Jeremy Lin and his mohawk went crazy on Thursday and Terrence Jones showed signs of life. But do you really want to own either player right now? Friday’s Dose breaks down a light three-game night in the association. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
I didn’t get to watch much of any of these games because I ran an 8-year-old basketball practice and then took my kid to see Star Wars. I’m not a spoilers kind of guy, so all I can say is go see it, and see it soon. The spoilers will be flying like wildfire all weekend.
Hornets 109, Raptors 99 – Nicolas Batum was out with the flu/illness so Jeremy Lin started at shooting guard and rewarded savvy DFS owners with a monster line. He hit 13-of-22 shots and two 3-pointers for a season-high 35 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two blocks in a team-high 47 minutes. Batum isn’t going to be out long, but the fact that Lin did this on a night when Kemba Walker had 27 points, six boards, seven assists, a steal and two blocks makes you wonder why Lin’s not getting a few more minutes a night. With Batum not set to be out for long, I think Lin’s better off just left on waivers. But if you have some dead weight on your team and just want to take a flier on Lin, it may not be a bad idea. Marvin Williams double-doubled with 10 points, 10 boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, overcoming a 2-of-6 shooting night, and is barely clinging to value.
P.J. Hairston added 14 points, four boards and four 3-pointers for the Hornets, and might be worth a deep-league look. He’s averaging 14 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 3-pointers over his last two games, but I don’t trust him much. Cody Zeller started at center and had five points and six rebounds on 2-of-6 shooting in 21 minutes. I thought he’d be better with Al Jefferson out, but the clock is ticking on Jefferson’s return from injury and suspension. The bench was pretty useless tonight, as we saw Jeremy Lamb fumble his opportunity after a nice game on Wednesday (16 points, five boards, four steals and a 3-pointer) for just seven points, two boards and a 3-pointer on 2-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes. The night was set up for Lamb to go off, but Lin ruined that idea. Frank Kaminsky played 27 minutes and had six points, six boards and three blocks, but it would have looked a lot better had he hit more than 1-of-6 shots. I still trust Zeller more while Jefferson’s out, but Kaminsky could be a real sleeper over the next three games or so.
The Raptors got a monster line out of Bismack Biyombo, who helped a lot of DFS players win money last night. He had eight points, 18 rebounds, a steal and seven blocks in 40 minutes against his former team, and continues to be the man as long as Jonas Valanciunas is out with his finger injury. Don’t expect Biyombo to do this every night, but he has hit double digits in rebounds in two straight games and is averaging 7.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over his last five games. It’s too bad he can’t play the former Bobcats every time out. Starter Luis Scola struggled again on 1-of-7 shooting and he’s looked pretty bad in two straight games. Shooting 3-of-14 for a total of six points and 10 boards will do that, but he was hot prior to his two-game struggle. Look for him to bounce back in the next one. Terrence Ross played well, hitting 6-of-12 shots and five 3-pointers for 17 points, but didn’t do much else. I still think you can drop him for a hot free agent who will help you more, even though he’s somewhat attractive in the injury-absence of DeMarre Carroll. Kyle Lowry had an off night, which is probably why the Raptors lost, hitting just 6-of-29 shots and 3-of-17 3-pointers for 20 points, four rebounds and seven dimes. Those shooting volumes are in the same league with Kobe Bryant. Baron Davis and Allen Iverson back in the day, so I’m not mad at him for being a gun last night. Lowry’s absolutely been killing it this season, so maybe now is the time to make a low-ball offer. DeMar DeRozan was nice with 31 points and a full stat line on 12-of-25 shooting. The bench was pretty bad and I don’t trust anyone who’s not starting for the Raps.
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Cavaliers 104, Thunder 100 – The Cavs won the game of the night as LeBron James just missed a monster trip-dub, racking up 33 points, nine boards, 11 assists, two steals, two 3-pointers and seven turnovers. And with the turnovers, he wasn’t that far from a dubious quadruple-double. The rest of the Cavs were pedestrian, as Kevin Love had just 11 points, but also added seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, and you have to think the Thunder were content with shutting him down and letting LeBron do as he pleased. Mo Williams was out with a thumb injury and Kyrie Irving’s not due back until Sunday, so Matthew Dellavedova was solid in his swan-song game with 11 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and three 3-pointers on 3-of-10 shooting in 39 minutes. Yep, the only player to get more minutes than Matty D was LeBron. Unfortunately, he’s going away in their next game on Sunday against the Sixers.
