January 28, 2017, 10:53 pm
The Suns have a disgustingly messy team. They were so guard focused they had managed to collect Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic, and Eric Bledsoe all on the same team, only to end up trading Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic and ending up with Brandon Knight, Tyler Ulis, and others. Now the Suns have a predicament where Knight, Bledsoe, Booker, P.J. Tucker, T.J. Warren, and Ulis all need and, to some extent, deserve minutes. And for all those guards the Suns sport the lowest assist rate in the NBA as a team.
Eric Bledsoe could be a special player, and tonight highlights that as he scored a career high 41 points. Devin Booker probably will end up being a special player, and sooner rather than later. T.J. Warren has as good a mentality for scoring the ball and making good off ball decisions on offense as anyone in the NBA at this point. There’s too many cooks in the kitchen in Phoenix, again, and they’re going to the team to watch heading into the February 23rd trade deadline. Guys like T.J. Warren, Brandon Knight, Alex Len, and even Dragan Bender all stand to gain from any moves the Suns make on this roster, and rest assured there will be at least one. Hopefully the Suns cook up something tasty so we can dive into it in a future Dish. On to the main course!
Kings 109 Hornets 106
The Kings continue to play well behind DeMarcus Cousins and his incredible usage as he posted 35 points with 18 rebounds, four assists, a block and two 3-pointers. Cousins took a team high 22 shots and the next closest to him was Darren Collison at 11 field goal attempts. Collison scored 17 points but only added two assists and two 3-pointers in total; he’s been a top 100 player but doesn’t seem to be able to contribute regularly across the stat sheet this season. The Kings took advantage of the smaller lineups of the Hornets by deploying Anthony Tolliver for 30 minutes, he hit 5-of-9 from the field for 14 points with seven boards, three assists, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers. He could become a quality pickup if the King decide to move any pieces at the trade deadline and play him starters minutes.
Cody Zeller was out for this matchup which made Roy Hibbert the starter at center, but he played 12 minutes and did very little in that time. Kemba Walker scored 27 points with seven assists, three boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers. Nic Batum had an excellent as he scored 19 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, and three 3-pointers but he did commit five turnovers. Marvin Williams scored 14 points but contributed little else outside of a couple of 3-pointers. The rotation was really mixed tonight so much of the Hornets rotation had minutes in the high teens and mid 20s. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played only 18 minutes, possibly because he had four fouls in that time period. He contributed nine points with six rebounds with a steal and four blocks, and his defensive stats just seem to come and go.
Pistons 103 Heat 116
Andre Drummond won the battle at center tonight as he scored 17 points with 20 rebounds while adding three steals and two blocks. Reggie Jackson excelled in the scoring department as he put up 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting while adding seven boards and three assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has had shoulder issues but is back to playing, though it could be hampering him as he scored just five points on 2-of-11 shooting. Jon Leuer played 24 minutes and scored eight points but wasn’t really able to contribute much outside of that. Tobias Harris scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting with two rebounds and a steal but he and the Pistons bench bled points to the Heat reserve players. Marcus Morris was his usual solid but unspectacular with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting with two rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
Tyler Johnson was a game time decision heading into this and he ended up sitting which led to a lot of usage for Dion Waiters. Waiters hit only 7-of-18 shots but scored 17 points with seven assists and a 3-pointer. He’s going to struggle with efficiency and turnovers in some games but he’ll also have some big ones which I believe makes him worth owning. Just know what you’re getting. Goran Dragic scored an efficient 23 points with four assists and two 3-pointers while Rodney McGruder scored 12 points with a couple 3-pointers as well. Hassan Whiteside struggled with Andre Drummond tonight and only scored nine points but did add 12 rebounds and two blocks. James Johnson had a big game off the bench as he scored 18 points with eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block and could continue to get good run at any time. Wayne Ellington scored 19 points with five 3-pointers but really doesn’t contribute much outside of those two things.
Celtics 112 Bucks 108
Isaiah Thomas was the highlight again for the Celtics as he dropped 37 points with eight assists, three boards, a steal and a whopping six 3-pointers along with excellent efficiency. Jaylen Brown got into the starting lineup with both Avery Bradley (Achilles) and Al Horford (groin) both missing the game. Horford “isn’t quite 100%” is the report that was last out so he should be alright pretty quickly. Brown looked good as he stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, eight boards, an assist, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. Amir Johnson started at center and scored 11 points with seven boards and a block, but he’s just past the point where he’ll ever be fantasy consistent again. Jae Crowder had more opportunity to produce on offense and he did with 20 points to go with six boards and four assists. Kelly Olynyk came off the bench but still played 36 minutes. He had 17 points with seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, he’s been pretty solid lately and is worth owning in deeper leagues.
Thon Maker got the start at center but it was mostly in name as he only played 10 minutes and did very little across the stat sheet. Giannis had a middling game but his standards as he scored 21 points with six boards, six assists, a block and two 3-pointers. Jabari Parker really struggled from the field as he shot 2-of-13 and scored only four points, but he did add eight rebounds. Matthew Dellavedova started and scored 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 5-of-6 from the line while adding six assists, though he did also commit four turnovers. Malcolm Brodgon still played 32 minutes off the bench and scored 11 points with five assists. Greg Monroe played 35 minutes as the de facto center and scored 14 points with 13 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Michael Beasley sighting! He came off the Bucks bench to drop 17 points with eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
Clippers 98 Warriors 144
Wowza. The Clippers were massacred in this one and there’s only a few relevant players on this roster at the moment. It was Blake Griffin’s second game back and he might’ve played more than 22 minutes in this game if the Warriors weren’t killing the Clips early into the second quarter. Griffin did score 20 points and added four rebounds and two assists in his limited time. DeAndre Jordan only played 23 minutes and was only able to get eight points with five boards and no blocks in that time. J.J. Redick scored 13 points with three 3-pointers and little to nothing else. Raymond Felton had a half-way decent game off the bench as he scored 10 points with seven rebounds, five assists, a block and a couple of 3-pointers in the process.
It was all Stephen Curry tonight as he dropped 43 points in only 29 minutes of action while adding nine boards, six assists, and nine 3-pointers on 15-of-23 shooting. Klay Thompson chipped in 16 points with a couple of 3-pointers while Kevin Duarnt scored a clean 23 points with four boards, seven assists, and three 3-pointers. Outside of those three James Michael McAdoo was the only other double digit scorer with 10 points, the rest of the Warriors just nickeled and dimed the score up to 144 as the Warriors went 13 deep in their rotation. Draymond Green was the only disappointing player from this game as he scored just five points with five boards, five assists, two steals and two blocks.
Nets 109 Timberwolves 129
Brook Lopez had a good night as he scored 25 points with seven rebounds, a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers. He could be a candidate for rest as the season winds down but otherwise there’s no reason to worry as Lopez’s injury history is now more than two years removed. The Nets just don’t have a point guard without Jeremy Lin (hamstring) available so Spencer Dinwiddie and Randy Foye handled the ball. Dinwiddie scored 13 points with five assists and 7-of-8 free throws but it’s hard to want anything from this point guard situation. Trevor Booker played only 16 minutes and has been falling off dramatically for awhile now, you shouldn’t be counting on him for steady production moving forward. Isaiah Whitehead scored 10 points with eight assists off the bench while Caris LeVert scored 11 points with two steals and Sean Kilpatrick scored 14 points with little else. There’s just too many wing type guys in Brooklyn that need large minutes in order to be productive and they’re all stealing minutes from each other, so this is a situation to avoid until any amount of clarity comes along.
Karl Anthony-Towns put up a monster line with 37 points, 13 rebounds, one steal, four blocks and two 3-pointers on 15-of-26 shooting. Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points of his own and had a uncharacteristic well rounded line as he added three boards, four assists, a steal, a block, one 3-pointer and shot 9-of-18 from the field with 7-of-8 from the line. The Nets are such push overs at this point that even Ricky Rubio is getting involved on the scoring end as he got 14 points with six assists and a steal. Zach LaVine added 20 points of his own with six boards, two steals, and three 3-pointers to boot. Gorgui Dieng double-doubled with 12 points and 10 rebounds while adding four assists and two steals while Shabazz Muhammad scored 18 points with seven boards and two 3-pointers.
Nuggets 123 Suns 112
Nikola Jokic has a hip flexor that’s leaving him listed as day-to-day on the injury report. As a result Jusuf Nurkic entered the starting lineup and didn’t contribute much of anything in his 15 minutes on the floor. Emmanuel Mudiay’s injury is “not serious” according to head coach Mike Malone but he was nevertheless out and Jameer Nelson started in his place. Nelson scored 17 points with seven assists and a steal and will be a nice add for as long as Mudiay remains out. It’s the Lunar New Year and the year of the Rooster, so it makes sense that Danilo “The Rooster” Gallinari went off for 32 points and eight rebounds with three 3-pointers and a perfect 11-of-11 from the line. Kenneth Faried had an excellent game as he scored 21 points with 11 rebounds to go with two steals and two blocks. Gary Harris scored 15 points with eight rebounds and four assists of his own and looks like he’ll be able to keep his health together going forward.
Eric Bledsoe scored a career high 41 points and added six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three 3-pointers along with 14-of-15 free throws. Devin Booker scored 23 points and did so with an 8-of-16 from the field mark but still has trouble contributing in categories that aren’t scoring. Tyson Chandler will continue to be relevant all season as he scored 15 points with 13 rebounds and chipped in a couple of steals. P.J. Tucker played 36 minutes and scored 12 points, but it’s really his night to night effect on early season breakout T.J. Warren that hurts. Warren played only 19 minutes and scored six points with five rebounds in that time. Any Tucker move would help Warren tremendously.
Grizzlies 102 Jazz 95
It was a classic big three night for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol scored 18 points with four rebounds and five assists while spacing the floor with four 3-pointers. Mike Conley could end up an All-Star replacement for Chris Paul and certainly has played like an All-Star much of the season, he scored 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added three assists and three 3-pointers of his own. Zach Randolph was the only other double-digit scorer but he had a classic as he scored a team high 28 points with nine rebounds and a steal. No one else on the Grizzlies really had a fantasy line worth mentioning, and outside of the occasional Chandler Parsons (rest) sighting that’s going to be the case the rest of the season.
Things seem to be relatively back to normal for Rodney Hood who dropped 20 points with four rebounds and four 3-pointers on Saturday night. Gordon Hayward struggled from the field as he shot just 4-of-13, but he did add eight rebounds and five assists in the end. Derrick Favors (rest) sat out this game and that’s likely going to continue to irk Favors owners a few more times this season as the Jazz are going to be looking to protect his health moving forward. George Hill scored 16 points and added five assists with a 3-pointer, it’s strange to say that’s a disappointing line from Hill but he’s been special when on the court this year. Rudy Gobert was snubbed from the All-Star selection but not from fantasy owners hearts as he scored 15 points with nine rebounds while adding a steal and a block. Gobert even hit 9-of-9 from the free throw line, and it’s worth noting he now leads the NBA in true shooting percentage.