Stephen Curry was back, Elfrid Payton and Nicolas Batum were out and could miss more games, and Draymond Green stayed super-hot with his third straight triple-double. Dose breaks down a busy 10-game night. Follow me on Twitter here.
Cavs 122, Raps 100 – Kyrie Irving came through with a season-high 25 points, six boards, eight assists and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes. He shouldn’t miss any more games and his minutes restriction is going away, so it should be all systems go for Irving from here on in, assuming he stays healthy. Kevin Love and LeBron James did a little bit of everything, Tristan Thompson double-doubled in a start at center, and J.R. Smith went off for 24 points and eight 3-pointers. This was his best game since November and he was struggling coming in, so congratulations are in order if you had him in a lineup tonight. The Cavs are healthy and looking good, so the bench is going to struggle on a nightly basis.
DeMarre Carroll sat out for the Raps with a knee injury and James Johnson started in his place. He did almost nothing, while Terrence Ross was quiet off the bench. Luis Scola came in hot but cooled off, Jonas Valanciunas was serviceable, but not great, and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan do what they always do. Bismack Biyombo had 10 points, five boards and a block in 18 minutes, and is likely going to fade as Valanciunas gets back to full strength. Ross, Scola and Biyombo are all guys who can be held or dropped at this point, depending on your situation, although Scola’s been hot enough that I’d recommending holding tight for now.
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Sixers 109, Wolves 99 – Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor started together last night but it was Noel who came through with 10 points, nine boards and three blocks on 5-of-6 shooting. Okafor had 10 points and two blocks, but just three boards, so it still remains to be seen if they can actually play together. Ish Smith bounced back in a big way with 21 points and 11 dimes, so I hope you didn’t drop him after a couple bad games. Nik Stauskas and Jerami Grant started, but scored a total of seven points, although Stauskas played fairly well and got 29 minutes. Just keep an eye on him. Robert Covington played just seven minutes and did nothing, and it’s probably time to cut bait. Carl Landry and Richaun Holmes both scored well in this one, but aren’t trustworthy. T.J. McConnell was nice with nine points, four boards, six assists and four steals off the bench, but will struggle for consistency as long as Ish is ballin.’
The Wolves got 16 points and a nice line from Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio had 10 assists and three steals, but hit just 3-of-11 shots, and Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench for a season-high 20 on 8-of-11 shooting. Karl-Anthony Towns had just eight points, six rebounds and zero blocks, struggling for the second straight game, while Gorgui Dieng came through with 14 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks. Towns is due to bounce back soon, so don’t expect Dieng to be this good nightly. Zach LaVine played just 18 minutes with five points, and he’s not trustworthy until he starts getting more like 25 minutes a night.
Celtics 103, Nets 94 – Jae Crowder got hot for 25 points, six boards, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers as his fine season continues, Kelly Olynyk got a start and had nine points in 34 minutes, and Evan Turner took over for Avery Bradley (hip) with 12 points, 11 boards, three dimes and a block. He should be money as long as Bradley is out. Jared Sullinger came off bench due to his wrist injury and had 12 points, 10 boards and three steals in just 18 minutes. Amir Johnson played fairly well and Isaiah Thomas was solid again for the Celtics.
Thaddeus Young went off for 23 points, 15 boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers to stay red hot for the Nets. Joe Johnson played well in his second straight game with 21 points, six boards and four assists, and could see a spark with Jarrett Jack out for the season. Brook Lopez did Bro-Lo like things and Bojan Bogdanovic hit just 3-of-14 shots, but still finished with 12 points, 12 boards and two blocks. He looks like a must-own player to me. Shane Larkin started for Jack, but hit just 2-of-7 shots for four points and two assists. It might take him a minute to get this starting thing figured out. Donald Sloan played 21 minutes for five points and three assists, and you can expect a bit of a timeshare until one of them takes a step forward. If you picked up Larkin, give him another couple games before panicking.
Pistons 115, Magic 89 – Reggie Jackson played through an ankle injury and had 14 & 7, Marcus Morris bounced back to score 13, Andre Drummond had 17 & 12 with a steal and a block, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope stayed hot with 21 points, six boards and five 3-pointers. He’s playing massive minutes and has looked great in three straight. Brandon Jennings had a season-high 17 points and three 3-pointers in just 18 minutes, but there’s no reason to get excited just yet. Ersan Ilyasova was just so-so, but I’m a fan of holding him as long as he’s starting and healthy.
