Week 12 Schedule: Games Played
5 Games: CHI
4 Games: BKN, DET, HOU, LAL, MIN, NYK, OKC
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, MEM, MIL, NOR, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
2 Games: CHA, GSW, LAC, MIA, PHO
1 Game: IND
James Harden quadruple-doubled (with turnovers of course) during Sunday’s 129-122 win over the Raptors, registering 40 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals, two blocks, four 3-pointers, and yes, 10 turnovers in 38 minutes. Watching Russell Westbrook and Harden obliterate the box scores this season has been euphoric, and when you throw away those pesky turnovers (8-cat format), Mr. Harden ranks No. 1 overall (Westbrook No. 2) with insane averages of 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 3.0 triples and a league-leading 11.8 assists per contest on 44.3 percent shooting. When two guys are having a ridiculous season like the one we’re witnessing, the MVP trophy is typically awarded to the player on the team with the better record, which in this case (at this moment) would be James Harden. However, with Russell Westbrook very likely to average a triple-double for the first time since 1961-62 season, that could certainly sway the voting in his favor. I honestly don’t really care whom the MVP award goes to this season, but I am certainly enjoying the show.
Chris Paul was phenomenal during Sunday’s 98-86 win over the Heat, racking up 19 points (7-of-11 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), 18 assists, six rebounds, one 3-pointer, two steals and just one turnover in 29 minutes. CP3 leads all point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio by a wide margin at 4.38, ranks No. 3 overall in assist percentage (47.2) and is No. 4 overall in total assists (324), which are just a few reasons why he ranks No. 4 overall in standard 9-cat leagues. As a side note, Paul registered his 8,000-career assist in this one, a feat that only 10 other players have accomplished.
Otto Porter posted an Otto-Porter-line with 13 points, three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two swats and two turnovers in 39 minutes. Porter can fill the box score like few others, which is why the 23-year-old has been a steady top-20 guy all year long. I used to give Scotty Brooks a lot of grief over the way he handled his rotations in OKC, but he hasn’t given the fantasy basketball world anything to complain about this season, and you’ve got to give the man some credit for Porter’s emergence as a stat-sheet stuffer this season.
Jabari Parker abused the box score in his 41 minutes of action during Sunday’s matinee, racking up 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three 3-pointers, two steals, one block and two turnovers. While Giannis Antetokounmpo has been getting all the headlines this season (and justifiably so), Parker has also been having himself an impressive season, posting top-50 value and hitting career-highs across the board with averages of 20.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 1.1 steals, 1.4 trey-bombs and just 1.5 turnovers per contest on 49.9 percent shooting. Now that we have three years of data to go off, it’s pretty obvious that Parker should have gone No. 1 overall over Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA draft.
T.J. Warren held his own against the defending champs on Sunday, hitting 7-of-9 shots on his way to 15 points, three rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointers, three steals and one turnover in 27 minutes. Warren has been hit-or-miss since returning from his mysterious head injury, and his usage rate has been down (from 22.3 pre-injury to 19.7 post-injury), but hopefully this successful stat line against a tough defensive team will help him start trending in a positive direction. I think Warren is a good guy to try and buy-low on.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled a tough, turnaround 3-point bomb to seal the victory for Detroit during Sunday’s thrilling 125-124 double overtime win in Portland, tallying 26 points, four triples, four rebounds, two assists, four steals and three turnovers in 48 minutes. Reggie Jackson also went to work on offense, scoring a team-high 31 points on 13-of-26 shooting to go with one rebound, two steals, three assists and two turnovers in 47 minutes. Jackson had a painfully slow start to the 2016-17 season, missing all of training camp and the entire month of November as he recovered from PRP injections to his right (shooting) thumb and left knee, and it was slow going when he initially got back to the court as he worked himself into game shape. However, since the turn of the New Year, Jackson has looked like a new man, pumping out top-30 value in 9-cat leagues with 24.0 points, 7.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.0 triples and just 2.6 turnovers per contest on 48.4 percent shooting. Jackson is entering his prime at 26 years old, so it’s reasonable to expect some improvement from last year’s numbers now that he’s fully up to speed. In other words, I would recommend Reggie as a hold as opposed to a sell-high guy.
C.J. McCollum did all he could to help Portland to a win during the double overtime loss, scoring 25 points on 16-of-28 shooting to go with three rebounds, three 3-pointers, six assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 44 minutes. McCollum has been a stud all year long, but he’s been particularly impressive in 2017 with averages of 33.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks, 2.8 triples and 2.8 turnovers per game on 53.2 percent shooting from the field and 95.8 percent from the charity stripe. McCollum has ranked No. 4 overall in 9-cat leagues during that five-game span, so while I do absolutely love C.J.’s game, owners may want to pursue some sell-high opportunities as this is likely his plateau. And by sell-high, I mean don’t deal him unless you’re getting a first-round stud in return.
On the Radar
T.J. McConnell remained in the starting lineup despite the return of Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) and put up four points, eight boards, six assists, two steals and two turnovers in 36 minutes. The 76ers have now won three of their past four games with McConnell running the point, and he’s also a much better defender than Rodriguez, so it’s looking like he may stick as a starter moving forward. Over the past four games, McConnell has been a steady late-round guy with averages of 9.0 points, 9.8 assists, 5.3 boards, 1.5 steals and just 2.0 turnovers per game on 39.5 percent shooting, so if you can stomach the inefficient scoring and need some help in assists, give McConnell a look.
Dario Saric had a nice game off the bench, going 5-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe on his way to 18 points, five boards, three 3-pointers, one steal and four turnovers in 30 minutes. However, this stat line does come with an asterisk as he did this against the worst team in the league at defending the forward spots, so I’d like to see him do it again before recommending him as a standard league add. Basically, as long as Ersan Ilyasova is healthy, Saric is only going to be worth owning as a deep league stash.