• After dropping their seventh loss of the season by November 9th, the 5-7 Cavs were at a new low. One week removed from a “doors-closed” team meeting, the team was lost searching for answers. Then the streak began.

    Not one…not two…but nine in a row. LeBron James remains the constant even when the team is losing. His stats will be there and his teams typically don’t lose for very long. The difference in the recent win streak has been Kevin Love.

    Over the last two weeks, Love has turned things around to play like a top-15 fantasy player. Until Isaiah Thomas returns, he will hold second-round value. Ride him for a few more weeks and then sell high.

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    CAVS 108, HEAT 97

    Speaking of Kevin Love, he posted a monster first half stat line against the Heat: 32 points (10-for-14 FGs, 8-for-9 FTs), eight boards, one assist, two steals and four 3-pointers. As he typically has done in the past, he couldn’t put two halves together to post an ultra-crazy stat line, but owners will have to settle for 38-9-2-2 and four 3-pointers in 25 minutes. The Cavs were in a blowout so he didn’t play much after the break.

    LeBron James was ejected in the third quarter on Tuesday, finishing 10-of-16 shooting from the floor for 21 points with 12 rebounds, six assists, five steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. It took 1,082 games, but LeBron finally met a ref who wanted to make an example out of him. He wasn’t going to play much of the fourth quarter in a blowout, anyway.

    On the losing side, Dion Waiters led all scorers with 21 points (8-for-19 FGs), seven assists, one rebound and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. If you are punting field goal percentage, enjoy him.

    Hassan Whiteside dropped 11 points (5-for-10 FGs), 14 boards, two steals and one block in 18 minutes. You have to wonder if health will end up being a concern with him this season. Kelly Olynyk would be your add there.

    Josh Richardson has been frustrating to own over the past few weeks, but perhaps the bounce is coming. He shot well on Tuesday, hitting 6-for-9 from the field for 15 points with two boards, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes. The opportunity is there and law of averages will raise that field goal percentage. He’s a hold in standard leagues.

    SUNS 104, BULLS 99

    Another day, another Devin-Booker-could-be-a-superstar game. Booker exploded in the win, shooting 10-for-23 from the field for 33 points with eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and five 3-pointers. Once he gets the consistency down, Devin Booker should tap deep into his oozing potential.

    T.J. Warren continued his great start to the season, shooting 10-for-20 from the field for 25 points with seven boards, one assist, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes. He is one of the season’s best surprises so far.

    The Suns continued to play musical chairs in the front court. Greg Monroe was a DNP-CD, causing trade speculation. Perhaps the Suns have showcased him enough. He has the talent to warrant a hold in standard leagues, but you could drop him and hover closely in case he lands in the right situation. It’s a guessing game with him at this point.

    Dragan Bender (0-for-2 FGs, zero points, four rebounds, two assists in 22 minutes) and Tyson Chandler (1-5-2-0-1 in 18 minutes) drew starts, but they were outshined in the second half. Marquese Chriss started the second half for Bender and finished with four points, six boards and one block in 25 minutes.

    Alex Len stood out the most here, scoring 13 points with 18 boards and one assist in 29 minutes. It’s a messy situation, but Len would be the preferred investment here.

    On the Bulls side, Justin Holiday seized his opportunity against the Suns for a monster line. Holiday shot 9-for-15 from the floor for 25 points, three boards, five assists, two steals, three blocks and six 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Not to mention, he had zero turnovers for 9-cat enthusiasts. Owners are worried about the impending return of Zach LaVine, but a player recovering from a torn ACL is in no rush to get back and it typically takes a whole season to recover.

    Kris Dunn also benefited from the matchup, dropping a line of 24-4-8-4 with four triples in 32 minutes. For a team down in the dumps, they sure are fantasy relevant.


    Down two with no shot clock left, Andrew Wiggins and his new hairdo dribbled coast-to-coast to take a deep two, bricked it to Jimmy Butler who then kicked it out again to Andrew Wiggins for the game winner, with another brick and then Butler rebound who again looked to Wiggins under the basket for a turnover. One look at Wiggins’ new style and you knew he wasn’t going to make it. He looks like Darius Miles meets young Stephen Jackson. Change it back, I beg you.

    Both teams were missing their starting point guards, as John Wall (knee) and Jeff Teague (Achilles) sat this one out. Tim Frazier took over and was a popular season-long add as well as DFS play, but he posted a dud (two points, four assists in 16 minutes). He should see better nights, but don’t rush to add him if you don’t have to.

    Otto Porter (22 points, eight boards) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16-4-2-2-1 in 31 minutes) took over for the Wiz, taking advantage of the usage without Wall. Oubre sees a bump here as long as Wall is out.

    Tyus Jones filled in nicely for Teague, who shouldn’t be out for long. Jones put up 12 points, four boards, seven assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes. If Teague was out for long, Jones will get all the run he can handle. Thibs doesn’t hold back.

    Karl-Anthony Towns put up 20 points, 17 boards, one steal and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes. He had a quick stint on the bench where trainers were giving him extra attention on one of his knees. He came back and looked just fine, but it’s something to monitor long-term.

    Jimmy Butler (17 points, seven boards, 10 assists) and Taj Gibson (16 points, 11 boards) both double-doubled and played nearly 40 minutes a piece. Gibson is always a gritty player worthy off ownership in fantasy. He is right at home with Thibs grinding him out on the court.

    BUCKS 112, KINGS 87

    The Bucks made quick work of the Kings, opening up a 30-point lead by the third quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo only saw the court for 26 minutes, but he was still masterful with 32 points, five boards, five assists, five steals, one block and one 3-pointer. He is a fantasy gem for years to come.

    Eric Bledsoe was also terrific, scoring 21 points (7-for-10 FGs, 4-for-5 FTs) with five boards, five assists, three steals and three 3-pointers in 24 minutes. His situation has changed drastically for the better in a short amount of time.

    Khris Middleton (illness) was a game-time decision, but he gave it a go and had a decent night, scoring 12 points with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes.

    The Kings spread out their minutes in the blowout, playing eight guys with 20-25 minutes so we can’t read too much into the boxscore. Garrett Temple was the high scorer with 18 points, two boards and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes. He is best suited as a deeper league add.

    Willie Cauley-Stein dropped 10 points and 10 boards in 24 minutes. The Kings still refuse to start him.

    JAZZ 106, NUGGETS 77

    It was turn back the clock night for Derrick Favors, who posted a monster line of 24 points (12-for-16 FGs), nine boards, five assists, one steal and three blocks in 33 minutes. Sell high if possible. He hasn’t had a line like that in years.

    Rodney Hood (ankle) sat this one out, so we got all of the Donovan Mitchell we could handle. He was solid, scoring 16 points with three boards, two assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He only took 12 shots, which is a lot less than I thought he would sans Hood.

    We got to take a look at the post-Millsap Nuggets yet again and Wilson Chandler (back) also sat this one out. Kenneth Faried got the start again, putting up 11 points and eight boards. As we said here before, there isn’t a clear replacement for Millsap.

    Juancho Hernangomez got the start in place of Chandler, filling in admirably with seven points, 10 boards, one block and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. Leave him on the wire for now.

    Nikola Jokic was yet another star playing victim to a blowout on Tuesday night, playing just 26 minutes in the loss. He shot 3-for-7 from the floor for seven points, six boards, six assists, one steal and one block. These lines happen from time to time. He is still a top-10 player for the rest of the season.

    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. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Happy Hump Day!!

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