Tuesday was a relatively quiet, four-game night in the Association, featuring a lot of mediocre stat lines, some bad teams getting wins, and thankfully, no injuries to speak of. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Pacers 101, Kings 83 – Darren Collison disappeared against his former team and missed all four of his shots, finishing with three points and two assists. He’s been playing at a pretty high level for the Pacers and they dominated tonight’s game, despite Collison’s struggles. He has struggled lately, scoring just 11 total points in his last two games, but I still think he’s going to bounce back in his next one. Cory Joseph picked up his slack tonight, but Collison is still the point guard to own in Indy. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17 points with three 3-pointers and another steal, and I think we can stop making fun of him for not stealing the ball. Domantas Sabonis was great again (four double-doubles in five games), but there is talk of Myles Turner (concussion) actually playing on Friday. As a Turner owner, I’m psyched, but I’m also a little worried about what his return will do to the red-hot Sabonis. He can still back up both Turner and Thaddeus Young, so I’d just hold Sabonis if you own him. And you should probably think about picking up Bogdanovic, as well.
Man the Kings were bad last night as De’Aaron Fox led them off the bench with 18 points, four boards, five assists and a steal on 9-of-18 shooting in 28 minutes. If you picked him up prior to his disappointing start the other day, I’m hoping he was still ‘stuck’ in your lineup last night. George Hill returned from a rest to start at point guard and had eight points, six boards and two dimes, but it really feels like Fox is about ready to take over for him. Zach Randolph also came back from a rest and had 12 points and five boards in 23 minutes, but Skal Labissiere played 25 minutes (two more than Randolph) and had eight points, eight boards and a steal. I actually have more confidence in holding Fox and Skal over of Hill and Randolph, but they’re going to be very inconsistent. Buddy Hield has been pretty bad and had just four points in 19 minutes last night. Bogdan Bogdanovic is really pushing him and had seven points, a 3-pointer and a block in another start last night. In short, the Kings are a mess, but Bogdanovic, Labissiere and Fox are all worth keeping a close eye on, if not worth owning.
Suns 122, Nets 114 – The Suns got their third win of the season as Devin Booker led the way with 32 points, seven boards, four assists and five 3-pointers. Mike James was big with a season-high 24 points, five dimes, four steals and three 3-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting, while Tyler Ulis came off the bench for 11 points and two assists in 19 minutes. If you own James, just hang onto him, as it remains to be seen which Suns point guard is going to be the guy to own a month from now. I own James in some and I own Ulis in some. T.J. Warren struggled in the first half, but came on after the break to finish with 20 points and 11 boards, and should be owned everywhere. Tyson Chandler started and had two points, 13 boards and a block, while Alex Len came off the bench for six points and 15 rebounds in 25 minutes. I still think Len should be owned everywhere. Marquese Chriss was bad, finishing with five points, five boards, a steal and a block on 0-of-2 shooting, but I still think he’s going to eventually wake up and start crushing. Patience, young Jedi. Keep an eye on his backup, Dragan Bender, as he played 27 minutes for 10 points, three boards, three assists and two 3-pointers. He’s pushing Chriss, but I’m still in the Chriss camp for now.
D’Angelo Russell went off for a season-high 33 points, six boards, four assists and two 3-pointers, DeMarre Carroll returned for 13 points, five boards, four steals, a block and two 3-pointers, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson stayed hot with 21 points, seven boards, a steal and two blocks, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 15 points, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers off the bench in 22 minutes. All of them should be owned and I somehow trust Dinwiddie, even with Russell back in action. Caris LeVert started and had 11 points, two rebounds, three assists and a 3-pointer in 28 minutes, while Allen Crabbe had five points, six boards and a 3-pointer on 2-of-10 shooting in 29 minutes off the bench. LeVert and Crabbe hurt each other nightly, but I still think both of them are worth owning. Carroll and RHJ have ruined Trevor Booker (4 & 4) and I’d rather own almost any Net over Booker.
