Happy Chinese New Year to everyone! Bfantasyhoops is back after spending some time with family and friends and doing all the new year festivities. We got six games tonight and a couple of underdog victories as well. Good news is that we don’t have any major injuries to talk about so let’s get to the games.
Kings 119 – Sixers 122
The Sixers keep winning games without Joel Embiid and they’re now four and a half games away from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Jahlil Okafor got the start after missing four games and had 15 points and four rebounds. He’s not worth an add in any leagues unless you want to plug him in for when Embiid is out. His value will get a bump if he gets traded to any team but haven’t heard any news on that yet. Robert Covington has been really good in the month of January, returning top-25 value in that span. Tonight was no different as he scored 23 points, 10 boards, four steals and four triples on 8-of-16 shooting. His contribution to threes, steals and blocks with good source of rebounds is really propelling the Sixers and his fantasy value lately. Dario Saric had a good game with 17-5-6 and a triple on 8-of-11 shooting. He’s scored in double digits in four of their last five games but he’s still only seeing minutes in the low 20’s. He’s worth an add in 14-team and 16-team leagues until Ben Simmons return.
The Kings are still trying to claw their way into the playoff picture but losing games like this one is really hurting their chances. DeMarcus Cousins probably got the line of the night but it didn’t translate to the W. Boogie had a monstrous 46-15-5 with four triples, a steal and a block on 11-of-16 shooting. He also hit 20 of his 22 attempts from the line and it’s a career high. It would be fun to see Boogie go up against Embiid tonight but fantasy owners probably would probably prefer this more as he owned the Sixers’ bigs in this one. Matt Barnes finally did something productive with 16 points and four triples in 22 minutes. He dropped an egg in 15 minutes in his previous game so we’re going to see him do more of this before recommending to add him. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my eye on Willie Cauley-Stein as he scored 17 points to add with three boards, a steal and a block on 8-of-10 shooting. He’s still coming off the bench and Ty Lawson is setting the big man up for easy baskets. He’s a big that’s able to get some stocks and rebounds but his minutes have been pretty sporadic. However, when he gets the opportunity to play 20 minutes or more, he can produce the goodies.
Nets 96 – Heat 104
Erik Spolestra is a really good coach. He’s able to get the most out of his players. I’m talking about making Dion Waiters the Eastern Conference player of the week and leading this Heat team to eight straight wins. James Johnson had the best line as he did a bit of everything efficient with 17-4-5 with three blocks, two steals and two triples on 6-of-11 shooting. He did hurt his shoulder towards the end of the game but he called it a stinger so he’ll probably be fine for the next game. Dion Waiters is continuing to light it up and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of role Josh Richardson will have when he returns. He finished with 19-6-9 with three triples and a block. On the other hand, Hassan Whiteside has continued to disappoint owners who drafted him as he still seems to be bothered by that ankle problem. Props to him as he’s playing through it but he’s not producing anything close to his ADP. He had 12 points, nine boards with three blocks and is ranked 141 in 9-cat in the last two weeks.
The Nets have now lost 16 of their last 17 games and is getting ugly. They don’t even have their draft pick for their upcoming year so it’s scary to think that in stacked draft, the Celtics have the highest chance for the number one pick. Let’s try and find some positives from the Nets. Isaiah Whitehead had 13-4-5 with a triple and a block in 24 minutes off the bench. He continues to share the ball handling duties with Spencer Dinwiddie but Whitehead is getting more assists than Dinwiddie and has the better scoring game as well. He’s averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 boards and 5.3 assists in his last three games and a cheap source of assists wouldn’t hurt. Trevor Booker finally showed why he was in contention for pick of the year as he scored 13 points and grabbed eight boards while having two steals. His minutes dipped a lot compared to the early parts of the season and it’ll be hard to see some consistency to his production as a result of that. Caris LeVert dropped a dud with four points, six boards and two steals in 27 minutes. Kenny Atkinson said he’s going to give him more minutes so that’s music to owners’ ears.
Pistons 109 – Celtics 113
The Celtics are second in the East and is only a couple of games away from the Cavaliers. With Isaiah Thomas playing out of his mind and being the ultimate closer in the fourth quarter, the Celtics are hard to beat. Thomas dropped 41 points with 24 points coming in the fourth quarter! He’s a one-man team in the fourth and no teams can stop him. He also added eight assists, four triples with two steals and is ranked 8th in 9-cat for the season! The Celtics also got Al Horford back from a groin problem and he returned with 13-6-6 with two blocks. The groin didn’t seem like it was bothering him as he played 35 minutes tonight but you never know with groin injuries. Avery Bradley missed out tonight and it’s seven straight games that he’s missed due to the achilles problem. Jaylen Brown got the start again with Marcus Smart off the bench. Brown disappointed as he only scored four points and three boards in 18 minutes. He’s still raw and isn’t good for any leagues except dynasty ones.
The Pistons seems to have a habit of taking one step forward and two steps back. After winning three straight games, they ended up losing another three straight. Andre Drummond was a beast down low though as he had a monstrous double-double with 28 and 22 with two steals and two blocks. He’s heating up and is averaging 22.5 points, 21.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks in his last two games. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18-3-3 with two triples and two steals. It’s a solid bounce back game after dropping a dud of five points in his previous game. The shoulder problem doesn’t seem to bother him anymore and the Pistons really need KCP to stretch the floor for them. The Pistons only had three triples this game so that’s a problem that needs addressing. Jon Leuer had six points, six boards and three assists in 26 minutes as the starter. He also got a gash on his forehead and needed stitches to sew it back up. He should be good to go for the next game.
