Friday night was quite the fantasy bonanza across the NBA. Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving both messed around and got a triple-double. Goran Dragic dropped 40 on the Pelicans, Jordan Farmar drained eight 3-pointers, and Kevin Durant kept doing Kevin Durant things. Hope you made sure to tip your waiter. Click here to follow me on Twitter!
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $80,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Saturday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Saturday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
Like just about every other in the player in the NBA, Steph Curry loves playing in Madison Square Garden. And I mean really loves playing in Madison Square Garden. The last time he visited Manhattan, Curry dropped 54 on the Knicks. He didn’t top 50 points Friday night, but he did manage to put up his third triple-double of the season on his way to posting 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go along with 11 boards, 11 dimes, one block, and 5 3-pointers. LeBron James will have something to say about this before the season is over, but Curry has established himself as the second best fantasy player up to this point and Friday’s performance in hoops Mecca affirmed that standing. Your move, LeBron.
The other amazing part of Curry’s performance is that most of his teammates didn’t do a whole lot to add to the Warriors’ blowout of the Knicks. Klay Thompson hit five shots from downtown top pad his 25-point output, but Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, and David Lee only scored six, seven and 10 points, respectively.
On the Knicks’ side of the ball, Carmelo Anthony had a nice stat line of 23 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer, but also hurt his owners with a 7-of-26 performance from the field. You know you’re having a bad shooting night when J.R. Smith puts your field goal percentage to shame by shooting 7-of-19 from the field (which went for 17 points that included three 3-pointers). Tyson Chandler had a forgettable game other than grabbing 12 boards, as did Raymond Felton with his eight points and three assists in 22 minutes. The lone bright spot for the Knicks was Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 22 points off the bench that came on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and included four 3-pointers, two rebounds, and two steals.
Ice Cube would be proud
As I alluded to above, Kyrie Irving posted the first triple-double of his career last night as the rising Cavaliers trounced the sinking Utah Jazz. Kyrie hit 7-of-16 shots from the field that led to a final line of 21 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, one block, and one 3-pointer. Don’t look now, but Kyrie is among the Top Five players over the past month and is handsomely rewarding his fantasy owners who spent a Top 10 pick on him.
Unlike Curry, Irving got some help from his friends as the injury-depleted Cavs got 30-plus minutes from four of their five starters. Spencer Hawes continued to enjoy his change of scenery with 13 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and two blocks. Tristan Thompson was a monster on his way to finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and two assists while shooting 9-of-13 from the field. And Luol Deng caught the same field goal percentage fire with 8-of-12 shooting that led to 16 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Jarrett Jack was the only Cavs’s starter who played less than 30 minutes and his stat line of five points, one board, and four dimes (on 2-of-9 shooting) didn’t do much to help fantasy owners who were hoping to take advantage of Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles being out again.
This hasn’t been confirmed, but there is a possibility that Gordon Hayward was the only player who boarded the Jazz’ plane to Cleveland as he was the only Jazzman to score more than 13 points Friday night. Hayward’s line of 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two blocks, and four 3-pointers was a great stat line for fantasy owners and it looked even better next to the useless lines that came out of the rest of the roster. Derrick Favors had two blocks and two steals, but only scored 8 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. The silver lining with Favors is that he was at least able to play 32 minutes as he recovers from his hip injury. That silver lining doesn’t exist, however, for Trey Burke’s four points on 2-of-9 shooting, Alec Burks’ 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, and Marvin Williams’ five points on 2-of-10 shooting. Cleveland doesn’t rock if you’re a member of the Utah Jazz.
Next floor, Goran’s department
More about the elevator analogy in a second, but Goran Dragic made a surprise appearance Friday night after being listed as a game-time decision and made his presence felt as he dropped 40 points on the Pelicans in the Suns’ 116-104 victory at home. Dragic was thought to be doubtful to play for much of the day due to his sprained ankle, but the 27-year-old continued to prove himself as one of the better fantasy point guards to own as he dropped the aforementioned 40 points on 14-of-21 shooting to go along with five assists, three rebounds, and three 3-pointers.
Daily owners who tried to take advantage of Dragic potentially being out got stuck with Ish Smith’s 10 points, two rebounds, six assists, and one steal (which isn’t horrible), while the Morris brothers added a 1-2 punch to go alongside Dragic as Markieff scored 18 points to go along with Marcus’ 15 (and each blocked two shots apiece). Gerald Green got stuck with
In one of the more bizarre pieces of news in a season of bizarre news, Tyreke Evans made his first start of the season last night, but barely made it to the arena after getting stuck in a hotel elevator before the game. Evans didn’t have his best game of the season, but he did put up 14 points in 36 minutes to go along with five points and four assists. The big game for the Pelicans expectedly came from Anthony Davis who played through a sore shoulder and shot 14-of-18 from the field with 32 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block. Eric Gordon was the only other bright spot for the Pelicans as he scored 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field to go along with two rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three 3-pointers. Also of note, Jrue Holiday had surgery on his tibia on Friday and will miss the rest of the season.
The Artist Formerly Known as The Servant
I’ll leave the actual MVP talk for fans and beat writers, but Kevin Durant is leaving no doubt as to whom this year’s fantasy MVP will be. Durant has come back down to Earth a bit since Russell Westbrook’s return, but it just goes to show how dominant he’s been this season when a 37 point, six rebound, five assist, two steal, one block, and three 3-pointer performance (which included 12-of-24 from the field and 10-of-10 from the line) isn’t the big news of the night.
Speaking of Westbrook, he’s rounding into form after returning from his knee injury and put up 21 points, two rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes Friday night. His critic can take a night off, as the Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak that started when Westbrook returned to action. Serge Ibaka dropped with 16 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks on 7-of-11 shooting, while Reggie Jackson scored 14 points in 34 minutes, but left the game early after getting hit in the face.
The Grizzlies were on the losing end of Durant’s big game Friday night, but received solid performances from their big men as Zach Randolph doubled up with 13 points and 10 boards while Marc Gasol shot 7-of-10 with 17 points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. Mike Conley countered the Grizzlies’ solid frontcourt performance with a 1-of-10 from the field stinker that only produced six points, two rebounds, one steal, and one 3-pointer (although he did drop nine dimes, to be fair). There was even a Mike Miller sighting for the Grizz as he played 20 minutes off the bench and scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go along with two rebounds, two assists, one steal, and four 3-pointers.