There were 10 games on Wednesday and there were several players who went off. Anthony Davis, who has been on a ferocious tear, wasn’t one of them, but some of the Baby Kings looked pretty good last night. I'll be hosting a Facebook Live chat tonight at 7 p.m. on Rotoworld's Facebook page.
Hawks 94, Pelicans 93 – Dennis Schroder had a big double-double, Kent Bazemore scored an uncharacteristic 20 points, including the game-winner over Anthony Davis, and John Collins broke out with 18 points, five rebounds and a block on 7-of-8 shooting as the Hawks overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Pelicans by a point. Center Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench and helped shut down Davis, finishing with four points and 10 rebounds before fouling out. Miles Plumlee started at center, but Dedmon is coming on now that he’s healthy.
Davis played 38 minutes, but got off just 2-of-8 shots for eight points, seven rebounds, a steal and two blocks. The Hawks double- and triple-teamed him all night and used a committee approach. Davis came in averaging 43 points and 14 rebounds in his previous three games, but he never got close to that last night. He played heavy minutes once again, but will now get to rest until Saturday. DeMarcus Cousins double-doubled and Jure Holiday led the way with 22 points and a nice line, but Darius Miller’s 17 points and three 3-pointers were the surprise of the game. He does this occasionally, but is too inconsistent to trust.
Hornets 133, Wizards 109 – The Hornets welcomed back coach Steve Clifford (headaches) and set a franchise record with a 77-point first half and rolled to an easy win. Starters Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (21 points), Dwight Howard (double-double), Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum all scored in double figures, while Frank Kaminsky played through his sprained ankle for 14 points, two boards, a 3-pointer and a steal. Jeremy Lamb hit 7-of-9 shots for 16 points and there really wasn’t much to learn from the Hornets last night, other than the face Dwight Howard is on fire and Kaminsky’s ankle injury wasn’t as bad as it looked a few nights ago.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks wasn’t happy after the game and hinted that changes might be coming, lamenting guys for caring more about shots and minutes than competing. Bradley Beal led the team with 19 shots, 26 points, four 3-pointers and five turnovers, and John Wall added 12 points and nine assists. They were the only two Wizard starters in double figures. Mike Scott had 18 points and two 3-pointers off the bench, Kelly Oubre added 16 points, five boards and three 3-pointers. I don’t know who Brooks is mad at, but it’s hard to imagine Beal or Wall coming off the bench. Maybe Oubre’s going to get a chance to start, sending Markieff Morris back to the bench. Oh, and while it doesn’t matter, Tim Frazier and Michael Carter-Williams were ejected for scuffling.
Editor's Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.
Raptors 96, Pistons 91 – Jonas Valanciunas, who had eight points and five boards on Monday, went off for 17 points, 16 rebounds, a 3-pointers and a block in the win. He’s impossible to figure out, bouncing from good lines to bad ones like a rabbit all season. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and C.J. Miles all had big games, but Serge Ibaka hit just 1-of-5 shots for two points and three rebounds. There was a time not long ago that he was automatic for big numbers, but that hasn’t been the case since he was suspended four games ago. He should bounce back. Delon Wright scored just four points on 1-of-5 shooting, but also had three boards, five assists and two blocks in his 24 minutes.
Andre Drummond had 25 points and 17 boards and Ish Smith hit just 1-of-12 shots, but Avery Bradley was able to play through his groin injury. However, he also said after the game that he’ll see a specialist in Philly soon, so he’s not completely out of the woods. Boban Marjanovic played 10 minutes for seven points, six boards and a block, so just keep an eye on him.
Spurs 100, Nets 95 – LaMarcus Aldridge went off for 34 points and eight rebounds, Pau Gasol flirted with a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Patty Mills came off the bench for 25 points, three steals and seven 3-pointers. Other than that, the Spurs box score was garbage on a night when we found out Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely with his thigh injury. Kyle Anderson is supposed to be the great hope behind Leonard, but missed both his shots and finished with two points, one rebound and two assists in 22 minutes. Not to sound like a broken record, but I don’t want to deal with any Spur not named Aldridge in fantasy. None of them.
DeMarre Carroll double-doubled, Allen Crabbe scored 20 points with four 3-pointers, eight boards and three assists, and Joe Harris scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and a steal. I own Harris and Crabbe in places, along with Caris LeVert, who had 13 points, two 3-pointers and a couple assists in 22 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie isn’t exactly ramping up his game in preparation for D’Angelo Russell’s return. Hitting just 3-of-13 shots for nine points and 13 dimes. He’s hit just 16-of-63 (25%) shots over his last five games.
Heat 106, Bucks 101 – Hassan Whiteside had a season-high 27 points with 13 boards and six blocks, which had many of his owners saying “finally.” Josh Richardson filled the stat sheet, as usual, and Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington were all effective, although Olynyk played just 16 minutes. That’s his lowest total since November and was probably related to the fact that Whiteside was out of his mind last night. Tyler Johnson sat out with his ankle injury, but was begging Erik Spoelstra to play prior to the game. “Not a chance,” the coach said. The Heat are tearing through the East, winning eight of their last nine and are the No. 4 seed. And if you’re still sitting on Bam Adebayo, he had four points, seven rebounds, five assists and a steal in 19 minutes. You can probably do better off your wire.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton put up big lines, John Henson double-doubled with a block, and Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon combined to hit just 4-of-20 shots in the loss. And there’s nothing to see on the Bucks’ bench.
Grizzlies 105, Knicks 99 – Tyreke Evans double-doubled, JaMychal Green went off for 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Dillon Brooks added 17 points, five boards, two steals and three 3-pointers on 6-of-11 shooting. Marc Gasol was out with the flu, so those other guys stepped up in his absence. I do think it’s time to add Green, but Brooks has been hit-or-miss all season. And starter Andrew Harrison may as well have been in street clothes last night with three points and one assist. Jarell Martin stepped up off the bench with 17 points, six boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, and might be worth keeping an eye on going forward. Deyonta Davis made his first start for Gasol and had eight points and four boards, which was somewhat disappointing.
Kristaps Porzingis (21 points, nine boards, three steals, six blocks and two 3-pointers) and Enes Kanter (20 points, nine boards, a block) led the way, while Michael Beasley and Courtney Lee each added 18 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 16 and a couple 3-pointers, and it looks like Beasley might actually be able to co-exist with THJ. It didn’t look good when THJ first returned from injury, but Beasley has it going again. Frank Ntilikina was disappointing with zero points, but did have seven assists. I still think he’s eventually going to be a must-own player. Jarrett Jack hit 1-of-5 shots for two points and eight dimes in the loss.
Thunder 114, Lakers 90 – Carmelo Anthony scored 21, Steven Adams double-doubled, and Paul George and Russell Westbrook also hit double digits in the blowout. Andre Roberson was back in the starting lineup, sending Terrance Ferguson to the bench.
Only Julius Randle and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were in double digits for the Lakers, who are still without Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram played through his sprained ankle, but hit just 3-of-7 shots for eight points. He tweaked his ankle and sat out the final 15 minutes, but could have played had the game not been a blowout. Kyle Kuzma (3-of-9, 7 points) and Larry Nance (6 points, 6 boards) were quiet in this one, and Randle had L.A.’s only block of the game. Josh Hart played 26 minutes, but had just nine points. He also had two steals and three 3-pointers, and is worth keeping a close eye on if the big minutes continue. Brook Lopez played just 17 minutes for five points and two boards. He’s been a disaster this season.
