February 5, 2018, 2:27 am
There was apparently some football game being played on Sunday evening, so our basketball games started earlier than usual.
We had four that started at 9am on the left coast and two just after noon. We’ll break em all down shortly, but first a quick note from The Editor…
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GRIZZLIES-86 AT RAPTORS-101
My son woke me up Sunday morning when he saw that this was on and so I caught the whole game. My biggest takeaway: the Toronto second unit looks really good.
Fred VanVleet led the way with 28 minutes and finished with 13 points, seven boards, eight dimes and two steals and is worth scooping up as he’s getting this kind of run.
Delon Wright scored 15 and added four rebounds and four steals in 24 minutes and has value in deep leagues.
Backup big men Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl played 25 and 23 minutes respectively and finished with 10-3-3-1-3 and 9-5-2 lines, and while neither moves the needle much for fantasy they’ll be crucial if the Raps want to have playoff success.
Because of the solid bench play, the starters didn’t have to do much heavy lifting, with DeMar DeRozan‘s 13 points being the high mark. Both guards shot poorly as DD made just 5-of-14 from the floor but chipped in two rebounds, assists, and steals.
The one Raptor who was efficient was Jonas Valanciunas, who made 5-of-8 for 12 points and finished one rebound shy of another double-double.
Even in a game where almost nothing was falling, the Raptors still found a way to add to their league-leading home win record and maybe one day the basketball community will figure out that this team is for real.
For the Grizzlies it was only the starters that made any noise and Marc Gasol lead the way with 20 points, six boards, five dimes, one steal and two blocks on 6-of-16.
He is a potential trade candidate but if he stays in Memphis he should feast the rest of the way as the first option on offense.
Andrew Harrison had a nice game with 16-4-3 and a block on 6-of-12 shooting and should be picked up for those in need of guard help as he looks to be the starter for the foreseeable future.
Another decent pickup for the second half is Dillon Brooks, who made just 4-of-10 for 12 and five boards tonight but should get plenty of burn as the starting small forward.
JaMychal Green went 4-of-9 and finished with 11-6-1-1-1 and a 3-pointer and was heating up just before he went down with an injury in January.
The Grizz are a wreck this season and with nothing to play for there could be plenty of opportunity for PT for guys like Deyonta Davis, Jarell Martin, and Wayne Selden, so keep an eye on the situation.
BUCKS-109 AT NETS-94
The Bucks handled their business in Brooklyn and Eric Bledsoe broke out his slump with 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting with four boards, six assists, a steal and three 3-pointers.
He had been pretty bad over the past couple of weeks but has historically been one of the better point guards in the league, so hopefully, this is him turning the corner.
Anther Buck breakout came from big man John Henson who finished with season-highs in points(19) and boards(18) and chipped in a couple of blocks with a few dimes for good measure. He’s been solid since Jason Kidd got fired and this is a glimpse of what he can do when he’s motivated.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a mild ankle sprain in the fourth but played 27 minutes and finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a block. Check back before their next game to make sure he’s good to go.
Khris Middleton shot 7-of-11 from the floor for 16 points with four rebounds and one assist while Jabari Parker came off the bench for 17 minutes and 11 point with one board, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
D’Angelo Russell continued coming off the bench for the Nets and shot just 1-of-8 from the floor for three points with seven assists and a block in 18 minutes. He should start getting his minutes ramped up a bit next week.
Spencer Dinwiddie just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 assists but shot just 3-of-11 from the field. The field goal percentage is a downside with him but he did chip in three steals to take out some of the sting.
Jarrett Allen continued to start and continued to play well as he made 7-of-11 from the floor for 14 points with seven boards. The blocks haven’t been there yet but they’ll come and Allen looks ready to have a big second half.
BLAZERS-96 AT CELTICS-97
The Celtics got a big win at home without their All-Start guard Kyrie Irving(much to the chagrin of Raptors fans).
It was vintage Al Horford as he led the way with a team-high 22 points, 10 boards, five dimes, two blocks and two from deep on 8-of-12 from the floor.
Jayson Tatum also stepped into the scoring void left by Irving with 17 points, two boards and five assists of his own.
There weren’t any other standouts for Boston in this game, but they did get small contributions from Aron Baynes, Semi Ojeleye, Daniel Theis and Abdel Nader, who scored eight, six, six and seven points respectively.
It’s not much but every point made a difference, even the four from rookie Guerschon Yabusele, without which the Celtics would have lost.
It was the usual suspects for the Blazers, led as usual by Damian Lillard with 21 points and C.J. McCollum with 22. Lillard added nine assists and six rebounds to his line while CJ tacked on three of each.
Al-Farouq Aminu made just 4-of-13 from the floor and finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists and has been struggling to find any consistency in the offense.
The one surprise for Portland was from Maurice Harkless, who dropped 19 points with eight rebounds and five 3-pointers. He had 11 points in his last 10 games combined; there’s nothing to see here.
HAWKS-99 AT KNICKS-96
The Knicks lost a game they should have won, thanks in large part to Tim Hardaway Jr’s third poor shooting performance in a row.
He made just 3-of-9 in this one and finished with nine points four boards and one assist and should be planted firmly on fantasy benches while he shoots his way out of his slump.
Not that he was alone in his inefficiency, Kristaps Porzingis made just 9-of-20 from the field but the difference is he made up for his lackluster shooting with eight boards, four steals and five blocks.
Enes Kanter and Jarrett Jack both made 5-of-1 as Jack scored 11 and Kanter posted 10 with 12 boards and three assists while their backups, Kyle O’Quinn and Trey Burke posted lines of 11-6-3-2-1 and 14-2-2-1 respectively.
Both can have value in the right format and I’ve been making use of KOQ in a 16-team points league, while Burke will continue to push Jack for minutes and can contribute to deep league teams in points and assists.
Kent Bazemore led the way for Atlanta with 19 points, three rebounds and two assists on 7-of-17 from the floor and although he’s put together some decent scoring games recently he doesn’t offer much else.
Speaking of the rookie, he didn’t have the best form and made just 2-of-8 from the floor for six points with five rebounds but chipped in an assist, a block and a couple of steals to salvage his line.
Taurean Prince followed up his 30 point explosion with a 13 point, three rebound, two assist game while Dennis Schroder only hit 2-of-16, but he did make all six free throws and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and six dimes.
Mike Muscala got some extra burn and finished with 15 points, six rebounds and an assist but that was because of Ilyasova being out so he can be left on the wire.
LAKERS-108 AT THUNDER-104
The Lakers went into Oklahoma City and pulled off a stunner on the back of Brook Lopez and his 20 points, five rebound, five assist performance. He’s still one of the biggest busts of the year, but he scored 19 in the last game so maybe he’s on the right track.
Josh Hart got another start and had another double-double with 14 points, 11 boards, two assists, two steals and two 3-pointers and looks like a nice short-term pickup for as long as Lonzo Ball is out.
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench and dropped 18 with two rebounds, two assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes and continued to produce in Ball’s absence.
Carmelo Anthony shot a woeful 3-of-13 from the floor but pulled down 13 boards and blocked three shots to go with his 10 points.
By contrast, Paul George made 10-of-19 from the floor and finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three 3-pointers and two steals and has really upped his efficiency over the last week, shooting above 50 percent over that span.
Steven Adams was quiet in this one and finished with 12 points and five rebounds, but added five steals to his line while rookie Terrence Ferguson was even quieter, going scoreless in 11 minutes.
Russell Westbrook dropped a game-high 36 points on 15-of-25 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the line with five boards, nine assists, one steal and seven turnovers.
The lone contributor off the bench was Jerami Grant who scored nine points and added 10 rebounds on 3-of-6 from the floor, and that lack of second unit production is going to be a big problem come playoff time.
HORNETS-115 AT SUNS-110
In the last game of the day, Charlotte went into the desert and got a win with the help of an 18 point, 14 rebound double-double from Dwight Howard who also added two assists, three steals and three blocks.
Kemba Walker matched his scoring output on 6-of-19 from the floor and added two rebounds, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers.
Nicolas Batum continued his turnaround with 22 points on 7-of-15 from the floor with four rebounds, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers of his own.
The Hornets got important contributions from a pair of bench players as Jeremy Lamb and Treveon Graham both scored 15 points with four rebounds in 23 minutes, Lamb topping off his line with three dimes, two steals and two blocks.
Josh Jackson put us his fourth straight 20-point game with 23-5-1-1-1 on 10-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the line. The one blemish was the five turnovers, but owners who snagged him off the wire are pretty happy.
Devin Booker continued to play the point and just missed a double-double with 18 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four 3-pointers on 7-of-14 from the field.
That wraps up this week’s dish, thanks for reading and apologies for missing last week(if anyone noticed).
Be sure to check out Bruski’s lineup show for premium subscribers and Dan’s Fantasy NBA today pod for everyone.