February 7, 2018, 1:43 am
Another Tuesday in the books and another major injury in the NBA. More on that in a minute.
It was an eight-game slate filled with blowouts galore, so teams took advantage of resting players and gearing up for the trade deadline. In fact, no game on Tuesday night was within single digits. Yep, it was that kind of eerie night in the NBA. Let’s get to it.
PORZINGIS TEARS ACL, OUT FOR SEASON
After Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis threw down a one-handed slam over Giannis Antetokounmpo, he grabbed his left knee and grimaced in pain. The basketball world halted at the sight of yet another all-star being helped off the court by teammates.
After the game, an MRI confirmed the worst case scenario. Porzingis tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season. If you faded his injury history and steered clear in fantasy leagues, kudos.
From a fantasy perspective, Michael Beasley needs to be owned in all leagues. He is easily the best beneficiary of the bunch. In deeper leagues, Kyle O’Quinn and Willy Hernangomez become intriguing. Both have been rumored to be moved ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, so the last man standing could have some decent value. Both are worth speculative holds in deeper leagues.
Of course, injuries are a part of the game and fantasy, but you have to stop and feel for these young guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Porzingis. We wish them a speedy recovery.
Both also happen to be on Team LeBron, which is falling like flies. A quick recap:
-Kristaps Porzingis: Torn ACL, out for season
-DeMarcus Cousins: Torn Achilles, out for season
–John Wall: Knee surgery, out 6-8 weeks
–Kevin Love: Broken hand, out 6-8 weeks
Move over Madden curse! A new curse is born.
HARDAWAY JR. AGGRAVATES SAME LEG
As if Tuesday wasn’t already a nightmare for the Knicks, fellow guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (left shin) limped off the court with the help of teammates and did not return.
After the game, X-rays were negative, which was a big relief to owners. However, X-rays do not rule out a stress reaction, which caused THJ to missed 20 games earlier in the season. He was just getting back in a groove, so an aggravation of the same leg could spell trouble.
With Porzingis now out for the season, you can’t help but speculate if the Knicks will treat injuries extra cautious since there is no rush on getting players back on the floor. Make no mistake, THJ could be fine, but it wouldn’t be surprising for the team to tap the brakes on a return, especially since Hardaway is an expensive piece who hurt the same leg. Stay tuned for updates as they come.
REELING CAVS BLOW BIG LEAD, LOSE AGAIN
The Cavs blew a 21-point lead and ended up losing 116-98 in blowout fashion. The loss now makes it their 14th in 21 games, with a 7-14 record in that span. A change is on the horizon, but I’m not convinced even the Cavs know what’s coming.
After the game, LeBron James spoke to reports and dispelled any rumor that he will be traded before the deadline on Thursday.
“I’m here for this season right now to try and figure out a way we can still compete,” said James. “I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”
Since LeBron is staying, Kevin Love is injured, and Isaiah Thomas should stick around, the Cavs must find a different answer to help their shot to get to the Finals this season.
Rumors have linked available guards such as George Hill, who could give the Cavs a boost on defense in their guard rotations. Other guards such as Lou Williams and Tyreke Evans have also been linked to the Cavs. Hill is the most likely of the bunch to be shipped over, but the Cavs probably have that deal in their back pocket and will seek out better offers.
Any trade should not impact the value of James, Thomas or Love. At this point, no other player on the Cavs is ownable in standard leagues.
The Cavs have Brooklyn’s first round pick, but management has repeatedly said that they will not trade the pick unless they are blown away. LeBron is in win-now mode, but Dan Gilbert has different intentions. It has become a circus this season. A turnaround this season looks tumultuous at this point.
WESTBROOK, GEORGE TAKE IT TO WARRIORS
Even though the fit looks funky at times, the Thunder have pieced together a squad which might be capable of giving the Warriors fits. It looked very possible on Tuesday night, as the Thunder whipped the Warriors 125-105 at Oracle Arena.
Westbrook shot 13-for-26 from the field for 34 points with nine boards, nine assists and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. When the Bestbrook comes to play, there is no stopping him.
George was fantastic, shooting 11-for-23 from the field for 38 points with five boards, three assists, six steals and six 3-pointers in 38 minutes. He was terrific on defense, showing every bit of why the Thunder should be feared in a series against the Warriors.
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) left the game early on after playing just six minutes with a sprained ankle. He taped it up and could have returned, but he sat out the rest of the game. Consider him day-to-day.
The Warriors moved to 1-4 combined against the Rockets and Thunder this season. The Western Conference playoffs will be interesting this time around, to say the least.
That will do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish!! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Catch me on the Fantasy NBA Tonight ($) pod on Tuesday nights where we answer your questions and go over box scores. Also be sure to watch me on our TRADE DEADLINE SHOW this Thursday starting at 9AM PT all day. Happy hump day!!