Magic 105 – Timberwolves 111
The Wolves are clicking right now and they won another game. Thanks to another Andrew Wiggins clutch jumper to force the game to overtime. This game could’ve been easier but they still had some costly and unforced turnovers towards the end of the game. Wiggins is stepping his game up though. He had 27-3-5 with two steals and a triple on 10-of-21 shooting. The assists and steals numbers are creeping up a little bit and it’s elevating his value. Karl-Anthony Towns had another double-double with 23-12-7 with three blocks and a triple. He did shoot below .500 and and had five turnovers in this game but I’ll give him a pass since he’s been lighting it up lately. He’s a top-5 player in the month of January. Nemanja Bjelica had a good game that didn’t translate to fantasy but he took quite a lot of minutes away from Gorgui Dieng tonight. He had seven points, four boards and two blocks. He even closed the game out in the fourth and played the entire overtime. Thibs is trusting a few of his bench players more and more and that could eat into Dieng’s production.
The Magic have continued to disappoint. Serge Ibaka had a solid double-double with 17 and 10 with three treys, two blocks and a steal. His name along with Nikola Vucevic is swirling around in the rumour mill as the Magic intends to open up the power forward spot for Aaron Gordon. Why would you trade for Ibaka in the first place? I think any new teams for Ibaka is going to hurt his value. Evan Fournier returned for nine points in 23 minutes off the bench after missing eight games. It’s good to see him back on the court again but Frank Vogel is going to ease his way back into things and help him shake off the rust. C.J. Watson started again and finished with 18 points, two steals and a triple on 6-of-10 shooting in 34 minutes. Eventually, he’ll be demoted back to the bench but the Magic still have Jodie Meeks hurt, meaning Watson will continue to see minutes for a while.
Mavericks 104 – Cavaliers 97
The Mavericks just beat the Spurs and the Cavaliers in their last two games. What’s the common factor in these two games? Yogi Ferrell was the starting point guard. Who’s Ferrell? He’s a 23-year old point guard on a 10-day contract because the Mavericks are really short handed. He finished with 19-5-3 with four steals and three triples on 38 minutes. It’s crazy that he’s doing well when he’s only played with two games with these guys. He’s probably going to get another 10-day and he’s a good short term add in deep leagues. Harrison Barnes looked good tonight with 24 points and 11 boards. Didn’t think he would be a consistent 20 point scorer so he’s exceeded my expectations. Dwight Powell had 14 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks on 6-of-11 shooting. He certainly has upside but as long as Dirk is in the mix, Powell will find it hard to find consistent minutes. Maybe if Andrew Bogut gets traded, his value will see a bump but there’s also Salah Mejri that could affect his value.
The Cavaliers probably needed Kevin Love in this game as the back spasms continues to bother him. LeBron James had his typical stat line of doing everything 23-9-9 with two steals and a triple. LeBron’s free throw woes have been at an all-time low and is hindering his 9-cat value. He’s still playing a lot of minutes and he probably needs to if they want to have a good seeding in the playoffs. Channing Frye had 13 points, seven boards, three triples and two blocks in 19 minutes. He’s not the most consistent player but when he plays well, he’s able to have really good fantasy production which makes him a valid streamer for when the Cavs have back-to-back games or a four-game week. Kyle Korver only had four points with a triple and his previous was a three point dud as well. I’m a Korver owner as I’m in desperate need of threes but they’re not falling as teams are really playing him really tightly even if he’s standing in the corner. It’s not like the Cavs are running plays for him too.
Grizzlies 115 – Suns 96
The Grizzlies bombarded the Sun with threes tonight. Mike Conley had a career high 38 points to go with nine assists, seven triples, six boards and two steals. He was struggling a little bit for the past week but his performance tonight seemed like the Conley from the start of the season where he was just making every threes he was jacking up. As long as Conley stays healthy, he’ll be a good early round asset. Zach Randolph found the fountain of youth as he scored 18 points, six boards to go along with two triples and two dunks! He was running fast breaks and finishing them off with emphasis. He was having fun in this one and Z-Bo should be in contention with the sixth man of the year. Marc Gasol was their third and final player that reached double digits as he also scored 18 points while adding six boards, two triples and two blocks in 29 minutes. The Grizzlies blew this one wide open so he got some much needed rest.
The Suns got blown out this game but the bright spot is that Marquese Chriss had a breakout game. He finished with 20 points, six boards, two triples, two steals and a block in 34 minutes. The Suns weren’t close in this one so Watson gave him some extended run. He played 17, 7, 12 and 17 minutes in his previous four games so a performance like this could earn himself some extra run for the next couple of games which could bode well for his value. He’s a guy to have on your team in dynasty league for sure but deep leagues could give him a look for this week. Tyson Chandler dropped a dud with two points and four boards in 22 minutes. He was in foul trouble to start the game and kind of put him in a funk. He’s been solid all year round but there are occasional games where he plays in the low 20’s and he could see that more and more as the Suns give the younger guys a chance to have more minutes. T.J. Warren only had six points, five boards and two assists in this game. He’s been disappointing and inconsistent. It’s hard to see Warren go back to his early season form. Now he’s barely worth owning.
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