December 21, 2017, 10:55 am
Another jam pack Wednesday is in the books and the Bulls remain undefeated with Nikola Mirotic while the Rockets finally lost a game with Chris Paul. A lot of action in the association and we’re here to dish it out for you.
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Raptors 129 @ Hornets 111
The Raptors have flown under the radar this year but have been one of the top teams in the league with their revamped offense. Kyle Lowry slowed down a bit, playing 24 minutes, but DeMar DeRozan did his usual work. Their center rotation is still muddy with Jonas Valanciunas having the most upside and the story of this game was O.G. Anunoby who had 20 points, four boards, a steal and six 3-pointers. He’s been spectacular for this squad and his passing ability is underrated. Serge Ibaka has also been on a tear lately and congrats if you bought low as he had 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting with two triples and two blocks. Over the past five games he’s the No. 19 player in 9-cat leagues and this presents a sell-high window if you can get a top-30 guy for him while he’s scorching.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left this game with a shoulder sprain, but with the Hornets getting throttled his minutes were low. Kemba Walker struggled with his shot while Nicolas Batuk did nothing with his 26 minutes. The only noteworthy player was Jeremy Lamb who finished the game with 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting with a block and two triples. He should be owned in all leagues.
Pacers 105 @ Hawks 95
Indiana pulled through with their usual cast of characters as Victor Oladipo had a 23-5-2-1 line with three 3-pointers and is primed to be an early-round player. Myles Turner got back on track with 20 points, six boards, three blocks and a steal. The buy-low window is closing on the league’s leading shot blocker.
For Atlanta, John Collins had another strong game in 27 minutes played, the most since he’s returned from injury. He’ll see a slight boost while Dewayne Dedmon is out and Ersan Ilyasova‘s time is just about up. Taurean Prince struggled from the floor but stil added a block, a triple, six boards and three assists. He should be owned everywhere.
Heat 90 @ Celtics 89
This game went down to the wire but the Heat pulled off an impressive win on the back of Kelly Olynyk who had 32 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and six 3s on 12-of-15 shooting. His homecoming seemed to light a fire under him and Josh Richardson stayed hot with 19 points, six assists, two triples and a steal. Goran Dragic, James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside all sat out, but the Heat are one of the deepest teams in the league in terms of rotational players.
On the Boston side, Al Horford put up a stinker, but he’s been great this year so he gets a pass while Marcus Smart continues to stay hot from deep, hitting 5-of-9 triples tonight. Jayson Tatum missed both of his 3-pointers and he’s definitely due for a regression in efficiency from deep. Kyrie Irving was doing the best he could with 33-4-5-1-1 and three triples, but missed the go-ahead attempt at the end.
Kings 104 @ Nets 99
Sacramento now has double digit wins after taking down the Nets and the George Hill + Z-Bo combo wqorked out well for them tonight. They combined for 43 points while Randolph had a complete line with a triple-1. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points with no peripherals but the 33 minutes were a welcome sight. Wllie Cauley-Stein added 13 points and nine boards but no defensive stats and is a guy who will get better as the season goes along.
Caris LeVert scored 13 points with two blocks and three triples on 4-of-10 shooting and is the No. 184 player in 9-cat leagues over his last four because of his shooting woes and 2.8 turnovers a game. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson double-doubled with 14 & 10 while DeMarre Carroll bounced back with 15 & 7. Jahlil Okafor can’t crack the rotation for the Nets who are playing Tyler Zeller and Jarrett Allen which means he’s a 100 percent drop candidate. Spencer Dinwiddie is still having trouble finding the bottom of the net, scoring 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting but added two triples, four assists and a steal. He’s worth holding onto and owners shouldn’t even think about dropping him. He’ll get better and retain value even with D’Angelo Russell‘s return.
Magic 94 @ Bulls 112
The Magic are still without Aaron Gordon, but Nikola Vucevic continues to roll with 18-10-5. Mario Hezonja scored 12 empty points while Elfrid Payton put up 14-6-8-1 on 7-of-13 shooting. After a hot start, the Magic are skidding and can’t seem to find their footing with injuries popping up constantly.
Lauri Markkanen drew the start again and played 20 minutes with nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. His efficiency has tanked since his hot start and sub-40 percent sounds about right. Meanwhile, Nikola Mirotic played 22 minutes and double-doubled with 15 points and 10 boards to go with two 3-pointers on 6-of-11 shooting. He also chipped in a block to round out his line and is locked as a standard league play. The hot shooting won’t last all year, but he’s a gunner and the Bulls have given him the green light.
Jazz 79 @ Thunder 107
Utah had nothing going for them with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell sitting. The only players who scored in double figures were Rodney Hood with 17 and Thabo Sefolosha with 12 which equates to a 28 points loss. There was nothing meaningful to take away from this game from the Jazz side as it was just an off night.
Meanwhile, OKC is starting to heat up a bit and they’re now above .500 for the first time since Halloween. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony both struggled, scoring 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting a piece. Russell Westbrook who had one of his best shooting games of the year, tallying a 24-10-7-4 line on 10-of-13 from the field and 4-of-4 from thr stripe. The Brodie will get it back together soon enough.
