March 20, 2017, 10:07 pm
With seven games on tap we had yet another eventful night in the Association. Robert Covington and Richaun Holmes filled it up in OT, Klay Thompson went supernova from downtown and James Harden reminded us all of his MVP resume. With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.
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Hornets 105, Hawks 90
After an underwhelming return to action on Saturday, Nicolas Batum looked like his dynamic self again against the Hawks. He scored 16 points with six assists in an efficient line, and should remain a solid mid round player throughout the fantasy playoffs as long as he’s healthy… Cody Zeller started again, but struggled with foul trouble and was outplayed by Frank Kaminsky. He saw 14 more minutes of action than Zeller, and finished with 14 points and six cash counters.
With Paul Millsap nursing a tight left knee, Ersan Ilyasova was pulled into the starting lineup. He played well enough, but the general shuffling of the rotation hurt the team. The Hawks got practically nothing from their bench in this one, squandering a solid performance from their starters… Dennis Schroder paced the team with 20 points, and added a surprising three triples and two blocks. He’s been a fifth round value over the past month, and owners in the playoffs will have to keep their fingers crossed that he can keep knocking down shots from downtown.
Pacers 107, Jazz 100
Despite some inefficient shooting the Pacers were carried by solid performances from their principal players. Paul George and Myles Turner both filled it up defensively, and Jeff Teague went for 21-5-5 with three 3-pointers, a block and a steal…. C.J. Miles got hot in just 23 minutes, knocking in three triples to go with three steals. He’s a hit or miss option in fantasy, but should do enough from beyond the arc to help desperate owners in 3-pointers.
Of the seven players the Jazz brought of the bench only one of them scored more than four points. Such lackluster contributions from their reserves were doubly disappointing compared to the colossal lines posted by Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert. Fantasy owners probably don’t care how well the rest of the Jazz performed, and are simply delighted by Hayward’s 38 points and Gobert’s eight blocks.
Magic 112, Sixers 109
Nikola Vucevic recorded his second straight double-double, finishing with 26 points and 13 boards. He won’t ever do enough defensively to be an elite fantasy player, but he’s efficient and getting all the minutes he can handle for the post-Serge Ibaka Magic… They might not have posted stellar fantasy lines on Monday, but the Magic really might have found something in pairing Elfrid Payton with Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross on the wing. Payton is thriving with more spacing around him, and Fournier seems to have returned to his early season form of late.
While they took the loss in this one the Sixers have to be encouraged by what they saw on the floor. Richaun Holmes played 42 minutes with Jahlil Okafor (knee) out, and made the most of them. He finished with 24 points, 14 boards, four assists and the elusive 1-1-1 in the money categories. It’s insane to think he started the season as the team’s fourth center, but he looks like a league winner down the stretch… Similarly, Robert Covington made a huge splash for his fantasy owners with 24 points, 14 boards and nine money counters on Monday. He’s been much more efficient since the All-Star break and contributes immensely in the most critical categories.
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Celtics 110, Wizards 102
After struggling with injuries for large chunks of the season Al Horford is rounding back into form. He’s done it all over his last four, and continues to provide a unique combination of blocks, triples and rebounds from the center spot… Boston’s starting backcourt was the team’s key to victory in this one, as both Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley were confident from beyond the arc and taking mid range jumpers.
The Wizards came out flat on Monday and simply struggled to hit shots. John Wall still turned in a nice line, and Bradley Beal, Bojan Bogdanovic and company will be fine. Let’s move on.
Rockets 125, Nuggets 124
What more can you say about James Harden? Seriously. He went for 39 points, 11 assists and seven boards to go along with four steals and four triples. Harden’s been the best player in eight cat formats and continues to put up MVP numbers just about every night… Eric Gordon knocked in four triples off the bench, adding to his Sixth Man of the Year credentials, while Lou Williams was quiet in just 17 minutes of action.
The Nuggets’ offense looked constipated during the first quarter, but Gary Harris kept the team afloat during that early stretch. He shot the ball well from every spot on the floor, played some stellar defense and even showed some flashes as a facilitator… Nikola Jokic continues to return first round value over the past two months, and is likely going to cost you your first selection in drafts next fall.
Warriors 111, Thunder 95
The Warriors turned this one into a laugher in the third quarter, as Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry got hot from distance (shocking, I know). They finished with seven treys apiece and have both stepped up to fill the void left by Kevin Durant… Elsewhere, Draymond Green turned in a typically funky line, scoring just two points but chipping in plenty of boards and assists. Owners would have loved to see more in the way of money counters, but nights like this are simply part of owning Green.
Steven Adams and Andre Roberson were virtually invisible in this one. Yes, a lot of their contributions don’t show up in the stat sheet, but don’t be fooled: the Thunder needed their supporting players to shine and they simply didn’t show up… Russell Westbrook couldn’t buy a bucket throughout the first half, and then when he finally got going in the game quickly slipped away. He played just 27 minutes and didn’t take the floor in the fourth quarter.
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Clippers 114, Knicks 105
To the surprise of absolutely no one the Clippers rolled at home. Blake Griffin erupted for 20 points in the first half alone, and finished with a bloated stat line despite getting extended rest in the fourth quarter… Chris Paul broke this game wide open in the third with his passing, tallying a double-double in the lopsided win. Austin Rivers looked good running the offense during the game’s final frame, but he’s an afterthought in fantasy when Paul’s healthy.
Willy Hernangomez posted an empty line in limited action, as he struggled to find his shot against DeAndre Jordan and company. There’ll be better days ahead and tonight shouldn’t lead anyone to conclude he won’t be a top-100 player going forward… The Knicks’ decided to leave Kristaps Porzingis on the floor despite the one sided affair, as he almost led a comeback late surrounded by mostly bench guys. In fantasy Porzingis was a bit of a disappointment in the second half but he still possess absolutely elite upside, and the Knicks will hopefully begin to tailor the team around him as early as this offseason.
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.