What a night! Gorgui Dieng is a must-start player again, Chandler Parsons has never looked better, and several guys returned from injuries including Goran Dragic, Carmelo Anthony and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If you guys have any questions or simply need some advice, click here to follow me on Twitter and don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Let’s get right to the action from a nine-game Friday night!
Mavericks 91, Nets 79
Chandler Parsons led the Mavs with a double-double, scoring 19 points with 10 boards, three assists and three treys. He has been on fire lately and his knee looks great, so he could be the best Maverick to own apart from Dirk Nowitzki (12 points, eight boards, four blocks). Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) returned to action and looked great, finishing with 16 points, 12 boards and three dimes. He is a must-start player until further notice. Deron Williams must’ve been nervous against his former team, as he scored just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting. Lionel Hollins probably enjoyed watching that from his couch… Wesley Matthews was also pathetic with just two points, but the Iron Man and D-Will will both be fine.
Thaddeus Young scored 11 points with 10 boards, topping off his line with an impressive five steals. Brook Lopez had one of the lines of the night with 28 points and 12 boards with a couple of blocks and steals, but he and Young will be the only safe players to own in Brooklyn going forward. Donald Sloan (13 points, four assists) is a backup who is playing starter minutes, Joe Johnson (13 points, four assists, three boards) has seen better days and Shane Larkin was scoreless in 18 minutes. Maybe the Knicks weren’t so crazy when they let him go. The entire Nets’ bench scored a total of two points in this one…
Editor's Note: The results are in. RotoGrinders has finished crunching the numbers and today announced the 2015 Daily Fantasy Sports Tournament Player of the Year. See who the winner is. (Spoiler: You might recognize him from his appearances on FanDuel TV commercials.)
Heat 107, Bucks 103
Goran Dragic (calf) returned from an eight-game absence and was decent, finishing with 12 points, eight assists and four turnovers. He was moving around well and should only improve next week. Dwyane Wade was incredible with 24 points, seven dimes, four boards, three steals and three blocks, but the only thing you really have to worry about is whether or not he can stay healthy. Chris Bosh did his thing with 20 points and a couple of 3-pointers while Amare Stoudemire turned back the clock with 12 points and eight boards. Even if Hassan Whiteside (hip) misses more time, I have no interest in picking up Stoudemire.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected on Thursday, but he bounced back vs. the Heat in a big way with 28 points, six assists, four boards, two blocks and three steals. His ceiling is ridiculously high in fantasy and he should be a top-50 guy the rest of the way. Greg Monroe dropped 24 points in 34 minutes, and he doesn’t have to look over his shoulders with John Henson sidelined with a back issue. Michael Carter-Williams had nine points with eight boards and six assists while Jabari Parker added 17 points and five boards. Khris Middleton had a quiet night with just nine points, but he gets a pass because he has been fantastic lately.
Jazz 103, Wolves 90
Derrick Favors moved back into the starting lineup, scoring 20 points with nine boards and one block in 35 minutes. His back spasms are in the rear-view mirror and his owners should be feeling very confident. Trey Lyles moved back to the bench and played four minutes, so he should be dropped. Thanks for the memories, Lyles. Rodney Hood stayed hot with 22 points and four assists, and he is now averaging 22.8 points and 3.6 3-pointers over his last five games. The guy is a beast and should be a mid-round value at the worst. Rudy Gobert impressed with 14 points and 12 boards with a couple of blocks and steals, so you should feel like a boss if you bought low. I’m not a Gordon Hayward (12 points, five boards, two assists) fan, but he is better than what he showed on Friday.
This is where things get fun. Gorgui Dieng started again and had his best game of the season, scoring 20 points with 15 boards and two steals in 39 minutes. The playing time is what excites me the most, and maybe coach Sam Mitchell is finally feeling some pressure to roll with his young studs. If Dieng can consistently get above 30 minutes, he could have top-50 value moving forward. Zach LaVine stayed hot with 19 points and three assists, and he is another player who should only get better, especially if Ricky Rubio (zero points on 0-of-6 shooting with eight assists) continues to struggle. Karl-Anthony Towns dominated with a career-high 32 points and 12 boards, and it’s hard to believe that he is just 20 years old. The future is bright for Minnesota.
