Monday gave us an eight-game night that featured Stephen Curry going bonkers for 36 points, seven 3-pointers, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while DeAndre Jordan also posted another huge stat line. And Anthony Davis may have gotten his name back in the MVP conversation after another monster line. And Giannis Antetokounmpo possibly had the best game of his short career. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
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Wizards crush Hornets 95-69 – John Wall bounced out of a slump on Monday with 15 points, five boards, nine assists, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 7-of-11 shooting in just 29 minutes of the blowout win. He hasn’t played all that well since the All-Star break, but saw a return to form last night. Marcin Gortat led the way with 20 points, seven boards and two steals, and Bradley Beal added 14 points and a full stat line, although he didn’t hit any 3-pointers. This was a garbage-time special, so there wasn’t much to learn about the Wiz. Paul Pierce and Nene played less than 20 minutes in the blowout.
Cody Zeller left the game with a right shoulder sprain after just seven minutes, and is day-to-day for now. Marvin Williams started the second half in his place and will be worth a look if Zeller’s going to miss time, but Williams had just six points and five rebounds on Monday. Mo Williams led the way with 19 points and seven assists, while Al Jefferson (14 points, 5 rebounds) and Lance Stephenson (12 points) were the only other Hornets in double figures. Yes, Lance is still alive. Barely. Kemba Walker is hoping to play on Wednesday, which means this might be the last big game we see from Mo-Will for a while, although the two are expected to start together. This was a costly loss for the Hornets, as they now sit just ½ game ahead of Miami for the final playoff spot in the East.
Celtics roll Heat 100-90 despite Wade’s 34, Whiteside suspension coming? – The Heat have become a headache for fantasy owners and Rotoworld writers, as the game-time decisions are out of control. More on them shortly. The Celtics got a tough win, even though Brandon Bass was the only starter in double figures with 14 points, nine boards and three steals. Jae Crowder, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Smart and Evan Turner didn’t live up to the hype, as Brad Stevens continues to run his team with ever-changing rotations. Isaiah Thomas scored 25 and his three 3-pointers on 7-of-17 shooting, and also suffered back and elbow injuries. He played through the pain, but it sounds like X-rays are coming, so watch for updates on Tuesday. Luigi Datome scored 13 points and Kelly Olynyk added 10 points and two boards, but the bottom line is the Celtics are an unreliable fantasy team across the board.
Dwyane Wade played well and while there was some question as to whether he’d play, he was in there when the game started and finished with 34 points, four rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers on 13-of-23 shooting. Keep him active until further notice. Hassan Whiteside was ejected for a flagrant foul and could be facing a suspension for his shady elbow to the back of Olynyk’s head. This comes on the heels of his wrestling move on Alex Len last Monday, so it makes sense that a one-game suspension is coming. He was a game-time call with an ankle injury and had seven points and nine boards before hitting the showers. Luol Deng was iffy with a sore leg, but played and had 11 points, four boards and four assists on 3-of-10 shooting, and Mario Chalmers added 12 points, three boards, four assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 2-of-3 shooting. He started in place of Goran Dragic, who sat out with a sore tailbone, and is day-to-day. Michael Beasley scored 14 off the bench in 32 minutes, and is worth a deep-league look. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals in his last five games, and has scored in double figures in four of his last five. If you own Heat players, we hope you’re available around game time each night, because that’s when we’ve been finding out if they’ll play or not. Tyler Johnson played 33 minutes and scored just two points, and Henry Walker also scored two in 25 minutes.
Hawks roll Kings 130-105 to record 50th win – The Hawks destroyed the Kings, getting double figures from all five starters (Jeff Teague had a double-double), and Dennis Schroder stayed hot with 12 points, eight assists and two 3-pointers in just 19 minutes. Schroder’s hit double figures in scoring in five straight games and is averaging 15.0 points, 8.0 assists and 1.4 3-pointers over that stretch. And with the Hawks sitting pretty in the playoff picture, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Teague get three more games of rest at some point. DeMarre Carroll returned from a day of rest on Saturday and had 20 points and a full stat line that included four 3-pointers, but it appears that most of the Hawks are going to be susceptible to being ‘Pop’d’ under former Gregg Popovich assistant Mike Budenholzer. It was also nice to see Kyle Korver break out of a funk with 20 points and six 3-pointers.
