November 22, 2016, 11:10 pm
Another month, another Anthony Davis injury scare. The Brow dove in to the stands early against the Hawks and banged his knee on a third row chair. He walked gingerly to the locker room and had X-rays taken immediately (the Pelicans seem to have this routine down pretty well now). Fantasy owners breathed a sigh of relief when not only did the X-rays come back negative, but Davis returned to the game in a blowout during the fourth quarter and finished the game. The fact that he returned in a blowout is music to owners’ ears. Rest easy tonight.
Tuesday was a light four-game slate, but not without injury scares and close calls. Several of the underdogs upset the favorites on a wacky Tuesday night. Big nights from Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook were overshadowed by tough losses. Let’s get in to the action.
PELICANS 112, HAWKS 94
The Pelicans rattled off a third straight win on Tuesday with a comfortable game against the Hawks. Coincidentally, they are 3-0 since the return of Jrue Holiday. Holiday came off the bench, shooting 7-for-15 from the field for 15 points with four boards, four assists, two steals and one block in 27 minutes. The Pelicans look like a different team with his return.
Several owners were worried about how Tim Frazier would coincide with Jrue’s return. They can’t be worried anymore. Frazier was terrific on Tuesday, double-doubling with 21 points, 14 assists, five boards, three steals and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes as the starting point guard. Jrue will eventually take over, but Frazier is showing that he is here to stay for owners this season. Don’t cut bait. In fact, pat yourself on the back for holding tight on the prized point guard.
We discussed Anthony Davis’ (knee) injury scare above. He finished the game shooting 6-for-12 from the floor with 13 points, three boards, one assist, one steal and three blocks in 19 minutes. After the game, coach Alvin Gentry said he put Davis back in the game late in the blowout to test his knee for Wednesday’s availability in the back-to-back set against the Wolves. Consider him questionable, but it is a great sign that he was able to play late in a blowout.
Terrence Jones started the second half in Davis’ place and looked great in 28 minutes. Jones shot 7-for-13 from the field for 17 points with six boards, one assist, one steal and one block. After a rocky start to the season, Jones has been posting top-100 value over the past two weeks and is worth owning in standard leagues. With Anthony Davis always one bad fall away from a big injury, he is a great handcuff and has solid stand alone value.
With the Pelicans getting off to a 34-14 lead in the first quarter, the Hawks posted several disappointing lines with a lot of players resting down the stretch. Paul Millsap scored 10 points (4-for-9 FGs) with eight boards, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in just 23 minutes of play. After an elite top-15 finish last season, Millsap has posted a few duds this season and is only returning top-40 value so far. He is still an elite player, but nights like this are a bit frustrating. Do not sell low.
Dwight Howard only played 19 minutes in the blowout, scoring eight points with six boards, one steal and three blocks. He was also a victim of the scoreboard.
Dennis Schroder (14 points, seven assists, four rebounds) and Kyle Korver (14 points, four 3-pointers, four assists) played the most but couldn’t post standout lines. It was a bad night overall for the Hawks.
KNICKS 107, BLAZERS 103
In a battle of average teams, the Knicks pulled away late on a pair of Derrick Rose jumpers to pull their record to 7-7. Rose naturally left the game with an injury scare, ironically three-years to the day when he tore his meniscus as a member of the Chicago Bulls. He came back minutes later and finished the game to come up clutch in the win. Rose finished with 18 points (8-for-15 FGs, 2-for-2 FTs), four boards, five assists, two steals and one block in 28 minutes. You can’t trust his injury history but nights such as this one make him worth owning. He has name value, so owners might want to consider selling him before it’s too late.
The big story out of this game was the dominance of Kristaps Porzingis. While some thought the arrival of Derrick Rose and health of Carmelo Anthony would hinder his progression, it is evident that Porzgod is a star in the making. He dropped 31 points (13-for-23 FGs, 2-for-2 FTs) with nine boards, one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in 40 minutes. It may be Carmelo’s team, but Porzingis is an alpha dog.
Melo took nearly the same amount of shots as Porzingis, shooting 7-for-22 from the field for 17 points with six boards, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes. This was easily his worst line on the season. Not to worry, he will continue to post top-50 numbers.
With the loss, the Blazers also pull even at 8-8 on the season. Damian Lillard lacked efficiency, shooting 8-for-18 from the field for 22 points with five boards, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. He was okay by Dame’s standards.
C.J. McCollum was just ‘okay’ as well, shooting 6-for-17 from the field for 16 points with five boards, five assists and one 3-pointer in 36 minutes. The Blazers backcourt can’t be heroes every single night.
The Blazers got solid play out of their frontcourt, but it wasn’t enough for the win. How could you be Mo Harkless continued to surprise with 15 points, eight boards, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. He is posting top-100 numbers so far this season and is getting ample opportunity. He is worth owning in standard leagues.
Ed Davis played a season-high 33 minutes and could be on waiver wire alert. He shot 7-for-9 from the field, scoring 14 points with 10 boards and two blocks. Before tonight, he hadn’t played more than 21 minutes. Keep a close eye on Davis, as he can provide solid defensive stats for a big man.