Stop the presses! The Hawks won a game, the Cavs showed the Knicks who’s boss, the Warriors also won quietly and Giannis had a triple-double. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Hawks 103, Heat 95 – The Hawks broke a seven-game losing streak and won for just the second time in their last 12 games. Paul Millsap was good again with 21 points, nine boards, four steals and three blocks, and hit 8-of-12 shots in the win. Thabo Sefolosha started again over Kyle Korver and scored 10 points with five boards and five assists, Dwight Howard came through with 23 points, 17 boards and two blocks, and Dennis Schroder had 17 points and seven dimes in the win. Tim Hardaway Jr. got a rare stat with Kent Bazemore nursing a knee injury, but hit just 3-of-9 shots for seven points in 22 minutes. He also suffered a knee injury and didn't return to the game, which is part of the reason Korver played 34 minutes off the bench, which was good for second highest on the team, and had nine points, three boards, five assists and two 3-pointers. Given his minutes and role since being benched two games ago, Korver might still be worth a shot in deeper leagues.
Hassan Whiteside wasn’t good, hitting 4-of-12 shots for eight points, 12 boards and a block, which is probably why the Heat lost. Josh McRoberts started, but had just two points, and Tyler Johnson led the team in scoring off the bench with 27, five assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers. Makes sure he’s not available in your league. Goran Dragic was solid, Wayne Ellington stayed relevant with 19 points and four more 3-pointers, and MacGruber! started and played 31 minutes, finishing with 11 points, five boards, five assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers. If you are in need of a warm body in your league, Rodney McGruder is worth a look, given that Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and James Johnson are out for the Heat right now.
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Hornets 87, Pistons 77 – Marvin Williams is back. I wish I was excited about it, but he sent Frank Kaminsky to the bench and had 12 points, five boards and two 3-pointers. Kaminsky played just 22 minutes and scored five points. It’s time to move on. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist failed to score a point in 20 minutes, but I’m OK with him. Cody Zeller had just nine points, six boards and a block, and is a low-end center option, Kemba Walker was nice with 25 points (14 in the fourth quarter), and Nicolas Batum had 14 points and 15 rebounds, his third straight double-double, in the win. Marco Belinelli had 13 points, five boards and a 3-pointer, and is worth a deep-league look right now. Jeremy Lamb played just 12 minutes and it’s time to move on with Marvin back. It’s hard to believe that Marvin can ruin two guys just by being healthy enough to play, but it’s true.
This was a bad loss for the Pistons, but Andre Drummond went beast mode with 26 points, 20 boards and two blocks. Reggie Jackson played again and had 10 points, two assists and two 3-pointers, and Tobias Harris was quiet with 14 points and seven boards, missing all seven of his 3-point attempts. Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit just 6-of-19 shots for seven points each, and Jon Leuer fizzled off the bench for the third straight game with six points. Drop him for a hot free agent. Ish Smith hit 1-of-7 shots off the bench and scored two points, and with Jackson back, is fine to drop.
Celtics 117, Magic 87 – Amir Johnson was back in the starting lineup but had just 11 points and five boards, while Avery Bradley stepped up with 23 points and a full stat line while Isaiah Thomas was nursing a groin injury. Marcus Smart started in his place and a 13-3-3-2 line, Jae Crowder scored 17 with 10 boards, and Al Horford cooled off with just 10 points, eight boards and two blocks. Terry Rozier had 16-5-2-1 off the bench, and is worth a DFS look with Thomas out, and Jaylen Brown had 13 points off the bench for the Celtics.
The Magic starters were bad, as Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon and Bismack Biyombo all scored fewer than eight points. D.J. Augustin had 15 points and four 3-pointers, but just two assists, and Evan Fournier’s cold streak continued with 14 points and five dimes on 4-of-14 shooting. He’s hit just 13-of-42 shots over his last four games. And I’m not a fan of holding DJA right now, with Elfrid Payton playing well. Payton had 10-4-4 off the bench, and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 10 boards in 27 minutes. Biyombo is hurting him by starting, but you have to hang in there with Vuc. Jeff Green cooled off with three points on 1-of-5 shooting, and I’d drop him for a hot free agent if you’re holding him.
Nets 116, Nuggets 111 – Trevor Booker double-doubled again, Brook Lopez scored 24 points, Isaiah Whitehead had 14 points, four steals and two 3-pointers in one of his best games, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Sean Kilpatrick both played very well for the Nets. Joe Harris had 16 points, two steals and two 3-pointers off the bench, and is worth a look in deeper leagues after averaging 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. With Jeremy Lin possibly ready to come back, I wouldn’t mess with Whitehead, but the other Nets starters should be owned. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played just 14 minutes off the bench and you can do better off the wire (Harris?).
The Nuggets were a mess and Mike Malone benched some of his guys, including Kenneth Faried, as he, Danilo Gallinari and Emmanuel Mudiay all scored fewer than six points. Mudiay was also benched for much of the second half, so keep an eye on Jameer Nelson. Mudiay could be heading to the bench. Jusuf Nurkic played just 17 minutes and had 11 points, three rebounds and zero blocks, and Will Barton hit just 1-of-9 3-pointers for 15 points and nine rebounds. If you want to drop Nurkic, feel free. Wilson Chandler dropped 27 points, 15 rebounds and six 3-pointers off the bench. Nikola Jokic was back and had a 14-11-1 double-double, Nelson had 14 points, five boards, five assists and two steals, and Jamal Murray had 12 points, five boards, three assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, but hit just 4-of-14 shots. I get a feeling a major shakeup is coming in Denver, so Nelson and Murray are possibly worth picking up right now, while the strong play of Jokic isn’t great news for starter Faried.
Bucks 115, Blazers 107 – Giannis Antetokounmpo triple-doubled, Jabari Parker scored 27, and Matthew Dellavedova came to life with 17 points and three 3-pointers. Delly has scored 17, 8 and 18 points in each of his last three games, so give him a look if he was dropped in your league. Michael Beasley, Greg Monroe and Malcolm Brogdon all hit double figures off the bench, but Monroe is the only guy worth consideration here.
There’s not a lot to see here with the Blazers. C.J. McCollum, Damian Lillard, Mason Plumlee and Moe Harkless were all solid, Ed Davis didn’t do much in a start, and Allen Crabbe had 14 points and four 3-pointers off the bench. Crabbe might be worth a flier, but I think you can do better off the wire.
Rockets 134, Lakers 95 – There wasn’t much to learn from this one, as the Rockets opened up a 43-27 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. All five Rockets starters scored in double figures and Eric Gordon led the team in scoring with 26 points off the bench, so his ankle is fine. Patrick Beverley nearly triple-doubled with 10 points, seven boards and 12 assists, but I still don’t really trust him. Grab him if you have a big hole to fill. Sam Dekker bounced back with 12 points and eight boards, but is only worth a look in deep leagues.
For the Lakers, Julius Randle double-doubled and Lou Williams stayed hot with 24 points and six turnovers on 7-of-12 shooting off the bench. Jordan Clarkson is in a funk, had seven points, and has hit just 18-of-57 shots over his last four games. The Baby Lakers are a mess right now, missing Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell badly, and have lost nine of their last 12 games, many in blowout fashion. Larry Nance Jr. was back in action last night, but had just two points and five boards in 23 minutes. I still like the idea of holding Brandon Ingram, and he had 12 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers last night. Pick him up.
Cavs 126, Knicks 94 – The Cavs destroyed the Knicks as Kevin Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving all scored at least 21 points, and Tristan Thompson went off for 20 rebounds, two steals and a block in the win. Thompson is intriguing for his rebounding skills, but is also inconsistent and can’t score (3 points last night). J.R. Smith was out with his knee injury, so DeAndre Liggins started, but had just six points.
