January 21, 2018, 3:10 am
Saturday was packed full of marquee NBA matchups from lunch until dessert. Here’s the big dish for you to scarf it all down.
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Clippers 113 @ Jazz 125DeAndre Jordan is still nursing an ankle injury and the Clippers are still managing to score points thanks to their go to guy, Lou Williams who dropped another 31 with a whopping 10 steals. He’s been on fire and the Clippers are filled with injury prone guys, so if Sweet Lou stays in L.A., owners can be looking at a top-40 year. Blake Griffin added 25-8-3 on 8-of-15 shooting but is still far from an early round asset.
The Jazz got their Stifle Tower back and their offense has looked better with him out there. Joe Ingles scored 21 points with five triples and four steals and shouldn’t have been dropped, if he was, go scoop him. Derrick Favors maintained some value, but the Jazz put up 125 points so it’s unlikely that this is a regular occurence. Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio both had solid games and Mitchell’s year is going to be monstrous while owners are hoping Rubio picks it up. Rubio has been terrible this season, but there’s still a chance he turns it around.
Raptors 109 @ Wolves 115
DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points with three steals, a block and two triples and those deep balls are now a regular thing for DDR. He’s going to be a fantasy stud and his evolution as a player has been a joy to watch unfold. Delon Wright came off the bench for a solid 12-6-6 outing with a steal and is rosterable in standard leagues while Kyle Lowry erupted for 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting with six triples, five boards and five assists. The Bulldog is finally in rhythm and as long as he avoids the injury bug he should return early round numbers.
Jimmy Butler sat this one out with a sore right knee which meant Andrew Wiggins would jack up 21 shots, hitting 11 of them towards 29 points and a triple with no defensive stats. He shot 6-for-6 from the line which is surprisng because of his low efficiency all seaosn and now is a great time to sell-high on an asset that isn’t versatile in any way. Karl-Anthony Towns had another uber efficient double-double with 22 & 10 on 6-of-7 shooting and 8-of-9 foul shooting. The Wolves won, but it’s a crime that Wiggins is taking triple the amount of shots that Towns is.
Bucks 94 @ Sixers 116
Malcolm Brogdon is out for personal reasons and Giannis Antetokounmpo sat with a knee injury so the Bucks started Sterling Brown and Tony Snell who logged heavy minutes and each scored in double figures, however they’re not fantasy relevant long term. Khris Middleton triple-doubled with 23-14-10 and added a 3-pointer and a steal for good measure while Eric Bledsoe swiped away five steals but shot inefficienty.
The Sixers side was loaded with goodies as Ben Simmons dropped 16-8-9 and Robert Covington hit three triples with three steals and a block. Joel Embiid posted 29-9-1-1-2 on 11-of-19 shooting and 5-of-6 foul shooting. He’s hoping the back-to-back restrictions will be lifted and is playing 31.4 minutes a game. Fingers crossed, because Embiid is a top-20 value with space to climb higher.
Grizzlies 104 @ Pelicans 111
Wayne Selden was the hero for the Grizz as he scored 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting with five triples. Dillon Brooks cooled off with 10 points while Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans had their usual popcorn stats. Mike Conley is still no where to be found and still has no timetable.
The Pelicans ran an eight man rotation and got big double-doubles from their twin towers while Rajon Rondo was quiet. Jrue Holiday has had a superb year, averaging a career-high 18.6 points on another career-high mark of 49.7 percent shooting from the field. He’s also adding 1.5 steaals and 0.6 blocks so his owners aren’t complaining about the dip in assists, which still sits at 5.1. It looks like this will be his best season and fantasy year to date.
Heat 106 @ Hornets 105
James Johnson finally had a nice game with 22-6-7 with a triple on 9-of-12 shooting. The defensive numbers will climb back up, but the increased dimes come with more turnovers. Josh Richardson is tearing it up and owners should cling on to his multi-cat goodies, tonight he offered 17 points, a triple, a steal and two blocks. That’s a normal line for him and we love our triple-1 guys here at Hoop Ball. Wayne Ellington hit six triples and is now a standard league option with Dion Waiters out for the year and Kelly Olynyk is still holding onto late-round value even with Hassan Whiteside back.
Nicolas Batum had a strong outing while Dwight Howard is doing his thing with 14 & 15 with three blocks and bad free throw shooting. Kemba Walker shrugged off the trade rumors and had 22 points, seven assists and three steals. He’ll be fine wherever he lands.
