KAT drops in 39 points, Jaylen Brown goes down with an ankle injury
Tuesday’s six-game slate actually ties Saturday for the fewest amount of games this week, so we’re officially kicking it into overdrive as fantasy playoffs approach (or have already arrived). Way too many guys got hurt, which no one wants to see, but with one exception most of them seemed fairly minor. Let’s Dose!
Wizards 116, Pistons 113
It was the Kyle Kuzma show yet again as he led all Wizards with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting (6-of-6 FTs) to go along with nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks, one 3-pointer and five turnovers in 34 minutes. The fact that this was probably Kuz’s worst game of the three since the break says a lot about how awesome he’s been, and as I’ve said before, he’s the only Wizard I really trust to start in fantasy each and every night. Daniel Gafford had his third straight good game with 12 points, four rebounds, one steal and three blocks in 20 minutes, and for the first time in forever, Thomas Bryant played well too with 16 points, six boards and a swat in 22 minutes. Both of these guys posting usable lines on the same night is not going to be a trend going forward, and while Gafford is the choice for now, it’ll get far more complicated whenever Kristaps Porzingis (right knee) is ready to make his Washington debut. Deni Avdija played just nine minutes before exiting with a right quad contusion, which opened the door to some extra minutes for Rui Hachimura (11 points and three triples in 21 minutes). Rui might be worth a look in deep leagues if Avdija has to miss time, but he isn’t that attractive of an option. Corey Kispert went for a 11/4/5/1/1 line with three triples, marking the third straight game he’s had at least one steal and one block, and the third time over his last four that he’s scored in double figures and has hit at least a pair of threes. If he keeps this up, he could have some value as we approach the last quarter of the season and head into fantasy playoffs. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15/3/3 with three 3-pointers) and Raul Neto (13/4/3 with one steal and one triple) were both decent, and while KCP is a better scorer, Neto is a better in terms of the surrounding stats.
Jerami Grant scored exactly 26 points for the second straight game, shooting 9-of-17 from the field and hitting all five of his freebies while adding three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and just one turnover in 36 minutes. Grant isn’t a great rebounding guy despite being a phenomenal athlete, but as long as he’s scoring and chipping in some defensive stats like he has been, he should be starting everywhere. Cade Cunningham shot 50% from the floor for a 20/9/5 line with a steal and three turnovers, and he had some nifty finishes at the rim including this monster dunk that was some rookie-on-rookie crime on Gonzaga product Corey Kispert. Cade is shooting it better with a 50.9% clip over his last three, and he’s already crept into top-100 conversation and could creep up a bit more if he stays anywhere close to there, especially with his counting stats already being excellent. Saddiq Bey was also efficient with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting while also contributing seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, two 3-pointers and just one turnover in 31 minutes, and even Isaiah Stewart was alright with a 9/9/1/1/1 showing in 27 minutes. Bey has been hot for a while now albeit with a few mega-duds sprinkled in, and Beef Stew has re-emerged as a standard league asset with 10th-round value over the past month after being dropped in a ton of leagues when he was atrocious earlier in the season. Killian Hayes has actually been making a bit of noise and finished Tuesday’s loss with a 7/7/5/3/1 showing in 27 minutes, and he just missed a 32-footer as time expired that would have sent the game to overtime. Hayes has played at least 25 minutes in three of his last four and is closing games over Cory Joseph, and while he’s not the best player suited for fantasy, you can start monitoring him. Otherwise, Kelly Olynyk was fine with a 10/4/3 line and is slightly trending up especially after scoring 20 last time out, and Frank Jackson returned from a back issue but scored just three points in 14 minutes and is negligible for fantasy purposes.
Raptors 109, Nets 108
The Raptors got their second win against the Nets in as many nights, but at least this one was competitive. Gary Trent Jr. led all scorers in this one with 24 points, but he didn’t get his points efficiently as he went just 6-of-17 from the field, but he did hit all nine of his free throws. Trent added two boards, seven assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and zero turnovers in his 39 minutes as he further defies all odds as a fourth-round stud on the season. Pascal Siakam had it going early with 10 first-quarter points but cooled off for the remainder of the game, finishing with a 18/8/6 line on 7-of-19 shooting with a steal and four turnovers in 35 minutes. Post-break Spicy P has not been nearly as good as pre-break Spicy P, but he’s going to fill it up nightly and even more so when Fred VanVleet (right knee) isn’t active, but he’ll have his fair share of off-nights shooting the basketball. Scottie Barnes followed up his career night with a big 18/10/4/1/1 line with three turnovers, and he went 8-of-13 from the floor to cap off yet another incredibly efficient performance. If he ever develops a consistent three-point shot (0.8 triples per game on the season), which seems more likely than not given he’s just 20 years old, he’s going to be borderline terrifying. Khem Birch continues to start and made some noise for the first time in about 89 years, scoring 11 points with five rebounds and a block in 18 minutes, but he’s not someone to pick up by any means. The “rise” of Birch sadly led to the inevitable fall of the red-hot Precious Achiuwa, who scored just four points with seven boards in 18 minutes after scoring 20 in back-to-back games coming in. I still like him as long as O.G. Anunoby (right finger) is out, especially since the Raps still have three more games this week as the only team with five total in Week 19. Malachi Flynn impressed again in a start for FVV with a 15/6/8 line in a game-high 43 minutes and will absolutely be in streaming territory for however long VanVleet is sidelined with two straight awesome performances as a starter. Thaddeus Young went for 11 points with three rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes, which is basically exactly how his stat line has looked in four of his last five, and while he’s a good steals guy he hasn’t been great in the other areas but may end up as a late-round guy for the last portion of this season.
Brooklyn looked worlds better than they did last night and opened the game with significantly more energy than Monday night’s disappointment, but the result was the same. Even though it was an away game, Kyrie Irving was still ineligible to play as Toronto still has their vaccine mandate in place, and this team is really missing him, Kevin Durant (left knee) and James Ha.. I mean, Ben Simmons (I guess). No one on the Nets scored over 20 points on this occasion, with James Johnson of all people coming the closest with his 19 points (7-of-11 FGs), two rebounds, three assists, one block, three 3-pointers and two turnovers in 31 minutes, but this was the first time in his last four tries that he reached double figures in scoring, and KD’s return will ruin the small amount of value he currently has. LaMarcus Aldridge got the start for Andre Drummond (left knee soreness) and fared well with an efficient 16 points with nine rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes, and he’s fine to hold onto but he won’t be this good when Drummond is ready to play again, of course. Nic Claxton has been in the doghouse since Drummond arrived but was actually decent in his absence with eight points, five rebounds, one steal and three blocks in 23 minutes off the bench, but he’s hurt all the time and was the third-string center with Drummond healthy so is just a high-risk, high-reward guy to utilize if Drummond misses more time. Seth Curry was great per usual with a 18/4/6 line with two treys and two giveaways and has not been bothered at all by the trade as the best fantasy season of his career continues, and Bruce Brown quietly filled it up with his 9/7/2/1/1 effort. Goran Dragic (10/2/2) hit double figures for the first time since joining the Nets, and he played well enough to get booed by his old team (and booed by Canadians, nonetheless), but he only played 15 minutes and is still just someone to monitor with Kyrie unable to play in the vast majority of the Nets’ games going forward.
Celtics 107, Hawks 98
Boston was down 14 points at the half, but thanks to a 31-13 third quarter and 11 offensive rebounds that resulted in 17 second-chance points, they came out on top. The win was nice, but all their postgame attention will be on Jaylen Brown, who took a very awkward fall on a drive in the first quarter that resulted in a right ankle injury that disallowed him to return to the game after playing just three minutes. It didn’t look great by any means and he was ruled out pretty quickly, as anyone who saw expected, but if he misses time, his 23.7 points per game is going to be hard to make up for. Boston coach Ime Udoka did speak after the game and say that Brown actually wanted to come back and play, but there was plenty of swelling and soreness and they’re looking at the bigger picture, so that’s semi-encouraging. Derrick White, the obvious candidate to start should Brown miss some games, filled in nicely with 18 points, two rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes, and he gets a pretty big boost if Brown is forced to hit the sidelines for any amount of time. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 33 points on 12-of-25 shooting (6-of-7 FTs) and also recorded eight rebounds, seven assists, three 3-pointers and two turnovers in 39 minutes, and this was nice to see after he shot less than 40% in two straight coming in. Marcus Smart had a 16/6/4/1/1 line with two triples but did shoot 6-of-14 from the floor with a game-high five turnovers, and big men Al Horford (8/4/3 with two triples and four blocks) and especially Robert Williams (9/13/2/1/2) continue to be great even though they aren’t scoring a ton. Grant Williams made some noise with 18 points, seven rebounds, two triples and a block in 28 minutes, and he’s been quietly good with seventh-round value over the past two weeks but could disappear at any given time.
