Wednesday was one of the busiest nights of the entire season with 28 of the 30 teams in action. Here is a team-notes version of the Daily Dose, alphabetically.
Atlanta – The Hawks weren’t ready for the Clippers and Dwight Howard’s 11 & 15 double-double was the only highlight. Tim Hardaway and Dennis Schroder each scored 11, while Paul Millsap hit just 3-of-12 shots in the loss. Hardaway might take a hit when Thabo Sefolosha finally returns from his groin injury, but you should hold onto him until further notice.
Boston – Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points in another win and Marcus Smart went off for 21 points, five boards, five assists, eight steals, a block and three 3-pointers. Wow! He’ll take a hit once Avery Bradley is back from his achilles injury, but Smart looks like a great option on Thursday night. Jae Crowder and Al Horford also played well in starts, while Kelly Olynyk stayed hot with 16 points, seven boards and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes off the bench. KO’s averaging 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games and deserves to be picked up right now.
Brooklyn – Brook Lopez racked up 36 points, eight blocks and six 3-pointers, and if you can figure out which nights he’s going to go nuts, you should play the lottery. Spencer Dinwiddie had a season-high 19 points, eight assists, two steals and a 3-pointer in another start at point guard, but it will be interesting to see what happens when Jeremy Lin (hamstring) is back immediately following the AS break. One way or another, he’s going to hurt Dinwiddie. Bojan Bogdanovic, Trevor Booker and Joe Harris all scored in double digits and played well, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was quiet, hitting just 1-of-3 shots in 20 minutes.
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Charlotte – Frank Kaminsky started at center again and had 27 points and a full stat line in 37 minutes. Even when Cody Zeller is back from his quad injury we could see Kaminsky starting. He’s another player who should be grabbed right now. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 rebounds, Kemba Walker had 24 points, nine dimes and six 3-pointers, and Nicolas Batum had an off night, hitting just 3-of-9 shots.
Cleveland – Channing Frye came back to earth in a big way with four points and eight boards on 1-of-8 shooting. LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving were all great, while Kyle Korver blew up for 22 points and six 3-pointers off the bench. Iman Shumpert is back and starting at SG, and he and Korver are splitting minutes down the middle. Tonight was Korver’s time to shine, but as long as the timeshare is there, I’ll have trouble trusting either player. Thompson (and Frye) look like good pickups right now with Kevin Love out for six weeks, and while Frye struggled, he still played 30 minutes.
Dallas – Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points, 10 boards and four 3-pointers and the Mavs are only three games out of the playoffs right now. Maybe Dirk’s going to finish up strong in a postseason push. Harrison Barnes, Deron Williams and Seth Curry all played well, while Yogi Ferrell had five points, five boards, three assists and two steals on 2-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes. He takes a big hit with Williams back and starting, which makes me sad.
Denver – Nikola Jokic is human, but still had 15 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, a steal, four blocks and two 3-pointers in a loss to the Wolves. Juan Hernangomez started, but hit just 1-of-6 shots for three points – a far cry from Monday’s 27-point explosion. In one of the surprises of the night, Mason Plumlee started at center and played 34 minutes for 11 points, nine boards and a block. But let’s keep in mind that Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur were all out for this one. I still think Plumlee is toast, but I have been wrong before. Jameer Nelson went off for 16 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists in another start, and it will be interesting to see if Emmanuel Mudiay still has the starting gig when returns from his back injury.
Detroit – Jon Leuer had 20 points, eight boards and a block, and is playing much better. Marcus Morris had 14 rebounds, Reggie Jackson bounced back with 22 points, four assists and three 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting, finally breaking out of his funk. And Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came through with 16 points and two 3-pointers after scoring just seven points on Monday. Leuer’s worth a pickup if you need a PF.
Golden State – Draymond Green got tossed with a couple technical fouls, leaving with two points in 15 minutes. Klay Thompson went off for 35 points, Kevin Durant had 21-7-7 and Stephen Curry struggled, hitting just 4-of-14 shots for a 13-6-9 line in a blowout win over the Kings.
Houston – Trevor Ariza disappeared with five points on 2-of-7 shooting in 36 minutes, while Clint Capela played just 16 minutes for 12 points and two rebounds. He’s not hurt, so hang in there with him. James Harden went off for a 38-12-12 triple-double (15th), Ryan Anderson scored 17 with five 3-pointers, and Eric Gordon had 12 points and three 3-pointers on 4-of-15 shooting. Patrick Beverley left with a groin injury, but Harden would be the main beneficiary if Beverley’s going to miss time. Montrezl Harrell played just three minutes with Anderson and Nene available.
Indiana – Glenn Robinson III led the way with 19 points, six boards and three 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting in another start, but had done nothing in his previous four games. Paul George, Myles Turner and Jeff Teague (double-double) all scored in double figures, but none of them scored more than 15 points. Kevin Seraphin started in place of Thaddeus Young (wrist), but Young should be back after the All-Star break after missing the last six games. C.J. Miles is back to coming off the bench and played just 19 minutes, so if you picked him up when it looked like he was going to start, it’s probably time to go back to the waiver wire. Monta Ellis had 14 points, seven dimes and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes, and has been playing well again. Give him a look if you need a shooting guard, and I’d rather own him than CJM right now.
LA Clippers – It was business as usual for the Clippers with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton and J.J. Redick all playing well. Jamal Crawford had a bad night with just five points on 1-of-7 shooting, while Wes Johnson raised his head for 11 points, four steals and three 3-pointers off the bench. That was his first double-digit scoring game since December, so ignore him.
LA Lakers – The Lakers were bad in a 137-101 loss to Phoenix. Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams all played fairly well, but the rest of them were garbage. I still like the idea of grabbing Larry Nance right now, but he was bad tonight, just like Brandon Ingram, Tarik Black and Nick Young.
Memphis – Marc Gasol just missed a triple-double with 15-12-9, Mike Conley scored 17 with four assists and three 3-pointers, and Zach Randolph had 16 points and nine rebounds in a loss to New Orleans. And the rest of the Grizzlies did nothing worth noting here.
Miami – Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters all played very well last night. Whiteside had 23 points, 14 boards and five blocks, Dragic scored 21 and Waiters flirted with a triple-double with 23-9-7 and hit four 3-pointers. Tyler Johnson had 16-7-4 and two 3-pointers off the bench, so maybe he’s ready to get it going again. Waiters is a must-own player until further notice, but keep in mind Josh Richardson (foot) will be back immediately following the break. He’s going to have some sort of negative impact on Waiters and Ty Johnson, but we just don’t know how much of one. James Johnson was quiet last night, but hang in there with him.
Milwaukee – Giannis Antetokounmpo bounced back with 33 points and a big game, Michael Beasley scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Greg Monroe came off the bench for 25 points and eight boards, and Khris Middleton blew up for a season-high 20 points, seven assists, three steals and a 3-pointer in 26 minutes. He should be fun after the break. And with Jabari Parker’s season over, Beasley is worth grabbing for now, averaging 14 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 23 minutes over his last five. And keep an eye on Tony Snell. He had 10 points, six boards, three assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes last night. He’s quietly averaging 13 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 3.3 3-pointers over his last three games. Malcolm Brogdon played just 16 minutes off the bench, which is no bueno.
Minnesota – Andrew Wiggins stayed red hot with 40 points and a solid line on 15-of-26 shooting, and is now averaging 33.6 points and 2.0 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting over his last five games. Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 19 rebounds, and Shabazz Muhammad scored 15 off the bench. Ricky Rubio finally cooled off with six points and five dimes, and Gorgui Dieng was quiet, but the Wolves got a tough win over a good Nuggets team. Minnesota thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and sit just 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed, but will have to pass Dallas, New Orleans, Portland, Sacramento and Denver to get there.
New Orleans – Solomon Hill hit 8-of-11 shots and four 3-pointers for a season-high 23 points, and likely benefitted from the absence of Terrence Jones (thumb). I’ll need to see Hill do it again before moving on him. Alexis Ajinca started at center and had 12 points, 10 boards, three steals and two blocks in his best game of the season. He wants and trade and probably helped his stock tonight, but there’s no need to pick him up yet. Jrue Holiday flirted with a triple-double (19-7-7) and Anthony Davis had 18 points in a win over the Grizzlies. Tyreke Evans and the rest of the Pels’ bench was bad last night.
New York – Carmelo Anthony scored 30 with six 3-pointers and a fun line, Willy Hernangomez had eight points, 10 boards, two steals and three blocks in another start, and Derrick Rose went off for 25 points and seven assists (Brandon Jennings was out with a sore achilles). Kristaps Porzingis hit just 3-of-13 shots for 11 points, while Courtney Lee had 16 points and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes in a loss to the Thunder. Kyle O’Quinn played just 11 minutes, and it’s starting to look like Willy’s going to be the man in the middle the rest of the way.
Oklahoma City – Russell Westbrook wouldn’t be outdone by Harden and had a 38-14-12 triple-double (27th) of his own with only six turnovers (yay!). The usual suspects came through for the Thunder, although Jerami Grant had 13 points, five boards, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers off the bench, so just keep an eye on him in case he starts producing consistently.
Orlando – Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green both started, and both scored 11 points, Nikola Vucevic double-doubled with 16 & 10, and no other Magic player hit double figures in scoring in a blowout loss to the Spurs. Once Terrence Ross is ready to play for his new team, the thought is that Green will fade away, while Ross and Gordon will become go-to guys. The entire Magic box score was a disaster and there’s not much to learn from it.
Philadelphia – Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell and Dario Saric (20 & 11 double-double) all played well, while Ersan Ilyasova played just 15 minutes, hitting 2-of-9 shots. Saric is on fire and should be owned everywhere, while Ilyasova has hit just 4-of-16 shots over his last two games. I’d still hold onto him, but he’s no longer a must-start player on busy nights. Nik Stauskas played 28 minutes off the bench and had 11 points, five boards and a 3-pointer, and is worth keeping an eye on going forward. Jahlil Okafor actually played 17 minutes off the bench, but he’s still a big trade candidate. Stash him in hopes of a trade. Covington left this game late with a head injury, so watch for updates and hope that he’s not concussed.
Phoenix – Marquese Chriss had 15 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks, and I still like his outlook down the stretch. But he’s been incredibly inconsistent and unreliable, so consider him more of a stash than a fantasy starter. Eric Bledsoe triple-doubled, Devin Booker scored 23, T.J. Warren scored 11, and Alex Len came off the bench for 15 points, nine boards and two blocks in 23 minutes. I also think he’s going to be nice down the stretch when the Suns finally turn the page on Tyson Chandler, who started last night.
Portland – Meyers Leonard started at center and had 10 points, one rebound, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes, while newcomer Jusuf Nurkic looked great off the bench with 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a block on 5-of-5 shooting in 21 minutes. If I’m the Blazers, Nurkic is my starting center the rest of the way. We’ll see if it happens. The Blazers weren’t great tonight and the only real story here is the developments at center. Nurkic should be owned. Red-hot Al-Farouq Aminu (knee) was out, but Moe Harkless and Noah Vonleh failed to do much in his absence.
Sacramento – DeMarcus Cousins played just 23 minutes and didn’t pick up a technical foul, but had just 13 points, four boards and six dimes in a blowout loss to the Warriors. Darren Collison had 14 points and three assists (not enough with Ty Lawson out again), while Anthony Tolliver hit just 1-of-7 shots for three points and seven rebounds. He’s been shaky, at best. Matt Barnes went off for 15 points, 14 rebounds and a 3-pointer in 32 minutes, and Willie Cauley-Stein added 13 points, seven boards, a steal and a block. Barnes is worth owning with Rudy Gay season’s over, while WCS is coming on a bit. He might be worth a stash in case the Kings turn him loose down the stretch. I also like Ben McLemore, but he hit just 3-of-10 shots (all threes) for nine points in 33 minutes.
San Antonio – Dewayne Dedmon came up big with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a block, and has now double-doubled in three of his last five games. Pau Gasol should be back just after the break to rain on his parade, but Dedmon’s worth using until it happens. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge were both solid and Patty Mills came up with 13 points and six assists in 18 minutes. Leonard, Aldridge and Dedmon are the Spurs I trust at the moment. Danny Green had three points, three steals and two blocks. Whatever floats your boat. Manu Ginobili turned an ankle and didn’t return to this one.
Toronto – Serge Ibaka wasn’t ready for his Raptors’ debut so DeMarre Carroll started at PF and double-doubled, and Norman Powell started at SF and had 17 points, three steals and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Carroll will probably start at SF and Powell will move to the bench when Ibaka’s ready to roll, so don’t get too excited about Powell’s big night. But the Raptors rotation will be worth keeping an eye on once Ibaka is playing, as Powell could make an impact if he gets enough minutes. DeMar DeRozan hit 5-of-19 shots on an off night, while Kyle Lowry came through with a big game and Jonas Valanciunas double-doubled.
Utah – Derrick Favors was awful with two points on 1-of-3 shooting (no surprise here), while starters Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert and George Hill all played well in the easy win over Portland. Joe Johnson and Dante Exum both scored in double figures off the bench, and while Ingles looked great with 18 points, four boards, four assists, four steals, a block and four 3-pointers, keep in mind he hit 7-of-9 shots, has been struggling, and will take a hit once Rodney Hood is back from his knee injury. Ingles had scored eight or fewer points in three of his previous four games.