It was a quiet four-game night in the NBA, where a flu bug to Derrick Favors and a quiet night by Danny Green and Jamal Crawford may have ruined some fantasy dreams, but if you played guys like John Wall, K.J. McDaniels and Trey Burke, it was all good. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
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Spurs 109, Sixers 103
Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were pulled from the starting lineup in plenty of time for owners to make adjustments well before tip off. Cory Joseph looked like a smart play, as the only healthy point guard, along with guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Boris Diaw. Joseph came through with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists on 4-of-10 shooting, and Leonard went nuts and tied a career high with 26 points, and added 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 9-of-15 shooting. Danny Green was one of the night’s bigger disappointments. He was coming in hot, but hit just 1-of-9 shots for five points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. He’s been much better lately, but I trust him much more in standard leagues than daily, as he tends to be able to disappear on any given night. Diaw was 2-of-6 for five points in 29 minutes, which was also a disappointment. Aron Baynes came through in the absence of Tim Duncan with 15 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting, while Manu Ginobili, Matt Bonner and Marco Belinelli all hit double figures off the bench. Pop was just toying with the Sixers, who are now 0-17, and giving them a fighting chance, meaning Duncan and Parker (who may have a cracked rib) should be back for the next one.
Michael Carter-Williams hit 9-of-19 shots and two 3-pointers for the Sixers, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. He also had four turnovers, but given the amount of time he was handling the ball, the TOs and field goal percentage were pretty good. This was a monster line for MCW and he’s officially back. K.J. McDaniels came off the bench again, but kept it going with 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes. The bad news was that he hit just 2-of-8 shots and 5-of-8 free throws, but he’s scored in double digits in three straight games and should be owned in most leagues after his career night on Saturday. Alexey Shved has quietly been playing well and had 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 7-of-16 shooting. He had 18 points and five assists on Saturday, and is probably worth using as long as Tony Wroten is out with his knee injury. Henry Sims had 12 points, five rebounds and nothing else, but has now hit double digits in scoring in four straight games. Nerlens Noel was out with a hip injury and is day-to-day, while Brandon Davies didn’t do much in the fill-in start.
Wizards 107, Heat 86
John Wall hit 6-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers for 18 points, five rebounds, 13 assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers, and added just two turnovers in one of his best games of the season. Marin Gortat blasted the centerless Heat for 15 points, 10 boards and a couple blocks, and Rasual Butler went off for 23 points and three 3-pointers off the bench (ignore him). And as you can probably guess, it wasn’t Bradley Beal’s night. He hit just 3-of-7 shots for eight points and four fouls in 17 minutes and now is a good time to make some buy-low offers. Nene was out again with his foot injury and Kris Humphries had just eight points and five rebounds in another start. Nene could be ready for Wednesday vs. the Lakers.
The Heat got 21 points, eight boards, two blocks and a 3-pointer from Chris Bosh, and 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting from Dwyane Wade, but the good news stops there. The fact Wade played in back-to-back games after missing seven in a row is a good sign. The only other player on the team to hit double figures in scoring was Mario Chalmers, but he had just 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and zero 3-pointers, which is a far cry from what he was doing last week when Wade was out. Hopefully, Chalmers bounces back and gets hot again, and the fact Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier didn’t do much should work in his favor. While every other player on the Heat isn’t worth mentioning, I’m going to do it anyway. Shawne Williams had just two points on 1-of-3 shooting in 19 minutes, and that ship appears to have sailed. Josh McRoberts played 24 minutes, but still hit just 2-of-4 shots for eight points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal. Maybe he’s just not as good as I remember, but I think it’s more a case of him just not getting into a groove yet. I’m guessing he posts a big line before this week is over.
Nuggets 103, Jazz 101
Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler led the way for the Nuggets in the game of the night, each scoring 15 points, while Lawson also handed out 12 assists and added two steals, and Chandler added three 3-pointers. The Nuggets were very well-rounded, which isn’t great in fantasy, but got them a win. Kenneth Faried had 11 points, five rebounds and a block in 29 minutes (baby steps), Timofey Mozgov was nice again with 10 points, 10 rebounds and a block on 5-of-5 shooting, and Arron Afflalo added 14 points and two 3-pointers in the starting unit, but was ejected after a flagrant foul. Darrell Arthur added 12 points and two 3-pointers off the bench (ignore him as long as Faried is getting minutes), J.J. Hickson had 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks (ditto) and Danilo Gallinari hit just 2-of-6 shots for six points in 14 minutes. I’m hanging onto Gallo in a couple leagues, but there’s no way I’d use him right now in a starting weekly lineup, or a daily fantasy league if I had other options. Lawson is killing it these days and is as must-start as they come. JaVale McGee was a DNP, but was available despite a leg injury. He’s going to have a tough time slowing Mozgov down.
