January 23, 2017, 9:49 pm
Despite having nine games on tap DNPs took center stage on Monday. Anthony Davis was held out with a quad contusion and Kawhi Leonard got to rest against the lowly Nets, but at least Russell Westbrook and company kept things exciting in Utah. With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.
Wizards 109, Hornets 99
The Wizards’ starters looked respectable in this one, showing a chemistry that’s escaped the team far too frequently this year. John Wall led the way with 24 points, seven assists, four boards and a steal. Owners surely would have liked to see more money counters, but Wall has climbed his way back into first round territory on the season… It was hard to tell if Bradley Beal simply had an off night, or if his sore left foot that cropped up on the injury report today was bothering him. Either way he struggled with his jumper on Monday, going just 6-of-16 from the floor on his way to 18 points, five boards, four assists and one steal. He did drain four tripled, however, so we’re not too concerned.
For the Hornets, Nicolas Batum all but disappeared, scoring just four points in 38 minutes. His dimes and boards were fine, but between his absolute lack of scoring and the defensive goose egg he has to be considered one of the busts of the night… Marvin Williams exited briefly with a toe injury, but was able to return. He submitted a solid performance, scoring 13 points with eight boards, four assists, one 3-pointer, two steals and one block. He’s finally looking like the 3-and-D contributor we saw last year, so scoop him up if he’s on the wire.
Spurs 112, Nets 86
Kawhi Leonard got the night off against the lowliest team in the league. The Spurs claimed he was being rested for “precautionary” reasons, so there’s no reason to doubt that he’ll be back tomorrow against the Raptors… David Lee moved to the bench so that Dewayne Dedmon could match up against Brook Lopez, but Lee was still the more impactful fantasy producer. He finished with 15 points, seven boards, two assists and one steal, and will be a nightly double-double threat as long as Pau Gasol is out.
The Nets were in shambles on Monday. Caris LeVert joined the long list of rested players, Brook Lopez couldn’t get things going in 21 minutes before the game got out of hand, and no one else stepped up to carry the load. Enough said.
Clippers 115, Hawks 105
With Chris Paul (thumb) out at least another five weeks, Austin Rivers should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues. He finished this one with 27 points, four rebounds, six assists and five three pointers despite rolling an ankle partway through the game. Yes, his usage rate will come down once Blake Griffin is up to full strength, but there’s no reason to think he’ll suddenly disappear from fantasy relevancy… Elsewhere, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick both turned in solid offensive lines, and DeAndre Jordan looked great on the glass.
Each of the Hawks starters scored in double figures, but the rest of the roster combined for just 13 points. Yeesh… Paul Millsap did it all, scoring 19 points, eight boards, seven assists, two 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks. He’s been coming on strong lately, and it’s easy to see him returning top-25 value the rest of the way… While he still remains outside the top-175 players in standard leagues, it was nice to see Kent Bazemore get things going for at least one night. He scored 25 points with two steals and three treys, and owners might have already missed their chance to buy low.
Kings 109, Pistons 104
The Kings continue to fine tune their offense after the loss of Rudy Gay (Achilles), but some patterns are starting to emerge. Obviously, DeMarcus Cousins will continue to eat first, and he dominated the Pistons with 22 points, 14 boards, six assists, one three, two steals and two blocks… Meanwhile, Garrett Temple is returning steady, if unremarkable, value in Gay’s absence. He scored 11 points with a steal and a triple on Monday, and is worth a look even in 12 team leagues.
Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond both double-doubled, and threw in enough money counters (3-pointers for Jackson, steals for Drummond) to make their performances count for fantasy owners… Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) didn’t miss a beat in his return, scoring 14 points with one trey, five boards, four assists, three steals and a block. Owners have to be encouraged by his 37 minutes of playing time in his first game back.
Heat 105, Warriors 102
In one of the more surprising performances of the evening Dion Waiters (of all people) helped the Heat upset the mighty Warriors. He dropped 33 points with six triples, five boards, four assists and one steal. Wow. Hope he was your go-to punt play in DFS, because he certainly wasn’t mine… Hassan Whiteside was a force on the glass and notched two steals and a block, but struggled with his efficiency. He finished with 10 points on 13 shots, and has regressed enough at the line to be outside the top-35 in standard leagues.
