There were 11 games on Monday night and enough news to produce a 10-page Daily Dose. So I’m just going to focus on the hard-hitting, lineup impacting stuff. At least, that’s my goal. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Pacers 109, Wizards 101 – Myles Turner did it again with a season-high 26 points, 12 boards, five blocks and two 3-pointers, and he might be on the best tear of his career. This was arguably his best game ever, and one of his blocks likely saved the game for Indy. Finally! Yes, it might be a sell-high moment, but as a Turner apologist and supporter, I’m not trading him. Bojan Bogdanovic had 22 points, Tyreke Evans finally came through with 18 points, six boards, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer, and Darren Collison double-doubled with 10 points and a career-high 17 dimes as all five Pacers starters scored in double figures. Victor Oladipo (knee) is hoping to practice today, which would hurt Evans, but I still think Evans is worth a look. He can’t stay irrelevant forever.
Otto Porter Jr. left the game with a right knee contusion and didn’t return. If he’s going to miss time, Kelly Oubre and Jeff Green would pick up his slack, while Tomas Satoransky is already starting, and filled in at point guard for John Wall (heel) last night. Austin Rivers got a start last night with Wall out and had 13 points, two 3-pointers and four assists, but isn’t worth a look once Wall is back. The problem is that we don’t know how long Wall will be out, but Wall felt better and went through his pre-game routine last night, which is good news for his owners. Oubre had a season-high 23 points, five boards, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 9-of-14 shooting, and was already a guy worth owning before OPJ went down. Pick him up. Bradley Beal had 30, which is not surprising given the absence of Wall.
Sixers 116, Pistons 102 – Jimmy Butler went down with a groin injury after just 10 minutes in a win over the Pistons and didn’t return. Groin injuries are not good in the NBA, so Butler’s week is in jeopardy. Furkan Korkmaz replaced him in the lineup and had 18 points, seven boards, a steal and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes, making him worth a look in deeper leagues. Mike Muscala scored 10 points and T.J. McConnell had 14 points, four boards, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, but both of them are hard to trust, even if Butler misses time. Joel Embiid returned after a day of rest and looked refreshed, scoring 24 points in the win. He’ll also see a boost if Butler misses time.
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Blake Griffin was given the day off for rest, missing his first game of the year, while Luke Kennard got the start over Glenn Robinson III (ankle, MRI coming) and went off for a career-high 28 points, eight boards and five 3-pointers in his best game of the year. Jon Leuer started for Griffin and eight points, while Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson both played well for the Pistons. Bruce Brown’s been starting for Reggie Bullock (ankle), but didn’t do much. Kennard’s the guy to target here, but there’s a very good chance he turns out to be nothing more than a one-hit wonder.
Celtics 113, Pelicans 100 – Marcus Morris blew up for a season-high 31 points, four boards, four assists and five 3-pointers, Jason Tatum had 21 points and six boards, and Terry Rozier got the start for Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and had 10 points, seven boards, six assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. Marcus Smart started, but was very quiet in 29 minutes, while Jaylen Brown stayed hot off the bench with 19 points, seven boards and four 3-pointers. Daniel Theis started for Al Horford (knee), but had just six points and five boards in 22 minutes. Rookie big man Robert Williams had career highs of seven points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, but keep in mind that Horford and Aron Baynes were both out.
Anthony Davis looked good despite his hip injury and had 41 points, seven boards and four steals, Julius Randle stayed hot with a 20 & 11 double-double, and Jrue Holiday cooled off with seven points after a monstrous game last time out. Tim Frazier had eight points and 10 assists in another start for Elfrid Payton (finger surgery) and is worth a look with Payton due to be sidelined for another month. The Pelicans’ bench didn’t do much in this one.
