Sunday gave us six games and six losses by the likes of LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Ty Lawson and Kobe Bryant. At least Kobe was able to make the loser list, as he returned from a three-game absence to face the Suns.
Games Played Week 10
4 Games: BRK, CHA, CHI, CLE, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, ORL, PHX, SAC, UTA, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, DAL, DEN, DET, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOP, NYK, PHI, SAS, TOR
2 Games: GSW, OKC, POR
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $175,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Detroit 103, Cleveland 80
LeBron James said after Cleveland’s ugly loss to the Pistons that his team just isn’t very good right now, and he’s not lying. But we’ve seen the sky supposedly falling down on LeBron before and it even happened earlier this season. Losing Anderson Varejao was a big blow to the Cavs, but they will eventually figure this out and be a team that no one in the East wants to see in the playoffs. And even though it seems like they are a lost cause right now, the truth is they’re just 5.5 games out of being the No. 1 seed in the East, and we still have nearly 2/3 of the season to play.
The Pistons got 25 points, five boards, six assists, a steal and five 3-pointers out of Brandon Jennings, who posted his first great line in forever, and his second solid outing in a row. Maybe he’s ready to get it going for Stan Van Gundy after sucking eggs for most of the season. He had a double-double on Friday against the Pacers before hitting 10-of-18 shots last night. Andre Drummond kept it rolling with 16 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks, but was probably on a lot of weekly benches with just two games last week. The Pistons only play three times in the upcoming scoring period, but that’s enough to make him a must-start in all formats. Greg Monroe struggled with 10 points and six rebounds on 4-of-18 shooting, but played a team-high 34 minutes and is also a must-start going forward with Josh Smith in Houston. Jonas Jerebko, who was highlighted in Waiver Wired, had 10 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers off the bench in 27 minutes, and is a player you should think about picking up. Jodie Meeks had 14 points and three 3-pointers off the bench, while starter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 points and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes. This is a true timeshare and both players are going to cancel each other out on most nights.
Kevin Love led the Cavs with 20 points, 10 boards and a 3-pointer. He’s no longer the double-double machine he was in Minnesota, but should be able to flirt with one every night. Tristan Thompson came through with 18 points and 11 boards after hitting 7-of-8 shots and 4-of-4 free throws, and is another player who should now be owned in most leagues. LeBron had 17 points, 10 rebounds, seven dimes and two 3-pointers, but hit just 5-of-19 shots and committed seven turnovers. Matthew Dellavedova started at point guard, but had just three points and six assists on 1-of-6 shooting, as Kyrie Irving sat out again with a left knee contusion. Owners of Irving have a tough call to make this week, but with four games, I think you probably roll the dice with him and hope that he plays in three of them. Dion Waiters came off the bench for just six points and no 3-pointers in 24 minutes, but I bet he bounces back in the next one.
San Antonio 110, Houston 106
The Spurs had lost six in a row to the Rockets, but fixed that with last night’s win. Danny Green was hot and hit three 3-pointers and 9-of-10 free throws on his way to 24 points, four boards, three assists and five steals in the win, while Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard missed another game. Parker’s MRI on his hamstring didn’t reveal any serious damage and he could play this week, but I don’t have the guts to start him. Leonard still has no timetable on his return, as his hand injury is simply too painful for him to go right now. If I own either player, I’m probably benching them this week. Cory Joseph was solid again at point guard with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, while Tim Duncan did his thing with 16 points, eight boards, three steals and two blocks. If you were intrigued by Matt Bonner, don’t be, as he had just five points in 12 minutes. Boris Diaw was back in action with eight points in 20 minutes, but remains a decent option for as long as Leonard is out. Patty Mills made his season debut with eight points in 20 minutes, and is a player deep-leaguers will want to keep an eye on.
The Rockets got 28 points and a full stat line from James Harden, but he also committed nine TOs in the loss. Dwight Howard had 24 points, 17 rebounds, a steal and a block on 11-of-13 shooting, but hit just 2-of-7 free throws and had four turnovers. Josh Smith moved into the starting lineup but wasn’t chucking at will and finished with just five points, eight boards and three steals on 2-of-7 shooting. Trevor Ariza (2-of-9, seven points) and Patrick Beverley (2-of-10, five points) weren’t any better, as the Rockets simply had an off night against one of the league’s better teams. Corey Brewer got hot off the bench and hit 8-of-11 shots and six 3-pointers for 25 points, and it suddenly looks like he might be for real in his new home. Pick him up and see where he goes from here. Donatas Motiejunas had 11 points, five boards and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes off the bench, but the demotion is going to hurt him in fantasyland in the long run.
Dallas 112, OKC 107
The Mavs got a vintage performance from Dirk Nowitzki with 30 points, five boards, a steal and two blocks, and he hit 8-of-13 shots and 12-of-12 free throws in the win. Chandler Parsons broke out of a funk with 26 points and five 3-pointers on 10-of-16 shooting, Rajon Rondo did a little bit of everything with 15 points, six boards, seven dimes and two steals, and Monta Ellis added 18 points and five assists, despite hitting just 6-of-20 shots and injuring his left ankle. Watch for news on Ellis, but he said after the game he plans on playing Tuesday. J.J. Barea was in a small starting lineup for Dallas and had nine points, four rebounds and a 3-pointer, as Tyson Chandler sat out with back spasms. Chandler’s injury came out of left field and I’m hoping we have an update on his status prior to lineup deadlines on Monday night. But if you own him and we don’t hear anything, you should probably play it safe and bench him in weekly leagues. Charlie Villanueva came in hot and looked like a good option with Chandler out, but he played just 15 minutes and hit 3-of-11 shots.
The Thunder got 26 points and 10 boards out of Serge Ibaka, and while he hit 11-of-14 shots the news wasn’t all great, as he didn’t block a shot. Owners still have to be pleased with the offensive showing from the disappointing big man. Russell Westbrook stayed hot with 18 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and five steals, but hit just 6-of-23 shots in the loss. Perry Jones started in place of Kevin Durant (ankle) and had 10 points, Steven Adams added 11 points, six boards and a block, and Reggie Jackson got hot and had 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting off the bench. Jackson looks like the biggest beneficiary from Durant’s injury. Durant has missed six straight games with his injury, but did go through shootaround. But with just two games this week, KD probably belongs on fantasy benches unless we get good news on Monday afternoon.
Portland 101, New York 79
The Blazers pummeled the Knicks behind 28 points, five assists and six 3-pointers from Wesley Matthews. It’s hard to figure out when Matthews is going to explode, but he’s having a nice season and is one of the league’s better 3-point shooters. Damian Lillard had 11 points, six dimes and two 3-pointers, Nicolas Batum broke out of a funk with a season-high 17 points, a steal, a block and five 3-pointers, and new starting center Joel Freeland had 10 points, 10 boards and two blocks. He’s another Waiver Wired guy and came through on Sunday. Chris Kaman added 13 points, nine boards and a block off the bench, but Freeland is the more intriguing add as long as Robin Lopez is out. LaMarcus Aldridge was out with an illness so Thomas Robinson got the start, but played just 13 minutes. The Blazers only have two games this week, leaving owners in weekly leagues with some tough choices.
The Knicks got 13 points and five rebounds out of Carmelo Anthony, who played just 19 minutes and hit 5-of-14 shots. He was in pain due to his lingering knee problem and said later that his knee feels “heavy, and weak and fatigued.” I’ve caught some heat from some of you for bashing him endlessly, but Sunday was just another reminder that this dude is in a sorry state with his knee right now, and the Knicks are a dismal 5-28. You do the math. Melo says he fully intends to play on Wednesday, so I’ll be rolling him out there where I own him, but if someone makes me any kind of reasonable offer, I’m probably going to take it. Cole Aldrich started at power forward and had 12 points, 19 rebounds, four steals and a block, and is now a player that owners in need of a center can safely grab. He’s still only owned in seven percent of Yahoo! leagues. Tim Hardaway Jr. hit just 5-of-17 shots (as usual) but had 17 points, five dimes and three 3-pointers, while Jose Calderon cooled off with six points, six rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer on 2-of-11 shooting. He played 28 minutes though, and should be better in his next game.
Toronto 116, Denver 102
The Raps got 30 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers out of Kyle Lowry as his All-Star romp continues. Lou Williams went nuts off the bench with 31 points and four 3-pointers on 11-of-18 shooting, but if you take a glance at his game log, he could stink it up for the next three games before another explosion. Starters James Johnson, Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas all struggled last night, but the Raptors were still able to beat the struggling Nuggets.
Kenneth Faried is back, baby, and he had 17 points and 19 rebounds in 38 minutes in the loss. His talk with coach Brian Shaw did wonders for his confidence and game, and he’s now killed it in three straight. Finally. Ty Lawson had 28 points, five boards, seven assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, and Wilson Chandler got loose for 20 points, 10 boards, a block and a 3-pointer. Arron Afflalo and Timofey Mozgov were quiet in this one, but are still worth owning in most leagues, which is more than I can say for any of Denver’s bench players.
Phoenix 116, Lakers 107
The Suns got 24 points, two assists and four 3-pointers from Goran Dragic, and 22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a 3-pointer from Eric Bledsoe in an easy win over the hapless Lakers. Alex Len added eight points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks, while P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris each scored 12 in another start for the Suns. Isaiah Thomas came off the bench for 15 points, four assists and two 3-pointers, but is currently the odd man out with Dragic and Bledsoe playing so well. Gerald Green played just 17 minutes and hit 2-of-10 shots for eight points, and is like the proverbial box of chocolates. You just never know what you’re going to get.
Kobe Bryant was back in action and shot it just 10 times, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. He hit 4-of-10 shots, but it was nice to see his shooting percentage in a reasonable state for once. The Lakers are now 9-22 and Kobe’s another guy I’m catching heat about. Kobe and Melo’s teams are a combined 14-50, and both of their bodies are in bad shape, so you do the math. Nick Young led the way with 21 points and four 3-pointers, and Jeremy Lin hit 8-of-11 shots and two 3-pointers for 19 points, a steal and two blocks off the bench, but had scored a total of 11 points in his previous two games as Ronnie Price continues to start. It looks like a lost season for Lin, at least as long as Price has his job. Ed Davis (11 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) and Wes Johnson (14 points, a steal, two blocks, three 3-pointers) were both solid again and should be scooped up in fantasy leagues now that they’re both playing well consistently.
Follow me on Twitter for Kobe and Melo bashing.