• Monday night brought us what could well have been the last game of the 2015-2016 NBA season. LeBron James and his Cavs travelled to Oakland to face a confident Warriors team looking to repeat as champions despite missing their suspended emotional leader. Could the Warriors overcome the loss of Draymond Green and solidify their place in the record books as the greatest team ever, or would the Cavs fight to live another day? Here’s Tuesday’s daily dish.

    CAVS 112, WARRIORS 97

    The Good:

    The first half of this game was one of the most exciting halves of basketball this season as these two elite squads went toe to toe trading basket for basket. The score was tied at 61 apiece after the first half and many expected this game to go down to the wire, however, the King and his men had other ideas. The Cavs outscored the Dubs by nine points in the third quarter and never looked back, en route to a 15-point victory in Game 5 of the NBA finals.

    LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were absolutely unstoppable in this one combining for 82 points on 33-of-54 shooting from the field. These two put on a show for the ages as this marked the first time in NBA finals history where two teammates scored over 40 points each.

    James scored 41 points with four three pointers, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks in one of the most complete lines we’ve seen in these playoffs.

    Irving also added 41 points with 5 treys while contributing three rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block. Irving put on a shooting display and was able to make some tough shots all night despite some very good defense from Klay Thompson.

    Tristan Thompson played a strong defensive grabbing 15 rebounds and two blocks. He scored six points but was only able to hit on 4-of-10 from the charity stripe.

    For the Warriors, Klay Thompson led the way with 37 points. Thompson shot 11-of-20 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the line but was limited to only 11 points in the second half. Thompson finished with six treys and three rebounds to round out his evening.

    Splash brother number two, Stephen Curry added a quiet 25 points in the Game 5 loss. Although the 25 points don’t jump out as a bad stat, Curry only shot 8-of-21 from the field and 5-of-14 from downtown. He did add seven rebounds, four assists and an uncharacteristic three blocks, but he was unable to guard Kyrie Irving for most of the evening and in the end it cost them dearly.

    Andre Iguodala played decently in a spot start for the suspended Draymond Green. Iguodala scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting while adding a team-high 11 rebounds. Iggy will move back to his normal bench role for Game 6 in Cleveland but should continue to have a major role for the Dubs.

    The Bad:

    The Warriors shot poorly in the second half and only ended up scoring 36 points. They may have lost more than just the game in this one as well as starting center Andrew Bogut left the game in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury. Bogut was ruled out for the game shortly afterwards and an MRI is scheduled to examine the extent of the injury.

    Harrison Barnes shot an abysmal 2-of-14 from the field for five points. He added five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. The normally efficient Barnes put up a dud when his team needed him the most. Hopefully the return of Draymond Green in Game 6 allows Barnes to get his confidence back.

    For the Cavs, starting power forward Kevin Love returned to the starting line-up after coming off the bench in Game 4. Love played 33 minutes but only shot 1-of-5 from the field for two points. The internet has been calling for the insertion of Richard Jefferson into the starting line-up and tonight’s line will not help Love’s cause. James and Irving were spectacular tonight, but it would be unrealistic to assume that they will be able to replicate their efforts in Game 6. The fact remains, Love needs to play better.

    The Takeaway:

    The Warriors clearly missed Draymond Green in this one. Green is that defensive specialist that can alter the outcome of a game with a steal or block, but LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had their way both on the perimeter and in the paint tonight. Luckily for the Warriors Green will return for Game 6 in what should be an interesting showdown between LeBron and Draymond. If Kyrie Irving can keep up his offensive prowess, we may be playing “Going back to Cali” by L.L. Cool J on repeat leading up to a potential Sunday night Game 7 showdown.

Fantasy News

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    The Rockets and Thunder officially completed their blockbuster trade of Chris Paul, first round picks in 2024 and 2026, and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 for Russell Westbrook on Tuesday.

    Westbrook and Harden and now officially reunited and will be performing massive pre-game routines at the Toyota Center. Meanwhile, the Thunder officially have Chris Paul on the roster and are free to move him if they choose. Watching how Sam Presti begins this rebuild process will be interesting, to say the least.

    Source: Royce Young on Twitter

  • Jarrell Brantley
    PF, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have signed rookies Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman to two-way contracts.

    Brantley was selected 50th overall in this June's draft after putting up big numbers in four seasons at the College of Charleston. He averaged 4.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in two games at Summer League, though he also missed time with right hamstring soreness. Wright-Foreman, the 53rd pick out of Hofstra, fared a little better with 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals, though he also battled right knee/hamstring issues and left the team for personal reasons at the end of their Vegas run. There's not much fantasy impact here.

