February 4, 2019, 4:39 am
I hope everyone had a safe Super Bowl Sunday. We saw the Blazers execute a trade, while Tom Brady won his sixth NFL Title. He’s the GOAT by too many measures to mention.
On the NBA side of the house, the Blazers added a top-180 asset in Rodney Hood, moving him into the top-5 of Blazer’s fantasy producers, behind Al-Farouq Aminu and the Blazers trio of scorers. Considering Moe Harkless’ continued struggles, it won’t be a surprise to see Hood look to take over the starting small forward slot for the Blazers. Hood’s primary contributions will come from beyond the 3-point line where he’s shooting 36 percent on the season, placing him as the fifth most precise shooter on his new squad. To summarize, if Rodney hood plays the fifth most minutes per game, he should be the fifth most productive player while hitting the fifth highest percentage of threes if all things hold. He has some top-120 upside if he can get up to three triples a game, but that would require Hood’s health to hold, a feat he’s struggled with.
A Manhattan affair
The Grizzlies are a team in flux. With their rumored interest in trading, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley for assets each and every game can be viewed as an interview, especially against a Knicks team that recently acquired Dennis Smith Jr. fresh off a triple-double in MSG. The Grizzlies won 96-84 in the matinee affair, Conley scored 25 points with eight boards, seven assists, three steals, a block and two triples. Not to be forgotten, a three-time All-Star, Gasol delivered 24 points, nine boards, five assists, a triple and a steal. Recently acquired Justin Holiday scored 19 points with five triples, five boards and two assists, he was acquired for a similar two second-round selections as Hood. New acquisition Bruno Caboclo logged his first start of the season but fizzled with a steal and no other noteworthy contributions. He could be a streaming option post-deadline.
The Knicks had three new players debut on Sunday, with DeAndre Jordan making the biggest splash with 12 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a block in 29 minutes, a similar line to what was expected in Dallas. The real danger in New York is Coach Fizdale has benched various productive players on a whim. Wes Matthews profiles as the most likely Knick to earn that distinction, which further increases his likelihood of being bought out at some point. Matthews only scored five points in 28 minutes but rookie Kevin Knox picked up the slack with 17 points, two boards, and three triples, shooting 5-of-18 from the field. Knox was a bit too aggressive, possibly overplaying his hand with a few new mouths to feed. Dennis Smith Jr. earned the start, logging 26 minutes with eight points, six assists, three boards, a steal and a block. The defensive stats can add up for Smith so hopefully, he keeps up the aggression. Luke Kornet hit three triples with three blocks while scoring 11 points, he should be on your radar in 12-team leagues as a streaming option.
The Celtics got the party started in New England on Sunday with a 134-129 win over the Thunder in Boston. Led by Kyrie Irving’s 30 points, 11 assists, four boards and four threes in 28 minutes the Celtics saw everyone who played score in double-figures, save one Gordon Hayward. The Marcus’ did their jobs, with Smart scoring 18 points with two steals, seven assists, four triples and four boards. Marcus Morris scored 19 with seven boards and two triples. The Celtics gave their fans the most exciting NBA game of the night and then had the enjoyment of the Super Bowl.
The Thunder came up short on Sunday, while most will treat Russell Westbrooks streak of consecutive triple-doubles as a feat, we’ll be sure to point out that his late-game mistakes cost his team a solid opportunity to win. Russ scored 22 points with 12 boards, 16 assists, two steals, four turnovers and a triple. Steven Adams continued his work with 16 points, nine boards and two steals. Paul George and Dennis Schroder both shot under 41 percent. George hit 11-of-27 shots while Schroder hit 5-of-13 shots, finishing with 37 points and 16 respectively. George bought his multi-cat abilities, with a box score brimming at the seams with five triples, four assists, four boards, a steal and a block.
In Canada, it’s just another regular Sunday
The Raptors closed out the Clippers on Sunday 121-103, in such a manner that no starter logged over 26 minutes. Kawhi Leonard who played that team-high 26 minutes finished with 18 points, three triples, five boards and a block. C.J. Miles had himself a game with three triples, a steal, a block, 15 points, four boards and an assist. It’s unlikely he filled the box again this year. Serge Ibaka recorded his sixth straight double-double, his longest such streak of the season. Pascal Siakam is a gem, in 22 minutes he still delivered 15 points, four boards, a block and a triple. He could be better than Leonard by the end of Leonard’s extension (if he resigns in Toronto), but we have a long way to go till my prediction matters.
All eyes on South of the border… U.S.A.
The Clippers were blown out on Super Bowl Sunday in Toronto with the biggest development including a banged up Tobias Harris who can’t wait for the All-Star break to get here. He scored 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting and seems to be struggling most from deep due to a right shoulder strain. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stepped up though with a team-high 19 points, five boards, three assists, a steal and two blocks in 26 minutes. Shai is Canadian, and this was his first game on Canadian soil. Montrezl Harrell fouled out in 30 minutes with 10 points, four blocks, a steal and three boards. Boban Marjanovic continued his streak of games in 17 minutes on Sunday, scoring 10 points with nine boards and two steals. Sweet Lou Williams scored his normal 18 points off the bench but the line was hollow with just two boards and three assists.
