Grizzlies Grind Out A Win Over The Jazz
Jonas Valanciunas and Mike Conley powered the Grizzlies to a 114-104 win over the Jazz on Friday, with JV scoring a season-high 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting (3-of-4 from the stripe) to go with seven rebounds, two assists and one turnover across 25 minutes; and Conley registering 28 points (11-of-18 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), 11 assists, three rebounds, three 3-pointers, two steals and three turnovers in 32 minutes.
Valanciunas did an excellent job containing Rudy Gobert, limiting him to just nine points on 3-of-6 shooting (3-of-7 from the line), and he’s been operating as a top-50 option since the All-Star break with averages of 19.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 blocks and 2.3 turnovers per game on 62% shooting from the field and 80.8% from the stripe. If he could cut down the turnovers and ramp up the blocks a bit, he could certainly flirt with top-35 value, but either way, he’s positioned to have a strong finish to the 2018-19 season.
Donovan Mitchell did all he could to deliver a win for Utah, but ultimately his 38 points (12-of-24 FGs, 9-of-12 FTs), five triples, four rebounds, five assists and one block (also a turnover) was not enough to seal the deal for the Jazz.
Sweet Lou & The Rooster
Lou Williams could not be stopped during Friday’s 118-110 win over OKC, scoring 40 points on 13-of-24 shooting (10-of-15 from the stripe) to go with four 3-pointers, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and two turnovers in 34 minutes off the bench. Since the departure of Tobias Harris, Sweet Lou has seen his usage rate rise to 31.8 and he’s responded with averages of 21.5 points**
Danilo Gallinari also had a solid outing in the win, going 10-of-19 from the field and 12-of-15 from the stripe on his way to 34 points, six rebounds, two 3-pointers, two assists and zero turnovers across 34 minutes. He’s on track to play in the most games he has since the 2012-13 season, and he should finish the year strong with the Clippers fighting for seeding out West. Congrats if you took a chance on The Rooster towards the back half of your draft.
Dubs route Denver
Klay Thompson (knee) looked just fine in his return from a two-game stint on the sidelines on Friday, popping off for 39 points (13-of-22 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), nine triples, three boards, four dimes, two steals, one swat and one turnover across 35 minutes in a 122-105 win over the Nuggets. He should be fine for Sunday’s game against the Suns.
DeMarcus Cousins pushed back against the poor defense narrative in the win, sending away six shots and ripping away three steals on his way to 13 points, six rebounds, six assists, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in 28 minutes. The Warriors’ next back-to-back set comes on March 18-19, with away games in San Antonio and Minnesota, and I’d anticipate Boogie missing the March 19 game against the Timberwolves.
Gary Harris failed to build off Wednesday’s 19-point outing against the Lakers, as he was held to just six points (0-of-2 FGs, 6-of-8 FTs), two rebounds, one assist and two turnovers in his 22 minutes of floor time. He just hasn’t looked right this season, and with so many different backcourt options in Denver, it’ll be tough for him to find the same success he had last season operating as the No. 3 option the Nuggets’ offense with little depth behind him. The exponential improvement of Malik Beasley (17 points, five triples, one rebound, one turnover) and Monte Morris (17 points, one 3-pointer, six assists, two steals, one turnover) partnered with the addition of Isaiah Thomas and a healthy Paul Millsap have all factored into the down-year for Gary, and unfortunately, I’m not anticipating a strong surge down the stretch.
Will Barton couldn’t get his shot to drop, scoring just five points on 2-of-11 shooting, but he did somewhat salvage his line with nine rebounds, two steals, one 3-pointer (and an unfortunate three turnovers) across 26 minutes. Barton has also had a rough year, but I’m a bit more optimistic about him than Harris. It’s going to take him a bit to truly get going after missing two months with a serious injury, but he has come through with solid stat lines in four of his past six outings. Hopefully, he’ll be able to bounce back on Tuesday with a much more favorable matchup against the Timberwolves.
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On the Radar
Frank Jackson played relatively well as a starter sans Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) on Friday, scoring 20 points on 9-of-20 shooting (1-of-3 from the line) to go with one 3-pointer, six rebounds and two turnovers across 37 minutes. Holiday is going to miss at least another 6-9 days, so Jackson has at least another 2-4 starts coming his way, so he’s on the radar in deep leagues. Just know that he’s been inconsistent across his eight starts this season with averages of 10.8 points, 4.3 boards, 1.1 assists and 1.1 turnovers per contest on 40.7% shooting.
