Chris Paul returned to action on Friday night during a 105-97 loss to the Spurs on Friday, scoring 17 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes.
In his first game back since Jan. 16, CP3 admitted there was some rust on the offense. "There’s no excuses," Paul said about the loss. "This was our first game with everybody. I probably threw some guys off, but we’re going to figure it out." Loss and low assists aside, Paul beating his timetable by a week and getting 33 minutes is encouraging. Expect him to be a first-round player after a very brief adjustment period.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points with nine rebounds, five assists and one steal in 38 minutes against the Spurs on Friday night.
He did take a Dewayne Dedmon shoulder to his cheek and ran to the locker room for about 10 seconds, but he had to come back out to shoot the free throws. Griffin just had a band-aid put over his cheek and it was enough to stop the bleeding, so he stayed in the game. As for his play, Griffin clearly has it going again and looks like an early-round player going forward. He needs to stay healthy.
Jamal Crawford did not score in 19 minutes against the Spurs on Friday with one assist.
He had a nice run while Chris Paul was out, but he's a clear drop after this game with coach Doc Rivers trusting his son more than one of the best bench scorers of all time.
Austin Rivers moved back to the bench on Friday with 23 points, three assists and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes against the Spurs on Friday.
He looks like he's going to still have a role as a combo wing for the Clippers. Rivers is still likely going to see a drop in overall production and he really won't do too much outside of scoring, he's better for points leagues or deeper leagues.
Raymond Felton had one steal in 14 minutes against the Spurs on Friday.
With Chris Paul back, Felton will see a major hit in playing time. He was kind of a letdown while CP3 was out, so his former owners will have no problem dropping him basically everywhere.
Nikola Jokic played just 15 minutes with two points, five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block against the Nets on Friday.
Do not panic. Brook Lopez caught Jokic with a rip move to give him two fouls in the first two minutes tonight, which put him in foul trouble for basically the whole game. This isn't the first time we've seen Jokic have major fouling issues and his coach knows it. "We need to play him at least 30-32 minutes a night," Malone said. "He needs to stop with those silly fouls in transition." Yes, Jokic has not been good since Mason Plumlee arrived, but that's more of a coincidence due to foul trouble and just poor play. Jokic should still be considered an elite fantasy option.
Mason Plumlee went off against the team that drafted him in 23 minutes off the bench on Friday, scoring 12 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists against the Nets.
Revenge game? Plumlee basically out-Jokic'd Nikola Jokic with some terrific passing in the post. As you might expect, coach Mike Malone loved what he saw. "He was unbelievable tonight," Malone said. "This is the Mason Plumlee that we envisioned." The coach added how much he liked the screens set, which was his calling card in Portland. He's not going to unseat Jokic and the foul trouble for the young superstar explains the added minutes for Plumlee. Jokic and Plumlee have played together for just three minutes in the last two games combined, so that's a negative for MP. Plumlee is worth a look, but he's not going be this good.
Danilo Gallinari (groin) scored 20 points with eight rebounds and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes against the Nets on Friday.
He was listed as probable for this game, but that's the status quo for the Nuggets following an injury. Gallinari did not play in the final 15:30 of this game because the Nuggets had the game in the bag, so Gallo likely would've been over 30 had this game been close. He'll be an injury risk, but his value is at its best on the Nuggets compared to another contender.