October 29, 2018, 5:16 am
In what could have been a relatively quiet Sunday with only four games on the slate, we ended up seeing some big men put up some amazing performances. However, the top waiver-wire breakout of the night ended up being a guard who was dropped after being an afterthought through the first five games of the season, Elie Okobo. Isaiah Canaan started but ended up sitting out most of Sunday’s matchup with the Thunder due to a slight tweak in his ankle, something he described as “precautionary” after the game. When Canaan is ready to return, he might not have a chance to start as in his own words Okobo had a chance to “get them nerves out” tonight and delivered.
Seven Is A Lucky Number
Stephen Curry should no longer surprise anyone when he sets a record that has to do with 3-point shooting, and on Sunday he did exactly that when he nailed seven of them en route to 35 points, seven boards and three assists. He also set an NBA record with seven straight games with at least five triples, he’s already hit 46 of them on the season.
Oh yeah, the Warriors won and improved to 6-1 on the season, despite the Nets best efforts. The win must have also been the sweetest part of the night.
Durant had the line of the night for the Warriors, pumping out 34 points on pristine percentages with eight boards, six assists and contributions across the box score. On the year Curry is 2nd overall and Durant is currently 4th, in 8/9-cat leagues, trailing only Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis.
Draymond Green continued to do his thing, with 13 assists and five steals against the overmatched Nets. He added eight points and four boards and will continue to be a multi-cat contributor for your team. While the scoring is a bit low you have to appreciate that it helps you out in percentages where Green can sink your H2H team in any given week.
Rounding out the Warriors’ traditional big-4 is Klay Thompson who’s started off the season icy. He’s fallen outside of the top-170 in both formats and is shooting under 40 percent for the season. We’ve seen this before for stretches with Klay so hold firm if you’re an owner and if you’re a believer feel free to float an offer of a top-90 player who you’re not attached to and see if his current GM is freaking out. On the night, Thompson scored 18 points with five boards, a triple, a steal and a block.
The Warriors’ bigs rotation is in shambles. Stay away for now. None of their three centers logged over 13 minutes or under 10.
Do You Caris About Me?
It might be early but I’m on the Caris LeVert train this season. The young fella has four games with over 20 or more points scored this season, after only having six such games last year. He looks comfortable playing on and off the ball and is continuing to expand his game. Most importantly for me, is that it seems like his coach trusts him. Looking closely at his numbers I expect his percentages to fall off a bit but see space for improvements in his defensive stats while maintaining around 30 minutes a night.
On Sunday LeVert led the Nets in assists with seven while scoring 23 points with four triples and three boards. He hit 9-of-18 shots which is no easy task against some great 1-on-1 defenders in Klay, Green and Durant.
For the Nets to have a valid shot at the playoffs they’ll need LeVert to continue to lead, and they’ll need D’Angelo Russell to hit his shots. Tonight, Russell did just that, scoring 25 points with five triples on 9-of-14 shooting. He added six boards and assists with chipping in a block. This was his second straight game with impeccable shooting and the first time he’s shot over 50 percent in back-to-back games as a Net. I don’t trust him, and you probably shouldn’t either but Russell is still a couple months shy of 23 and is playing for a new contract this season. If he can stay healthy (48, 63 games last two seasons), and play team basketball, he could outperform all expectations.
Jarrett Allen is a good basketball player. That much is clear after he went toe-to-toe with Anthony Davis earlier in the week while constantly delivering efficient lines. On Sunday he shot 5-of-6 to finish with 11 points, two blocks, four assists and three boards. He’s only attempted five triples this season, hitting 2-of-3 during the first game of the year.
As Allen continues to grow into his own as a contributor expect to see his attempts go up, but early on I am encouraged by his maturity to not fall in love with the 3-point line.
In other Nets news, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played in his third game back from injury and you should start to keep an eye out on him. Jared Dudley has been keeping his spot in the starting five warm and Jefferson could be back in the lineup as early as next week. Based on how he looks so far, it might take RHJ a couple more weeks to get his sea-legs back.
The Wild West is full of big men
I love it when someone messes around and drops a triple-double. So I was quite disappointed when DeAndre Jordan barely missed such an opportunity on Sunday against the Jazz.
He finished with a career-high nine assists, 12 points and 19 boards. He also hit 4-of-4 free throws and after digging into the numbers, I’m not sure if I’m more impressed with his assists or the 28-percentage point jump in free throw percentage so far this year. Last season Jordan set a career high by hitting 58 percent of his freebies. So far through six games, Jordan has hit a shade under 87 percent of his free throws. Maybe Jordan was under hypnosis the whole time he was playing for the Clippers?
Despite the monster performance by Jordan, the Mavs fell 104-113 to the Jazz who are looking like a top-flight team in the West.
