• Voting for the NBA All-Star game is coming to a close soon so don’t forget to get those tweets out! DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry #NBAVote  On a busy Friday night of NBA action, Hoop-Ball has got you covered! The Process is still going strong, the Utah Jazz put the D in Defence, and Isaiah Thomas comes up clutch! Week 12 is almost over so let’s hop right into Saturday’s Daily Dish! Also follow @HoopBallTweets for up to the minute updates or hit me up on Twitter (@NguyenTDanh) if you have any questions!

    Sixers 102, Hornets 93

    Another night, another win for this young Sixers squad. Joel Embiid lead the way with his 24 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and three blocks in the win over the Hornets. The Process will not play on Saturday but that won’t stop him from continuing his entertaining All Star campaigns. Dario Saric had himself a nice game with 15 points (six treys), two assists and one steal off the bench. He’s definitely worth a look in 14 team leagues but we need to see more consistency for standard leagues.

    T.J. McConnell is still holding on to the starting PG job and finished with four points, three rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Between him and Sergio Rodriguez (11 points, one rebound, four assists and two steals), McConnell is the one you want to own. Robert Covington quietly continues to roll, scoring 11 points (three treys) with six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block and has been having a top-30 stretch over the last five contests. Nerlens Noel also chipped in with six points, two boards, one steal and four blocks off the bench.

    It was a tough loss for the Hornets as they try to stay competitive in the Eastern Conference. Nicolas Batum (knee) returned to action tonight and scored 19 points (three treys) to go with his five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kemba Walker added 17 points with four rebounds, three assists and two steals but shot an awful 7-of-23 shots in the loss. Cody Zeller had a big double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and one block while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists one steal and one block. Both should be owned.

    Raptors 132, Nets 113

    This game was actually close by halftime but the Raptors figured it out in the second half. The All-Star backcourt did their thing again, DeMar DeRozan dropped 28 points with four rebounds and two assists while Kyle Lowry filled it up with 20 points (three treys), six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Both deserve to be All-Stars and one should be a starter. Jonas Valanciunas (14 points and 10 rebounds) and DeMarre Carroll (18 points, 11 rebounds) both double-doubled tonight. Both have been playing well as of late so owners are hoping this keeps up.

    Lucas Nogueira got the start at PF tonight and continues to punish those who slept on him. He finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists and four blocks. We’ve been saying it for a while now and we’ll continue to say it, Bebe is a must-own player! Cory Joseph also came out of nowhere tonight with 16 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

    Bojan Bogdanovic lead the Nets in scoring with 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and no defensive stats (typical). Brook Lopez contributed across the board with his 20 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Trade rumors will begin to heat up for the big man soon and if he’s gone, Justin Hamilton will be the guy you aim for. Hamilton had 11 points (one trey), two rebounds, two assists and one steal tonight and continues to be one of our favourite stashes. As for Caris LeVert, he scored three points.

    Celtics 103, Hawks 101

    What more can we say about Isaiah Thomas? He hit the game winner in this one, scoring 28 points (five treys) to go with four rebounds and nine assists. If we were excluding James Harden and Russell Westbrook, Thomas is making a strong case for MVP this season as well. Al Horford made his return to Atlanta for the first time and contributed across the board with 10 points, six assists, six rebounds, one steal and one block. The most important thing is he walked out with a victory against his former team.

    Jae Crowder had 18 points (four treys) and nine rebounds but no defensive statistics. Marcus Smart continued to start for Avery Bradley (Achilles) and he chipped in with nine points, two rebounds, four assists and four steals. He has always been a steals specialist and has been playing well in his increased role. Kelly Olynyk provided scoring off the bench by exploding for 26 points (four treys), eight rebounds, three assists and one steal. He actually started the second half in place of Amir Johnson and it’ll be interesting to see what happens moving forward.

    Just like Horford, Paul Millsap also contributed across the board, finishing with 23 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block. The Hawks’ bench actually did a good job of contributing to this game. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block while Malcolm Delaney had himself 17 points, four rebounds and six assists. Don’t be surprised if Delaney steps up from this point on. Dennis Schroder put up a dud tonight with just four points, three rebounds and three assists.

    Bucks 116, Heat 108

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (illness) was back to his old tricks and looked much better in Friday’s win over the Heat. The Greek Freak had 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block and at this rate you can lock him into his first All Star game. Jabari Parker lead all players in scoring with 24 points to go with his five rebounds, two assists and one block. These two are going to be a problem for the rest of the league for a long time.

    Rookie Malcolm Brogdon continues to roll with the starting PG job, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. His development has been tremendous and can only go up from here. Greg Monroe double-doubled off the bench with 16 points and 11 rebounds. He’s been playing well and is the center fantasy owners want to own on the Bucks. Michael Beasley also chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.

    Despite the Heat losing once again, solid fantasy lines were still there for owners. Hassan Whiteside scored 19 points to go with nine rebounds, two assists and one steal. Owners would’ve liked to see him grab a couple more rebounds and add in some blocks but it’ll have to be next game. James Johnson double-doubled with 10 points and a career-high 12 assists to go with two rebounds and two blocks. Please tell me he is not on your waiver. Tyler Johnson added 14 points, two rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. His defensive stats make him a very fun guard to own. Goran Dragic finished with 19 points and two blocks and Luke Babbitt had a season-high 16 points (four treys).

