Despite there being just five games on the schedule for Sunday night, there was certainly no shortage of drama. John Wall picked up a knee injury, Markieff Morris is in the doghouse and picked up a DNP-CD, Jeff Green and Kevin Durant hit game winners, and the Warriors are still unbeaten. I’ll break it all down in this version of the Daily Dose!
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Grizzlies 95, Suns 93
Jeff Green defeated the Suns on Sunday with an alley-oop jam off an inbounds pass with less than a second remaining on the clock, finishing with 10 points, five boards and two assists in 26 minutes. It was a nice moment for Green, but he’s only seeing minutes in the high 20s and is more of a deep-league asset. Courtney Lee gave the Grizzlies a spark off the bench with 18 points, six assists and two treys, but he’s way too streaky for my taste. Zach Randolph’s disappointing season continued with 10 points on 5-of-16 shooting with nine boards in 37 minutes, and you have to wonder if his knee is still giving him problems. Marc Gasol was excellent with 22 points, eight boards and two blocks in 37 minutes, and it looks like coach Dave Joerger is going to continue to play him big minutes despite saying last week that he desperately wanted to reduce his workload. Mike Conley scored 12 points with six assists, three steals and two treys, while Mario Chalmers added 11 points and three steals off the bench.
Markieff Morris’ childish behavior during the final moments of Friday’s loss to the Wizards seems to have put him in the doghouse, as he picked up a healthy DNP-CD on Sunday. Morris hasn’t even been a top-150 player this season, so I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to move on. The Suns should have traded him this summer, but they could look to make a move now. Jon Leuer stepped up in another start with 10 points, 11 boards, four assists, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 41 minutes, so I’d give him a look in deeper leagues if he continues to start which is a very real possibility. Alex Len started in place of Tyson Chandler (hamstring) again and scored 12 points with seven boards, one steal and two blocks, and I still don’t know how he’s still available in so many leagues. The guy can seriously play and his role should grow down the stretch as well, but the question for Len is whether or not his troublesome ankles will hold up.
Eric Bledsoe added 23 points, seven boards, six assists, one steal and two treys, but as usual he also had four turnovers. Brandon Knight scored 17 points with five assists and two treys, but his turnover late in the game cost the Suns a win. Phoenix will look to snap their four-game losing streak against the Bulls on Monday.
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Warriors 114, Nets 98
The Warriors improved to 22-0 on the season with their win over the Nets, and Stephen Curry blew open what was a close game with a 16-point barrage in the third quarter. He finished with 28 points and five treys in 32 minutes, and the NBA should just go ahead and hand him the MVP Award. In case you didn’t hear them, the Nets’ fans were thinking the exact same thing. Draymond Green’s incredible season continued with 22 points, nine boards, seven assists, one steal and two 3-pointers, and he is basically a triple-double threat every time he touches the floor. Klay Thompson stayed hot with 21 points in the win, adding three boards, three assists, two blocks, one steal and three treys, so give yourself a pat on the back if you were able to buy low. Andrew Bogut (back spasms) returned from a one-game absence and was scoreless with two blocks in 16 minutes, so I’m not too eager to add him if he’s available.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sprained his ankle in practice on Saturday and wasn’t able to play vs. the Warriors, and the bad news is that he was spotted leaving the arena in crutches. RHJ could be looking at a lengthy absence, but hold onto him until the Nets release a timetable. Bojan Bogdanovic drew the start in RHJ’s absence and predictably flopped with five points on 2-of-7 shooting, so I’m not looking to add him in any format. Shane Larkin gave the Nets a lift off the bench with 13 points, six assists and four steals, and he should now be on the radar in deeper leagues. If the Nets decide to deal Jarrett Jack (11 points, five assists) at the trade deadline, Larkin could find himself in the starting lineup.
Thaddeus Young carried the Nets with 25 points and 14 boards, but he’s another name that could pop up in some trade rumors soon with Brooklyn floating near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Brook Lopez added 18 points with eight boards and a block while Joe Johnson struggled once again with just nine points in 36 minutes.
Pistons 111, Lakers 91
Kobe Bryant’s last trip to the Palace of Auburn Hills didn’t go to well on Sunday as he was dealing with a stomach bug, and he ended up leaving the game early with totals of five points on 2-of-15 shooting with three rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes. Bryant said after the game that he will play vs. the Raptors on Monday, but his owners should seriously consider leaving him on their bench. Jordan Clarkson finally posted a dud with seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, but he’s been the best player on the Lakers this season and should bounce back on Monday.
DeAngelo Russell was solid with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two rebounds, three assists and two steals, but the game got out of hand pretty early which limited him to 22 minutes. After a rough start to the season, the rookie is slowly starting to look more comfortable and should get a lot better as the season progresses. It might sound crazy now, but I still think he has all the tools to become a star. Julius Randle double-doubled with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Lou Williams chipped in with 21 points off the bench.
Andre Drummond did Andre Drummond things with yet another double-double, scoring 18 points with 15 boards in 24 minutes. He’s only failed to double-double in two games this season. Reggie Jackson was impressive with 20 points, six assists, three steals and two treys, and his owners have no reason to worry about Brandon Jennings’ (Achilles) return to action in a couple weeks. This is Jackson’s team going forward.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope snapped out of his slump with 22 points, four steals and one 3-pointer, but he will still be a difficult player to trust on a nightly basis. On a side note, his role in the starting lineup is safe because Stan Van Gundy loves what he brings on the defensive end. Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova both struggled with a combined 15 points, while rookie Stanley Johnson had six points, six boards, two assists and one steal. Johnson is still one of the best stashes out there.
Mavericks 116, Wizards 104
The Mavericks played without J.J. Barea (ankle), Chandler Parsons (rest) and Dwight Powell (knee) on Sunday, but they were still able to pull out a win due to Wesley Matthews’ dominant 36-point performance. Matthews connected on a career-high 10 3-pointers, adding six boards, five assists, one steal and one block in 41 minutes. Even after a five-point dud on Friday vs. the Rockets, Matthews looks like a must-start player. Deron Williams shot just 2-of-12 from the field, but he saved his line with totals of 12 points, nine assists, seven boards, one steal and one 3-pointer. He should kill his ADP if he stays healthy. Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points with six boards, four assists and one 3-pointer, while Zaza Pachulia finished with 10 points and seven boards in 24 minutes.
Devin Harris suffered an injury to his ribs in the win, but x-rays came back negative and he should be considered questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Knicks. As for Parsons, he will be ready to roll and will see minutes in the 20s, but keep in mind that he will likely come off the bench.
John Wall was phenomenal with 28 points, 10 assists, four boards and five steals, but he collided with Jeremy Evans in the fourth quarter and wasn’t able to return. X-rays were negative on his right knee, but he had to be helped off the court and was in obvious pain. While it sounds like he avoided a serious injury, Wall should be considered questionable to play against the Heat on Monday. If he can’t go, expect Ramon Sessions (nine points, two steals) to take over at point guard.
Otto Porter double-doubled with 15 points, 11 boards, two assists, one steal and one trey, while Bradley Beal scored 21 points with five boards, three assists and four 3-pointers. In other injury-related news, Marcin Gortat (personal) tweeted on Sunday that he would return to the states in “48 hours”, so it sounds like he won’t make it back in time for Monday’s game.
Thunder 98, Kings 95
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with his third triple-double of the season, finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Even with Kevin Durant healthy, Westbrook should finish as a top-five player this season, especially in 8-cat leagues. Speaking of Durant, he triple-doubled as well if you include turnovers, scoring 20 points with 10 boards, four assists and 10 turnovers. While he obviously struggled tonight, Durant came up big when it mattered the most with a clutch jumper at the end of the game. Durant will be fine and has been the second best player in fantasy behind Stephen Curry.
Serge Ibaka played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, but he still managed to finish with 12 points, seven boards and two blocks. Ibaka has struggled with his shot this season, but he will look to build some momentum on Tuesday vs. the Grizzlies. Steven Adams was terrific on the defensive end with six points, 12 boards, one steal and one block in 29 minutes, while Enes Kanter needed just 20 minutes off the bench to score 14 points with 10 boards and a block.
DeMarcus Cousins was pretty terrible by his standards with 13 points on 5-of-20 shooting with 10 boards, three steals and one block, but the good news is that he will be able to rest some nagging injuries since the Kings only play twice this week. Rudy Gay had a chance to win the game for the Kings, but he fumbled the ball on their final play thanks to some swarming defense by Durant and Adams. Despite the mistake, Gay still looked great with 20 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals and two treys.
Rajon Rondo contributed seven points with 10 assists and three steals, while Darren Collison added 16 points, five assists, two steals and two treys in 33 minutes off the bench. Omri Casspi drew another start and scored 11 points with four boards, one block and two 3-pointers, and he is worth a long look as long as he continues to start.