Otto Porter, Jeff Teague, Frank Kaminsky and James Ennis all suffered injuries on Monday, the Sixers won again, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bradley Beal went bananas, along with centers Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid and Spencer Hawes.
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Sixers 101, Heat 94 – Break up the Sixers! They’ve got more home wins than the Mavs, Pelicans, Suns, Timberwolves, Kings, Nuggets, Jazz, Nets and Heat, according to my esteemed colleague Mike Gallagher. Here are some notable numbers: Ersan Ilyasova started and double-doubled with two 3-pointers and a steal. This was his first double-double in six games and he’s still a borderline player to own, but is useful in 3-pointers if you need them. Robert Covington stayed the course by hitting just 4-of-13 shots and he’s been a disaster. Feel free to cut him, but I’m giving him another week. Joel Embiid had 22 points, five boards and three more blocks, and all we need now is for him to get the green light to play every night. Sergio Rodriguez was so-so and might be about to take a hit with Jerryd Bayless back in action. Bayless hit just 1-of-7 shots in 15 minutes, but did have five assists, and Sergio played just 20 minutes as a result. Pick up Bayless if you need a point guard in a deep league, but he didn’t look all that great, so Rodriguez probably isn’t done yet. Gerald Henderson had a season-high 19 points and three triples, but I don’t love his fantasy game. Dario Saric played just 17 minutes and didn’t do much, and was a victim of some foul trouble. I’m not panicking just yet, but the arrival of Ilyasova hurts him. It also didn’t help that both Embiid and Jahlil Okafor were available. Okafor had 15 points, just three rebounds and a block. And just keep an eye on Nik Stauskas. He’s been hot but only scored eight last night.
For the Heat, Dion Waiters stayed hot with 19, and Josh Richardson was terrible, hitting just 1-of-11 shots. Keep the faith in Richardson and think about adding a red-hot Waiters if he’s still out there. Goran Dragic was decent and Hassan Whiteside was awesome with 32 & 13 with two more blocks. The Derrick Williams starting experiment isn’t really working out, as he had seven points in just 19 minutes. Tyler Johnson played 30 minutes off the bench and hit just 1-of-7 shots, but remains relevant, while James Johnson had nine points in just 17 minutes. I like him right now, but he takes a hit once Justise Winslow is back from his wrist injury (soon).
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Wizards 106, Suns 101 – Bradley Beal blew up for a career-high 42 points and five 3-pointers, and his legs look great right now. John Wall hit just 6-of-24 shots, but still had 18 points, 15 dimes, four steals and three blocks to rack up some FanDuel magic. Marcin Gortat also double-doubled, while Markieff Morris was on a minutes watch and struggled on 2-of-8 shooting in 26 minutes. He should be OK. Otto Porter, on the other hand, went down with a hip injury and only played 24 minutes. Kelly Oubre and Tomas Satoransky will get a boost if he misses time.
The Suns saw Alex Len double-doubled with 11 points, 10 boards and three blocks, as Tyson Chandler has struggled to return after the death of his mother. As long as Chandler’s out, Len is money. Eric Bledsoe went off with 29 points, nine boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers, and Devin Booker had 30 with six triples. Unfortunately, with T.J. Warren out for the second straight game with an illness, Brandon Knight started and sucked a lot of into playing him in DFS. He was 2-of-7 for four points, six boards, three assists and nothing else. I’m not going to get fooled again by him. Big Alan Williams was quiet with five points, eight boards and a block, but I still like him – especially if Chandler continues to sit. P.J. Tucker and Jared Dudley were both very quiet, which was unsettling given that Warren was out. I’m dropping Dudley to pick up hot free agents, but he could still be relevant off the bench. He played 27 minutes and had a 6-5-4 line.
Grizzlies 105, Hornets 90 – JaMychal Green is heating up again, James Ennis was injured (foot) and played just 13 minutes, and Marc Gasol hit two more 3-pointers and flirted with a triple-double, along with three blocks. Gasol has hit 20 3-pointers this season after coming into the campaign with just 12 makes from downtown in his entire career. Mike Conley scored a season-high 31 and looks ready to roll again, and Tony Allen had 12 points, two steals and two blocks despite a groin injury. He looked good, but I don’t trust him. The Grizzlies have won five straight games and Gasol was the catalyst last night, along with stellar team defense. Vince Carter played 33 minutes, but had just 10 points. He’s due to run out of gas soon.
Cody Zeller can’t raise his arm due to a shoulder injury, which makes me nervous. Roy Hibbert started at C but didn’t do anything. Forget about him. Spencer Hawes is the backup center you want to own here, and he had 14 points, 10 boards, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Think about grabbing him if you need a center. Frank Kaminsky went off from the bench with 23 points, a steal, three blocks and three 3-pointers, but left the game with a sprained left ankle. He’s iffy for Wednesday, but is another guy worth a look on the wire with Zeller hurting (and Marvin Williams sucking). Marvin failed to score, missing all six of his shots. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist double-doubled, Kemba Walker scored 17 and Nicolas Batum struggled with eight points on 1-of-7 shooting, but still had some goodies. He’s fine. Marco Belinelli is another guy worth a look and had 14 points, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers. He’s averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games.
Warriors 120, Pacers 83 – Draymond Green had a great 10-9-7-2-2 line, Kevin Durant was quiet with 14 points, but also had 11 boards, six dimes, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer in a blowout, Klay Thompson scored 25 with four 3-pointers, and Stephen Curry had 22 points, six boards, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. Anyone who tells you this team is going to fail is probably wrong.
The Pacers are now dealing with injuries to Jeff Teague (ankle), Myles Turner (ankle), Paul George (ankle) and C.J. Miles (knee). It sounds like Teague will play on Wednesday, but the others are up in the air. Glenn Robinson III started again and had eight points, five boards, two steals and two 3-pointers. But it would have been a lot more had he hit more than 3-of-14 shots in a whopping 37 minutes. He’s worth using short term until PG and CJM are back. As for a back up for Turner, I don’t know that you want to mess with Lavoy Allen or Kevin Seraphin, who were both quiet in decent bench minutes last night. I like Spencer Hawes if you’re looking for a Turner fill-in. Rodney Stuckey came out of nowhere with 21 points but I don’t trust him at all.
Rockets 99, Pistons 96 – Ryan Anderson had 10 points, six boards and zero threes and is in a slump. I think this is a good buy-low opportunity. He’ll get hot again soon enough. Clint Capela stayed hot with 15 points, 12 boards and two blocks against Andre Drummond and is a must-own center. James Harden had 28 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and two 3-pointers, and once again salvaged his game in the second half. Eric Gordon missed all five of his shots and failed to score. He had scored in double digits in seven straight games, so this was nothing more than an off night.
Tobias Harris matched his season low with nine points, which he’s hit four times this season. He had 19 on Saturday, and will be fine. Marcus Morris had 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting, and is due to get hot again. Andre Drummond had 13 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and no blocks, while Ish Smith stayed relevant with 10 points, eight dimes, a block and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Reggie Jackson is nearing a return from his knee/thumb issues. Hang onto Smith until RJax ruins him. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope blew up for 26 points and three 3-pointers after totaling just 13 points in his previous two games. Jon Leuer stayed relevant with 12 points, eight boards and a block off the bench, and is the only bench player worth owning from Detroit.
Bucks 93, Magic 89 – Giannis Antetokounmpo went crazy with 21 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, five steals and three blocks, which only two other players have done in history – Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. I said before the season that if the stars aligned he could finish as the No. 1 player in fantasy, and that certainly appears to be a real possibility. Jabari Parker scored 22 with three steals and five three-pointers, and is living up to the hype. Matthew Dellavedova had six turnovers, Tony Snell didn’t play well and John Henson was awful in another start at center. Greg Monroe played eight minutes and Miles Plumlee played 10 minutes, as the center position is a black hole in Milwaukee. Michael Beasley had 14 points off the bench and it’s possible the Bucks are ready to give up on using a center at all. I don’t get Jason Kidd’s hatred of Monroe.
