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.
August 21, 2019, 10:34 amCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.
Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.
Source: John Casey on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:33 pmTyronn LuePG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.
The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:28 pmPJ TuckerSF, Houston Rockets
P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.
The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.
Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 6:11 pmJaylen AdamsPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.
Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.
August 20, 2019, 4:55 pmJeff LedbetterG, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.
Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.
Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:49 pmEric MikaC, Sacramento Kings
The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.
The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.
Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:44 pmJA MorantPG, Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."
Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.
Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 2:17 pmDerrick AlstonTeam, New York Knicks
The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.
Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.
Source: Ian Begley on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:21 pmCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Cory Joseph is not expected to play for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup.
Team Canada has been taking a beating the last few weeks with NBA guys continuing to pull out. This news won't have any effects on Joseph's role heading into the season, but it does create another dent in Team Canada's chances of making noise in the World Cup.
Source: Doug Smith: Raptors on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:08 pmMarcus Georges-HuntSG, Free Agent
Jay King of The Athletic is hearing that Marcus Georges-Hunt is in Boston working out with the Celtics for the next few days.
Georges-Hunt last played in the NBA for the Wolves in the 2017-18 season. Last season Georges-Hunt was waived from the Celtics in mid-October and played nine games for the Red Claws. Georges-Hunt is a longshot to make the team and carries no fantasy relevance regardless of the outcome.
Source: Jay King on Twitter