• I’m back with some breakdowns of Thursday night NBA action.  Five games on the docket last night kept me busy and entertained while I awaited the release of the newest Pokemon game (yes, I’m a grown man that still plays Pokemon).  The late game of the night actually took place in my town, Salt Lake City, and was airing on TNT for me to enjoy while I chatted it up with @VMCENTER on Fantasy NBA Tonight (a Hoop-ball premium content product).

    Let’s check out what went down last night.

    Knicks (112) @ Wizards (119)

    The Wizards grabbed a home win to help their very disappointing start to the season behind the efforts of John Wall (23 points, 11 assists, three 3-pointers, two rebounds and a steal) and Otto Porter Jr. (21 points, eight rebounds, four 4-pointers, two steals, one assist and one block.  After preseason worries about Porter’s value, he has been the wing to own for the Wizards.

    Markieff Morris had a slow night with just eight points (4-for-11 FG), eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.  He seems to be prone to these types of nights and its comes with owning him.  Bradley Beal added 18 points, five assists, three 3-pointers and two rebounds.  Marcin Gortat rounded out the starting five with 16 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one block.

    For the Knicks, Derrick Rose led the way in scoring with 27 points (8-for-18 FG, 8-for-8 FT), four assists, three 3-pointers, two rebounds and a steal.  Carmelo Anthony added 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer (on eight attempts).  Kristaps Porzingis had a solid night with 16 points (7-for-16 FG), seven rebounds, four steals, two 3-pointers and two assists.

    Courtney Lee had a quiet night and only played 23 minutes.  On the other hand, Brandon Jennings came off the bench for 24 minutes and posted a line of 17 points, 10 assists, three 3-pointers, five rebounds and one steal.  He is a name to keep an eye on, but his production may not be consistent as a bench player.

    Bucks (73) @ Heat (96)

    The Bucks got beat pretty bad tonight and had some odd stat lines outside of their usual suspects.  Matthew Dellavedova had zero points on seven attempts, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals.  Tony Snell had 14 points in 32 minutes, to go along with six rebounds and one assist.

    The most interesting situation revolves around the center position.  John Henson started and played 28 minutes, posting a box score of 12 points, five rebounds, one steal and three blocks.  Greg Monroe, on the other hand, was a DNP-Coach’s Decision.  Rumors have been swirling of a possible trade for the big man ever since he joined the Bucks, but his bench role and lack of playing time is really concerning.

    Goran Dragic returned tonight after missing three games due to injury.  He played well with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, one 3-pointer and one steal, but was pretty inefficient in terms of shooting.  Hassan Whiteside went man-mode with 12 points, 17 rebounds, seven blocks and two steals.  There’s the first round value upside.

    Dion Waiters (23 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Josh Richardson (18 points, three rebounds, one assist) started with Justise Winslow out due to an injured wrist.  Tyler Johnson got 23 minutes off the bench and added eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.

    Blazers (109) @ Rockets (126)

    The Blazers were led by, as usual, Damian Lillard (18 points, five rebounds, five assists) and C.J. McCollum (26 points, four assists, three rebounds).  Moe Harkless started tonight and added 19 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers.  Mason Plumlee added four points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 30 minutes.  Evan Turner played 28 minutes off the bench with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.  He seems to be finding his niche as the Blazers sixth man.

    Hassan Whiteside wasn’t the only player going off tonight, as Harden posted a line that has now become somewhat expected.  He triple-doubled with 26 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds, three 3-pointers and three steals.

    Surprisingly, the entire starting lineup for the Rockets scored in double digits and Eric Gordon added 16 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.  Patrick Beverley played in his first game of the year tonight, starting and logging 25 minutes.  He didn’t show much rust with 11 points (5-for-8 FG, 1-2 3PT), three assists, three blocks and two rebounds.  He has a tendency to get under opposing point guards’ skin and Lillard is no exception.

    76ers (86) @ Timberwolves (110)

    This game was the first TNT game last night and the only reason these losing teams got a primetime slot was for the young center matchup.  Joel Emiid and (10 points, 10 rebounds, one block) Karl-Anthony Towns both double-doubled (25 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) in the matchup, but were overshadowed by Andrew Wiggins.  Wiggins contributed for the Timberwolves beyond scoring for once with 35 points (14-for-20 FG, 4-for-4 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists, three 3-pointers and one steal.

    Zach LaVine added 11 points, two rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, one steal and one block.  Gorgui Dieng double-doubled with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Ricky Rubio rounded out the Minnesota starters with four points, five assists and four rebounds. Not much action off the bench for this squad tonight.

    For the 76ers, Ersan Ilyasova got the start at power forward tonight.  His stat line didn’t offer much with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes.  Rookie Dario Saric came off the bench and played 27 minutes with 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, two 3-pointers and two steals.  Saric is the power forward to own in Philly.  Jahlil Okafor played in the second night of a back-to-back but only played 22 minutes and did very little with seven points and two rebounds.  Nick Stauskas scored 13 points, five rebounds, three 3-pointers, two steals and one assists.  He has potential but has teased fantasy owners in the past and not much came of it.

    Game of the Night

    Bulls (85) @ Jazz (77)

    This game was very disappointing to say the least, as it ended being very low scoring as neither team looked great on offense.

    For the Bulls, Jimmy Butler led the way with 20 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Dwyane Wade added 18 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block.  Jerian Grant got the start for the injured Rajon Rondo and added six points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist.  Robin Lopez is looking for like the big man to trust in Chicago with 10 points and 12 rebounds over 38 minutes.

    The Jazz really struggled tonight.  Gordon Hayward came in to this game with a lot of value, but played 41 troubled minutes tonight.  He scored eight points (3-for-15 FG, 2-for-3 FT), 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals.  Rudy Gobert double-doubled with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.  Rodney Hood added 12 points, six rebounds, one 3-pointers and one assist.

    George Hill missed another game due to a thumb injury and Dante Exum started and added 14 points, four rebounds, two 3-pointers, two assists and one steal.  Derrick Favors may be looking at an extended absence, so Boris Diaw and Trey Lyles are in a timeshare for his minutes.

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