    Timberwolves 96, Thunder 86

    This was a big win for a young squad. Karl-Anthony Towns had himself a monster game, going for 29 points (11-of-17), 17 boards, one assist, two steals and three blocks. Efficiency has been his issue all season long but if he can turn that around, look out. Ricky Rubio continued to be the magician that he is with 14 assists to go with his 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.

    Andrew Wiggins dropped 19 points with six rebounds, one rebound, one assist, one steal and one block. Hopefully he’ll do more on the defensive side in the second half of the season. Brandon Rush continued to fill in for Zach LaVine and had a solid 11 points (three treys), four boards, two steals and two blocks.

    The Thunder couldn’t pull out the victory despite another triple-double from Russell Westbrook. This was his 19th of the season, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds, 12 assists and two steals. He did have 10 turnovers and shot poorly going for 7-of-23 from the field, so we can sort of see why they lost. Victor Oladipo continues to trend up with 19 points, five rebounds and one steal. He still hasn’t hit his full stride yet but is definitely heading towards the right direction. Enes Kanter also looked great tonight with 20 points (one trey), eight rebounds and two assists and is returning mid-round value in his last 10.

    Grizzlies 110, Rockets 105

    The Grizzlies bounced back from their loss to the Thunder with a close win over the Rockets. Tony Allen flipped the switch tonight and came through on the offensive side of the ball with 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal. He bounced back after his recent duds and should continued to be owned. Mike Conley nearly triple-doubled with 17 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two steals and one block. He’s a huge part of their success so hopefully he can stay healthy.

    Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are still causing havoc for a lot of teams and they dominated tonight as well. Gasol had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block while Randolph double-doubled with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals. As for Chandler Parsons, well he’s still trying to figure things out.

    Of course James Harden lead the way for the Rockets with 27 points, three rebounds nine assists and one steal. The Grizzlies play tough and no one else really got it going tonight. Everyone contributed a bit with the second highest scorer being Eric Gordon with 13 points (three treys). Trevor Ariza had 12 points and nine rebounds while Montrezl Harrell pitched in 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Patrick Beverley at least had a decent fantasy line with 6 points, two rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.

    Magic 115, Blazers 109

    This was another close game on the schedule and the Magic pulled out the victory over the Blazers. Nikola Vucevic scored a season-high 30 points with 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks. He continues to trend up and should be a steady player to own for the rest of the season. Elfrid Payton finally came alive tonight with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block. The PG situation is still disruptive but he did get 35 minutes tonight compared to the 17 that D.J. Augustin got.

    Serge Ibaka (shoulder) returned to action with a double-double, scoring 13 points (three treys) with 10 rebounds. He’ll be starting next to Vucevic moving forward so his offensive rating may take a dip; hopefully he makes up for it with more defensive stats. Aaron Gordon put up a dud with eight points, seven rebounds and a block while Evan Fournier wasn’t much better with eight points, four assists and two steals.

    Damian Lillard tried to put this team on his back with 34 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The only other person really helping him was C.J. McCollum, who dropped 26 points (four treys), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks. Moe Harkless (calf) sat out do to an injury but no one took advantage of that tonight. Allen Crabbe filled in but had just seven points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Evan Turner was decent with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists.

    Cavaliers 120, Kings 108

    The Kings kept it close in the second half but couldn’t overcome the Cavs in the end. Kyrie Irving shot the ball well tonight, dropping 26 points (two treys) with three rebounds, five assists and one steal. Kevin Love and LeBron James both had monster double-doubles, Love had 15 points and 18 rebounds while the King had 16 points, 15 assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block. It’s hard to slow these three down and the league will have to figure that out.

    Kyle Korver finally helped defend the land tonight. He got hot and dropped 18 points (four treys), five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Speaking of hot, Iman Shumpert was also hot tonight with 16 points (four treys) and two steals. Their next game is a big one as they face the Golden State Warriors!

    Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins both had big double-doubles but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cavs. Gay finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and four blocks while Cousins had 26 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and one steal. Ty Lawson couldn’t be stopped at one point and finished with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists. As long as Darren Collison (13 points and four assists) and Lawson are sharing minutes, it won’t be pretty.

    Jazz 110, Pistons 77

    This was a complete blowout and the Jazz showed their dominance on both ends of the floor. Rodney Hood blew up tonight with 27 points (seven treys) with four rebounds and two assists. He showed us what he’s capable of and he complements this Jazz team so well. George Hill continues to be a steal for the Jazz as he dropped 22 points, four rebounds and one assist. Gordon Hayward also had his fun with 20 points (three treys), four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

    You know we can’t talk about the Jazz without talking about their twin towers. Rudy Gobert had six points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks while Derrick Favors scored 9 points with eight rebounds, one steal and one block. Favors’ is still getting it together so he’ll only get better as the season goes on. The Jazz are looking like a scary team to deal with and hopefully the injury is long gone.

    This was flat out ugly for the Pistons. Andre Drummond scored nine points with 19 rebounds, one assist and one steal. You can’t really blame him as he went up against Gobert tonight. No one scored more than 13 points for the Pistons. Tobias Harris had 13 points, Marcus Morris had 11, and Stanley Johnson had 10. It’s as if the Pistons forgot how to play once Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) went down.

    That’ll do it for Saturday’s dish. Thank you to all the readers and subscribers! Cheers! #HoopBall #WeTheNorth

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