March 14, 2017, 10:37 pm
The five-game slate on Tuesday night had a little bit of everything. Predictably, injury scares to Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis made headlines. More on that below. We had a pair of triple-doubles by two MVP candidates, a few blowouts made for lazy boxscores and one unexpected nail-biter while you were sleeping. Let’s check out Tuesday’s action.
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CAVS DISMANTLE PISTONS IN BLOWOUT
The Cavs scored a team-record 44 points in the first quarter and 74 in the first half, ending the game with a 26-point lead by halftime. The bench understandably got a lot of run to end the game, but not before LeBron James earned his 10th triple-double of the season in just 28 minutes. James shot 6-for-12 from the field for 16 points, 11 boards and 12 assists. He has five triple-doubles since the All-Star break. He is a man on an MVP mission.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs in scoring with 26 points on four threes, with one board and six assists in 30 minutes. He has been on fire over the last month, averaging 28.5 points per game. The Cavs play a back-to-back this weekend and the Lakers are on the back end, so stay tuned.
The Cavs supporting cast got hot as well, hence the scoring explosion on Tuesday. Iman Shumpert was 8-for-13 from the field for 18 points, five boards and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Richard Jefferson was 5-for-9 from the field for 16 points with two boards, one assist, two steals and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Neither are worth owning.
Larry Sanders checked in to the game in the waning minutes of the second half to get his first action in years. It will take him some time to get acclimated to an NBA level. Ignore him.
The Pistons also spread minutes throughout the team in the blowout, so the stat lines didn’t pop much as no Piston played over 27 minutes. Tobias Harris continued to make his mark in the starting lineup, shooting 6-for-11 from the field for 17 points with two boards, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. He has sent Jon Leuer (eight points, seven boards) to the drop zone.
Andre Drummond was highly inefficient, shooting 4-for-12 from the field for eight points with 14 rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes. He will shoot much better than this almost every night.
Both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (11-2-2-1) and Reggie Jackson (6-1-6-1) were letdowns as well due to low playing time. KCP has been in a funk lately and he looked to pick it up tonight, but the blowout ended his chance to makeup for lost stats. The Pistons play three more games this week, so hang on to your starters.
WESTBROOK RECORDS HIS 33RD TRIPLE-DOUBLE IN BLOWOUT OVER NETS
It was business as usual for Russell Westbrook, who is expected to record a triple-double almost every other game these days. That he did, as Westbrook posted another monster line. He shot 6-for-18 from the field and 11-for-13 from the line for 25 points with 12 rebounds, 19 assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes on Tuesday.
Victor Oladipo has been terrific since he suffered from back spasms and Tuesday was no exception. Dipo was 9-for-15 from the field for 21 points with three rebounds, four steals and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Despite the light schedule for the Thunder, Dipo is the only non-Westbrook Thunder you must hang on to if you are desperate.
The Thunder front court was a bag of mixed feelings. Steven Adams was better but still not himself on Tuesday, shooting 4-for-5 from the field for 11 points, five boards, one assist and two steals in 29 minutes. If you are desperate and he doesn’t fit your mold, Adams can go. Taj Gibson was terrific in 24 minutes, shooting 8-for-17 from the field for 17 points with eight boards, one block and one steal. Enes Kanter added added 17 points with five boards, two assists and one steal in just 19 minutes. It’s Thunder roulette with the big men. Take your pick on any given night.
The Nets have been a mess for the past few seasons and Tuesday was no different. Sean Kilpatrick left the game with a hamstring injury and scored just two points in seven minutes. That opened up some playing time for the rest of the line of Nets guards.
Jeremy Lin shined in his best game of the season, shooting 8-for-15 from the field for 24 points with two rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He was also a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. That’s a major improvement over his putrid shooting display (3-for-14) on Sunday. He should be owned in all formats until he gets hurt again.
It was the best game of Caris Levert‘s rookie season, as he scored 16 points with five rebounds, two assists, three steals and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes. He is on and off quite a bit this season. I’d still stay away, but he has my attention.
What an odd season it has been for Brook Lopez, who everyone thought would be resting by this time of the year. Lopez is playing and Kevin Durant is not, go figure. That’s fantasy basketball for you. BroLo is undeniably great in fantasy when he plays. He shot 9-for-15 from the field for 25 points with six rebounds, one steal and three 3-pointers in 29 minutes. As usual, he is a DNP candidate any day now. Fortunately, the Nets play four games each of the next three weeks so a benching doesn’t hurt as bad.
KNICKS WIN DESPITE PORZINGIS’ EARLY DEPARTURE
The Knicks finished off a desperate Pacers team 87-81 on Tuesday, even without the fourth-quarter services of Kristaps Porzingis. KP hurt his ankle at the very beginning of the fourth quarter and did not return, finishing with 11 points, three boards, three assists, one steal and three blocks in 25 minutes. For now, he is questionable for Thursday’s game. With the Knicks playing just one more game this week against the lowly Nets, you can safely drop Porzgod to save your matchup for someone who plays three games. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Willy Hernangomez is always the benefactor of a Porzingis injury, so he stepped up and played 31 minutes on Tuesday. Hernangomez was 6-for-12 from the field for 13 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block. It was a monster performance, but his schedule should keep him on the wire. No hard feelings.
With one game left, you can safely cut any Knick not named Carmelo Anthony, for that matter. Melo double-doubled with 22 points, 13 boards, one assist, one steal and three 3-pointers in 41 minutes. Hold on to him for Thursday, if he goes against the Nets. He is worth nothing the rest of the week after Thursday, so if you are desperate, again, I wouldn’t blame you to move on.
The Pacers were wildly inefficient, shooting 36.8% from the field as a team. Paul George was a major reason, as he shot 9-for-22 from the field for 22 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes. He also had six turnovers and no defensive stats. It’s not a good start to a three-game week for the Pacers’ stud.
Myles Turner was the most efficient Pacer, shooting 8-for-17 from the field for 17 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks in 31 minutes. He’s a tier below being a top notch big man.
The inefficiency continued with Jeff Teague, who shot 4-for-15 from the field for nine points, eight boards and six assists in 32 minutes. His seven turnovers weren’t doing 9-cat owners any favors either.
With the Pacers playing just one more game after Wednesday, you can safely drop Thad Young (four points, six boards, one steal) or C.J. Miles (two 3-pointers, four boards) for a three-gamer between Thursday-Sunday and add two games in one move. Move it or lose it.
July 12, 2020, 1:43 amVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo played only 13 games in 2019-20 after 12-month absence.
Taking only the 13-game stint into consideration, Oladipo posted top 200/250 per-game value for 8/9 cat leagues which is a far cry from his top-10 performance in 2017-18 but is also completely unfair to judge on such a small sample after a long hiatus while recovering from injury. He flashed his tremendous upside in his last game of the season against the Celtics on March 10 with 27 points, five triples, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. He has ruled himself out of coming back for the restart this season and will turn his focus on trying to return next year stronger than ever.
July 12, 2020, 1:25 amT.J. McConnellPG, Indiana Pacers
T.J. McConnell posted 210/222 per-game value for 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20.
McConnell’s first year on the Pacers was similar to what he did the last few seasons for the Sixers from a stat perspective although this was the first time in his five-year career that he didn’t average at least one steal per game with only 0.7 this year. Since he plays less than 20 minutes per game on most nights, he is a deep-league option at best for teams desperate for assists with occasional DFS value when the team had players out due to injury.
July 12, 2020, 1:00 amJustin HolidaySG, Indiana Pacers
Justin Holiday put up top 150/110 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20 while providing top 90/60 total value due to not missing any games.
Holiday is on his eighth different NBA roster in only his sixth season but has remained fantasy relevant in each of the last three seasons.
He played 31-plus minutes in each of the last two seasons with a sub-39.0 field goal percentage being his biggest deterrent. It seems he has fixed that this season with a career-best 44.0 field goal percentage and although playing only 24.9 minute per game, continues to be a cheap source for triples and steal s. With Jeremy Lamb out to start next year, perhaps Holiday can stick around for more than one season.
July 12, 2020, 12:36 amJeremy LambSG, Indiana Pacers
Jeremy Lamb was unable to build off his impressive 2018-19 campaign and posted top 110/95 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in 2019-20.
Lamb was hot and cold all season where he would be lights out one night and invisible the next. Maybe he had trouble adjusting to his new team but he also had trouble staying healthy, having to miss 11 games due to various ailments even before tearing his ACL in March. He is expected to miss a good chunk of next season so even though the 28 year old has plenty of time to get his career back on track, he can be ignored in next year's redraft leagues come draft time.
July 12, 2020, 12:20 amMalcolm BrogdonPG, Indiana Pacers
Malcolm Brogdon put up top-75/85 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats in an injury riddled season.
Brogdon signed a big contract in the offseason and flashed some serious potential with his new team, posting career-highs of 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. His field goal percentage took a big dip however going from 50.6 percent the prior season to 43.9 percent this year. It may be because of the increased responsibility on offense or maybe it was because he could never really get into a rhythm with all the injuries. Brogdon played in 74 percent for the team's games so far this season and had to miss consecutive games on five separate occasions with various back, hip, groin and hamstring injuries. One hopes the injuries aren't all interconnected and he can get back to full health to continue his upward trajectory.
July 12, 2020, 12:00 amDomantas SabonisC, Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis took his game to another level in 2019-20, registering an across the board improvement, allowing him to emerge as the Pacers' best player in fantasy as a top-50 player in 8/9-cat per game value and a top-30 player in total value in both formats.
Sabonis proved that his promising game was legit and took it up several notches. He was a double-double machine, recording averages of 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG and 5.0 APG on .541 shooting from the field. The second-year big man proved to be an amazing facilitator in the post with his five dimes per night. It is worth noting, however, that he made this jump while Victor Oladipo was injured for most of the season and Malcolm Brogdon dealt with a myriad of injuries.
July 11, 2020, 11:57 pmMyles TurnerC, Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner took a step backwards in the 2019-20 season fantasy-wise with top-70/60 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats.
Although Turner missed about two weeks early in the season with an ankle injury, he remained relatively healthy after that. His fantasy production did not meet expectations a season after he put up top-30 value and led the league in shot-blocking. With several new scorers on the team and the emergence of Domantas Sabonis, Turner's usage went down and so did his stats across the board. The only improvement was making 1.4 triples per game compared to 1.0 the prior season but this caused his field goal percentage to dip from 48.7 percent to 45.1. The construct of the team should stay intact for next season so Turner may no longer be a viable third round option.
July 11, 2020, 11:44 pmTJ WarrenSF, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Warren emerged as the Pacers' leading scorer with 18.7 points per game in 2019-20 and his efficient shooting from the field and the line allowed him to finish in the top-75 in both 8 and 9-cat scoring formats.
With Victor Oladipo off to a late and slow start to the season as he recovered from injury, Warren took the lead and along with Domantas Sabonis bore the brunt of the scoring load for the Pacers. Warren's 18.7 PPG came on .529 shooting from the field and .812 from the line. He also put up averages of 1.1 treys, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 32.5 minutes per game. Warren was also able to stay mostly healthy, allowing him to appear in 61 games.
July 11, 2020, 11:08 pmAaron HolidayPG, Indiana Pacers
Aaron Holiday was called on to step up when the Pacers dealt with injuries to Malcolm Brogdon, allowing him to deliver value ranked 207th in 8-cat and 210 in 9-cat per-game value.
The second-year guard made some solid strides in 2019-20, even stepping up and into the Pacers' starting lineup. In January, Holiday showed promise as he went on a nine-game streak where he scored in double digits, including a 25-point career-high explosion against the Pelicans. In 23.6 minutes per game, Holiday averaged 9.4 points, 1.4 threes, 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
July 11, 2020, 10:03 pmDoug McDermottSF, Indiana Pacers
Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott shot his way to top-250 value in 9-cat in 2019-20, recording averages 10.4 points, 1.9 threes and 2.5 rebounds on .491 shooting from the field and .827 shooting from the line in 20 minutes per game through 62 games.
McDermott, who has pretty much defined himself as a true one-trick pony across his four-year NBA career. Thanks to the solid play of Justin Holiday off the bench, McDermott was not able to produce a reliable splash, both in real-life and fantasy.