January 13, 2021, 11:41 am
The big news to start Tuesday was the fact that the Celtics-Bulls game would be postponed due to health protocols and contact tracing. By the end of the night, the story was James Harden’s quote after the loss to the Lakers, “I love this city, I’ve literally done everything I can. This situation is crazy. I don’t think it can be fixed. Thanks.” After stating what was essentially a trade demand (again), Harden left the podium and that led to a ripple effect from his teammates stating that we’re only nine games into the year. All of this is surely going to create panic with Rockets fans (as it should) and fantasy GMs (as it should, a bit).
To me, the Lakers are still the clear favorites to win the title, so the back-to-back losses to them is disheartening and fantasy GMs who have James Harden rostered are surely going to worry about him giving up, but I wouldn’t, yet. Whether or not Harden gets traded, it’s unlikely that he’ll tank a year of his prime not playing which means right now is the perfect buy-low opportunity for you to snag him at what would be his lowest price ever. Even when Anthony Davis gave up in New Orleans, he was producing elite fantasy numbers, although the situation wasn’t ideal for fantasy GMs with his missed games. What I’m trying to say is that if you can snag a top-3 fantasy talent on a massive buy-low window, you have to take those chances as that’s what wins fantasy leagues.
LAL 117 @ HOU 100
The game itself wasn’t competitive at all, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis doing their usual work all over the scoreboard with Kyle Kuzma contributing an 11 point & 11 rebound double-double off the bench. If you have John Wall or Christian Wood rostered, the James Harden news has zero effect on you as they could get even better if/when Harden is gone.
MIA 134 @ PHI 137
Kelly Olynyk (15 points, eight boards, four dimes, two steals, a block and three triples) started and produced another juicy statline for fantasy GMs and needs to be rostered moving forward. Precious Achiuwa (17 points, 13 boards and a block) spot started for Bam Adebayo who missed the game due to health protocols and showed why so many labeled him as another version of Adebayo. Gabe Vincent dropped 24 points in a spot start for Jimmy Butler who also missed the game due to health protocols and Tyler Herro (34 points, seven boards, four dimes and three triples) and Duncan Robinson (26 points, one steal, one block and six triples) both filled in their temporarily expanded roles nicely.
Danny Green (29 points, 10 rebounds, six dimes, two steals, two blocks and nine triples) had an awful game on Monday, going 0-for-7 from deep, but showed why he was integral in three NBA championships tonight with his insanely productive 50 minutes of play. The Sixers are still missing Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris so don’t expect these numbers ever again this season, but Green has been a top-120 player this season and is worth a spot at the end of your roster if you need cash counters. The Tyrese Maxey train has long left the station and he continued his roll with 16 points and eight dimes. Joel Embiid is used to carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and he did it again on Tuesday with 45 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block. He went 16-for-23 from the field and hit all 13 of his free throws in his best game of the season. The reason you draft and hold onto Joel for dear life all season is because he’ll have one of these games every other week or so. That’s just how good and dominant he is.
DEN 116 @ BKN 122
Will Barton dropped 23 points in a start and Jamal Murray had an empty 20 points with four dimes, one steal and two treys. Murray is going to heat up eventually, but right now is a perfect buy-low opportunity for owners. Michael Porter Jr. is still in quarantine and has tested positive for COVID-19 which explains why he was absent for so long. Jarrett Allen (six points, five boards, three dimes, a steal and two blocks) was quiet, but is still the center to roster, as he logged 36 minutes compared to DeAndre Jordan’s DNP-CD. Every season Caris LeVert (20 points, five boards, six dimes and two triples) gains value just by staying healthier than the other guards in Brooklyn and this year is the same story. Kevin Durant (34 points, nine rebounds, 13 assists and four triples) knew what he was signing up for with Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) missing the last week of action and his fantasy GMs do not care. Durant is the Durant of old and he drilled the dagger step-back to seal this game away with the Nets missing their second best player and seeing him return to form has been one of the best stories in an otherwise plagued season.
UTA 117 @ CLE 87
Donovan Mitchell (27 points, 9-of-15 shooting with three boards, four assists and five triples) is starting to heat up again after starting off a bit slow, while Jordan Clarkson has found his perfect fit in Utah. Clarkson had 21 points, eight boards, four dimes, two steals and five triples and is having a top-65 season with the Jazz with no signs of slowing down. Bojan Bogdanovic (20 points, three assists and four triples) bounced back from his seven-point game.
Cedi Osman (17 points, four boards, six dimes, a block and 0-for-6 3PT) and Damyean Dotson (11 points, two rebounds, three assists and a triple) are not fantasy assets, even with the Cavs being without Collin Sexton (ankle) which is bad news. Isaac Okoro (11 points, three boards, three dimes, two steals and two triples) has potential in the long-term but the production will be very inconsistent for now.
SAS 112 @ OKC 102
It happened, a game where all of the Spurs starters played well together! Keldon Johnson (18 points, seven boards, one assist and two steals), Dejounte Murray (16 points, five rebounds, seven assists on 6-of-13 FG) and Lonnie Walker IV (24 points, three triples) all played well and LaMarcus Aldridge (13 points, 6-of-16 shooting to go with 10 boards, six dimes, a steal, two blocks and a triple) logged 32 minutes and helped lead the Spurs to a win.