Trae Young tweaked his left ankle on a reckless closeout by Marcus Smart, and while he headed to the locker room, he came back in and led the team with 31 points (12-of-25 FGs), two rebounds, six assists, two 3-pointers and two turnovers in 37 minutes. He’s not one known to complain or even show that he’s hurt to any degree, but we’ll see if he pops up on Atlanta’s injury report ahead of Thursday’s matchup with the Bulls. Bogdan Bogdanovic got red-hot off the bench for 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, one steal, three 3-pointers and two turnovers in 37 minutes, and while he’s top-100 on a per-game basis on the season, he’s been outstanding over the past month with third-round value in that range. Danilo Gallinari was the third and final Hawk to reach double figures in the scoring column with his 12 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block and one triple in 35 minutes, and he’ll be worth deploying for as long as John Collins (right foot) is sidelined. Onyeka Okongwu scored five points in just seven minutes before being ruled out with a concussion, and despite Clint Capela playing 30 minutes, he was disappointing again with five points, 11 rebounds and one steal. He’s been frustrating for anyone who spent an early-round pick on him, and he still has one more season left on his contract after this one before he likely hits the market and in turn we arrive in Okongwu’s world. Kevin Huerter went 4-of-13 from the field but did a nice job otherwise with a 9/5/3/2/2 line with one triple and one turnover before fouling out, and he’s not all that exciting but if the threes and steals are there, he’s fine as a deep-league guy.
Timberwolves 129, Warriors 114
Despite not having Anthony Edwards (left knee), the Wolves took care of one of the best teams in the Western Conference in what was highlighted by an offensive eruption by Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT was just a point away from tying his season high and finished with 39 points (14-of-22 FGs, 8-of-11 FTs), nine rebounds, one assist, three 3-pointers and two turnovers in 32 minutes. The defensive stats have been trending down a bit (none on Tuesday), but when he’s scoring like he has been, you can’t fault him all too much. D’Angelo Russell doesn’t want to leave his heater quite yet as he went 8-of-17 from the field for a 22/3/7 line with two steals, two triples and four turnovers in just 29 minutes, and this now marks four straight games with at least 21 points on 47% from the field, even more impressive considering he’s a 42.1% career shooter. Malik Beasley got some extra run with Edwards out and played 28 minutes off the pine for a very efficient 20 points with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and six 3-pointers, and if Ant-Man needs to miss more time and you need points and threes, Beasley is your guy. Jarred Vanderbilt scored just two points with eight rebounds, two assists and nothing else, and I still think he picks it back up but he hasn’t been very good lately, and Jaden McDaniels has been trending up because of it. A ton of people probably took a chance on McDaniels tonight given his solid play recently and his entrance into the starting five, but of course, he was disappointing with just eight points, four rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes. Taurean Prince swiped away three steals for the second straight game amidst his 11/2/1/3/1 line in 21 minutes, but he got some extra opportunity with Edwards out and his nice game on Monday night seemed fluky. Finally, Patrick Beverley scored 10 points with seven dimes and a steal in 22 minutes, and he’s been great for defensive stats as he came in as just one of seven players to average at least 1.0 steal, 1.0 block and 1.5 triples (LeBron James, KAT, Nikola Vucevic, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jerami Grant and Robert Covington).
To no one’s surprise, Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with Klay Thompson (illness) and of course Draymond Green (back, returned to practice but not taking contact) still out, as he more than doubled the next highest Golden State scorer with 34 points (10-of-24 FGs, 9-of-9 FTs), adding five rebounds, four assists, five 3-pointers and four turnovers in 33 minutes. Moses Moody got the start for Klay again but got hit in the eye early, making it through just seven minutes during which he scored six points with one assist and a triple, but this doesn’t affect much for fantasy purposes. Andrew Wiggins shot just 5-of-13 from the field but did it all with a 12/7/4/1/2 line with two triples and three giveaways, while Gary Payton (14 points, four rebounds), Jordan Poole (12/2/3) and even Damion Lee (15/6/2 with a steal) all did a bit better than usual with Klay out of the equation. Should Klay miss more time, I still think Poole is the best guy to stream if I had to choose despite not doing a whole lot on Tuesday (Payton has been solid though, so if Poole’s not available, he works). Jonathan Kuminga scored 13 points off the bench but with not much else but is still a hold for as long as Draymond is out if you can deal with the rookie hiccups and Steve Kerr randomly benching him, while Otto Porter Jr. started the second half for Moody and tallied a career-high six steals but only had two points, five rebounds and an assist to go along with them in his 17 minutes. For reference, Porter Jr. had five steals in the whole month of March, so don’t read into it.
Clippers 113, Rockets 100
With the Rockets giving up the most fantasy points in the whole league to opposing centers, Clippers center Ivica Zubac’s 22/12/2/1/1 line shouldn’t even come as a surprise. Zubac double-doubled for the fourth time in his last five games and has nearly been a top-75 asset over the past two weeks simply due to being more consistent. He’ll only play minutes in the teens some nights if the matchup doesn’t suit him, but keep rolling with him. Reggie Jackson kept it going with a 17/5/6 line with a steal and three triples but of course shot 6-of-16 from the field, while Marcus Morris Sr. scored 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting but didn’t do much else besides steal the ball twice and hit four triples. I still like Morris more than most Clippers, however, as he and Robert Covington (seven points, eight rebounds, one steal, four blocks) suit totally different fantasy basketball needs, and it seems like combining both of their numbers each night would give you one early-round player. The wing situation on this team is still a mess as Nicolas Batum (four points, four rebounds) struggled again and hasn’t done much at all in four straight and can probably be sent back to the waiver wire, while Terance Mann, Brandon Boston Jr. and Amir Coffey all scored either 10 or 11 points. I’d definitely take Mann (11/7/5 with one block and one trey) over those two, and next up probably goes Luke Kennard, but he was awful with just four points in 20 minutes on Tuesday. All those wing players I mentioned are going to take turns having their nice nights, but over the past month, the order of best to worst Clippers fantasy wings goes RoCo, Mann, Morris, Batum, Kennard, Coffey and Boston Jr. Can you believe this team also has Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on their roster?
Rookie Jalen Green is approaching must-start territory as he came through with his third 20-point game in his last four contests, hitting 9-of-21 shots for exactly 20 points with four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, one 3-pointer and zero turnovers in 33 minutes. He’s scoring with much more ease than he was for the first half of his first NBA campaign, and if you can handle some inevitably poor shooting, the scoring, triples and steals are there. Christian Wood was decent with 17 points (7-of-11 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), eight rebounds, one assist, three blocks and two triples in 31 minutes, while Jae’Sean Tate hit half of his shots for a 12/9/2 line with two triples. Mr. Luxury Stash Alperen Sengun finally filled it up with 13 points, nine rebounds, one assist, two steals, two blocks, one 3-pointer and two turnovers in 22 minutes, and while time is ticking, I still think he ends up on a handful of winning fantasy squads and has to be rostered, especially after this. Dennis Schroder started for Kevin Porter Jr. (left ankle, could play Wednesday) again and posted a 8/4/6 line with six turnovers in 31 minutes, but he tweaked his right ankle late. He was able to play through it, but he could miss tomorrow’s game and this line wasn’t even usable with the insane turnover count.
Mavericks 109, Lakers 104
The Mavs were up as many as 21 in this one and fell to a six-point deficit in the third quarter, but an 11-0 run in the fourth helped them pull away and get their fourth win over their last five games. Luka Doncic shot 9-of-21 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free throw line but still produced a 25/8/5/1/2 line, but he didn’t hit a three and turned it over six times to either hurt or not help four of fantasy’s main categories. He’s still incredible and had a monster put-back dunk early and a Dirk-esque one-footed baseline step back jumper over LeBron James, but it’s lines like these that demonstrate why he isn’t worth spending a top-3 pick on. Jalen Brunson scored 22 points of his own but was far more efficient than Luka with a 9-of-15 clip, adding two rebounds, four assists, four steals, four 3-pointers and just one turnover in 34 minutes, and whether it’s the Mavs or someone else, one of the NBA teams is going to pay him a lot of money once he hits the market this summer. Dorian Finney-Smith filled it up as well with a 16/9/2/1/1 line with three triples, and Reggie Bullock’s 7/6/1/1/1 line was similar with the exception of the low scoring on poor shooting (2-of-9 FGs). Dwight Powell posted a boring 13 points and seven rebounds but he made all four of his shots and all but one of his free throws, Maxi Kleber scored fewer points (six) but brought the other goodies with seven rebounds, one steal, two blocks and zero turnovers in 27 minutes and Spencer Dinwiddie was good for the third straight game with 14 points (5-o-11 FGs), two rebounds, nine assists and one block in 24 minutes. I didn’t think Dinwiddie would carve out enough of a role with Luka and Brunson on his team, but he’s proving otherwise and looks like a fine guy to grab off wires right now, but he’s prone to falling off.
The Lakers lost their third straight and the sixth in their last seven games, and the fact that they’re fighting for a play-in spot right now is pretty unreal. For fantasy hoops, I really only trust LeBron James (26/12/5 with one steal, three triples and four turnovers in 38 minutes) and Carmelo Anthony (20/3/1/3/1 with three triples in 31 minutes) to deploy nightly, and sometimes Melo can stink it up. That being said, he’s played really well in games without Anthony Davis, with his defensive stats helping his value in a big way. Make sure he isn’t on your waiver wire with AD set to miss maybe another month, if not more. Malik Monk bounced back with a 17/5/4 line but went 5-of-14 from the field with countless missed layups, and he’s maybe my third choice on this team but he isn’t that exciting unless he really has it going. Stanley Johnson scored 11 points with two boards, one block and three triples, Russell Westbrook didn’t turn it over but went 5-of-17 from the floor for a 12/6/8/2/1 line and everyone else can be entirely ignored.