Lakers 122 @ Rockets 116
The Lakers came out guns blazing this game, ending the first quarter with a 37-22 run due to Kyle Kuzma‘s scorching game. He set a new career-high of 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting with seven triples, seven boards, four assists and a block. This might be his best game of the year, but with Brook Lopez shelved and Coach Luke willing to give Kuz big minutes, the arrow is pointing up for the steal of the draft. He’s the No. 100 player in 9-cat leagues and his value comes in points, percentages and triples. Lonzo Ball had a decent line with 16-9-4-1-2 and the defensive stats are here to stay, his shooting was still bad, going 5-for-14 from the floor. Larry Nance Jr. came off the bench, but was electric going 5-for-6 from the floor on his way to 13 points, nine boards and two steals. He should be owned everywhere. Corey Brewer had an unlikely day from the floor, going 7-for-9 and scoring 21 points with three steals. Los Angeles outhustled and worked the Rockets and this team is showing it’s potential. The future is much brighter than it was last season.
Houston had its 14-game win streak snapped and to add salt to the wound, Chris Paul left the game in the second half with a sore left leg, the same leg that bothered him earlier this year. Owners are going to have to cross their fingers and pray it isn’t serious. The Rockets are already down two rotation players with Clint Capela and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute out and Coach D’Antoni is still running a seven man rotation. With their sixth game in nine days, the Rockets were gassed and Harden’s 51-3-9-1-1 wasn’t enough. He has a strong chance to finish as the No. 1 fantasy player.
Pistons 93 @ Mavs 110
Without Avery Bradley the Pistons started Anthony Tolliver, who scored 18 points with four triples and is just a deep league/DFS guy based on matchup. Andre Drummond had 13 boards and a block in 22 minutes while Tobias Harris had an off night with 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting. The Pistons will bounce back as the Mavs shot lights out from deep this game, hitting 46.7 percent of their 3s.
Harrison Barnes had a full line with 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go with three 3-pointers, seven boards and a steal. He also went a perfect 6-for-6 from the line and is more of a late-round guy because of his shallow lines with high points. Dennis Smith Jr. dropped 15-5-5 with a triple on 5-of-10 shooting and Dirk Nowitzki is somehow putting up low-end lines like tonight’s 12 points, two triuples and a block.
Wolves 112 @ Nuggets 104
It’s more of the same for the Wolves as Coach Thibs is running his starters into the ground. Andrew Wiggins has been awful which means Jimmy Butler has been amazing, scoring 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting and two steals. He went 8-for-8 at the line and the early-round valuation is back. Karl-ANthony Towns put up another efficient double-double with 25 & 10 and added three steals and two 3-pointers.
Jamal Murray shined in this game because the Nuggets were without Gary Harris. Murray scored 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting with five 3-pointers and two steals and this presents a strong sell-high opportunity. Nikola Jokic played 36 minutes and went for 22-6-4 with two blocks and two triples on 6-of-12 shooting. He’s back.
Spurs 93 @ Blazers 91
LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol did all of the heavy lifting for the Spurs, LMA posting a 22 & 8 with three blocks while Pau dropped 20-17-5 with two blocks of his own. These were monster games without Kawhi Leonard or Tony Parker playing and the sell-high window is still open for Aldridge.
Al-Farouq Aminu didn’t shoot the ball well (3-of-11) but added two triples, four steals and a block and is worth owning as long as he plays 30+ minutes. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum struggled from the floor with McCollum going 5-for-22 and missing all seven attempts from deep. Evan Turner posted a solid line while Jusuf Nurkic was serviceable with 15 points, six rebounds and a block.
Grizzlies 84 @ Warriors 97
Memphis is still playing without Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons and the Grizzlies are fielding a part G-League team with Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans. Gasol had 21-9-5-2 with two triples and Evans had 10-6-6-2 and outside of those two players, you can’t trust anyone on Memphis. They need Conley back soon, but with the Grizzlies playing for nothing, they’re going to take their time bringing their guard back.
It’s business as usual for the Warriors who had 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting and three 3-pointers from Klay Thompson and 22-8-2 with two blocks from Kevin Durant. Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala all sat, but the Warriors got enough punch from their two stars in Klay and Durant to pull out the W at home. Jordan Bell stuffed the stat sheet again with 4-2-5-2-1 in 26 minutes and he’s a low-end play for as long as the Warriors are without Draymond.
Suns 95 @ Clippers 108
Marquese Chriss showed signs of life, scoring 13 poitns with eight boards and two 3-pointers, while Greg Monroe picked up his third DNP-CD in a row. Monroe has the highest upside out of the Phoenix centers, but if they’re not going to play him he turns into a luxury stash and can be dropped almost everywhere. Alex Len came off the bench for 18 minutes and grabbed 13 boards while T.J. Warren remains the only Suns player you can trust, dropping 22-10-4-1-1.
The Clippers are starting Jamil Wilson and C.J. Williams and each player scored in double figures while Milos Teodosic handed out eight assists. Milos should be owned in standard leagues as the Clippers find their footing with their new point guard. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 boards, but had zero defensive stats and Lou Williams returned to action with 18 points and a 3-pointer.