples and two blocks. In the last four games, he’s been returning top-30 value and has been a good contributor in both steals and blocks along with elite level of threes. Dario Saric finally broke out of his slump with 16 points, eight boards, a steal and a block. Rookies are going to ebb and flow in their first season but Saric is able to provide a lot of different things. With Ben Simmons soon to return, it’ll be interesting to see how they fit everything together.
The Sixers spoiled the return of Blake Griffin. He played his first game since December 18th after having his knees operated on. He started and got 30 minutes already but he only had 12-11-5 on 3-of-11 shooting and 6-of-10 from the line. He’s clearly rusty but having him back is good news for fantasy owners and the Clippers. Jamal Crawford exploded for 27 points and six triples on 9-of-14 shooting. He’s capable of dropping points like that but he’s also equally capable of duds. In the six game stretch between January 8th to January 21st, Crawford dropped a total of 28 points. That’s less than five points per game. Take this line with a grain of salt. Raymond Felton got his minutes reduced with Griffin returning to the line up. He got dropped to the bench and only saw 17 minutes with two points and three assists. With Chris Paul out, Doc Rivers is clearly turning to his son as the point guard but they’ll be playing a lot of things through Griffin so expect Griffin’s assists to go up. As for Felton, I’ll suggest to see one more game before dropping him.
Timberwolves 112 – Suns 111
The Wolves held off a fourth quarter surge from the Suns and beat them by a buzzer beater by Andrew Wiggins? What? Things may just be starting to click for the Wolves as they have now won three straight games and six out of their last eight games. Andrew Wiggins had 31-6-3 with two triples and two steals. That’s the type of line that owners would like to see. A little bit of everything and he clearly has the athleticism and talents to do that. He’s a top-40 player in the last three games and the Wolves are clearly making Wiggins as their guy over Zach LaVine. LaVine is being stuck in the corner more and less plays are going through him. His minutes have reduced a little bit too. He finished with 11 points, four assists, two steals and a triple in 34 minutes. His number isn’t being called and things are going through Wiggins and Towns so much and when LaVine plays with the second unit, Shabazz Muhammad is getting the ball more. It’s looking bad for LaVine right now.
Tyson Chandler seems to have found something working in Phoenix and is staggering the growth of Alex Len. He made KAT have a quiet night and even outscored and out-rebounded him. He finished with 22 points and 17 boards with two blocks. He’s been a top-20 player in the last two weeks and is a beast on the boards. Earl Watson doesn’t want him to be traded but that’s not up to him. These last couple of weeks for Chandler is a good portfolio for his case to be traded to a contender who’s in need of a center. P.J. Tucker also is one of the names thats on the trading block for his defensive prowess. He’s one of the best defenders in the league and he finished with 8-6-6 with four steals. Unfortunately, Wiggins drained a buzzer beater in his face. Tucker’s only a deep league add for his steals and good boards from his position. Eric Bledsoe cooled off with 18 points and seven assists on 5-of-18 shooting. As long as he’s healthy, owners shouldn’t be complaining.
Jazz 93 – Nuggets 103
The Nuggets are still trying hard to fight for the 8th spot and winning against the Jazz is a good step in that direction. Obviously they were led by Nikola Jokic as he finished with 23-11-6 with three blocks and two steals on 9-of-16 shooting. I’m not even surprised anymore. He’s just really good. If it wasn’t for Mike Malone’s incompetence by starting Jokic off the bench, Jokic would be a lock for an All-Star appearance. Emmanuel Mudiay missed out his second straight game with back soreness so Jameer Nelson got the start again. He finished with 17 points, seven assists and three triples. Nelson’s a good fill-in guy whenever Mudiay misses out but doesn’t have any value when everyone’s healthy. Will Barton is back to being a no-show when Gary Harris is healthy, even when Harris isn’t playing well. Barton only had five points and four rebounds in 22 minutes. Meanwhile Harris had 10 points with a triple in 27 minutes. Barton is a drop candidate, while Harris is still a hold for now.
The Jazz got some news on Rodney Hood and his initial projected return date of 2-4 weeks seems to be nearer to the four weeks instead of the two. Joe Ingles got the start and is guy worth owning in 14-team leagues even if he dropped a dud of three points, three rebounds, a triple and a steal. He’s capable of getting assists, steals and is one of the best three point shooters in the league. Derrick Favors finally had a good game after a lot of frustration in owning him. He finished with 18 points, five boards, a steal and a block in 25 minutes. He was the team’s highest scorer and hopefully this is a good step towards the right direction. Gordon Hayward dropped a dud with nine points on 2-of-10 shooting. He’s been really good this season so I’ll give him a pass. The Jazz is up against the Lakers in their next game so look forward to his bounce back game.
That’s it for Tuesday’s FFF. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!