• Before we begin, I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day. As cheesy and commercial Valentine’s Day might be, the symbolism of such a holiday is still something to celebrate with the partner’s and loved ones in our life. I hope you pamper yours. I know I will!

    Speaking of love, Kevin Love remains out for the Cavs and shouldn’t be back until sometime in March at the earliest. It didn’t matter, as the new look Cavs are rolling over solid teams. Did you like my Valentine’s Day tie in?

    Tuesday night featured a six-game slate, chocked full of teams jockeying for playoff seeding and some #TeamTank separation games. Let’s get you caught up on the action.

    NEW LOOK CAVS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT AGAINST CONTENDER

    The Cavs won their fourth straight game and second straight with a roster overhaul in a 120-112 win over the Thunder on Tuesday. LeBron James went off, shooting 14-for-23 from the field for 37 points with eight boards, eight assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes. He is playing with a different hop in his step now that he is surrounded by hungry teammates.

    Larry Nance Jr. shot 5-for-10 from the field for 13 points with nine boards, two assists, one steal and three blocks in 24 minutes on Tuesday. His scrappy skill set shows up in boxscores. He should be owned.

    J.R. Smith caught fire again for 18 points (all of six threes) with six boards, three assists and one steal. He can still be ignored on the waiver wire, but used as a Sunday add if you need threes.

    The Thunder’s four-headed monster all put up useful fantasy lines while scoring in the 20’s.

    Steven Adams had a strong game, scoring 22 points (8-for-12 FGs) with 17 boards, one assist, two steals and one block in 42 minutes. He has blossomed in to an early-mid round center this season and it’s fun to watch.

    Paul George led the Thunder in scoring with 25 points, adding four boards, six assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 39 minutes. The initial all-star snub woke him up.

    Russell Westbrook dropped 21 points (7-for-19 FGs) with seven boards, 12 assists and two steals in 38 minutes. He looks completely healthy.

    Carmelo Anthony gave it a go as well, shooting 10-for-22 from the field with 24 points, seven boards, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes. The four-headed monster played heavy minutes but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the new-look Cavs.

    RAPTORS FINALLY PLAY FOURTH QUARTER

    For the first time since February 4th, the Raptors had their starters out on the court in the fourth quarter. They finally had an interesting game, taking the Heat to the wire and winning 115-112 at the end of regulation.

    DeMar DeRozan shot 11-for-25 from the field for 27 points with two boards, four assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. He was only 1-for-7 from beyond the arc, but the great thing this season is that he is shooting them.

    Kyle Lowry dropped a 22-4-8-2 line with four 3-pointers in 32 minutes. It was a miracle to see him cross the 30-minute mark. He sure can be productive with a full load of minutes. With all of the blowouts and low minutes, he has fallen out of the top-30 this season. Depending on the opponent and minutes played, Lowry can still post fantasy numbers as good as any of the best guards.

    As for the Heat, all-star guard Goran Dragic did his damage with 10-for-19 shooting from the field, posting 28 points with two boards, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. It’s a nice rebound for Dragic after going 1-for-11 for six points in the Heat’s last contest.

    Hassan Whiteside (10-10-1-2-1 in 22 minutes) sat out the fourth quarter again, proving that the trend is in full motion. Bam Adebayo played more minutes, logging 11 points with five boards, three assists and one block in 25 minutes. Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) will be out until the all-star break and possibly beyond, so Adebayo should be owned in standard leagues.

    ROCKETS TOO MUCH FOR WOLVES

    In a matchup of two Western Conference contenders, the Rockets showed that they are on another level with a 126-108 win. James Harden dominated with 34 points (10-for-20 FGs), six rebounds, 13 assists, one block and six 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He is flawless in 8-cat leagues.

    Chris Paul added 13 points, eight boards, seven assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. After a rough start to the season and injury woes, CP3 has started to live up to his high ADP.

    Ryan Anderson broke out with 21 points, four boards, one assist and six 3-pointers in 26 minutes. If your team is great at threes, he should be in your backup center spot.

    Karl-Anthony Towns beat up the Rockets once again, as he has routinely had his biggest nights against them. KAT shot 12-for-16 from the field for 35 points, 12 boards, three assists, one steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. He is a top-five fantasy player and should continue to get all the minutes he can handle down the stretch.

