Happy Thanksgiving! Wednesday was one of the busiest nights we’ve seen in the NBA this season as 13 games went down, meaning that 26 of the league’s 30 teams were in action. Here are the highlights of what we learned. There won’t be a Friday morning Daily Dose due to zero Thursday games and the holiday. But you can still follow me on Twitter right here!
Sixers 121, Pelicans 120 – Joel Embiid put up another monster line and all five Sixers starters scored in double figures, including Wilson Chandler, who played 31 minutes. Maybe he’s ready to start producing consistently. The 13-7 Sixers are 10-0 at home and Embiid is an MVP favorite at this point. Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with a shoulder problem, and will consult with a specialist. He may or may not have requested a trade yesterday, but he’s a drop in fantasy hoops.
E’Twaun Moore and Jrue Holiday each scored 30, and Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle double-doubled for the Pelicans. Davis’ 12-16-6-5-5 line was one for the ages, despite him scoring just 12 points. This was the first 5x5 game since Draymond Green did it in 2015, but AD’s not perfect, missing a free throw that would have tied the game and probably forced overtime. Moore’s a pickup, scoring between 24 and 31 points in four of his last six games.
Raptors 124, Hawks 108 – Kawhi Leonard sat out to ‘rest,’ Fred VanVleet started in his place, and Pascal Siakam, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka balled out in an easy win over the Hawks. Siakam is in the running for waiver-wire pickup of the year in fantasy, while Ibaka has to be in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation in reality.
For the Hawks, John Collins and Taurean Prince were ‘ugly quiet’ and Trae Young watched both teammate Jeremy (11-of-13, 26 points) and Lowry (first triple-double of season) run circles around him. A game after going for 25 points and 17 assists, Young had just six points, zero 3-pointers and five assists, but also managed to turn the ball over once in his just 22 minutes. With the Hawks basically at full strength, they might have to get creative in order to keep losing games in hopes of winning the Zion Williams sweepstakes. Mission accomplished on Wednesday. Dewayne Dedmon got the start last night and hit just 1-of-8 shots, but had a nice, all-around stat line. I still don’t trust him or Len in 12-team leagues. And Vince Carter became the 22nd player to reach the 25,000-point club with a dunk at the buzzer against his former team.
Hornets 127, Pacers 109 – Kemba Walker (double-double) and Jeremy Lamb (career-high five triples) both played well out of the starting unit, and Dwayne Bacon and Malik Monk both got it done from the bench, while Cody Zeller also had a decent game with 15 points and five boards at center. Just keep an eye on Bacon and Monk in case they get hot.
For the Pacers, Myles Turner played through an ankle injury and had 10 points, seven boards and four blocks. I don’t know what to tell you to do with him, as he’s too good to cut, and too bad to trade for any real value. At least he’s blocking shots. Victor Oladipo sat out again with his knee injury, and he’s very iffy for Friday.
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Knicks 117, Celtics 109 – Noah Vonleh double-doubled for the second straight game and had three blocks, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 with four 3-pointers, and Trey Burke exploded for 29 points, six boards, 11 assists, two steals and four 3-pointersBurke has scored at least 19 in four straight games, and while I don’t really trust him, it’s time to pick him up after this gem. And no, I don’t know how the Knicks beat the Celtics. Kevin Knox had 11 points, nine boards a block and two 3-pointers off the bench, hitting 3-of-5 shots. Maybe he’s ready to get hot. Mitchell Robinson had six points, four boards and six blocks, as he continues to tease fantasy owners with his potential. His nickname should be ‘blocks are us.’
Gordon Hayward finally had a nice game for Boston with 19 points, seven boards, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, but I’m not buying him. And Aron Baynes stayed in the starting lineup, failing to score in 12 minutes. The 9-9 Celtics are a confusing mess in both fantasy and reality these days. And Brad Stevens agrees, saying “I just don’t know that we’re that good,” after the game.
Lakers 109, Cavaliers 105 – LeBron James received a warm and raucous greeting in his return to Cleveland and piled up 32-14-7 against his former team. All five Lakers scored in double digits in the win, and Lonzo Ball, a human fantasy headache, had one of his best games of the season with a 15-7-6 line on 7-of-11 shooting.
For the Cavs, Cedi Osman finally showed out with 21 points, seven boards and five 3-pointers, so go get him if you still can. Tristan Thompson double-doubled, Jordan Clarkson scored 20 with four 3-pointers, and Collin Sexton added 12 points in the loss. David Nwaba started over Larry Nance, so keep an eye on that situation. Nance wasn’t very good last night, which is concerning, both in reality and fantasy.
Bulls 124, Suns 116 – All five Bulls starters scored in double figures as Zach LaVine (29 points) returned from his illness. Starters Wendell Carter Jr., Justin Holiday and Ryan Arcidiacono are all worth a look if they’re on your waiver wire.
For the Suns, Isaiah Canaan returned to the starting lineup, but disappointed, and Mikal Bridges had five points, four boards, one assist and three steals off the bench. He’s still a stash, and still belongs in the Suns starting lineup, and not on their bench. Devin Booker, T.J. Warren and Deandre Ayton all stayed hot for the Suns.
Rockets 126, Pistons 124 – James Harden went bonkers with a 43-7-9-4 line with four 3-pointers and 19-of-19 free throws, Clint Capela double-doubled and Chris Paul added 20 points in the close win. The once reeling Rockets have won 8-of-10 games and are now 9-7 on the season. P.J. Tucker was ejected in the third for yelling at the officials.
For the Pistons, Blake Griffin went crazy with a 37-11-4 line, but also had nine turnovers, and Andre Drummond double-doubled, but the rest of the starters, and for the most part, the bench, struggled in the tough loss.
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Bucks 143, Blazers 100 – Giannis Antetokounmpo went nuts with a 33-16-9-3 line, while Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon all played well for the Bucks. Brook Lopez cooled off with just three points and four fouls in 20 minutes of the blowout win.
Nuggets 103, Timberwolves 101 – Paul Millsap (who received stitches in his face during the game) tied his season high with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting, Check the injury report on Friday to make sure he’s OK. Nikola Jokic hit just 3-of-13 shots for seven points, stopping just short of a triple-double with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jamal Murray (18) and Gary Harris (17) played well for the Nuggets. My man, Juancho Hernangomez, hit just 3-of-11 shots on the night. I’m not done with him just yet. Monte Morris had nine points, three rebounds, four assists and a 3-pointer, and is worth stashing if you have room, or if you want to cut Hernangomez.
For the Wolves, Taj Gibson played just 19 minutes with seven points and four rebounds, as his usage rate continues to fall. Dario Saric played 28 minutes with 12 points, seven boards, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, and it might be time to dump Gibson. Jeff Teague (7 points, 8 assists) struggled, while Derrick Rose scored 20 points with a solid stat line. Rose is worth grabbing again.
Mavericks 119, Nets 113 – Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 28, Luka Doncic went off with a 21-9-4-2 line with two 3-pointers, DeAndre Jordan double-doubled, and Maxi Kleber, Devin Harris, and J.J. Barea all played well off the Mavs bench. I don’t recommend picking any of the bench guys up, but they’re worth keeping an eye on. Dennis Smith Jr. was dealing with a wrist injury and played just 19 minutes, and Wesley Matthews was out with a hamstring strain, so keep an eye out for more information on them this weekend.
The Nets got a solid line from D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe broke out with a season-high 27 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, a block and seven 3-pointers in his best Caris LeVert imitation. He’s been quiet, but this may be your sign that it’s time to pick him up, as he could flourish with LeVert’s season in jeopardy. Ed Davis had 17 points and nine boards on 8-of-8 shooting, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson continued with his frustrating ways with nine points and eight boards off the bench, and Spencer Dinwiddie kept it rolling with 19 points and seven assists off the pine.
Grizzlies 104, Spurs 103 – Marc Gasol (who hit the game-winning free throws) and Mike Conley went off, while starters Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson and Garrett Temple all struggled in the win. JaMychal Green had 12 points, three boards, a block and two 3-pointers, making him worth a look in all leagues now that he’s healthy, Omri Casspi somehow had 11 points, six boards and two blocks, and Shelvin Mack stayed quiet with one point on 0-of-4 shooting in 19 minutes. I’m not sure why, but he’s disappeared in two straight. Memphis has somehow won five straight and seven of their last eight.
LaMarcus Aldridge bounced back from an off night with a double-double, DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay both played well, Bryn Forbes (3-of-11 shooting) cooled off, and Patty Mills got hot for 15 points and three 3-pointers. Derrick White can be dropped after his scoreless 10 minutes last night. The reeling Spurs have now lost seven of their last nine games and sit at 8-9 on the season.
Kings 119, Jazz 110 – All five Kings starters scored in double figures with Willie Cauley-Stein pumping in 23 points to lead the way before fouling out. De’Aaron Fox flirted with an outstanding triple-double (17-7-13), Iman Shumpert stayed relevant with 12 points, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and Buddy Hield hit just 4-of-12 shots for 10 points, but did have a decent stat line. Just when it looked like it was safe to give up on Nemanja Bjelica, he hit 7-of-9 shots and 3-of-3 3-pointers for 18 points, seven boards, two assists and a block in 25 minutes. Maybe he’s about to get hot again. Despite Bjelica’s heroics, Marvin Bagley kept it going off the bench with 11 points, six boards, two steals and two blocks. He needs to be owned everywhere. And Bogdan Bogdanovic came through with 18 points, five boards, four assists and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes off the bench. I think he’s a must-own player in most leagues.
Joe Ingles broke out of a funk with 12 points, seven assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, despite hitting just 3-of-9 shots, and all five Jazz starters scored in double digits. Donovan Mitchell, who scored seven points in his previous game, bounced back with 35 points, while Ricky Rubio returned to earth after his 28-point explosion, hitting 4-of-15 shots for 13 points and seven dimes.
Thunder 123, Warriors 95 – Russell Westbrook had his first triple-double of the season with an 11-11-13 line, Steven Adams and Jerami Grant double-doubled, and Paul George had a 25-9-5-2 line with four 3-pointers in the win. After hitting just 3-of-17 shots for six points on Monday, Dennis Schroder came off the bench and exploded to hit 12-of-19 shots and five 3-pointers for a season-high 32 points. Hopefully you didn’t cut him after Monday’s disaster.
The Warriors got 27 points and nice stat lines from Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, but that’s about the only thing that went right for the Dubs, who have now lost four straight games. They just haven’t looked the same (or won) since Draymond Green decided to unload on Durant and call him the B word repeatedly on Nov. 13. Of course, not having Green (toe) and Stephen Curry (groin) is probably an even bigger factor in their struggles.
There are no games on Thanksgiving, so enjoy some football, mashed potatoes and gravy, and whatever else you want to throw down with, and the Daily Dose will return on Saturday morning after a massive 14-game night on Friday!