Stephen Curry made some 3-point history, D’Angelo Russell is back, Rudy Gobert went off, we had a Nerlens Noel sighting in OKC, Elie Okobo had his coming out party, and the Wizards ship may be sinkin’ after a disheartening loss to the Clippers on Sunday night.
Because you can never see it too many times…
Week 3 Schedule: Games Played
5 Games: POR, PHI
4 Games: ATL, BKN, CHI, DEN, IND, LAL, MIN, NOP, NYK, SAC, SAS, TOR
3 Games: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHX, UTA, WAS
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Warriors 120, Nets 114 – Stephen Curry became the first NBA player in history to hit at least five 3-pointers in seven straight games on Sunday night. He dialed up seven of them on his way to 35 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in a close win over the Nets. Curry is playing on another level right now and looks determined to win another MVP Award this season. So far, so good. Damian Jones started at center and lasted just 12 minutes before picking up four fouls, and Jordan Bell played just 10 minutes to finish with two points, three rebounds, one assist and a block. The Warriors don’t really need to play with a center, and I’m starting to lose all hope on Bell. But it’s a long season. Kevin Durant added 34 points and a fun stat line, Draymond Green had eight points, four rebounds, 13 assists and five steals, and Klay Thompson added 18 points, five boards, a block, a steal and a 3-pointer. It was nice to see Dray blow up for 18 points on Friday, but he was back to his low-scoring ways on Sunday. Get used to it.
The Nets got 25 points, six boards, six assists, a block and five 3-pointers from D’Angelo Russell, and he’s now on fire. Over his last two, he’s averaging 24.5 points, 5.5 boards, 5.0 assists and 5.5 3-pointers. He’s also hit 11-of-17 3-pointers in those two games, good for 65 percent. Crisis averted after his slow start. Joe Harris is also on fire from downtown, but hit just 2-of-6 of them last night. He entered the game at No. 4 in the league in 3-point percentage at 59.3 percent, and he’s hit 15 of his last 23 from deep, good for 65 percent. He’s not scoring a lot right now and the emergence of Caris LeVert isn’t helping, but Harris is still worth a look if you need 3-pointers.
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LeVert was solid with 23 points, and season highs of seven assists and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He hasn’t had a steal in two straight games, but has scored 44 points in them. I love me some LeVert. Jarrett Allen played 29 minutes and hit 5-of-6 shots for 11 points, three boards, four assists, a steal and two blocks in the loss. He’s been pretty solid, albeit not mind blowing, but he’s only going to get better from here on in. Allen Crabbe scored a season-high 14 points with five boards, two assists and four 3-pointers, but he’s been the odd man out with LeVert and Harris playing so many minutes. Just keep an eye on him.
Jazz 113, Mavericks 104 – Rudy Gobert went nuts with 23 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two dimes in 33 minutes in the win. And given that the Mavericks are no longer “centerless” this season with DeAndre Jordan in the mix, that’s saying something. Derrick Favors (knee) was out tonight and I love the idea of dropping him for Zach Collins of Portland, who plays five games this week. It seems like a no-brainer. Jae Crowder started in place of Favors, and has been better than Favors despite coming off the bench. He had 15 points with six boards in 35 minutes. Crowder’s worth a pickup in many leagues, even when coming off the pine, but appeared to tweak his ankle at the end of the game. Make sure he’s good to go on Monday if you pick him up. Ricky Rubio cooled off after a huge game on Saturday, hitting 2-of-9 shots and a 3-pointer for six points, eight dimes and a steal. Saturday was fun, but like we’ve been saying, Rubio normally doesn’t get it going until after the holidays, for whatever reason. Georges Niang scored a season-high 13 points in 13 minutes, but unless you’re in a 20- or 30-team league, there’s nothing to see here. Donovan Mitchell scored 20 and Joe Ingles filled up the stat sheet in the Jazz win.
For the Mavericks, Harrison Barnes had seven points in his second game of the season, but played 34 minutes. He’s still working his way back from the hamstring injury and if I owned him, I’d just bench him until he gets it going. DeAndre Jordan handed out a career-high nine assists to go with his 12 points, 19 rebounds and a block. He made all four of his free throws (again) and is shooting around 90 percent from the line this year. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But we’re far enough in that he could fall apart at the line and still finish with a career best free throw percentage. Don’t try to figure out why it’s happening. Just be thankful if you own him.
Luka Doncic banged his left knee but was able to finish with 14 points, six boards, five assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. This is just what he does, and he’s only going to get better. Just make sure his knee is not an issue come Monday afternoon. Dennis Smith Jr. scored a career-high 27 points and hit 12-of-19 shots. He’s coming off an ankle injury that actually cost him a game, so this was great to see. He’s shooting 48 percent from the floor, a vast improvement over last season, and looks like he’s primed for the season we were hoping for a year ago. Wesley Matthews stayed hot with 22 points, seven boards, a steal and two 3-pointers, and he’s scored at least 20 in four straight games. If he’s available, go get him. Dorian Finney-Smith is ruined by the return of Barnes, and Dwight Powell only played 11 minutes tonight, also feeling the Harry Barnes squeeze.
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Thunder 117, Suns 110 – Nerlens Noel exploded for 20 points, 15 rebounds, four steals and a block in 26 minutes after getting a start for Steven Adams, who was out with a calf injury. The last time Noel scored at least 20 points in an NBA game was in February of 2016, so I’m not exactly running to the waiver wire to get him. Adams isn’t going to miss much time with his injury and Noel should go back to his 15-minute ways soon enough. But he’s surely earned some more minutes with this performance, so just keep an eye on him.
Paul George hit 9-of-15 shots and four 3-pointers for a highly efficient and full stat line, while Russell Westbrook played through his sore shoulder and hit 8-of-13 shots for 23 points, nine boards, seven assists, four steals and six turnovers. He didn’t attempt a 3-pointer tonight, something that only happened four times last season, and has 16 turnovers to just one 3-pointer this season. He’s only played in three games, and while the turnovers aren’t going to go away, the 3-pointers are coming. Jerami Grant started again and had a season-high 14 points, four boards and a steal in a season-high 37 minutes. He benefitted by the absence of Adams, but is also one of the few power forward options in OKC (with Patrick Patterson), making him worth a close look going forward. 2Pat played 30 minutes, hit 6-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers, and finished with 17 points and four rebounds. He was another winner in the absence of Adams tonight, but I’m not picking him up.
For the Suns, Elie Okobo made some waves with his career night of 31 minutes, 5-of-9 shooting, three 3-pointers, 5-of-6 free throws, 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists and just three turnovers. Isaiah Canaan went down with a sprained left ankle in the first quarter, and Devin Booker is out with a hamstring injury. The Suns have said they’ll add a veteran point guard, but I’m not sure that’s actually going to happen. I also don’t know when Canaan and Booker will play again, but if you’ve got a spot open and want to take a flier on Okobo, I’m all for it. He’ll possibly disappear once those guys are back, but you have to wonder if the Suns will just let the kid play and get him ready for the future. If that happens, he could end up being a steal. As for Canaan, his four-game week is over and it’s probably time to dump him for a Blazer or Sixer, who plays five games this week. Josh Jackson was quiet again in the starting lineup for Booker (he’s scored eight points in both of his starts), Trevor Ariza scored five points, and T.J. Warren bounced back from an off night with 18 points, eight boards, a block and two 3-pointers in just 22 minutes. I still think Jackson will get it going eventually, but Warren’s the small forward you want to own in Phoenix right now. Deandre Ayton double-doubled, and is cruising along as expected.
Clippers 136, Wizards 104 – The Clippers are 4-2 and the Wizards are 1-5 after Sunday’s NBA version of the Red Wedding, and I didn’t see this blowout coming. And as an owner of Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris in DFS tonight, the four-point loss due to garbage time hurt me, but I’ll be OK. Due to the ridiculous score of the game, there wasn’t a ton to learn from it, but here are the highlights. Marcin Gortat played 20 minutes and had just four points, eight boards and three blocks, while Montrezl Harrell came off the bench for 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks on 6-of-7 shooting – in just 16 minutes. I don’t know what else the kid has to do to steal the starting job, but he’s been a blast thus far. Harrell’s averaging 18 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals over his last four games, while shooting lights out. The Clippers only play three games this week, so he’s not a must-start player, and his minutes are still wonky at times. But he should be owned everywhere until we see how this plays out.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, whom it seems like I write about every night now, had 10 points, and career highs of eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, a 3-pointer and 28 minutes. He’s starting to turn it on, and while it will likely take a Patrick Beverley injury for him to be officially set free, I like the idea of grabbing SGA and stashing him if you can do it. He’s getting better every day. Avery Bradley finally showed up for a decent outing with 15 points, five assists and three 3-pointers on 6-of-12 shooting. But he didn’t have a single rebound, which is supposedly what he does best. I’m not buying him yet, but it’s nice to know he can still play. Boban Marjanovic busted loose with 13 points, nine boards, a steal and two blocks in 12 minutes, but I’ve seen this movie before. It was a garbage-time fest and he’s just as likely to sit on the bench next game as he is to get 12-15 minutes. Fool me once…
For the Wizards, John Wall and Bradley Beal called out their teammates after getting beaten by the lowly Kings on Friday, and that was after getting blown out by the Warriors on Wednesday. They have just one win on the season and if Wall and Beal were ticked off prior to tonight’s game against the Clippers, I’m guessing the 32-point loss isn’t going to sit well in D.C. Stay tuned. Markieff Morris played through the flu, but lasted just 14 minutes and missed all four of his shots. Hopefully he’s ready to go for the upcoming week. The Wizards’ box score is a disaster, although Ian Mahinmi had 11 points and seven rebounds, making him worth a deep-league look. And Jeff Green had 12 points and eight boards, and has been playing well off the bench this season. Neither player is must-own, but they’re both worth keeping an eye on.
That’s a wrap on Week 2!