May 25, 2019, 11:29 pmEric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe scored an inefficient eight points (3-for-9 FGs, 1-for-3 3-pointers, 1-for-2 FTs) in Saturday's loss while adding five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two turnovers.
Bledsoe seemed to ebb and flow all series and just could not find the consistency that the Bucks needed during the Eastern Conference Finals. He has always been able to produce outside of scoring but his team really needed him to put the ball in the hoop this game.
May 25, 2019, 11:19 pmBrook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez scored 18 points on Saturday's Game 6 loss adding nine rebounds, one assist, four blocks and zero 3-pointers.
Lopez had a productive 4th quarter for the Bucks scoring six points in the paint against the Raptors front court. Unfortunately, he could not get it going throughout the rest of the game and caused most of his damage at the free-throw line, going 8-for-9.
May 25, 2019, 7:58 pmPatrick McCaw - G - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw, who has been dealing with a personal issue for the last few games, is active for Game 6 on Saturday vs. the Bucks.
It looks like McCaw got things sorted out. With him active now, the Raptros will get a bit more depth at the guard spot. That said, Fred VanVleet has been playing well, so McCaw will not likely see a lot of burn tonight outside of potential garbage minutes (if any).
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
May 25, 2019, 7:26 pmPatrick McCaw - G - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw (personal) is back with the Raptors but will not play in Saturday's Game 6.
McCaw has been away from the team and hasn't played at all in the Conference Finals. Odds are he needs time to work back into shape, and we have a hard time imagining that Nick Nurse introduces him into the mix in Game 6 or a possible Game 7.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
May 25, 2019, 6:42 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
According to Anthony Puccio of SNY, there's mutual interest between Kyrie Irving and the Nets.
Irving reportedly likes what the Nets have been building, and the fact that he grew up as a Nets fan certainly doesn't hurt either. The Celtics and Knicks are also known suitors in the Irving sweepstakes, with the Lakers becoming a more popular rumored destination by the day. Brooklyn would love to pair Irving with D'Angelo Russell and have room to add a max free agent.
May 25, 2019, 6:33 pmOG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors
OG Anunoby was spotted on the court before Saturday's Game 6, where he was taking jumpers and working on dribbling and footwork drills.
Anunoby still has no timetable to return but he is trending in the right direction. Should the Raptors make the Finals the general expectation is that Anunoby would at least be an option at some point, but there's not much to act on until we get a more concrete update from the team.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
May 25, 2019, 1:45 pmJimmy Butler - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers
Arash Markaz of the LA Times said on Colin Cowherd's show that he's been told the Clippers do not want to sign Jimmy Butler.
Markaz hinted that the Clippers will go after bigger names than Jimmy Butler this offseason and that the Lakers would likely land him if they were to offer him the max. LeBron James has reportedly already reached out to Butler as well. He will be 30 years old at the start of season and should remain in his prime for at least a couple more seasons. Over 12 playoff games with the 76ers, he averaged 19.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.0 triples while shooting 45.1 percent from the field.
Source: Arash Markazi on Twitter
May 25, 2019, 9:31 amTaylor Jenkins - C - Milwaukee Bucks
The Grizzlies have interviewed Bucks assistant coach Taylor Jenkins for their vacant head coaching position.
Jenkins has been on Mike Budenholzer's staff over the last six years with the Hawks and Bucks and was a head coach for the Spurs G-League team prior to that. He is the sixth known candidate to interview for the position with the others being Alex Jensen, Nate Tibbetts, Jarron Collins, Igor Kokoskov and Adrian Griffin.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 9:48 pmMike DAntoni - Coach - Houston Rockets
Despite Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta stating his intention to bring back coach Mike D’Antoni, recent departures of key staff may indicate that the team is trying to nudge MDA out according to NYT’s Marc Stein.
Large parts of D’Antoni’s staff including assistant coach Roy Rogers, assistant Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho and player development coach Irv Roland (noted for his work with James Harden) will not be returning next season for the Rockets. There’s some speculation that despite Fertitta’s comments, GM Daryl Morey isn’t fully on board and might be the primary reason behind the recent firings. D’Antoni has one more season on his contract and it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be another shoe to drop.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 4:32 pmKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant (calf strain) still hasn’t progressed to on-court work.
Durant has already been declared “unlikely” for Thursday’s Game 1 of the Finals and considering DeMarcus Cousins has practiced in full and scrimmaged with the team, it’s looking like he might return to action before Durant. There’s almost a week until the Finals start so we’ll have an update before then.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter