• 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

  • Tyus Jones - G - Minnesota Timberwolves

    In an article on The Athletic, Jon Krawczynski noted that Tyus Jones (left ankle sprain) should be returning in the Timberwolves first game after the All-Star break.

    The Timberwolves return to action on Friday at Madison Square Gardens against the Knicks. Krawczynski also noted that Robert Covington (knee) should not be far behind Jones in returning, which will give the Wolves' much needed depth as they make a playoff run.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on The Athletic

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) tweeted that he will be back for the next game as long as "everything goes according to plan."

    The Nets will resume their season on Thursday as they host the Blazers. Dudley won't be on any fantasy radars, but he could be a pest by stealing minutes from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Rodions Kurucs.

    Source: Jared Dudley on Twitter

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo plans to play for Greece in the FIBA World Championships this summer.

    Giannis said the only way he won't play is if he has any injury concerns. He should be able to dominate the championships that start on August 31st in China.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) will test out his shoulder during pre-game warmups to determine if he'll play in the All-Star game.

    It seems that Davis will be a true game-time decision for the All-Star game, which is the epitome of his current situation with the Pelicans.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Hamidou Diallo - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo put his stamp on the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest by beating Dennis Smith Jr., John Collins, and Miles Bridges.

    Diallo arguably delivered one of the greatest performances in Slam Dunk Contest history by jumping over the seven-footer Shaquille O'Neal and throwing down a vicious elbow dunk. He left the crowd mesmerized and gave them a moment to remember in an otherwise lopsided contest. As incredible he might be tonight, fantasy owners shouldn't really give him a look unless they're in deep leagues.

  • Joe Harris - G/F - Brooklyn Nets

    Joe Harris was scorching hot during the entirety of Saturday's 3-point shootout as he bested Stephen Curry with 26 made three-point shots in the final round.

    Harris put an end to Curry's storybook ending of winning the 3-point contest in his hometown of Charlotte by besting him and Buddy Hield. It's no surprise that Harris was a dark-horse candidate entering the contest since he's been hot all season long from behind the arc, making 47 percent of his shots. In the past week, Harris has been rewarding his owners with top-20 value with averages of 22.7 points with 4.7 threes per game on 67.6% shooting. If you could sell high on him, now would be the perfect time.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the Taco Bell All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal in this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as an early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal on this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as a early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Hasheem Thabeet - C - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hasheem Thabeet worked out for the Rockets, Raptors and Pistons while the teams were in Charlotte for All-Star weekend.

    Thabeet was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Grizzlies and was quickly one of the biggest busts in NBA history. He was the highest overall pick to be sent to the then D-League until Anthony Bennett secured the top spot. Thabeet is somehow still only 31 years old, and 7'2" centers can certainly provide value in today's NBA, but it's unlikely Thabeet finds his way back into the league. He's currently playing in the Japanese B-League.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Dirk Nowitzki - F - Dallas Mavericks

    Dirk Nowitzki said he has not made any final decision on if this is his last season.

    "I haven't said this will be it," Nowitzki said, "I'm going to wait and see the last couple of weeks, how my body feels and if I continue to see improvement and I'm still having fun, we'll see." While Dirk has been treating this season as a retirement tour, there's still a chance we see him playing next season.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter