Monday gave us seven games of basketball bliss, especially if you’re still reeling from starting Charcandrick West and Devontae Booker in football Sunday, but it wasn’t all wine and roses for the owners of guys like Terrence Jones, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, if you own Stephen Curry or James Harden, just WOW.
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Jazz 109, Sixers 84 – Derrick Favors showed up in a big way on Monday and had 16 points, 14 boards, a steal and three blocks. He’s been sluggish, at best, this season, but is starting to come on. He was dropped in one of my leagues and I have a waiver request in. Make sure he wasn’t dumped in yours. Gordon Hayward hasn’t missed a beat since returning from a finger injury and had 20 points and another nice line. Rudy Gobert fouled out with eight points, six boards, a steal and three blocks, Shelvin Mack started for George Hill (thumb) and had eight points, five dimes, two steals and two 3-pointers, and Rodney Hood hasn’t been bothered by Gordon’s return, and had 18 and four 3-pointers for the second straight game. Hill will hopefully be back for the next one, while Joe Johnson played just 22 minutes and the return of Hayward is going to hurt him. I’m dumping him for a hot free agent where I own him. Just put Joe Ingles and Trey Lyles on your radar, as they’re both getting solid run and putting up some numbers. Lyles actually led the team with 31 minutes and Ingles played 21.
The Sixers were a mess, but Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor both played well. Things will get really tricky here when Nerlens Noel returns, and both Embiid and Okafor are on a minutes count until further notice. Sergio Rodriguez was quiet, but did have six points, four boards, five dimes and two steals on 3-of-9 shooting. I like owning him right now. Dario Saric struggled for the second straight game, but I’d recommend hanging in there with him. Ersan Ilyasova’s not helping him, and played 26 minutes for 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting. They’re in a true timeshare. Robert Covington actually made 4-of-5 shots for 12 points, eight boards and three 3-pointers. Hopefully his shot is fixed, as he had missed 24–of-27 shots in his previous four games. I like him as a buy-low, pickup guy right now.
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Rockets 114, Wizards 106 – Ryan Anderson feasted with 23 points, seven boards and five treys, Trevor Ariza had 15 points, three steals and four 3-pointers, and Clint Capela was solid with 14 points, six boards, a steal and four blocks. Make sure he wasn’t dropped in your league. And then there’s Mr. James Harden. He had 32 points, six boards, 15 assists and three 3-pointers, as he fights to lead the NBA in both scoring and assists. Yeah, he had eight turnovers, but you just need to forget about that category if you own him. He’s living up to our hype as the No. 1 pick in fantasy. Harden’s currently fourth in scoring at 31.5 points per game, and first in assists at 12.3 a game. Eric Gordon came off the bench, but should be starting again soon. Corey Brewer is not a threat to his job.
The Wizards got nice lines from Otto Porter Jr., Marcin Gortat, John Wall and Bradley Beal, but Wall got himself ejected and is probably looking at a one-game suspension. If it happens, Marcus Thornton and Beal will benefit the most. Markieff Morris hit just 3-of-14 shots and is shooting it horribly this season, but is still putting up pretty solid numbers. If his shot ever starts falling, look out. If Wall is out on Wednesday against the Celtics, I bet Marcus Thornton will come through in DFS.
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Hornets 122, Pacers 100 – The Hornets blitzed the Pacers last night, as Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker all scored in double digits, and Nicolas Batum had nine points, six boards, four assists, three steals and a 3-pointer in the easy win. They’re all startable in fantasy right now, although Zeller will take a big hit if Roy Hibbert ever returns from his knee problem. MKG suffered a back injury that eventually forced him from the game, so check for updates on him Tuesday. Spencer Hawes had 13 points, 13 boards, two steals and a 3-pointer off the bench, Frank Kaminsky scored 11, Marco Belinelli had 12 with a couple 3-pointers and three steals, and Ramon Sessions added 10 points and seven dimes in the blowout. Hawes is playing well, but I still trust Zeller a little more.