The Warriors didn’t get much help from their bench, but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from turning in dynamic lines offensively. You know exactly what you have in each of these studs… Draymond Green, conversely, struggled to score from anywhere, but totaled enough assists and defensive contributions to keep his owners happy.
Pelicans 124, Cavs 122
We got word late in the afternoon that Anthony Davis (quad contusion) was likely to sit this one out, leaving owners to scramble for an alternate. Even without their franchise cornerstone, however, the Pelicans eked out an impressive win over the defending champs. Terrence Jones replaced Davis in the starting lineup and went gangbusters, scoring 36 points with 11 boards, one assist, three 3-pointers, two steals and three blocks. It was easily his best game of the season, and a reminder that Jones is one of the few high-value handcuffs in fantasy hoops… Jrue Holiday found similar success in an expanded role, double-doubling to the tune of 33-10-6 with three steals, two blocks and four treys. Prepare yourself for the absurd “Was AD holding the Pelicans back?” takes tomorrow.
Despite getting absolutely nothing from their bench, the Cavs’ big three was downright impressive. LeBron James finished with 26 points, 10 boards, 12 assists, one three and two steals, while Kevin Love scored 22 points with 16 boards, six assists and a 3-pointer of his own. But Kyrie Irving was first among equals for Cleveland, going off for 49 points with eight triples. What a shame the team couldn’t find a way to pull out the win.
Knicks 109, Pacers 103
With Kristaps Porzingis in foul trouble, Carmelo Anthony shouldered the extra load on offense, finishing with 26 points, five boards, two assists, one three and one block. He was efficient from the floor, and made seven of his eight free throws… Elsewhere, Derrick Rose scored 20 points, but failed to chip in any contributions in the money categories, while role players up and down the roster did just enough to get the Knicks past the Pacers… Oh, and Joakim Noah had potentially the ugliest missed free throw in NBA history.
Paul George led the Pacers in scoring and minutes, finishing with 31 points, seven boards, three assists, three 3-pointers and one steal. He’s about as steady as they come, and shouldn’t have any problem returning top-15 value going forward… Myles Turner chipped in a solid 22-10 double-double with two blocks, while Jeff Teague was invisible in his 36 minutes.
Bucks 127, Rockets 114
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker were magnificent against the Rockets, as each stud filled it up on both sides of the ball. Antetokounmpo has (rightly) received the lion’s share of fantasy owners’ attention this season, but we’d be remiss if we overlooked Parker’s mini-breakout… The big news out of Milwaukee prior to the start of this one was that John Henson would not be starting, and he ultimately didn’t get off the bench on Monday. Jason Kidd is notorious for playing games with players’ roles and minutes, so things might not get better anytime soon for Henson.
There was nothing wrong with the Rockets offensively, as James Harden again posted simply ludicrous numbers, and Patrick Beverley and Ryan Anderson were lethal from downton. Instead, it was the team’s inability to run the Bucks off the 3-point line or stop the pick-and-roll that did them in… Both Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza were quiet on Monday, but they should have little trouble bouncing back against the Celtics on Wednesday.
Thunder 97, Jazz 95
Amidst the injuries and resting stars, Monday’s slate was really saved by this game. Russell Westbrook buried a dagger with 1.4 seconds left to secure the win for the Thunder, finishing with 38 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, three 3-pointers, four steals and one block. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but it’s hard to complain when he can put up such eye-popping counting stats… Victor Oladipo might not see his assist rate come up much with Westbrook handling the ball as often as he does, but Oladipo’s making up for it with his contributions from three and increased efficiency over the past two weeks… Finally, Steven Adams (concussion) was able to return to action, and played an impressive 37 minutes in the start.
Despite an underwhelming 12-9 performance, Rudy Gobert continues to produce defensively, swatting four shots in this one. He’s improved immensely on the offensive end without sacrificing the rebounds and blocks that solidify his fantasy stardom… George Hill was quiet on Monday, but he’s produced so well since returning from injury that it’s tough to get too worked up about one bad night. He finished with nine points, two boards, three assists, one steal and one block.
That’ll do it for this Tuesday’s dish. Follow @HoopBallTweets for up to the minute updates or hit me up on Twitter (@AbyssAlsoGazes) if you have any questions. See you all next week.