Kings 108, Bulls 89 – De’Aaron Fox went off with 25 points and a fun stat line, Willie Cauley-Stein double-doubled, and Iman Shumpert and Buddy Hield each scored 14 points in the win. Nemanja Bjelica scored six points in 21 minutes, and it’s time to move on from him, as Marvin Bagley came through with 16 points off the bench. He didn’t do much more than the scoring, but now that he’s healthy, Bjelica is in trouble.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls in scoring with 19 points and Lauri Markkanen added 13 points, six boards, a steal and a 3-pointer on 5-of-16 shooting, but they were the only two Bulls in double digits. The Bulls recently benched the entire starting five down the stretch and coach Jim Boylen appears to be at odds with his team, as the starters considered boycotting practice recently. The Bulls looked awful and it would appear that Boylen needs to figure this out quickly, or he’s going to lose the team, if he hasn’t already. Bobby Portis (9 points, 8 rebounds) and Kris Dunn (9 points, 6 assists) returned from their injuries, but the results weren’t all that exciting. I’m not dropping anyone good to pick them up.
Bucks 108, Cavaliers 92 – The Bucks didn’t have any huge lines, but then again, Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out with a sore neck. Eric Bledsoe double-doubled, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon all played well, and Shannon Brown had 12 points and eight boards off the bench. Giannis was a late scratch after lineup deadlines locked, which was a huge buzzkill in fantasyland. Hopefully, he’ll only miss the one game. Ersan Ilyasova started for him, but scored just nine points.
The Cavaliers were bad in this one, as only Larry Nance (who came off the bench for 16 points), Collin Sexton, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Jaron Blossomgame scored in double figures. Thompson left early with a left foot sprain, but X-rays were negative, and he’ll be questionable for his next few games. Alec Burks started, but my “no-brainer pickup” hit just 1-of-8 shots for three points in 29 minutes. Maybe I’m the one without the brain, but I still like Burks chances at success in his three remaining games this week. Rodney Hood played through his toe injury, but hit just 1-of-7 shots, and Blossomgame had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers off the bench. Just put him on your watch list, and be ready to pounce on Nance if Thompson is going to miss time.
Thunder 122, Jazz 113 – Russell Westbrook had a 12-11-10 triple-double, Paul George scored 31 points with five triples and four steals, Steven Adams had 22 points and seven boards, and Jerami Grant added 13 points and four boards in the win. Dennis Schroder had 23 points and six dimes off the bench, and that’s all you need to know about the Thunder.
The Jazz got a double-double from Rudy Gobert, 19 points and an empty line (with six turnovers) from Donovan Mitchell, while Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio all posted pedestrian lines. Jae Crowder had 13 points, six boards and two 3-pointers off the bench, but the Jazz box score was basically a boring mess last night.
Mavericks 101, Magic 76 – The Mavericks stayed hot and are 12-4 over their last 16 games. Man crush Luka Doncic finally struggled, hitting just 2-of-11 shots and going 0-for-5 from downtown, but still finished with seven points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his first triple-double. Hopefully he’s not hitting a rookie wall. Since I don’t really consider him a rookie, I doubt this is anything to worry about. Jalen Brunson made another start for Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) and had a career-high 17 points, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, hitting double figures in scoring in his third straight game. He’s worth a deep-league look, but will obviously take a hit once DSJ is healthy.
Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic (sore ankle) and D.J. Augustin were all quiet in this one, while Jonathon Simmons somehow broke loose with a season-high 18 points and two 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting in a start. The bench wasn’t much better, and Terrence Ross hit just 3-of-11 shots for seven points, breaking a streak of eight straight games in double digits. He should bounce back in the next one, but it’s also possible that this could be the start of a cold streak, as he’s been playing over his head for a while now. I don’t think Simmons is a pickup right now, given the health of Gordon and Isaac. Evan Fournier sat out for personal reasons, and Isaac got the start in his place. Mo Bamba was suspended one game by the team for tardiness.
Nuggets 105, Grizzlies 99 –
Clippers 123, Suns 119 OT – Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all played well for the Clippers, and starter Avery Bradley, who scored just eight points, hit a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining to seal the win. Bradley played 37 minutes, but didn’t do much with them from a fantasy standpoint. He’s cooled off after going on a heater last week. Boban Marjanovic started at center and had six points, eight boards and a block in 17 minutes, and is still untrustworthy in fantasy. Montrezl Harrell has really cooled off, scoring 10 or fewer points in three straight, and hasn’t been rebounding the ball well, either. Hopefully, he’s just in a slump. The Clippers bench was uninspiring in this one, as well, and Lou Williams left with a sore left hamstring, which is more good news for my man, SGA.
T.J. Warren (ankle) was back for the Suns but played just 12 minutes before being ejected, Deandre Ayton double-doubled, Mikal Bridges finally came through with a career-high 19 points, three boards, three assists and four 3-pointers, and De’Anthony Melton started again, racking up 13 points, four rebounds, eight assists and two steals on 5-of-16 shooting. It’s time to pick him up. Richaun Holmes scored a season-high 19 points with seven boards, a steal and three blocks, and Josh Jackson had 18 points, eight assists and a fun stat line. The Suns play three more games this week and Melton, Holmes, Jackson and Bridges are all worth a look in fantasy.
Warriors 116, Timberwolves 108 – Draymond Green played for the first time since Nov. 15 and had seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a block. Welcome back, Dray. Stephen Curry had 38 points, seven triples, seven boards, six assists, two steals and a block, Kevin Durant had 22 and four 3-pointers, and Klay Thompson added 26 and four 3-pointers in the win. Kevon Looney started, but was quiet with Green back, finishing with just two points, five boards and a block before fouling out. DeMarcus Cousins has been doing 5-of-5 work and will rehab in the G-League. Yes, it’s exciting that he’s playing again, but I still think he’s going to be a disappointment for those who have been holding onto him all year. The Warriors just want him healthy for the playoffs, but I’ve been wrong before.
Karl-Anthony Towns had a 31 & 11 double-double, Andrew Wiggins scored 20 and Jeff Teague had 11 assists to go along with just three points in the loss. Dario Saric had 13 points and eight boards off the bench, and Derrick Rose had 21 points, four assists and two 3-pointers for the Wolves. Robert Covington returned from a sore knee, but hit just 2-of-7 shots in the loss. He’ll be better soon.
Lakers 108, Heat 105 – The Lakers got 33 points, seven boards and three 3-pointers from Kyle Kuzma, and LeBron James had a 28-9-12 line with four 3-pointers in his final meeting with Dwyane Wade. JaVale McGee had four points, eight boards and four blocks, despite hitting just 1-of-7 shots, and Lonzo Ball had 10 points, seven boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer in the win. Josh Hart started again for Brandon Ingram (ankle), but had just nine points, five rebounds and two 3-pointers on 3-of-9 shooting. Hart is due for some big lines with Ingram out, but never got it going last night. The Lakers are 17-10 and are the No. 5 seed in the West right now. Rajon Rondo had fluid drained from his broken right hand on Sunday, meaning we should get a whole lot more of Ball going forward.
The Heat’s box score was messy. James Johnson failed to score in 17 minutes, Bam Adebayo double-doubled in another start for Hassan Whiteside (personal), but Whiteside could be back on Wednesday after missing his last three games. And we still don’t know what his role will be after he left the bench early in the last game in which he played. Goran Dragic played just 18 minutes for nine points in his return from a rest, and Josh Richardson played through his sore shoulder, but scored just 10 points. Kelly Olynyk was solid, Justise Winslow stayed hot with a career-high 28 points, seven boards and a steal in 38 minutes. He’s been on fire over his last five games and is worth a pickup in most leagues, although he could cool off at any time. Dwyane Wade had 15 points and 10 assists in his final game against LeBron, and the two exchanged jerseys and hugs after the game. Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson were available for this one, but didn’t play.