With 10 games on Monday night we’ve got a lot of information to cover, including a surprising Hill for the Pacers and more big games from Jon Leuer, Will Barton, Kent Bazemore, Matt Barnes and others. Some of these recaps aren’t too deep due to size constraints, but also because there wasn’t much fantasy news in some games. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Pacers 106, Raptors 90 – C.J. Miles (who should be owned) had 17 points and five 3-pointers, Monta Ellis had 18 and Jordan Hill had season highs with 20 points and 13 boards in 31 minutes off the bench in the win. Ian Mahinmi disappeared with Hill’s big night and Paul George was quiet with 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting. George Hill also struggled, but had 14 points and eight boards in his previous game, so I still think he’s worth hanging onto. Jordan Hill is the guy who made noise for Indy tonight, but we’ll need to see him get 30-plus minutes a night in order for him to be trustworthy. Mahinmi’s been quiet in his last two games, so keep an eye on this position battle, especially since Hill was quiet in his two previous games, as well.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 20, and Terrence Ross was the only other Raptor to hit double figures with 10. He’s getting minutes, but hasn’t done much in three of his four games while filling in for DeMarre Carroll. Dump him for Matt Barnes if you can.
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Magic 105, Nets 82 – Channing Frye (11 points, five boards, two steals, three 3-pointers) actually played well in another start, but so did Andrew Nicholson (6-of-9, two 3-pointers, 15 points, two steals), and Nicholson is still the guy whose arrow is trending up. Evan Fournier’s dry spell continued with three points on 1-of-6 shooting and he’s been pretty awful in four of his last five games. If you can’t take it anymore, drop him for a hot free agent. Tobias Harris played well through the flu, Nikola Vucevic scored 18 and Elfrid Payton had 17-5-5 and has quietly been playing very well. Victor Oladipo played just 20 minutes for 10 points, and I’m pretty sick of seeing him come off the bench. With Fournier looking like garbage right now, maybe Scott Skiles will consider flipping the two.
Jarrett Jack played very well for the Nets, Thaddeus Young double-doubled, and Brook Lopez (4-of-15, 11 points) and Joe Johnson (2-of-8, six points) struggled. Bojan Bogdanovic was at least serviceable with 10 points and two 3-pointers, but I need more, and the Nets bench was useless last night.
Clippers 105, Pistons 103 OT – Blake Griffin had a big line, J.J. Redick came through with 24 points and four 3-pointers, and Chris Paul double-doubled with 13 points and 12 dimes in the win. DeAndre Jordan had 14 rebounds and three blocks, and only missed two free throws. Jamal Crawford hit the 3-pointer of the game late and finished with 14 points, but Redick is the guy you want. Not much to learn from last night.
Andre Drummond (20 points, 15 boards, zero blocks) and Reggie Jackson (34 points, 11 boards, seven assists, two 3-pointers) were dominant, while Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova both cooled off after a hot run with six points apiece, and Ghostface Ilya had a bad matchup with Griffin. I’m holding onto both of them. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 with a couple 3-pointers, while Aron Baynes added 10 points and six boards off the bench in 13 minutes. He’s played well in his last two games, but the minutes just aren’t there right now. KCP had 18 points and eight assists on Saturday, and appears to be heating up.
Heat 100, Hawks 88 – Bigs tend to play well against ATL and Chris Bosh (24 & 10), Luol Deng (18 & 9) and Hassan Whiteside (8 & 13, three blocks) all proved that point last night. Goran Dragic lost a tooth courtesy of an Al Horford elbow, but played through it and flirted with a triple-double, while Dwyane Wade was MIA with seven points on 3-of-16 shooting. I sense a day off coming for Wade, so keep your eyes open if you own him. Gerald Green stayed relevant despite the presence of Deng, and has scored in double digits in four straight games, and had 20 against the Hawks. He’s worth a look as long as he continues to get 30 minutes a game.
The Hawks have now lost three straight and while they didn’t look great in any of them, the losses came against the Heat, Spurs and Thunder. Things get easier on Wednesday against the Sixers. One of the news items of the night was that Kent Bazemore started over Thabo Sefolosha, and he then topped that news by scoring a career-high 28 points in 40 minutes with a steal, block and three 3-pointers. If Bazemore was dropped in your league, pick him up right now. Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver both made 2-of-12 shots, which ruined their owner’s nights, while Dennis Schroder played 26 minutes off the bench and scored 13 points with a fun fantasy line. We’ve seen this movie before and Teague is going to bounce back, while Schroder should return to irrelevance. Sefolosha played just nine minutes and I have no interest in owning him if he’s not starting. Period.
Bulls 115, Sixers 96 – Tony Snell had 16 points and 11 boards in another start, but that had to be a Sixers-induced fluke. He scored a total of two points in his previous three games with seven rebounds, so don’t pay attention to his big line last night. Taj Gibson started again, but had just six points, five boards, a steal and two blocks in 22 minutes. He’s probably worth holding in some leagues, but his last two games have been bad and Joakim Noah is coming on. Jimmy Butler played well, Derrick Rose was quiet, and Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott played well off the bench. It’s hard to read too much into this one against the Sixers, but McDermott hit a three and had eight boards, and Mirotic added five 3-pointers in just 19 minutes. I like the idea of holding Mirotic, but I don’t trust McBuckets. Noah had five points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks in just 22 minutes. It’s time to pick him up, as he’s been playing much better of late, averaging 10.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five.
The Sixers got nice games out of Robert Covington and Jahlil Okafor, and they should both be owned across the board. Jerami Grant has cooled off, Isaiah Canaan is doing nothing with his minutes, and Tony Wroten started, but played just 18 minutes. I’m fine going to bed at night without owning any of them. Kendall Marshall, who I get a lot of questions about, was a DNP-CD as he just got a day off and I’m not really a Marshall guy, either. Right now, the only Sixers I’m interested in owning are Covington, Okafor and Nerlens Noel, who sat out with an eye injury. There are too many guards in Philly and timeshares are going to make all of them inconsistent, at least for now. Just keep an eye on Canaan, Wroten, Marshall, T.J. McConnell, Grant, Hollis Thompson and Nik Stauskas, who are all very unreliable right now.
Grizzlies 112, Wizards 95 – Matt Barnes started over Zach Randolph again and it sounds like that move is going to stick. Barnes backed up his 13 & 13 game from Sunday with 20 points, six boards, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers on Monday. Run, don’t walk, and pick him up. Jeff Green stayed hot with 15 points and a full stat line, Marc Gasol had a fat double-double, and Mike Conley bounced back with a big double-double of his own. Green and Barnes are helped by the fact that Tony Allen’s been out with a sore knee, but I like both of them even when he’s back. The move to the bench is bad news for Z-Bo and he had just eight points and four boards, but he’s more of a ‘bench’ than a ‘drop’ right now. Courtney Lee had 15 points and three 3-pointers, and is another beneficiary of Allen’s absence. Mario Chalmers has cooled off and played just 19 minutes, and is someone I think you can drop for a hot free agent.
Remember when Otto Porter scored 28 points and looked like an All-Star on Saturday? He had two points on 1-of-8 shooting last night, making him a fantasy disaster. He’ll bounce back, but also provided some false hope on Saturday. John Wall finally cooled off and hit just 2-of-11 shots for six points, but at least had nine dimes and a couple threes. Wall has been great, so this was just an off night against a tough defense. Garrett Temple started and played just 17 minutes in place of injured Bradley Beal. Gary Neal hit 9-of-14 shots and three 3-pointers for 24 points in 31 minutes, and Ramon Sessions had 14 points and three assists in 26 minutes. Neal and Sessions, and not Temple, are the guys you want to own while Beal’s out. As for which one, my guess is they alternate good games (but I own Sessions in several leagues).
Mavericks 104, Suns 94 – Raymond Felton and Deron Williams (illness) both played well in the starting lineup, and both are worth owning in most leagues. Wesley Matthews has managed to stay healthy and has played well, but struggled with his shot last night, and Devin Harris had 12 points, six steals and two 3-pointers off the bench. Harris has come on in his last two games and at least deserves a deep-league look if you’re desperate. Chandler Parsons played a season-high 28 minutes and had his second best game of the year, so hopefully it’s a sign that he’s finally ready to start producing for his owners. It’s been a pretty rough ride thus far. J.J. Barea is back from his ankle injury, but is too hit-or-miss to rely on, especially with so many guards already playing well in Dallas.