    Source: Utah Jazz

  • Lonzo Ball
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Lonzo Ball (left ankle) said he'll be ready to go in "a week or two."

    Ball missed the final 35 games of the season because of a Grade 3 left ankle sprain and bone bruise that he suffered in January. Last season also started off slowly as a preseason groin injury cost him a chance to open the year as a starter, and he was forced into sharing point guard work with Rajon Rondo and LeBron James when healthy. A fresh start in New Orleans, where Ball can play an up-tempo game as a franchise building block, should do him wonders. There's some injury risk here considering he's logged only 99 games through two seasons, but Ball's stat set — even with the poor efficiency — could support middle-round numbers. It sounds as though he'll be good to go for training camp.

    Source: Andrew Lopez on Twitter

  • Brandon Ingram
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Brandon Ingram (right arm DVT) said that he's "really close" to resuming normal workouts.

    Ingram underwent surgery on March 16 and the Pelicans have been consistent in saying they have no long-term concerns about Ingram's health. We're fully expecting him to be ready for training camp, though you'll want to keep an eye out for further updates as camp approaches. Ingram's stat set has the same holes as always, but it's possible that this season he'll become a featured player and bludgeon his way to enough volume to make up for his weak spots. His outlook improves on what it would've been with the Lakers, but Ingram still looks like a player that will be overdrafted.

    Source: Andrew Lopez on Twitter

  • Richaun Holmes
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings have announced the signing of Richaun Holmes.

    Holmes is set to make $10 million over the next two seasons. He'll push for minutes in a crowded frontcourt, but if it's a true meritocracy then he should quickly rise to the front of the pack. Last season he was able to deliver standard-league value in only 16.9 mpg, so he's someone to target late in drafts on the expectation that he gets more burn in Sacramento. It's a potentially messy situation but we have faith that Holmes will make the most of it for fantasy purposes. For the Kings, it's a straight up steal.

    Source: Sacramento Kings

  • Marcus Morris
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have announced the signings of Marcus Morris and Reggie Bullock.

    Morris is on a one-year, $15 million deal while Bullock is coming in on a two-year deal worth less than $4.7 million annually, with a second season that isn't fully guaranteed. While both players began the offseason as potential standard-league targets, there's not much to see given the sudden depth of the Knicks roster. Morris will be one of five players who should mostly be playing power forward, while Bullock will slot into a busy backcourt and is already expected to miss at least a month of the season. New York's rotations are going to be a mess and we'd steer clear.

    Source: New York Knicks

  • Reggie Bullock
    SG-SF, New York Knicks

    Reggie Bullock is expected to miss at least one month of the regular season, per SNY's Ian Begley.

    Bullock, who initially agreed to a two-year deal worth $21 million, re-worked his contract to clock in at two years (with a second year that isn't fully guaranteed) for under the $4.7 million exception. There's no word on what exactly Bullock is dealing with, though he suffered from neck stiffness and plantar fasciitis in his right foot late last season. There's no need to monitor Bullock in standard leagues to open the year.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Markelle Fultz
    PG, Orlando Magic

    Speaking to Sirius XM, Steve Clifford said that although there remains no timetable for Markelle Fultz (shoulder), he is making good progress.

    Clifford said, "You know, right now we don't have a timetable for when he'll be back, but he's really doing a great job." Fultz simply wasn't ready to suit up, and even though we haven't really had any concrete updates on him since his last game on November 18, we're still expecting him to be ready to start the season. Fultz will make for a late-round flier on the chance that he finally gets healthy and puts it all together.

    Source: Sirius XM NBA Radio on Twitter

  • Blake Griffin
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Blake Griffin (left knee) has been cleared to start light basketball activities after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in late April.

    Griffin dealt with left knee soreness in the season's final games and missed the first two games of the playoffs. His issues were dealt with quickly after the season ended and he should be ready for the start of the season. Look for Griffin to come off draft boards in the early-middle rounds after he put up a career season last year, though there might not be much profit margin at that price. There's a definite 8-cat lean as well.

    Source: Rod Beard on Twitter

  • Nicolo Melli
    PF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli underwent knee surgery and will not participate in Italy’s training camp at the end of July, ahead of the FIBA World Tournament.

    This comes out of nowhere and the only relative information we have is that Melli will be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis. The Italian big should be fine for the Pelicans training camp where he will compete for the backup power forward minutes as long as the surgery is not anything too serious.

    Source: Sportando