April 25, 2016, 10:02 am
The broom sticks were out on Sunday for the Spurs and Cavs, as they made quick work of the Grizzlies and Pistons in four games. They will have time to rest before grueling round two matchups. More on those sweeps below. The biggest news on Sunday is of course the status of reigning MVP Stephen Curry’s MCL sprain. News should drop later today, as Curry is schedule for an MRI. (Update: Warriors PR said that Curry has indeed sustained a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.) The Warriors are a strong team without his services, but they need their MVP to get past the Western Conference Finals and beyond. Follow @HoopBallTweets for the latest on Curry and all other basketball news. Let’s run through an entertaining four-game slate from Sunday:
SPURS 116, GRIZZLIES 95
The only chance Memphis ever had in this series was when the lights went out for 20 minutes on Sunday. This series was over when the matchups were drawn. Even coach Pop, who now has the most sweeps as a coach in NBA history, knew that the Grizzlies couldn’t match the Spurs.
“It wasn’t a fair fight,” Pop said. “Whoever was available came out and played, and they executed to the best of their ability. They played with a lot of heart and fortitude.”
The honesty is much appreciated.
Now that the Spurs made quick work of the Grizzlies, fantasy owners can hope to see their San Antonio studs see more playing time in the next series. Once again, coach Pop played 11 players over double-digit minutes and got ample rest for his starters. Kawhi Leonard took advantage of the 27 minutes he was on the floor, shooting 6-for-10 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line for 21 points with two threes, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks. LaMarcus Aldridge played 26 minutes, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line for 15 points with 10 boards and one steal. Both hope to see beastly lines with more minutes in closer games down the road.
Tim Duncan and David West split 19 minutes each on Sunday to keep their legs fresh. Duncan scored seven points (3-for-4 FGs, 1-for-1 FT) with two rebounds, two assists and three blocks. He isn’t having the postseason owners drafted him for so far. There are several better power forwards to choose from. West was more valuable in his 19 minutes, scoring 11 points (4-for-7 FGs, 2-for-3 FTs) with one three ball, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block.
Tony Parker got hot, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line for 16 points with one three and two assists in 21 minutes. He has flashes of being the same old Tony more often than not. Fantasy owners were burned by Danny Green on Sunday, as he put up just two points, two rebounds and one steal in 18 minutes. The “biggest bust” candidate of 2015-16 is showcasing his talents in the postseason. For the millionth time, stay away.
The Grizzlies set an NBA record this season with 28 different players playing this season. You know it’s been a weird season for the Grizz when Lance Stephenson is your leading scorer in an elimination game. Stephenson was 11-for-19 from the field and 4-for-5 from the line for 26 points with three assists and one rebound. If you saw that coming, kudos to you. Matt Barnes did a little bit of everything in a team-high 44 minutes, scoring 15 points (6-for-13 FGs, 2-for-3 FTs) with one three ball, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. He didn’t separate himself from any DFS packs but he didn’t hurt you either.
Tony Allen gutted his way to the floor through out the series, but he was never fully healthy. Allen finished with six points, one rebound and two steals in 16 minutes. Hello offseason. Zach Randolph continued to be a shell of his former self, scoring 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting with seven rebounds. I won’t be drafting Z-Bo in any leagues next season.
The broom sticks did their job. The Spurs now await the winner of the Thunder-Mavs series (Thunder lead 3-1). The Western Conference playoffs are just getting started.
WARRIORS 121, ROCKETS 94
The Warriors rallied on the road in a big way to take a 3-1 lead in the series against the Rockets despite losing their reigning MVP at halftime, which goes to show that this roster is full of talent. Curry played a rusty 18 minutes, scoring six points (2-for-9 FGs, 1-for-7 3PT) with five assists and one steal. The Warriors have to be grateful they were rewarded with the lowly Rockets in round one and are still a solid bet to get past round two sans Curry.
The other splash brother kept it wet on Sunday, as Klay Thompson scored a team-high 23 points (8-for-15 FGs, 7-for-11 3PT) with five assists, two boards and two steals. His seven threes added to an NBA playoff record 21 threes made by the Warriors, who continue to rewrite the record books as each game comes and goes.
After Curry went down just before half, the Warriors poured in 41 points in the third quarter alone to put away the Rockets. Draymond Green kept the Warriors grounded after the game. “Let’s not fool ourselves. When you hit the shots we’re hitting, things are going to go your way,” Green said. He played a team-high 35 minutes, shooting 7-for-12 from the field for 18 points with four triples, eight boards, six assists and one steal.
The Warriors bench came up big as they have time and time again. Andre Iguodala shot 9-for-11 from the field for 22 points with three treys, five boards, four assists and one steal. Shaun Livingston continued his excellent fantasy value with nine points, nine assists and five rebounds. Livingston will be key for owners if Curry continues to miss time.
While the Warriors were 21-for-40 from beyond the arc (52.5%), the Rockets couldn’t get hot on their home court (5-for-27, 18.5%). Trevor Ariza turned in another poor performance with eight points (3-for-11 FGs, 0-for-4 3PTs), two rebounds and two steals. He burned a lot of fantasy owners again on Sunday.
James Harden struggled to shoot as well, shooting 4-for 13 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line for 18 points with two threes (2-for-8 3PTs), 10 assists, seven rebounds and seven steals. Harden reached his DFS expectations but provided no further value beyond that. Patrick Beverley (leg strain) left the game in the second quarter and did not return. He was ruled out quickly, so watch his status closely for Game 5. If he can’t give it a go, expect Harden to run the point.
