The Magic shocked the Bulls and Jared Sullinger, Jae Crowder, Jonas Valanciunas, Mason Plumlee, Brandon Jennings and Victor Oladipo all went off on a quiet Monday night. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
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Celtics 108, Pelicans 100
Jared Sullinger is hot again and had 27 points, 10 rebounds, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on 9-of-17 shooting in the win. The fact that Jeff Green now plays for the Grizzlies works in Sully’s favor, and he’s now the leader of this team on offense. The loss of Green created an opportunity for Jae Crowder and he started for the third straight game on Monday. After not doing much since being dealt in the Rajon Rondo deal back in December, Crowder caught fire last night and finished with a career-high 22 points, three rebounds, three assists, four steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting. This could be a fluke, or Crowder could be ready to go on a tear. I wouldn’t cut a good player for him, but if you have a player you’re not using, dropping him for Crowder probably makes some sense, just in case. He also makes for an interesting daily option, as small forward is pretty thin these days. Evan Turner had 10 points, seven boards and five assists and Avery Bradley scored 10 in another start. Tyler Zeller let his owners down by hitting just 1-of-9 shots for two points, four rebounds and a block for another disappointing game, and I’m starting to wonder just how long Brad Stevens is going to stick with him. Kelly Olynyk didn’t do anything either, so the center position is looking like a black hole in Boston right now.
Anthony Davis was at it again with 34 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He hit just 10-of-23 shots, but knocked down 14-of-15 free throws in the loss. Eric Gordon scored 21 points and hit three 3-pointers, and is playing well enough that he should be picked up until he gets hurt again. Jrue Holiday had a nightmare after his right ankle acted up and never returned to the game after just 16 minutes of action. He finished with four points and four assists on 2-of-5 shooting, and also committed five turnovers. Hopefully he’s all right, but owners should watch for updates on Tuesday. Dante Cunningham and Omer Asik started, but combined to score just nine points, but at least Asik had 12 rebounds. He’s been as disappointing as the Celtics centers lately. Ryan Anderson hit just 2-of-8 shots for eight points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers, and he’s been pretty disappointing this season, outside of the occasional nice scoring night.
Rockets 113, Nets 99
James Harden scored 30 points with another full stat line in the win, while Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett got into a skirmish that resulted in KG getting ejected for a head butt. A suspension could be coming for KG, not that you’ll miss him in fantasy. Donatas Motiejunas stayed hot with 18 points, 11 rebounds and a 3-pointer, and Josh Smith had 13 points, six rebounds, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 5-of-15 shooting off the bench. Motiejunas has done a nice job of holding onto value despite the arrival of Smoove. KG might have gotten into Howard’s head, as he had just eight points, five boards and no blocks on 3-of-9 shooting, marking one of his worst games since leaving the Lakers.
For the Nets, Mason Plumlee made another start over Brook Lopez and went off for a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds on 10-of-11 shooting. Jarrett Jack had 13 points and six assists, but could have played much better, and Bojan Bogdanovic started at shooting guard for the second straight game and had 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Sergey Karasev didn’t work out there, so it looks like it’s Bogdanovic’s turn if you’re in a deep league. Brook Lopez led the bench scoring with 12 points, six rebounds, a steal and a block, but Plumlee is pretty much running circles around him right now.
Pistons 114, Raptors 111
Brandon Jennings came through with 34 points, 10 assists and four 3-pointers, and Greg Monroe racked up 22 points, 10 boards, a steal and a block on 9-of-16 shooting in the win. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to start over Jodie Meeks and the two players constantly cancel each other out in a timeshare, while Andre Drummond was dominated by Jonas Valanciunas, hitting just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and a block. Drummond salvaged a decent line, but hasn’t looked right since struggling against Atlanta on Friday. And that means he should be about ready to go off. And with Jennings hot, D.J. Augustin’s hot run was a short one.
Valanciunas went nuts, hitting 14-of-15 shots for a career-high 31 points, 12 rebounds and a block against Drummond, which was quite impressive. Amir Johnson had 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, a steal and two blocks, finally posting a nice line, but this was just his second double-double of the season. Maybe he’s about to get hot, but I’ll believe it when I see it. James Johnson hit 3-of-3 shots for 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, and should continue to start until DeMar DeRozan is back from his groin injury, while Terrence Ross added 12 points and two 3-pointers for the Raps. Kyle Lowry hit just 3-of-12 shots, but still finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. He also had seven turnovers for one of his more disappointing lines in recent memory. Lou Williams added 16 points and two 3-pointers off the bench, and Greivis Vasquez hit 7-of-9 shots for 16 points, three boards, four assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes. He does this occasionally, but is too inconsistent to be relied upon.
Magic 121, Bulls 114
The 14-27 Magic shocked the Bulls as Victor Oladipo went off for a season-high 33 points, two rebounds, two assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 11-of-17 shooting. He also hit 8-of-10 free throws for his most exciting line of the year. I didn’t see this one coming against Jimmy Butler. Nikola Vucevic had his way against Joakim Noah and finished with 33 points and 11 boards, while Elfrid Payton stayed relevant with 10 points, four boards, seven assists, two steals and a block on 5-of-7 shooting. If he can shoot it this well going forward, he’s going to make some noise. Little known Devyn Marble started in place of Tobias Harris (ankle) and had five points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a 3-pointer in 31 minutes, but should fade back into obscurity sooner than later. He does have eight steals in his last two games, but it’s important to remember that both Harris and Evan Fournier were out last night. Channing Frye started, but hit just 2-of-10 shots and just can’t seem to put it together right now.
Pau Gasol stayed hot with 28 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and two blocks on 10-of-16 shooting, and he is carrying his fantasy teams right now. He’s double-doubled in three straight games and went off for 46 points and 18 boards on Saturday. Derrick Rose was back in action and had 18 points, seven assists and a 3-pointer, and it looks like a crisis was avoided here, as his knee has been bothering him again. Butler had 17 points and three 3-pointers, but his line was a bit empty. Butler’s having a breakout season and should bounce back in the next one. Joakim Noah was quiet with six points, seven boards and a block, but has really been struggling lately. He just doesn’t look all that healthy, and if he goes down, Taj Gibson is going to become a hot pick up. Aaron Brooks scored 12 with four assists and two 3-pointers, but can be ignored as long as Rose is playing, and Nikola Mirotic hit 2-of-7 shots for 11 points. As long as Gibson (nine points, six rebounds) is playing, Mirotic isn’t worth using.
Tuesday should be an interesting night, as the Hawks will look to keep it rolling against the lowly Sixers, LeBron James might play against the Suns, the Warriors will try to get a tough road win in Utah, and Miami should wax the Lakers.
My friend and fellow fantasy hoops freak, Brian Rosenworcel, is the drummer for Guster, and their new album, Evermotion, comes out today. Check out a hoops-oriented interview I did with him a few years ago, as well as a crazy “running errands with Guster” video. And if you’re interested in picking up the new release, just click here and pick your spot.