• First of all, let me say that it’s a huge relief not having to report on a player dislocating, breaking, or rupturing anything on their body in this post.

    However, Thursday night was not completely injury-free. Michael Beasley suffered a bad ankle sprain and even though X-rays came back negative, the forward was seen wearing a walking boot after the game.

    A couple of injury updates do include JaMychal Green, who is expected to miss “a few weeks” with an ankle injury of his own. Jarell Martin will be inserted into the Grizzlies’ starting lineup. Jeremy Lin has officially been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured patella tendon. Yes, go and grab those Allen Crabbes and Caris LeVerts where you can. Run along now. Hurry!

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    On to the games from Thursday night.

    Chicago Bulls 100 – Toronto Raptors 117

    The Bulls were clearly outmatched and outgunned by the Raptors. As a result, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan got to take it easy, consequently delivering sub-par performances for their respective owners in fantasy. Lowry had 12 points and nine dimes, while DeRozan scored 11 points and got six boards. This was a blowout so owners need not worry too much.

    Jonas Valanciunas bullied the Bulls’ frontcourt, dropping 23 points and 15 rebounds. Big night! Just don’t expect him to lead the team in scoring like this in most games.

    Norman Powell had a solid outing as a starter with 15 points and three triples in 25 minutes.

    Lauri Markkanen had a solid game as the Bulls’ starting power forward, dropping 17 points and eight boards. He will continue to see extended minutes while Nikola Mirotic (concussion, facial surgery) and Bobby Portis (suspended eight games) are out of commission. Lauri should be added in standard leagues at this point.

    Robin Lopez led the Bulls in scoring with 18 points and eight boards of his own. Justin Holiday filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, four treys, four rebounds, a steal and a block. Denzel Valentine hit four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points in 26 minutes off the bench.

    New York Knicks 84 – Oklahoma City Thunder 105

    It was “Porzingod Time” for the Knicks as Kristaps Porzingis dropped 31 points and 12 boards, with two treys and a block. Unfortunately, Tim Hardaway Jr. didn’t have a great game. He struggled on the offensive end, shooting 3-of-10 from the field to finish with eight points and two treys. He should bounce back soon and owners need to be patient.

    Enes Kanter was the only other Knick to score in double figures, chiming in with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes.

    Willy Hernangomez was invisible in the four minutes allotted to him as the third center for the Knicks last night. He scored three points and got one block. Kyle O’Quinn leapfrogged over him in the depth chart and played 22 minutes. This is likely Hornacek just tinkering with variable rotations. Wait for a game or two more before deciding to cut ties with Hernangomez.

    The Thunder came in guns blazing with their new additions, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony filling up the stat sheet in their debuts. George finished the night with 28 points, six treys, six boards, a steal and a block. Anthony notched 22 points, three triples, two steals and two blocks to his name. We don’t need to worry too much about these two stars being able to find their fill while playing alongside Westbrook. At least for now.

    Surprise, surprise! Russell Westbrook still managed to do “Russell Westbrook Things,” logging his first triple-double of the season with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 16 assists.

    Some inspired defense from Steven Adams resulted in the big man delivering one of the best lines of the night with 12 points, five boards, five steals and three blocks. It was a good start for the Thunder’s center. Now that there is no pressure whatsoever for him to score, Adams appears to be content to devote all of his concentration and effort on defense. His big night might be an outlier so wait and see if he can duplicate it before trading for him. While it’s too early to dub him as their “Fourth Musketeer,” Adams does have a good shot of taking the next step as a reliable defensive big man.

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    Los Angeles Clippers 108 – Los Angeles Lakers 92

    It was “The Griffin and Jordan Show” as both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan abused the Lakers’ soft frontcourt. Jordan was a beast on the glass as he pulled down 24 boards to go along with his 14 points. He did fail to block a shot, which was a bummer. Griffin did his damage from all over the floor and all ranges. He shot 12-of-23 from the field and made 3-of-6 shots from deep as well. IF Griffin can stay healthy, there’s no reason to expect him to end the season outside of the top-50.

    It was not all roses and rainbows for the entire Clippers squad. Danilo Gallinari could not overpay for a bucket last night. He struggled mightily, making just 3-of-13 shots from the field. Consider this an off night and expect Gallo to bounce back sooner rather than later.

    The backcourt duo of Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic was a sight to behold. Their combination of offense and defense made it hard to notice the absence of Chris Paul. Austin Rivers shot a dismal 1-of-11 from the field in 26 minutes off the bench, so expect Teodosic to stick with the rest of the starters in the next few games to come.

    Lakers’ rookie Lonzo Ball, got a taste of real defense as Beverley was in his face all throughout the game. Ball still managed to grab nine boards, hand out four dimes with a trey, steal and block to his name. His low-key start should not be a cause for concern. Ball should see better games down the road.

    Larry Nance Jr. drew the start at power forward and outplayed his competition for minutes by a wide margin. He scored 14 points and grabbed 12 boards in 30 minutes on the floor. Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma logged 18 and 19 minutes, respectively. Round 1 goes to Nance, but expect him to face stiffer competition from these two guys in other games.

    Brook Lopez was a bright spot for the Lakers as he led the youngsters with 20 points, six boards and a full line.

    Brandon Ingram shot 3-of-15 from the field and finished the game with 12 points, five boards and four dimes.

    Remember, you can always reach me on Twitter: @FantasyHoopla, if you want to chat about fantasy hoops!

Fantasy News

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard (knee soreness) suited up for the All-Star Game on Sunday and scored 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 19 minutes of action in a Team LeBron win over Team Giannis.

    He added five rebounds, five threes and two assists to the box score. Leonard has been in and out of the lineup for the Raptors quite a lot this season, but hopefully he can have a healthy second half of the season. If he can stay on the court, he should continue to hover around top-5 value in all formats. Expect Leonard to return for the Raptors' first game after the break ends.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 17-of-23 shots on Sunday to score an All-Star game-high 38 points and 11 boards in the 164-178 loss to Team LeBron.

    Steph Curry logged 29 minutes with 17 points but it wasn't enough as his teammates Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 51 points tonight. Giannis was second on his squad in minutes with 27 and everyone should be well rested coming out of the All-Star break.

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) put up 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting with nine rebounds and six assists in a Team LeBron win over Team Giannis in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

    He hit a 3-pointer and made some clutch plays down the stretch to help his team seal the win. Irving missed two games from this injury and should be good to go after the break for the Celtics and is a top-10 option for the remainder of the season.

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant added some hardware to the mantle at home by taking Sunday night’s All-Star game MVP trophy.

    Durant scored 31 points with six triples in the come from behind victory for Team LeBron 178-164 over Team Giannis. Durant got into it with Joel Embiid a few times, while swatting two shots in their matchup.

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis made an appearance in the All-Star game on Sunday, logged only four minutes.

    Davis finished with five points in four minutes, all in the first half, while appearing disinterested in giving it his all. Now owners will have to wait and see if the Pelicans try to shut him down despite the NBA’s insistence that he’s on the court if he’s healthy.

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis confirmed in a live TV interview that he’s playing in Sunday’s All-Star game.

    Davis owns the All-Star record for most points and while he might not push himself too hard tonight, he might still be motivated to put on a show. Davis can cast plenty of shade at the Pelicans if he plays well, as it’s rumored to Pelicans want to shut him down after the All-Star break, and the NBA wants to keep their top players active.

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) is "good to play" for Sunday's All-Star game, according to Marc Stein.

    The Pelicans probably don't like this as they don't want him on the court for regular games. If you're playing DFS for the All-Star game, count on Davis playing, and we respect your dedication to the game.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • 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 Wolves' first game after the All-Star break.

    The Wolves return to action on Friday at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. Krawczynski also noted that Robert Covington (knee) should not be far behind Jones' return, 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