October 20, 2017, 9:15 pm
The Timberwolves went back and forth with the Jazz all game, but ultimately came out on top 100-97 thanks to a late 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford.
With 28 seconds left in the game and the Jazz up 96-95, Tom Thibodeau drew up a play to get Crawford open for a three in the corner. After a nice screen by Karl-Anthony Towns, Crawford was able to get just enough space to bury it.
The way he was shooting in the fourth quarter though, he may not have needed any space. Crawford finished the game with 17 points and three 3-pointers off the bench, all coming in the fourth.
The Wolves brought him in to be a gunner and he did just that tonight. He also had a nice assist to Towns that led to a dunk.
Towns had an efficient 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, with 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and one turnover. He didn’t seem bothered by Rudy Gobert on the offensive side, but he did give up a few offensive rebounds on the other end. He has had some issues there these first two games.
Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points tonight to lead all scorers, but it felt like a step backwards from his last game. His shot was not falling consistently, going 7-of-19 (2-of-6 from 3-point range), and he was burned on defense more than once.
Late in the game, Wiggins rotated to Rubio on the perimeter, leaving Joe Ingles wide open for a 3-pointer. Thibs called a timeout and was not happy in the heat of the moment. This was also after a lost offensive possession where Wiggins dribbled the life out of the ball, and eventually off his own foot, with Derrick Favors guarding him leading to a turnover.
Jimmy Butler was mostly quiet on offense again, scoring 13 points, but he did take 14 shots, mostly from isolation. He’ll get going soon enough.
On defense tonight he was his usual, dominant self. He generated numerous deflections, finishing with five steals. He also came down with the key defensive rebound that basically sealed the game with 5.2 seconds remaining, up 98-96.
Butler was also vocally active, getting into a little bit of a scrum with Ricky Rubio and standing up for his teammates.
Rubio mostly dominated the point guard matchup and tried his best to make Minnesota fans nervous. Finishing with 19 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, he outplayed Jeff Teague who finished with 10 points, four assists, two rebounds, and two steals. Rubio did miss two layups, which fans know all too much about.
Nemanja Bjelica came in and was probably the second-best big man after Towns tonight. He played only 13 minutes again, but was extremely productive with 10 points (4-of-5 shooting), two 3-pointers (2-of-2), and five rebounds. He was also very active on defense and moved the ball on offense. He’s potentially looking at more playing time.
Overall, there were a number of positives from this game. There were times where the defense was able to get consistent stops, and that is going to be key moving forward for this team. While we can’t expect guys like Towns and Wiggins to become lock down defenders already, it’s pleasant to see them wipe away the defensive lapses more often than not.
Offensively there were still some times where guys looked lost, especially early in the first half. They really simplified things at one point and just kept feeding Towns, Butler or Gibson in the post, with mixed results. There was little action on the back side, so no one to kick out to.
Late in the third quarter, and in the fourth, Bjelica and Crawford gave the offense some life and ended up winning the game for the Wolves.
At this point it appears the defense is ahead of the offense, which isn’t a bad thing at all considering the talented scorers on the roster. You know at some point they will figure it out.
Looking ahead, the Wolves visit the Oklahoma City Thunder this Sunday. The Thunder blew out the Knicks 105-84 on Thursday in their season opener. They will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
February 20, 2019, 11:43 pmAustin Rivers - G - Houston Rockets
Austin Rivers (sore right elbow) is being listed as probable for Friday's tilt vs. the Lakers.
Rivers has taken a step back ever since Chris Paul came back from his injury and has been posting value outside the top-200. As long as the Rockets' starting guards are healthy, Rivers can be left on the wire.
February 20, 2019, 11:34 pmTyus Jones - G - Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyus Jones, who is expected to practice on Thursday, says that he won't have restrictions once he's back, which could be on Friday vs. the Knicks.
Jones' return is something to watch especially by managers in deep leagues. He's been known to be a viable stream target for steals. That said, as long as Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are healthy, Jones is not an option in standard leagues.
Source: Julian Andrews on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 8:28 pmTrey Lyles - F - Denver Nuggets
Trey Lyles hobbled off the court during the Nuggets' practice on Wednesday, so consider him questionable for Friday's game vs. the Mavs.
Lyles has not held much value while Paul Millsap is healthy and active and this news does not help his short-term outlook. You can consider dropping him in deep leagues for a more promising FA.
Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 8:22 pmGary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris, who has missed the Nuggets' last seven games due to a right adductor strain, is available to play vs. the Mavs on Friday.
Harris has had a rocky 2018-19 season to say the least, dealing with an assortment of injuries that have kept him off the floor for multiple games. Hopefully, he can finally stay healthy for the second half of the season. He has a top-30 upside when at 100 percent health, so feel free to slot him in your active lineups.
Source: Christian Clark on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 8:16 pmEmanuel Terry - PF - Miami Heat
The Heat have signed undrafted D2 All-American forward Emanuel Terry to a 10-day contract.
Terry played in nine games for the Heat's G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season and posted averages of 16.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He's currently not someone worth picking up in fantasy leagues.
Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 7:50 pmTroy Brown Jr. - F - Washington Wizards
According to Candace Buckner, Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr., who missed the last several games due to an ankle injury, has been looking "fresh and spry" while going through a shooting drill.
Brown has not made much of an impact in fantasy this season, but with the Wizards out of the playoff race, we could see Brown get some run. He's worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues for now.
Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 7:42 pmEmmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks
Coach David Fizdale said that he's open to Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) and Dennis Smith Jr. together in the backcourt.
This would make for an interesting albeit the most inefficient scoring backcourt in the league. Even if Mudiay does share the floor with DSJ, he's not going to bring enough fantasy juice to worth an add outside of very deep leagues.
Source: Ian Begley on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 7:38 pmRobin Lopez - C - Chicago Bulls
Coach Jim Boylen said "We have not discussed a diminished role for him at all" in reference to Robin Lopez, who was shut own post-ASB last season.
Lopez looks like he'll be sticking it out with the rest of the Bulls starters until further notice. He's good for some points and boards with reasonable field goal shooting but that's about it. As long as you're not expecting to be wowed, Ro-Lo is a decent pickup in 16-team leagues or deeper. Cristiano Felicio is a drop as he won't hold value while Lopez is in play.
Source: KC Johnson on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKris Dunn - G - Chicago Bulls
Kris Dunn (back contusion) is on track to play on Friday after going through Wednesday's practice.
Dunn missed the last game before the All-Star break but wasn't expected to miss any further time. Ryan Arcidiacono will move back to a bench role going forward.
Source: Mike McGraw on Twitter
February 20, 2019, 6:40 pmEmmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks
Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) will return to the lineup on Friday against the Wolves.
Mudiay won't be usurping Dennis Smith Jr.'s starting role, so he'll likely have to settle for battling with Frank Ntilikina for backup minutes. He's safe to cut in the vast majority of fantasy leagues.
Source: Zach Braziller on Twitter