February 25, 2019, 12:19 am
With the Oscars taking center stage on Sunday, the NBA had a light schedule with only three games on the docket. Spike Lee (congrats on the Oscar), left his courtside seat for the limelight of the Academy Awards, his New York Knicks earned their first home win since December 1st 2018, narrowly missing the unenviable record of the most consecutive home losses. With the Oscars in mind, I’ll be recapping tonight’s games with an added a bonus category if any of the players or coaches are the running for one of the NBA’s season-ending awards.
Don’t forget to Ross daily
Terrence Ross was the Magic’s leading scorer in a revenge game on Sunday in the 113-98 win over the Kawhi-less Toronto Raptors with 28 points, nine boards, three triples and an assist. Ross is a top-120 asset and will be a key contributor if the Magic have any chance of sneaking into the playoffs, they’re currently one game out of the eighth seed. Nikola Vucevic continued his All-Star season with a full box score, posting 23 points, 12 boards, four assists, three triples, two steals and a block. Jonathan Isaac is starting to get it together, scoring 16 points with three triples, six boards and two blocks. Aaron Gordon has regressed this season and is outside the top-200 over his last two games. Tonight he hit 2-of-11 shots for seven points, seven boards and six assists.
6th Man of the Year – Terrence Ross
The Serge sits early, misses the counters
The Raptors acquired Marc Gasol and on Sunday he drew his first start for them, posting 16 points, fivee boards, five assists and a triple. The Raptors, without Kawhi Leonard, ended up losing by 15, so we’ll see if Nick Nurse sticks with his new lineup. Earlier in the season Nurse would rotate Jonas Valanciunas with Serge Ibaka based on matchups, and so far that’s been the plan. Ibaka was solid tonight but failed to register any counters, a key to his value, with 14 points and five boards. Kyle Lowry was electric with four steals, 19 points, 10 assists, two triples and four boards. Pascal Siakam double-doubled with 10 points, 11 boards, two blocks, two triples and three assists.
Most Improved Player – Pascal Siakam
Jokes in the frontcourt, party in the back
Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap put together a frontcourt display on Sunday, combining for 43 points, 32 boards, five assists, six steals, three blocks and two triples in a 123-96 win over the Clippers. The game was close heading into halftime but a strong finish to the second frame and a blistering start to the third put the game out of reach. Denver’s backcourt had four players in double figures, led by Jamal Murray’s 16 points, six assists and two triples. With everyone getting healthy Denver has six players who’re capable of scoring in double digits in their backcourt. Isaiah Thomas continued his return to the court, logging 24 minutes with 10 points, four assists and a block while Monte Morris scored a dozen with a swat, two steals and two triples. Gary Harris will continue to come off the bench for the time being but he outscored the starter, Malik Beasley 14 points to eight while showing similar contributions across the box. This will likely become a timeshare with only Murray being safe from the daily swings.
MVP – Nikola Jokic
Coach of the Year – Mike Malone
The ship’s taking on water, all-hands-on-deck
The Clippers are currently tied with the Spurs as the 7th and 8th seeds in the West, with the Kings a game outside of the playoffs. They’ll need to do their best to avoid a 0-of-10 shooting night from their starting backcourt moving forward if they want to make it into the postseason. Patrick Beverly missed his only shot of the night while rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed all nine of his as they combined for 3 points, eight assists, two steals, two blocks and seven boards. Landry Shamet, who’s also been starting scored eight points with three steals, a triple and an assist, but only took six shots in 28 minutes. Hopefully, his comfort level continues to grow and he can help his new team, while boosting his owners three-point counts. Lou Williams scored a point-per-minute with 24 points in 24 minutes while fellow Sixth-man-of-the-year candidate Montrezl Harrell struggled with foul trouble and only clocked in 16 minutes. Harrell still delivered eight points, two blocks, a steal and three assists to salvage the night.
6th Man of the Year – Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell
No need to lose your Knickerbockers
The New York Knicks snapped an 18-game losing streak at home on Sunday with the 130-118 win over the Spurs. If the Knicks lost tonight’s game, they would have tied the NBA’s longest home losing streak. Luckily, they matched up with a squad that struggles to deal with fast, athletic teams and they ran them out of the gym. The Knicks had six players in double figures, all of whom scored at least 15 points. Mitchell Robinson was the top producer fantasy-wise with 15 points, 14 boards and five blocks. Damyean Dotson, the rookie out of Oregon hit eight triples, the most since 2014 by a Knick, en route to 27 points, five boards, two assists and a steal. Dennis Smith Jr. missed a spectacular poster opportunity at one point but still brought it with 19 points, 13 assists, two steals and six boards. Kevin Knox scored 19 with 10 boards, one triple, two assists and a block. Emanuel Mudiay scored 12 points in an eight-minute stretch at one point and finished with 19 points with three triples.
The Moment was Spurred too late
The San Antonio Spurs are now on the bubble of the playoff chase out West, with an identical record to the Clippers while owning the tiebreaker. They fell behind early in this game and the last-minute fourth-quarter run saw them close the gap to single digits before the Knicks put the game out of reach for good. DeMar DeRozan did his best with 32 points, nine boards, four assists, a steal and a block. LaMarcus Aldridge was frustrated all night with foul trouble, only logging 21 minutes with 18 points, three boards and two blocks. Bryn Forbes continued his steady play with 15 points, two triples, six boards and three assists. Jakob Poeltl barely avoided being on Dennis Smith’s poster but delivered some value with 12 points, nine boards and two assists.
