A 10-game Wednesday was a bit lighter than normal, but still a very busy night. We saw a Karl-Anthony Towns triple-double, a Carmelo Anthony meltdown, and Jimmy Butler dropped 40 in a Bulls win. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Hawks 102, Knicks 98 OT – The Hawks got a much-needed OT win over the Knicks, but it wasn’t exactly fantasy friendly. Dennis Schroder led the way with 27 points, but added just five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on the night. Regardless of the fact he didn’t have a rebound, it was a heck of a lot better than his eight-point effort in 23 minutes on Monday. Dwight Howard was great again with 16 points, 22 rebounds, a steal and a block, but the good news ends there. Paul Millsap had just 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting, but at least added seven rebounds, six assists, a steal and two blocks in the win. I’m not sure why Howard and Millsap were able to play so well together early in the season, but that’s not the case now. Something’s amiss. Millsap is a buy-low candidate. Thabo Sefolosha had 11 points, six boards, two steals and a 3-pointer, and looks like a nearly must-add player, while Kent Bazemore’s problems continued on 4-of-12 shooting, 11 points and four assists. I still like Baze, but he might be the most inconsistent player in the league.
For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony got tossed after a Flagrant 2 and finished with just 10 points. Keep an eye out for suspension news, although it could go either way. Derrick Rose was great with 26 points, seven boards and six assists, but hit just 9-of-28 shots, Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points, eight boards, three blocks and four 3-pointers, and Joakim Noah had a rare 14 & 16 double-double. It would be nice if he were reliable. Justin Holiday was the only bench player to make noise with 14 points, two steals and two 3-pointers, meaning he’s worth keeping an eye on. With Noah hot, Kyle O’Quinn played just 13 meaningless minutes. Courtney Lee was out with a wrist injury, so Sasha Vujacic started and hit just 1-of-7 shots in 27 minutes.
Wizards 111, Pacers 105 – John Wall missed a triple-double by one assist and scored 36 points, Otto Porter Jr. stayed hot with 22 points and three 3-pointers, and Marcin Gortat (double-double), Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris all scored in double digits in the win. Beal left with an ankle injury and is day-to-day, so watch for updates. No one scored more than seven points off the bench, but Kelly Oubre Jr. played 21 minutes, yet scored just two points.
For the Pacers, Paul George came through with 34 points and six 3-pointers, Jeff Teague had a 19 & 11 double-double, Myles Turner added 15 points, eight boards and three blocks, and Thaddeus Young added 11 points, six boards and six steals. Glenn Robinson III had just two points, while Monta Ellis had just four points on 1-of-5 shooting in 18 minutes in his return from injury. C.J. Miles hit just 4-of-12 shots, but had 15 points and four 3-pointers. I don’t love Ellis or Miles, but Miles is at least worth a look right now. Aaron Brooks, who had 19 on Monday, failed to score.
Hornets 120, Magic 101 – Nicolas Batum just missed a triple-double on 8-of-12 shooting, Kemba Walker scored 21, Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit double figures, and Marvin Williams scored just eight points in 22 minutes. Jeremy Lamb and Ramon Sessions hit double figures off the bench, but are only worth a glance with their teammates mostly healthy right now. Batum is on fire, averaging 21.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last four games, while shooting a lights-out 56 percent over that stretch.
For the Magic, Aaron Gordon was true to form, backing up his 30-point game with just two points on 1-of-5 shooting. What a mess. Starters Bismack Biyombo and D.J. Augustin were not much better, and Jodie Meeks scored a hollow 11 points, while starter Serge Ibaka was the only guy to answer the call with 20 points, seven boards, three blocks and two 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic went off with a 21-point game and full stat line, hitting 10-of-13 shots, while Elfrid Payton laid an egg with four points and four assists on 2-of-10 shooting. He came in on fire and his line was highly disappointing, especially with Evan Fournier out with a heel injury. I still think Payton should be held, as he was on fire prior to this dud.
Bucks 119, Pistons 94 – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker both played well and flirted with triple-doubles, while Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell were serviceable, at best. John Henson had just seven points, two boards and two blocks, while Greg Monroe outplayed him again with 14 points, five boards, six assists, two steals and a block in 27 minutes. Monroe is must-own, while Henson is a borderline own at this point. Malcolm Brogdon had eight points and eight assists, but just can’t shake being in the shadow of Delly.
For the Pistons, no starter double-doubled, but Tobias Harris stayed hot with 23 points, 12 boards and two 3-pointers off the bench. He’s on fire and looks much better coming off the bench for the Pistons. Jon Leuer started and had just nine points and seven boards, and looked better coming off the bench, while co-starters Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were all mediocre, at best. No one on Detroit looked great last night, other than Harris, who has scored 70 points off the bench in his last three games.
Bulls 101, Nets 99 – Jimmy Butler went nuts with 40 points, 11 rebounds and four steals on 14-of-28 shooting and hit 11-of-11 free throws. He also fought through a sprained ankle to hit the game-winning 20-footer. Watch the Rotoworld news feed for more news on his sore ankle on Thursday. Rajon Rondo struggled with his shot again, but did have nine rebounds and 12 assists, despite hitting just 2-of-8 shots, and Dwyane Wade scored 16 before bowing out with a migraine (check for updates Thursday). Taj Gibson was quiet again and Robin Lopez was underwhelming with 12 points, five boards and two blocks in 31 minutes. Hot topic Nikola Mirotic hit just 1-of-7 shots for seven points and three blocks, but the power forward spot in Chicago is becoming increasingly tough to trust. Doug McDermott returned and played 30 minutes, but scored just seven points.
The Nets are 1-15 on the road now, but did get six points and 14 rebounds from Trevor Booker, while Brook Lopez went off for 33 points and five 3-pointers. He only had three rebounds and zero blocks, but as long as he’s scoring and hitting treys, owners should be happy. Isaiah Whitehead started for Jeremy Lin (hamstring), but had just four points and two assists in 19 minutes, while Sean Kilpatrick had 18 points, six dimes and four 3-pointers in another start at shooting guard. Kilpatrick is the guy to own here, with or without Lin. Bojan Bogdanovic started with Joe Harris out with a hip injury, but hit just 4-of-11 shots for 10 points after scoring 26 on Monday. The Nets’ bench was a mess, with only Randy Foye doing anything with 11 points and five rebounds. Keep an eye on Foye with Lin sitting out right now, but in general, the Nets’ bench should be avoided.
Pelicans 102, Clippers 98 – Despite a quiet night from Anthony Davis (20 points, five rebounds, etc.) the Pelicans got a much-needed win. Buddy Hield started again and had 17 points, six boards and three 3-pointers, and has played very well in two straight games, making him worth a look. Dante Cunningham had a fun stat line in a start, but is very unreliable and Jrue Holiday missed a double-double by one assist tonight. Terrence Jones, Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans all hit double digits off the bench, while E’Twaun Moore scored nine points. Jones, Galloway and Moore are all worth a look off waivers, but I don’t trust any of them. Tim Frazier got a DNP-CD and it’s probably finally time to say goodbye. And if you’re holding Tyreke, I wish you the patience of Job.
The Clippers are a mess without Blake Griffin (knee) and J.J. Redick (hamstring) and have lost four straight, but Chris Paul (hamstring) was back with 21 points, eight boards, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. Austin Rivers got another start and had 22 points to lead the team, while Jamal Crawford hit just 3-of-15 shots for seven points in a DFS killer. He’s been hot and should be owned, while Rivers is worth a look anytime CP3 or Redick are out. DeAndre Jordan racked up 13 points, a season-high 25 rebounds and two blocks in the loss, while Wes Johnson scored just two points in a start for Redick. Marreese Speights had 11 points, four boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 18 minutes, and despite not getting a lot of playing time, is worth grabbing as long as Griffin is out.
Spurs 119, Suns 98 – LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker each scored 20-plus points on a night when Kawhi Leonard was sitting with a stomach problem, Pau Gasol double-doubled, and Danny Green scored 11 points with three 3-pointers and four steals in the win. Kyle Anderson started for Kawhi, but didn’t score, and David Lee and Manu Ginobili had 12 points each off the bench. You want to own Aldridge, Gasol and Leonard, but the rest of the Spurs are a complete crapshoot – especially Danny Green.
For the Suns, starters P.J. Tucker, Tyson Chandler and Devin Booker (2-of-13) were terrible, while Eric Bledsoe had just 13 points in 27 minutes, and Marquese Chriss also scored 13 points in the loss. T.J. Warren went off for 23 points, six boards and a full stat line off the bench, and he’s nearing a return to form, while Brandon Knight scored 14 points off the pine. Despite Chandler’s struggles, Alex Len had just six points and five boards off the bench. You want to own Bledsoe, Warren, Booker and maybe Knight, but the rest of the Suns are a complete roll of the dice.
