May 9, 2018, 1:01 am
Hello Hoop-Ballers! Tuesday was fun, wasn’t it? The Rockets and Warriors shocked the world to make it to the Western Conference Finals. Not.
Yes, it is all going exactly as everyone expected so far. If you lived in a cave since the start of the 2017-18 season, you haven’t missed much. But you’ve also missed everything. The Warriors and Rockets will play in the Western Conference Finals (the real NBA Finals) over the next two weeks for the chance to hand LeBron’s Cavs another Finals loss (I know, the truth hurts).
Let’s take a peak at how both teams got there on Tuesday night.
CP3 GOES BONKERS FOR 41 POINTS TO SEND JAZZ HOME
With the Rockets heading home nurturing a 3-1 series lead, Tuesday night was a no-brainer in the gambling department. What you might not have guessed, however, is that the Rockets would survive a poor James Harden game.
That’s right, Chris Paul shouldered the load in a huge way, shooting 13-for-22 from the field and 10-for-12 from the line for 41 points with seven boards, 10 assists, one steal and eight 3-pointers in 38 minutes. CP3 was unstoppable and feeling it throughout the game, making big shot after big shot. The 41 points and eight threes were both career playoff highs. CP3 has made the Western Conference Finals for the first time in his career.
As mentioned above, Harden struggled all night. He shot an empty 7-for-22 from the field for 18 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. The regular season MVP will have a lot to prove against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
The Jazz ended their season on a sour note, as Donovan Mitchell (leg) was carried off to the locker room with just over seven minutes left in the game. He did not return. Mitchell shot 9-for-17 from the field for 24 points with four boards, nine assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Mitchell left the game when the Jazz were down 92-87 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. He buckled knees and had to get assisted to the locker room, where he attempted to walk it off but couldn’t shake it off in time to save the Jazz. He finishes the season as a rookie phenom who looks poised to have an all-star career, and maybe then some. Mitchell will be drafted in the top-35 picks among fantasy leagues next season.
The Rockets will try to take down the defending champion Warriors this weekend in a battle of NBA heavyweights.
WARRIORS TAKE DOWN PELS, AD IN FIVE GAMES
We all knew it was coming, it just was a matter of how soon. Three hours after the Rockets punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors did so as well in a 113-104 win over Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Steph Curry came back in this series earlier than expected, and he made a heck of a difference. Curry led the Warriors in scoring on Tuesday, shooting 10-for-16 from the field for 28 points, seven boards, eight assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes. He has found his groove and looks poised and ready for a date with the Rockets.
The big four were all terrific. Kevin Durant posted a 24-6-7-2 line with one 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson poured in 23 points of his own, adding six boards, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes.
Draymond Green left his mark on the series as well, flexing his DFS muscles on Tuesday. Dray shot 9-for-18 for 19 points, 14 boards, nine assists, three steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes. It truly took a team effort from the Warriors studs to close out the Pelicans.
Anthony Davis made his presence known in the NBA playoffs, even though he fell short of reaching the conference finals. AD went out loud and proud with 34 points, 19 boards, one assist, one steal, four blocks and one 3-pointer in 45 minutes. He should flirt with the No. 1 consensus pick in fantasy redraft leagues next season.
Jrue Holiday continued his playoff tear with a triple-double, despite a losing effort. Holiday finished with 27 points, 10 boards, 11 assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 46 minutes. He had a coming out party after Boogie Cousins went down for the season. Holiday will be a top-30 pick in redraft leagues next season.
The Warriors will look to defend their title against the Rockets this weekend in what looks to be the real NBA Finals.
August 18, 2019, 11:21 pmBogdan BogdanovicSG, Sacramento Kings
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 28 points in Serbia's 85-80 win over Greece on Sunday.
Serbia will be a tough team to beat in the 2019 FIBA World Cup thanks to Bogdanovic, Nikola Jokic and Nemanja Bjelica among others. Bjelica put up 18 points and 14 rebounds as well. They were able to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 20 points. This is one of the teams that could sneak up on Team USA and pull out a win.
August 18, 2019, 10:36 pmJustin AndersonSG, Atlanta Hawks
According to The Athletic, the Wizards and Justin Anderson are trying to work towards a training camp contract.
Anderson averaged a career-low 9.6 minutes per game with the Hawks last season. The former first-round pick is looking to gain another opportunity on a thin Wizards team. He will likely not have much fantasy value if he manages to make the roster.
Source: Fred Katz on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 9:37 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo is still rehabbing from his ruptured quad tendon in January, and is unsure if he will be an active participant at the Pacers' training camp when it opens in September.
Our last update from Pacers POBO Kevin Pritchard had Oladipo aiming for December or January, and that timetable still seems doable. He is taking his leadership role seriously, connecting with the Pacers' new players this summer, and it seems likely that he will make his presence felt this year at some point. Oladipo had an outstanding campaign two years ago, but even before the injury he was a disappointment last season. Fantasy owners should proceed with caution, we may not see Oladipo's top form this year.
Source: Indiana Pacers
August 18, 2019, 8:49 pmBol BolC, Denver Nuggets
Bol Bol stated that he has completely recovered from the left foot fracture that ended his college basketball career, and he is now working out twice a day for his upcoming rookie season with the Nuggets.
The multi-talented center could put up big numbers if given the opportunity with the Nuggets, but the risk for another injury is real. With that in mind, Bol is not expected to receive a lot of minutes this season. If that somehow changes, it would be exciting to see his rare combination of blocks and 3-pointers in action.
Source: Jim Slater of AFP
August 18, 2019, 7:26 pmDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are allowing the Lakers to speak with Dwight Howard.
The news came out yesterday that the Lakers would seek permission and the fact that they were granted it suggests that Howard will not be on the Grizzlies for long. The aftermath of DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL left them in need of another center if they want to remain true to playing Anthony Davis exclusively at power forward. Joakim Noah is the other option on the Lakers' radar and has been a facilitator and role player in the past.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 7:18 pmMoritz WagnerPF, Washington Wizards
Moritz Wagner has been cut from Germany’s FIBA World Cup team.
The move seems somewhat surprising given Wagner’s youth and notoriety, but Germany still has four NBA players on their roster despite cutting Wagner. The Wizards have plenty of depth in the frontcourt and Wagner is probably lower on the totem poll when it comes to receiving minutes.
Source: Dario Skerletic of Sportando
August 18, 2019, 9:33 amJonah BoldenPF, Philadelphia Sixers
Jonah Bolden has opted to withdraw from Team Australia in the FIBA World Cup.
Bolden becomes the fifth NBA player to skip out on playing for Australia in the World Cup, a trend that seems to be prevalent for several countries' national teams. Bodlen could be looking at an increased role as a backup center for Philly's thin bench this upcoming season. He is not expected to be a relevant fantasy option though.
Source: Fox Sports Australia
August 18, 2019, 9:25 amJeremy LinPG, Toronto Raptors
Jeremy Lin is in advanced discussions with the Bejing Ducks according to a report from Chinese journalist Sonx Xiang.
Lin previosuly turned down a deal to play for CSKA Moscow, and has also discussed his openness to playing in China. The nine year guard still hopes to resmue his NBA career at some point, but a move to China may be the best career option for him at this juncture.
August 18, 2019, 9:18 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
The Lakers will soon ask Memphis permission to speak with Dwight Howard according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Shams goes on to mention that there is mutual interest here and that Joakim Noah could be another veteran of interest for LA. The realistic options for free agents at the five really don't go much further than these two for the Lakers. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 18, 2019, 8:37 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
In the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins injury, one name the Lakers are considering is Dwight Howard, according to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated.
Howard is still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but it is widely assumed that he will be waived before the season starts. A reunion in LA would certainly be pretty surprising for the Lakers after Howard famously did not resign with them after a miserable season playing with Kobe Bryant. Still, the Lakers need depth at the five and there really aren't any options on the market who compare to Howard's level of productivty, even at this stage of his career. Other center options the Lakers could pursue include Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried and Zaza Pachulia.
Source: Rohan Nadkarni on Twitter