    Jeff Teague had one of his more efficient nights, shooting 10-for-15 from the floor for 25 points with five boards, eight assists and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. He stole some usage tonight from Jimmy Butler, who was 5-for-13 from the field for 15 points with seven boards and six assists.

    The Rockets are now 0.5 games behind the Warriors for the top seed in the West, while the Wolves remained in the fourth seed, 0.5 behind the Spurs.

    JOKIC TRIPLE-DOUBLES TO BEAT SPURS

    The Nuggets were just 0.5 games ahead of ninth place coming in to Tuesday night, so a date with the Spurs was a big one. Nikola Jokic rose to the occasion, posting a 23-13-11 triple double in 32 minutes. It’s already the big fellas second trip-dub in February.

    Will Barton was all over the floor for the Nuggets, putting together a 20-5-6-2 line with two 3-pointers on Tuesday. He led the team with 42 minutes on Tuesday.

    Jamal Murray, who came in questionable with breathing and chest soreness issues over the weekend, started and came up big all night. Murray finished with 17 points (6-for-9 FGs), five boards, one assist, two steals and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes.

    The Spurs played victim to playing in Denver on the second-leg of a back-to-back, which is always very tough. LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) sat once again but should be good to go for all-star weekend and beyond.

    The depleted Spurs were led by Joffrey Lauvergne, who broke out with 26 points (12-for-15 FGs), 11 boards, two assists and one block in 23 minutes off the bench. He filled in for LMA and got extremely hot, so you can leave him on the wire. Nothing to see here.

    Dejounte Murray, who came in with an ankle issue, played in both back-to-backs so that’s a great sign. Murray put up 12 points with six boards, two assists, two steals and three blocks in 27 minutes. He is an excellent source for rebounds and defensive stats at the point guard position.

    With the win, the Nuggets slid all the way up to 6th in the West, tied with the Blazers at 31-26. The Spurs remain in the third seed at 35-24, only 0.5 games ahead of the Wolves.

    HAWKS AND MAVS LOSE, WIN TANKATHON ON TUESDAY

    With both the Kings and Mavs tied to be dead last in the NBA coming in to Tuesday night’s game, the stakes were high, but someone had to win (lose). The Kings did just that, tossing their “youth movement” plan out the window again and putting together a 114-109 victory over the Mavericks.

    Zach Randolph, 36 years young, led the way with 22 points (10-for-15 FGs), seven boards, three assists and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes. Vince Carter, 39 years young, finished with eight points, four boards, seven assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Garrett Temple, 31 years young, put up 13 points and two assists in 19 minutes. So much for a youth movement.

    The Mavs did what they have been doing all season – staying competitive in games but tanking to get great lottery balls. J.J. Barea led all scorers with 19 points, 13 assists, five boards, one steal and five 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He should be owned in all leagues.

    Dwight Powell chipped in with 18 points, six boards, five assists and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. With Dirk Nowitzki starting for team tank, expect to see a lot more Powell down the stretch.

    The Hawks also stayed competitive with the Bucks, but made sure to stay at 18 wins with the Mavs, Suns, Magic, Kings, Grizzlies and Magic. Woof.

    The usual suspects played well for the Hawks. Dennis Schroder posted an 18-3-4-1 line with two 3-pointers in 31 minutes, while Kent Bazemore dropped 17-5-4-0-1 in 29 minutes.

    Dewayne Dedmon posted a second solid game in a row, double-doubling with 13 points, 10 boards, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes. His owners should be happy there was no move at the trade deadline.

    That will do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish. Check me out on Fantasy NBA Tonight ($) where we talk fantasy in a live format where you, the readers and Hoop-Ballers, can ask me questions and we can converse back and forth. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallFantasy. Have a great rest of your week!!

Fantasy News

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Miami Heat

    Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.

    Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.

    Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter

  • Zach LaVine
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.

    The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Luka Doncic
    PG-SF, Dallas Mavericks

    Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.

    This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.

    Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.

    Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.

    "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.

    The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.

    "Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.

    Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.

    With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.

    Source: Charlotte Hornets

  • Jon Leuer
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.

    Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.

    Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram