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Isaiah Thomas scored 24 points on 7-of-18 shooting (no threes, 10-of-10 FTs) with four rebounds, five assists, and one steal in Friday's loss to the Sixers.

Venerable NBA and Kings writer Tom Ziller wrote that the Kings "can't afford to have Isaiah Thomas" off the floor, and then cracked on the sophomore only getting 24 mpg this season. The running joke of Keith Smart's handling of the point guard is barely worth mentioning -- a given now -- and owners just have to hope the horse eventually drinks. Had the keys been given to IT at the end of last season, instead of letting the rest of the team set new standards for bad decision-making, the Kings wouldn't look like the Indians in Major League.
Fri, Feb 1, 2013 10:34:00 PM

The Rockets advanced to the second round with a 122-104 win on Wednesday, led by James Harden's 24 points, 12 assists, five rebounds, four 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks.

When coach Mike D'Antoni was asked about the Wolves' various defensive schemes to slow down Harden, he replied, "I don't think there is a solution." Harden can torch defenders from deep when they dive under screens, he can drive past them when they go over, and his vision and passing add another element of danger no matter the coverage. "If you're going to play with certain teams, you have to keep scoring with them," D'Antoni said, self-referentially. "If you can't, you're in trouble." The Rockets' next opponent (either Utah or OKC) can't say he didn't warn them.
Apr 26 - 12:56 AM

Clint Capela sank 12-of-14 shots during Houston's series-clinching win on Wednesday, scoring 26 points with 15 rebounds, one steal and one block in 33 minutes.

The Rockets dropped 50 points in the third quarter during Game 4, and they created separation after halftime again tonight with a 30-15 edge in the third quarter. They've yet to lose a game all season when Capela scores 20+ points and his presence around the rim is an ideal counterpoint to all of Houston's 3-point shooting. He didn't commit a single turnover tonight and was probably on a lot of winning DFS teams with 48.5 fantasy points.
Apr 26 - 12:56 AM

The Wolves' season ended on Wednesday despite Karl-Anthony Towns getting 23 points (9-of-14 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), 14 rebounds, four assists and one block in 36 minutes.

KAT failed to score double-digit points in Games 1 & 2, but he began to decode the Rockets' swarming, switching defense with three straight double-doubles. He stayed aggressive when the Rockets went small without Clint Capela tonight, forcing coach Mike D'Antoni to re-insert Capela, which is exactly the type of gameplan-altering impact KAT needed to have in this series -- unfortunately, it's a case of 'too little, too late' for the Wolves' franchise centerpiece.
Apr 26 - 12:53 AM

Jimmy Butler sat out the final 14 minutes of Wednesday's season-ending loss because of "knee soreness," according to coach Tom Thibodeau.

Butler returned from right knee surgery on Apr. 6 and had just three regular-season games to prepare for the playoffs. He finished the Wolves' 4-1 series loss with averages of 15.8 points, 1.6 triples, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals and a mere 1.0 turnovers in 34.0 minutes. We'll assume the soreness is within the normal bounds for a player returning from surgery, but will keep an eye on him as Minnesota conducts exit interviews.
Apr 26 - 12:51 AM

Paul George got hot in the third quarter on Wednesday, finishing a 107-99 victory with 34 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, two 3-pointers and one block.

George made 12-of-26 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws in 45 minutes, and his ability to manufacture offense was critical to the Thunder comeback. OKC has assisted only 44.2% of their made field goal attempts, easily the lowest rate among playoff teams -- for perspective, the 76ers lead everyone with a 67.9% assist rate, and five teams are above 60.0%. That rate actually fell for OKC tonight, at just 33.3%, but it paid off thanks to the individual brilliance of PG-13 and Russell Westbrook. George has the 13th-highest usage in the postseason and that's not going to change in a must-win situation on Friday.
Apr 26 - 12:31 AM

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder to the third-largest comeback in playoff history on Wednesday, finishing an incredible Game 5 performance with 45 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and five 3-pointers.

Westbrook scored 20 points in the third quarter, as the Thunder used a 22-3 burst to erase a 25-point deficit in just eight minutes of action. It hasn't always been a pretty series for Westbrook, with Utah's defense limiting him to 29-of-79 shooting (36.7%) through four games, but he was unstoppable after halftime tonight. He buried 3-pointers and a sequence of mid-range jumpers, rather than challenging Rudy Gobert on penetration, and we'll be closely watching that dynamic in Utah on Friday. Either way, we're expecting some fireworks.
Apr 26 - 12:30 AM

Jae Crowder caught fire during Utah's tough 107-99 loss on Wednesday, scoring 27 points on 9-of-19 FGs and 3-of-4 FTs with six 3-pointers, eight rebounds, three assists and one steal in 37 minutes.

Crowder scored 15 points in the first quarter and went on to tie his career high (regular season or playoffs) with six triples, but it wasn't enough to stave off a furious comeback from Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. As good as Crowder was tonight, his efforts threw the rest of Utah's bench into stark relief. Ekpe Udoh had two points and nobody else got into the scoring column, with Royce O'Neale as the only other bench player to log more than five minutes.
Apr 26 - 12:25 AM

LeBron James carried Cleveland to a Game 5 victory on Wednesday, posting 44 points (14-of-24 FGs, 15-of-15 FTs), 10 rebounds and eight assists with a pair of game-clinching plays.

LeBron blocked Victor Oladipo's layup attempt with 3.0 seconds remaining to preserve the tie, then sent the home crowd into a frenzy with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key. He rounded out his line with one steal, one block and one 3-pointer, netting a tidy 69.0 fantasy points tonight. If you're monitoring LeBron's accumulation of gaudy stats, he is just one steal behind Scottie Pippen for the most in NBA history (395), he set a new personal best (regular season or playoffs) by making 15 free throws without a miss, and he tied his personal best with 18 first-half points in the restricted area. Oh, he's also had 76 postseason games with 30+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists, which is 25 games more than the next-closest player (Michael Jordan). We are all witnesses.
Apr 25 - 10:29 PM

The Hawks and coach Mike Budenholzer have agreed to part ways, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Budenholzer has withdrawn from the Suns coaching search but he's still a candidate for the Knicks' vacant job. Among the league's assistant coaches Atlanta might consider to replace him, Woj mentions Stephen Silas (Hornets), Nate Tibbetts (Blazers), David Vanterpool (Blazers), Ime Udoka (Spurs) and James Borrego (Spurs). No matter what else happens, we expect to see Budenholzer pacing the sidelines in the NBA next season.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 25 - 10:15 PM

Domantas Sabonis had another breakout game on Wednesday with a playoff career-high 22 points on 8-of-12 field goals and 6-of-8 free throws, adding five boards, two assists and one steal in 33 minutes.

Sabonis played an expanded role on Sunday due to Myles Turner's foul trouble, and that 19-point game seems to have bolstered his role and confidence. Turner was in foul trouble again tonight and Sabonis wound up tying the game with an elbow jumper down the stretch, but Indy couldn't complete the comeback and now trails 3-2 in the series. Given his excellent play the past two games, it makes sense to target Sabonis in DFS unless his price spikes in the next 48 hours.
Apr 25 - 10:12 PM

Victor Oladipo struggled during Game 5 on Wednesday, shooting 2-of-15 from the field for 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and one steal.

The Pacers and Cavs series has the slowest pace in the postseason, and the Cavs' defense has throttled Oladipo lately -- since Game 3 he's a combined 12-of-50 from the field (24.0 percent). Poor shot selection has plagued him and it'll be interesting to see what coach Nate McMillan draws up to get his star guard going in a critical Game 6 at home on Friday. If you're looking for a silver lining, the boards tied Oladipo's season high and the turnovers were his fewest of the postseason.
Apr 25 - 10:11 PM




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