• The Blazers rolled over the Hawks on Saturday, led by their star backcourt of Damian Lillard (27 points, 9-of-17) and C.J. McCollum (22 points, 10-of-19, two blocks).

    The two also combined for 11 rebounds and 10 dimes on a really strong night. Every Portland starter hit double figures and shot over 50 percent from the floor tonight as the team shot .506 overall. Moe Harkless went for 12-4-4 with a steal and two blocks while Noah Vonleh picked up a 10 & 11 double-double. As for bench contributors, Allen Crabbe scored 16 points with four triples. It was a complete game for Portland, who’ll need more outings like this in their playoff chase.

Fantasy News

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    James Harden finished the year as the No. 1/2 per-game player in 8/9-cat formats while taking home the crown in both settings on a total value basis.

    There's not much left to say about Harden, frankly. He's a machine and is one of the most unstoppable players in the entire NBA. Fantasy GMs love his consistency, and best of all was that the arrival of Russell Westbrook didn't affect The Beard's ability to rack up stats. His rebounds dipped from 6.6 to 6.4 and his assists fell from 7.5 to 7.4, but it was Westbrook whose volume stats took the heaviest hit. Harden, who has always been criticized for his defense, managed 1.7 steals and a career-high 0.9 blocks to boot. Add in league-high marks of 34.4 points and 4.4 3-pointers per game (both somehow decreases from last year), and it's clear that Harden will again be one of fantasy's true elite options moving forward.

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Russell Westbrook fixed up two major sore spots in his game as a member of the Rockets: his field goal and free throw percentages.

    The fit between Westbrook and James Harden dominated the offseason conversation for Houston, but the two eventually found their stride and complemented each other's game. While Harden's ball-dominance resulted in Westbrook posting depressed counting stats, not having to be "The Man" did enable Russ to hit a career-best .474 from the field, while also jumping back up to a respectable .777 from the free throw line. Westbrook ended the fantasy season as a top-15/40 player in 8/9-cat leagues, and didn't play in back-to-back games, but the efficiency may do more for his fantasy value than the triple-doubles and huge workloads ever could. Westbrook was north of 80% from the line in all but one of his first nine seasons before falling under 74% in the last two, including a horrid .656 showing in 2018-19, so this improved percentages are significant for a player who gets so many shots. Fantasy GMs may have been a bit disappointed by Westbrook averaging "just" 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists but the overall package was better than previous versions, if a little less exciting.

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Robert Covington returned to form after an injury-riddled 2018-19 season, cruising to top-50/40 (8/9-cat) value and filling up box scores with 12.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers per game.

    The cash counters are the elite of the elite, and Covington continued to go under the radar among casual fantasy players. A mid-season trade to Houston's small-ball petri dish didn't have a big effect on his value (as RoCo was around the top-40 mark any way you slice up his season) but it did change his stat profile somewhat. With the Rockets, Covington averaged 7.9 rebounds, 2.9 3-pointers, 1.1 steals and an absurd 2.5 blocks per contest. The ability for Covington to shift from the wing to more of a combo forward/center role drastically improved his rebounds and swats, and it seems likely that his steals would've swung upward had we seen more than a 14-game sample. Covington's fantasy game clearly travels and he's found a fantastic spot to produce as long as he can stay healthy.

  • PJ Tucker
    SF, Houston Rockets

    P.J. Tucker managed top-125/105 value (8/9-cat) in 2019-20, but found a new position over the course of the season.

    Tucker was unable to repeat the middle-round success of 2018-19, largely because his 3-pointers fell from 1.8 to 1.5 per game and his steals plummeted from 1.6 to 1.1, but he did regain some juice as Houston's small-ball center of choice. Tucker hit the skids in the winter and was outside the top-200 for a stretch, but was able to rebound by finishing around the top-100 in the month of February. Though PJT will never be an offensive focal point, he did snag a career-high 6.9 rebounds per contest and offers up enough cash counters to keep fantasy GMs happy.

