Fourteen games on the schedule, which means 28 teams to talk about. Long post incoming. Let’s get straight to it.
Spurs 107 – Magic 79
This game wasn’t even close. The Spurs took advantage of the Magic going small. LaMarcus Aldridge had a good shooting night with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting. He did only grab three rebounds though. He’s a player who’s really needing this All-Star break to rejuvenate. Kawhi Leonard had 22 points, five boards, two triples and two steals. A quiet night for Kawhi. Both him and LMA played less than 30 minutes, which is good for the Spurs but not good for owners. Dewayne Dedmon had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards on 5-of-6 shooting as he started again. This is probably his last game as a starter before Pau Gasol returns from the broken hand.
Terrence Ross wasn’t available to play just yet so it was Jeff Green that started at power forward tonight as he got the defensive duties at guarding Aldridge. Frank Vogel didn’t want to throw Aaron Gordon in the fire just yet. Gordon finished with 11 points, six boards and a block on 3-of-9 shooting. It still seemed like he was still on the perimeter in this game but his outlook is definitely a lot brighter. Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points and 10 boards on 7-of-16 shooting. He had a 33.8 usage rate, which is higher than expected. His season average for usage rate is 24.2 and he’ll see that increase for the rest of the season if he doesn’t get traded.
Pacers 104 – Cavs 113
Despite the second night of a back-to-back, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving didn’t sit out for rest in this one. They won their second game without Love tonight and as they try to hold on to their first spot. LeBron finished with 31-5-4 with four triples. He’s averaging 77.8 percent from downtown in his last three games and has found the range. He did roll his ankle in the first half but returned. Kyle Korver filled the void of the third scorer in this one as he finished with 22-5-2 with six triples, two steals and a block in 25 minutes. He’s returning top-40 value in 9-cat in the last two weeks. Both Channing Frye and Derrick Williams cooled off. Frye is still worth owning, while Williams should be left alone in the wire.
The Pacers lost their fifth straight game as Paul George struggled. He finished with 13-7-3 with three triples on 4-of-19 shooting. He’s been pretty inconsistent lately and the Pacers have one more game tomorrow for him to bounce back. Glen Robinson III started his second game. After dropping an egg in his previous start, he had a solid outing with 19 points, six boards and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He’s only had one game the entire season with more than three triples so tonight was a fluke. Need to see this again before picking him up. Monta Ellis did something off the bench as he posted 14 points, seven assists, two triples and a steal. He’s now scored in double digits in his past three games. That’s only been done by him one other time this season. In all three games, he’s played above 30 minutes so 14-team leagues should start giving him a look.
Sixers 108 – Celtics 116
The Sixers seemed to have made it a close game until Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics did their thing in the fourth again to win their 11th in their last 12 games. Thomas finished with 33-4-3 with four triples, including 13 points in the fourth quarter. He should be in the conversation for the MVP race. Marcus Smart started again as Avery Bradley is schedule to miss two more games. Smart finished with 21-5-5 with eight frigging steals and three triples. He’s an elite source of steals and have really flourished with Bradley out of the lineup. He’s returning top-20 value in the last two weeks. He should still be a good source of decent assists and steals when Bradley returns. Kelly Olynyk also had 16-7-3 with two triples. He scored in double figures in his past four games. He’s worthy of a pickup in standard leagues.
Robert Covington hurt his head and went into the locker room after diving into the stands to save a loose ball. They’re calling it a head contusion and might undergo the concussion protocol. He should be fine though with a week off due to the ASB. He finished with 18 points, nine boards with four triples, three steals and a block. He’s been a top-20 player in the past month, averaging 15.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 triples, 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks. What a beast. Dario Saric had a strong double-double with 20 and 11 with a triple-one. The rookie’s been solid. He’s returning top-30 value in his last five games with averages of 20.2 points, 7.4 boards and 2.2 triples. If he’s not owned, go and get him since Ben Simmons might not play in this season.
Hornets 85 – Raptors 90
The Raptors snapped a three game losing streak with a strong win tonight. They were trailing by 17 points to start the fourth and it was the second unit plus Kyle Lowry that came back into the game. DeMar DeRozan didn’t even play in the fourth. He finished with 10 points on 5-of-19 shooting. DeMarre Carroll started at power forward tonight as Serge Ibaka was unavailable to play. He had 13-11-4 with three triples in 39 minutes. He probably won’t see much time at PF when Ibaka plays. Norman Powell scored 17 points with three triples and three steals in 28 minutes. He should be seeing more minutes but with Delon Wright playing well, I’m thinking that Powell will have times when he’s limited. Wright scored 11 points with two steals in 28 minutes. Dynasty leagues should give him a look.
