Dwight Howard was a (very) late scratch, the big boys in Denver racked up some serious production against Blake Griffin and the Clippers, Phoenix is reeling, Westbrook is rolling, and Jeff Green and Marcus Thornton might be the same guy. Tuesday’s Dose breaks it down.
News broke after the 7 p.m. lineup deadline that Dwight Howard was being held out of Monday’s game due to an ankle injury. He’s day-to-day and stuck in one of my weekly lineups in a playoff week. I’m sure I’m not alone in that boat, but there’s at least some hope he’ll be able to play on Thursday, as the Rockets have a welcomed three-day rest between games. This was his first missed game of the season and after how things went for the Lakers last year, owners of Howard really don't have much to complain about thus far. Because Howard was out, Terrence Jones was able to get loose for one of his best games of the season, racking up 30 points, five rebounds, a steal, four blocks and three 3-pointers on 11-of-15 shooting. While this will be discouraging news to owners that dropped Jones a few weeks back, keep in mind that you probably didn’t miss him that much when he scored a total of 19 points over a four-game stretch from March 7-13. In any case, Howard should be back on Thursday and Jones should return to his hit-or-miss ways soon enough.
In other injury news, Kyrie Irving is likely out for the season due to a biceps injury, although the Cavs say he might be back in two weeks. The Cavs are still kind of in the hunt for the playoffs, but if they fall out of contention over the next two weeks, I find it hard to believe Kyrie will play again this year. In terms of fantasy, the dream is dead, and Jarrett Jack and Dion Waiters are the pickups. The MRI on Danny Green’s wrist came back negative and he should continue to play through the pain for the Spurs. Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar suffered a groin injury in Monday’s practice and will see a specialist today. This is pretty terrible news for Farmar and his fantasy owners, and every time it appears that Kendall Marshall is about to get Wally Pipp’d, he gets sucked back in like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III. If Marshall is somehow still available in your league, pick him up.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $8,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Denver Downs Clippers
I’ve written about the Nuggets big men giving it up to opposing power forwards and centers a million times this season, but they turned the tables on the Clippers last night. Yes, Blake Griffin still got his with 28 points, 12 boards, two steals, two blocks and 12-of-12 free throws, but DeAndre Jordan had just eight points, 11 rebounds and no blocks, which is a very quiet night for him. The Nuggets big men went bonkers, as Kenneth Faried had 18 points, 18 rebounds, a steal and a block, Timofey Mozgov had 15 points and nine rebounds, and J.J. Hickson came off the bench for 21 points and 11 rebounds. I didn’t see that coming, and this is really the first time all season all three Nuggets big men played well on the same night. The Clippers only have one more game on their schedule this week, and hope to have Darren Collison (flu) back against the Pistons on Saturday. Despite his absence, Jared Dudley didn’t even get into the game, while Willie Green and Reggie Bullock combined to hit just 5-of-17 shots while filling in for Collison and Jamal Crawford, who remains out with a calf injury.
Mavericks Beat Boston
I used to think Marcus Thornton was the most inconsistent player in the league, but Jeff Green has stolen his Thunder. Green was 2-of-12 last night for five points, nine rebounds and six turnovers, and I’m glad I put him on my bench for three games this week. Of course, he’ll probably blow up in the next one, as his game log looks like it’s been in a popcorn machine. His shooting and scoring fluctuate wildly, and he’s scored 5, 39, 9, 27, 12, 27, 15, 4 and 27 points in each of his last nine games. If you play him on the right night, all is right with the world, but if you had him in there yesterday, your week is probably off to a pretty tough start. He’ll have a chance to turn it around on Wednesday against the Heat. As expected, Rajon Rondo did not play for the Celtics in a second of a back-to-back on Monday. Phil Pressey came off the bench, allowing Jerryd Bayless and Avery Bradley to start at guard for the Celtics. Bayless had 18 points, six assists and three 3-pointers, while Bradley scored 11 with three steals and a trey. Kelly Olynyk broke free with 16 points, nine rebounds and a 3-pointer, but is actually the least reliable big man in Boston right now.
The Mavericks won the game, but there wasn’t much to see in the box score. Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 19 points and six rebounds, but only Monta Ellis, Devin Harris, Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright joined him in double figures. The Mavericks are a pretty balanced team and one of the most boring ones in terms of fantasy use this season.
Rockets Crush Jazz
In addition to the monster game the Rockets got from Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley scored well in his second straight game, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and a full stat line. It may finally be time for Beverley to become a must-own player again. Omer Asik started in place of Howard and had 12 points, 11 boards and a block, but surprisingly, James Harden was quiet with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and Chandler Parsons was just 3-of-5 for six points and seven assists. The Rockets destroyed the Jazz, so owners of those two stragglers should not be concerned. Jeremy Lin and Jordan Hamilton made the most of their garbage time with 17 and 15 points respectively, but there’s no reason to get excited.
Marvin Williams was back in the starting lineup over Enes Kanter on Monday and had five points on 1-of-6 shooting. Yee Haw! Kanter had nine points, nine rebounds and six turnovers off the bench, and the fact he’s not starting actually makes me sad inside. Derrick Favors and Alec Burks led the Jazz with 15 points apiece, but trust me when I say, there’s nothing to learn from the Jazz box score this morning. Well, except that Marvin probably shouldn’t be starting for an NBA team.