December 6, 2016, 5:17 am
With eleven games on tap we had yet another eventful night in the Association. Russell Westbrook recorded his sixth straight triple-double, the Pelicans took the Grizzlies to double overtime and Klay Thompson went supernova. With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.
Nuggets 106, Sixers 98
Playing without Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets got a much needed win on the road behind Danilo Gallinari and Jamal Murray. Gallinari poured in 24 points with three 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. He’s been a solid mid round contributor when healthy… Murray continued his hot play off the bench, scoring 22 points with three treys of his own. He’s continuing to eat into Emmanuel Mudiay’s minutes, and may overtake the sophomore guard if he continues to put up lines like this one.
Ersan Ilyasova led the Sixers in minutes with 36, and posted yet another well-rounded line. Despite Dario Saric playing better over their last two games, Ilyasova has clearly established himself as the team’s starting power forward… The organization continues to play things safe when it comes to Joel Embiid, who saw 25 minutes of action despite reportedly having his minutes restriction raised over the weekend. He remained effective in limited action, finishing with 16 points, one 3-pointer, four rebounds, one assist and five blocks. Embiid has stratospheric upside once Philly decides to trust him with starters’ minutes.
Thunder 102, Atlanta 99
Following in the footsteps of legends Russell Westbrook again dazzled on Monday, recording his sixth straight triple-double. He scored 32 points with13 rebounds, 12 assists, three treys, one steal and one block. His efficiency and turnovers remain question marks, but it’s hard to imagine any of his owners complaining.
Paul Millsap (hip) returned from injury to play 38 minutes in the loss, finishing with 24 points, one 3-pointer, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. He didn’t show any signs of rust and hopefully season long owners fired him up this week… Elsewhere, Dennis Schroder shot just 6-of-16 from the floor, but was able to muster 17 points with six rebounds and two steals. He packs in the counting stats, but his upside is limited by his inefficient shooting and the fact that he doesn’t offer much beyond assists and points.
Wizards 118, Nets 113
John Wall put on a clinic as both a distributor and finisher on Monday, scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting while adding 13 dimes and three steals. He’s been remarkably consistent so far this season… Speaking of consistency, Otto Porter just keeps finding ways to produce. He made seven of his ten shots to finish with 18 points with four boards, two assists and three steals. At this point he looks set to outperform his draft position by a healthy margin.
The Nets had four starters finish in double figures, but the team got little help from its bench. Brook Lopez led Brooklyn in scoring, totalling 25 points with a well rounded line. He continues to launch from deep, and is now up to 2.2 three pointers made per game on the season… I’ve been guilty of dismissing Sean Kilpatrick as an empty calorie scorer, but he did it all on Monday. It’s still hard for me to imagine he’s this impactful going forward, but for now he’s worth owning in standard leagues.
Cavs 116, Raptors 112
It feels like a refrain as old as time: Lebron James owns Toronto, and Monday was no different. The King scored 34 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, two 3-pointers and two steals. The Raptors simply could not guard him as he got into the paint and either drew contact or kicked to open shooters again and again… Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving scored 28 and 24 points respectively, as both supporting stars fed off LeBron’s brilliance. Love added 14 boards and six threes, while Irving tallied two rebounds, seven assists and two treys. Neither player has ever looked better playing alongside James.
For Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry dropped 24 before taking an elbow to the mouth (which forced an early exit). Both perimeter stars have lived up to their billing this season, but the rest of the supporting cast simply didn’t have the juice to get the win on Monday… Jonas Valanciunas disappeared in his 25 minutes, scoring just four points with 10 boards and no defensive stats. He’s been frustrating to own, per usual, but better days are ahead.
Rockets 107, Celtics 106
So much attention has been lavished on Russell Westbrook that it almost feels like James Harden is being overlooked, which is insane for a player averaging 28.3 points, 7.7 boards and 11.8 assists. He’s been an absolute joy to watch this season, and should challenge for the top spot in eight category leagues the rest of the way… Eric Gordon provided Harden with some much needed support on Monday, scoring 19 points with four 3-pointers. He’s been a top-80 value so far this season, but still needs to be thought of as a risky specialist more than anything else.
Since returning from his early season concussion, Al Horford has looked like a beautiful fit in Boston. He scored 21 points against the Rockets, adding one three, six boards, nine assists, one steal and two blocks, and is now seventh on the player rater on a per game basis.
Blazers 112, Bulls 110
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum shouldered the bulk of Portland’s offense against the Bulls, combining for 54 points on Monday. Lillard scored 30, and added four rebounds, seven assists, three 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks. McCollum poured in 24 with two rebounds, five assists and four treys. Both players have lived up to the preseason hype, and should continue to maintain their current production going forward.
With Rajon Rondo suspended for conduct detrimental to the team (shocking, I know), Dwyane Wade stole the show for Chicago. In a true throw back performance he scored 34 points with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer. He shot 13 free throws (making 11), repeatedly generating contact as he attacked the rim with abandon.
Spurs 97, Bucks 96
The Spurs trailed for most of this game, but patiently hung around before seizing control in the final frame. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 21 points, despite shooting just 9-of-22 from the floor, and added nine rebounds, one three and two blocks. He did all he could to bottle up Giannis Antetokounmpo as the game tightened and remains one of fantasy’s truly special players… Dewayne Dedmon saw 14 minutes off the bench but made them count, scoring 10 points with six rebounds and one block. He has the ability to provide defensive stability off the bench, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs give him more run going forward.
What else is left to be said about Antetokounmpo? Despite playing in a brutal, pace killing matchup he still posted another electrifying line. All told, the Greek Freak finished with 22 points, 11 boards, two assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer with fantastic percentages (50% from the floor and 90% from the line). He’s going to be a top-5 fantasy asset for a long, long time… John Henson continues to see minutes in the mid twenties and put them to good use. On Monday he scored just eight points, but managed to snag five boards, one assist, one steal and three blocks as well. He simply has too much upside to be left on the waiver wire.
Grizzlies 110, Pelicans 108 (2OT)
Despite being decimated by injuries the Grizzlies were able to ride a Marc Gasol triple-double to victory in double overtime on Monday. Gasol scored 28 points with 11 rebounds, 11 assists, three 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks. He also played phenomenal defense against Anthony Davis throughout his 45 minutes. Gasol remains an elite fantasy big man as long as he’s healthy.
Anthony Davis put rumors about his sore foot to bed, playing 48 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. He continues to absolutely dominate the fantasy landscape, this time scoring 28 points with 17 boards, one assist, one 3-pointer, one steal and four blocks. Yes, it’s hard for his owners to rest easy given his minute totals and injury history, but he looks unstoppable through his first 22 games… Langston Galloway scored 26 points of his own, but added almost nothing else in his 35 minutes. Despite the occasional ability to get hot he simply isn’t worth owning in shallow leagues.
Hornets 109, Mavs 101
The Hornets had six players in double figures, seeing balanced contributions across the board. Nicolas Batum and Kemba Walker led the way from a fantasy perspective. Batum scored 14 points with 15 rebounds and seven assists, while Walker scored 19 points while adding three rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. They continue to play beautifully off each other as complimentary ball handlers, and there’s no reason to think either can’t continue to keep stuffing stat sheets all season long.
Harrison Barnes scored 29 efficient points and was able to chip in seven boards, two assists, two treys and one steal. He’s returning sixth round value right now, and while his skillset is fairly limited for fantasy he deserves to be considered a solid starter until further notice.
Utah 107, Lakers 101
The Jazz were able to fend off a late surge from the Lakers behind Gordon Hayward’s 23 points, six rebounds, five assists, three 3-pointers and two steals. He’s been a top-25 player since returning, and should continue to chip in across the board for the Jazz… Rudy Gobert again held down the fort in the middle, continuing to play massive minutes and block everything in sight with Derrick Favors sidelined… Finally, Rodney Hood was able to score 16 points, but only hit five of his 17 attempts. He’s shown immense progress this season, but will need to contribute more consistently before being valued as a mid round guy.
Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson were the only show in town for the Lakers. Williams erupted for 38 points, six boards, seven assists, one steal and four treys, while Clarkson scored 17 points in an otherwise quiet line. Williams remains one of the surprises of the season, returning top-70 value thanks to his contributions in threes and steals.
Warriors 142, Pacers 106
Yawn. Another night, another Warriors blow out. This time the team rallied around Klay Thompson, who scored a career-high 60 points in just 29 minutes. He hit 21-of-33 from the field, 10-of-11 at the line and 8-of-14 from deep for an absolutely stunning performance. Some of the team’s other big names didn’t put up their usual numbers, but it was a simply a result of everyone feeding the human torch formally known as Klay Thompson.
Paul George looked to be all the way back after being sidelined for three games with an ankle injury, as he played 30+ minutes for the second straight night. He finished with 21 points with 10 points, three assists, one steal and 13 made free throws… Elsewhere, Myles Turner was all but run off the floor by the Warriors’ smaller units. He played just 24 minutes, and finished with a paltry six points, five boards and two blocks. Better days are ahead for the young stud, but watching the Pacers struggle remains perplexing.
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.