April 18, 2016, 9:44 am
The first weekend of round one of the NBA Playoffs are behind us and every matchup has one game under it’s belt. The West’s top four teams flexed their muscles, as fans are waiting for the inevitable second round matchups between the Warriors-Clippers and Spurs-Thunder. With blowouts galore, it is hard to see the West’s second round any other way. In the East, the Pistons gave the Cavs an opening game scare in a close contest. Reggie Jackson played the role of the irrational confidence guy and it eventually got the Pistons in to trouble. Let’s take a look at all four games from Sunday night in our Daily Dish:
CAVS 106, PISTONS 101
The Cavs went top heavy Sunday afternoon as the big three were the only ones who scored in double figures for the entire team. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined to score 81 of Cleveland’s 106 points as they led a late comeback to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
LeBron posted up Reggie Jackson late and completed a nice dad move for a five-foot bank shot to take a six-point lead with just over a minute left in the game. He finished with 22 points (9-for-17 FGs, 4-for-4 FTs), 11 assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. LeBron has now won 14 straight games in the opening round of the playoffs and has advanced out of the first round in his last 10 tries.
Both Kyrie and Kevin Love caught fire from deep, with Kyrie hitting five treys and Love hitting four. Kyrie was 10-for-24 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line for a game-high 31 points with six assists, five boards, two steals and one block. Love had a great night as well, pouring in 28 points (10-for-22 FGs, 4-for-5 FTs) with 13 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Love’s consecutive threes in the fourth quarter helped the Cavs pull away just enough to squeeze out the victory.
The Pistons looked like they belonged for most of the night until the final few minutes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all Pistons scorers with 21 points including four threes while adding three assists and two rebounds. Marcus Morris helped in the scoring department as well, scoring 20 points with three treys, five assists, two rebounds and one steal.
The spirit of the Pistons perhaps rested with the play of Reggie Jackson, as he showed no fear all game but couldn’t come through late to bury the Cavs. He waved off the offense late to go isolation and showed a bit too much confidence. Jackson finished the game shooting 7-for-12 from the field for 17 points with two threes, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal.
Andre Drummond finished with a double-double in 37 minutes, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards with one block. The Pistons curiously sat Drummond during the stretch run late in the game, subbing in Aron Baynes. It will be interesting to see if the Pistons adjust by giving Drummond more late game experience for the rest of the series.
HEAT 123, HORNETS 91
Everything seemed to go right for the Heat on Sunday, as they set a franchise playoff record of 123 points to take a 1-0 lead over the Hornets. They set the tone early, tying a franchise playoff record of 41 points in the first quarter.
The Hornets had no answer for Luol Deng, who shot 11-for-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from the line for a game-high 31 points with four treys, seven boards, one assist and one steal in 33 minutes of play. Hassan Whiteside just as efficient, shooting 9-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from the line for 21 points with 11 boards, two steals and three blocks. The Hornets were just hammered inside.
Dwyane Wade only had to play 26 minutes in the blowout, but he made them count on 8-of-16 shooting from the field for 16 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Joe Johnson played 26 minutes as well, shooting 5-for-8 from the field for 11 points with one three, six rebounds and three assists.
The Heat point guards were the only ones to break the efficiency trend. Goran Dragic shot 2-for-8 from the field for nine points, 10 assists, one rebound and one steal. Josh Richardson led the Heat in minutes in the blowout with 35 minutes on Sunday, shooting 3-for-11 from the field for eight points with two threes, five boards, three assists and one steal. Look for both to bounce back in efficiency on Wednesday.
The Hornets couldn’t hang defensively all game and dug a deep hole to climb out of early on with a 19-point deficit after the first quarter. Nicolas Batum had the worst +/- at -33, but he did fill the stat sheet from a fantasy perspective. Batum shot 7-for-14 from the field and 7-for-10 from the free throw line for 24 points with three treys, two rebounds, one assist and two steals. His rebound and assist numbers should get better on Wednesday.
Their offense didn’t flow very well either, as the Hornets only had 11 assists all game. Kemba Walker was 6-for-13 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line for 19 points with two threes, adding just one assist and one rebound. Walker needs to do a better job of guiding the offense if the Hornets want any shot to advance past the Heat.
Marvin Williams, a popular pick for pickup of the year in fantasy leagues this season, couldn’t get much going in a terrible showing on Sunday. Williams went cold on 1-of-7 shooting from the field with just two points, three rebounds, one assist and one block. That’s certainly not the start the Hornets wanted out of him, or their entire team for that matter.
SPURS 106, GRIZZLIES 74
It’s always a good night for Pop when he gets 12 players on the court for more than 10 minutes each. The Spurs trailed for all of 25 seconds the entire game and cruised to an easy victory on Sunday evening. Kawhi Leonard, who was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this morning, got the party started from the opening tipoff when he stripped Matt Barnes for a breakaway dunk to start the game. Kawhi finished with 20 points (8-for-13 FGs, 1-for-1 FT) with three treys, two rebounds, four steals and three blocks in 29 minutes. What a stud.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points with four boards and two blocks in 27 minutes. His right pinkie finger is still sore and bandaged so it was nice for the Spurs to get him some rest down the stretch. Tim Duncan was up to his usual output with 3-of-4 shooting from the field for seven points with 11 boards, one steal and two blocks. Soak in every moment of Duncan’s time on the court as you know he won’t give anyone a heads up before his final season. An anti-Kobe of sorts.
Tony Parker played just 21 minutes but made some noise with 15 points (6-for-10 FGs, 3-for-3 FTs) with six assists and one rebound. Patty Mills spelled Parker for 19 minutes, also scoring 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the line with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Grizzlies didn’t seem to have an answer for any point guard the Spurs threw at them.
When 39 year-old Vince Carter and Lance Stephenson are your go-to scorers in a playoff series, you know you have big problems. Carter was 6-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for a Grizzlies-high 16 points with two threes, three boards, two assists and one block in 19 minutes. It’s awesome to see a former all-star break out like this, but you can’t count on the veteran to win you playoff games anymore. Stephenson added 14 points in 29 minutes and didn’t blow in any ears just yet.
Zach Randolph struggled mightily as the Spurs threw multiple defenders and double teams at him all night. Z-Bo shot 3-for-13 from the floor for six points, five boards and three assists. That’s coach Pop for you. Tony Allen (hamstring) wasn’t quite 100 percent but he did give it a go for 21 minutes on Sunday evening. Allen finished with seven points with three boards, one assist, one block and one three ball. This series looks to be over fast.
CLIPPERS 115, BLAZERS 95
The Clippers kept with the blowout theme with a 20-point win in an all-around effort late on Sunday night. If you were searching for stud lines on blowout Sunday, the Clippers gave you three double-doubles. Chris Paul led the way with 10-for-19 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the line with 28 points with two threes, 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Blake Griffin had his best game since his 45-game absence, as the Clippers are now 6-0 since his return to the lineup. Griffin was 5-for-10 from the field and 9-for-12 from the charity stripe for 19 points with 12 boards, six assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. Blake is back.
DeAndre Jordan was very active on Sunday night as well, shooting 5-for-7 from the field and a whopping 8-for-18 from the free throw line for 18 points with 12 boards, one assist, one steal and four blocks. Hack-a-DeAndre was at full force.
J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford kept up the scoring party with 30 points combined in 27 minutes a piece on Sunday night. Redick shot 8-for-12 from the field for 17 points with three rebounds and one three ball. Crawford was 6-for-12 from the field for 13 points with one assist, one steal and one three ball. They both earned their paychecks.
The Blazers certainly didn’t help themselves as they shot just 39.8% on Sunday night. Damian Lillard was 7-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line for 21 points with three treys, eight assists, two boards and one steal in 38 minutes. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (19 minutes, 0 shot attempts) was assigned by the Clippers to stick to C.J. McCollum, and that he did. McCollum was 3-for-11 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for just nine points with one three ball, two rebounds and three assists. Lillard and McCollum averaged 45.9 points per game this season, the third highest backcourt duo in the NBA. A lousy 30 points between the two won’t cut it.
Al-Farouq Aminu flashed his playoff experience on Sunday night in a solid effort. Aminu scored 10 points (3-for-12 FGs, 2-for-2 FTs) with 12 boards, three assists, one steal and two threes in 26 minutes. Expect Aminu to keep these lines up.
February 23, 2020, 11:50 pmBruce BrownSG, Detroit Pistons
Bruce Brown Jr. put up eight points with 10 boards on 3-of-10 shooting in a loss to the Blazers on Sunday.
Brown Jr. is the first guard in Pistons history to have 10 or more rebounds in four consecutive games. He can be left on the wire as the Pistons rotation is a complete mess and his role is unknown.
Source: Johnny Kane on Twitter
February 23, 2020, 11:46 pmBrandon KnightPG, Detroit Pistons
Brandon Knight played well in a loss to the Blazers on Sunday as he put up 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Knight knocked down three triples and added two rebounds and three assists to the box score. Langston Galloway chipped in 13 points with four rebounds and four assists. This is more of a fluke game for Knight, but Galloway should be owned in deeper leagues for his shooting and passing ability.
February 23, 2020, 11:41 pmChristian WoodPF, Detroit Pistons
Christian Wood put up 26 points with nine boards in 31 minutes of action in a 107-104 loss to the Blazers on Sunday.
Wood shot 9-of-15 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also added one assist and two blocks to the stat sheet. Wood is undoubtedly the best fantasy player on the Pistons and should return top-50 value for the remainder of the season.
February 23, 2020, 11:35 pmMario HezonjaSG, Portland Trail Blazers
Mario Hezonja (left ankle sprain) returned from injury on Sunday and recorded one assist in 12 minutes of action.
Hezonja should not be on anyone's radar as he has fallen out of the fantasy spectrum. Leave him on the wire.
February 23, 2020, 11:32 pmCJ McCollumSG, Portland Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum set season-highs with 41 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists in a win over the Pistons on Sunday.
McCollum shot 15-of-30 from the field and knocked down six triples. McCollum actually set a career-high with 12 assists as he found ways to get his teammates involved in this one. His value gets boosted when Damian Lillard is out, but he remains a middle-round value for the remainder of the season.
February 23, 2020, 11:27 pmCarmelo AnthonyPF, Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony put up a season-high 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting in a 107-104 win over the Pistons on Sunday.
Anthony brought his efficiency back up after his recent struggles from the field, which helped the Blazers pull out a close victory. Trevor Ariza, who had been trending up as of late, put up just two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 36 minutes. Ariza should bring top-100 value, while Anthony remains a late-round option for standard leagues.
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.