April 6, 2016, 2:00 am
March Madness is over (and what madness it was!) and it’s time for the grown ups to take over. I guess you can’t necessarily call Boogie Cousins a grown up but you know what I mean. Twenty-two NBA teams went to battle on Tuesday and there was a ton of action to keep up with, including a monumental upset with the baby Wolves taking down the Warriors 124-117 in overtime. NBA fans have to be excited about the future in Minnesota.
For this dish, I’ll save you from another one of my 5,500-word Bruski Breakdowns and spare you the talk about spares. Studs and duds are what we really care about this time of year. For other inquiries on fantasy tweeners not mentioned below, questions are always welcome via Twitter to @RiazD. Let’s check out the eye-popping lines of Tuesday night’s slate:
Riggin’ for Wiggins was a thing around this time just two years ago, and we are starting to see why. Andrew Wiggins shocked the NBA world on Tuesday, leading an upset win over the 69-win Warriors. He shot 11-for-19 from the field and 8-for-9 from the line for 32 points with two threes, five rebounds, four assists and six steals. Wiggins has top-40 value over the past two weeks and is reaching stud status in recent games. Of course, the Wolves couldn’t have pulled it off without their soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Karl Anthony-Towns, who poured in a 20-12-4 line with two swats. KAT was magnificent in his 45 minutes of play and formally introduced himself on a national stage. The future is extremely bright in Minnesota. Shabazz Muhammad added 35 points (9-for-12 FGs, 15-for-17 FTs) with two threes and six boards in 39 minutes. You can ignore Shabazz’s line for today.
Something tells me that Paul Millsap is on a lot of championship rosters with his top-5 ranking over the last two weeks. Millsap dominated again on Tuesday, going off for 13 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, three blocks and one three ball. Mail carriers will be delivering carts of thank you notes to his door step. His fellow teammate Kent Bazemore had himself a night as well with 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals. Consider him a must-start player the rest of the way.
The Sun was shining in Atlanta with Devin Booker‘s skills on display. He is going to be a special player in Phoenix for years to come. Booker erupted for 12-for-25 shooting from the field for 34 points with four threes, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Enjoy if you found him for cheap this season.
Russell Westbrook recorded his 17th triple-double of the season, becoming the first player to have 17 in a season since Magic Johnson in the 1988-89 season. Westbrook spat out 13 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two threes. What a special season for Russell. Kevin Durant also produced a gem, shooting 8-for-14 from the field and 7-for-7 from the line for 26 points with eight assists, five boards, three threes, three steals and one block. Thunder coach Bill Donovan has repeatedly said that he will not be resting his guys down the stretch, but the Thunder do close the season out on a back-to-back. Monitor their statuses.
With Darren Collison (rest) and Rudy Gay (rest) out for the Kings, there was plenty of usage to go around to the two stars who did suit up on Tuesday, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins. Coming off of a rest game, Rondo played 42 minutes, shooting 11-for-17 from the field for a season-high 27 points with 12 dimes, 10 rebounds, three treys and two steals with a triple-double. Boogie decided to care on Tuesday as well, logging 38 minutes and scoring 30 points to go along with nine boards, two steals, three blocks and one three ball. Both seemed to try to make up for all of their DNPs over the last week. Unfortunately, more DNPs are coming as the Kings play their final two games on the road. Beware.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is on another level at the age of 21 and keeps dazzling fantasy owners with each near-triple double or trip dub that he gets. Tuesday was more of the same as Giannis shot 10-for-18 from the field for a 22-14-8-1 line with two threes. He has season tickets to this stud column.
Zach Randolph helped the Grizzlies stop the bleeding with a monster line on Tuesday, as the Grizzlies snapped a six-game losing streak. Z-Bo dominated the Bulls on 10-for-19 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 from the line for 27 points with 10 boards, four assists and two steals. He looks to be out of his shooting slump. With the Grizzlies giving everything they have (which isn’t much) to make a playoff push, Z-Bo should play each game for the rest of the season.
When DeMar DeRozan gets to the line, he can’t be stopped, neither can the Raptors on most nights. Toronto is 15-4 when DeRozan hits at least 10 free throws. Tuesday was one of those nights as he was 10-for-11 from the charity stripe, adding 26 points, seven boards, six assists, one three and one steal in the Raptors 96-90 win over the Hornets. Kyle Lowry poured it on with 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 8-for-16 from the field and hitting three triples for 21 points, four boards, six assists and one block. Both DeRozan and Lowry are coming off of a rest day from Saturday, but they do have another back-to-back coming up on Thursday and Friday. Owners with stock in either will want to check their status updates before each game.
All is good for Rodney Hood these days with top-40 value over the last two weeks. Hood was at it again on Tuesday, shooting 10-for-19 from the field for 23 points with seven boards, four assists and one three. He is certainly rewarding those who were patient during his dry spell a few weeks ago. Hood is now settling in at sixth-round value on the season.
Carl Landry owners can breathe these days as he just keeps on producing even with Nerlens Noel (knee) back in the lineup (more on Noel later). Landry stayed hot in 26 minutes off the bench on Tuesday, shooting 9-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the line for 22 points with nine boards and two steals. Landry owns top-40 value in 9-cat leagues and hovers around top-50 in 8-cat leagues. Add him and don’t worry about Noel.
Even with Kyrie Irving (ankle) returning to the lineup, good J.R. Smith keeps showing up. Smith scored all of his 21 points on seven threes, adding two boards, one assist and one steal. That’s 13 threes in the last two games. It will be interesting to see which J.R. shows up in the playoffs.
The Pistons had an extremely poor showing on Tuesday, but Tobias Harris was a survivor in that mess. Tobias shot 8-for-10 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line for 21 points with seven rebounds, two assists and one steal. He is posting third-round value over the last two weeks and seems to be fully comfortable in the Pistons offense.
Moe Harkless stepped up big in the Blazers’ 115-107 win over the Kings. Harkless was 8-for-16 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for 20 points with 16 boards, two assists, two steals and two threes. His top-70 value over the last two weeks make him a must-own player moving forward. C.J. McCollum was also terrific on Tuesday, shooting 11-for-20 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line for 30 points with five threes, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Start your Blazers until further notice.
Tim Frazier got his second start after a break out game on Sunday (19 points, 13 assists and three steals) and kept the party going. Frazier was terrific in five categories, shooting 4-for-4 from the line with 12 points, six boards, nine assists and three steals. His sixth-round value over the last two weeks warrants a spot on your team and makes for a sneaky cheap DFS play. He may be small on the court, but his confidence is massive.
If you need points, pull a Babbitt out of your hat. Cool hand Luke is getting it done for owners with top-120 value over the last two weeks. Luke Babbitt was at it again Tuesday, shooting 7-for-16 from the field for 16 points with two treys, eight boards and three assists. Wave your free agent wand.
Jeremy Lin likes to stay relevant and got the start for the injured Nicolas Batum (knee) on Tuesday. He saw a ton of run with a Hornets-high 40 minutes, shooting 5-for-11 from the field and 7-for-8 from the line for 21 points, four dimes, two boards, one three, one steal and one block. Eight-cat owners may want to give Lin a look with his mid-round value over the last two weeks.
February 23, 2020, 11:17 pmTerrance FergusonSG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Terrance Ferguson exited the game early with back stiffness as the Thunder beat the Spurs on Sunday.
Ferguson had zero points, one rebound, one assist and one block on 0-of-2 shooting in 10 minutes. We should receive an update on the extent of his injury in the coming days.
February 23, 2020, 11:08 pmAndrew WigginsSF, Golden State Warriors
Andrew Wiggins had an awful shooting performance as he went 3-of-16 from the field for eight points against the Pelicans on Sunday, but salvaged this line to a degree with 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal.
Wiggins has been surprisingly versatile with the Warriors thus far, and before tonight he had been shooting well as the number one offensive option. If Wiggins can continue to be a decent contributor in the steals and blocks department he will be a useful fantasy option in standard leagues. Once Stephen Curry takes the court Wiggins' offensive contributions are going to take a hit, and he will need to diversify his fantasy profile.
February 23, 2020, 11:00 pmJordan PoolePG, Golden State Warriors
Jordan Poole kept up his momentum while facing the Pelicans on Sunday, tallying 19 points, five assists, four rebounds and one 3-pointer.
Poole is worth a move in deeper formats as he has emerged with a reliable role for the Warriors lately. We've seen the Warriors play roulette with there roster all season though, Poole's turn in the spotlight is likely to end sooner than later. If you are looking for a hot flyer he is worth a pickup until Stephen Curry returns.
February 23, 2020, 10:55 pmJuan Toscano-AndersonPF, Golden State Warriors
Juan Toscano-Anderson had a night to remember against the Pelicans on Sunday, dropping 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three 3-pointers, two blocks and one steal.
The absence of Marquese Chriss (left calf) gave Toscano-Anderson the runway he needed to go off. It's hard to imagine JTA becoming a regular piece for the Warriors, who were also without Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry is supposed to return before the season is all said and done as well. Keep him in mind while Chriss is out, but Toscano-Anderson is not a pickup yet.
February 23, 2020, 10:50 pmDamion LeeSG, Golden State Warriors
Damion Lee's shooting came around on Sunday while facing the Pelicans, going 9-of-15 from the field for 22 points, four 3-pointers, four rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.
Lee was strong over the course of his 35 minutes. He is an inconsistent performer so don't assume he is going to ride this to the finish line in your league, but enjoy the stats while he is delivering them. Ky Bowman was not too shabby either, going for 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and one block over the course of 32 minutes. Bowman's role has been streaky, and he's more of a deep league streamer that could be the hot hand on any given night for the Warriors.
February 23, 2020, 10:49 pmNicolo MelliPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Nicolo Melli scored 20 points and knocked down a career-high six triples in a win over the Warriors on Sunday.
Melli tied his career-high in scoring and shot 7-of-8 from the field. He added five rebounds, one assist and one block to the box score. He can be used as a deep-league shooting specialist if you are short on triples.
February 23, 2020, 10:46 pmJrue HolidayPG, New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday put up 23 points with 15 dimes in a team-high 38 minutes of action in a 115-101 win over the Warriors on Sunday.
Holiday shot 10-of-17 from the field and added seven rebounds and three triples to the box score. He is locked in as a top-30 option for the rest of the season.
February 23, 2020, 10:43 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson went off against the Warriors on Sunday with 28 points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
Williamson shot 13-of-20 from the field and added two assists and one block to the stat sheet. The only negative aspect of his performance was his free-throw shooting as he went just 1-of-6 from the stripe. Williamson is a middle-round option with early-round upside for anyone that is punting free throws.
February 23, 2020, 10:25 pmZach LaVinePG, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine was awesome against the Wizards on Sunday, accounting for 32 points (11-of-20 FG), six 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
LaVine did have nine turnovers which is a pain for 9-CAT leagues, but we can't complain when he performs like this. While the team has not been winning games, LaVine has proven he is an early-round player in fantasy circles this season. He's a do it all guard that can thrive in any format.
February 23, 2020, 10:20 pmThaddeus YoungPF, Chicago Bulls
Thaddeus Young is in the zone, going for 23 points (8-of-14 FG), five 3-pointers, six rebounds and three steals vs. the Wizards on Sunday.
Young is the lead option at power forward and has been playing exquisitely ever since he was moved into the role. Lauri Markkanen's eventual return will end the fun, but that is not an issue yet, and even when Wendell Carter Jr. returns, you should still view Young as a standard league player.