LeBron James triple-doubled for the first time this season, Marc Gasol went down with a knee injury, Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin played well for the Suns, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went crazy again for the Thunder on Monday night. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Magic 117, Hawks 110 OT – Elfrid Payton torched the Hawks again after Saturday night’s thrashing with 20 points, seven assists and a full stat line, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon (must-own) double-doubled, Evan Fournier started and scored 16 points with three 3-pointers, and Victor Oladipo stumbled with nine points and eight assists on 3-of-12 shooting in the win. The Magic backed up Saturday’s 96-94 win with a 117-110 win in OT last night and the starters all played pretty well again. At this point, Gordon looks like a must-own player, while Fournier is heating up. However, Tobias Harris was out with an ankle injury, allowing Fournier to play well as a starter, and Mario Hezonja to come off the bench with 14 points, nine boards and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Hezonja is running hot-and-cold, scoring 14, 0, 9, 16 and 4 points over his last five games. Just keep an eye on him, while Fournier is hot again, scoring 16, 21 and 16 points with 8 3-pointers over his last three games. Fournier looks like a decent pick up right now. Jason Smith had 14 points and four blocks off the bench, but I’m just not feeling him, especially once Harris is back.
Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver all came through for the Hawks and Korver says he’s finally healthy. He had 16 points, two steals and four 3-pointers, and might be ready for a run. Kent Bazemore disappeared on Monday, but had 23 points and eight rebounds on Saturday against the same team, so he was disappointing. The Hawks’ bench did nothing, including Dennis Schroder, and I’m still not a fan of holding him, because I doubt the Hawks are trading Teague.
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Hornets 108, Bulls 91 – Marvin Williams finally cooled off with nine points and five boards, but he also had a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers. He should be fine. Cody Zeller was also quiet in a start, finishing with five points, eight boards, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Both guys have been hot pickups and should be better in the next one. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit 7-of-14 shots for 20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a rare 3-pointer. At least one of the hot pickups in Charlotte (MKG) came through. Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum both went off, as Walker scored 30 and Batum missed a triple-double by just two assists. Spencer Hawes had 13 points, eight rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer, but the eventual return of Al Jefferson is probably going to stop that from happening many more times. If you’re still holding Jeremy Lin, it’s probably time to move on (1-of-7, 18 minutes).
E’Twaun Moore started again for Jimmy Butler (knee) and had 12 points, three boards, two assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. As long as Butler is out, Moore’s a must-start player. Taj Gibson had 11 points and seven boards in 22 minutes, but I still like him, and Bobby Portis had six points, six rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s as good as it gets for Portis right now. Kirk Hinrich started at point guard for Derrick Rose (knee), but hit just 1-of-8 shots for three points and five assists. Aaron Brooks played 20 minutes and took 12 shots, but hit just 2-of-12 shots. It sounds like this was a maintenance day for Rose, so Hinrich and Brooks should fade. Mike Dunleavy started for the Bulls and had eight points in 16 minutes, but that shouldn’t last once Butler and Rose are healthy again.
Cavaliers 120, Kings 100 – Kyrie Irving had 32 & 12, LeBron James had his first triple-double of the season, and J.R. Smith got hot with 22 points and six 3-pointers in an easy win. Kevin Love hit just 2-of-10 shots for 11 points, Tristan Thompson had just two points in a start and Richard Jefferson led the Cleveland bench with 10 points. Smith is the news here, but is probably already owned in your league.
The Kings were bad in fantasyland, led by Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi, who each scored just 16 points. DeMarcus Cousins was quiet with 14 points and eight rebounds, Willie Cauley-Stein hit 6-of-9 shots for 13 points and four rebounds, and Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double with seven points, eight boards and 16 assists. Marco Belinelli started again, but hit just 3-of-8 shots and a 3-pointer for eight points, and Darren Collison had 11 points and four assists off the bench. WCS is the news here and it’s time to pick him up, while Belinelli’s stock may be a bit overrated right now. This was one of Cousins’ quietest nights of the season and it’s possible the talk of firing George Karl is wearing on Boogie, but he should bounce back in the next one.