DeMarcus Cousins hit just 3-of-9 shots, but still had 12 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and a steal in the blowout. Rudy Gay was nice with 23 points and three 3-pointers on 10-of-15 shooting, while Ray McCallum played pretty well with 15 points, five dimes, two steals and a 3-pointer on 6-of-10 shooting. Ben McLemore had an empty line that featured 4-of-16 shooting, and Nik Stauskas hit 4-of-5 shots and two 3-pointers for 10 points off the bench.
Grizzlies hold off Bulls 101-91 – The Grizzlies are probably the most boring team to write about. The same players (the starters) are the difference makers every night and none of them do anything too flashy. Marc Gasol had 23 points, four boards, four assists and two blocks in 37 minutes, Jeff Green came through with 19 points, seven rebounds and three 3-pointers on 7-of-11 shooting, and Zach Randolph added 16 points and nine boards on 7-of-12 shooting. Mike Conley hit just 3-of-13 shots and was 0-for-5 from downtown, but still managed nine points, five boards, nine assists, five steals and a block to salvage a decent line.
The Bulls finally got something out of Tony Snell, who hit 7-of-13 shots and four 3-pointers for 21 points and two steals. It’s about time. The minutes have been there, but he’s been awful, so hopefully this was the game that gets him going. As a result, Mike Dunleavy disappeared with just five points on 2-of-7 shooting, but at least had a steal, a block and a 3-pointer. Look for Snell and Dunleavy to trade big nights until Jimmy Butler is back. Nikola Mirotic stayed hot with 18 points, 12 boards, two steals and two 3-pointers off the bench. He’s a beast. Aaron Brooks is heating up and added 15 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, and Pau Gasol had 13 points, 11 boards and a block. Joakim Noah was quiet, but did have eight rebounds and six assists in the loss. Derrick Rose says he plans on returning this season, but I’m not touching him in fantasy.
Pelicans beat Bucks 114-103, despite career-high 29 points from Giannis – Anthony Davis is back in MVP discussions after 43 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, a steal and two blocks, and hit 17-of-23 shots and 9-of-11 free throws. Wow. Eric Gordon scored 16 with three 3-pointers, and Tyreke Evans had 13 points, six assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on 6-of-10 shooting. Unfortunately, he also suffered a left ankle injury late and had to be helped to the locker room. X-rays are coming, so keep an eye on the news feed if you own him. If he’s going to miss time, look for Norris Cole to quickly become relevant. Cole had 11 points, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer last night, and would become an automatic pickup if Evans is seriously injured. The Pelicans are just ½ game back of the Thunder for the No. 8 seed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went off for a career-high 29 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks on 11-of-16 shooting. He didn’t hit a 3-pointer, but that’s the only thing that was missing from his game. And this line is why he’s going to be a fantasy monster for the rest of his career. Michael Carter-Williams hit 8-of-17 shots and 9-of-10 free throws for 25 points, seven assists and two steals. MCW is finally settled in for the Bucks. Khris Middleton stayed relevant with 17 points and a couple 3-pointers, which was nice to see when two of his mates went bonkers. And finally, Ersan Ilyasova was a disaster with six points on 3-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him bounce back in the next one. John Henson actually played 29 minutes, but had just eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Nuggets destroy Knicks 106-78, Faried still rolling – Kenneth Faried had 19 points, 11 boards, a steal and a block on 7-of-12 shooting in 28 minutes of Monday’s blowout. Yep, I was finally done with him, dropped him, and Brian Shaw was fired the next day. Hopefully, you had more patience with him. He’s averaging 15 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks on 54 percent shooting over his last five games, and while I’m sad about the mistake of dropping him, I’m glad to see that it truly was Shaw that was holding him back. I still can’t figure out why the dysfunction was allowed to go on for so long. Wilson Chandler was solid with 17 points, six boards and two 3-pointers, but left with a sore knee. It may be nothing, as this was a blowout. Ty Lawson was a bit lacking with 14 points and six dimes on just 3-of-6 shooting, Randy Foye hit just 3-of-10 shots for seven points, four boards, four assists and a 3-pointer, and Danilo Gallinari disappeared with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting (all 3-pointers) in just 18 minutes. Gallo and Ilyasova disappearing on the same night is an act of the fantasy gods, but this was also a major blowout, so it’s not surprising. Will Barton stepped up in the absence of Gallo and Foye, and scored 17 points off the bench. He also picked up a technical foul at the end of the game that got him a lecture from his new coach, and he’s no longer a real factor as long as Gallinari and Foye are starting. J.J. Hickson had six points, seven boards, two steals and a block off the bench, and I still think he’s a nice deep-league add since the Nuggets don’t start a center.
