Mavs Top Kings
The Mavs got 23 from Monta Ellis, but Dirk Nowitzki hit just 5-of-17 shots for 15 points, Jose Calderon scored 14 and Vince Carter scored 17 points in the win. Shawn Marion played 34 minutes but had just seven points and nine rebounds, while Samuel Dalembert stayed relevant with six points, 11 boards, a steal and a block. Again, the starters are startable and Carter’s the only guy I trust off the bench.
The Kings got 32 from Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points, 10 boards, three steals and two blocks, and continues to stay away from technical fouls. Ray McCallum played a whopping 48 minutes, and despite hitting just 4-of-12 shots for eight points, also had four rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a block. We still don’t know when Isaiah Thomas is going to play again, but as long as he’s out, McCallum is a must-start. If you have to make a weekly decision right now, I’d go with McCallum, as Thomas has mixed seven straight games with his quad injury and the Kings are out of the playoff race.
Rockets Top Nuggets behind Harden, Asik
James Harden hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime as the Rockets made a remarkable comeback and then went on to win the day’s most exciting game. Harden was spectacular, finishing with 32 points, 10 assists, four steals and three 3-pointers, Jeremy Lin had 19 points and a full stat line, and Terrence Jones had 14 points, five rebounds, two steals and three blocks. But it was Omer Asik that destroyed the Nuggets with 18 points, 23 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. The Nuggets were terrible against big men all season and yesterday was no exception. With Beverley and Dwight Howard possibly done for the year, Lin, Asik and the rest of the Rockets starters should all be in fantasy lineups right now.
The big daily mistake I made yesterday was forgetting about Aaron Brooks. I was on vacation last week and fell out of the Ty Lawson (ankle) loop, and just missed it. It was costly, as he was 80 percent owned in the league I was playing in, and he went off for 24 points, eight rebounds, 15 assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. Obviously, I didn’t win any money in that league. Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, Quincy Miller (no Wilson Chandler), Brooks (if Lawson is out), Randy Foye and Evan Fournier (26 points, six 3-pointers) are the Nuggets you want to be looking at right now. Lawson could get the week off to let his ankle recover, so I would be tempted to play Brooks (and maybe Fournier) with confidence.
Spurs Beat Grizzlies, Lose Tony Parker
The Spurs easily beat the Grizzlies on Sunday, but Tony Parker left the game with a back injury and will have an MRI. And with the playoffs looming, Parker could be done for the regular season. Hello, Patty Mills. Mills had seven points in 20 minutes last night, but will be the guy you want if Parker is shut down. Tim Duncan was quiet, Kawhi Leonard went nuts with 26 points, and Manu Ginobili matched him with 26 and four 3-pointers, while Tiago Splitter and Danny Green each played just 18 minutes. I’d feel confident rolling Leonard and Mills out there this week, but the rest of Gregg Popovich’s crew is a crapshoot.
James Johnson led the Grizzlies with 20 points, but is completely unreliable, while Mike Conley was the only other player in double digits for Memphis. The regular starters should be fairly reliable this week, but there wasn’t much going on Sunday to instill confidence in using them.
Warriors Spank Jazz
Klay Thompson scored 33 points and Stephen Curry had 31 points and 16 assists, and the two combined to hit 12 3-pointers in an easy win. Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green both started and had 11 points, as David Lee continues to sit with a hamstring injury. He’s missed five straight and we don’t know when he’ll play again. Therefore, Green is relevant. Andrew Bogut finally returned to action and had six points and 11 boards in 23 minutes, which wasn’t great for those of you who were rolling with Jermaine O’Neal. I think the Warriors regulars are going to be fine this week.
Trey Burke and Alec Burks each scored 24 for the Jazz, but the rest of the box score was pretty ugly. Enes Kanter was back off the bench as Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson started, and neither Kanter nor Favors were very good. I’d stay away from Williams and RJ, but the rest of the regulars are worth a shot.
Suns Top Thunder
Goran Dragic, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe helped lead the Suns over the Thunder to keep their playoff hopes alive. Channing Frye played just 18 minutes and Miles Plumlee continues to underwhelm. I’d keep rolling Dragic, Green, Tucker and Bledsoe, and consider the Morris Twins going forward.
The Thunder got 38 from Kevin Durant and 33 from Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka didn’t block a shot, but played well. Even with Westbrook playing 33 minutes, Reggie Jackson also saw 33 minutes and had 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Jackson remains a strong play, as the Thunder go back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday, and again on Sunday and Monday. That means Westbrook will miss at least two more games before the playoffs, making him a shaky weekly play, depending on your options.
Blazers Beat Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, Wesley Matthews scored 21, Damian Lillard had 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points, 12 boards and a full stat line in the win. As usual, the Blazers starters are all pretty reliable.
Anthony Davis graced us with his presence and hit 6-of-18 shots for 15 points, five rebounds and four blocks. It looks like he’s OK to keep running out there, but he seems to be very fragile and his back remains a concern. I’ve heard some “experts” talking about taking Davis with the No. 1 overall pick next year, but I’m not one of them. The guy seems to be constantly injured and I just don’t feel like I can rely on him. Taking him at No. 6? Yes. Taking him over LeBron or KD? No thanks. Tyreke Evans, Brian Roberts and Anthony Morrow all look like must-stars the rest of the way.
There are no games on Monday night due to the NCAA Final game, so take the night off and enjoy the game that will only impact your bracket pool for the final score tie breaker.