• Another day, another dish. Eight games to kick off the second day of December and we’re finlly starting to get some news on Kawhi Leonard returning, but the injuries keep piling up and tonight we saw how some of the teams are dealing with losing major pieces. Atlanta is going to be without Dewayne Dedmon and John Collins for several weeks, while the Clippers barely have enough healthy bodies to field a full roster. We also saw two teams play without their star big men, Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis. Here’s the rundown.

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    Pelicans 123 @ Blazers 116

    When Anthony Davis goes down you can expect DeMarcus Cousins to bring the heat. Boogie played extra hard tonight and got into it with Meyers Leonard throughout the game and it ended up with Cousins dropping 38 & 8 with a block and a 3-pointer on 14-of-28 shooting while Coach Stotts and Leonard each received techs. Jrue Holiday has been quietly trending upwards and is giving top-50 value in 9-cat leagues over the past two weeks with averages of 18.3 points, 2.1 3s, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks on 42.7 percent shooting. The assists are now being handed out by Rajon Rondo, who had a 12-6-10 line tonight. Rondo is taking no time getting his hands all over this offense, but he was struggling before while Davis was still active. He’s still good for assists and swipes.

    Al-Farouq Aminu came off the bench for 26 minutes with seven points and five boards while Shabazz Napier and Evan Turner both played 24 minutes a piece with Napier being the one giving owners a useful fantasy line. Napier is a low-end option in standard leagues due to inconsistencies and Aminu is hard to trust now that Noah Vonleh is healthy and drew another start. Vonleh only played 13 minutes, but still grabbed seven boards and it’s hard to own any Blazers forwards right now. Jusuf Nurkic was disappointing while Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum both got their points, 3s and assists. McCollum was peaking hard during the first month of the season, but now he’s settling back into his third/fourth round valuation.

    Kings 104 @ Bucks 109

    Zach Randolph finally came off the bench, but still logged 34 minutes, so not much really changed. The Kings were down most of the game but were able to pull within striking distance in the fourth, but Giannis was too much. Z-Bo had 22 points and seven boards and is still stunting the growth of the younger Kings bigs specifically Skal Labissiere who played four minutes off the bench. Willie Cauley-Stein started and logged nine munutes which is a travesty, but the guards are getting good burn and it’s nice to see Frank Mason III post a decent line in 23 minutes, he’s a guy to keep an eye on. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield played a good chunk of time and Bogdan Bogdanovic had two steals and a triple in 27 minutes. The amount of minutes going to Fox, Hield, Bogdanovic and Mason are great and those are all guys you should watch out for as the season goes on.

    Out in Milwaukee Jason Kidd’s horrid rotations are really going to cap how far the Bucks can go and in fantasy it’s not great either. For some reason he’s playing Jason Terry 22 minutes while Malcolm Brogdon struggles to play 25. Brogdon was fine with 5-of-12 shooting  on his way to 13 points and five assists and he’s still a 12 team league guy, but his value is limited now. John Henson blocked two more shots and is good for that on a nightly basis while Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe are comfortable and producing right where they should be. Giannis Antetotkounmpo is playing lights out and dropped a casual 33-13-5-3-1 line on the way to a W.

    Pistons 103 @ Sixers 108

    It was a big man matchup between Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid and it ended with Drummond fouling out in the fourth quarter, but not before he could produce a 14-11-6 line with five steals and 6-for-8 shooting at the line. Drummond is averaging a career-high in assists and is stealing the ball at an amazing rate. His free throw shooting is still subpar, but not world ending like before. Tobias Harris continued his own career best year with 27 points and seven boards while Reggie Jackson was solid and Avery Bradley was not.

    Richaun Holmes disappeared into DNP-CD territory with Embiid healthy and going for 25 & 10 with not much else. Ben Simmons didn’t score much but still added 10 boards, six assists and two blocks. Robert Covington is a defensive dynamo on the box score and Dario Saric is posting low-end standard league value in another start.

    Grizzlies 111 @ Cavs 116

    JaMychal Green was solid in another start and is a high floor low ceiling type of guy to have at the end of your bench due to his solidified starting role. Marc Gasol did it all while Tyreke Evans is killing it this year and is making a strong case for waiver wire pickup of the year with a 31-7-12 line. The Grizzlies are going to need him to do this especially with them being shorthanded.

    Kevin Love had 20 points while J.R. Smith chipped in 17 and Dwyane wade is the third best fantasy player for the Cavs. Flash went for 16-2-4-1-2 tonight in 25 minutes and is worth an add in standard leagues if you need some steady production. How long he keeps this up is unkown but he should be started while he’s playing this well. LeBron James continues his 2007-2008 play with 34-2-12 on 13-of-22 shooting in 39 miuntes.The King scored the last 13 points for the Cavs including the game sealing shot as they clawed their way to a five point victory over the Grizzlies. He’s been a treat to watch this year.

    Hawks 114 @ Nets 102

    Ersan Ilyasova is starting and is going to be productive since the Hawks are missing their first and second string bigs. Kent Bazemore added three steals while Luke Babbitt gave us a 20 points game with four triples. Dennis Schroder has been steady and posted 24 points and six assists. Taurean Prince didn’t have a world beating line with 11 points and six boards, but he added a 3-pointer, two steals and a block. Guys who don’t rely on scoring and can fill it up across the board will rarely disappoint you because of their versatility and Prince is one of those guys.

    Allen Crabbe started and played 25 minutes with 12 points and three 3-pointers while Hoop Ball darling Spencer Dinwiddie dropped 15-6-9 with three triples on 5-of-10 shooting. He’s going to be great without D’Angelo Russell and he’s still going to be good when D’Lo returns. Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert all scored in double figures off the bench and the Nets love to play all of their guys minutes in the mid-20s.

    Clippers 82 @ Mavs 108

    Montrezl Harrell stared and didn’t do much in 25 minutes while Sam Dekker was disappointing in 13 minutes. With Blake Griffin going down it seems like Coach Doc has gone with the committee approach to replace Griffin which means no fantasy value is to be had in standard leagues. The Clippers are awful and you can expect Austin Rivers and Lou Williams to shoulder most of the scoring and passing for the squad while DeAndre Jordan will be a rebounding machine.

    Maxi Kleber started again for the Mavs but isn’t really worth a look and  Nerlens Noel continues to watch from the doghouse. Harrison Barnes put up a stinker and because of his lack of anxcillary stats the bad nights are really bad. Dirk Nowitzki has strung together some decent games but is still bet left on the wire. Dennis Smith and Wesley Matthews both scored in double figures but it’ll be a bumpy ride with both of them J.J. Barea posted the line of the night for the Mavs, going for 21-4-10 with four 3-pointers.

    Suns 111 @ Celtics 116

    Tonight we saw Alex Len pick up the DNP-CD for the Suns who like to rotate their three bigs. Tyson Chandler had the line of the night for the three headed monster at center with 14 & 18 while Marquese Chriss was a dud, but the upside is still there. Tyler Ulis and Mike James continue to cancel each other out while Devin Booker dropped 38-4-5 on 16-of-29 shooting and his increased efficiency has shot his value up into the middle rounds.

    Marcus Morris has been surprisingly good for the Celtics and Coach Stevens has praised his scoring ability while the Celtics as a whole are getting contributions from all of their players. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayston Tatum, Al Horford and Kyrie Irving all scored in double figures. Al Horford went for 14-5-11 with a block and two 3-pointers on 6-of-10 shooting and has been great for owners. He hasn’t been talked about enough when people mention the Celtics success. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been great for them as well, with both players posting full lines.

    Lakers 100 @ Nuggets 115

    Larry Nance didn’t record a steal or a block in this game but that’s understandable given how hot he was in his first couple back from injury. Brandon Ingram scored an efficient 20 but didn’t add much else and committed five turnovers, he’s a dynasty guy. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope didn’t do anything while Lonzo Ball had 9-9-5-2 with a 3-pointer and a technical foul. Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma both scored in double figures off the bench but had no defensive stats while Jordan Clarkson did the same. Because of the lack of defensive stats, those guys are harder to trust than Nance, who steals the ball at a high rate. Josh Hart played 22 minutes and tallied two steals, a block and three 3-pointers. He’s an interesting guy to keep an eye on.

    Kenneth Faried started and was productive in 27 minutes with 13 pounts, nine boards and a block. Nikola Jokic shouldn’t miss too much time though so the value will be short lived. Trey Lyles played 30 minutes off the bench and that also won’t be a regular occurrence while they’re at full strength. Will Barton followed up his career-high scoring night with 16 points and should be owned in standard leagues and we finally got a Jamal Murray sighting with 28-4-4-2 with five 3-pointers. The Nuggets are playing without Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic so he should definitely produce given the lack of depth, but he’s still not a safe bet for mid-round value. Gary Harris didn’t have his best game, but still ended up with 13-2-6 with four steals and a 3-pointer. He’s a much safer bet to return top-50 value due to his 3-pointers, steals and high efficiency.


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