• It’s getting colder and colder so Hoop-Ball is bringing that heat to keep you nice and warm! In today’s dish: The Pacers are in big trouble, Jrue Holiday made his long-awaited season debut, and Kemba Walker continues to dominate.  Week 4 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!

    Hornets 100, Hawks 96

    It was the Kemba Walker show Friday night against the Hawks as he scored 21 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and two triples. He scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and has been on fire as of late. Nicolas Batum had a season high 24 points with 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and four 3-pointers. He has always been an all around player and now that his scoring is starting to pick up again, things are looking quite nice for owners.

    We’ve been saying this for some time now but Cody Zeller should be owned in most leagues. He tied his career-high in points Friday night with 23, while also adding three rebounds, one assist, two steals and three blocks. He did take an elbow to the face by Dwight Howard but should be fine and ready to roll.

    The Hawks were lead by Paul Millsap with 22 points and 13 rebounds tonight but that wasn’t enough. Kent Bazemore is returning mid-round value and tonight he scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting (including a three) with two rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks.

    Kyle Korver scored just five points with two assists and one trey. Despite his struggles, he’s a top-100 player in 9-cat leagues and is getting those money-counting stats for owners. Mike Muscala continues to impress with 11 points off the bench to go with his five rebounds, two assists and one block. He should be owned in most 12-team standard formats given Dwight Howard’s injury risk and his own solid play to start the season.

    Suns 116, Pacers 96

    This was a surprising win for the Suns especially since it ended up being a blowout. Probably the shocker of the night was seeing Alan Williams coming off the bench for the Suns and scoring 15 points to go with 15 boards, one assists, two steals and a block. There isn’t really anything to see here in most formats but if he can follow it up we’ll let you know. Brandon Knight scored 17 points and had five assists and one steal. He might have been dropped in some leagues because of slow start but he has too much upside not to be owned.

    Some bad news that came from this victory include their franchise player Devin Booker leaving the game after rolling his left ankle. He finished with 13 points, one rebound, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer. T.J. Warren also left the game with an illness. It’s hard to call him a must-own player knowing his stat set has big deficiencies in standard leagues. Brandon Knight, Tyler Ulis and Leandro Barbosa will see a boost if Booker is out.

    Pacers continued to look bad and to make things worse; both C.J. Miles (left knee) and Paul George (ankle) will need an MRI on Saturday. Without George in the lineup the offense came from only two players tonight, Myles Turner and Jeff Teague. Turner finished with 22 points, six rebounds and two blocks while Teague had a strong overall game with 21 points, four rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block. This isn’t the start they were hoping for after adding all those offseason assets.

    Cavs 104, Pistons 81

    This game wasn’t even close and LeBron James was one of the reasons why it wasn’t. After returning from his rest day the King scored 21 points with three rebounds, three assists, one block, one triple and two turnovers in 28 minutes. Kyrie Irving was the leading scorer in the game with 25 points to go along with his 11 assists, two rebounds, one steal, three triples and zero turnovers. His efficiency will be his key to success and owners can expect more nights like this.

    Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love kept banging the boards combining for 27 rebounds. Thompson also added eight points and four blocks while Love chipped in with 12 points. J.R. Smith also returned tonight and added nine points with two assists, one rebound, two steals, one block and three triples in 25 minutes. He should be up to full speed soon.

    Not much good came out of the Pistons tonight in terms of fantasy. Jon Leuer led the way in scoring for the Pistons tonight with 15 points, seven rebounds and one triple. Yes, you read that right. He continues to play well and is definitely worth picking up if you need a big man. Andre Drummond grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his eight points, two assists, one steal and one block. The Pistons will need him healthy in order to compete in the East.

    Pelicans 113, Blazers 101

    Welcome back, Jrue Holiday. He didn’t look rusty at all scoring 21 points to go with seven assists, two rebounds, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in just 23 minutes. For those patient owners, enjoy the ride. Tim Frazier still played well despite Holiday returning, ending with 12 points and eight assists. Holiday will start eating into his minutes real soon but he’s a hold until then.

    Terrence Jones returned to the bench Friday night but that didn’t stop him from being a force against the Blazers. He scored 15 points with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, four blocks and two 3-pointers. His upside is there if he can get his minutes and stay healthy. As for Anthony Davis…well… 38 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, four blocks and two triples. Fear the Brow, when he plays.

    Damian Lillard continued to score the ball with 27 points and four 3-pointers. His buddy C.J. McCollum had a better overall line with 24 points, four rebounds, five assists and one steal. These two are doing what they can to carry the team but right now the Blazers “kind of suck”. Mason Plumlee also double-doubled with 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

    Warriors 104, Celtics 88

    Different game, same story for the Warriors. Klay Thompson scored a team-high 28 points with five rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers. Kevin Durant added 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block.

    Stephen Curry recorded his 900th steal in his career and finished the night with 16 points, two rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers. We also can’t forget Draymond Green who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and eight steals. All of them will be playing in the tail-end of the back-to-back against the Bucks on Saturday.

    Despite the loss for the Celtics, Avery Bradley recorded his seventh double-double of the season, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers. It’s hard to see him keeping up these rebounds once Al Horford returns but that alone can’t stop his brilliance. Marcus Smart suffered a left ankle contusion during this game but the injury shouldn’t be anything long-term. Terry Rozier had 11 points with seven rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers and could have some short-term appeal if Smart is out.

    Thunder 124, Nets 105

    Once again Russell Westbrook got his triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists and one steal. Victor Oladipo lit it up against the Nets with 26 points, five rebounds, six assists and three 3-pointers. That makes it back-to-back efficient games for him and the buy-low window is slamming shut. Steven Adams chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds.

    Brook Lopez did what he could to keep the Nets in it but it wasn’t enough. He scored 22 points with four 3-pointers but only added a pedestrian four rebounds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is slowly getting into the groove as the Nets try to feature him more. RHJ got 14 shots but only hit three of them, ending with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Trevor Booker put up a dud for owners Friday night with just four points, four rebounds, an assists and a steal. Hopefully Jeremy Lin will return soon, they need him.

    Grizzlies 80, Mavericks 64

    This was a low scoring game that still ended pretty lopsided. Chandler Parsons made his return to Dallas and scored just 12 points with three 3-pointers. JaMychal Green had a decent game with six points, 12 rebounds and one steal. There are better options out there for owners.

    Marc Gasol and Mike Conley had a quiet night in terms of fantasy. Gasol had 11 points with three rebounds and three assists while Conley did a bit of everything and had eiht points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocks. They’re the go-to option for the Grizzlies, so they’ll be just fine as long as they remain healthy.

    With Deron Williams and J.J. Barea both out, it was up to Seth Curry to run the team. He ended up scoring just 11 points with four rebounds, two assists, two 3-pointers and one turnover. Not the stat line we were hoping for but he should be better in the next one. Jonathan Gibson also made his season debut and had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal. He should provide some depth behind Curry but owners can leave him on the wire until further notice. Justin Anderson continues his shooting woes going 2-of-9 for six points. He has the skillset to be a strong fantasy player but it just hasn’t shown yet.

    Raptors 113, Nuggets 111

    This game came down till the very end and it was an exciting one. DeMar DeRozan once again scored 30 points to go with his five rebounds, four assists and two steals. I personally think he can average 30 points a night but it’ll definitely be a challenge. Kyle Lowry had the best fantasy line in this game with 18 points, five rebounds, 13 assists and three 3-pointers. He can do a little bit of everything and that showed tonight.

    Terrence Ross provided the spark off the bench this game finishing with 16 points and four 3-pointers. He hit a clutch shot in overtime that gave them the lead and eventually the Raptors held on. Ross is very inconsistent and it makes it hard to own him in standard leagues. If you’re looking for a couple of steals and 3-pointers, give him a look. Big man Jonas Valanciunas also pitched in with 15 points and nine rebounds.

    The Nuggets got a big game from Emmanuel Mudiay and Wilson Chandler. Mudiay scored 25 with six rebounds and nine assists while Chandler actually finished with a double-double, scoring 25 points and 10 rebounds. It’s hard to see him going the season without being injured sometime soon. Nikola Jokic showed signs of life tonight with his 12 points, four rebounds and one assist. The shift to the bench hasn’t been a significant difference, but if the Nuggets traded some pieces away it would do wonders for him.

    Spurs 116, Lakers 107

    It was the young Lakers vs. the somewhat old Spurs in a close game tonight. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge both scored 23 points apiece to lead the way. Leonard also had 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals while Aldridge gad six rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. It also seems like Pau Gasol is now comfortable with his new team and has been improving game-by-game. He finished with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

    Danny Green was efficient from the floor tonight; hitting 4-of-6 shots for 10 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. As long as he can be efficient and get those money counting stats, owners should be okay with the lower points total. Tony Parker looked great on the floor tonight scoring 16 points with two rebounds and seven assists. He’ll be getting plenty of maintenance days and isn’t a reliable fantasy option right now.

    D’Angelo Russell was a late scratch due to a sore left knee and that opened up more chances for everyone else. Although Jose Calderon got the start, it was the other guards that got most of the shine. Lou Williams scored 24 points with two steals while Jordan Clarkson had 20 points, two steals and three 3-pointers, both coming off the bench. Nick Young continues to surprise everyone and tonight he ended with 22 points, four rebounds, two assists and one block. Not bad Swaggy P.

    The big fella Julius Randle was close to recording a triple-double but just fell short. He finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. His ability to pass the ball has been a pleasant surprise and he has molded himself in a Draymond Green-like player. He’ll be a big part of the Lakers moving forward so owners should look forward to that.

    Clippers 121, Kings 115

    Although the Clippers had the leagues number one defence, this game was a lot closer than most expected it to be. The starters on the Clippers went to work like usual and carried this team to the victory. Blake Griffin was a monster, he scored 29 points with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block. The defensive stats won’t always be there but Griffin is capable of averaging those offensive numbers. The man in the middle DeAndre Jordan scored 16 points and grabbed 12 boards to go with a steal and a block.

    For a second game in a row J.J. Redick caught fire from deep. After hitting seven 3-pointers last game, he managed to hit six this game. Redick finished with 26 points and a block. He’s there best shooter and shooters will keep on shooting. Chris Paul had an average day at the office with 11 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and three steals. He hasn’t shot the ball well in the past two games but owners can give him a pass considering everything else he’s done. Complete stud.

    The Kings hung in tough tonight mainly due to DeMarcus Cousins (of course). He was unstoppable finishing with 38 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, one block and two 3-pointers. He’s in the perfect place for fantasy owners and a trade could hurt his value. Rudy Gay put up a giant dud tonight with basically just nine points and two steals. He’ll be better than tonight so owners shouldn’t be worried.

    Ty Lawson had a strong fantasy night scoring 18 points with seven rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two three-pointers. It’s clear that tonight is probably as good as it gets for Lawson. The Kings can’t keep sticking to the same lineup that doesn’t work. Expect Darren Collison, who finished with 16 points tonight, to join the starting rotation soon. On a side note Matt Barnes had 15 points with seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers. He continues to play an important role for the team.

    That’ll do it for Saturday’s dish. Make sure to stay warm and have a great weekend everyone. Cheers! #HoopBall #WeTheNorth #ProveEm

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