December 28, 2017, 1:48 am
Christmas has passed, but the gift of NBA games on Wednesday keeps giving and we’re 10 weeks into the season. We’re almost at about the halfway mark and if your team isn’t doing as well as you’d hope, have no fear, there are still plenty of moves to be had to put yourself back on track. You can see some of our suggestions in our nightly pickup articles as well, but of course that’s reserved for premium subscribers. The rest of you can read into the 10 game breakdown I’m about to serve you.
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Raptors 107 @ Thunder 124
Serge Ibaka finally slowed down with seven points and zero defensive stats, but Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan still got their numbers in this contest. Jonas Valanciunas scored 16 points with a block on good shooting and has strung together some decent games, it’s a shame Coach Casey will never play him consistent minutes in the 30s.
This makes six straight for OKC and they’re looking much better now. The quartet of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams all put in work with a special shoutout to Andre Roberson‘s 10 boards, a steal and a block. Paul George hit his stride with seven triples and 11-of-17 shooting towards 33 points. He was in a mini slump, but he busted out in a big way.
Nets 113 @ Pelicans 128
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson continues to make a splash with 17-7-4-2 and Spencer Dinwiddie was quiet in this one, but Caris LeVert picked up the slack with 22-6-7. We still love Dinwiddie here and he’s a strong hold while LeVert is a much shakier option.
Business as usual for the Pelicans’ twin towers Anthony Davis (33-11-2-1-6) and DeMarcus Cousins (27-14-5-1-1). E’Twaun Moore continues to score buckets while Jrue Holiday is loving life with Rajon Rondo in the lineup. Holiday’s scoring and efficiency have increased and it looks like the mid-round valuation is here to stay. Meanwhile Rajon Rondo went out and had himself a game with 25 assists. This screams sell-high but Rondo can definitely keep up a healthy assist rate which is rare to find on the wire.
Nuggets 125 @ Wolves 128
Nikola Jokic is back and playing ball with 22-9-4-2-1 with 11-of-12 foul shooting while Jamal Murray‘s hot streak continues with 21-7-8. We expect a dip when Paul Millsap returns. Speaking of Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles was on fire with 23 & 10 and a block and looks like he’s found a home. He’s also a guy that’ll see a major dip with Millsap returning.
The big news here is Jeff Teague going down with a non contact leg injury which usually means an extended period of time on the bench. He’s due for an MRI on Thursday, but in the meantime it isn’t a bad idea to swoop up Tyus Jones who was stellar in three starts for Teague, averaging 12.3 points, 6.7 assists and 4.0 steals on 54.1 percent shooting. Taj Gibson, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler all played 40+ minutes and Coach Thibs is going to run these guys into the dirt. When Taj breaks down, you’ll wanna grab Gorgui Dieng. Karl-Anthony Towns had a decent showing (14-13-6-0-4) before fouling out and letting Jamal Crawford eat up his minutes, but it was Jimmy Buckets who saved the day for the Wolves. He’s now in first round territory with the way he’s been playing and tonight he put up 39 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field and 16-of-18 at the line, those percentage boosts are lovely and the buy-low window has been shut for a while now. If you own Jimmy, the past three weeks are more indicative of his value than the first three.
Knicks 87 @ Bulls 92
Kristaps Porzingis was about the only Knick to provide positive value with 23-6-1-1-3 and the rest of the squad just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. They shot 40.7% as a team, but Courtney Lee still had a decent showing with 17 points, a steal and three triples. Lee has been a guy people don’t talk about, but he’s been a stud.
The Nikola Mirotic train took a pit stop for this game, as he went 2-for-4 towards four points and eight boards. Lauri Markkanen didn’t do much better with 15 points, a steal and a block on 5-of-15 shooting. Markkanen isn’t going to be a high percentage shooter. Kris Dunn kept his momentum with 11-6-4-1-1 and is a legit standard league guy if you can stomach the percentages, be wary of the return of Zach LaVine though.
Wizards 99 @ Hawks 113
None of the Wizards shot well this game, but they all provided the counting stats owners desire. John Wall double-doubled with 10 & 11, Bradley Beal scored 20 points and picked up the defensive numbers with three steals and two blocks. Otto Porter‘s shot was decent by his standards, going 6-for-13, but the money came in with a 3-pointer and two steals.
For the Hawks, Dennis Schroder continues to pound box scores with sheer volume, going 21-4-7-1 and Ersan Ilyasova refuses to let go of his value with 20 points, three triples and a steal. Taurean Prince had an off shooting night but the steal and two blocks made up for it. We shouldn’t have to say much else for Prince, he’ll be fine.
Mavs 98 @ Pacers 94
Dirk Nowitzki turned back the clock again with a 15-7-3-1-1 performance on 7-of-10 shooting. The rest days are coming though and he shouldn’t be relied on. Harrison Barnes had a typical night with 13 points and no defensive counters, but he hit a triple which was nice. The Mavs got most of their punch from their bench guys in this one, but none are standard league guys. Dwight Powell is a guy you want to keep an eye on though.
All Pacers starters scored in double figures, but no Victor Oladipo hurt them in this one. Lance Stephenson filled in nicely with 16-15-5-2 and Myles Turner chipped in 16 with two blocks. Thaddeus Young got back on track with 11 points and two steals, he’ll be better than he has been lately.
Celtics 102 @ Hornets 91
Jayson Tatum went 0-for-3 from deep, but still managed 18 points with two steals and two blocks. He’s one of the most polished rookies we’ve seen in years and he’s at mid-round value and he might be third in Rookie of the Year voting, that’s how stacked this class is. Kyrie Irving did his thing with 21 & 8 and Al Horford is still churning out early round value with 20-11-1-1-1 on 8-of-11 shooting with four triples. He’s a huge reason why the Celtics are good.
The Hornets are still not getting enough scoring from Nicolas Batum, but Dwight Howard continues to sweep up the boards (12-17-3-1-2) and Kemba Walker remains one of the funnest players that never gets enough recognition (24 points & four 3s)
Jazz 101 @ Warriors 126
Joe Ingles gave owners another buy-low window, but he’s still dishing out dimes and hitting triples during his off nights. At his worst he’s a top-100 player, at his best he’s top-60. That’s a great range to have in fantasy. Meanwhile, teammate Derrick Favors is opening his sell-high window again with 17 & 10. Donovan Mitchell (17-7-3-2-1) looks like he’s taken over as the offensive engine and Ricky Rubio (10-2-2-2) is suffering because of it.
Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all handled business and got their numbers as usual, but rookie sensation Jordan Bell is decimating box scores himself lately. Tonight he had himself five points, 13 boards, seven assists and a steal and he’s a strong pickup in competitive leagues and a must-own in deeper leagues for now. There was a lot of garbage time in this game, but if Kerr ever gets around to giving Bell near 20 minutes as he should (but he probably won’t), then he’ll hold standard league value.
Cavs 95 @ Kings 109
The Cavs shot poorly from the field today and LeBron James was no exception, going 6-for-17. He triple-doubled with 16-10-14 and five steals, so the numbers were still there. Kevin Love had 23 points with three triples and the usage is threatened by the impending return of Isaiah Thomas.
Vince Carter turned back the clock himself, scoring 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting with a steal, a block and four 3-pointers. Vinsanity will disappear for the next five games now. Zach Randolph should be owned in standard leagues since Coach Joerger is hell bent on making him a thing while Frank Mason only played 10 minutes in a start. Willie Cauley-Stein has the most upside and dropped a 17-9-4 line tonight.
Grizzlies 109 @ Lakers 99
Jarell Martin popped off for 20 points, eight boards and two blocks, but can be left alone as this one was case of playing the Lakers. Tyreke Evans actually played and did damage with 32-7-7, nothing is slowing him down except an injury or a trade and both are possible scenarios. Marc Gasol is the only other Grizzly you can trust outside of Tyreke and he added three blocks himself in a W.
The Kyle Kuzma show halted in a big way with the rookie shooting 4-for-24 and departing late with an apparent injury. His hot streak was unsustainable, but he’ll be better next time out and Coach Walton loves him. Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson churned out nice games for owners while Larry Nance was the best big of the carousel tonight, dropping 12 points with nine boards and a steal. He’s the most well-rounded fantasy big, but Kuzma has made a strong case for his minutes and it doesn’t look like Coach Walton will cede those to the bench, but who knows with this team and its rotations.