Thaddeus Young didn’t even score for the Pacers and picked up three fouls before finishing with just 16 minutes played. He had quietly been playing well, so just chalk it up to a bad night. Paul George hit just 4-of-12 shots for 10 points, Myles Turner had just 12 points, five boards and a couple blocks, while Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis failed to crack double digits in less than 20 minutes. Yuck. This game was a blowout and the Pacers gave the bench heavy minutes, so don’t freak out if you own Indy starters. One positive for the Pacers was red-hot C.J. Miles, who scored a season-high 23 with five triples and a steal. He’s feeling it and as long as he’s healthy, he should be in fantasy lineups. He’s scored between 16 and 23 points in four straight games with 13 3-pointers. Al Jefferson woke up for 12 points and nine boards in 19 minutes, but again, this was a blowout against his former team, so don’t read too much into it. Both were season highs and he didn’t block a shot.
Bulls 112, Magic 80 – The Bulls destroyed the Magic as Taj Gibson stayed hot and went off for 16 points and 11 boards, Dwyane Wade scored 16 with a full line and Jimmy Butler went 10-of-10 from the line and scored 20. Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez were quiet, while Doug McDermott and Isaiah Canaan hit double digits off the bench. Not much to see here, although Nikola Mirotic is going to be showing up on waivers after going 2-of-9 for six points, four boards and a 3-pointer. I love him, but inconsistency is his middle name.
The Magic had a total of three guys in double digits. Aaron Gordon led the way with 15 points, four boards, four assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, Evan Fournier hit 6-of-12 and a 3-pointer for 13 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 11 points, six boards, five dimes and a steal in the blowout. Serge Ibaka struggled with just seven points and seven boards, but also had a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Elfrid Payton played just 19 minutes for four points and six assists, but must have done something to land in the doghouse. He’s been awful in two straight games and has a tough one against Kris Dunn on Wednesday. But PG the job is still his to lose. Jeff Green was starting to look like a pickup after a couple nice games, but he played just 15 minutes with five points and four boards on 2-of-6 shooting. Just keep an eye on him.
Thunder 97, Heat 85 – Domantas Sabonis went off for 15 points, 10 boards and four 3-pointers, all season highs, and should officially be on your watch list now. Steven Adams suffered a thumb injury and looked fine playing through it, finishing with six points, six boards, three steals and two blocks. Russell Westbrook hit just 5-of-16 shots to finish with 14 points, 11 assists and five more turnovers, and James Harden is starting to look like the right call at No. 1 overall. Victor Oladipo is starting to come around and had 17 points, but is still a bit of a disappointment after we hyped him. And Enes Kanter went off for 24 points, 10 boards and a block on 10-of-12 shooting after going for 20 & 10 in his previous game. His three-minute dud last Thursday is quickly becoming a distant memory.
The Heat just couldn’t shoot the ball. Justise Winslow was 2-of-13, Hassan Whiteside was 2-of-8, Goran Dragic was 5-of-12 with a season-low 11 points and four dimes, and Dion Waiters was 1-of-9. Luke Babbitt hit 4-of-8 shots for 11 points, four boards, a 3-pointer and a steal, so keep an eye on him. The Heat starters will bounce back, but I’m worried about Winslow’s shooting. If you throw out his two 7-for-15 shooting nights, he’s hit just 14-of-60 shots in his other four games, but is still putting up decent numbers. James Johnson caught fire off the bench for a season-high 18 points, six boards, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes. He also was decent on Friday, so put him on your watch list in case this wasn’t a fluke. Then again, he’d scored a grand total of four points in his previous three games, which is why I’m not telling you to run out and get him. Tyler Johnson had a season-low 10 points in 27 minutes, but also had two steals and a block. I’m a little worried about him with Josh Richardson back, but the 27 minutes were a bit reassuring. Richardson played 25 minutes and scored seven, but he’s going to be a factor a week from now, so look into picking him up if you have someone you want to drop.
Warriors 116, Pelicans 106 – Stephen Curry was 0-for-10 from downtown in Friday’s embarrassing loss to the Lakers. He more than made up for it last night, hitting 13-of-17 3-pointers to set the NBA record for 3-pointers made in one game, breaking his own mark. And over his last two games, he’s 13-of-27 from beyond the arc, just under 50 percent. Ridiculous. Draymond Green scored just four points, but also had 12 boards, 11 assists, two steals and two blocks, Kevin Durant struggled with his shot in the third quarter, missing five straight (pretty badly) and finished with 22 points and an unimpressive stat line in 37 minutes. But hey, this was Curry’s night. Klay Thompson went off for 24 points, three steals and two 3-pointers. His season high is 28 points and he’s somehow scored in double figures in all seven of his games this season, although four of those were between 10 and 14 points. And as usual, there’s nothing to see on the GSW bench.
The Pelicans are now 0-7 and you have to think (hope) Alvin Gentry is on the hot seat. He benched Terrence Jones again tonight, I guess because he loves Dante Cunningham, who just doesn’t float my boat. In TJ’s lone start this season, he had 19 points, seven boards, six assists, a steal, four blocks and a 3-pointer. I just don’t get why he’s not a full-time starter, but I’d like to still believe that day is coming. Until it happens, he’s a very shaky fantasy starter, sort of like a box of chocolates. And he had just four points and one rebound in a measly 15 minutes. C’mon, man! Anthony Davis is still healthy and ballin’, going for 33 points, 13 rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer, but he was very quiet in the second half, and especially the fourth quarter of a tight game. Which is another reason I think Gentry’s job is hanging in the balance. Tim Frazier bounced back with 13 points, 10 dimes, two steals and a 3-pointer, but will fade away once Jrue Holiday is back, and E’Twaun Moore played 31 minutes and hit 6-of-11 shots for 15 points, three rebounds, five assists and a 3-pointer, but also had three costly turnovers late. Ride Moore until Tyreke Evans is back, and then just see what happens. The Pel’s bench is a mess and they cut Lance Stephenson and signed Archie Goodwin (DNP), not that it matters.
Clippers 114, Pistons 82 – The Clippers absolutely mauled the Pistons last night and led 62-32 at halftime. Chris Paul had 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting, hit 5-of-5 3-pointers and added six boards, eight dimes, two steals and a block. Sorry, Ish Smith. J.J. Redick finally broke loose for a season-high 20 points and three 3-pointers, but only added one rebound to his stat line, while Blake Griffin only took 11 shots to just miss a triple-double with 13 points, 10 boards and nine assists in the blowout. DeAndre Jordan was a bit quiet, finishing with eight points, 10 boards and a block against Andre Drummond. I would have thought the bench would have exploded in such a blowout, but Austin Rivers led the way with just 11 points and Raymond Felton scored 10 points with a full stat line. Jamal Crawford is a cut candidate after hitting just 1-of-4 shots for three points in the easy win.
Drummond had 15 points, 12 boards, two steals and a block, Tobias Harris scored 12, but only had three rebounds on 5-of-13 shooting and Marcus Morris added a season-low 10 points and not much else on 5-of-9 shooting. Ish Smith was 1-of-9 for two points and three dimes, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was 0-for-6 for one point after coming in hot. Since starting the season with just nine total points in his first two games, KCP had scored 21, 19, 15 and 13 in his next four games. Last night was a fluke, so don’t panic. Smith had 11 points, eight dimes and three steals in his previous game, so he should also bounce back, but will also take a big hit once Reggie Jackson is ready to return from his knee and thumb issues, but he’s still a couple weeks away. Jon Leuer was at it again and hit 6-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for 14 points, six boards and two dimes on Monday. He’s running hot right now, scoring in double figures in three straight games and averaging 10.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over his last five games. Keep a close eye on him and add him if you’re desperate in a deep league. We had a Stanley Johnson sighting with 11 points, four boards, three assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes, and he had 12 points in his previous game. Just keep an eye on him. Also watch Beno Udrih, who played 24 minutes and hit 1-of-8 shots for five points, three assists and a steal. He might be able to steal Smith’s job – maybe.