So there’s a crazy, summer-like thunderstorm that’s been going on all night and knocked my power out. And with 13 games and 26 teams in action last night, as well as a full night of playing Santa in front of me, this should be an interesting Dose. If my Interwebs are ever working again, I’ll also be hosting a 1 p.m. Season Pass subscribers-only live chat. We’ll see what happens. Here are, roughly, 26 things we learned from last night, as relayed through my tiny cell phone. And keep in mind I basically did this entire thing without the benefit of something called Rotoworld, which was hard. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Four of the five Celtics starters scored in the high double-figures, led by center Kelly Olynyk’s 20 points and nine boards in 30 minutes. He’s been starting lately and if that trend continues, he’s going to be a hot pick up. Get out in front of the post-Christmas rush and grab him now.
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Rookie Frank Kaminsky caught fire off Charlotte’s bench for 23 points and seven boards in 31 minutes, and might finally be ready to give Marvin Williams a run for his money at power forward in Charlotte. Williams has been sputtering over his last several games, and while I trust a guy like Cody Zeller more, the Hornets may feel like it’s finally time to turn Kaminsky loose.
With Carmelo Anthony out and nursing a minor injury, it was pretty easy to see a huge line from Kristaps Porzingis coming. He answered the call with 23 points, 13 boards and a bunch of assorted goodies. What wasn’t easy to see coming was a dud from Lance Thomas, who actually started in Melo’s place. He came in on fire, but hit just 4-of-11 shots for eight points before fouling out. The foul trouble was his downfall last night, but knowing that isn’t going to make his DFS owners feel any better. And I’m right there with you.
LeBron James and Kevin Love basically went crazy against the Knicks, and Kyrie Irving looked like a guy coming off knee surgery. He hit just 1-of-7 shots for five points, and it’s going to take a few weeks before he’s up to speed. But if you’ve held onto him for this long, a couple more weeks probably isn’t going to hurt anything.
DeMarcus Cousins was a beast for the Kings with 25 & 16, Rajon Rondo nearly quadruple-doubled the ugly way with 13 points, eight rebounds, 16 assists and nine turnovers, and Darren Collison was hot off the bench with 24 points. Rondo played 37 minutes and Collison played 35, easily handling the Kings’ sixth-man role.
Paul George was a lot better than his recent 1-of-14 shooting game, which he quietly blamed on the flu instead of great defense from Kawhi Leonard. But he still struggled to 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Some of you might remember when I was a little down on PG heading into the season, and while I’m not about to say I was right, if he had played like this all season instead of just the last two weeks, I could say I was right. He’ll get it turned around and be fine. Monta Ellis looked like a basketball player last night and C.J. Miles was back in the starting lineup with 20 points and a nice line. You simply can’t trust him, much like Mirza Teletovic.
James Harden went off, Terrence Jones disappeared and the rest of the Rockets were about as exciting as I am when I’m stumbling around the house at 5 a.m. trying to relocate the freaking Elf on the Shelf. And that, my friends, has been the story of the Rockets this season.
All five Magic starters scored in double digits, Evan Fournier is on the comeback trail, and poor Victor Oladipo is suffering in the Scott Skiles shelter for homeless dogs, missing all nine of his shots and failing to score off the bench. I’m sorry if you drafted Dipo or Danny Green. And yeah, I was kind of high on both of them and have them ruining several solid lineups right now. Happy Holidays to us! If Fournier’s still available in your league, it’s time to pick him up again.
Garrett Temple stayed hot for the Wizards with 20 points and that makes three straight big games. If you were holding Ramon Sessions (who actually scored 16 last night off the bench) or Gary Neal (who returned to action last night), dump them for Temple and ride him for as long as Bradley Beal is out. Kelly Oubre is also worth a deep-league look as long as he’s starting for injured Otto Porter, and Marcin Gortat and John Wall both posted big double-doubles for the Wiz.
With Deron Williams out with a calf injury, it was J.J. Barea, and not Raymond Felton, who went off for the Mavs, who won in overtime over the Nets. JJB exploded for a career-high 32 points in a start, while Felton, who also started, scored just eight points. I had JJB in several daily lineups and then pulled him at the last minute, meaning I’m not very smart some times. Dirk Nowitzki quietly passed Shaquille O’Neal for No. 6 on the all-time scoring list. JJB was a bit fluky, but if Williams is going to miss several games with his calf injury, Barea might be worth a look in many leagues. Just know going in that he played his best game of the season last night, so it’s all downhill from here.
Thaddeus Young went nuts for the Nets with 29 points and 10 boards and Bojan Bogdanovic, who is hard to trust, got hot for 17 in another start on 6-of-8 shooting. I like him, but the struggle with consistency is real. Andrea Bargnani had 12 points, six boards and five fouls, and if you’re in a very deep league, it’s time to at least give his game log a close look.
The Hawks won their fifth straight behind strong games from Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap, who I shall call the usual suspects at this point. Dennis Schroder somehow had 14 points and five dimes off the bench, and maybe I’m wrong about him. He’s played well lately, but I still don’t trust him as long as Teague and Kyle Korver can walk. And yeah, it’s debatable if what Korver has been doing can be considered walking, so just keep an eye on Schroder in case this is going to become an every-game thing. I don’t think he will keep it up.
