December 3, 2018, 7:28 am
Sunday was a rough night for fantasy basketball as we saw multiple players start games and fail to finish them for a variety of reasons. The biggest news of the evening was Devin Booker coming up lame after chasing after a loose ball. It looks like his left hammy is acting up again, he previously missed three games due to it and will likely miss at least this week to get it right. Joining Booker on the shelf were Rodney McGruder with a right ankle sprain, and Marvin Williams who sprained his shoulder. One player refused to stay down though and that was Dennis Smith Jr., who exacted revenge on the Clippers by getting the game-winning block after having his tooth knocked out, and placed back in during the third quarter.
Welcome to La-La Land
The Lakers started us off on Sunday with the early home game and came ready to play for the post-brunch crowd. The game was a blowout by the second half although the Lakers first had to overcome a first-quarter deficit to finish the game 120-96. Once the Suns lost Devin Booker, you could tell they were deflated. Taking advantage, Kyle Kuzma filled up the box with 23 points, eight boards and five counters while Lebron James did the usual with 26 points, six boards and eight assists. JaVale McGee was still productive despite only playing 21 minutes thanks to 7-of-10 shooting and eight boards, one steal and a block. Given this was a blowout special we saw Michael Beasley drop a season-high 14 while rookie Moritz Wagner scored his first NBA bucket and went on to finish with 10 points with two triples. Wagner sat out the start of the season due to a knee bruise so it’s great to see him out there, he could be interesting in Kuzma ever goes down due to his ability to space the floor.
The Sun sets early on Sunday
The Suns are having a rough go at fielding their best five players this season. Right as it seemed like there might be some continuity building they lost their best player for what we can assume will be a minimum of a week. They were already without T.J. Warren (sore ankle) on Sunday and he will now assume the primary scoring role for the Suns while Booker recovers. We saw some young Suns deliver on their upside with Booker and Warren out tonight as Josh Jackson scored 13 points with two steals, a block and six boards while Mikal Bridges hit two triples to score 11 points with two steals and four boards. Deandre Ayton pulled down10 boards with 10 points and a block but only logged 25 minutes due to the blowout, Richaun Holmes took advantage of the 23 minutes he logged to finish with four blocks, three steals, and 15 points. He’s worth a look in 12-team leagues at this point given he’s a per minute monster and if he gets up to 24 minutes a night with regularity, he will be worth owning in 10-team leagues.
Pelicans Fly High
Anthony Davis took home Sunday’s line of the night with 36 points, 19 boards, eight assists, two steals, two boards and two triples. The Pelicans beat the Hornets 119-109. Davis’ line was so dominant that his value was greater than the second (Damian Lillard) and fourth (LaMarcus Aldridge) best lines combined. He wasn’t alone though as four more Pelicans made it into double-figures led by 19 points and eight assists by Jrue Holiday. The real surprise was Darius Miller scoring 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting while filling in for E’Twaun Moore who missed the game with a leg injury. Moore should be back soon as he was questionable tonight.
The Hornets lost one of their hottest players on Sunday with Marvin Williams hurting his shoulder. Kemba Walker continued his slump, finishing the week outside of the top-160, an amazing feat for someone who is a top-15 player on the season in 8-cat. Expect him to bounce back shortly, he should be a lock for top-20 production. With Marvin out, Miles Bridges started the second half and delivered with 16 points, three triples, eight boards, two blocks and an assist. Bridges might have a shot at sticking in the starting five if he plays well considering that the Hornets drafted him this season with the 12th overall pick. Give him a look in your 12-team league. Tony Parker continued his solid play while moving into 18th all-time on the assists list. It looks like he could make it into the top-15 this season if he stays healthy and continues to log consistent minutes. Parker scored 10 points with five assists.
It’s getting hot in here, so wear Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is a bit of an enigma. Some days he disappears and then days like tonight, he scores 23 points with 20 boards and three blocks against a top-tier center in Rudy Gobert. He only hit 1-of-6 freebies but was dominant otherwise for owners in 34 minutes, helping the Heat win 102-100. As a result, Bam Adebayo struggled, only logging 14 minutes with a block, a steal, two boards and two points. Dwyane Wade has found the fountain of youth in Miami, He’s continuing his top-tier play with 15 points, eight assists, three boards, two triples, a block and a steal. With Rodney McGruder going down Wade will only continue to log more minutes. If he’s on the wire feel free to pick him up, even in 10-team leagues as he’s been pushing for top-100 value and should see even more time next week.
Ricky Rubio has had a rough start to the season, returning top-80 value despite being a top-60 contributor last season. The main issue has been his jumper which always seems to round into form post-All-Star break. On Sunday he hit 9-of-14 shots to lead the Jazz in scoring with 23 points, six assists, five boards, two triples and a steal. Donovan Mitchell bore the burden of shooting poorly, only hitting 8-of-24 shots for 18 points, five boards and a steal. Rudy Gobert put up a fight against Whiteside to finish with 12 points, 18 boards, three blocks, a steal and four assists. As a reminder the Jazz cycle Jae Crowder and Derrick Favors based on the matchup, tonight they went with Jae and he scored 19 with three triples and six boards while Favors contributed with two steals, two blocks, seven boards and five points.
Sixers big-four are scary
The Sixers have four really good players and the rest of the team might not see the court on a playoff-bound team. That said, those four players are excellent, with each of them scoring at least 15 points on Sunday in the 103-95 win against the Grizzlies. Joel Embiid scored 15 with 14 boards, a block and a steal while J.J. Redick continued to feast off the pick and roll with his big to the tune of 24 points with three triples and three boards. Ben Simmons double-doubled with 19 points, 12 boards, six assists and two steals. The coolest of all, Jimmy Buckets scored 21 points with thee boards, two assists and a steal.
There’s no J in Memphis or Grizzlies but somehow there are three.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is going to be a fantasy stud for years to come. On Sunday he led the Grizz with 17 points, a triple, three blocks, a steal and three boards. He only logged 23 minutes due to foul trouble but he still outplayed Joel Embiid and Marc Gasol in terms of fantasy production. Gasol was no slouch though with 12 points, two triples, two blocks, a steal, three assists and four boards. Unfortunately, he only hit 4-of-14 shots on the evening. Look out for JaMychal Green, the Grizzlies need consistency off the bench and he’s emerging as the most consistent option, returning top-120 value thanks to almost doubling last season’s steals numbers. It might not last but on Sunday he stole the ball four times while scoring 14 points with seven boards.
Spurs score at will to end the week
The Spurs came into Sunday’s game after two disappointing blowout losses. They emerged with a much better result, winning 131-118 against the Blazers who are suddenly all the way down in 7th in the West. The Spurs can thank their two All-Stars for the win with DeMar DeRozan leading the way with 36-points, eight boards, six assists and two steals while LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points, eight boards, three assists, a steal and a block.
Remember Anthony Davis’ line tonight? It was more valuable than both of these lines put together
In an interesting development, Derrick White continued to play heavy minutes, logging 33 on Sunday while scoring 10 points with five boards and six assists. He might overtake Bryn Forbes soon as the Spurs are outside of the playoffs right now and White plays a more complete game. Feel free to give him a look next week before it’s too late.
Right Now the Blazers couldn’t stop the halftime entertainment from scoring
The Blazers are 1-5 in their last 6 games while giving up over 121 points per game. On Sunday the same issues occurred as the Spurs hung 131 on the visitors. Damian Lillard did his job though, scoring a game-high 37 points with 10 assists, three triples, two steals and two boards. Considering the Blazers slump I would give Dame a hard look in all three of the Blazers games if I was playing DFS this week. He looks poised for an eruption as he tries to steady the Blazers. Al-Farouq Aminu had his second straight 20-point performance which is not the norm. He added nine boards and four triples while getting one of every other stat. Moe Harkless also made it back into fantasy relevancy with his first full box of the season, scoring eight points with seven boards, three assists, three blocks, two triples and a steal. Keep an eye out for Harkless, he has a balky knee but could produce similar lines as he gets comfortable.
Get some teeth in the game!
Dennis Smith Jr. had a memorable game. First, he lost a tooth, courtesy of a Patrick Beverley elbow and then he secured the win late in the game with a block. He finished the evening with a full box, clocking in with nine points, five assists, three boards, two steals, two blocks and a triple. Feel free to sell high if you can on DSJ. Harrison Barnes also hit a high, with 30 points, nine boards, three triples and a block. This is his first thirty-bomb of the season. Barnes has seen his value climb over the last month and he’s hit at least three triples in each of his last five games. He’s still not bringing much outside of scoring but if he can hit three triples a game he is a good bet for top-75 production despite the rest of the box lacking much substance. DeAndre Jordan had some fun against his former team, finishing with 16 points, 23 boards, three assists, a steal and a block. At one point they went to the hack-a-Jordan but DeAndre made his shots, finishing 4-of-7 from the stripe. J.J. Barea was ejected in the fourth as things got chippy, he finished with 24 points, five boards and four assists.
We’ve spotted land!
The Clippers avoided a scare on Sunday when Montrezl Harrell went down with a shoulder injury but was able to return to the game. Harrell’s motor is key to the Clippers success, he finished the game with a team-high 23 points, 10 boards, a block and a steal. Danilo Gallinari was hot to start the game but cooled late to finish with 21 points, six boards, two threes and a steal. Lou Williams did his thing off the bench with 21 and eight assists while Patrick Beverley did his thing and knocked out a tooth and then got ejected in the fourth quarter. Beverley is only worth a look if you need help in counting stats from your guard position as he won’t get enough points or assists to really help your squad, he finished with three points, a triple, three assists, four boards, two blocks and a steal.
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February 16, 2019, 11:50 pmHamidou Diallo - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Hamidou Diallo puts 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.
February 16, 2019, 9:37 pmJoe 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.
February 16, 2019, 9:07 pmJayson 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.
February 16, 2019, 8:45 pmJayson 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.
February 16, 2019, 4:24 pmHasheem 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
February 16, 2019, 4:04 pmDirk 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
February 16, 2019, 3:58 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) said he is unsure if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday.
Davis said the plan is to play, but we will have to wait and see if he's feeling okay. He's certainly not worried about saving himself for the second-half of the season.
Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter
February 16, 2019, 12:26 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) says he is healthy and plans to play in Sunday's All-Star game.
Irving missed the Celtics' last two games but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to miss any more with the current injury. Terry Rozier was a hot pickup when Irving initially went down but now goes back to being a handcuff. Irving has put up top-10 per-game value this year with no holes in his fantasy game but he has already missed 11 games. He has missed at least 10 games in seven of his eight NBA seasons so this is something fantasy owners should already be used to.
Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter
February 16, 2019, 12:22 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis said that the Celtics are on his list of preferred destinations.
Moreover, Davis added "they were never not on my list," though he also confirmed that the initial reports of his list including the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks were true. Initially it had been said that the Celtics are not a preferred landing spot, and Davis' dad would rather his son play elsewhere. It sounds like everything is on the table now that his push to end up on the Lakers has failed, as Davis also said "all 29 teams" (sorry New Orleans) are on his list. Get ready for more updates on AD's thoughts as the season rolls on.
Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter
February 16, 2019, 10:29 amNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have agreed to extensions with president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and GM Arturas Karnisovas.
The Nuggets haven't reached the playoffs in the last five seasons but will surely end that streak this year. Their abundance of talent and depth currently has them in second place in the Western Conference although Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas have all been injured for much of the season. Their draft choices and player development over the years has been a big catalyst for this as one could look at Nikola Jokic and the breakout seasons of Jamal Murray, Torrey Craig, Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, all of them having been with Denver since their first day in the NBA.
Source: Denver Post