Jon Leuer is still rolling for the Suns and had 15 points, 13 boards and a 3-pointer. He should be owned in all leagues for now. Conversely, Alex Len fell off a cliff, but still played 21 minutes. He just hit 1-of-7 shots and had a bad night. However, Tyson Chandler is back and while he hasn’t done much, he’s not going to do Len any favors. Len’s not a guy I’d trust in DFS right now, but he still looks like more of a ‘bench’ than a ‘drop’ in standard leagues. Mirza Teletovic has been bad in two straight and played just 15 minutes on Monday, missing all five of his shots. He was a false alarm after a few big games, but will probably become relevant again at some point soon.
Spurs 118, Jazz 81 – Talk about a blowout! LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker all played well, while Danny Green scored four points with seven boards and five assists in 20 minutes. Man, do I want to drop him, but still haven’t pulled the trigger. There’s nothing else to see here.
Gordon Hayward had his worst game of the season, but come on. It was pretty much expected to happen against Leonard. Really, every player on the Jazz stunk last night, and you also shouldn’t be fooled by Raul Neto’s 12 points. It was a bad night to start Jazz players in DFS, or any fantasy league for that matter. Don’t make any decisions about them based on last night’s disaster.
Nuggets 114, Rockets 108 – Kenneth Faried had a nice first half but then disappeared and center Joffrey Lauvergne started and had 14 points and 11 boards in 21 minutes. The Nuggets are usually the ones getting abused in the big-man department, but they outrebounded the Rockets 52-26 and killed them in the paint. With Emmanuel Mudiay out with an ankle sprain, Jameer Nelson started at point and had 10 points and seven assists, while Gary Harris also started and scored a career-high 21 on 8-of-11 shooting. Will Barton kept at it with 23 points and another full stat line, and has to be considered the fantasy surprise of the season at this point. Make sure he’s not available in any leagues. Nelson, Harris and Lauvergne are all hot pickups after last night, and I like them in that order. Especially if Mudiay’s going to miss time or lose his job. I’d like Lauvergne more if the timeshare thing with Nikola Jokic wasn’t there, and if Jusuf Nurkic weren’t on his way back.
Terrence Jones suffered another eye injury and wasn’t available down the stretch, while Clint Capela was a late scratch due to food poisoning. Donatas Motiejunas played 22 minutes and hit 7-of-11 shots for 19 points and two rebounds, but it’s Capela who should benefit most if TJ, the king of odd injuries, is going to miss more games. Starters Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley and James Harden all played reasonably well for Houston, and Beverley is a guy owners desperate for a point guard should be taking a look at. Marcus Thornton had 13 points and three 3-pointers in 21 minutes off the bench, but has been one of the most inconsistent players in the league this season. But he’s played pretty well in four straight games, so he’s either ready to fall apart or fully explode with a monster line.
Blazers 102, Pelicans 96 – Starters Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum (who sealed the win with a huge block/steal), Mason Plumlee and Al-Farouq Aminu all played well for the Blazers, and it’s been nice to see AFA bounce back over his last few games. After a drought, he’s averaging 11 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 3-pointers over his last three games. If he was dropped and your wire is thin, think about grabbing him. Plumlee had his best line in recent memory with 15 points, 13 boards, a career-high six assists and two blocks, and he seemed to be struggling ever since I decided I loved his game a few weeks ago. Allen Crabbe played 29 minutes off the bench and finished with seven points, five rebounds, a career-high five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. His shot was off, hitting just 2-of-9, but he’s played pretty well in all eight of his December games. I’ve picked him up in a few leagues and he’s also a cheap DFS option. Meyers Leonard played just 17 minutes and he’s a tough hold right now. I would drop him for a hot free agent if I owned him. Gerald Henderson scored 19 points with four 3-pointers, but I like Crabbe a lot more at this point. Ed Davis has cooled over his last two games and is another guy you shouldn’t be afraid to drop.
Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans posted monster lines, Jrue Holiday played a season-high 29 minutes for 19 points, two assists and an otherwise nice line, and Ryan Anderson returned from an illness with 16 points and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes, but hit just 5-of-16 shots. Eric Gordon didn’t do much in his start and 34 minutes, but at least he’s still getting run, while Norris Cole once again played more minutes than Ish Smith. However, neither of them is worth holding as long as Holiday is healthy. Anderson could be traded any day now, so keep an eye on him as well.