Kenrich Williams ripped away a career-high five steals through 29 minutes as a starter, adding nine points, five boards, four assists three 3-pointers and three turnovers. E’Twaun Moore (quad) is out for 7-10 days, Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) won’t play next week and Anthony Davis (back) is going to miss random games here and there, so Williams is looking at a ton of opportunity. Over the past month, he’s put forth averages of 8.0 points, 6.6 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.6 triples, 1.4 steals and 1.2 turnovers per game on 37.9% shooting, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing.
Cheick Diallo double-doubled in 24 minutes off the bench with Anthony Davis (back) unavailable, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds and one turnover. Diallo doesn’t have much value when AD is healthy, but he’ll make for a quality streamer on the days AD sits and should be considered a must-own handcuff for Davis owners.
Joakim Noah started alongside Jonas Valanciunas on Friday with a matchup against Utah’s more traditional frontcourt and finished with seven points (3-of-6 FGs, 1-of-1 FTs), eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks across 21 minutes. He’ll likely return to the bench on Sunday against the Magic, but that shouldn’t affect his minutes much. He’s surprisingly been flirting with top-75 value for a month now with averages of 11.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.9 dimes, 1.3 swats and 1.4 turnovers per game on 52.9% shooting from the field and 78.7% from the stripe. He’s worth a look if you need a big.
Marvin Williams erupted for a season-high 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting (3-of-3 from the stripe) to go with seven trey-bombs, seven boards, one assist, one steal, two swats and three turnovers in 32 minutes. He wasn’t even worth owning over the first few months of the season, but he’s been a mid-round guy over the past month with averages of 12.7 points, 6.4 boards, 2.0 triples, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.9 turnovers per game on 49.5% shooting. Make sure he’s not floating around on your waiver wire.
Royce O’Neale got the start with Ricky Rubio (hip) unavailable on Friday and finished with 10 points (4-of-7 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), one 3-pointer, one rebound, one assist, two steals and one turnover in 29 minutes. If Rubio can’t play on Monday against the Thunder, O’Neale will be someone to consider as a deep league streamer. In his 11 starts this season he’s put in averages of 8.8 points, 5.4 boards, 1.2 triples, 1.9 dimes, 1.1 steals, 0.6 swats and 1.1 turnovers per contest on 46.8% shooting.
Luke Kennard netted 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with two 3-pointers, two rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes off the bench. Since the All-Star break, Kennard has been flirting with top-60 value in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 16.4 points, 3.1 triples, 2.3 dimes and just 0.8 turnovers per game on 55.7% shooting. If you need some help in the 3-point department, Kennard is your man.
Robin Lopez scored 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting (1-of-1 from the line) to go with four rebounds, one block and four turnovers through 37 minutes as a starter. Since entering the starting lineup, Lopez has put forth averages of 13.6 points, 5.3 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 turnovers per game on 59.3% shooting from the field and 73.2% from the line. As long as he’s starting, he’ll be worth owning in most leagues.
Gerald Green drilled another two triples on his way to 14 points (5-of-10 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two rebounds, one steal and one turnover in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s been playing well over the past two games with averages of 16.0 points, 3.0 treys and 2.5 boards a night on 55.6% shooting, and he could see some more minutes on Sunday in Dallas if James Harden (wrist) can’t play. He’ll be someone to consider as a 3-point streamer if Harden is out.
Bam Adebayo looked good in another start on Friday, going 7-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line on his way to 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one block and one turnover in 25 minutes. It appears that he’ll continue to start over Hassan Whiteside, and over the past three games as a starter (with Whiteside off the bench) he’s put in averages of 12.0 points, 6.0 boards, 1.7 assists, 1.0 block and 2.7 turnovers per contest on 75% shooting from the field and 85.7% from the stripe. He’s a must-own handcuff for Whiteside owners and is playing well enough to warrant a roster spot in deep leagues even if you don’t own Hassan.
Kyle Korver scored 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with three 3-pointers, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one turnover in 31 minutes off the bench. He’s been heating up over the past five with averages of 14.4 points, 3.4 triples, 4.0 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steal and just 0.8 turnovers a night on 45.5% shooting, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing.
Jae Crowder posted an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double in 32 minutes off the bench to go with four assists, three 3-pointers, one steal and two turnovers. He’s not the most exciting guy to own, but he’s been a steady late-round option over the past month with averages of 12.0 points, 5.8 boards, 2.5 treys, 2.2 dimes, 1.0 steal and just 0.7 turnovers per contest on 40% shooting.