• While the Cavs were introducing four new major pieces to their roster, the best team in the East added one minor piece and kept on rolling over the opposition.

    There were eight games on Sunday’s schedule, so let’s get right to it.

     

    Editor’s Note: You can get the Hoop Ball Premium Membership for FREE (normally $29.99) by signing up as a new user with DraftKings. Check this page to see how the promotion works.

     

    RAPTORS – 123 AT HORNETS – 103

    In the early game, the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors went into Buzz City and took care of business, beating the Hornets easily.

    DeMar DeRozan broke out of his mini-slump and shot 10-of-19 from the floor and finished with 25 points, eight dimes, two boards, one steal and a block.

    Kyle Lowry only took 3-pointers in this one, making four to finish with 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds while backup Fred VanVleet scored 10 with four dimes and three boards in 17 minutes.

    Jonas Valanciunas continued making it rain from deep as he went 2-of-2 from downtown and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 21 points and two assists in 24 minutes. He’s really turned a corner this season and looks poised to provide nice fantasy value after the break.

    Serge Ibaka was quietly efficient, going 5-of-8 from the floor for 10 points with eight rebounds, while OG Anunoby left with an injury and zero points after just 11 minutes.

    C.J. Miles had a huge game off the bench as he came in and went 8-of-11 from the floor with 6-of-9 from deep for 24 points and is worth scooping up for owners in need of 3-pointers.

     

    Kemba Walker led the way for Charlotte with 23 points, nine dimes, two rebounds, a steal and a block and should be a solid top-30 player the rest of the way.

    Dwight Howard logged a double-double with 17 points, 13 boards and three assists on 7-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the line.

    The rest of the starting five couldn’t get anything going, highlighted by Nicolas Batum going 0-of-10 from the field.

    He did chip in five assists, one rebound and a steal but that field-goal percentage is hard to stomach.

    Frank Kaminsky and Tyler Zeller each scored 10 off the bench and notably, the newest Hornet, Willy Hernangomez had his debut stalled until next week.

     

     

    CAVS – 121 AT CELTICS – 99

    The new-look Cavs spoiled Paul Pierce‘s party by putting a beating on Boston.

    LeBron James had a scare early when he had to leave after hurting his knee. He came back in to post his third double-double in as many games with 24 points, 10 dimes, eight boards, one steal and a block on 9-of-20.

    J.R. Smith scored 15 with six boards and three triples while Cedi Osman remained in the starting five and put up 12 points, five boards and two threes.

    It’s best to wait and see with Osman in standard leagues because Rodney Hood, who went 6-of-11 for 15 points with three 2-pointers in 16 bench minutes could supplant him in the starting five soon.

    George Hill dropped into the starting five right away and scored 12 points with three rebounds, one assist and two 3-pointers and should be the starting point guard going forward, although LBJ will do most of the facilitating on offense.

    As for the other newcomers, both Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr came off of the bench, but both saw over 20 minutes. Clarkson went 3-of-4 from downtown and finished with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist and two steals while Nance was quiet offensively and scored just five with four boards and three dimes.

    It will take them a few more games to get the rotation sorted out, but the early signs point to this being a good deadline for the Cavs, as The KIng’s new teammates looked ecstatic to be on a legitimate championship contender.

     

    It was a forgettable game for the Celtics, as even Kyrie Irving was “quiet” and finished with 18 points, five assists. three rebounds and one 3-pointer.

    Marcus Morris scored 17 on 6-of-12 with three rebounds, three triples and one rebound, but the rest of the starting five failed to reach double figures.

    Al Horford scored just nine points but still helped fantasy owners by handing out six assists to go with six boards, two blocks and a steal.

    Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown went a combined 6-of-20 and finished with nine and five points respectively. Tatum has been a bit quiet lately and will benefit from the All-Star break. This could be a good time to float a buy-low offer.

    The team-high was actually from Terry Rozier, who shot 6-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line for 21 points, nine boards, five assists and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes off the bench. He’s worth picking up if he happens to be available as long as he’s getting starters minutes.

     

     

    PISTONS – 115 AT HAWKS – 118

    Detroit lost one they needed to get to keep their playoff aspirations alive. They currently occupy the ninth spot and losses like these aren’t going to help them move up.

    Reggie Bullock continued his strong play with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and three from deep and if he happens to be available in your league, pick him up.

    Blake Griffin scored 23 points with seven boards and six assists but he did it on 7-of-21 from the floor. He still the focal point of this offense so his production should remain constant the rest of the way.

    Andre Drummond had another double-double with 25 points and 15 boards on 8-of-14 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the line. He only had two assists in this one but also had three blocks and a steal.

    Stanley Johnson and Ish Smith combined for 10 points and that’s pretty much the reason Detroit lost. They need better production from their starters and will be happy when Reggie Jackson returns to the fold to help carry the scoring load.

    James Ennis played 23 minutes off the bench and scored 14 with four boards and a couple of steals while Anthony Tolliver scored 12 with four assists and three triples in his 22 bench minutes and both can be useful in very deep leagues.

     

    Dewayne Dedmon got the start for the Hawks and responded with 20 points, 13 boards, one assist, three steals and a block and coach Bud said that he plans to stick with this starting unit for now so Dedmon’s owners will be glad to hear that.

    Dennis Schroder scored 23 with seven dimes, two steals, three rebounds and three turnovers on 7-of-13 from the field and 9-of-12 from the line.

    Ersan Ilyasova had a good game with 19 points, five boards and two steals on 5-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-4 from deep.

    Kent Bazemore, Tyler Dorsey and Malcolm Delaney each chipped in 10 points, but Bazemore is the only one with any real fantasy value.  Taurean Prince had one the worst games of his career, going just 1-of-7 from the floor and finishing with two points and three assists.

    Finally, we got nine points, three rebounds and three assists from John Collins, who saw just 19 minutes off the bench.  Both players should be held, but owners should probably leave them on the bench for now.

     

     

    KNICKS – 113 AT PACERS – 121

    The Pacers defended their home court on the back of a 30-point near triple-double from Victor Oladipo.  He padded his scoring line with eight boards, nine dimes, two 3-pointers, a block and six steals. He made 10-of-24 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line and is going into the break as one of the biggest steals of the fantasy draft.

    Bojan Bogdanovic made 4-of-7 from deep and finished with 20 points, three rebounds and two assists while Thaddeus Young broke out of his recent slump with 18 points, 11 boards, five assists, two 3-pointers and a block. We hope you bought on him before this game because the price just went up.

    Myles Turner had a good-but-not-great 13 points, six rebounds and a block on 5-of-10 from the floor and Domantas Sabonis was terrible, making just 2-of-11 for six points but pulled in 10 rebounds and handed out three assists.

    Turner is obviously a hold and hopefully he gets it going after the break, and as much as we want to hold Sabonis, we understand if you want to cut him for a more reliable option.

    Lance Stephenson played 21 minutes off the bench and finished with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers. He could benefit from more minutes and it’s possible that if Cory Joseph continues to struggle in the starting five(two points), Lance could carve out a bigger role.

     

    The Knicks held their own in this one with a solid performance from Michael Beasley, who finished with 16 points, 13 boards and three assists.

    He’s going to get all the minutes and shots he can handle for the rest of the season.

    Tim Hardaway Jr finally made some shots in this one(7-of-17)and finished with 17 points of his own while adding two steals, three assists, three triples and one rebound.

    Not wanting to be left out, Enes Kanter also scored 17 points while adding 11 boards and one assist in his return after missing a couple of games to have an oral surgical procedure.

    Emmanuel Mudiay made his Knicks debut and had a double-double in 29 minutes with 14 points and 11 dimes on 5-of-14 from the floor and saw more minutes than Jarrett Jack(8) and Trey Burke(8), but not as many as Frank Ntilikina, who got 31 minutes off the bench and scored 12.

    Courtney Lee rounded out the starting five with 14 points and four assists on 4-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line. He’s worth using in deep leagues for owners in need of some low-end scoring and 3-pointers.

     

    GRIZZLIES – 92 AT THUNDER – 110

    If ever there was a sign that this is a lost season for Memphis, this was it, as they played an OKC team with no Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony and still lost by almost 20.

    Tyreke Evans didn’t get traded at the deadline and so returned to the starting lineup and finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer on 3-of-11 from the floor.

    It’s hard to trust him the rest of the way as he could either get injured or the Grizz could just opt to shut him down, so tread carefully.

    Another surprise to survive the deadline is Marc Gasol, who scored a team-high 18 points, with six rebounds and two assists and is going to have a rough time for the next couple of months.

    The best potential fantasy asset from this team could be JaMychal Green, who had a double-double in this one with 14 points and 12 boards while chipping in two assists, one steal and a block.

    He should get plenty of burn down the stretch and can help owners in points and rebounds while shooting a decent percentage from the line.

     

    Without 2/3 of their Big-3 the Thunder needed to get production from their role players and they got it from Alex Abrines with 16, Raymond Felton with 14 and Patrick Patterson with 14 points in their starting roles.

    None of them will be much help outside of deep leagues one the Thunder are back to full-strength, which could be as soon as the next game.

    Another deep league producer was Jerian Grant, who put up 14 of his own in 25 minutes off the bench.  He too is probably best left on the wire.

    This was the Paul George show and he shone to the tune of 33 points, eight dimes, three steals and one rebound on 5-of-10 from deep, 10-of-24 overall and 8-of-11 from the line.

    Surprisingly Steven Adams didn’t do much in this one as the Thunder offense consisted of them basically just taking 3-pointers(29 attempts from deep) and he finished with just nine points and added nine boards, one assist, one steal and one block.

     

     

    KINGS – 106 AT WOLVES – 111

    Minnesota took care of business at home one and held off a Kings team that got 23 points from rookie De’Aaron Fox, who shot 8-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the line while chipping in two rebounds, two assists, three steals and five turnovers.

    This is his team to run with the rest of the way and as such he should be the best source of fantasy production.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic had decent game with 13 points, eight assists, three rebounds, one steal and two 3-pointers and is probably the second player that should be on fantasy rosters the rest of the way.

    Zach Randolph scored 12 with six boards and should start as long as Skal Labissiere is out, and Willie Cauley-Stein will get the lion’s share of the center minutes, but only managed 10 points with seven boards in this one. There will be better games for him ahead.

    Justin Jackson started but only scored seven points while Buddy Hield got 19 minutes off the bench and put up 16 points with four assists, two steals, one block and one assist.

    Neither one can be trusted for any kind of consistent production.

     

    The Wolves are the most predictable teams in fantasy and this was more of the same.

    Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers on 10-of-17 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the line.

    He’s pretty good.

    Jimmy Butler made 5-of-9 from the floor and finished with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and three turnovers on 5-of-9 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the line.

    He too, is good.

    Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points and added eight boards, three dimes and one 3-pointer but turned the ball over four times while Taj Gibson went 6-of-11 for 15 points with six rebounds.

    Jeff Teague had a double-double with 12 points and 10 dimes but he’s been maddeningly inconsistent this season.

    He’s a must own for his ability to have these games, but he can just as easily finish with six points and two assists.

    Super-sub Jamal Crawford came off the bench for 12 points in 22 minutes because that’s what he does.

     

     

    MAVS – 97 AT ROCKETS – 104

    This game surprised no one as the Rockets did what they were supposed to.

    What has been a surprise though has been the recent play of Dwight Powell, who got another start in this one and responded with an 18-point, 12 rebound double-double as he continued his upward trajectory.

    He showed great chemistry with Dennis Smith Jr, who finished with a double-double of his own, posting 16 points with 11 dimes on 7-of-18 from the floor.

    Powell could see a big jump in his minutes and role post-break as the Mavs continue to rest Dirk Nowitzki and play for a top draft pick.

    Yogi Ferrell had a team-high 20 points on 7-of-14 from the field and added five rebounds, one assist, three steals and four 3-pointers.

    He’s worth the flier, just don’t expect 20-point games to happen too often.

    Harrison Barnes was abysmal from the field once again, making just 4-of-15 and finishing with 11 points, five rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer. Can’t live with him, can’t drop him.

     

    It was business as usual for the Rockets as James Harden led the way with 27 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and four triples on 6-of-19 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the line.

    Chris Paul was quiet early but had a big second half and finished with 25 points, eight boards, nine dimes, three steals and two from deep on 9-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line.

    Clint Capela tried to single-handily cost fantasy owners the free throw category as he went 4-of-11 from the stripe but made 6-of-10 from the field to finish with 16 points, 11 boards, three blocks and a steal.

    Gerald Green got in on the action with 12 points off the bench, all on 3-pointers.  He’s been hitting them with regularity lately so go ahead and plug him in if you need triples.

     

     

    JAZZ – 115 AT BLAZERS – 96

    The final game of the day saw the Jazz roll into Portland and put a hurting on the Blazers, led by rookie Donovan Mitchell and his 27 points, six boards, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers on 10-of-24 from the floor.

    Joe Ingles made 6-of-9 from deep and finished with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.  We told you so.

    Derrick Favors bounced back from a couple of single-digit efforts with 15 points, 11 boards, two steals and a block on 7-of-13 from the floor while Rudy Gobert had a double-double of his own with 12 and 11 on 3-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line while adding three assists and two blocks.

    The newest member of the Jazz Jae Crowder had a solid debut with 15 points, five rebounds, three dimes, three triples and one steal on 5-of-11 from the field in 29 minutes off the bench.

    Those are useful numbers in most formats so owners can take a gamble on him to see how this goes.

     

    As expected, Damian Lillard led the way for the Blazers with 39 points on 12-of-25 from the floor and 13-of-13 from the line while adding three rebounds, one assist, two 3-pointers and a block.

    C.J. McCollum added 22 points on 8-of-22 with three rebounds, four assists, two steals and two triples while Shabazz Napier came off the bench for 10 points and three rebounds in 17 minutes.

    Jusuf Nurkic played just 14 minutes and didn’t score a single point, and only managed three rebounds and two assists while Ed Davis saw 29 minutes off the bench and grabbed 12 boards to go with eight points and a steal.  He’s worth a long look in deeper leagues if he’s going to be getting the majority of the center minutes.

     

    That’ll do it for this week, thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the other side of the All-Star Weekend.

Fantasy News

  • Paul Millsap
    PF, Denver Nuggets

    Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are all candidates for "load management" next season, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

    This is pure speculation by Kosmider, but this does hold some weight after the Nuggets' playoff run last season and the league-wide popularity of resting players. Millsap would seem to be at the most significant risk to get rested due to his age and quality of depth behind him. Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee would be the biggest beneficiaries should Jokic or Millsap miss time.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Thabo Sefolosha is among the attendees at Rockets minicamp in Las Vegas with a host of other notable free agents this week.

    Sefolosha will be joined by the likes of Nick Young, Luc Mbah a Moute, Raymond Felton, Terrence Jones and Corey Brewer. The odds of someone making the Rockets' roster increased with Iman Shumpert declining an offer sheet from the team.

    Source: Kelly Iko on Twitter

  • Iman Shumpert
    SG, Free Agent

    Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Iman Shumpert has decided to decline the contract offer from the Rockets and will not attend team minicamp in Las Vegas this week.

    It'll be back to the drawing board for Shumpert. It's unsure exactly where he'll end up now, or if he and the Rockets will come to a new agreement in the future. Shump can get steals and threes, but otherwise isn't much of a fantasy asset, unless he finds himself in an ideal situation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    After an extraordinary summer of 2019, which saw a cavalcade of stars change teams, executives around the league expect that this year’s transaction wires will be dominated by the trade market.

    “We’ve been getting calls all summer,” one general manager said. “I think if you look at the market, there is going to be a very robust trade market this winter for a few reasons.” The big driver figures to be the open, empty crater that the 2020 free-agent class has become. Teams hoping to make significant changes in their direction won’t have free agency to lean on and trades will be the only way to go. If you enjoyed the twist and turns that came with the very busy NBA free-agency period this summer, then buckle up as the trade market means more could be on the way this season.

    Source: Sean Deveney on Twitter

  • Michael Beasley
    PF, Free Agent

    The Shanxi Loongs of the Chinese Basketball Association are trying to bring Michael Beasley back to China.

    Beasley agreed to terms with the Pistons last month but he never officially signed with them as the team opted to go with Joe Johnson instead. Beasley has already played in China with Shanghai, Shandong and last year with Guangdong averaging 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

    Source: Sportando

  • Justin Simon
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Former St. John’s guard Justin Simon has signed an Exhibit-10 contract with the Bulls.

    Simon is 6’5” and went undrafted out of St. John’s, where he averaged 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, while also being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. The Bulls currently have 14 players on guaranteed contracts with guard Shaquille Harrison all but locked in to the 15th and final one, so that means Simon is likely headed to the Windy City Bulls of the G League.

    Source: Adam Zagora on Twitter

  • Mychal Mulder
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have announced the signing of guard Mychal Mulder.

    Mulder played last season with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League and averaged 8.8 points in Summer League this year. He has good range but is unlikely to contribute much at the NBA level in 2019-20.

    Source: Miami Heat

  • Vincent Poirier
    C, Boston Celtics

    Nicolas Batum praised the play of Celtics center Vincent Poirier at the FIBA World Cup.

    According to Batum, Poirier "is a center that can block shots and control the paint." A native of France, Poirier has performed well over six seasons in Europe. Nevertheless, he should only be a depth option for the Celtics with Enes Kanter starting.

    Source: NBC Sports Boston

  • Zach LaVine
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine has been fine tuning his playmaking skills in the offseason, according to an interview with FanSided.

    LaVine enjoyed the best field goal percentage of his career for the Bulls last season. He also scored a career best 23.7 points per game. However, LaVine averaged 3.4 turnovers and his fantasy value will increase if he can take better care of the ball.

    Source: FanSided

  • Tyler Herro
    PG, Miami Heat

    According to Ira Winderman, rookie Tyler Herro is unlikely to start for the Heat at the beginning of the season.

    The Heat drafted Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Dion Waiters should be the primary shooting guard at the outset. However, expect Herro to get plenty of opportunities to contribute.

    Source: Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel