• You’d think it would be a quiet, peaceful Thursday night with only four games on. Well, we guessed wrong.

    Houston, we have a problem

    The Rockets are a hot mess. You can say that with confidence about the Western Conference’s top team from last season when a Westbrook-less Thunder squad shuts you down and you lose 80-98.

    While you can peg some blame on Carmelo Anthony and his 1-for-11 shooting from the field and the absence of Eric Gordon. This goes beyond the “Melo Curse” though. The Rockets are sluggish, uninspired, and downright lost right now. Chris Paul has a sore elbow and it’s hampering him. He did get six steals but outside of that, Paul was disappointing in other areas.

    James Harden and Clint Capela are simply not enough. A sneaky-good P.J. Tucker has been a pleasant surprise this season,  but scrounging for positives to point out is such a chore right now.

    Some credit had to go to Paul George and Steven Adams, who both played well for the win. The defense was key but the Rockets were just too easy to neutralize. Expect Mike D’Antoni to spend a lot of sleepless nights at the drawing board.

    Celtics, so good they’re lazy, which is not good

    The title says it all. They were lazy. Frustratingly so in their 116-109 OT win over the Suns. The fact that they needed an extra period to dispatch with the Suns is telling. Kyrie Irving had to will his team to victory in those extra minutes. His 39 points and fat line were the only things worth celebrating. No, not even the win. Frankly, the team did not deserve it. Irving did.

    As much as I’d like to credit T.J. Warren’s move to the starting five for the Suns almost winning this, or the solid 38-point game from Devin Booker, it really was more a case of the Celtics playing poorly than the Suns playing well. If Warren does stick in the starting five, which should be the case, Warren becomes worth an add in 12-team leagues, especially after his 29-point performance with seven boards, three 3-pointers, a steal and a block. I think he’ll stick. It’s the logical move. Because Ryan Anderson is just awful. Nasty-bad.

    Why Boban? Why?

    The Clippers-Blazer game was not much to look at from an “is this interesting” point of view. The sad news is that Boban Marjanovic, despite starting, managed just 12 minutes, four points, four boards and two blocks. Montrezl Harrell stole his thunder with 19-point, three-block performance. Yes, Boban was freed, but the fact is Harrell is just better. Patrick Beverley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shared the backcourt as starters and we’re seeing SGA grow right before our eyes. He’s legit and dare I say a dark horse for ROY? Nah. But maybe? Right? 19 markers and a full line was a sight to see for sure.

    Zach Collins flirted with a double-double in the Blazers’ 105-116 win. He’s going to have his ups and downs. For sure. But expect a decent leap from him this season. You can count on it. He’s ripe and ready.

    What the Bucks?

    The Bucks are the real deal. Aside from Brook Lopez making a fool of himself in fantasy, the starters did their respective things and did them well.

    The Warriors were missing Draymond Green (ankle) but Stephen Curry added injury to injury by suffering a strained adductor and is due for an MRI today. Quin Cook is a must-add for his temporary boost in value and expect bumps in production from Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

    The Warriors cannot win without both Green and Curry, so Green might rush back on Monday.

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Fantasy News

  • Marcin Gortat - C - Los Angeles Clippers

    Marcin Gortat started against the Spurs on Thursday, scoring seven points on 2-of-3 shooting with seven rebounds and four assists.

    Gortat is the new flavor of the week for the Clippers at center as Boban Marjanovic was a DNP-CD. He looked good out there on the floor, filling in the lanes and rebounding with some vigor which means he'll likely continue to log minutes. He's still too inconsistent to consider a must-own player though as Montrezl Harrell (14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block) is a much more viable option.

  • Tobias Harris - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Tobias Harris scored 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds, five assists, a block and two triples in Thrusday's 116-111 win over the Spurs.

    Harris continues to be the No. 1 option for a deep Clippers team and is producing as such. He was constantly involved on both ends of the floor tonight and held his own against any matchup San Antonio threw at him. He can also score from anywhere on the floor and the offense is free flowing with an emphasis on getting him the ball.

  • Lou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams came off the bench on Thursday and scored 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting with a 3-pointer, three rebounds and two assists.

    Sweet Lou came through for the Clippers tonight as they needed an extra punch to get over the Spurs. He's a fine player in points leagues but his contributions in other categories are severely limited when the Clippers are at full strength.

  • Danilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Danilo Gallinari was his usual self against the Spurs on Thursday, scoring 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting with two triples, six rebounds and an assist.

    Gallinari was fine again for the Clippers and continues to chug along with early-mid round value thanks to his league-leading .952 at the line on 5.4 attempts. These numbers are all sustainable provided he stays on the floor.

  • Patty Mills - G - San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills came off the bench on Thursday and scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting with two triples, four rebounds and five assists.

    Mills outplayed Derrick White (zero points, two rebounds and one assist) in a huge way. We still like White's long-term value as he's a stat sheet stuffer, but tonight it was Mills who took over. It should also be noted that White is dealing with plantar fascia.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge - F - San Antonio Spurs

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting with 16 rebounds, an assist, two steals and two blocks on Thursday against the Clippers.

    Aldridge was absolutely struggling from the field today and he missed shots that he usually doesn't so we're not concerned. He got deep positioning several times on mismatches, but just failed to convert on his attempts. He was still able to go hard on the glass for owners tonight.

  • Rudy Gay - F - San Antonio Spurs

    Rudy Gay returned from a heel injury on Thursday, scoring 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with a 3-pointer, six rebounds and two assists.

    Gay came off the bench and still logged 25 minutes which is a good sign as that's all he needs to get to standard-league value. The Spurs are treating him with care which is expected, but when he's on the floor he produces. Keep holding onto him if you can handle rest days on back-to-backs.

  • Jamal Murray - G - Denver Nuggets

    Jamal Murray will start in Saturday's game.

    There you have it. It looks like the bench role was due to a violation of team rules but it's minor enough to only have Murray come off the bench for one game. Proceed as you usually would.

    Source: TJ McBride on Twitter

  • Trae Young - G - Atlanta Hawks

    Trae Young went just 2-for-11 from the field in Thursday's ugly loss to the Nuggets, finishing with six points, five assists and a steal in 27 minutes.

    Young's now 4-for-23 over his last two games with no 3-pointers. It's not going to be a smooth ride for the talented youngster but fantasy owners should've expected duds like these, especially in tough matchups. Young is going to give you solid output in points, assists and threes on most nights but is going to do serious damage to your field goal percentage. Hopefully that's not news. As far as Atlanta's other rookies, Omari Spellman had a nice game in another start with 10 points, 10 boards, three assists, three steals and a block — though he went 4-of-15 from the field and missed all seven 3-pointers, and Kevin Huerter scored 10 points in 28 minutes.

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets to a – blowout victory on Thursday over the Hawks with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds, seven assists, four steals, a block and a triple.

    Jokic was all over the floor tonight for the Nuggets and he racked up the stats in an advantageous matchup. He had highlights throughout the night as he usually does, dazzling with his passing ability. The Nuggets come and go as Jokic does so he's in line for some major work.