Thunder 110, Bucks 91 – Russell Westbrook had just 12 points, but added 10 rebounds and nine assists for a near triple-double. His scoring is down as he’s deferring to Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams, but he’s still a fantasy beast. Westbrook is averaging just 19.6 points after going for 31.6 last year. His scoring will be hit or miss, but he’s still flirting with a triple-double every time out and is going to return first-round value, no matter how many times he shoots it per game. Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points with eight rebounds and a full stat line, and this was his first sub 20-point game this season. He looks fantastic in his new duds and I’m kind of sad I slept on him. Paul George had 20 and four 3-pointers, while Steven Adams double-doubled for 14 points and 11 boards. Adams is rolling. Jerami Grant, who I wrote about in this week’s Waiver Wired, was great with a season-high 17 points, four boards and two steals off the bench. He’s outplaying Patrick Patterson and is averaging 9.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.2 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers over his last five games. If you’re looking for a cheap DFS punt, Grant looks like the way to go. And if you are in a deep league and need steals and blocks, he’s worth picking up.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 9-of-14 shots and two 3-pointers (and 8-of-9 free throws) for 28 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the loss, but the rest of the Bucks were a disaster. Khris Middleton hit just 3-of-13 shots for nine points, Malcolm Brogdon was bad, and Tony Snell and Thon Maker were also disappointing. Middleton and Brogdon are worth owning across the board, despite last night’s brutality. Center Greg Monroe is going to be out for a couple weeks with a calf injury, so keep an eye on John Henson. Henson played 22 minutes and blocked three shots for the second straight game, to go along with one point and four rebounds. Put him on your watch list in case he gets hot without Monroe. If nothing else, you should be able to rely on him for blocks.
Lakers 113, Pistons 93 – The Lakers three-headed power forward is killing most of us, as well as Brook Lopez. Bro-Lo played just 21 minutes and hit 3-of-9 shots for eight points, one rebound, four assists and two 3-pointers. He’s averaging just 8.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 21 minutes over his last five games, as the Lakers’ small lineups are keeping him down. He was drafted as a No. 1 fantasy center, but the three power forwards, along with Ivica Zubac and Andrew Bogut are also stealing some of his minutes. Just hang onto him, as his value is too low to trade right now. At some point, the Lakers need to turn him loose. As for the three power forwards, Larry Nance, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle were all great last night. They combined for 47 points, 25 rebounds and hit 18-of-27 shots. All three are putting up numbers that make them worth owning and I’d rank them just like I have them above. Nance is a must-own player and should be starting in weekly leagues, while Kuzma and Randle are also playing well. But none of them are going to be able to go off while trying to cancel each other out. The Lakers have a bunch of talent and still aren’t sure of how to use it. Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were serviceable, while Jordan Clarkson had 10 points, three boards, four assists and a 3-pointer in 21 minutes. Oh, and my man Brandon Ingram had 13 points, five boards, six assists, four steals, a block and a 3-pointer, and I feel good about being all-in on him before draft season got here.
The Pistons struggled last night in the loss, but Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris each scored 18 points. Jackson had seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, and Harris had four boards, two assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers of his own. Andre Drummond double-doubled and didn’t shoot a free throw, while Stanley Johnson scored just nine points in 28 minutes. Avery Bradley backed up his best game of the season with one of his worst. Bradley hit just 4-of-17 shots and missed all five of his 3-pointers for eight points, five rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes. The minutes and number of shots were great, and owners will just have to remain patient as he learns to play for a new coach and new teammates, but the good news is that he’s healthy. Make some low-ball offers for Bradley, as he can’t continue to struggle this badly for much longer.
Whitey and Myles
Hassan Whiteside might play for the Heat tonight after missing the last five games with a knee injury, while Myles Turner sounds on track for Indy on Friday after missing the last six games with a concussion. I, for one, cannot wait for them to return, as I own one of them and/or DeMarcus Cousins in all of my leagues. My guess is that Whiteside will play tonight and Turner will play on Friday, so just cross your fingers and keep an eye on the news feed.