February 11, 2018, 10:15 pm
This was perhaps a much closer game than many anticipated going into the contest. The Wolves have been the hottest team at home lately, winning 13 straight at home while owning the best net rating. The Kings are a bottom feeder in the Western Conference and have had a tough time scoring and defending this season no matter the venue.
Naturally the game came down to the wire with the Wolves needing to come up with big stops and clutch shots. In fact the Wolves trailed the majority of the game and had to claw back into it in the fourth quarter.
With the way the Wolves lost the last two games, they’ll take this win no matter how they got there. There were still many areas of concern, especially defensively, though at least the offense continues to hum along.
The Wolves came right out of the gate and feed Karl-Anthony Towns in the post and he responded with eight first-quarter points. On the other side, De’Aaron Fox sprinted out of the gates with 14 points in the first and led the Kings to a 29-22 first quarter.
From there the Kings remained fairly consistent. They had a solid gameplan coming into the game and stuck with it throughout, something they didn’t have before the trade deadline. Perhaps after the trade of George Hill the Kings are focused on playing to Fox’s strengths.
Defensively the Wolves didn’t do a great job slowing down the Kings when they wanted to speed up the game a bit and just seemed a step ahead in getting to their spots all night. Even when the Kings were missing, their players were in good position to rebound and get second opportunities.
On the night the Kings has 22 second-chance points to the Wolves’ 11. The Wolves had a tough night rebounding on the defensive end. The Kings took 14 more shots, and missed 11 more, yet out-rebounded the Wolves by six on the night.
The Kings are in the bottom 20 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, so this was certainly an issue that causes some concern.
As the game rolled on the Kings continued to put pressure on the Wolves. They led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, and five going into the fourth. The Wolves found a way to win in the end though. After 20 second chance points going into the third, the Wolves allowed just two in the fourth.
The offense also bailed out the Wolves once again, scoring 36 points in the final quarter to seal the game.
Minnesota can play defense in spurts as seen in a dynamic fourth quarter sequence where both Towns and Wiggins chased down Fox on a break to block his shot and the ensuing offensive rebound.
The problem is still consistency and communication. The Wolves don’t need to be an elite defense just yet because even a middle of the road defense will be able to play up thanks to their offense, which rarely takes a night off.
Tonight the Wolves shot 50 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-24) and 87.5 percent from the line (28-of-32).
Towns was the leading scorer with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He added eight rebounds, six assists (including five in the fourth quarter), one steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers.
Jimmy Butler chipped in 18 points with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and one 3-pointer. He scored 11 of his 18 in the final quarter.
Andrew Wiggins had a very solid 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer.
Jeff Teague added a quiet double-double with 12 points and 10 assists on 4-of-5 shooting. His defense has still been tough to watch as he seemingly is running in mud the majority of the time.
Taj Gibson scored 15 points in one of his best games in a while, taking advantage of Zach Randolph on defense.
Up next the Wolves will host the Rockets on Tuesday. If the Wolves come out with the same (lack of) intensity they did tonight, they will get run out of the building. They’ll need to channel the play that led them through their dominant stretch in late December/early January.
If they can somehow pull off a victory, it could be just the boost the team could use heading into the stretch drive of the season.
July 6, 2020, 11:30 pmDwight HowardC, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard has decided to play for the resumption of the season in July.
His status was up in the air at first, but he has now decided to play. This was a big redemption year for Howard and it's his best shot at a title since he was on the Orlando Magic so it isn't surprising to see him take advantage of this opportunity.
Source: Shams on Twitter
July 6, 2020, 11:23 pmKyrie IrvingPG, Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving's 2019-20 was marred by injuries, limiting him to play just 20 games, but the guard still impressed based on per-game averages, ending the season ranked 6/5 in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
Irving came into 2019-20 with chip on his shoulder, failing to deliver as a leader for the Celtics, both on and off the court. Unfortunately, a myriad of injuries kept him on the sidelines for majority of the season. Out of all them, it was his nagging right shoulder injury that was his biggest bane. It even forced him to undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery to address it. That said, expect that aforementioned chip on his shoulder to still be there next season. We should see more of his improved production from 2019-20 with averages of 27.8 PPG, 2.8 3PG, 5.2 RPG and 6.4 APG on a new career-high shooting of 47.8 percent from the field. Both he and Kevin Durant will be big question marks for the 2020-21, especially when it comes to their health history.
July 6, 2020, 11:08 pmJoe HarrisSF, Brooklyn Nets
Joe Harris had a solid fourth year as a pro in 2019-20, averaging 13.9 PPG, 2.4 3PG and 2.1 RPG on .471 shooting from the field, to finish the season with ranked at 137/140 in 8/9-cat per game value.
