November 9, 2016, 11:48 am
A lot has transpired over the last 24 hours in the real world. It’s nice to escape all of that and get back to things that we love, one of them being the NBA and fantasy basketball. While you and your league mates were watching the news, the NBA was in full swing and Damian Lillard put on a show. More on that below. Let’s get you caught up on what was happening on a wild Tuesday night!
BAZEMORE STAYS HOT IN HAWKS’ WIN OVER CAVS
The Cavs fell at home for their first loss of the season after starting 6-0. Kent Bazemore shot 8-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the line for 25 points with six boards, three assists, four 3-pointers and one turnover. After a rough first week, he is hitting his stride over the last two games. The buy-low window is closed for now.
Dennis Schroder added 28 points (10-for-16 FGs, 5-for-5 FTs) with six assists, two boards and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. He is having a solid start to the season and Tuesday was icing on the cake. Paul Millsap was effective with 21 points, five boards, one assist and two 3-pointers.
Dwight Howard (lip) left the game in this one after he cut his lip. Howard came back with four stitches and will be just fine. He played 27 minutes, posting seven points with 17 rebounds, two assists and three blocks. The hometown situation suits him well.
The Cavs’ big three, LeBron James (23 points, 9 rebounds, five assists, three steals), Kyrie Irving (29 points and four assists) and Kevin Love (24 points and 12 rebounds), were not the problem on Tuesday night.
The supporting cast went ice cold. Tristan Thompson scored 0 points with two boards and one steal in 25 minutes of play. He is a category specialist who really lets you down when he isn’t grabbing boards. The same can be said for J.R. Smith, who shot 2-for-13 from the field for six points, two boards, three assists and two steals in 32 minutes. Ouch. He sure is streaky.
WIGGINS’ BREAKOUT NOT ENOUGH TO HELP STRUGGLING WOLVES
Andrew Wiggins had a career night with 36 points (13-for-29 FGs, 4-for-8 FTs), eight boards, two assists, one steal and six 3-pointers (still less than half of Stephen Curry’s on Monday). Thibodeau’s defense couldn’t hold the Nets to the tune of 119 points, putting the Wolves in a 1-5 hole to start the season.
Karl-Anthony Towns (21 points, seven boards, four assists, one block, one 3-pointer) and Gorgui Dieng (eight points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block) were in foul trouble early, leaving the Wolves thin in the frontcourt. Cole Aldrich wasn’t much help.
The backcourt was a mess as well. Zach LaVine played 40 minutes, shooting 5-for-16 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line for 17 points, two rebounds, one assist and one trey.
Fantasy owners couldn’t be pleased to see Kris Dunn play just 16 minutes, putting up an absolute dud with 0 points, two assists, three boards and one steal. It was Tyus Jones who grabbed the reigns for 32 minutes, scoring 12 points with five boards, seven assists, five steals and two 3-pointers. I’d still rather have Dunn, but this is a situation to watch moving forward. Ricky Rubio (elbow) is due back in the next few weeks.
On the winning side, the surprising 3-4 Brooklyn Nets (yes, even a 3-4 record is surprising with what they are tossing out there) command plenty of fantasy attention. Whenever Brook Lopez (26 points, three blocks) suits up, he does what fantasy owners paid for him to do. The questions remains, will he or won’t he?
I said it on Fantasy NBA Tonight and I will say it again: Trevor Booker could be this year’s Marvin Williams. A hot waiver-wire addition in week one, Booker is averaging 9.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per game in 26.7 minutes through his first seven games. The Nets have a beautiful schedule in standard matchup league playoffs in March. If you pounced early, congrats.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson followed up his best game of the season with an efficient outing, shooting 3-for-4 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line for 13 points, four boards, two assists and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. He didn’t help in the defensive department last night, which is a rarity. If he was dropped in your league by an impatient owner, add him to the end of your bench.
Hoop-Ball’s Aaron Bruski is all over Isaiah Whitehead, who finished with 13 points, seven boards, seven assists and one block in 26 minutes. I still need to see more, but he is worth a flier if you are looking for point guard stats. You could do worse.
MARC GASOL HITS BUZZER BEATER TO TAKE DOWN NUGGETS
Marc Gasol (19 points, six boards, one block) came up big by hitting the game winner after the Grizzlies had just 0.7 seconds left to score. Vince Carter (20 points, five assists, three rebounds, two blocks, three treys) made an excellent inbounds pass to set up Gasol. VC played 31 minutes, but I wouldn’t waste my time. He is the typical Sunday add in matchup league if you are need of offensive stats.
Chandler Parsons played his second game since returning from knee surgery. He was much better this time around, scoring nine points with three boards, two assists and one steal in 21 minutes. Baby steps.
Zach Randolph was 8-for-13 from the field for 16 points and eight boards. He is playing well to start the season and could crack the starting lineup. If you took a chance, you should be happy with his output so far. I would still sell.
The Nuggets are still a work in progress as they figure out their rotation amidst injuries and styles of play. Jusuf Nurkic (11 points, seven rebounds, one block) continues to be a thorn in the side of Nikola Jokic owners. Jokic scored 12 points with five boards, two assists, one steal and one trey in 28 minutes. This tug-o-war looks to be a long-term concern. Nurkic is here to stay.
Gary Harris was supposed to be on a 20-minute cap of playing time but that went out the window. Harris played 30 minutes, shooting 5-for-13 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line for 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. Patient owners are starting to reap the rewards of drafting him at a modest ADP. Harris is just getting started.
Danilo Gallinari (21 points, seven boards, two assists, three steals, one blocks and three 3-pointers) is still standing and making a strong fantasy impact. For those wondering about the roles of Will Barton (left ankle) and Wilson Chandler (hamstring) moving forward, Barton is a better play but only in deeper leagues. Given Gallinari’s injury history, this situation figures to work itself out.