Dwight Howard was busy in 36 minutes, shooting 7-for-9 from the field and 5-for-13 from the line for 19 points with 15 boards and one block. Not to worry, his offseason is right around the corner.
Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff continues to trust Donatus Motiejunas over Michael Beasley. Motie put up eight points with one three, four rebounds, two assists and one steal in 25 minutes. Beasley was much more useful in 19 minutes, shooting 6-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line for 17 points with one three ball and three boards. I bet fantasy owners are glad this situation is almost over.
February 19, 2020, 11:39 amJacob EvansSG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves announced this morning that the team has assigned Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.
All of them were acquired at the trade deadline and they are unlikely to receive much playing time with the main squad.
February 19, 2020, 11:31 amKris DunnPG, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls announced this morning that Kris Dunn will continue his current rehabilitation program of his medial collateral ligament sprain for the next 4-6 weeks before progressing to functional training.
A determination will be made at that time if additional treatment is required so it’s not certain that Dunn will be able to return to action this year. He is now a drop in standard leagues and the Bulls will rely on Tomas Satoransky and Coby White for the foreseeable future.
February 19, 2020, 11:13 amAaron GordonPF, Orlando Magic
The Magic tried mightily to trade forward Aaron Gordon before last week's deadline, according to veteran NBA reporter Sean Deveney.
The Warriors and the Suns were among the teams that spoke to the Magic but talks obviously didn’t materialize. Orlando is waiting for first-round pick Chuma Okeke as he recovers from ACL surgery, and his recovery could potentially spell the end of Gordon with the Magic. AG has taken a step back this year, sitting outside the top-150 in standard leagues but hopefully the All-Star break helps him get back on track.
February 19, 2020, 9:49 amNicolas ClaxtonPF, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets assigned Nicolas Claxton to their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, on Wednesday.
With DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen healthy it’s gonna be hard for the rookie center to find any minutes. He is only a stash in dynasty leagues right now.
Source: Chris Milholen on Twitter
February 19, 2020, 9:45 amStephen CurryPG, Golden State Warriors
After a full month of increasingly intense individual workouts, Stephen Curry joined on Tuesday his Warriors teammates on the practice court for the first time since last October.
If all goes well next week, it’s conceivable Curry would immediately begin scrimmaging, with a possible return a few days later. The Warriors have 27 games remaining and after March 1st that number drops to 21. Their final 20 begin with a four-game homestand from March 5th to March 12th and, assuming there are no setbacks, it’s likely that Curry will return during that stretch. Make sure that he is not available in any leagues as he could be the difference-maker during this year’s fantasy playoffs.
Source: Monte Poole on Twitter
February 19, 2020, 9:30 amAndre DrummondC, Cleveland Cavaliers
Greg Swartz of BleacherReport is reporting that Andre Drummond’s stay in Cleveland could be short, as, according to a former NBA general manager, the Cavs could move their new center this summer.
Cleveland put together one of the most bizarre trade deadlines in recent memory by trading for Drummond and holding on to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Drummond somewhat fits agewise with the Cavs’ young core of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., but his contract status is still up in the air as he has a $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season. Drummond seems to be a safe play on fantasy for the rest of the year, even after the expected coaching change, but his status beyond that seems to be up in the air.
Source: Bleacher Report
February 19, 2020, 9:17 amMitchell RobinsonC, New York Knicks
Villanova coach Jay Wright has no interest in the Knicks, as reported on Monday, but Tom Thibodeau very much would like to coach at the Garden, according to Marc Berman of the NY Post.
Thibodeau’s reputation took a hit after he was fired last season during his third year in Minnesota, even after he took the Wolves to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. He reportedly did not connect with the young players, practicing them too hard and being too vocal on the bench. Thibs has ties with the Knicks, as he was a former assistant, and it’s likely that he gets an interview in the upcoming months but it remains to be seen what kind of roster the Knicks try to assemble for next year.
Source: NY Post
February 19, 2020, 9:10 amJeremy PargoPG, Golden State Warriors
Guards Jeremy Pargo and Zach Norvell Jr. will not re-sign with the Warriors after their 10-day contracts ended on Tuesday.
“I know we have a list of players we’d like to take a look at,” Steve Kerr said. It seems that the Warriors will take the time to evaluate more guys in the upcoming weeks making it hard to count on any players they bring in. In three games with the Warriors, Norvell averaged just 3.3 points on 27.3 percent shooting. Pargo meanwhile had a nice showing with the team and it’s not out of question that another franchise takes a look at him.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
February 19, 2020, 9:03 amMaurice HarklessSF, New York Knicks
During an appearance on ESPN, Sam Amick of The Athletic said on Tuesday that the Lakers are monitoring Maurice Harkless' situation in the event that the Knicks part with him.
The Lakers missed out on Reggie Jackson but they are still looking to add more firepower ahead of the playoffs. Harkless could give them more defensive versatility but it remains unclear whether New York is willing to let him walk. Regardless, it’s unlikely he has much fantasy value even if he lands with the Lakers.
Source: Sam Amick of The Athletic
February 18, 2020, 10:25 pmJohn Beilein, Cleveland Cavaliers
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, John Beilein is leaving as the Cavs’ coach and J.B. Bickerstaff will be elevated to head coach.
It’s still not official, but once Woj says it’s happening, it’s happening. A shake-up is likely to be a great thing for this roster that contains at least a few unhappy star players in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Be ready to act on any significant role changes that come with this move. For example, will Larry Nance Jr. and/or Kevin Porter Jr. take on expanded roles?
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter