Week 12 Schedule: Games Played
5 Games: CHI
4 Games: BKN, DET, HOU, LAL, MIN, NYK, OKC
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, MEM, MIL, NOR, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
2 Games: CHA, GSW, LAC, MIA, PHO
1 Game: IND
James Harden quadruple-doubled (with turnovers of course) during Sunday’s 129-122 win over the Raptors, registering 40 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals, two blocks, four 3-pointers, and yes, 10 turnovers in 38 minutes. Watching Russell Westbrook and Harden obliterate the box scores this season has been euphoric, and when you throw away those pesky turnovers (8-cat format), Mr. Harden ranks No. 1 overall (Westbrook No. 2) with insane averages of 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 3.0 triples and a league-leading 11.8 assists per contest on 44.3 percent shooting. When two guys are having a ridiculous season like the one we’re witnessing, the MVP trophy is typically awarded to the player on the team with the better record, which in this case (at this moment) would be James Harden. However, with Russell Westbrook very likely to average a triple-double for the first time since 1961-62 season, that could certainly sway the voting in his favor. I honestly don’t really care whom the MVP award goes to this season, but I am certainly enjoying the show.
Chris Paul was phenomenal during Sunday’s 98-86 win over the Heat, racking up 19 points (7-of-11 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), 18 assists, six rebounds, one 3-pointer, two steals and just one turnover in 29 minutes. CP3 leads all point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio by a wide margin at 4.38, ranks No. 3 overall in assist percentage (47.2) and is No. 4 overall in total assists (324), which are just a few reasons why he ranks No. 4 overall in standard 9-cat leagues. As a side note, Paul registered his 8,000-career assist in this one, a feat that only 10 other players have accomplished.
Otto Porter posted an Otto-Porter-line with 13 points, three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two swats and two turnovers in 39 minutes. Porter can fill the box score like few others, which is why the 23-year-old has been a steady top-20 guy all year long. I used to give Scotty Brooks a lot of grief over the way he handled his rotations in OKC, but he hasn’t given the fantasy basketball world anything to complain about this season, and you’ve got to give the man some credit for Porter’s emergence as a stat-sheet stuffer this season.
Jabari Parker abused the box score in his 41 minutes of action during Sunday’s matinee, racking up 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three 3-pointers, two steals, one block and two turnovers. While Giannis Antetokounmpo has been getting all the headlines this season (and justifiably so), Parker has also been having himself an impressive season, posting top-50 value and hitting career-highs across the board with averages of 20.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 1.1 steals, 1.4 trey-bombs and just 1.5 turnovers per contest on 49.9 percent shooting. Now that we have three years of data to go off, it’s pretty obvious that Parker should have gone No. 1 overall over Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA draft.
T.J. Warren held his own against the defending champs on Sunday, hitting 7-of-9 shots on his way to 15 points, three rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointers, three steals and one turnover in 27 minutes. Warren has been hit-or-miss since returning from his mysterious head injury, and his usage rate has been down (from 22.3 pre-injury to 19.7 post-injury), but hopefully this successful stat line against a tough defensive team will help him start trending in a positive direction. I think Warren is a good guy to try and buy-low on.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled a tough, turnaround 3-point bomb to seal the victory for Detroit during Sunday’s thrilling 125-124 double overtime win in Portland, tallying 26 points, four triples, four rebounds, two assists, four steals and three turnovers in 48 minutes. Reggie Jackson also went to work on offense, scoring a team-high 31 points on 13-of-26 shooting to go with one rebound, two steals, three assists and two turnovers in 47 minutes. Jackson had a painfully slow start to the 2016-17 season, missing all of training camp and the entire month of November as he recovered from PRP injections to his right (shooting) thumb and left knee, and it was slow going when he initially got back to the court as he worked himself into game shape. However, since the turn of the New Year, Jackson has looked like a new man, pumping out top-30 value in 9-cat leagues with 24.0 points, 7.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.0 triples and just 2.6 turnovers per contest on 48.4 percent shooting. Jackson is entering his prime at 26 years old, so it’s reasonable to expect some improvement from last year’s numbers now that he’s fully up to speed. In other words, I would recommend Reggie as a hold as opposed to a sell-high guy.
C.J. McCollum did all he could to help Portland to a win during the double overtime loss, scoring 25 points on 16-of-28 shooting to go with three rebounds, three 3-pointers, six assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 44 minutes. McCollum has been a stud all year long, but he’s been particularly impressive in 2017 with averages of 33.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks, 2.8 triples and 2.8 turnovers per game on 53.2 percent shooting from the field and 95.8 percent from the charity stripe. McCollum has ranked No. 4 overall in 9-cat leagues during that five-game span, so while I do absolutely love C.J.’s game, owners may want to pursue some sell-high opportunities as this is likely his plateau. And by sell-high, I mean don’t deal him unless you’re getting a first-round stud in return.
On the Radar
T.J. McConnell remained in the starting lineup despite the return of Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) and put up four points, eight boards, six assists, two steals and two turnovers in 36 minutes. The 76ers have now won three of their past four games with McConnell running the point, and he’s also a much better defender than Rodriguez, so it’s looking like he may stick as a starter moving forward. Over the past four games, McConnell has been a steady late-round guy with averages of 9.0 points, 9.8 assists, 5.3 boards, 1.5 steals and just 2.0 turnovers per game on 39.5 percent shooting, so if you can stomach the inefficient scoring and need some help in assists, give McConnell a look.
Dario Saric had a nice game off the bench, going 5-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe on his way to 18 points, five boards, three 3-pointers, one steal and four turnovers in 30 minutes. However, this stat line does come with an asterisk as he did this against the worst team in the league at defending the forward spots, so I’d like to see him do it again before recommending him as a standard league add. Basically, as long as Ersan Ilyasova is healthy, Saric is only going to be worth owning as a deep league stash.
Malcolm Brogdon remained in the starting lineup despite the return of Matthew Dellavedova (hamstring), and he went off for a career-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting (2-of-2 from the stripe) to go with two triples, one rebound, three steals, one block, five dimes and four turnovers in 36 minutes. He’s been a steady late-round guy since being inserted into the starting lineup, owning averages of 13.7 points, 5.0 boards, 6.5 assists and 2.0 turnovers per game on 45.1 percent shooting, so give him a look if you need a point guard.
Allen Crabbe did not miss a single 3-point attempt during Sunday’s double-overtime loss to the Pistons, going 12-of-15 from the field and 1-of-1 from the line on his way to a career-high 30 points to go with five triples, one rebound, one assist, one steal and two turnovers in 43 minutes. The impeccable shooting had Crabbe clocking in with a ridiculous 97.2 true shooting percentage, and he’s been heating up over the past three with averages of 20.7 points, 2.0 assists, 3.0 triples and just 1.0 turnover per game on 55.6 percent shooting. The uber-efficient shooting scoring is not sustainable, but if you’re searching for some production in the 3-point category, it makes sense to swoop Crabbe up to see just how long he can keep this up.
Al-Farouq Aminu also had an efficient night, going 7-of-10 from the field and sinking his only freebie on his way to 16 points, eight boards, two assists, one block, one 3-pointer and one turnover in 37 minutes. Aminu was launching up bricks at an alarming rate to begin the 2016-17 season, but he’s been much more efficient over the past seven games, sitting on an eighth-round evaluation in 9-cat leagues with averages of 8.4 points, 7.6 boards, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 treys and just 1.0 turnover per game on 42.6 percent shooting. Aminu is an intriguing fantasy prospect with his ability to bring a little bit of everything to the stat sheet on a nightly basis, so he’s deserving of a speculative pickup in most leagues. In points leagues, I think he’s a must-own guy.
DeMarre Carroll made it rain on the Rockets, draining six trey-bombs in 34 minutes on his way to 26 points, eight rebounds, one steal and one turnover. Carroll has been stealthy climbing the rankings over the past five with averages of 11.6 points, 2.4 triples and 1.2 steals per contest on 48.6 percent shooting. He could fall off at a moment’s notice, but if you’ve got someone to cut, Carroll could be worth a look.
Hassan Whiteside (eye, personal) returned from a four-game* absence and put up 15 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two turnovers in 31 minutes. His return to action resulted in Willie Reed being sent back to the bench, and Reed ended his night with four points, 10 boards, one steal, one block and one turnover in 17 minutes. With Whiteside healthy, Reed won’t be worth owning in most leagues.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (illness) sat out Sunday’s game, which resulted in Mirza Teletovic moving into the starting five, although Teletovic was a no-show in his 31 minutes of playing time. Considering it’s just an illness, I imagine the 22-year-old Antetokounmpo will be back in action for Tuesday’s game in San Antonio.
Michael Beasley exited Sunday’s game with a left shin contusion and did not return. Consider him questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Spurs.
Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) returned from a three-game absence and went 2-of-6 from the field in 12 minutes off the bench on his way to four points, three assists and one turnover. T.J. McConnell may have stolen Rodriguez’ spot in the starting five during his injury, and as a reserve, El Chacho isn’t worth owning anywhere.
Larry Nance (knee) is expected to return to the court in about two weeks. He’s not worth stashing in most scenarios, but Luol Deng owners can expect a fairly significant drop-off in production once Nance returns to the court. When Nance was healthy, Deng was only earning 26.2 minutes a night.
Jon Leuer exited Sunday’s game with a sore right knee and did not return, so he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game in Sacramento. If he’s out, Tobias Harris would move back into the starting five and Stanley Johnson would have the opportunity for some extended minutes off the bench.
Trevor Booker exited Sunday’s game with a left hip contusion, and while he was initially ruled out for the remainder of the game, he eventually got back on the court and ended his night with four points, four boards, three dimes, one steal and one block in 18 minutes. Because Booker was able to return, I imagine that he’ll be available for Tuesday’s game against the Hawks.
Austin Rivers (illness) missed Sunday’s win over the Heat, but with the Clippers off until Wednesday, he’ll likely be back on the court for a matchup with the Magic. Raymond Felton drew the start in his place and produced seven points, seven boards, five dimes, two steals, one 3-pointer and one turnover in 37 minutes.
Josh Richardson missed Sunday’s game with a left foot sprain, which resulted in Wayne Ellington moving into the starting lineup and he struggled during his 20 minutes on the court, missing all five of his 3-point attempts and finishing the game with just four points and one assist. Richardson said that he injured his foot “a few games ago,” and that the injury was only getting worse the more he played on it, so while X-rays and an MRI revealed no structural damage he could be missing more than a few games here. The timing of this injury is extremely unfortunate, as Richardson had finally been coming around as a mid-round guy over the past few weeks after a lackluster start to the year; but now he finds himself back on the sidelines with yet another injury to a different appendage. While Ellington drew the start on Sunday, I imagine that Dion Waiters could find his way back into the starting five if this is a long-term issue for Richardson, so Waiters is someone to consider as a speculative pickup in deep points leagues.
Luke Babbitt (illness) also sat out Sunday’s game, which allowed Derrick Williams to draw the start, but he did a whole lot of nothing during his 21 minutes of action with two points on 1-of-5 shooting, three boards, two assists, one steal and one turnover.
Matthew Dellavedova (hamstring) logged 18 minutes off the bench in his return from a five-game absence on Sunday, going 1-of-5 from the field on his way to two points, two boards, four assists, one steal and one turnover. It’s looking like Malcolm Brogdon may have usurped Delly for the starting point guard position in Milwaukee, so Dellavedova isn’t worth owning anywhere.
Kyle Korver did not play on Sunday because Mike Dunleavy has failed to report for his physical in Atlanta. Dunleavy wants to be bought out, so he’ll be free to join a team of his choosing, and if this situation isn’t resolved quickly, Dunleavy’s antics will delay Korver’s Cleveland debut.
Brandan Wright (left ankle) has begun going through full-speed individual workouts, and he’s hopeful to return to the court sometime in January. He’ll be brought along very slowly, and can remain on the waiver wire in all leagues.
Aron Baynes (ankle) returned from a two-game stint on the sidelines and put up two points and one rebound in six minutes off the bench.
Bradley Beal rolled his right ankle on Sunday, and while he played through it (and looked fine doing so), he was spotted limping around the locker room after the game. Beal said he was “OK” during his post-game interview, but with a long history of lower right leg injuries, I’m going to have to consider him questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Bulls. If Beal hits the sidelines, Kelly Oubre will benefit most with John Wall running the show on offense.