The Hornets’ starting line up scored 72 of their 85 points. They need more help from the bench if they want to fight for that eighth spot in the East. They’re two and a half games away currently. Kemba Walker seemed to have found his form again as he finished with 24-4-9 with six triples and two steals. After five straight duds from Kemba, he’s scored 29 and 24 points in his two previous games. Frank Kaminsky started again as Cody Zeller missed his third straight game after re-aggravating his quad. Kaminsky had 27-5-3 with three triples, a steal and a block on 11-of-18 shooting. He can hurt you in field goal sometimes but a big with solid points, threes and rebounds is a good find for when Zeller misses more time.
Bucks 129 – Nets 125
The Bucks held off a run by the Nets in the fourth to win their third straight game. Giannis Antetokounmpo bounced back after a poor performance with 33 points, nine boards, four steals and a block on 13-of-25 shots. The field goal attempts were the second highest this season. He’s being aggressive and needs to score with Jabari Parker out for the whole year. Khris Middleton had his first good game after returning from a torn hamstring. He finished with 20-3-7 with three steals and a triple. Yes, it’s against the Nets but Middleton can hold his head up high heading into the break to have a strong second half of the season. He should be owned everywhere. Tony Snell had 10-6-3 with two triples, two steals and a block. He’s scored in double figures in the last three games and coincidentally, the Bucks won all three without Jabari. Deep leagues can give him a look.
The Nets made it a tight one by scoring 43 points in the fourth but unfortunately, the Nets have lost their 14th in a row. Brook Lopez had a monstrous line with 36 points, four rebounds, eight blocks and six triples on 12-of-20 shooting! He’s the first player to ever have at least six triples and eight blocks in the history of NBA! The points are a season high and the blocks are a tie in career-high. If any teams actually gives two first-round picks to the Nets for BroLo, Lopez’s value will take a hit. Spencer Dinwiddie had a solid game with 19-5-8 with two steals and a triple. That’s two games in a row where Dinwiddie played the bulk of the minutes and have good games. He’ll probably return to the bench after the ASB as Jeremy Lin is scheduled to return then.
Mavericks 91 – Pistons 98
Reggie Jackson finally had a good game in a long time as he scored 22 points with four assists, three triples and two steals in 28 minutes. He even closed the game out this game and didn’t get benched. The Pistons are looking to trade him and a trade could help Jackson’s value. Jon Leuer scored 20 points with eight boards on 5-of-7 shooting and 10-of-10 from the line. He’s still a low-end player with no major upside but he’s consistent and fantasy friendly. Andre Drummond had foul troubles in the first half and got benched in the fourth. He’s also a trade candidate and if he does get traded, his value would take a hit.
Dirk had a stong double-double with 24 and 10 with four triples, a steal and a block. He’s found the fountain of youth of sorts and is returning top-40 value in 9-cat in the last two weeks. An All-Star break is much needed for the 38-year old and he’ll be rejuvenated for a strong second half surge. Andrew Bogut returned from eight-game absence and did Bogut things. He grabbed eight boards and blocked a shot in 18 minutes off the bench. He can’t even play in a stretch of games in this part of his career. He’s a trade candidate and if he does get traded, his value will see a bump. He’s a deep league source of boards and blocks at best. Yogi Ferrell cooled off with 5-5-3 with two steals in 20 minutes. As long as Deron Williams is healthy, his outlook is still pretty meek, making him a 14-team league guy.
Pelicans 95 – Grizzlies 91
The Pelicans held off a Grizzlies run in the fourth to get the win. Solomon Hill surprisingly led the team in scoring with 23 points, five boards, four triples and two steals in 37 minutes. Before this game, he only managed to score in double figures once in his last nine games. This was a major fluke performance and I have to see this again. Alexis Ajinca also on the fantasy radar with 12 points, 10 boards, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. He’s never played more than 30 minutes the entire season. He got some extended run with Terrence Jones and Dante Cunningham not playing this game. The Pels definitely showcased him and he’s a trade candidate. Keep an eye out on what situation he will land in. Deep league teams could benefit a low-end big guy like Ajinca if he gets consistent playing time.
The Grizzlies came back after being down 18 and had a ton of chances to tie the game with a three but missed them all. Marc Gasol flirted with a triple-double with 15-12-9 with a steal and a block. He’s a top-20 player for the season, who would’ve thought? Chandler Parsons had 9-1-1-1-1 in 19 minutes. I don’t see how his situation and health is suddenly going to be better to have fantasy value. He should be dropped. Tony Allen dropped an egg in 19 minutes. He only grabbed three boards tonight and is not good enough after resting his previous game. He is 35-years old so maybe he can’t keep up with the rigorous schedule. Keep an eye out on his situation next week, he’s still a hold for his elite steals.
Heat 117 – Rockets 109
The Heat won an impressive one in Houston. The big three of Miami combined for 67 points. Hassan Whiteside had 23 points, 14 boards and five blocks. This is the Whiteside that we were all expecting in draft day. He’s a top-15 player in the last two weeks. Dion Waiters flirted with a triple-double with 23-9-7 with four triples. Waiters island is getting populated and he’s been a solid top-60 player in the last month. Josh Richardson should be dropped. I can’t see him producing value when the Heat found something working. Goran Dragic should’ve been the All-Star replacement. He had 21 points and five assists. He’s a top-40 player in the last month. The Heat are still two games away from the 8th spot.
James Harden did a bit of everything but it wasn’t enough. He had a monstrous triple-double with 38-12-12 with four triples and a block. If it wasn’t for BroLo’s historic night, he would’ve gotten the line of the night. Ryan Anderson played in this game even though he cut his thumb when taking the trash out on a broken piece of glass. Weird right? He toughed it out and finished with 17 points, six boards and five triples. He’s been slumping hard, returning just inside top-300 value in 9-cat in the last two weeks. A buy-low would be good for Ryno. Patrick Beverley left the game with a groin injury and didn’t return. Good thing is that he has the ASB to get healthy.
Timberwolves 112 – Nuggets 99
After a 41 point effort last night, Andrew Wiggins had another 40 point performance on the second night of a back-to-back. He’s rising to stardom and is making things look easy. he added four assists, two steals and two triples on 15-of-26 shooting. He’s a top-15 player in the last two weeks and he might be one of those post All-Star breakout players. KAT added 24 points, 19 boards with a triple and a steal. Gorgui Dieng snapped his double-double streak as he only had seven points and five boards. He was benched in the fourth and Nemanja Bjelica closed this one out instead.
The Nuggets had their new acquisition, Mason Plumlee, starting alongside Nikola Jokic tonight. He finished with 11 points, nine boards and three assists in 34 minutes. He even closed the game out and had heavy minutes, probably due to the Nuggets being short handed tonight. When the Nuggets are healthy, he could see minutes in the lower 20s. Jokic struggled with 15-14-4 with four blocks on 6-of-19 shooting. I’m calling it a struggle even though he stuffed the stat sheet. He was hovered away from the rim offensively, which got his shots away from the basket more with Plumlee clogging the paint.
Blazers 88 – Jazz 111
The Jazz snapped their three game losing streak tonight. Joe Ingles had his occasional stat stuffing game with 18-4-4 with four triples and four steals in 32 minutes. He’s continuing to start as Rodney Hood is still out with a bone bruise. Hood should return after the ASB, which means Jingles value will take a big hit with a move to the bench. Gordon Hayward had 22-6-7 with two triples to close the first half of the season heading into his first All-Star game. George Hill rolled his ankle after stepping Rudy Gobert but he stayed on the court. He has the entire week to rest up on his ankle and hopefully it’s no biggie as we all know he’s a bit injury prone this season.
The Blazers played their first game with their new center Jusuf Nurkic. He came off the bench but managed to have a good game with 13 points, seven boards, three steals and a block in 21 minutes. He even closed this one and as expected, he was used a lot in pick and roll situations instead of post ups. He’s going to start soon if he continues to play like this. Both C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard struggled in this one. Dame had 13-6-7 on 3-of-19 shooting. C.J. had 18 points with not much of anything else on 8-of-19 shooting. Both of them need the ASB to rest up and bounce back after this poor performance as the Blazers lost their third in a row tonight.
Lakers 101 – Suns 137
It was a blow out since the first quarter and the Suns made the Lakers look like a G-league team. Eric Bledsoe had his 3rd career triple-double with 25-10-13 with three triples and two steals. Seems like that rest he had against Houston last Saturday paid off. He’s not the most durable guy but that was the first game he missed this season and it wasn’t injury related. Tyson Chandler had eight points and eight boards in 21 minutes. The Suns didn’t need the 34-year old to play heavy minutes tonight so Alex Len got a bit more run. Len finished with 15 points and nine boards in 23 minutes. It was a garbage time special but Len still managed to score in double figures in four straight games. His turnovers are a bit high but 14-team leagues should give him a look.
The Lakers had bad body language, didn’t show any trust in each other and gave no effort tonight. They came into this game like they’re looking forward to holiday. It was ugly. Nick Young shot 2-of-10 for five points. Brandon Ingram shot 1-of-7 for three points. D’Angelo Russell had an okay game with 21-4-4 on 7-of-20 shooting. Russell will see a big bump if Lou Williams gets traded. Speaking of Williams, he finished with 21 points, three triples and three steals. His recent string of strong performances might lure teams to trading for him. He’s been a top-20 player in the last month and if he does get traded, his value might see a hit.
Knicks 105 – Thunder 116
Russel Westbrook with another triple-double, 38-14-13 with three triples, three steals and a block on 13-of-22 shooting. Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo bounced back after scoring just six points in his previous game with 21 points, three triples and a steal. He’s a top-75 player for the season and I don’t see him as a buy-low option. Jerami Grant showed his ability to do a bit of everything with 13 points, five boards, two triples, two blocks and a steal. I really like Grant’s ability to grab the triple one stats but he’s not able to do it consistently. We’ll have to see another performance like this next week before adding him.
Carmelo Anthony went super hot in the first quarter with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He finished the game with 30-4-4 with six triples, two blocks and a steal as he gets selected to be in the All-Star game by Adam Silver. He’s been quietly returning top-25 value in the last two weeks and has been really good amid of trade rumours and the drama going on in New York. Props to him. Derrick Rose had 25-4-7 with two steals. He’s been alright, returning top-100 value in the last month. He has a lot of popcorn stats but not much of anything else. Meanwhile, Willy Hernangomez had 10 rebounds, eight points, with three blocks and two steals. He’s a low end asset for now but if he gets consistent minutes and produce steals and blocks more often, he’ll be a good big to own. If he’s on any wire, he should be grabbed.
Hawks 84 – Clippers 99
The Clippers stepped up their defense and managed to hold the Hawks on 84 points. It was a communal effort tonight as Blake Griffin led the team in scoring with 17-5-9 with two blocks, a triple and a steal. Since his return from a knee problem, he’s been returning top-25 value in 9-cat in the last month. This is a good sell high opportunity for when Chris Paul returns. He won’t be sustaining this kind of value when he comes back. Wesley Johnson had 11 points, four steals, three 3-pointers and a block in 19 minutes. He’s capable of grabbing the triple-one but this was a garbage time special. Raymond Felton had 11-4-3 with four steals and a triple. He’ll only have value for when CP3 is absent.
The Hawks struggled to put points on the board tonight. They only had three guys in double figures. Dennis Schroder had 15-4-7 on 5-of-15 shooting in 29 minutes. He hasn’t really had a break out season even though he did increase his scoring and assist numbers. He’s only returning top-130 value for the season. Dwight Howard added 11 points and 15 boards but no blocks tonight. He’s only averaging 1.2 blocks per game this season, which is a bit disappointing, even though the rebounds and field goal percentages are nice. Paul Millsap struggled tonight as he’s heading to New Orleans on an eight point performance. He was having a good string of games before tonight so we’ll give him a pass.
Kings 86 – Warriors 109
The Warriors looked like they were going to have a tough one heading into the second half as Draymond Green got ejected with two technical fouls. However, the Dubs had a 42-15 third quarter that blew the game wide open. Klay Thompson had 35-5-4 with seven triples and two steals. Klay has been quietly returning top-25 value in the last month and top-40 value for the season. Kevin Durant had 21-7-7 with four blocks, a triple and a steal. He’s still the best player in fantasy and is the best player in the last month as well.
The Kings couldn’t buy a bucket in the third and couldn’t stop the Warriors at all. Boogie had a subpar game with 13-4-6 on 6-of-14 shooting in 23 minutes. He didn’t manage to pick up a technical foul in this one but he’ll eventually be missing at least a game because of those techs this season. The Kings went to garbage time early in this one so Boogie only played 23 minutes. Matt Barnes started the second half with Arron Afflalo left the game with a hamstring tightness. Barnes has been playing well and he finished with 15-14-3 with a triple and a steal in 32 minutes. He’s returning top-60 value in the last two weeks. Ben Mclemore cooled off with nine points and three triples. Garrett Temple will probably return after the ASB so Mclemore will find it hard to see minutes.
A super long one tonight. Hope it’s informative. Two games tomorrow night so it’ll be a short one. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter to get the latest posts or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!