Elfrid Payton sat out for the Magic with an ankle injury so Victor Oladipo started at point guard. Oladipo finally came through with a nice line of 18 points, seven boards, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 7-of-11 shooting, so maybe he got some confidence back last night. Tobias Harris and Evan Fournier were useless in a blowout loss, while Nikola Vucevic had just three rebounds and no blocks to go along with 16 points. Jason Smith, Andrew Nicholson and Shabazz Napier all hit double digits off the bench, but Nicholson’s the only one you need to keep an eye on. Despite Dipo’s big line, this was another ugly game for Scott Skiles and his Magic.
Heat 103, Pacers 100 OT – Hassan Whiteside was a late scratch with a knee injury, which killed me on several levels. Chris Andersen started but had just two points in 10 minutes, so hopefully Whiteside will be back for the next one. Chris Bosh went off for 31 & 11 with some goodies, Dwyane Wade scored 27 with eight boards, and Luol Deng was his normal, disappointing self. Goran Dragic had 13 points, five boards and four assists in the win, while Gerald Green played just 16 minutes off the bench (cut time?). Justise Winslow played a whopping 36 minutes off the bench but hit just 2-of-6 shots for seven points, six boards and a block. Keep an eye on him, but he hadn’t scored in his previous four games, and didn’t even play in three of them due to an ankle injury.
The Pacers were without George Hill due to an illness and C.J. Miles started, but left early after hurting his shoulder. He just can’t stay healthy and may be more of a headache than he’s worth, although he has had some big games this season. Monta Ellis started at point guard and had 17 points and nine dimes in 41 minutes, Paul George stayed hot with 32 points and five triples, and Ian Mahinmi played well again with 13 points, nine boards and a block. Jordan Hill was also nice off the bench with 10 points, 12 boards, a steal and a block, and Rodney Stuckey scored 12 points. Stuckey will get a boost if Hill continues to sit, while both Jordan Hill and Mahinmi (33 minutes last night) are worth owning in most leagues.
Spurs 123, Bucks 98 – Tony Parker sat out with hip injury, allowing Patty Mills to start, and Mills had 10 points, five dimes and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes. If Parker continues to sit, Mills is worth grabbing. LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan both double-doubled, and this was Duncan’s first meaningful game since Christmas Day. Maybe his knee is feeling better. Kawhi Leonard scored 24 but had a modest line with two steals, a block and three 3-pointers, and Danny Green’s carriage turned back into a pumpkin after 1-of-6 shooting in 14 minutes. Jonathon Simmons (who?) led the bench with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting in garbage time, and Boris Diaw had 14 points in 19 minutes. Ignore anyone not starting for the Spurs, with the exception of Manu Ginobili, who had just eight points in 22 minutes last night.
Jerryd Bayless aggravated his ankle injury that cost him 11 games in December, so he might be on the shelf again. Starters Jabari Parker (he’s back), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams and Khris Middleton all played well in the loss for the Bucks. And that means the bench didn’t do much of anything. O.J. Mayo played 24 minutes but missed all four of his shots and John Henson played just 14 minutes for eight points, four boards and a block. If Parker was dropped in your league, think about picking him up, and look for MCW to go off if Bayless misses more games going forward.
Kings 116, Thunder 104 – Kevin Durant was out with a toe injury so Anthony Morrow got a start in his place. Morrow hit 8-of-11 shots and three 3-pointers for 20 points, while Serge Ibaka (25 & 7, 5 blocks), Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook (6-of-23, 17-8-15) all played well for the Thunder. Adams is suddenly intriguing after averaging 9.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over his last four games, and he had 15 points and 10 boards last night. Enes Kanter played just 16 minutes and hit 1-of-5 shots for three points, one rebound and a block. Ouch. If Durant misses more time, Morrow might be worth a look in most formats, while Westbrook becomes a must-play in DFS.
For the Kings, Omri Casspi sat with a back injury, Ben McLemore left with a back injury and Willie Cauley-Stein left with a finger injury. Casspi is the guy who matters here, and he’s day-to-day. DeMarcus Cousins went nuts without Casspi, racking up 33 points, 19 boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers, and the addition of a 3-pointer to his game has been fun. Rudy Gay was solid, Quincy Acy was scoreless in a start, and Rajon Rondo stayed hot with 13 points, nine boards, 19 assists and five steals. Wow. The crazy thing is that only the five steals were a season high for Rondo, who is a fantasy monster right now. Marco Belinelli stayed hot with 21 points and two 3-pointers, and he’s been killing it for three straight games. And if McLemore is going to miss time, Bello may be worth grabbing, especially given how he's played lately. He also started the second half of last night's game.
