• With twelve (and then eleven) games on tap we had yet another eventful night in the Association.  Portland vs. Minnesota was postponed thanks to condensation on the hardwood, Giannis went off and Kawhi Leonard made his case for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.  With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.

    Bucks 112, Sixers 98

    The Bucks ran away with this one, and had their starting unit on the bench with three minutes to go in the contest.  Per usual, Giannis Antetokounmpo was a one man wrecking crew for Milwaukee.  He finished with 24 points, five assists, eight boards, two steals and three blocks while shooting 7-for-13 from the field, and has bounced back beautifully from his two-game slump last week…  Tony Snell and Khris Middleton both got hot from downtown, as they combined for seven triples between them.  While Snell had the more impressive line, Middleton continues to look like a mid round guy going forward.

    Playing without Joel Embiid (knee) and Jahlil Okafor (knee), the Sixers were lacking in firepower on Monday.  Okafor could return later this week, but both Dario Saric and Richaun Holmes have both carved out roles for themselves even when he does.  Saric flashed his versatile game against the Bucks, finishing with eight boards, six assists, two steals and a triple to go with his 14 points.  Holmes struggled in this one, but looks like the Sixers’ best center option going forward.

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    Heat 106, Cavs 98

    We witnessed the return of Dion Waiters: Certified Superstar on Monday.  He dropped 29 points with five assists, but sharp owners have already seen him start regressing.  Let’s not get sucked in again…  Goran Dragic continues to look excellent, dropping 21 points with three triples and six helpers on Monday.  He’s been a top-50 player over the past two weeks, and continues to drive Miami’s resurgent offense.

    The story for the Cavs was pretty simple: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were stunning while the rest of the roster struggled.  James dropped 30 points with 17 boards, six assists and plenty of helpers, while Irving chipped in 32 points of his own…  While he only scored eight points Tristan Thompson finished with a solid fantasy line, grabbing 13 boards with two steals and shooting 3-for-3 from the floor.  He’s hardly an exciting player to own, but he continues to return top-125 value on the year…  Unfortunately, Andrew Bogut fractured his left tibia after just two minutes of action for the Cavs.  His absence will all but assure 30+ minutes per game for Thompson.

    Knicks 113, Magic 105

    Fantasy darling Willy Hernangomez returned to action on Monday, dropping 14 points with eight boards and three assists.  He saw just 18 minutes of action, but should see that increase quickly as he gets back to 100% healthy…  Carmelo Anthony (knee) missed this game, leaving Courtney Lee with more looks on the wing.  He wasn’t exactly efficient, but Lee did score 20 points with a sprinkling of secondary statistics.

    Aaron Gordon continues to increase his fantasy stock playing at the four.  It’s amazing what being slotted into one’s natural position can do for a player.  He scored 17 points with five boards, four assists, one 3-pointer and one block, and should continue to be valued as a mid round asset in fantasy…  Elsewhere, Bismack Biyombo recorded a double-double in place of Nikola Vucevic (sore Achilles), scoring 10 points with 14 boards.  He’d make a solid starter if Vucevic ever missed real time, but Biyombo is currently little more than a low-end rebounding specialist.

    Warriors 119, Hawks 111

    Andre Iguodala helped to fill the void left by Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) to the tune of 24 points, five boards, four assists, three steals, one block and four triples.  He obviously won’t heat up from downtown every night, but Iguodala is a respectable deep league option until KD returns…  We’ve heard quite a bit of murmuring this week about Stephen Curry’s 3-point slump this week, but he drained six tonight on his way to 24 points.  Without Durant, Curry should handle the lion’s share of the offense for the Dubs and the last time he had this type of opportunity he was the best player in fantasy.

    While Dennis Schroder turned in a nice line on Monday, it’s worth noting that he remains outside the top-115 players in standard leagues.  He hit three triples and grabbed a steal tonight, but he’s been underwhelming in all three money categories on the season, which limits his fantasy upside…  Paul Millsap double-doubled with two 3-pointers and a block, but struggled with his shooting stroke.  Millsap finished just 6-of-16 from the field, and is now shooting just 44% from the floor after averaging 47% or better in each of his previous two seasons.

    Pistons 109, Bulls 95

    Despite a quiet night from Andre Drummond, the Pistons were able to dismantle the Bulls behind solid performances from Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer.  Jackson dropped 26 points with six assists, two boards and two 3-pointers, while Leuer posted an efficient 16 and six.  Neither player helped owners in either defensive category, but they did enough to get Detroit over the top.

    With Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo out it was the Jimmy Butler show in Chicago.  The superstar forward scored 27 points with nine rebounds, four assists, one three, one steal and one block.  He’s a stud…  Cameron Payne saw 23 minutes of action off the bench and made good use of them.  He scored 14 points with four 3-pointers, three boards and three assists.  His value is capped by the Bulls’ slew of guards, but his arrow is pointing up in dynasty formats.

    Hornets 100, Pacers 88

    With Frank Kaminsky (shoulder) expected to miss 10-14 days, Cody Zeller finds himself in fairly desirable fantasy position.  He saw 34 minutes of action tonight and responded with a 13 point, 11 board double-double.  Zeller will never be a fantasy monster, but he makes sense as a short term add for team’s trying to sneak into the playoffs…  Nicolas Batum remains perpetually underrated in fantasy.  He stuffed the stat tonight and continues to ride his versatile game to a top-60 spot on the player rater.

    There’s very little to talk about for Indiana.  Paul George put up an electric 36 point, 10 board, five assist line, but was let down by his supporting cast.  C.J. Miles hit four 3-pointers and Myles Turner blocked three shots, but there wasn’t enough fantasy goodness in this one to dwell on it any further.

    Nets 122, Grizzlies 109

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been maddeningly inconsistent in the starting lineup for the Nets, but he flashed his versatile upside against the Grizzlies.  He finished with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block in just 23 minutes of action.  Hollis-Jefferson might not ever be elite in any one area, but he does have the upside to be a well-rounded fantasy contributor…  Brook Lopez had one of his worst games of the season against Marc Gasol and company, scoring just eight points with no threes and no blocks in 32 minutes of action.  Lopez didn’t have to push anything with the Nets cruising, but it would have been nice for him to get in on the action.

    Of their 11 players to see the court tonight, the Grizzlies had just four in double figures.  Mike Conley put an a masterful performance against a putrid Nets defense, and Marc Gasol made his presence felt on both ends, but neither received much help from their supporting cast…  Chandler Parsons showed his first signs of life in over a month, scoring 12 points with three assists and two triples in 22 minutes.  He’s had a nightmarish season, but he could provide some sneaky fantasy appeal if he can turn the corner on the knee issues that have plagued him all year.

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    Spurs 112, Rockets 110

    After being down 16 points after the first quarter the Spurs came roaring back behind a transcendent performance from Kawhi Leonard.  He poured in 39 points with four 3-pointers, six boards, five assists, one steal and two blocks, all while making 12-of-18 from the floor and 11-for-11 from the line.  He’s got a legitimate case for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy and is somehow still under appreciated…  Although he only scored five points, Danny Green continues to provide sneaky value in roto leagues, as he finds a way to scrape together just enough money counters to justify a roster spot.  He knocked in another three on Monday to go with two steals.

    For the Rockets, Ryan Anderson left the game during the fourth quarter with tightness in his lower back.  He finished with just seven points, two rebounds and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes…  James Harden again looked like fantasy’s MVP on Monday, dropping 39 points with 12 assists, three boards and six triples.  He didn’t collective any defensive stats, but was an efficient 13-for-20 from the field.  Enjoy the ride.

    Nuggets 108, Kings 96

    Nikola Jokic was apparently very close to suiting up, but was ultimately held out due to illness.  In his place, Mason Plumlee drew the start and put up a respectable 10-12-5 double-double with one steal and one block.  Plumlee is a nice fit in Denver’s offense and should be on DFS players’ radar whenever Jokic is inactive…  Wilson Chandler went off to the tune of 36 points, 12 boards, four assists, two steals and one block.  He’s playing the majority of his minutes at the four, and should continue to exploit mismatches there with his quickness and ability to hit from deep.

    After DeMarcus Cousins was sent to New Orleans Willie Cauley-Stein was quickly anointed as the fantasy’s next breakout candidate.  So far, however, the results have been underwhelming.  Cauley-Stein has been solid, but we’re still waiting for him to flash the defensive dominance that was supposed to be his calling card…  Tyreke Evans (rest) returned on Monday to play 21 minutes.  He scored 12 points with six boards, two assists, one steal and two triples, and continues to make an intriguing stash in case his minutes restriction is reduced during the stretch run.

    Jazz 88, Pelicans 83

    This was a grit it out victory for the Jazz all the way.  Rudy Gobert went for 15 and 15, adding two steals and two blocks, and played phenomenal defense against Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.  He’s been the top-20 player we’d all imagined two offseasons ago…  Gordon Hayward handled the lion’s share of the offense as George Hill (rest, toe), Joe Johnson (groin) and Shelvin Mack (ankle) were all held out.  Hayward scored 23 points with seven boards, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers, and continues to return top-40 value on the season.

    Neither Cousins nor Davis had an answer for Gobert’s defense in this one.  The Twin Towers combined to go 12-for-32 from the field and neither recorded a block.  The duo has shown flashes of dominant play together, especially when one sets an on-ball screen for the other, but it’s going to take time for the Pelicans’ offense to adjust to the addition of Cousins.

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    Clippers 116, Celtics 102

    This was pretty straightforward win for L.A., as their big three punished the visiting Celtics.  DeAndre Jordan was a monster on the glass while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin combined to score 49 points with plenty of extras…  J.J. Redick finished with just three points, but Jamal Crawford got hot off the bench to provide a secondary scoring punch.  Crawford will be fun while his shot’s falling, but he’s better suited for deeper league owners in need of triples.

    Marcus Smart saw 32 minutes of action off the bench on Monday and made them count, finishing with 21 points, three assists and three boards.  He continues to look lost when asked to shoot from distance, but his ability to rack up steals makes him a hold in standard leagues…  Elsewhere, Isaiah Thomas dropped 32 points and continues to thrive with or without Al Horford in the lineup.  For what it’s worth, Horford is targeting a return to action on Wednesday against Golden State.

    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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