Pacers 89, Lakers 87 – The Pacers held on for the two-point win behind 21 points, nine boards and a fat line from Paul George, and a 14 & 13 double-double from Myles Turner. Turner’s been a fun waiver-wire pickup. Ian Mahinmi had 11 points, five boards and a block, so it’s time to give him a look if you’re a Roy Hibbert owner, and Monta Ellis disappointing with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting. Ellis went on a tear at the end of January, but has cooled considerably, averaging just 10.4 points on 37 percent shooting in five February games. He should get hot again soon.
The Lakers got 15 points and 19 boards from Julius Randle, who has been a must-own player for a month now, while Kobe Bryant hit just 6-of-25 shots and 4-of-14 3-pointers for 19 points and five rebounds. Kobe came in hot, and as long as you don’t care about field goal percentage, is a guy you’ll want to roll with on his farewell tour. Starters Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams hit just 7-of-23 shots, while D’Angelo Russell played through a groin injury and had 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals, a block and a 3-pointer. Make sure he’s not sitting on your waiver wire. Roy Hibbert was out with an ankle injury and Robert Sacre started in his place. You probably couldn’t tell a difference, as Sacre failed to score in his 15 minutes.
Clippers 98, Sixers 92 OT – The Clippers needed overtime, but held on for the win. Starters DeAndre Jordan (12 & 21), Chris Paul (19 & 7) and J.J. Redick (23 and three 3-pointers) all played well, and Jamal Crawford stayed hot off the bench with 23 points and a 3-pointer. Crawford is cooking, scoring at least 20 points in five straight games, and six of his last seven. Make sure he’s not available in your league. Wes Johnson played 42 minutes in the start, but hit just 3-of-13 shots for seven points, but also posted stats in every category. I love those minutes and he could be close to breaking out if you have a roster spot to fill.
Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor both put up decent big-man numbers, but nothing too eye catching, Robert Covington scored 11 in 34 minutes (0-for-6 from downtown), and Ish Smith played through his ankle injury and had 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 7-of-24 shooting. I’m glad he played through it. Jerami Grant may have been the story of the night with 17 points, 11 boards and a block in 33 minutes. He’s starting to play better and is worth keeping a close eye on in all leagues. And if you have a hole to fill, he’s not a bad pickup right now, but don’t expect this kind of production every night. Hollis Thompson had 16 points and four 3-pointers off the bench, but it feels fluky. He had 14 points and one board in his previous game, and seven points and two rebounds in the one prior. Isaiah Canaan missed all six of his shots and scored just one point, and he just can’t seem to put it all together long enough to maintain any value. As long as Ish is back you can forget about T.J. McConnell, and I’m guessing Covington’s about ready to break out again.
Nets 105, Nuggets 104 – Joe Johnson banked in a 3-pointer for the dramatic win and finished with 12 points and eight dimes. Thaddeus Young played well, Brook Lopez had 16 points but just four rebounds, and SG Wayne Ellington disappeared with three points on 1-of-4 shooting. Ellington had scored in double digits in six straight games before last night’s 19-minute dud. Markel Brown hurt him by scoring 19 points and hitting two 3-pointers in 24 minutes, and Bojan Bogdanovic hit 5-of-8 shots and a 3-pointer for 12 points. This is again a three-headed shooting guard situation in Brooklyn, making all three of them tough to own. And the point guard timeshare has basically made both Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin useless.
The Nuggets got big games from Kenneth Faried (22 & 13), Danilo Gallinari (24 points, four treys) and Gary Harris (17 points, 8-of-12 shooting), while Nikola Jokic fell off a cliff scoring two points in just 14 minutes. I get the sense this was matchup based and think Jokic will be just fine. But that doesn’t do much good for those of you who had him in a lineup last night. Will Barton is not nearly the player he was over the first two months of the season and had just nine points in 21 minutes, but is still worth owning. Harris is very intriguing, but is also very inconsistent. I’d rather take a flier on Jerami Grant.
Raptors 103, Pistons 89 – Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan all played well for the Raps, while starter Luis Scola struggled again. If you own him, consider dropping him for Grant. Terrence Ross had 18 points and four 3-pointers off the bench and he’s heating up, scoring at least 12 points in four straight games. He’s worth a look if you have someone to cut. Cory Joseph remained intriguing with 15 points and a decent line in 24 minutes, and is averaging 12.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists over his last three games. Deep leaguers take notice.