Rockets 93, Jazz 91 – Ty Lawson sat out with an ankle and is day-to-day, Terrence Jones was benched for the entire second half and played just 15 minutes, and Donatas Motiejunas is out indefinitely with a back injury. Marcus Thornton was also out again after the birth of his child. Clint Capela was awful, despite the great opportunity, Dwight Howard and James Harden both played well, while Trevor Ariza was decent and Patrick Beverley was disappointing. The Rockets are a mess, despite getting the win, and you can expect to see Jones hitting the waiver wire in your league soon. Harden led a nice fourth-quarter comeback to bring the Rockets back from a 15-point deficit for the win.
Rodney Hood was back for the Jazz after the birth of his child and had 23 points, seven assists, a steal and five 3-pointers. He’s been killing it. Derrick Favors missed his sixth straight game with a back injury, so desperate owners are hoping he’ll be back for the next one and still eek out four games this week. Trey Lyles started again and scored a career-high 13 points, but he can be ignored. Gordon Hayward scored 20 with a great line, Jeff Withey came through with 8 & 11 to go with three steals and three blocks, and could end up being a five-game difference maker off the wire this week. The bench was disappointing, including Trey Burke, who hit 3-of-11 shots for 10 points, five boards, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. The minutes were there again, but he’s struggled with his shot a bit over his last couple games. Maybe Rudy Gobert (knee) plays this week, and maybe he doesn’t. I guess the same can be said for Favors, but my guess is he’ll be back for the next one.
Grizzlies 91, Blazers 78 – Mike Conley played through a sore back and hit just 3-of-13 shots for nine points and four dimes. At least he played. Matt Barnes was back from his suspension, but looked rusty, missing all five of his shots for three points, six boards and three steals. Hang in there with him. Jeff Green was awful with six points on 3-of-12 shooting, and Marc Gasol also hit just 3-of-12 shots for seven points. Zach Randolph went crazy in a revenge game against the Blazers, racking up 26 points and 18 boards off the bench. I have no idea how the Grizzlies won when the starters hit just 15-of-53 shots, but Z-Bo is probably the answer.
Damian Lillard returned from his foot injury but hit just 4-of-14 shots. Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points and 14 rebounds, Mason Plumlee laid an egg on 1-of-6 shooting, and Lillard finished with 17 & 7 due to his poor shooting. C.J. McCollum cooled off with Lillard back, but still had 16 points, four dimes, a steal and a 3-pointer on 6-of-18 shooting. Meyers Leonard played just 16 minutes off the pine, but was coming on. He tweaked his shoulder tonight, but says he's fine. Stick with him. Allen Crabbe stayed relevant with 32 minutes, nine points, six rebounds and a 3-pointer, but the Blazers just didn’t have it last night.
Warriors 111, Hornets 101 – Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes were back from their injuries and Curry went off for 30 points, five threes and a nice line in 32 minutes. Whew. Klay Thompson also scored 30 with six 3-pointers, and Draymond Green triple-doubled in his third straight game (!) with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. I hope you’re enjoying that ride if you own him. Barnes had eight points in 20 minutes, and it may take him a couple games to shake off the rust, while Marreese Speights caught fire for a season-high 15 points in 17 minutes, but only had two rebounds and one block. Ignore him. Shaun Livingston played just eight minutes with Curry back, and Ian Clark had just three points in 18 minutes after a bit of a hot run. Both of those guys are cashed in as long as Curry is back.
Nicolas Batum was out with a toe injury for Charlotte so Jeremy Lin started and had 13 points in 31 minutes. Lin is probably worth owning, especially if Batum is going to miss more time. Batum is already doubtful for Wednesday, so Lin makes sense in DFS, as well as other leagues right now. Cody Zeller started again and had eight points, 10 boards, two steals and a block, while Frank Kaminsky was quiet off the bench with six points and five boards, despite playing 26 minutes. He’ll be better on most nights. Zeller and Kaminsky are both worth holding right now. Kemba Walker was solid with 22 points, seven boards and three assists, and Jeremy Lamb hit 9-of-14 shots for 22 points and three steals off the bench. Lamb’s minutes are up again and he’s also a solid option as long as Batum is out. Lamb hurt his right hand during the game, but returned and looked great.