Dennis Smith Jr. continued his field goal percentage improvement campaign, hitting 12-of-19 shots and three triples to tie his career-high of 27 points on Sunday.
Luka Doncic on the other hand, struggled with his shot, only hitting 5-of-13 shots to finish with 14 points, five assists and six boards. He added two triples and a steal and will continue to improve as he can do no wrong this season as a Mav.
After missing the first four games of the season Harrison Barnes continued to work himself back into shape with 35 minutes on Sunday. He’s shot under 30 percent in both games so it might be in your best interest to keep him benched next week if you have other options.
Another 20-bomb from Wes Matthews, his fourth straight, and one that featured him making 10-of-12 free throws. Wes is currently right at 20 ppg on the season and we’d recommend floating some offers out there before Harrison Barnes gets up to speed. Matthews didn’t attempt over eight free throws all of last season and only scored 20 or more once in back-to-back games. Right now he’s right slightly ahead of last season’s valuation, but given the addition of Doncic and the growth of Smith Jr. Wes could experience getting squeezed sooner rather than later.
The smooth sound of Rudy
The top producer of the night was Rudy Gobert, who bested DeAndre Jordan with the win and the tastier double-double. Rudy hit 9-of-13 shots and 5-of-6 free throws to score 23 points with 16 boards, three blocks, two steals and two assists. Rudy is producing first-round value so far and all we can do is continue to hope that his health holds up.
Jingling Joe, on the other hand, struggled from the field, only hitting 4-of-11 shots, with three of those being triples. He ended the night with 12 points, seven boards, five assists and a steal. Ingles has improved his field goal percentage the last four seasons and if he can pull off one more such feat he might just stick in the top-50. Considering last season was his first as a full-time starter I trust in Joe and despite being on the wrong side of 30, Ingles spent the majority of his early career as a benchwarmer.
Has Donovan Mitchell ever scored 20 or more points without recording a 3-pointer and a free throw? No, not until Sunday, when he hit 10-of-19 shots to finish with 20 points, four assists, a block, a steal and a board.
Jae Crowder started in place of Derrick Favors (left knee soreness) and played well until he sprained his ankle with a minute left in the contest. It was reported that Crowder has a Grade-1 sprain which could result in him missing a week or possibly playing in Utah’s next game on Wednesday. He finished the game with 15 points, six boards and a sprinkle of bonuses across the box.
Not to be forgotten, Ricky Rubio chimed in with eight assists, six points, a steal and a triple in the 113-104 victory. Rubio is ice-cold from the field to start the season, but on the bright side, he’s gotten his assists numbers up. Feel free to float some buy-low offers out to any frustrated Rubio owners. He’ll be able to get his all season and won’t continue to shoot this poorly.
Burning for some Okobo
The Suns faced off with the Thunder in what should have been a standard affair. With Devin Booker, out the Suns were expected to lose handily to the slumping Thunder, and they did.
What was an unexpected and awesome surprise was the play of Elie Okobo, who had the door to a starting role wide open.
Isaiah Canaan only lasted six minutes before “minorly tweaking” his ankle which resulted in Okobo logging a career-high 31 minutes while dropping 18 points, eight dimes, five boards and three triples. By the way, each stat I just mentioned was a career-high and the same goes for his field goal percentage. Okobo was drafted with the first pick of the second round this summer and has more upside than Canaan who was drafted 34th overall in 2014. I’m running out to my local waiver wires and trying to scoop up Okobo with the expectation that he has the most upside of any point guard currently on the Suns roster.
It’s uncommon for a center to go a game without attempting a free throw, DeAndre Ayton has now gone two without an attempt, and only attempted one three games back. You might think his scoring has suffered but he’s averaging over 20 points per game during that three-game stretch.
On Sunday Ayton lost the matchup with Nerlens Noel but still delivered for fantasy GMs with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double. So far Ayton seems to be living up to his billing as a 3rd round selection and might even outperform expectations once the Suns get healthy.
T.J. Warren got back to scoring on Sunday, hitting 8-of-17 shots to score 18 points with two triples while pulling down eight boards. Warren has the talent but for now is in limbo as he only logged 22 minutes to Ryan Anderson’s 31 and Trevor Ariza’s 28. I view Warren as a high upside bench guy at this point, if he or any of the Suns’ wings get moved he has the talent to deliver buckets in bunches.
The presents came early this Season!
No, no, no! Steven Adams went down with a calf injury during warmups. It came out of the blue and likely blew up more than a few DFS lineups. That’s where the Thunders chief free-agent acquisition comes into play. Nerlens Noel. Noel delivered his best performance in years with a double-double brimming with Gobert-like numbers. He started the fill-up with 20 points, slabbed on a solid 15 boards and finished it off with four steals and a block for good measure. Not bad for 26 minutes in a spot start. While Noel has flashed this brilliance before, the real question is how professionally will he approach the next game, and will he be ready to come off the bench with this same level of focus. It’s not likely that Noel is on the waiver wire, but it wouldn’t hurt to check if you’re in a 12-team league.
Despite ceding the starting role two games ago Patrick Patterson decided to show up on Sunday with 17 points off the bench in 30 minutes. Jerami Grant has the higher ceiling for fantasy as Patterson moves like he’s wearing a weighted vest on defense but keep in mind that Billy Donovan will likely roll with the hottest hand on any given night. Tonight, was a bit different for Grant though, with Adams and Hamidou Diallo (1 game suspension) missing he was able to log a team-high 37 minutes to score 14 points with four boards, a steal and a triple.
Russell Westbrook did Russell Westbrook things, playing 31 minutes with 23 points, nine boards, seven assists and four steals.
Paul George did a bit more. He filled up the box as Durant-lite scoring 23 points with five assists, four triples, four assists, three steals and two blocks. He’s still a bit behind on his shooting percentages for the season but expect George to settle back into a top-20 valuation in the coming weeks.
Call me when it’s over
The Wizards looked lost. They also lost 104-136 to the Clippers.
Scott Brooks might be the second coach fired in as many days.
In all fairness, the game was closer than the box score describes. The Clippers were able to pile on the points late with a rowdy home crowd cheering on Boban, which still doesn’t excuse a 1-5 start by the Wizards in the newly realigned Eastern Conference.
After the game Doc Rivers highlighted that Scott Brooks told him that he can tell that the Clippers players get along, that he can feel their energy. Scotty, it might be time for you to beam yourself up. Despite my doom and gloom, Yahoo reports that Brooks is not on the hot seat yet as the franchise is waiting to see how things look with Dwight Howard back.
Looking through the Wizards’ performance you’ll see solid lines from a few guys. John Wall had 18 points, five assists, four steals and three boards. Jeff Green had 12 points, eight boards, two assists.
Earlier in the week, Bradley Beal complained about his teammates taking bad shots and possessions off. He scored 20 tonight on 8-of-16 shooting with seven boards and a block.
The team as a whole simply looked disinterested.
Otto Porter seems to be in a massive funk, missing wide open shots at unprecedented levels. The guy has been a dead-eye shooter in the past, but so far this season he’s completely off. Maybe there is something to the rift that was reported between him and Brooks. Either way, this Wizards team is unbearable to watch, and as Doc said, “they don’t get along, you can feel their energy.”
I’m on a Boban!
How much can you accomplish in 12 minutes?
Well if you’re 7’3, and named Boban Marjanovic, a whole lot! Boban only played 12 minutes, all in the fourth on Sunday and ended the night as the Clippers top fantasy producer.
But wait, tell me more you say!
Boban emerged in the fourth after the crowd serenaded Doc Rivers with Boban chants throughout the third quarter. He efficiently rattled off 13 points, grabbed nine boards and said no-no to two shots. He only missed one field goal and hit his only freebie while adding an assist and a steal for good measure. Boban delivers in 12 minutes or less!
The rest of the Clippers didn’t sit this one out though, as Tobias Harris was the leading scorer with a solid double-double of 22-points, 11 boards with two triples. Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander almost filled up the box like the back of his jersey with 10 points, eight boards, a team-high seven assists, two steals and a triple… I expect him to get a few triple-doubles this year, he doesn’t look like a rookie out there. Sweet Lou did his version of the “Boban” on Lou Williams’ bobblehead night, scoring 17 points in 16 minutes, adding six assists. The bobblehead itself was awesome as it’s holding two 6th man of the year trophies.
In other news, defensive aces, Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley went on the offensive on Sunday. Neither guy managed to hit more than a single three in a game all season. Tonight, they both hit three each. Bradley might be emerging from his slump so keep an eye on him, he’s going to get solid playing time thanks to his defensive prowess but if he can score in the teens with solid percentages he’ll be worthy of a roster spot. Beverley is in a bit more crowded situation but could possibly benefit from a trade. I would hold off on picking up Beverley as he’s likely to experience a minutes squeeze from the glut of Clippers guards before Bradley.
I believe in both Montrezl Harrell and Danilo Gallinari at this point. That said Galo could go down at any moment so enjoy the high while it lasts. Given the interest around Boban and the production of Harrell, we might see the Clippers look to bench Gortat. That said Gortat is averaging under 18 minutes a game as a starter. Expect Harrell to continue to eat into that and if Danilo misses time Harrell will also benefit.