Center Timofey Mozgov cooled off in a big way, while J.R. Smith hit 5-of-12 shots for 11 points, three rebounds and a 3-pointer. Once Iman Shumpert is ready to roll from his groin injury, I’m pretty concerned about Smith, and am glad I don’t own him in any leagues. Tristan Thompson had 11 offensive rebounds and 15 total boards to go along with 12 points and a block off the bench, but he was really struggling coming into this game. He had zero points and nine boards on Tuesday and two points and six rebounds last Friday, so don’t get too excited about his line last night. Especially since Mozgov, who came in kind of hot, didn’t do anything. Additionally, LeBron nearly killed Ellie Day, the wife of golfer Jason Day, when he slammed into her front-row seat, but reports are that she should be fine, despite being stretchered out of the arena with a neck brace.
The Thunder got big lines out of the usual suspects and nothing else from any other player on the team. Russell Westbrook bounced back from an odd game with 27 points and 10 assists, Kevin Durant had 25 points and a decent line, and Serge Ibaka came through with a vintage line of 23 points, nine boards, one block and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Starters Steven Adams and Andre Roberson, and reserves Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin and Dion Waiters were all highly disappointing, and none of them can be trusted. But I like the idea of owning Kanter, while Waiters was looking for a revenge game against his former team, but it just didn’t happen with his four points on 1-of-7 shooting. He did have 18 points in his previous game, so keep an eye on him in you’re in a deep league.
Rockets 107, Lakers 87 – The Rockets blitzed the Lakers last night as starters Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley and James Harden all scored in double digits against one of the NBA’s most pathetic teams. Capela had a nice bounce-back with 10 points, 12 boards, two steals and four blocks, as he had been ill and struggling for a few days. Maybe he’s ready to get hot again, so you might want to hang on if you still own him. Ariza had 13 points, five boards, four assists, three steals and three 3-pointers, which was nice, and Howard hit 3-of-10 shots, but 10-of-18 free throws during Hack-a-Dwight to finish with 16 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks in a revenge game against the Lakers. Beverley is now worth a look in most leagues and had 13 points, two steals and three 3-pointers, but he also had just one assist, which isn’t ideal for a point guard.
Harden hit just 7-of-24 shots, a recurring theme for much of the season, but also made 9-of-10 free throws and a couple 3-pointers for 25 points and a full stat line. If his shot starts falling consistently, look out. Donatas Motiejunas moved back to the bench and had eight points, four rebounds, two assists and a 3-pointer in 19 minutes, but he was outshined by Terrence Jones, who is back from his latest weird (eye) injury. Jones hit 5-of-7 shots and a 3-pointer for 16 points, four rebounds and a block. Yes, I’d love to see more of this, but Jones is one of the least trustworthy players in the league right now. Ty Lawson was invisible and Corey Brewer’s not doing much with his bench minutes these days, so the only bench player for the Rockets you want to consider owning is Mr. Jones. We’re gonna be big stars, right?
Kobe Bryant posterized Clint Capela with a vintage power dunk and hit 9-of-16 shots and two 3-pointers for 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a block. Much like Star Wars, Kobe’s shot is back. He’s averaging 18.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s also scored between 22 and 25 points in his last three games and I picked that up off waivers two weeks ago. Thanks, whoever! Julius Randle stayed hot off the bench with 18 points, 10 boards, a steal and a 3-pointer, Lou Williams kept it rolling with 14 points, five boards, three assists and two 3-pointers, and Jordan Clarkson led the team with 38 minutes and hit 6-of-14 shots for 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals, but missed all five of his 3-point attempts. D’Angelo Russell came off the bench again and hit just 1-of-9 shots for two points and seven assists, but did play 26 minutes. He killed his DFS owners tonight, but signs are pointing in the right direction.
There are so many Lakers’ question marks right now, so I’m just going to rank all of them for fantasy purposes.
1. Kobe Bryant (his legs seem to feel better)
2. Julius Randle (growing into a beast before our eyes)
3. Jordan Clarkson (love the minutes and confidence)
4. Lou Williams (start him as long as he’s starting for the Lakers)
5. D’Angelo Russell (growing pains)
6. Roy Hibbert (c’mon, Roy!)
7. Nick Young (Never met a shot he didn’t love)
8. Larry Nance Jr. (no thanks)
9. Forget about everyone else
Friday’s going to be a busy day and afternoon, so stay glued to the Rotoworld news feed for all the latest updates to your players, and potential players in DFS.
May the Force be with you!