Games Played Week 22
4 Games: BOS, BRK, CHA, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MEM, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, SAS, UTA, WAS
3 Games: ATL, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, LAC, MIL, NOP, PHX, SAC, TOR
2 Games: ORL
We’re in the heart of the fantasy playoffs and there are plenty of injuries throughout the league. Watch the Rotoworld News Feed on Monday before setting lineups, as there are a lot of tough decisions that need to be made. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
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Spurs crush Hawks - The Spurs destroyed the Hawks in Atlanta on Sunday behind 23 points and eight boards from Tiago Splitter, and 20 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals from Kawhi Leonard. Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli and Danny Green all played well for the Spurs, while Tim Duncan also had a fat stat line.
The Hawks welcomed back Kyle Korver from a broken nose, but he only scored six points. Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic were the only Hawks in double digits, Mike Budenholzer was ejected, and yes, I’m a little worried about the Hawks right now. The Hawks are still going to win the East, but may have peaked too early.
Cavs stop Bucks – LeBron James had a big line and Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith both played well in the Cavs easy win. Smith was on fire, hitting 8-of-11 shots and seen 3-pointers for 23 points to lead the Cavs. Kevin Love struggled with nine points, three rebounds and 4-of-13 shooting. I don’t know what to tell you, other than to keep using him and hope he gets it going soon. At least he’s playing.
All five Bucks starters scored in double figures and they got almost nothing from their bench. Michael Carter-Williams had 19 points, five assists, four steals, two blocks, a 3-pointer and six turnovers in the loss.
Thunder trounces Heat – No Durant, Ibaka, Collison? No problem. The Thunder got another triple-double from Russell Westbrook, with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 17 assists, four steals, two blocks, a 3-pointer and six turnovers. It was his 10th triple-double of the season and you have to think more are coming. Kevin Durant has been shut down indefinitely, Serge Ibaka isn’t close and Nick Collison is going to miss time with a sprained ankle. The good news is that Enes Kanter was back and had 27 points and 12 rebounds. Steven Adams had a double-double and Mitch McGary added 14 points, eight boards, a steal and two blocks, and both of them are worth grabbing with all the injuries in OKC. And I still like Anthony Morrow, who had 12 points, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers Sunday. OKC hold the final playoff spot in the West with a 2.5 game lead over Phoenix.
The Heat were led by Hassan Whiteside’s 13 points, while Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic each scored 12. Luol Deng was just as horrible with six points in 28 minutes, and it’s easy to see why the Heat lost by looking at the numbers. The Heat are currently the No. 7 seed in the East.
Clippers top Pelicans – All five Clippers starters scored between 12 and 23 points, as Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan led the way with double-doubles. Blake Griffin scored 23 points and J.J. Redick stayed hot with Jamal Crawford’s season likely over, and had 20 points and three 3-pointers.
The Pels got 26 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks from Anthony Davis, who also hit 11-of-13 shots in his return from an ankle injury. When he plays, he’s amazing. Eric Gordon was benched for disciplinary reasons and lost a tooth, but still came through with 23 points and five 3-pointers. He should be back in the starting lineup for his next game. Tyreke Evans (ankle) and Omer Asik (calf) were out, so Norris Cole and Alexis Ajinca started for the Pelicans. Cole had 12 points, four dimes and two 3-pointers, and Ajinca double-doubled with 11 points and 10 rebounds. If Evans and Asik are going to miss more time, Cole and Ajinca will have some short-term value. The Pelicans are three full games behind OKC for the final spot in the West, with the Suns sitting a ½ game ahead of them in the standings.
Raptors rock Knicks – Kyle Lowry was out with a sore back so Greivis Vasquez got the start and had 12 points, one assist and four turnovers. Yuck. Consider Lowry iffy for Tuesday’s game. Jonas Valanciunas double-doubled and DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win. Tyler Hansbrough somehow got hot and hit 7-of-8 shots for 18 points and five rebounds in just 18 minutes, but there’s no reason to pick him up. Toronto has been fading, but still hold the No. 3 seed in the East.
The Knicks got 24 points and two 3-pointers from Lance Thomas, who started and hit 9-of-12 shots (fluky) and Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points with two blocks. That’s it for the double-digit scorers for the Knicks, and they’re just a mess. To make matters worse, Alexey Shved left the game with a rib contusion, leaving him iffy for Monday and the rest of the week. If you’re in a daily league and need healthy bodies this week, you may be forced to make a tough decision on Shved, but hopefully you can just bench him. It should mean more minutes for Shane Larkin (33 minutes, nine points and eight assists), and Langston Galloway was decent with nine points, seven assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, but hit just 4-of-14 shots.
Kings crush Wizards – Rudy Gay had 26 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 20 points, seven boards, five assists and three steals in the easy win, as all five Kings starters scored in double figures. Ben McLemore’s wrist no longer looks like a problem, as he had 17 points and three 3-pointers. Omri Casspi was in the starting five and had 14 points, five assists, three steals and two 3-pointers, and he could be worth a pickup if he’s going to stick in the starting unit.
The Wizards got 19 points and a 3-pointer from Bradley Beal, while John Wall hit just 3-of-10 shots for nine points and eight assists. Paul Pierce and Nene played low minutes, but there were no reports of injuries to them, and no one on the Wiz bench did anything noteworthy. The Wizards are currently the No. 5 seed in the East.
Pistons hold off Celtics in OT – Andre Drummond had 18 points, 22 boards and four blocks, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went off for 27 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers. Reggie Jackson just missed a triple-double with 17 points, nine boards and 11 assists, while Anthony Tolliver was scoreless in a start for Greg Monroe (knee). Maybe Monroe will be back for Tuesday’s game. The Pistons playoff hopes are basically dead.
All five C’s starters scored in double digits, led by Evan Turner’s 23 points, six boards, eight assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. Jae Crowder got the start with Marcus Smart suspended and came through with 19 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, but Smart will be back for his next game. Brandon Bass stayed relevant with 13 points, nine boards and two blocks, and Kelly Olynyk was massively disappointing with four points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 1-of-9 shooting. He did play 29 minutes though, so things should be looking up this week. Isaiah Thomas is due back from his back injury this week, but we still don’t know exactly when. The Celtics are a half game back of the Hornets for the final playoff spot, tied with the Pacers. The Nets are just a half game back, so the Eastern playoff race is still very much an open heat.
Gallinari powers Nuggets over Magic – Danilo Gallinari hit 12-of-21 shots, six 3-pointers and 10-of-11 free throws on his way to a career-high 40 points, and added seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. If you picked him up a couple weeks ago, congratulations. Jameer Nelson played just 17 minutes but hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, while Kenneth Faried, Jusuf Nurkic, J.J. Hickson and Will Barton each scored 11 points. Ty Lawson was invisible with zero points and eight assists on 0-of-2 shooting, and is in a bad slump. His coach, Melvin Hunt, is pleased with Lawson’s play, but his fantasy owners are miserable. Randy Foye sat with an illness, pushing Nurkic into the starting five. I’m guessing Foye will be back for his next one, and I don’t trust Nurkic right now.
The Magic got 21 points and a full stat line from Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic added 20 points, eight boards and a block, and Elfrid Payton had six points, eight boards, eight assists and three steals on 3-of-9 shooting. With just two games next week, it’s going to be tough to start any Magic players in weekly formats.
Hornets top Wolves – Cody Zeller was out again and Marvin Williams started in his place, but hit just 3-of-11 shots and a three for eight points and eight boards. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and nine boards, and Al Jefferson bounced back with 18 points, 11 boards and two steals, while Kemba Walker started and had 16 points, eight assists and six steals. Gerald Henderson came through with 17 points and a 3-pointer, but didn’t do much else. Mo Williams came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 24 points, four boards, four assists and four 3-pointers in 29 minutes, meaning he’s still relevant despite the return of Walker. The Hornets are currently the No. 8 seed in the East, a half game up on Boston and Indy, and a full game up on Brooklyn.
Gorgui Dieng started and had 16 points, eight boards and a block for the Wolves, Kevin Martin scored 15, Andrew Wiggins added 13, as did Adreian Payne, who got another start at power forward and added nine boards. Zach LaVine made another start for Ricky Rubio and had 11 points and five assists, while Gary Neal scored 11 off the bench, with Chase Budinger chipping in with 10 points, five boards and a 3-pointer. Maybe Payne is about to get hot, so give him a look. Rubio continues to be a game-time decision daily, which is pretty frustrating for owners.
Suns stop Mavs – All five Suns’ starters hit double digits with Eric Bledsoe leading the way with 20 points, six boards, nine assists, three steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Markieff Morris had 19 points and 13 boards, and Marcus Morris made another start and had 11 points, 11 boards, seven dimes, three steals and a 3-pointer. I say ride him until the wheels fall off. P.J. Tucker added 15 points, five boards, three steals and three 3-pointers, and Alex Len had 10 points, six boards and three blocks. With Len back, Brandan Wright’s not worth using. Wright has an outside chance at playing on Wednesday, which could send Marcus back to the bench, possibly. The Suns are 2.5 games behind OKC for the final playoff spot in the West.
Chandler Parsons led the Mavs with 19 points, two steals and two 3-pointers, but no other starter, including Monta Ellis (4-of-22) and Dirk Nowitzki, scored more than 12 points. Amare Stoudemire got hot off the bench with 16 points and four rebounds, but played just 17 minutes. Dallas should make the playoffs, but you couldn’t tell it by watching them on Sunday. Devin Harris left the game due to illness.
Lin’s Lakers crush Sixers – Jeremy Lin came off the bench for 29 points, five boards, five assists, a steal and two 3-pointers on 10-of-16 shooting. He’s hit or miss off the bench, but looked great on Sunday. Jordan Hill had 12 points and eight boards, Wes Johnson scored 10 with six rebounds, and Wayne Ellington had 10 points and two 3-pointers in just 19 minutes. Jordan Clarkson started, but hit just 2-of-8 shots for eight points, four boards and three assists. Ed Davis had eight points and 11 boards off the bench, and playing Lakers is a total roll of the dice in fantasy.
Luc Mbah a Moute led the Sixers’ starters with 13 points and also had two steals and two 3-pointers, but there’s not a lot to love there. Nerlens Noel had nine points, seven boards and two blocks, and Ish Smith added nine points and nine assists on 3-of-14 shooting. Thomas Robinson came off the bench for 14 points and eight rebounds, but didn’t block a shot, and Robert Covington had 11 points and two 3-pointers on 3-of-9 shooting. Everyone on this team is getting minutes for the most part, making them tough to trust in fantasy. I do like Noel and Smith going forward though.
Pacer News – Rodney Stuckey left with a calf injury on Saturday, making him iffy for this week. Daily leaguers have to think about dropping him, as there’s risk involved with playing him. And after I wrote Paul George off after some disappointing reports, it now sounds like he’ll play sometime this week. I guess that means he’s worth a pickup, but hopefully it’s not another false alarm.