A quiet three game night in the NBA. Jimmy Butler bounced back and beat the Warriors to give their first back-to-back loss since two years ago. Curry and Klay is still trying to find their shooting stroke. The Suns won a rare game with an Alan Williams’ sighting. Russell Westbrook did his thing tonight while Jusuf Nurkic continues to impress. Let’s get to it.
Warriors 87 – Bulls 94
The Bulls hasn’t lost a game when they’re nationally broadcasted on Thursdays in forever. They always seem to play well against stronger teams. Jimmy Butler bounced back nicely with 22-5-6 with four steals and a block on 6-of-14 shooting. He’s been returning first round value the entire season, surprising quite a lot of people, including me. Bobby Portis had his first double-double of the season with 17 points, 13 rebounds with two triples and a block on 6-of-12 shooting in 31 minutes. Tonight was the most minutes he had this season and he’s starting to figure things out on the floor. Since his promotion to the starting lineup after the break, he’s averaging 11.3 points, 7.3 boards, 1.5 triples, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks in 23.6 minutes. The minutes are trending up, which means he has more opportunity to get stats. He has 14-team league appeal and if standard league owners are interested in some rebounds and threes, he makes sense too. Meanwhile Nikola Mirotic strictly played with the second unit, finishing with 5-2-1 with two blocks and a triple on 2-of-7 shooting in 16 minutes. His minutes are trending down, playing fewer minutes in every game since the break (37, 29, 20 and 15). He’s only a hold in deep leagues for his upside.
With this latest loss to the Bulls, the Warriors have now lost back-to-back games. The last time they did that was on April 7th, 2015. Missing Kevin Durant isn’t an excuse since they won a championship two years ago without him and won 73 games last season. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson couldn’t get it going. Curry had 23-6-5 with five steals and two triples on 10-of-27 shooting and 2-of-11 from downtown. Klay had 13 points on 5-of-22 shooting and 1-of-11 from 3-point range. If both of them shoot like that, it’ll be tough for the Dubs to keep winning games. Thompson and Curry are shooting a combined 10-of-61 on 3-pointers over their last three games. Meanwhile, Draymond Green did his thing again with 12-8-7 with two triples, two blocks and a steal. He’s getting a nice bump with KD out, scoring in double figures in his last three games. Green will be good going forward and could flirt with first-round value. Patrick McCaw got the start but it was Matt Barnes that closed the game out. McCaw finished with 11-4-2 with two steals, a triple and a block in 29 minutes. The minuets and his contribution are too inconsistent to own and I’d rather have Andre Iguodala instead.
Hornets 103 – Suns 120
Every time a team like the Suns, the Nets and the Lakers win a game, it plays a big part to the tankapalooza and the draft in the coming summer. The Suns had everybody play below 30 minutes except Devin Booker tonight. Alan Williams is now clearly the biggest winner of Tyson Chandler’s DNP’s. Williams finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds with a steal and a block. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks on 69.2 percent shooting since after the All-Star break. He’s clearly the center to own over Alex Len. Len started the game but only played in 16 minutes even without any foul troubles. He had five points and five boards tonight and isn’t consistent enough to be owned in standard leagues or 14-team leagues. Marquese Chriss had a solid game and stayed out of foul trouble. He finished with 17 points with three triples in 22 minutes. His minutes have been sporadic since coming back from the break, ranging from 16 to 33 minutes in the last four games. The rookie needs to stay out of foul trouble but that has been his biggest obstacle this season. He’s good for 14-team leagues now but he does have the upside to make an interesting add in 12-team leagues.
The Hornets shouldn’t be losing games like this one if they’re fighting for the last spot in the East. Frank Kaminsky hurt his shoulder in this one and didn’t return to the game. He finished with 16 points with two triples and two steals as a starter tonight. He was playing well when Cody Zeller was missing games, returning top-50 value in the last month. If he misses any time, Zeller will take back the starting spot while Marvin Williams will continue to have some heavy minutes. Zeller continued to come off the bench tonight, finishing with 6-8-3 with two steals in 24 minutes. They’re slowly bringing him back to speed and he should see more minutes in their next game as Kaminsky should be missing out on that one. Marvin Williams finished with 19 points, four boards, three triples with a steal and a block in 29 minutes. His minutes dropped tonight as Steve Clifford went with some Kaminsky and Zeller lineup. He’s been good in the last two weeks, averaging 14.4 points, 5.8 boards, 2.2 triples, 1.2 blocks and 0.6 steals. After a brutal couple of months, Williams is returning back to form.
Thunder 109 – Trail Blazers 114
The Blazers had a 16-0 run in the late stages of the fourth to comeback into this game to get the W. Jusuf Nurkic is clearly enjoying the change of scenery and is flourishing in the Blazers’ system. He finished with 18-12-6 with five blocks and two steals on 7-of-10 shooting in 38 minutes. He’s averaging 14.0 points, 8.4 boards, 3.8 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 steals since being traded to his new team. Damian Lillard led the team with 33-4-5 with three triples and a steal. He’s been on fire since coming back from the break and with five games next week, he’ll be good. Al-Farouq Aminu bounced back after dropping a dud in his previous game with 14 points, six rebounds, three steals, a triple and a block in 32 minutes. He’s going to get more run at the power forward spot with Ed Davis out for the season. He’s better than Noah Vonleh and is closing every games out. Doesn’t really matter if he’s off the bench or in the starting line up.
No triple-double for Russell Westbrook tonight as he finished with 45-8-4 with six triples, a steal and a block on 12-of-36 shooting tonight. He missed the game-tying three tonight when it seemed like he hit every 3-point shot he took in this game. The Thunder’s starting line up scored 54 points with 45 of them coming from Westbrook. Taj Gibson had his best game in a Thunder jersey with 15 points, six boards with two steals, two blocks and a half court heave for a triple (you need to watch the video for this) in 33 minutes. He’s coming off the bench as Billy Donovan is still sticking rookie Domantis Sabonis in the starting unit. He’s not good enough to own just yet in standard leagues but he’s a good source of boards and defensive stats for deeper leagues. Enes Kanter was their third player in double figure scoring as he finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Steven Adams had a horrific game tonight, managing only two points and six boards in 24 minutes. That’s back-to-back duds for Adams and with Gibson plus Kanter duo playing well, Adams might see more minutes on the bench heading forward.
That’s it for tonight. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter to get the latest posts or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!