The Knicks got 19 points and three 3-pointers for Alexey Shved, who started for Jose Calderon, but he only had one assist and no steals. With four more games this week, Shved looks like a nice roll of the dice. Langston Galloway had 14 points and four dimes on 7-of-9 shooting, and Andrea Bargnani added 12 points and seven boards, but hit just 4-of-14 shots. Lance Thomas started, but hit just 1-of-7 shots for four points and eight rebounds, and might also be worth a pickup, while starter Jason Smith added eight points, a steal and a block in 21 minutes. Cleanthony Early added 10 points, seven boards, five dimes, a block and a 3-pointer off the bench, and my guess is we’ll see a different set of Knicks have big lines in the next loss.
Warriors spank Suns 98-80 – The Warriors’ box looked just like it’s supposed to with a double-double and full stat line from Draymond Green, a massive line from Stephen Curry, and a solid showing from Klay Thompson. Can you say Big 3?
The Suns got just four points and four rebounds on 1-of-8 shooting from Markieff Morris, but he at least had three steals. P.J. Tucker scored just eight, and Brandon Knight left with an ugly ankle injury. I’m not sure that T.J. Warren is the answer in his absence, but he did score 11 points with one assist off the bench. I’m guessing Knight is going to miss time, as the Suns’ playoff hopes are quickly fading. Alex Len came through with 10 points, 11 boards and a block in his return from an ankle injury, so congrats if you started him after he sat on Saturday. And with Len healthy, Brandan Wright played just 15 minutes. Marcus Morris wasn’t any better than his brother, hitting just 1-of-7 shots for two points.
Clippers bounce Wolves 89-76 on Ralph Lawler night – DeAndre Jordan stayed hot with 20 points, 17 rebounds, a steal and two blocks on 10-of-11 shooting as his dream season continues, and J.J. Redick stayed hot with 26 points and three 3-pointers with Jamal Crawford sidelined. Chris Paul was quiet, possibly due to his sore knee, hitting just 1-of-6 shots, but at least came through with four rebounds and 14 assists in the win. Matt Barnes also hit three 3-pointers, and had three steals and 13 points, and Austin Rivers looked good off the bench with 13 points, four boards, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers. He had 22 points on Sunday, making him worth a deep-league look. Blake Griffin is expected to miss at least two more games with his elbow injury.
Adreian Payne started with Kevin Garnett resting and hit 7-of-12 shots for 16 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and a block in his best game as a pro. Maybe Flip Saunders is ready to turn him loose. Andrew Wiggins scored 11 and Nikola Pekovic had 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the good news ends there. Kevin Martin was quiet with 10 points on 2-of-6 shooting, and Ricky Rubio matched Paul’s off night with two points on 1-of-8 shooting, but also had 12 dimes and three steals. The Wolves’ bench is useless.