Serge Ibaka was awesome with 21 points, eight boards, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers! Maybe he’s finally ready to start making those of you who own him actually smile. Jeff Green had 11-4-4, but I still don’t trust him, Nikola Vucevic had eight points, 11 boards and a block, Elfrid Payton flirted with a triple-double and Evan Fournier scored 18 with two 3-pointers. Bismack Biyombo had 13 points, 10 boards and a block off the bench, and the Magic rode the hot hand, which kept Vuc to just 28 minutes. Aaron Gordon had five points and four boards in 21 minutes, and Green starting is killing him. I still like the idea of holding him, but no one would be too mad at you if he was dropped for a hot free agent. He needs to start and get 30 minutes a game, which just isn’t happening.
Celtics 99, Wolves 93 – Jae Crowder left with soreness in his ankle and I’m not sure it will ever be fully healthy this season. Al Horford was a beast with 20 points, six boards, five assists, a steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers, and has played better in his two games since returning from a concussion than he did early in the season. Isaiah Thomas scored 29 (ho-hum), and Avery Bradley has scored 13 in two straight games. Don’t panic, even though the points and boards have dried up. He’ll break out soon enough. Marcus Smart’s shot is broken right now but he had a 9-6-5-1-0-3 line. Just hang in there with him. With Horford back, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller will be forgotten men.
The Wolves got a stellar 20-10-3-2-1 line from Gorgui Dieng and he’s playing much better lately. Andrew Wiggins is in a slump, hitting just 7-of-29 shots and going 0-for-8 from downtown over his last two games. No worries. Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 27 points, a season-high 18 boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers on the Celtics. Beast. Ricky Rubio has hit 2-of-18 shots over his last three games and his lack of scoring and poor shooting are a couple of reasons I don’t like owning him. Maybe he’s jealous of Robert Covington getting all the bad-shooter attention.
Spurs 96, Mavs 91 – The Spurs rested LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker, while Kawhi Leonard had 24 points and nine boards, and Pau Gasol had 16 points, eight boards and no blocks. He’s next up for a rest game, I’m afraid. Danny Green is still useless, Patty Mills had 17 points, two steals and two 3-pointers off the bench, but is only worth using on nights when Parker is sitting.
Seth Curry led the Mavericks with 23 points, two rebounds, four assists, a steal and five 3-pointers! I caught some heat for continually putting him in Waiver Wired column, but he’s as must-own as they come right now, especially since every other guard in Dallas is banged up. Harrison Barnes scored 20 with nine boards, Salah Mejri started and had eight points, 11 boards, four steals and a block in 32 minutes. I’m not moving on him with Andrew Bogut (calf) and Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) due to practice on Tuesday. And my unknown man, Jonathan Gibson, played just 16 minutes for seven points. He had 26 and five 3-pointers on Saturday and a nice game on Friday, but I dropped him where I picked him up. Now if Seth Curry goes down, it’s game-on with Gibson.
Clippers 123, Raptors 115 – Blake Griffin and Chris Paul each had 26 and fun lines, DeAndre Jordan had a 17-15-1 double-double, J.J. Redick scored 20 with three 3-pointers, and Luc Mbah a Moute hit 4-of-5 shots for 10 points. Jordan hit 9-of-14 free throws and had only attempted four of them over his previous four games. In short, he’s not killing you there right now!
Jonas Valanciunas got in some foul trouble and played just 29 minutes for 15 points, eight boards and a block. Which is why you try not to play guys against the defensively-minded Clippers right now. Kyle Lowry scored 27 with a fun line, DeMar DeRozan had 25 with seven assists, and Norman Powell had 11 points and two 3-pointers in the starting lineup. Patrick Patterson had 14 points, six boards, two steals and three 3-pointers off the bench. He got 36 minutes with DeMarre Carroll resting, and Pascal Siakam and JV in foul trouble. Terrence Ross had just eight points in 26 minutes, but is worth keeping an eye on, while Cory Joseph had 12 points and three steals in 18 minutes. Just keep an eye on Pat-Pat. And everyone’s favorite pickup three weeks ago, C Lucas Nogueira, played just 13 minutes and has now scored one point in his last five games.