• With six games on tap we had yet another eventful night in the Association.  Robert Covington filled the void left by Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Karl-Anthony Towns flirted with a triple-double against the Magic and Seth Curry continued to fill it up.  With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.

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    Sixers 122, Kings 119

    With Joel Embiid nursing a left knee contusion the Sixers tightened their rotation down to eight guys, all of but one of whom scored in double figures.  Robert Covington led the way with 23 points, 10 boards, four triples, two assists and four steals.  He’s been trending upwards of late, and should be a top-100 player going forward…  Nerlens Noel was able to leverage 25 minutes off the bench into a productive fantasy line, finishing with 12 points, three boards, two assists, three steals and one block.  He’ll need a trade to reach his fantasy potential, but there’s no denying his defensive upside.

    DeMarcus Cousins was simply unstoppable before fouling out, scoring 46 points with 15 boards, five assists, four 3-pointers, one steal and one block in 32 minutes of action.  He was an efficient 11-for-16 from the floor, and a staggering 20-for-22 from the line.  Cousins is a top-10 asset in every format…  In the ongoing discussion of potential Rudy Gay (Achilles) replacements Matt Barnes outplayed Garrett Temple on Monday, but Temple still saw 35 minutes as the starter.  Despite his underwhelming play over the last three games Temple remains the biggest beneficiary of Gay’s absence.

    Heat 104, Nets 96

    Dion Waiters, NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week, continued his unlikely hot streak on Monday, scoring 19 points with three 3-pointers, six rebounds, nine assists and one block.  He still isn’t on the fantasy radar for 10 and 12 team leagues, but has been one of the more entertaining DFS options of the last two weeks…  James Johnson finished his second straight game in double figures, and filled the stat sheet with a combined seven counters in the money categories (steals, blocks and threes).  He’ll be a bit inconsistent on offense, but owners shouldn’t think about cutting bait.

    Elsewhere, Caris LeVert was a massive DFS flop, scoring just four points with six boards and two steals.  We’ve consistently preached restraint when it comes to the budding young wing here at Hoop Ball, and Monday’s lackluster performance was a prime example of why we suggest owners precede with cautious optimism rather than reckless abandon…  On the front line, Brook Lopez didn’t hit a three, but Trevor Booker showed signs of life after posting several mediocre lines recently.  Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come for his patient owners.

    Celtics 113, Pistons 109

    It isn’t exactly surprising at this point, but it’s always a thrill to watch Isaiah Thomas take over games for the Celtics.  He consistently got into the lane and generated contact on Monday, going 15-for-15 from the line to finish with 41 points, four 3-pointers, eight assists and two steals.  Thomas has been a first round value so far this season and it’s hard to see him slowing down…  Al Horford just might be the most underrated star in fantasy basketball.  Sure, his 13 points don’t exactly jump off the page, but he want 6-of-10 from the field and added one trey, six boards, six blocks and two blocks to his line.  His combination of efficiency, assists and blocks is hard to find.

    Andre Drummond posted a bonkers 28 point, 22 board double-double with two steals and two blocks.  He remains a second round asset if you’re able to punt free throws, which – let’s face it –  if you own Drummond you’re already doing…  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has looked every bit the 3-and-D contributor we envisioned in the offseason since returning from injury.  He finished with 18 points, two 3-pointers and two steals.  Not too shabby.

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    Wolves 111, Magic 105

    Andrew Wiggins led both teams with 27 points, and added three boards, five assists, one triple, two steals and a block.  If he poured in the extras like this every night he’d be more than living up to his draft day price tag, but as is he continues to be overvalued as a guy who does little more than score…  Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio both filled it up, and continue to surge over the past month.  During that time frame Towns has been the fifth best player in standard leagues, and Rubio has made owners who bought low look very smart.

    As trade rumors swirl around Serge Ibaka it’s tough not to think about how much of his value is tied to his role in Orlando.  Sure, he’s an awkward fit in a crowded frontcourt, but his expanded offensive role has done a lot to remedy his declining fantasy value…  Elfrid Payton led a balanced effort on Monday, leading the team with 21 points.  He added two 3-pointers and three steals, and continues to return ninth round value on the season.

    Mavs 104, Cavs 97

    The Mavs pulled off their second upset in as many games against the shorthanded Cavs, leaning on Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and Seth Curry.  Barnes led the team in scoring with 25 points, and chipped in 11 boards to go with three assists and one steal.  Despite his below average defensive contributions, Barnes remains a top-65 asset thanks to his relatively efficient scoring…  Matthews struggled with shot (going 6-of-16 from the field) but did burry two 3-pointers on his way to 21 points…  Finally, Curry continued to look like a key part of the Mavs’ offensive machine, and has to be considered a mid round guy from now on.

    Kevin Love (back) didn’t suit up Monday and has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s contest against the Wolves.  His MRI did come back clean, however, so for now we’ll consider him questionable for Saturday’s tilt at MSG.  Richard Jefferson started in his place, hitting three treys in an otherwise quiet night…  LeBron James just missed out on a triple-double, finishing with 23 points to go along with nine boards, nine assists and two steals.  The King was far from efficient in this one, but still filled up the box score for those who road him in DFS.

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    Grizzlies 115, Suns 96

    Mike Conley went on an absolute terror in the second quarter against the Suns, opening up a double digit halftime lead that the team would never relinquish.  He finished with 38 points, seven threes, six boards, nine assists and two steals in the blowout, and should be considered a top-40 player moving forward…  Elsewhere, Tony Allen and Marc Gasol posted their usual lines despite getting some extra minutes of rest with the game out of hand.  Gasol was efficient on his way to 18 points, six boards, three assists and plenty of money counters, while Allen grabbed two steals with a smattering of other contributions.

    There were a few bright spots for the Suns in the blowout, however, as both Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss exceed the 20 point threshold.  Booker continues to struggle with his jumper, but he got to the line 12 times to salvage his evening.  He would be so much more appealing in fantasy if he offered more on the defensive end…  Chriss, on the other hand, flashed his potential as a versatile stat stuffer, scoring 20 points with two steals, one block, six boards and two 3-pointers.  He’s still raw but you can’t coach his brand of twitchy athleticism, and he’s made substantial improvements as a shooter already.  It might not happen this season, but Chriss has the makings of an impact fantasy player down the road.

    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.

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