Bulls 113 @ Hawks 97
Lauri Markkanen didn’t hit a triple, but shot the ball well en route to 19 points while Zach Lavine still only played 18 minutes. The minutes restriction will be there until at least All-Star break so LaVine won’t be up to full speed until around then. He looks good out there though and the Bulls have no problem handing the offense over to him.
Dennis Schroder is the only Hawks player you can trust on a day-to-day basis, but Dewayne Dedmon has been sturdy lately. Tonight he pulled down 11 boards and swatted a shot and should be owned in all leagues.
Thunder 148 @ Cavs 124
The Thunder hung 148 on this terrible Cavs defense on the backs of their big four, all of whom scored more than 20 points. Russell Westbrook was one rebound shy of a triple-double and Paul George was on fire, hitting 12-of-19 shots with five triples on his way to 36 points. He’s a bit of a streaky shooter and the zero defensive stats are a bummer, but George remains an elite 3 & D fantasy stud.
Kevin Love left the game after three minutes and didn’t return, but only LeBron James 18-7-3 didn’t do much with the extra usage to spare. Isaiah Thomas made work of it though and scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting with four triples and a steal in 26 minutes. That’s two solid outings in a row for Thomas and it’s looking like he’ll return to form sooner rather than later.
Mavs 108 @ Blazers 117
Dirk Nowitzki turned back the clock agai for the Mavs with 21 points, three triples, a steal and two blocks and he’s having a surprisngly strong year, but the Mavs are just flat out bad. They got some contributions from Wesley Matthews who is always hit or miss and Dennis Smith shined with 21-6-6-3 and he’s going to be a fun guy to won for the second half of the year.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum did all the heavy lifting for the Blazers per usual. Lillard dropped 31 with seven triples and nine assists while McCollum had 26 with two triples and had a play where he destroyed Yogi Ferrell, you’ll be seeing that all over Twitter and Instagram.
Warriors 108 @ Rockets 116
The Marquee matchup of the day had the Dubs against a Rockets team who finally had their two star guards healthy, but Stephen Curry had an off night with 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Kevin Durant and Draymond Green filled the void for the squad with full lines, but Klay Thompson also strugled, going 3-for-11 in 37 minutes. They’ll all be fine, but their 13-game road winning streak was snapped tonight in Houston.
With Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green both out, the Rockets got some nice minutes out of P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute, but their time will be up as the suspensions are done being served. Chris Paul had a stellar game with 33-11-7-3 on 10-of-20 shooting with six 3s. James Harden went over his 30-minute limit as he checked in the fourth to secure the win for the Rockets. He had a clutch stepback 3-pointer over Curry and proceeded to block Curry’s shot attempt right after to put the game in the bag. The Beard ended with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting with five triples, eight assits, two steals and two blocks. He’s back.
July 5, 2020, 6:43 pmGiannis AntetokounmpoPF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have shut down their practice facility after receiving results from the latest round of COVID-19 tests, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
That batch of tests was conducted on Friday. Woj adds that the facility will likely be shut through Thursday, when the team's traveling party is supposed to head to Orlando. No word on who or how many of the team's staff tested positive, but as always, the pandemic is in charge of the NBA's attempted restart, no matter how much effort the league puts into its plans.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 5, 2020, 6:33 pmMike ConleyPG, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley, like several others, is expected to leave the NBA's Orlando bubble when his wife gives birth to a child.
Conley's third child is due in late August, so any departure will likely affect the Jazz's playoff roster to some extent. Utah will already be missing Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist surgery), though they still figure to be one of the best teams in the West's second tier of contenders. It was a frustrating first season with the Jazz for Conley and fantasy GMs, but he can flip the narrative with a strong postseason.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
July 4, 2020, 8:36 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
According to Shams Charania, the NBA has informed players that they will not be able to travel with their respective teams to Orlando, should they fail to be tested on one of two days before the scheduled travel date.
The report also says that if the player does indeed miss the said window to be tested, he will need to register three consecutive tests before traveling. This is a strict protocol, but one the league needs to enforce in order to ensure the safety of all of the players and staff who will be entering the "bubble" in Walt Disney World in preparation for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. There has been a lot of concern, especially with the growing number of cases being recorded in Florida.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 2:39 pmJimmy ButlerSG, Miami Heat
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.
Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.
Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 1:21 pmLandry ShametSG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.
That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 12:18 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.
The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 4, 2020, 9:35 amCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.
LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
July 4, 2020, 9:16 amJordan CrawfordSG, Free Agent
Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.
Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.
July 4, 2020, 8:13 amLance StephensonSG, Free Agent
Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.
Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 10:10 pmAnthony DavisPF-C, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.
As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.