Warriors 119, Bulls 112 – Jordan Bell started, but sprained his ankle early and left the arena on crutches. An MRI is coming and it’s time to drop him for a hot free agent. He said after the game he thought his leg was broken when it happened, and I’m guessing he’s going to be out for weeks. Klay Thompson scored a season-high 38 with seven triples, Stephen Curry added 30 points, nine boards, four assists and six 3-pointers, and Kevin Durant had 19 points, eight boards and seven dimes in the easy win. Zaza Pachulia somehow had six points, 11 boards and five assists in 18 minutes, but I’m not touching him. Draymond Green sat out with a sore shoulder, but it sounds minor, so look for him to play on Saturday.
Zach LaVine played 20 minutes, as usual, and hit 2-of-12 shots for five points. He’s looked better than I thought he would, and his minutes cap could be lifted, or extended, soon. Nikola Mirotic led the way with 24 points off the bench as he showcases himself for a trade, and had four 3-pointers, three steals and a block. Denzel Valentine hit just 3-of-10 shots off the bench, but flirted with a triple-double with a 10-7-7 line. Kris Dunn took a scary fall and hurt his mouth, but appears to have avoided a concussion. He had 16 points and a fun stat line, but keep an eye on the newsfeed to make sure he’s OK.
Jazz 120, Kings 105 – The Jazz won for just the fifth time in 20 games behind 34 points, three steals and a 3-pointer for rookie Donovan Mitchell. He hit 14-of-19 shots and threw down a monster dunk on the Kings. Derrick Favors double-doubled and Joe Ingles broke out of a funk with 14 points, four assists and four 3-pointers. He’d been struggling, but this game might get him going. Ricky Rubio had nine points, seven assists and four steals on 2-of-8 shooting, as his struggles continue, and Rodney Hood exploded for 25 points, eight boards, two steals and four 3-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting.
Skal Labissiere sat out with a shoulder injury, along with Vince Carter and Garrett Temple, who were the vets chosen to sit last night. George Hill scored 20 points with a great stat line, and Zach Randolph started and scored 12, but they’re both in the “veteran group”, meaning they could randomly sit at any time. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 25 points, six boards, two assists, a steal and was 6-of-6 from downtown, and is a must-add player. De’Aaron Fox had just six points and four assists before fouling out, but is also a must-own guy, and Willie Cauley-Stein went off for 26 points, 10 boards, a steal and a block on 11-of-18 shooting. All threw of those young Kings should get plenty of run the rest of the way and all three are must-own players.
Clippers 109, Nuggets 104 – The Clippers won their sixth straight game despite the absence of DeAndre Jordan, who missed his third straight with a sprained ankle, and the swelling still hasn’t even gone down. Blake Griffin had 20 points and 12 boards, Lou Williams scored 17 with a couple threes, and Milos Teodosic had 15 points, four boards, five assists, three steals and three 3-pointers in one of his best NBA games. Pick him up if he was dropped in your league. Tyrone Wallace made another start and had nine points, seven boards and a 3-pointer, and Willie Reed had just four points and three boards in 17 minutes in a start for Jordan. Wallace looks good to go until Austin Rivers is back. Montrezl Harrell hit just 6-of-13 free throws and almost cost his team the game at the line, but was otherwise great, hitting 6-of-10 shots for 18 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks. He’s averaging 16.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, a steal and a block over his last five, and is worth owning right now. Just keep in mind that he should take a hit once Jordan is back. Rivers missed his eighth straight game and is still in a walking boot, but will be re-evaluated soon. Wes Johnson had 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers, and has quietly scored at least 11 points in four straight.
Nikola Jokic backed up his monster game from Tuesday with 18 points, eight boards, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Mason Plumlee was back in the starting lineup with Jamal Murray (concussion protocol) out and also played well, finishing with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three steals. It was nice to see Jokic and Plumlee function well together for once. Will Barton also stuck in the starting unit and had 17 points, six boards, six assists, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Hopefully he sticks in the starting five going forward. Trey Lyles bounced back, sort of. He’d scored three points in back-to-back games, but hit 4-of-11 shots for 11 points, five boards and a block. Hopefully he’s about to get hot again.