Channing Frye went off, DeMarcus Cousins flirted with a monster triple-double, LeBron James played well and Jimmy Butler was back in action on Tuesday. My buddy Yuri texted me as the Kings-Lakers game ended, declaring she’s “back” in FanDuel. She also asked me if the scoring has changed since she took a break a year ago, as she is easily scoring 300-plus points a night. I informed her that the scoring has not changed and that she is just in the zone right now. I also told her to play the lottery before the tide turns. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Cavaliers 116, Timberwolves 108 – LeBron James had 25 points, eight boards, 14 assists, two threes and six turnovers, and hit 10-of-14 shots as the Cavaliers held on late for a win over the Wolves. I’m a little worried about Bron playing too many minutes the rest of the way. It’s a great thing for his fantasy production, but it could mean some DNPS later in the season. And in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Kevin Love is going to miss the next six weeks after knee surgery. Which resulted in a start for Channing Frye, who went OFF for 21 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes. Stop reading and go pick him up, if you haven’t done so already. This may end up being his best game of the season and I doubt he plays this well on most nights, but if you have someone to drop, you should pick Frye up. Tristan Thompson also sees a bit of a boost in Love’s absence and he had 14 points and 11 boards in 35 minutes last night. That’s back-to-back double-doubles for TT and he’s had at least 10 rebounds in five of his seven games in February. Kyrie Irving scored 25 points with seven assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, but hit just 10-of-27 shots. But he helped make up for the poor shooting with zero turnovers in 37 minutes. Iman Shumpert was back from his ankle injury and played 26 minutes, but was quiet with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting, with all of his makes coming from downtown. Kyle Korver played 27 minutes and hit 2-of-5 shots for six points, five rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and I’m afraid the Shumpert-Korver timeshare isn’t going to be a good fantasy situation for either of them. Derrick Williams played well off the bench, hitting 5-of-7 shots for 13 points and six boards in 23 minutes. Williams had a key steal late that helped secure the win and while I think he’ll be a factor without Love around, it’s still too early to pick him up.
Andrew Wiggins went off with 41 points and four 3-pointers on 16-of-29 shooting in 41 minutes, Karl-Anthony Towns racked up 26 points, eight boards, four dimes and a 3-pointer, Ricky Rubio had five points, eight boards and 16 assists, and Gorgui Dieng double-doubled in his second straight game with 12 points, 10 boards and a 3-pointer. Lance Stephenson suffered a sprained ankle and it didn’t look pretty on television. He’s likely going to miss time so if you picked him up, it could be time to drop him and move on.
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Bulls 105, Raptors 94 – The Bulls destroyed the Raptors last night, opening up a 58-39 lead at halftime, although the Raptors did battle back to at least make it a game. Jimmy Butler’s missed two of his last four games, but was back at it last night and hit 15-of-19 free throws for 19 points, 12 assists and four steals, but hit just 2-of-10 shots from the floor in the win. Hopefully his heel injury is behind him and Butler’s ready to roll, or get traded, as rumors of him going to Boston continue to linger. And the 12 dimes tied his season high. Doug McDermott came off the bench and hit 8-of-13 shots and two 3-pointers for 20 points and five rebounds. McBuckets has quietly hit double figures in three straight games, but with Butler back, and Dwyane Wade (wrist) and Nikola Mirotic (back) likely coming soon, his fantasy-relevant days are likely numbered. Wade has missed two straight with his wrist injury and is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Celtics. And speaking of that one, 28 teams are in action on Wednesday night (wish us blurb luck), while the Bulls-Celtics and Wizards-Pacers are the only games in town on Thursday night before the All-Star break shuts us down until Thursday, Feb. 23. Starters Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams were all quiet last night, while Rajon Rondo came through with 12 points, three boards, four assists and two rare 3-pointers. Cristiano Felicio had 10 points, six boards and two steals in 27 minutes, but isn’t someone you should be targeting. And neither is Rondo, as far as I’m concerned. MCW is a decent option as long as Wade is out, but once Wade is back, he can be put back on waivers.
The Raptors were without Terrence Ross, who was traded to the Magic for Ibaka. The Raptors were out of sorts, as DeMar DeRozan hit just 5-of-19 shots and scored 18 points before being ejected with a couple technical fouls. Kyle Lowry hit 8-of-17 shots for 22 points, three boards, four assists, a steal, four 3-pointers and five turnovers in the loss. The rest of the team wasn’t great, as DeMarre Carroll had four points on 1-of-4 shooting in 40 minutes, Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and nine boards in just 22 minutes, and Jakob Poeltl started and had eight points in 14 minutes. Cory Joseph scored 10 off the bench in 28 minutes, and Norman Powell had 13 points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals in just 18 minutes. Powell started the second half and there’s a chance he could see a big boost with Ross in Orlando. If you want to take a flier on Powell to see what happens, I’m game. Just don’t cut a good player to make it happen. And now looks like a good time to make a low-ball offer for Carroll.
Kings 97, Lakers 96 – DeMarcus Cousins was in full Boogie mode and didn’t pick up a technical foul. But what he did pick up was 40 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on 13-of-24 shooting. He’s one more technical foul away from another suspension, but came through tonight and should be ready to put up more big numbers against the Warriors tonight. He posted essentially the exact same line as he had tonight against GSW on Feb. 4. Darren Collison had 13 points, five boards, eight assists, a 3-pointers and five turnovers in 40 minutes last night. Ty Lawson (groin) could be back tonight against the Warriors, and if he plays, I’m not messing with Collison in DFS. Arron Afflalo started and scored 10 points with zero 3-pointers, while Ben McLemore also started and had 13 points and three 3-pointers. Afflalo was in the game down the stretch, while BMac was watching from the bench. But I like the way BMac is playing and he’s hit double digits in scoring in four straight games. His confidence is rising and he might be worth owning over the rest of the season, as long as he continues to start for the Kings. Matt Barnes had five points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 27 minutes last night. He’s not a must-own player, but with Rudy Gay’s season over, Barnes is worth a look in all leagues. He’s the only NBA player in history (that I know of) who has played at least two season with all four California teams and is averaging 11 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. Anthony Tolliver played just 19 minutes for four points, and Willie Cauley-Stein had eight points, three boards and three steals in 15 minutes. I’m intrigued by both of them, but the minutes are too shaky for them to be relied upon.
The Lakers got 29 points, five assists, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers from Lou Williams, who came off the bench, while the next highest scorer for the Lakers was Julius Randle with 11 points. The Lakers’ minutes were a mess, as 11 of them played at least 10 minutes or more. Randle saw just 21 minutes, Brandon Ingram played 27 minutes and scored six points, Tarik Black started at center and played 21 minutes, D’Angelo Russell started and played just 23 minutes, and Nick Young got 30 minutes and 10 points in the start. Larry Nance, Luol Deng, Ivica Zubac, Timofey Mozgov, Jordan Clarkson and Williams all played meaningful minutes off the bench, which basically results in a big ol’ fantasy headache. Here are my Lakers rankings for ownership right now.
Lou Williams (24 minutes)
Julius Randle (21)
D’Angelo Russell (23)
Nick Young (30)
Jordan Clarkson (28)
Larry Nance (24)
Brandon Ingram (27) (who shot an airball from the free throw line)
Ivica Zubac (10)
Tarik Black (21)
Luol Deng (21)
Timofey Mozgov (11)
But as long as the minutes are going to be so spread out, especially in a game they could have won had they executed down the stretch, perhaps no NBA team is as unreliable and risky in fantasyland than the Lakers.
Wednesday night is going to be crazy with 28 teams in action, so you’ll want to check out the Rotoworld News feed throughout the day as you tweak your lineups. I’ll be back with a monster Daily Dose to wrap up one of the busiest nights of the season tonight.