• One night after giving up 130 points on 67 percent shooting to the Pacers, the Timberwolves once again looked over-matched on defense, losing 122-101 to the Pistons. The Wolves started the game on a 9-0 run, but it fell apart after that. They let the Pistons shoot 52 percent and gave up 15 three-pointers at a 44 percent clip.

    Towns, Wiggins and Teague all put up nice lines on offense, but were dreadful defensively. Teague stopped guarding Reggie Jackson at one point and let him take an open three-pointer. Wiggins was guarding a player who was already manned, and allowed Bradley to take an open three. Towns was having trouble with Drummond inside.

    These were just a few mistakes that added up to another blowout. The Wolves’ expectations are very high this season, perhaps unfairly, but nonetheless if they want to reach those expectations, those three players need to step up defensively and not rely on Butler to do the dirty work.

    Six players for Detroit scored in double figures, led by Tobias Harris who had 34 points and six 3-pointers. Andre Drummond finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. He was constantly looking ahead after rebounds, looking to make the outlet pass and start the fast break.

    On the night, the Pistons scored 24 fastbreak points to the Wolves’ zero. Going forward, the Wolves need to clean this up. They have enough problems guarding in the half court, allowing teams to run all over them will compound those problems like the last two nights. Even going back to Sunday, this was a problem.

    Karl-Anthony Towns was the leading scorer with 23 points and three 3-pointers, adding 10 rebounds, one assist and one block. Wiggins scored 21 points himself, with three rebounds, one assist and two steals. Teague had 18 points, six assists, two rebounds and a steal. No one else scored more than eight points.

    Towns, Wiggins and Teague also combined for eight assists and 11 turnovers on the night.

    This was another ugly loss for the Timberwolves and there really no two ways around it. The team has an off day tomorrow before a rematch with the Thunder on Friday. The hope is that Jimmy Butler can return for that game, but at this moment it’s still up in the air. It’s possible even if he plays, he won’t be 100 percent ready.

    Overall, this team is still young and learning to play together. The Wolves have missed the playoffs for 13 straight years, and didn’t look any closer last season. These types of turn-arounds are incredibly tough to pull off for any team, even with all the talent they brought in this offseason.

    Perhaps expectations were still too high, perhaps not. Going forward, these type of inconsistencies should be expected. Towns and Wiggins are still the main pieces of this team, and it’s clear they have a long road ahead, especially on the defensive end.

    Sunday’s game was a taste of what this team can accomplish. These past two games were like a bucket of water thrown into their faces. In the end, it might all be for the better. The team needs to buy into the defensive concept together, not just let one guy do everything for them. Maybe these last two games serve as that reminder that sticks with them.

Fantasy News

  • Henry Ellenson - F - New York Knicks

    Henry Ellenson plans to sign a 10-day contract with the Knicks.

    Ellenson has shown promise at times, but he has never really put together any fantasy-relevant stretches. Leave him on the wire for now, but it's not impossible to imagine a scenario where the tanking Knicks are missing or sitting a couple bigs, giving Ellenson some decent run.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela (thumb) returned to practice on Tuesday with no limitations, which could determine his playing status for Thursday's game against the Lakers.

    Capela underwent surgery on January 17 and was initially given a 4-to-6 week timetable, so this would be at the early end of a return. The fact that he is returning to practice without any limitations is a great sign for owners, meaning a return is imminent. Watch out for the Rockets injury report on Wednesday.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Jodie Meeks - G - Toronto Raptors

    Jodie Meeks is signing a 10-day contract with the Raptors, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Meeks was waived by the Bucks following the conclusion of his 25-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program. He hasn't played since last season with Washington and is unlikely to see much action with Toronto. He'll give the team some extra shooting when he does see the floor.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

    Dudley has already made it known that he's planning to return right out of the All-Star break, so unless today's checkup revealed some kind of further issue we're expecting him to be ready for Brooklyn's two games this week. His biggest fantasy impact will be taking minutes from more intriguing players.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert will undergo an evaluation from the Nets medical staff on Tuesday.

    There's no sign of any setbacks from LeVert but the team will obviously keep a close eye on him after he's returned from a dislocated foot. This shouldn't be anything more than routine maintenance, so fantasy owners don't need to worry about it.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Ray Spalding - F - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns are expected to sign Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract.

    Spalding was the 56th pick in last summer's draft but only appeared in one NBA game this season with the Mavs. He was waived at the trade deadline with Dallas taking on one more player than they sent away, and will look to make an impression in a crowded Phoenix rotation. His college numbers (12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game) make him a name to file away in deep dynasty leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • MarShon Brooks - G - Chicago Bulls

    Marshon Brooks has agreed to terms with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

    Brooks played 29 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 6.6 points and he is expected to replace Malcolm Delaney. Leave him on the waiver wire.

    Source: Sportando

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Mark Cuban said that Kristaps Porzingis won't play this season, even if the Mavs somehow are able to make the playoffs.

    The Mavs want to put their world-class training staff, led by Casey Smith, to work, strengthening Porzingis’ body the rest of this season and throughout the summer to hopefully prevent similar injuries in the future. And after all, given the amount of money the Mavs could be committing to KP this summer, a max salary of $158 million, there is no need to risk something happening to him in a season where making the playoffs seems unlikely. Kristaps remains a great stash in redraft leagues.

    Source: 247sports.com

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Joe Vardon of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are "somehow a little concerned" about LeBron James.

    LeBron hasn’t been showing the same speed or overall movement lately and the team is concerned that he’s not fully recovered from the groin injury that cost him to miss a career-high 18 games. The Lakers are in the 10th place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot and they will need LeBron to be healthy for the rest of the season. James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35 minutes per game, while his shooting percentage (51 percent), 3-point percentage (35 percent) and free-throw percentage (68 percent) are all down from last season. He is still returning borderline top-15 value in standard leagues and owners can only hope he doesn’t suffer a setback.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Michael Beasley - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Ex-Lakers forward Michael Beasley is finalizing a deal to play with Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Beasley returns to a league he is familiar with after an up and down season with the Lakers where he failed to produce consistently. It’s the smart thing to do since the Chinese team is offering him a lucrative deal and we wouldn’t expect to see him play again in the NBA, at least this season. Drop him if you haven’t already.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter