Week 23 Schedule: Games Played
4 Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, GSW, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games: BOS, CHI, DEN, LAC, MIN, POR
James Harden posted a 22-point, 12-dime double-double during Sunday’s easy 137-125 win over OKC, adding two triples five rebounds and five turnovers through his 36 minutes of floor time. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Harden landed hard on his left (shooting) wrist on a drive to the hoop with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and after grimacing in pain on the floor for a bit, he made his way to the bench and did not return. Harden had an enormous ice pack on the wrist during his postgame interview, and admitted that he initially suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the Nuggets, so it appears he aggravated the issue. Mike D’Antoni acknowledged that this is likely something Harden will have to deal with for the rest of the season, and hinted that he’ll rest him if he feels that’s what’s best for Houston’s long-term success. I’d view Harden as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Warriors, and if this is something that forces the MVP-candidate to take the night off, the usage rates for Eric Gordon and Lou Williams could trend to ridiculous territory.
Russell Westbrook notched triple-double No. 36 during Sunday’s loss with 39 points (13-of-24 FGs, 10-fo-16 FTs), 11 rebounds, 13 dimes, three 3-pointers and five turnovers in 39 minutes. He only needs six more triple-doubles to surpass Oscar Robertson’s single-season record, and with 10 more games to go, that seems like a very doable feat for the Monster named Westbrook.
Klay Thompson buried seven trey-bombs during Sunday’s 106-94 win over the Grizzlies, on his way to 31 points, two boards, one assist and one turnover in 35 minutes. He’s been going bonkers over the past two weeks with averages of 24.9 points, 3.4 boards, 1.9 dimes and a ridiculous 4.9 triples per contest on 53.2 percent shooting, which has been good enough for top-15 value in standard 9-cat leagues, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Jae Crowder did a little bit of everything during Sunday’s 112-108 win over Miami, tallying 25 points (8-of-13 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), six boards, three 3-pointers, two steals, two blocks and three turnovers in 36 minutes. Over the past two weeks, Crowder has been flirting with top-35 value behind averages of 16.4 points, 7.7 boards, 2.3 treys, 1.0 steal and 1.9 turnovers on 45.5 percent shooting. He’s heating up at the perfect time, and has likely helped a lot of teams pull out W’s through the first few weeks of the fantasy playoffs.
Hassan Whiteside (sprained ankle) racked up 19 points, 15 boards, two assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 30 minutes during Sunday’s loss. He sat out Saturday’s practice as a precaution after rolling his ankle on Thursday, but clearly, this ankle stuff will be a non-issue moving forward.
Myles Turner busted loose for a 17-point, 16-board double-double during Sunday’s win over the 76ers, adding one assist, one steal, two blocks and one turnover in 34 minutes. Turner recently went through a mini-slump, but over the past few weeks he’s been cranking out top-20 value in 9-cat leagues with averages of 12.3 points, 9.0 boards, 1.9 dimes, 1.1 steals, 1.0 turnover and an elite 2.6 swats per contest on 52.1 percent shooting. I’d expect the upward trend to hold.
Anthony Davis popped off for 31 points, 15 boards, three assists, one 3-pointer, one block and three turnovers in 28 minutes during Sunday’s 115-90 win over the Nuggets. Davis went 12-of-17 from the field and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe to give him a sterling true shooting percentage of 77.2, and with DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) unavailable, he saw his usage rate rise to 35.3. Interestingly, the Pelicans are now 5-8 with Cousins on the floor, but a perfect 3-0 when Boogie watches from the sidelines.
Jimmy Butler dished out a career-high 14 dimes during Sunday’s 109-94 thrashing of the Bucks, adding 20 points, six boards, three steals, one triple and six turnovers in 39 minutes. Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double during the win, going 8-of-11 from the field and knocking down his only free throw attempt on his way to 18 points, nine boards, one 3-pointer, one steal and three turnovers in 34 minutes; and the good Nikola Mirotic decided to show up as he went off for 28 points, eight boards, six trey-bombs, one assist and one turnover in 35 minutes. Since Dwyane Wade (elbow) hit the sidelines, Butler has jumped to a top-4 evaluation, Rondo has been top-60 and Mirotic has miraculously been a top-45 guy. Obviously, both Rondo and Mirotic need to be owned until further notice.
Marvin Williams tied his career-high in 3-pointers during Friday’s 120-106 blowout win over the Suns, draining five triples to go with 21 points, seven boards, two assists, one steal and one turnover in 35 minutes. He’s been pumping out top-25 value over the past month with averages of 13.6 points, 9.2 boards, 2.3 dimes, 0.8 steals, 0.9 swats, 1.6 treys and just 0.8 turnovers per contest on 50.3 percent shooting, so congrats if you stuck with him through the horrendous start.
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On the Radar
Ersan Ilyasova hauled in a season-high 18 boards in another start sans Paul Millsap (knee), adding nine points (3-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), one assist and two turnovers through 32 minutes of floor time. Millsap’s status for Tuesday’s game is still up in the air, and as long as he’s out, Ilyasova should be considered a must-own guy as Atlanta’s starting power forward.
Taurean Prince got his first career start with both Thabo Sefolosha (groin) and Kent Bazemore (knee) on the sidelines and produced 17 points (5-of-13 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), six boards, two triples, one assist, three steals, one block and one turnover in 38 minutes. The rookie has been inconsistent, but over the past few weeks he’s worked his way into a late-round evaluation with averages of 9.9 points, 4.0 boards, 1.0 assist, 1.0 3-pointer, 1.1 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.4 turnovers per contest on 38.7 percent shooting. His numbers aren’t all that flashy, but his ability to contribute a little bit of everything to the box score gives him some deep league appeal. With both Sefolosha and Bazemore uncertain for Tuesday, Prince is someone to consider as a speculative add in deeper formats.
K.J. McDaniels scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting (3-of-3 from the stripe) to go with four boards, one assist, one block and one turnover in 22 minutes off the bench. The kids loaded with upside, and over the past four, he’s emerged as a seventh-round dude in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 12.0 points, 4.0 boards, 0.8 triples, 0.8 steals, 1.0 block and 1.5 turnovers per game on 56.3 percent shooting while earning 23.3 minutes a night. It should only be a matter of time until McDaniels finds himself starting over Randy Foye, and if he could see his minutes in the 30-range, he could easily emerge as a standard league guy. However, for now, as a reserve on the 15-57 Nets, he’s not much more than a low-end option in deep leagues.
Shawn Long double-doubled in 23 minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting (1-of-3 from the stripe) to go with 10 boards, one assist, one steal and one turnover. That’s three solid outings in a row for Long, and with Jahlil Okafor (knee) looking like a potential shutdown candidate, Long is worth consideration as a speculative pick up in deep leagues.
Georgios Papagiannis put up 12 points, four boards, four assists, two blocks and zero turnovers in 21 minutes off the bench during Sunday’s comeback win over the Clippers, and he’s been hanging around a late-round evaluation over the past two weeks thanks to his 1.6 swats per contest. He’s worth owning in deep leagues as a shot blocking specialist, but his production will likely be too inconsistent to depend on him in standard formats.
Jordan Crawford scored 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting, to go with five boards, seven dimes, one steal, one 3-pointer and two turnovers in 24 minutes off the bench during Sunday’s win. He rarely brings much to the stat sheet outside of scoring and 3-point shooting, but he is doing enough in those departments to justify ownership in deep leagues.