The Knicks were awful. Kristaps Porzingis hit just 5-of-15 shots for 12 points, Carmelo Anthony scored just eight, Joakim Noah scored five points, and Courtney Lee had 15 points, five dimes and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He’s worth a look now that he’s healthy again. Brandon Jennings started for Derrick Rose (back) and had 16 points, four boards, three assists and a 3-pointer, and I’ve been touting Jennings for a pickup as soon as Rose goes down. Which is what happened. Porzingis is struggling right now, hitting just 19-of-60 shots over his last four games. He’ll bounce back soon, but now looks like a great time to try to buy low on KP.
Kings 120, Mavs 89 – Break up the Kings! DeMarcus Cousins, Darren Collison and Rudy Gay all played well in starts, and Ben McLemore was back in the starting lineup, but hit just 3-of-11 shots for nine points. Arron Afflalo, who’s been really bad, was a DNP-CD last night. Garrett Temple scored 17 off the bench, and could be the next man up for shooting guard, so keep an eye on him. And Matt Barnes was awful again, scoring just two points in 24 minutes. I’m done with him.
Deron Williams had 20 points, six assists and three 3-pointers, and it’s time to own him and put him out there until he breaks. Justin Anderson scored 13 points off the bench, but played just 16 minutes and the Mavs are now just 4-17. I like the idea of stashing Anderson, as the Mavs have absolutely nothing to play for. And that is not a good sign for Dirk Nowitzki. If you’re holding him, it’s probably time to let go if you can pick up a warm body. Dwight Powell had just six points, five boards and five assists in 25 minutes, but I think he’s going to be one of the best Mavs over the rest of the season. He’s worth a look and I think I’d drop Dirk for Powell right now.
Pacers 109, Suns 94 – Paul George had 25 points, 13 boards and three steals, Myles Turner hit three 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and Jeff Teague had 19 points and 11 dimes in the win. There’s not much to love about the Pacers’ bench, although Al Jefferson scored 15 and Rodney Stuckey had 12 in 26 minutes. C.J. Miles is a very shaky player to own right now, and had just two points in 16 minutes. Starter Monta Ellis played just 22 minutes and scored five points. He’s scored five or fewer points in three of his last five games, and I’d rather have a warm body off the wire.
Eric Bledsoe led the way with 15 points for the Suns, but is in a funk (5-of-13), and Devin Booker scored just 13 points. Tyson Chandler had a 10-10 double-double, and it sickens me that he continues to hold Alex Len back. The Suns are 6-16, so I’d be starting Len if I were in charge. But I’m not. P.J. Tucker hit just 3-of-12 shots in a start and Jared Dudley was 3-of-11 off the bench. Both guys are intriguing, but neither is trustworthy. And Len played just 16 minutes for nine points, two boards and two blocks before fouling out. If he ever replaces Chandler in the starting five he’ll be a must-own player. Brandon Knight had 10 points off the bench, but will fade away once T.J. Warren is back from his mysterious head injury.
Warriors 115, Clippers 98 – Draymond Green got it done with 22 points and a full stat line, Stephen Curry had seven steals, good for an NBA season high, and Klay Thompson stayed hot with 24 points and three 3-pointers in the easy win. Kevin Durant hit just 5-of-17 shots and scored 16 points, but the fact the Warriors rolled to such an easy win over the Clippers speaks volumes.
The Clippers struggled in this one, as Blake Griffin hit just 5-of-20 shots and Chris Paul had 15 points, six rebounds and five dimes in the loss. DeAndre Jordan double-doubled with 10 points, 12 boards and two blocks, but missed all four of his free throws, and the Clippers bench stepped up in garbage time. Marreese Speight had 15 points and nine boards in a revenge games, Austin Rivers scored 14, and Jamal Crawford led the way with 21 points off the bench. Crawford’s the only bench guy in L.A. that I have an interest in, and it’s a waning one, at best.