It was a really busy night for a Monday so we’ll stick to the fantasy-relevant news tonight. Elfrid Payton triple-doubled, Dennis Schroder was benched, Justin Anderson was nice, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden put on a show, Andre Iguodala scored a season-high and the Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Pacers all suffered disheartening losses. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Knicks 113, Magic 105 – Carmelo Anthony sat out to rest a sore knee so Ron Baker got a start (and didn’t score). Lance Thomas also started and had another nice game with 17 points, four rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers. Thomas failed to score on Sunday, but had scored 21, 11, 12 and 11 points in each of his previous four games. As long as Thomas is starting for the Knicks, he’s worth a look in fantasy. Despite Melo’s absence, Mindaugas Kuzminskas saw just 18 minutes for eight points, while Willy Hernangomez looked good with 14 points and eight boards on 7-of-10 shooting in just 18 minutes. Kyle O’Quinn only got 12 minutes, but still and 11 points and eight boards, but you can’t trust him with Willy back in the fold. A guard named Chasson Randle played 26 minutes and had a 7-5-5 line, but he should only be on the radar in 30-team leagues (for now). Courtney Lee led the way with 20 points in a start, but had scored just five points in two of his previous three games. Yes, the Knicks are still a mess despite the win.
Elfrid Payton (of all people) had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Magic, good for his fourth career triple-double, which is a Magic record. It was just six days ago he had two points and four assists in 21 minutes, so I’m just hopeful he was in your lineup if you own him. Nikola Vucevic was out again with an Achilles injury so Bismack Biyombo got loose for 10 points, 14 boards and a block. He’s an automatic DFS play anytime Vuc is out and given the nature of Vuc’s injury, might be worth picking up in season-longs. Terrence Ross was a dud on 2-of-10 shooting, while Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier both had good games in the loss. Jeff Green had 15 and not much else in the loss, other than a team-worst +/- of -21. In fact, the Magic starters were all at least +2, while the bench was all between -5 and -21, so it looks like this was a lottery ping pong-ball special.
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Bucks 112, Sixers 98 – Giannis Antetokounmpo filled it up across the board and Tony Snell got hot, hitting 8-of-11 shots for a season-high 21 points, seven boards, two steals and five 3-pointers. Eighteen of those points came in the first half so chalk this one up as a fluke, as he didn’t score more than eight points in any of his previous four games. PG Malcolm Brogdon hit 6-of-7 shots for 13 points, five boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, and Khris Middleton added 13 points, five boards and eight assists. Backup PG Matthew Dellavedova had 10 points, seven assists and two 3-pointers off the bench, but I’ll still argue that Brogdon should be owned in all leagues.
Richaun Holmes started again, but was in foul trouble to finish with eight points, nine boards and nothing else. Dario Saric had 14 points, eight boards, six assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, and Robert Covington added 15 points, a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers. Those are three Sixers you need to own right now, along with Jahlil Okafor when healthy. Gerald Henderson was back, sending Nik Stauskas to the bench, and Stauskas had just six points despite playing 27 minutes. One of the stories of the night was Justin Anderson, who hit 9-of-16 shots for 19 points, six boards and three assists off the bench. It would have been sweeter had any of his six 3-pointers gone down, but either way, he’s a guy I featured in Waiver Wired and he could do big things down the stretch for the tanking Sixers. PG T.J. McConnell was bad, but did have eight dimes.
Heat 106, Cavaliers 98 – Dion Waiters broke out of a slump with 29 points, five dimes and five 3-pointers. If he was dropped in your league, he’s still worth a look. Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic played well, Rodney McGruder was serviceable and Wayne Ellington scored 18 off the bench. Josh Richardson had five points and three steals in 32 minutes, and simply can’t put it all together for more than a few games at a time. I give up trying to figure him out. The Heat won despite no James Johnson (elbow) and Tyler Johnson (shoulder). Both are day-to-day.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were back from a rest and both played very well, which makes this Cleveland loss all the more baffling. Bron had 30-17-6 and Irving had 32 points and four 3-pointers in the loss. Tristan Thompson added eight points, 13 rebounds and a block, but the rest of the Cavaliers failed to do much of anything.
Pistons 109, Bulls 95 – Reggie Jackson hit 11-of-16 shots and two 3-pointers for 26 points and six assists, which is why we’ve been telling you not to drop him. Ish Smith still had eight points and seven dimes off the bench, but played just 18 minutes. The PG job is still Jackson’s until further notice. Jon Leuer, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris and Aron Baynes all played well, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had an off night with six points on 2-of-9 shooting. Keep an eye on Baynes, but he’s still not worth picking up.
Jimmy Butler had 27 points and a solid stat line, but honestly, I was expecting more with Dwyane Wade (thigh) watching in street clothes. Robin Lopez, who might have been dropped in your league, had 18 points, four boards, a steal and a block, while the rest of the Bulls were pretty awful. Cameron Payne did have 14 points, three assists and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes off the bench, and was helped by Rajon Rondo’s absence (ankle). If you’re in a real deep league, the CamPayne might be worth a pickup. Bobby Portis wasn’t great, but started again and had 10 points and six boards, so I’m hanging in there with him. Nikola Mirotic hit just 2-of-7 shots for six points in 18 minutes, and I still don’t trust him.
Warriors 119, Hawks 111 – Stephen Curry didn’t shoot it all that well and has failed to hit 50 percent of his shots in six straight games, but still had a big one with 24 points and six triples, while Draymond Green filled the stat sheet. Patrick McCaw started and played well with nine points, seven boards and three 3-pointers, but it was Andre Iguodala’s season-high 24 points, five boards, four assists, three steals, a block and four 3-pointers that carried the Warriors in the second half. If you’re looking for the Durant-injury winner, it’s officially Iguodala. Matt Barnes had five points in 18 minutes off the bench, so it’s time to pick up Iguodala where you can.
Dennis Schroder went off with 19 points in the first quarter and was then benched for the game’s final 21 minutes by coach Budenholzer. It sounds like he and Dwight Howard were arguing while Curry knocked down an open 3-pointer, which probably infuriated Bud. Hopefully the two can talk it out today. Paul Millsap double-doubled, giving him four in his last five games after going 11 straight without one. Kent Bazemore scored 18 with an empty stat line, Ersan Ilyasova had 15 points, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers off the bench, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 points, giving him 18 straight in double figures. THJ looks must-own, while Ghostface Ilya is playing well enough to be considered in many leagues.