The four NBA scores were a bit surprising last night, at least in the traditional sense, as the Hawks beat the Cavs, The Kings beat the Thunder, the Nuggets beat the Warriors and the Clippers beat the Rockets. Hopefully you weren’t betting underdogs last night, or at least teams that historically don’t beat the team they were playing. Trae Young went nuts and we had an Iman Shumpert sighting in Sacramento.
Because I don’t think you can see it too much, here’s the games played schedule for this week, again.
Week 2 Games Played Schedule:
4 Games: CHA, CHI, DAL, GSW, LAL, MIL, PHX, UTA, WAS
3 Games: BOS, BKN, CLE, DET, IND, LAC, MEM, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR
2 Games: ATL, DEN, HOU, MIA, OKC
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Hawks 133, Cavaliers 111 – Trae Young was not only the talk of my neighborhood last night (I live in Georgia), but he was the talk of the NBA the night after ‘the fight.’ Young got loose for a career night of 35 points, two rebounds, 11 assists, a steal and six 3-pointers on 13-of-23 shooting. I was not a huge fan of the Young for Luka Doncic trade when it went down, and I still prefer Doncic, but I knew coming in that Young was going to put up some spectacular games throughout the season. He became the first Hawks player in history to have a 35-point, 11-assist, 6-3-pointer game, and is pretty much the only NBA rookie to do it who’s not named Stephen Curry. Young was a monster last night, and while he’s still going to have his ups and downs this season, his trade value may never be higher in fantasy. If you’ve got him and want to try to move him, now is the time. And if you want to hold onto him, he should go off about once every five games or so. Either way, he’s being embraced by the city of Atlanta and the Hawks overcame a 15-point deficit and got coach Lloyd Pierce his first win, mostly thanks to the heroics of Young.
Kent Bazemore, Alex Len and Omari Spellman also went off in the win. Bazemore came through with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers after hitting just 1-of-3 shots for three points a night earlier. The Hawks need Bazemore to ‘Baze’ if they’re going to win games and he’s still available in 39 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Len was particularly impressive against the center-less Cavs, racking up 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks – all of which were season highs. He had been struggling, and has yet to start busting threes, but he could end up starting in the middle for the Hawks, even when Dewayne Dedmon returns. If you own him, hold on, and if you want to pick him up, it makes sense right now. Spellman also had a career night with 17 points and four 3-pointers, but didn’t do anything else. He had played a total of eight minutes in the Hawks first two games, so I’m not ready to take the bait on this one. Especially since he’s a power forward, and there’s a guy named John Collins who plays there, as well. Speaking of Collins, he’ll be evaluated later today and will hopefully be cleared to start playing. I’m not really holding my breath here, but there’s a decent chance he could start playing this week. If you own Collins, you’ll want to keep an eye on the Rotoworld news feed today.
Things weren’t quite as exciting for the Cavs, but Kevin Love had 16 points and 17 boards, Larry Nance made his season debut with nine points, four boards and four assists, and Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and three 3-pointers. Cedi Osman struggled to the tune of 12 points, three boards, four assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers on 5-of-15 shooting, but he’s not a guy who is on my ‘drop radar.’ George Hill scored 16 with three assists and two 3-pointers, but my guess is the Collin Sexton era will be here sooner than later. Sexton played a career-high 28 minutes and had four points and two assists on 2-of-11 shooting. But the winless Cavs might as well turn him loose and see what happens.
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Kings 131, Thunder 120 – The Kings spoiled the return of Russell Westbrook and got a full slate of stats from the five starters, as well as Marvin Bagley and Justin Jackson off the bench. Iman Shumpert was the newsmaker here, moving into the starting lineup (over Yogi Ferrell) and going off for 26 points, three boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers on 9-of-13 shooting. Wow! If you’re sitting on a guy you want to drop (Boban, cough, cough), make a play for Shumpert. This may end up being his best game of the season, but good lord, it was a big one. De’Aaron Fox played a ridiculous 42 minutes and his coach regretted running him that hard after the game, prompting Fox to say that he was “tired as 'blank'.” Fox is primed for a breakout season.
Nemanja Bjelica had a big line with 12 points, five boards, four assists, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers after a dud on Friday, and Willie Cauley-Stein held his own despite foul trouble. Buddy Hield has scored between 17 and 19 points in each of his three games, and has hit six 3-pointers this season, and Marvin Bagley is creeping closer to a starting PF job after his 13 points and seven boards off the bench. If Bagley does replace Bjelica, Bjelica is going to be a tough fantasy hold. But for now, it feels like Bjelica is worth a roll of the dice if he’s going to keep starting. Harry Giles also made some noise last night with eight points, six boards, a steal and two blocks, but played just 17 minutes. He’s going to need more than that to hold fantasy value, and the Kings suddenly have a logjam at power forward.