March 19, 2019, 11:02 amTJ Warren - F - Phoenix Suns
Speaking to reporters in New Orleans, T.J. Warren made it clear that he wants to play before the season ends.
Warren has missed the last 22 consecutive games with what Phoenix has called right ankle soreness. He had a right foot fracture in late January of 2016 that required surgery and cut his second NBA season short as he only played in 47 games. He then played 66 and 65 games the next two seasons, respectively, but he’s only played 43 games this year, knocking down a career-high 42.8 percent of his 3-pointers after shooting a career-low 22.2 percent last season. The Suns now have only 10 games remaining for the season and Warren hasn’t returned to practice yet so hopefully you have moved on from him.
Source: Arizona Central
March 19, 2019, 10:04 amDeyonta Davis - C - Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are signing center Deyonta Davis of G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors to a 10-day contract.
With Tyler Zeller’s deal expiring, the Hawks were looking for some extra frontcourt help due to injuries to Omari Spellman, Alex Poythress and Miles Plumlee. Davis is averaging 9.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in 43 contests with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League and he is just 22 years old.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
March 19, 2019, 9:56 amCJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Damian Lillard said that he wants for C.J. McCollum to be himself when he comes back and that he is prepared to finish the regular season without him.
This is just speculation on Dame’s part but it gives us a good perspective about McCollum’s injury and how he really was able to dodge a bullet. Jack Layman started on Monday but he fell short of any meaningful production while Rodney Hood and Seth Curry were able to carry some of the offensive burden for the Blazers. With McCollum expected to be evaluated in about a week from now it’s really up in the air if he will be able to come back and help fantasy owners.
Source: Joe Freeman on Twitter
March 19, 2019, 9:43 amCody Zeller - F/C - Charlotte Hornets
Cody Zeller has officially been ruled out for the game against the Sixers tonight.
Zeller is going to miss his fourth consecutive game making him a tough hold in standard leagues unless you can stash him in an IR spot. Bismack Biyombo should continue to start while Frank Kaminsky has been a nice late-season surprise after spending most of the year buried in Charlotte’s bench.
Source: Hornets PR on Twitter
March 19, 2019, 1:12 amDamian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard led the Blazers to a 106-98 win over the Pacers on Monday with 30 points on 9-of-16 shooting while adding 15 assists, two rebounds, three steals, a block and four 3-pointers.
With C.J. McCollum out for the rest of the week we can expect a lot of Dame Time going forward. Lillard drained shots from all over the floor, including a 3-pointer at nearly half court, and was dishing clean dimes to his teammates in the pick-and-roll all game. He logged 40 minutes and controlled the game the entire time he was on the floor and is going to have himself a big week.
March 19, 2019, 1:09 amMaurice Harkless - F - Trail Blazers
Maurice Harkless scored 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting while adding five rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on Monday.
Harkless came up big for Portland on the defensive end tonight and props to you if you streamed him. The Blazers play again on Wednesday and Sunday so it'll be hard to incorporate him as a streamer.
March 19, 2019, 1:09 amJusuf Nurkic - C - Trail Blazers
Jusuf Nurkic double-doubled on Monday before fouling out with 18 points and 11 boards to go with two assists.
He fouled out on a questionable offensive foul while setting a screen against Wesley Matthews, but was able to provide owners with a solid line before exiting Monday's game. Nurkic destroyed the offensive glass tonight for the Blazers and his high activity on that end kept the Blazers in the game when their offense was stalling. He's been a top-40 player over the past month and it looks like he's going to finish the season strong.
March 19, 2019, 1:08 amJake Layman - F - Trail Blazers
Jake Layman started on Monday, but laid an egg, scoring zero points on 0-of-5 shooting with three rebounds.
Layman drew the start, but put up a dud in the first half and didn't see much action in the second half. Rodney Hood (24 minutes with 11 points, one triple, one rebound, two assists, two steals and a block) and Seth Curry (25 minutes with 11 points, three triples, a rebound, an assist and a steal) took his minutes to close out the game but neither are attractive fantasy options.
March 19, 2019, 1:06 amRodney Hood - G - Trail Blazers
Rodney Hood started the second half on Monday and scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting while adding a rebound, two assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer.
Hood started the second half in place of Jake Layman and produced a solid line, but we're skeptical on his ability to repeat this in the Blazers' next two games. Portland has many capable options at the wing spot so replacing C.J. McCollum's (knee strain) production will be more of a committee approach.
March 19, 2019, 1:06 amMyles Turner - F/C - Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner led the Pacers in scoring on Monday with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting while adding 10 rebounds, an assist, two steals and two 3-pointers.
Turner had the hot hand early for the Pacers tonight as he was hitting what seemed like every jump shot he took. 13 of his 28 points were scored in the first quarter and although his offense was on point, he blocked zero shots tonight. He had what looked like a clean block on Damian Lillard's 3-point attempt late in the fourth quarter which was called a foul, but the bright side is that owners only have to wait until tomorrow for Turner to swat some shots.