Celtics 113, Magic 94
Isaiah Thomas fully deserves his All-Star bid, but he was pretty quiet on Friday with 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting with eight assists and four turnovers. I’m not concerned and you shouldn’t be either. Jae Crowder was efficient as usual with 15 points and a few 3-pointers to go with a complete line, and I think it’s safe to say that he has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. He is returning top-25 value and simply won’t slow down. The Mavericks traded him for the Rajon Rondo experiment last season…
Jared Sullinger double-doubled with 11 points and 11 boards, while Marcus Smart played well with 16 points, four assists, three steals and three treys. Avery Bradley was a ghost with just six points, but his incredible play earlier in the season will likely go down as a fluke. Obviously, I’m not a fan.
Aaron Gordon played well with 12 points, nine boards, two assists, one steal and two triples, but the best is yet to come. The Magic have lost eight straight games and that’s very good news for Gordon because they will have a lot more incentive to prioritize his development. He’s a must-own guy in my opinion. Victor Oladipo (11 points, two assists), Nikola Vucevic (14 points, eight boards) and Tobias Harris (10 points, seven boards) were all underwhelming, so hopefully coach Scott Skiles doesn’t mess with any of their minutes.
Cavaliers 114, Pistons 106
Kevin Love led the Cavs with 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting, and it’s obvious that coach Tyronn Lue is trying to get him more involved because he has only attempted 19 shots in a game just twice this season. Kyrie Irving snapped out of his funk with 28 points, so his buy-low window is quickly going to close if you don’t act soon. LeBron James nearly triple-doubled with 20 points, nine boards and eight assists, but his owners should be rooting for the Cavs to lose some games so they don’t rest him too much down the stretch. J.R. Smith disappointed with just six points in 33 minutes, but he is always a hit-or-miss play. Tristan Thompson added 11 points and 14 boards in 31 minutes.
Just one day after Andre Drummond was named to the Eastern All-Star team, the big man proved his worth with 20 points, eight boards and three blocks in 35 minutes. However, he still can’t hit free throws if his life depended on it, finishing just 2-of-8 from the line. His owners have to be punting free throws. Reggie Jackson played well with 15 points and six assists, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope impressed with 19 points, seven boards, two assists, one steal, one block and two triples. KCP reminds me a lot of what Danny Green looked like last season. That’s a good thing… Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova combined for 27 points, but Stanley Johnson is coming for their minutes. Johnson scored 15 points with four boards, five assists, one steal and one trey, and he is coming off an 18-point outing vs. the 76ers on Wednesday. He’s one of the best stashes out there.
Knicks 102, Suns 84
Carmelo Anthony (knee) returned from a two-game absence and looked great, scoring 19 points with 10 boards and eight assists. His knee does worry me, so it’s not a bad idea to try and sell high if he can string together a couple of good performances. If you do own Anthony, Derrick Williams is a decent handcuff and finished with 10 points and eight boards in 19 minutes. Kristaps Porzingis returned from an illness on Friday, but he didn’t look 100 percent and scored seven points with seven boards, three assists, two steals and one block. He is going to be fine and should be the second best rookie to own behind Karl-Anthony Towns. That includes dynasty leagues. Langston Galloway started in place of Jose Calderon (groin) and was solid, scoring 11 points with a full line. He has very little upside despite tonight’s outburst, but at least put him on your radar because Calderon usually takes a while to recover from injuries.
P.J. Tucker (nine points, 10 boards, four assists, two blocks) played well for the Suns, but they might just be showcasing him for a trade. Hold onto him unless he is dealt. Alex Len was benched at half and didn’t look great, but he has been way too good this past week to think about letting him go. Give him another chance as he could be a beast after the All-Star break. Archie Goodwin struggled with six points on 3-of-15 shooting, but similar to Len, he deserves a pass and should be owned with Brandon Knight (groin) without a timetable. D-League sensation Jordan McRae made his debut and played well, scoring 12 points with four assists, and it was surprising that he logged 25 minutes. I’d like to see him do it again and he is on a 10-day deal, but keep an eye on him in deeper leagues. As usual, Devin Booker was fantastic with 21 points, three assists and three triples. He’s a special talent.