Nuggets 105, Wolves 103 – Nikola Jokic just missed a triple-double with 16 points, eight boards and a career-high 11 assists, and all five Nuggets’ starters scored at least 11 points in the win. Wilson Chandler blocked Andrew Wiggins’ shot to secure the win, as Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Gary Harris all played well in the starting lineup. Emmanuel Mudiay was serviceable with 11 points and five assists, while the bench didn’t do much for the Nuggets. Will Barton, who scored 23 on Monday, had just six points in 19 minutes, and the timeshare with Harris is going to be a problem. For now, Jokic, Chandler, Gallinari and Harris are the guys you want to own here, while Barton and Kenneth Faried are always worth a close eye. Jusuf Nurkic is basically out of the rotation and can be dropped.
For the Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns racked up his first career triple-double with an impressive 15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and a 3-pointer, but it wasn’t enough. Andrew Wiggins hit 11-of-20 shots and two 3-pointers for 25 points, Gorgui Dieng had 20 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-11 shooting, Ricky Rubio somehow had 18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals, and Zach LaVine had 17 points in the loss. All five starters are worth owning, while the Wolves bench isn’t even worth a look.
Blazers 102, Kings 89 – The Blazers were without Damian Lillard (ankle, questionable Friday) again, but snapped a six-game losing streak. C.J. McCollum led the way with 20 points and seven dimes, but I was hoping for more, while the rest of the Blazers’ starters scored 13 or fewer points. Allen Crabbe started again for Lillard and scored 13, but isn’t worth owning with Lillard prepping to return. Mason Plumlee was fun again with 12 points and 14 boards, while Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu were quiet. Meyers Leonard got hot and scored 16 points with five rebounds and three 3-pointers, but is highly unreliable, and Evan Turner had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. You want to own Lillard, McCollum, Plumlee and Harkless, but the rest of them are all borderline. Keep a close eye on Turner.
As usual, DeMarcus Cousins went off for 28 points, eight boards, six assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers, but the rest of his team was pretty much garbage. Rudy Gay sat out with his hip injury so Matt Barnes got the start and scored 13 points with a fun stat line, but he’s completely unreliable. Kosta Koufos had six points and 10 rebounds, but I trust my 10-year-old son with a box of chocolates more, and Darren Collison and Ben McLemore were awful, yet again. Ty Lawson had just eight points and one assist off the bench, but still looked better than Collison and played eight more minutes. I picked him up recently and am just hanging on until further notice. Garrett Temple had 14 points, two steals and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes, and I still can’t figure out why they don’t just go ahead and start him at SG. If you picked him up recently, it’s probably best to just hang on, even though he’s yet to really break through. Last night was a step in the right direction for Temple.
Warriors 121, Raptors 111 – Stephen Curry finally broke out of his funk, hitting 9-of-18 shots, 3-of-6 3-pointers and 7-of-7 free throws for 28 points, seven boards and seven assists. This was his best game since Dec. 13 and he had scored fewer than 20 points in three of his previous six games. Welcome back, Steph. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant also flirted with triple-doubles and Durant tied a season high with 17 boards, and Klay Thompson scored 21 with five 3-pointers. And those are the only four Warriors you should care about in fantasy.
For the Raps, DeMarre Carroll finally came through with 13 points, seven boards, three steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers, and I may have predicted this in our latest podcast. DeMar DeRozan stayed hot with 29 points, five boards, six assists, three steals and a block, and Kyle Lowry had 27 points, six boards and 11 dimes in the loss. Jonas Valanciunas never got it going in an up-tempo game with seven points in 21 minutes, while Terrence Ross caught fire for 24 points, seven rebounds, two steals and four 3-pointers in a season-high 34 minutes. This was his first 20-point game over his last seven and he showed no signs of the wrist injury that knocked him out of his last game. This was probably a matchup thing, so I’m not rushing to pick him up. Cory Joseph, Lucas Nogueira and Patrick Patterson were all quiet, and the guys you want to own here are Lowry, DeRozan and Valanciunas, while Carroll looks like an excellent buy-low candidate right now. And just keep an eye on Joseph, Patterson, Ross and Nogueira.