Ersan Ilyasova stayed relevant with 17 points, six boards and two 3-pointers, and I like him a lot more than my cohort Mike Gallagher does. Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson were all decent, while Stanley Johnson finally had an off night, hitting just 2-of-9 shots for five points. He’ll bounce back. Darrun Hilliard and Aron Baynes each scored in double figures off the bench, but I don’t think you need to concern yourself with either of them right now.
Blazers 112, Grizzlies 106 OT – Meyers Leonard started last night, but played just 13 minutes. I don’t think he was injured, and he’s just too inconsistent right now. However, if he continues to stick in the starting lineup, things could change quickly. Keep an eye on him. Al-Farouq Aminu played a whopping 40 minutes, but finished with just four points and five rebounds. That’s hard to do and he had been playing well. The minutes are encouraging and there every night, so look for a bounce back soon. Mason Plumlee was also bad with four points in 24 minutes, while Damian Lillard (33 points, five treys) and C.J. McCollum (21 points, six dimes) did the heavy lifting for Portland, as usual. Moe Harkless, Allen Crabbe and Gerald Henderson all hit double digits off the bench, but Crabbe’s the only one I’m interested in, and it has to be a pretty deep league.
Mike Conley (27) and Zach Randolph (26) led the way for Memphis, and Marc Gasol played through a sore foot, but left after just 11 minutes after aggravating the injury. I would imagine they’ll shut him down until the break. Randolph will probably shift to center if it happens and Jeff Green would be the primary beneficiary. Green played 39 minutes off the bench and had 12 points, six boards, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 5-of-14 shooting. Green’s rolling right now and should be owned in all leagues, along with Randolph. Matt Barnes cooled off with five points in 28 minutes before fouling out. He came in hot and should be better than this on most nights
Pelicans 116, Timberwolves 102 – Starter Anthony Davis and bench players Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday were the studs for New Orleans, all scoring at least 26 points. Norris Cole had 10 points and six dimes in 32 minutes, and is still a guy I want to own across the board, while the Bryce Dejean-Jones train has slowed to a halt. He played just 12 minutes and failed to score, which is another reason I like Cole, along with the fact that Tyreke Evans (knee) is still out until further notice.
Gorgui Dieng (must-own, double-double), Karl-Anthony Towns (double-double), Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins all played well for the Wolves, while Nemanja Bjelica (10 points, 12 minutes), Shabazz Muhammad (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Zach LaVine all hit double digits off the bench. LaVine is a nice own right now, hitting double digits in eight straight games. He’s not scoring quite as much as I’d like, but I think he’s worth owning right now.
Thunder 122, Suns 106 – Kevin Durant scored 32 with five 3-pointers and Russell Westbrook just missed a triple-double (29-8-8) as the Thunder rolled the Suns. Dion Waiters came through with 15 points, two 3-pointers and three steals in another start, and while he’s not exactly reliable, the minutes are there and he’s capable of a line like this every night. Serge Ibaka was quiet again with eight points, five rebounds and two blocks, and it’s tough for him to come through when Westbrook and Durant are going crazy every night.
Markieff Morris tried to start a fight with Ibaka and finished with 23 points, seven boards, two steals and a block, and is a must-own player as long as the Suns are showcasing him for a trade, or if they keep him and continue to run the offense through him. Ride him until the wheels fall off. Archie Goodwin came through with 20 points and seven dimes, and is a must-own player, while Devin Booker hit just 1-of-8 shots, but still played 29 minutes. All three should be held until further notice. Tyson Chandler started and had 11 points and seven rebounds, while Alex Len had 13 points, eight boards, two steals and a block off the bench. I think Len is going to push Chandler out of the way at some point, so it’s time to pick him up if he’s available in your league. Mirza Teletovic had 17 points and a 3-pointer off the bench, and starter P.J. Tucker hit 7-of-10 shots for 16 points and five steals. Tucker is more reliable, while Teletovic should be watched closely as he is heating back up.