Thunder 116, Rockets 108
Russell Westbrook recorded another triple-double for fun, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Kevin Durant also had a sick game with 33 points, 12 boards and two 3-pointers, but their owners probably don’t even blink when they see these monster lines because they have been insane all season long. Serge Ibaka was garbage with two points, two boards and two blocks, and that was his second sub-par performance in a row. A buy-low window just opened and he should be better vs. the Wizards on Monday. Enes Kanter posted his second consecutive double-double with 22 points and 10 boards, but I’m not running to the wire to grab him just yet. His upside is too low for my taste.
Dwight Howard (eight points, eight boards) was ejected after 23 minutes for two technical fouls, so that summed up the Rockets’ night. Trevor Ariza was coming in hot, but he scored just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting. He did have six boards, five assists, five steals and two treys, so obviously it wasn’t all bad. James Harden dropped a cool 33 points vs. his former buddies, adding seven dimes, seven boards and two treys. Terrence Jones (four points in 14 minutes) and Josh Smith (10 points in 15 minutes) are going to cancel each other court in Houston’s crowded frontcourt, but Jones is still a solid stash because there’s a good chance he will be traded.
Blazers 109, Hornets 91
Damian Lillard isn’t too happy about not making the All-Star team, so he took out some frustration on the Hornets with 22 points, six assists, three steals and two triples. C.J. McCollum chipped in with 17 points, five boards, five assists and a 3-pointer, while Mason Plumlee added 13 points, 12 boards and five assists with a couple of blocks and steals. He has quietly been a top-30 player over his last five games, so don’t be afraid to test the market with some sell-high offers. Allen Crabbe added 20 points in 32 minutes off the bench, while Meyers Leonard’s up-and-down season continued with nine points in just 17 minutes. The Blazers must really want to keep his price down for contract talks this summer.
Kemba Walker struggled and shot just 4-of-13, finishing with 14 points, four assists, four steals and two treys. He should bounce back in his next one. Nicolas Batum’s toe was clearly bothering him on Friday, and he finished with just three points on 1-of-11 shooting with eight assists. The Hornets are sliding down the standings and Batum is looking to get paid this summer, so hopefully he gets healthy soon or Charlotte may look to shut him down for a bit. Marvin Williams added 20 points with nine boards and four triples, and it’s time to accept that he isn’t going away. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder) made his long-awaited return on Friday, and it surprised me that he was able to play 34 minutes right out of the gate. His upside isn’t great, but the minutes are going to be there and he contributed 13 points with seven boards in the loss. Put him on your radar.
Clippers 105, Lakers 93
As a Lakers fan, even I’ll admit that they looked like a JV team going up against the varsity squad on Friday. Kobe Bryant (rest) sat this one out, but Lou Williams played through an illness and scored 11 points with six boards and four assists. Williams is a trade candidate, but he should be owned in all leagues for now. Julius Randle had arguably his best game of the season with 23 points and 14 boards, but his six turnovers were a buzzkill. He doesn’t have a great ceiling in standard leagues, but he should get plenty of run from here on out. Jordan Clarkson will eat every time Bryant sits and he scored 17 points with eight boards, while D’Angelo Russell didn’t help himself with eight points and five assists in 25 minutes. He is more of a stash, but he needs to be owned in most leagues. Things will get better for the rookie even though coach Byron Scott probably doesn’t agree with me.
Wesley Johnson moved into the starting lineup for the Clippers, but he was quiet with nine points in 26 minutes. Just monitor him from the wire. Chris Paul (27 points, seven assists, two steals, three treys) and DeAndre Jordan (six points, 17 boards, one block) were great, but J.J. Redick stumbled with seven points and one 3-pointer. If you need a good laugh, Lance Stephenson scored 16 points off the bench and Austin Rivers scored 17. What have the Lakers become?