Despite being listed as favorable, Derrick was Favor-less after being a late scratch with the flu, and since I was coaching my kid’s team from 5-7 p.m., I wasn’t able to see the signs on Rotoworld and get him out of my FanDuel lineup. Real life has really been getting in the way of my fantasy world lately, which I’m not used to. Trevor Booker got the start in his place and scored just six points, but also had nine rebounds, two steals and a block. Not bad, if you plug-and-played him. Gordon Hayward was stellar with 25 points, five boards and three 3-pointers on 7-of-18 shooting, Alec Burks scored 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists, but a 3-pointer would have been nice. Trey Burke was at it again with 18 points, eight assists and four 3-pointers, and is finally starting to look like the guy you drafted (or picked up off waivers after a disgruntled owner dropped him). Well, except for that three-point, three-assist game on Saturday. And my guy Enes Kanter did it again with 17 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks in 31 minutes. He didn’t do much on Saturday, either, but if he’s available in your league, pick him up. It wasn’t hard to see this one coming with Favors out, along with the fact the Nuggets constantly give it up to opposing bigs, but Kanter has been playing pretty well.
Clippers 127, Wolves 101
Blake Griffin had 23 points and eight boards, Chris Paul had 12 points and eight assists, and DeAndre Jordan double-doubled with 11 points, 13 rebounds, a steal and four blocks on 5-of-5 shooting to lead the Clippers to a blowout win. Matt Barnes is back in the starting lineup and had eight points, five rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers, and is worth keeping a close eye on in case he’s finally ready to get it going. Jamal Crawford didn’t have it last night, hitting just 1-of-5 shots and no 3-pointers, and playing just 15 minutes. J.J. Redick caught fire early and hit 7-of-11 shots and four 3-pointers on his way to 23 points, and Crawford was never really needed in the blowout. He’ll bounce back, while Redick may finally be ready to start offering consistent production.
Corey Brewer pulled a Crawford and played just 15 minutes, hitting 3-of-9 shots for nine points and a 3-pointer, and has now been pretty quiet over his last two games. Shabazz Muhammad was the guy here, coming off the bench to hit 6-of-11 shots for 18 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes. The Wolves were a mess last night, with only Andrew Wiggins (14 points while battling the flu) hitting double figures for the starters, and Muhammad, Robbie Hummel (13 points) and Zach LaVine (10 points) hitting double figures in the scoring column. Thaddeus Young had eight points, two rebounds, a steal and a block in 21 minutes, Gorgui Dieng added seven points, four rebounds, five assists and a steal in 20 minutes, and Mo Williams cooled off with seven points, seven assists and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes. Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin are still a ways off from returning, so Mo-Will, Dieng, Muhammad and Brewer are all worth a fantasy look for the time being. I also think Young should be about ready to start taking off again, while Wiggins still has time to start making something of his solid minutes. But he’s simply been a disappointment thus far. This game is tough to get much out of, as it was a garbage-time special.
News & Notes
Kevin Durant appears to be on target for Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans and owners who drafted him are hopefully about to be rewarded.
DeMarcus Cousins is questionable for the Kings on Tuesday due to an illness after missing Sunday’s game for the same reason. If he’s out, look for more Reggie Evans, who had 17 points and 20 rebounds on Sunday.
Stephen Curry isn’t worried about his sprained ankle and sounds likely to play Tuesday against the Magic.
Roy Hibbert is hoping to play for the Pacers on Tuesday after missing a few games with a sprained ankle.
Taj Gibson has already been ruled out against the Mavericks tonight as he continues to try to get his sprained ankle near 100 percent. It does sound like he’s getting closer, but Nikola Mirotic is the guy you want to use when Gibson is out.
Anderson Varejao practiced for the Cavs through his rib injury and is expected to play on Tuesday against the Bucks.
Jameer Nelson is probable for the Mavs on Tuesday despite a back injury.
Terrence Jones (leg) has been ruled out for the Rockets on Wednesday and has no timetable. Patrick Beverley is also out with a hamstring injury, Dwight Howard is doubtful with his bum knee could miss the whole week, while Isaiah Canaan won’t play due to an ankle injury. Jason Terry is the point guard you’ll want to consider for the Rockets on Wednesday, while Donatas Motiejunas should also be primed for another nice game.
Charlotte’s Marvin Williams (shoulder) is iffy for Wednesday against the Bulls, while Gary Neal (shoulder) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (foot) aren’t expected to play. Cody Zeller and Brian Roberts are the two guys you’ll want to look at using if this trio is out, while Gerald Henderson always has a chance at doing something.
Zaza Pachulia is expected back on Tuesday for the Bucks after missing time on a personal leave. Ersan Ilyasova takes a mini-hit if Pachulia is back. John Henson is likely out until Dec. 15 with a sprained foot.
Will Barton (illness) is out on Tuesday for the Blazers, which should have no fantasy implications.