Harris saw a slight slide from his 2018-19 production, but it wasn't too bad as he still was able to be a standard-league value player, thanks to his efficient shooting percentages from the field and the line and his respectable 1.5 turnovers per game. Harris remains one of the league's best sources of 3-point shooting without putting fantasy teams' field goal percentage at risk. His role should remain steady in 2020-21, though he could slide below the 30-minute per game mark.
July 6, 2020, 10:27 pmTaurean PrinceSF, Brooklyn Nets
A trade to the Nets in 2019-20 allowed Taurean Prince to bounce back from a disappointing 2018-19 campaign and provide top-150/178 in 8/9-cat per game value.
It wasn't all popcorn and cotton candy for Prince, who, despite being handed the starting PF job, failed to take full advantage of his opportunity to shine. He struggled with a lack of consistency and struggled with his shot, hitting at a dismal .376 clip from the field. In his 29.0 minutes per game, Prince was able to post averages of 12.1 PPG, 2.3 3PG, 6.0 RPG and 0.9 SPG. Sadly, the eventual return of Kevin Durant will surely dampen Prince's outlook for the 2020-21 season.
July 6, 2020, 10:01 pmGarrett TempleSG, Brooklyn Nets
Thanks to his 186/177 8/9-cat per game value and 186/176 value by totals, Garrett Temple was one of the better streaming options in fantasy in 2019-20.
Temple proved to be a sneaky option for many fantasy teams, averaging 28.1 minutes per game and delivering a diverse stat line. He was able to offer up averages of 10.3 points, 2.0 3s, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game. It wasn't all good though, as Temple did hurt teams' field goal percentages with .378 shooting from the field on 9.5 attempts per game. At 34 years of age, this was likely a brave late-career hurrah for the veteran, who should see his role slightly diminished once the Nets are all healthy and playing steady minutes.
July 6, 2020, 9:43 pmSpencer DinwiddiePG, Brooklyn Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 points, 1.9 3s, 3.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks in 64 games for 93/155 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Dinwiddie brought the volume again and benefited from extra playing time with injuries either to Kyrie Irving or Caris Levert. The Nets had trouble finding any consistency from their starting guards in terms of health and we've seen this movie before, Dinwiddie to the rescue. He was far from efficient but you can't find 20 & 7 late in your drafts so he provided a big boost for owners this year. Next year will be a tougher sell for Dinwiddie. He also tested positive for COVID-19 this past week, which means his status for playing during the resumption of the year is in question.
July 6, 2020, 9:40 pmJarrett AllenC, Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen averaged 10.6 points, 9.5 boards, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.3 blocks in 64 games for 114/95 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Allen showed a lot of promise in his rookie year only to have the wet blanket of the DeAndre Jordan signing to ruin things in fantasy land. With Jordan opting to sit out the resumption of the season, we'll see a lot more Allen at center which is a good thing for everyone.
July 6, 2020, 9:39 pmRodions KurucsPF, Brooklyn Nets
Nets forward Rodions Kurucs saw averages of 4.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.6 threes and 0.4 steals per game on .448 shooting from the field to finish just inside the top-400 in 8/9-cat per-game value.
Kurucs' season was, for the most part, largely unmemorable, highlighted by a 19-point career-high game. He provided the Nets with depth at the forward position but in just 12.8 minutes pr game, Kurucs was unable to properly make an impact in the box scores. With Kevin Durant expected to be ready to play in 2020-21, don't expect on Kurucs to be able to build too much on what he's managed to put up in his humble pro resume.
July 6, 2020, 9:38 pmDeAndre JordanC, Brooklyn Nets
DeAndre Jordan averaged 8.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.9 blocks on .666 shooting for 130/124 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Jordan signing with the Nets was an immediate nail in the coffin for Jarret Allen to have any chance at increasing his workload and it resulted in two mediocre fantasy seasons. The double-digit rebounds are nice, but outside of that, Jordan provided little else as the field goal percentage wasn't as good as it seemed because he only averaged 8.3 points a night. He'll sit out the resumption which is going to be a theme for older players in non-contending teams.
July 6, 2020, 9:36 pmCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert finished the year averaging 17.7 points, 1.8 3s, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.2 blocks for 132/182 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
LeVert had injury troubles as well this year (a common theme for the Nets) but he was able to cap off his season with a strong run as one of their primary playmakers. The counting stats are there, but the efficiency wasn't, but that's usually the case with players returning from injury. It's hard to see him keeping up the development as long as Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie handle the ball, but with the resumption throwing things off the rails, we might see some big LeVert games this summer.