There were nine games on Monday night and none of them took place in Iowa, where Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio pulled off surprises. The Hawks avoided a four-game losing streak behind a big game from Jeff Teague, Russell Westbrook went off for another triple-double, and Nikola Jokic is coming through for his new owners. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Hawks 112, Mavericks 97 – Jeff Teague shook off trade rumors and disgruntled fantasy owners for his best game of the season, finishing with 32 points, five rebounds, eight assists, a steal and five 3-pointers on 12-of-15 shooting. More of that, please. Kyle Korver also came through with 16 points and four 3-pointers on 5-of-8 shooting, and hopefully this is a sign that he’s ready to finally get going. Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Kent Bazemore were disappointing, but the Hawks broke a three-game losing streak and Teague looked fantastic last night. I don’t think the Hawks want to dump Teague in a trade and hand the reins to Schroder, and tonight’s game reinforces that. Then again, I’m not running the show in the ATL.
The Mavs got 19 points and 11 boards from Chandler Parsons, 18 points from Dirk Nowitzki and four points and 13 rebounds from Zaza Pachulia in the loss. Deron Williams left early with a hip injury and his coach didn’t sound too positive about his outlook, saying “I’m concerned.” J.J. Barea would benefit most from his absence and had 15 points, four assists and two 3-pointers, and is the guy you want to pick up if Williams is going to miss time. Raymond Felton was also solid with 13 points, but Barea is the pick up here.
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Cavaliers 111, Pacers 106 OT – The Cavs got 24 points, 12 boards, six dimes, two steals and a block from LeBron James, and Tristan Thompson started at center and double-doubled with 14 points and 12 rebounds on 7-of-7 shooting. He played 41 minutes and is worth a look if you need a big man. Kyrie Irving had 25 points and seven assists, J.R. Smith added 19 points and four 3-pointers, and Kevin Love had 19 points, eight boards, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers, while all five Cavs’ starters played 40-plus minutes in the OT win. That means the bench didn’t do anything, including Timofey Mozgov. If Thompson keeps going, he’s going to be a hot pickup. Thompson is averaging 11.8 points and 10.0 rebounds over his last five games.
The Pacers got 23 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and four 3-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting from George Hill to lead the Pacers in the OT loss, and all five starters (Myles Turner, Paul George, Jordan Hill, Monta Ellis) scored in double figures. Ian Mahinmi was out with a sore back and C.J. Miles has fallen off a cliff. Hill had 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block on 8-of-13 shooting in 36 minutes, and is worth a spot start if Mahinmi is going to miss more time. Paul George was disappointing with 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting, but did have five boards and eight dimes in the loss. Trade him for Jimmy Butler if you can. Turner kept it rolling with 14 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and four blocks, and should be owned in all leagues.
Pistons 105, Nets 100 – Ersan Ilyasova was back from his adductor injury and had 16 points, six rebounds and a 3-pointer in 31 minutes, so he’s not dead just yet, nor is Stanley Johnson the end-all, be-all to your fantasy issues. All five Pistons’ starters scored in double figures and Andre Drummond was particularly nice with 21 points, 18 boards, a steal and a block. Reggie Jackson added 19 points, six dimes and three 3-pointers, Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both played well, and Stanley Johnson came through with 13 points and three 3-pointers in 21 minutes. Johnson is a lot more attractive if Ilyasova is out, but is still a nice player to hold right now. However, he’s not a must-own player, like Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.
The Nets got 27 points, five rebounds, a steal and two blocks from Brook Lopez, Wayne Ellington scored 11 with three 3-pointers, and Andrea Bargnani had 18 points and four boards on 7-of-12 shooting off the bench, and those were the only three Nets in double figures scoring. And in case you’re wondering, Ellington and Bargnani are not guys I’d recommend you pick up. Shane Larkin had eight points and 14 assists off the bench, and now looks like a better player to own than Donald Sloan, who started and had five points, five boards and four assists on 2-of-4 shooting. Larkin had 13 points and six dimes in his previous game, and should be a hot pickup if this trend continues. Joe Johnson was awful with three points and five assists on 1-of-8 shooting, and Thaddeus Young had just eight points, five rebounds and a block, but both players should bounce back in the next one.