The usual suspects for Detroit (Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris) all played well in the loss, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ersan Ilyasova combined to hit just 6-of-21 shots. They’re both worth owning, but are both too inconsistent for their own good. Stanley Johnson wasn’t particularly great in 26 minutes, but is getting enough playing time to put him on the radar in all leagues right now.
Michael Carter-Williams started and had 18 points and nine dimes for the Bucks in their win over Milwaukee. This was a nice revenge game for MCW and it looks like he is again the point guard you want to own in Milwaukee. The other Bucks starters (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker) were all solid in the easy win over the Sixers. Was it a coincidence that Jason Kidd (hip surgery) wasn't on the sideline? No, no it wasn't.
Philly got 17 & 8 out of Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington’s cold streak continued, and Isaiah Canaan came off the bench to score 10 points. Kendall Marshall was quiet again and it’s pretty tough to trust anyone on this team not named Jahlil. Hollis Thompson scored 16, but he needs to do it a couple more times before being considered for pick up.
The Spurs blitzed the Timberwolves behind another solid line from Kawhi Leonard, and here’s a newsflash – Danny Green actually hit 4-of-5 shots for 11 points, seven rebounds and a decent line. At least we now know he’s still alive.
The Wolves were pretty bad, with only Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins hitting double digits for the starters with 10 a piece. Zach LaVine led the way off the bench with 17 points, Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and six boards, and Shabazz Muhammad added 15 points off the bench. LaVine’s worth owning in most leagues, despite coming off the bench and playing behind Ricky Rubio and Wiggins. Kevin Martin didn’t even play, and is completely useless right now.
The Blazers were blown out with Damian Lillard in street clothes, but he should be back this weekend. C.J. McCollum was back and had 19 points and seven assists, while Allen Crabbe struggled for 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting, and nothing else. At least he started with Lillard out. Tim Frazier, who went crazy in his previous game, came off the bench and missed all five of his shots to finish with one point. Game over. Meyers Leonard scored 15 off the bench, but is still too unreliable to use on a daily basis.
Anthony Davis finally looked like a No. 1 pick with 28 points, 12 boards and three blocks, and Tyreke Evans added 24 points in the easy win over the Blazers. Jrue Holiday played well, despite coming off the bench, and Ryan Anderson was at least serviceable.
The Nuggets beat the Suns behind 31 points from Randy Foye, who hit 12-of-27 shots and seven 3-pointers. If you can figure out which nights he’s going to get hot, you should be playing the lottery. Joffrey Lauvergne was a DNP-CD and Nikola Jokic had 13 points and nine boards off the bench. I just don’t like any centers in Denver. Will Barton kept it rolling with 17 points, nine boards and five dimes, and Darrell Arthur somehow got hot for 19 points, 10 boards and two blocks. Don’t take the bait. As for Lauvergne, I have no idea what to tell you, other than you shouldn’t trust any center playing for the Nuggets. Gary Harris started, but hit just 2-of-13 shots in a whopping 38 minutes.
Jon Leuer bounced back with 18 points and 10 boards, Alex Len started over Tyson Chandler, but didn’t even score, Brandon Knight was back in the starting lineup and scored 21, and Markieff Morris lost his ish and threw a towel at coach Jeff Hornacek. A suspension might be coming, not that any fantasy owners would notice. Mirza Teletovic, who scored 17 points on Monday, played just 10 minutes and scored three points with nothing else. I like his upside, but you simply can’t use him right now. Ronnie Price scored a very fluky career-high 20 points in 30 minutes off the bench, while Eric Bledsoe struggled again on 2-of-11 shooting. Bledsoe should turn it around soon, while Price can be ignored.
Derrick Favors was solid with 17 points, nine boards and two blocks, Gordon Hayward hit just 2-of-15 shots for eight points, and the other three Jazz starters were invisible. Trey Burke and Alec Burks both scored 13 points off the bench for the losers. Trevor Booker didn’t even score in 19 minutes, and has been a major bust in the absence of Rudy Gobert.
The Thunder, not surprisingly, killed the Lakers 120-85 and got nice lines from Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, as usual. Andre Roberson started again and scored 15 points, but that was a fluke. And Enes Kanter awoke from a stupor and had 16 points, 11 boards and two blocks, finally earning some of his money. He was terrible in his last game so don’t get too excited.
Kobe Bryant played, but hit just 7-of-22 shots for 19 points, but looks much better than he did a few weeks ago. Roy Hibbert was awful, Jordan Clarkson struggled on 4-of-12 shooting, and Lou Williams finally cooled off, missing all six of his shots. I expect Kobe, Clarkson and Lou-Will to all bounce back, but Hibbert is starting to look like a lost cause. I was hoping for more from him with Julius Randle out with a sprained ankle and he’s day-to-day. D’Angelo Russell had 18 points and two assists off the bench.
There are no games scheduled for Thursday night, so enjoy the extra time with your family and get ready to watch the five nationally televised games on Christmas Day, starting at noon with the Pelicans at the Heat.