For OKC, Hamidou Diallo (16 points, four boards, two assists on 5-of-9 shooting) has proven that even in 21 minutes off the bench, he can provide fantasy GMs with a little something. Keep rostering him for now to see if he can ride this momentum. Darius Bazley and Lu Dort were quiet, but should get things back on track next game. Al Horford (10 points, seven boards and three dimes) is slowing down a bit, but the supporting stats are good enough to keep him rostered. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (20 points, 7-of-10 FG, nine rebounds and two assists) had a relatively empty line and if you can somehow do it, buy-low. His play is going to accelerate soon.
IND 104 @ GSW 95
Myles Turner swatted five more shots last night and his status as the league leader in blocks doesn’t look like it’ll be threatened. The 12 rebounds and three triples are a bonus, but the blocks are why you draft Turner, because all the other stats are too inconsistent to rely on. Domantas Sabonis (18 points, 14 boards, six dimes and a block) is averaging 5.8 dimes a game this season and that number looks like it’ll hold steady. Victor Oladipo sat out this game to rest his knee and Malcolm Brogdon had a quiet night with 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting. This is highly uncharacteristic from a guy who is the poster child of efficiency so don’t worry here. An interesting development was Justin Holiday (eight points, two rebounds a steal and a triple) being outplayed by Aaron Holiday (28 minutes off the bench, 16 points, 12 assists, two steals and two triples) but Justin is still the Holiday you want rostered. Aaron got more burn with Oladipo sitting and the team in need of a backup point guard, while Justin will still hold value with everyone healthy.
Draymond Green delivered a classic seven points, six boards, 10 dimes and a steal line. He’s someone you want rostered and a guy you want to target if you need assists as the Warriors are going to fight til the end for that playoff spot and Green is going to be their “point guard”. James Wiseman (26 minutes, eight points, nine boards and two blocks) is getting it done in limited minutes, but Coach Kerr has refused to let him loose. Kelly Oubre Jr. (17 points, five boards, two dimes, a steal, a block and three triples) found his groove as well as Andrew Wiggins (22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four triples and five blocks). Wiggins is going to have awful shooting nights and nights where he disappears, but he’s a top-90 value on the year so far and he’s averaging a whopping 1.8 blocks per game. Obviously I don’t think this holds, but last season he averaged 1.0 blocks and he hasn’t been below 0.6 blocks per game since the 2016-2017 season. I think he finishes over 1.0 blocks per game this season and is a guy you actually want to target for defense, a sentence I thought I’d never write. Steph Curry (20 points, four rebounds, three dimes, two steals and three triples) was heating up a bit in this game, but the Pacers adjusted quickly and had Edmond Sumner hound him to end the game. Curry is facing some intense coverages, but is still finding ways to get himself and everyone involved. We saw his explosive games just a few weeks ago and they’re going to happen again soon.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the game against the Suns and the Hawks on Wednesday is expected to be postponed.
Ryan Saunders said that Karl-Anthony Towns (left wrist) and Josh Okogie (left hamstring strain) will play against the Grizzlies on Wednesday as long as everything goes well in the team’s morning shootaround.
Obi Toppin (right calf strain) is probable to play against the Nets on Wednesday.
Michael Porter Jr. (health and safety protocols) was positive for COVID-19, explaining his recent extended absence.
Anthony Davis (toe) jammed his toe in Tuesday’s win over the Rockets and has been deemed questionable to play on Wednesday vs. the Thunder by head coach Frank Vogel.
Wesley Matthews (right Achilles soreness) will remain out on Wednesday, according to head coach Frank Vogel.
LeBron James (left ankle sprain) is expected to play on Wednesday against the Thunder.
Buddy Hield (right ankle sprain) has been listed as probable vs. the Blazers on Wednesday.
Richaun Holmes (right hamstring tightness) has been listed as probable for Wednesday vs. the Blazers.
J.J. Redick (right hamstring tighness) has been ruled probable for Wednesday’s contest against the Clippers.
Thunder forward Isaiah Roby has headed back to the locker room late in the first half on Wednesday vs. the Spurs.
Lonzo Ball (bilateral knee tendinopathy) has been listed as out for Wednesday vs. the Clippers.
Ivica Zubac (right abdominal soreness) has been deemed questionable to play vs. Pelicans on Wednesday.
Jalen Smith (health and safety protocols) is out and Cam Payne (right ankle sprain) has been ruled doubtful for the Suns ahead of Wednesday’s game.
Damian Lillard (right ankle sprain) has been ruled probable to face Kings on Wednesday.
Jusuf Nurkić (left quad contusion) is questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Kings.
Danilo Gallinari (ankle) did not join the Hawks on their three-game road trip, though is getting closer to a return per Hawks GM Travis Schlenk.
Dwane Casey told reporters that Derrick Rose (sore left knee) went through portions of practice on Tuesday and that his status will be a game-time call for Wednesday.
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said that rookie Onyeka Okongwu (left foot) is on track to make his NBA debut later this week.
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said that he expects Rajon Rondo (right knee) to return to the lineup this week.