Grizzlies 110, Pelicans 95 – Zach Randolph went off for 22 points and 12 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting, and this was just his fourth double-double since Jan. 4. Marc Gasol played through a sore knee and had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Mike Conley added 17 points and 10 assists in a solid effort. Tony Allen and Courtney Lee struggled, while Jeff Green stayed hot with 24 points, seven boards and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes off the bench. Green is averaging 23.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. Pick him up. Matt Barnes was out with a thumb injury, and I’d much rather own Z-Bo or Green right now, sadly.
Anthony Davis graced us with his presence again and had 23 points, nine boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, and Norris Cole, who I’ve been touting as a pick up for some time, also had 23 points with six assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 9-of-15 shooting in 38 minutes. Tyreke Evans was out with his sore right knee, and Cole looks like a must-add, with or without Evans. Bryce Dejean-Jones had nine points, five rebounds, two steals and a 3-pointer in a start and 24 minutes, but Cole is still the guy you want here. Ryan Anderson struggled for nine points, three rebounds and a 3-pointer on 3-of-9 shooting in 29 minutes, and simply had an off night. But he does look like a much better play on nights when Davis is in street clothes.
Thunder 114, Wizards 98 – The Thunder got another triple-double from Russell Westbrook with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. This was his second straight trip-dub and his seventh of the season. Kevin Durant threw in 28 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers, and Serge Ibaka had 19 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two 3-pointers for a nice bounce-back game. It’s tough to tell when Ibaka will bring his A-game, but he had it last night. Dion Waiters played a team-high 37 minutes, but hit just 3-of-11 shots and two 3-pointers for eight points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. He’s another hot pickup, given his quality minutes in the absence of Andre Roberson (out indefinitely, right knee).
The Wizards got 17 points and six boards from Marcin Gortat and 17 points, and eight assists from John Wall, but struggled against one of the best teams in the NBA. Otto Porter scored a quiet 13 points and Bradley Beal had 18 and three 3-pointers off the bench, while Garrett Temple and Ramon Sessions were quiet. However, Temple started and played 37 minutes, making him worth a close look going forward, but you have to think Beal is about to knock him out of a starting job soon.
Spurs 107, Magic 92 – The Spurs waxed the Magic without Tim Duncan (knee), as LaMarcus Aldridge had a season-high 28 points with four rebounds and five blocks on 9-of-13 shooting. Hopefully Gregg Popovich doesn’t decide to rest him soon. The only other Spur starter in double digits was Kawhi Leonard, but he had just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting, but did have a full stat line. He’s really quieted down of late, and owners might want to think about trading him as the Spurs prepare to coast into the playoffs. But if you trade Kawhi, make sure you get a ton in return. Starters Boris Diaw, Tony Parker and Danny Green were all quiet, while Patty Mills caught fire off the bench for 22 points, five assists and three 3-pointers on 9-of-13 shooting. And the answer is no, he’s not worth adding right now, and scored four points in his last game.
For the Magic, Nikola Vucevic had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Victor Oladipo had 19-7-5, and Aaron Gordon had 12 points, 16 rebounds and a block for the Magic. If Gordon isn’t owned in every league by now, something is wrong. The Magic bench was a mess and Evan Fournier had just five points and not much else in 18 minutes. With the resurgence of Oladipo, Fournier is a spot play, even though he came into this one somewhat hot.
Nuggets 112, Raptors 93 – The Nuggets slowed down the hot Raptors behind a monster game from waiver-wire legend Nikola Jokic, who had 27 points, 14 rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer. Jokic is clearly the center to own in Denver, as Jusuf Nurkic is still struggling. Nurkic hit just 2-of-10 shots off the bench for four points and seven boards in 15 minutes. Emmanuel Mudiay was one of the disappointments of the night with news that Jameer Nelson suffered a setback with his wrist injury, hitting just 2-of-6 shots for four points, eight assists, two steals and a block. Kenneth Faried, Danilo Gallinari and Gary Harris were just OK, while Will Barton bounced back with 20 points, seven boards and two 3-pointers off the bench. Harris is intriguing at times, but I still don’t trust the guy. Randy Foye got hot on Monday and had 16 points, four 3-pointers and a full stat line, but I still trust Barton (by a lot) and Mudiay more. Mudiay is worth owning with the news that Jameer may miss time.
The Raptors got 24 points and four assists from DeMar DeRozan, and Kyle Lowry was off, hitting just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points and two assists. He still led his team with 32 minutes, so don’t worry about the off night. Terrence Ross scored 12 points in 27 minutes off the bench, and Cory Joseph played 28 minutes, but neither player is reliable enough to use in most fantasy leagues. However, James Johnson left with an ankle injury and if he’s going to miss time, Ross could get hot in a hurry.
Jazz 105, Bulls 96 OT – Gordon Hayward went off again for 27 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and is officially a fantasy stud. Derrick Favors (13-8-4 blocks), Rudy Gobert (double-double), Raul Neto and Rodney Hood (19 points) all scored in double figures, while Trey Burke got off the bench for just 19 minutes and 10 points. Burke has cooled off and I’m no longer using him in daily or any other fantasy league. Neto is getting a lot of his minutes and Hood is locked and loaded. The Jazz bench was pretty bad tonight and the only players you want to mess with are the starters, outside of Neto. If you’re still holding Trey Lyles, move on.
Jimmy Butler had 26 points, seven boards, six assists and two 3-pointers, and looks locked and loaded for the rest of the season. Pau Gasol had 19 & 8 and a nice line, while Taj Gibson failed to score much (again), but had 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Derrick Rose hit just 6-of-21 shots, but hit a huge 3-pointer to help send the game to OT, but finished with just 14 points and four assists. He has to make his owners nervous, but is worth using as long as he’s playing. Just try to forget that his name is Derrick Rose. Bobby Portis had eight points and five rebounds in 21 minutes, and just isn’t ready to help your fantasy team.
Kings 111, Bucks 104 – The Kings got a win without DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) and were led by Rudy Gay’s 32 points, nine rebounds, six dimes, two steals and a 3-pointer. Kosta Koufos started at C and had seven points, 11 boards, a steal and a block, and Willie Cauley-Stein started and had four points, 10 rebounds and a two blocks. Both players are worth consideration as long as Cousins is out. Rajon Rondo had 19 points and seven assists, a quiet night for him, and Marco Belinelli started for Ben McLemore (wrist) and had 18 points, six assists and two 3-pointers. Bello is worth using as long as B-Mac is out. Omri Casspi was quiet with 13 points, five rebounds and one 3-pointer on 3-of-9 shooting, but I expect him to bust loose soon, which would likely hurt Belinelli. Darren Collison played 22 minutes with 14 points, but was overshadowed by Belinelli. The bottom line is that one of Bello, Collison or Casspi is going to go off from night to night, and last night it was Bello’s turn. Don’t expect it to last.
The Bucks were better in fantasy than reality, as starters Jabari Parker (16 & 7), Giannis Antetokounmpo (17 and a full line), Greg Monroe (24-12-1 block), Michael Carter-Williams (18 & 13) and Khris Middleton (14 points on 6-of-18 shooting) all put up numbers. Monroe is hot, Middleton finally cooled off, and MCW finally got back on track. Jerryd Bayless played 27 minutes and had six points, five assists and two 3-pointers, and still makes me nervous about starting MCW on a nightly basis.