Russell Westbrook came back in a flurry with 32 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and a 3-pointer, and had to give his owners a sigh of relief. Paul George scored 29, Steven Adams double-doubled, and Dennis Schroder went to the bench, but still managed 14 points, four rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. As long as Andre Roberson (knee) is out, which is going to be a while, I’m still feeling Schroder. While I consider myself a Jerami Grant fan, I think he’s droppable after his seven points on 3-of-12 shooting performance. Don’t just cut him for fun, but if you’ve got a hot free agent in mind and he’s your worst player, you have to do it.
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Nuggets 100, Warriors 98 – If you would have told me that Stephen Curry scored 30, the Nuggets were missing Will Barton, and then missed 18 free throws against the Warriors, many of them with the game on the line, and still won, I’d have said you were crazy. But it happened and the suddenly defensive-minded Nuggets are 3-0. Barton’s replacements all played a role in this one. Torrey Craig started and had five points, nine rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 27 minutes, and Trey Lyles came off the bench for six points, four boards, three assists and three steals, but hit just 2-of-8 shots and missed all five of his 3-pointers. I’m still torn on which player to own in Barton’s absence, but I played both of them in DFS (and won) and am still leaning slightly toward Craig. Additionally, Juancho Hernangomez had eight points and two rebounds, and then blocked Damian Jones’ shot at the rim at the buzzer to seal the win. Juancho could very well end up being the guy to own here, but I’d still rank them Craig, Lyles and then Hernangomez.
Jamal Murray was horrible, missing all nine of his shots and scoring just 3-points. He was awesome on Saturday, but his season is off to a rocky start, pardon the pun. He’ll be fine and this is a buy-low opportunity. Gary Harris was great with 28 points, two 3-pointers and a full stat line, and Nikola Jokic kept it rolling with 23 points, 11 boards and six assists. Monte Morris had his best game in memory with nine points, six boards, four assists and a 3-pointer, but he has no chance playing behind Murray. Paul Millsap had his worst game of the season and hit just 1-of-7 shots and missed five 3-pointers, but he’ll bounce back in the next one.
The Warriors got 30 points, four rebounds, six assists and six 3-pionters from Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant went off for 20 points, 11 boards, seven assists, a steal and a block, and Klay Thompson scored 15 in the loss. Draymond Green was quiet, but he’ll get it going, and Damian Jones had eight points, two boards and a block before having his shot handed to him by Hernangomez to lose the game. The good news for Jones is that Jordan Bell played just three minutes. If you want to cut Bell, do it. Kevon Looney had 10 points, six boards and a couple blocks, and is another waiver-wire possibility.
Clippers 115, Rockets 112 – The Rockets were missing Chris Paul due to his two-game suspension and the Clippers took advantage for the surprising win. Tobias Harris led the way with 23 points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers, and Danilo Gallinari came through with 20 points, nine boards, four assists, a block and a 3-pointer. Patrick Beverley was a madman with his defensive intensity against his former team, but didn’t do much in fantasy outside of four steals, and Avery Bradley’s disappointing ways continued with just four points in 24 minutes. I still think he’ll come around, but I wouldn’t be mad at you for being fed up and dropping him. He suffered an ankle injury last night, but played through it.
The surprise of the night for the Clips came from Montrezl Harrell, who went off for 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal and three blocks on 8-of-10 shooting against his former team. I’ve been high on him all along and he should be added to your list of potential pickups. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looked good with 12 points, five boards, four assists and a steal, and he looks like the future point guard for the Clippers. However, I don’t know that the future is here just yet, and he’s just a stash at this point. And then there’s Boban Marjanovic, who cooled off with just four points and one rebound in five minutes. He’s never going to play much against a team like the Rockets, and they face each other again in the upcoming week. If you followed our advice and picked Boban up, he’s droppable for a hot free agent. Boban will have his moments this season, but the bad nights may outweigh the good ones. But I’m not mad at myself for picking him up in order to see what happens. We’ve seen it, and I’m ready to move on to get a guy who plays four games next week.
The Rockets got 31 points and 14 assists from James Harden, who slid over to point guard with Chris Paul suspended, and Eric Gordon, who moved into the starting lineup, had 21 points and five triples. Clint Capela had a good night against Marcin Gortat with 23 points, six boards, five assists and three blocks, and Gerald Green helped fill the CP3 hole with 11 points, four boards and two 3-pointers. P.J. Tucker had just three points with three rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer, but Mike D’Antoni still loves him. As I said in Waiver Wired, I still am not a Tucker guy, but he’s going to be good in this system, and should be owned in most leagues.
Good luck in Week 2!