  • Danuel House
    PF, Houston Rockets

    Danuel House averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.9 3-pointers in 30.0 mpg on his way to top-135/105 (8/9-cat) value in 2019-20.

    House was a solid contributor for the injured Rockets in 2018-19 but ended up wasting away in the G League down the stretch due to contract issues. There were no such problems this year and House was able to emerge as one of the trusted few in Mike D'Antoni's rotation. Minutes are plentiful on a team that plays as few as eight players on a given night, and House clearly has the stat set to pump out late-middle round value thanks to the steady flow of cash counters. He has the looks of a nice glue guy in fantasy going forward, and shouldn't cost you much in terms of ADP. House cemented his place in the NBA, and on fantasy rosters, with a breakout campaign.

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon had a nightmare season in 2019-20, shooting poorly out of the gate and then missing almost two months due to knee surgery.

    When the fantasy season stopped Gordon was averaging 14.5 points and 2.7 threes (good) on .370 from the field and .319 from deep (horrid). While Houston's play style will always put Gordon on the map as a points and threes specialist, his stat set can't weather many setbacks. Gordon fell from 3.2 3-pointers per game in each of the previous two seasons, and he ended up as a top-235 fantasy option. When you only contribute in two fantasy categories, you're on thin ice from the start. Gordon figures to be a key player for the Rockets in Orlando, and hopefully the time off has helped him get back to full strength. Gordon will likely be a late-round selection in next season's fantasy drafts but this ugly output is a reminder of what can happen when a few things go wrong with such a thin fantasy profile.

  • Ben McLemore
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Ben McLemore surprised in 2019-20, posting top-220/200 (8/9-cat) fantasy value and becoming a solid member of the Rockets' rotation.

    McLemore looked to be on his way out of the league but took full advantage of his opportunity in Houston. He stepped up when the Rockets were missing players and managed 9.8 points, 0.6 steals and 2.4 triples in 22.8 mpg, shooting a respectable .445 from the field. His value going forward will hinge on that percentage, as McLemore had never shot better than .430 in a season until this year. McLemore should always have juice as a 3-point streamer in Houston, but in terms of full-season appeal he's still only a deep-league option going forward.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    While Kelly Oubre (torn right meniscus) has been doing "a little" of the on-court work in Orlando, most of his efforts have been on rehab efforts.

    Oubre was initially reported as out for the Orlando restart, though in the last few weeks the Suns have refused to close the door on him playing. The team has poor playoff odds but may see some benefits in getting their full roster some additional reps in, as well as a return simply acting as a reward for Oubre diligently completing a long rehab stint. Fantasy players might not want to make KO a priority in resumption drafts but it's hard to write him off completely until we know his official status. For what it's worth, Monty Williams says that Oubre has his bounce and looks great.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Austin Rivers
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Austin Rivers delivered top-285/270 (8/9-cat) fantasy value in 2019-20, operating as one of the eight consistent members of Houston's rotation.

    Rivers bounced back as a deep threat, hitting 35.8% of his long bombs this year after shooting 31.8% in 2018-19, but differences in volume meant his overall output stayed put at 1.4 triples per contest. While Rivers did manage a big season in his last with the Clippers, that was mostly a factor of the team's huge injury list. Two years removed from those favorable circumstances and it's clear that Rivers shouldn't be viewed as much more than a streaming option when Houston's big dogs aren't playing.

  • Jeff Green
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Jeff Green turned his season around after signing with the Rockets and ended up delivering top-275 fantasy value.

    Green signed with the Jazz in the offseason but struggled mightily, shooting a ghastly .385 from the field, and eventually fell out of the rotation. He saw a quick renaissance in Houston, hitting an absurd 62.1% of his shots across 10 games, also chipping in 10.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.4 triples in 20.1 mpg. That's certainly more than should be expected moving forward but Green fits the Rockets as a capable defensive power forward who can shift down to center in their uber-small lineups. Green's season was a tale of two halves, certainly, but there shouldn't be much excitement about his fantasy potential in the coming years. When the percentages return to normal he'll struggle to keep afloat in 20-team formats.

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