Eighteen teams were in action on Monday night and there was plenty of news. Tim Frazier played well for the Blazers, Joakim Noah got hurt, Paul George and Eric Bledsoe stunk, and Danny Green may have hit an all-time low. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Hawks 106, Blazers 97 – The Hawks won despite poor performances from Paul Millsap (he tweaked an ankle but played through it), Al Horford and Jeff Teague. The bench picked them up with Mike Scott and Thabo Sefolosha going for 13 apiece, and Dennis Schroder hitting 7-of-10 shots for 18 points and three 3-pointers. Scott also had 15 points on Sunday and should now be on your radar, Thabo has been quiet since losing his starting gig to Kent Bazemore, and I don’t like Schroder much, as we see him do this once about every 10 days or so. He did have 22 points and five assists on Friday though, so he’s worth keeping an eye on at least. The Hawks have now won four straight after dropping three straight games.
With both C.J. McCollum (ankle) and Damian Lillard (heel) out last night, Tim Frazier and Allen Crabbed started for the Blazers. Frazier played all 48 minutes and finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block, hitting just 5-of-15 shots. Crabbe was nice with a career-high 19 points, four boards, two assists and a 3-pointer on 8-of-18 shooting. Lillard and CJM aren’t expected to miss much time, but if they do miss more games, both Frazier and Crabbe are worth a short-term look, although Crabbe has played pretty well for most of the month. I own him in a few leagues and this might be the right week to use him. This was Lillard’s first missed game after playing in 275 straight. He predicted he might miss “one or two” more games, so Frazier might also have a good week.
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Wizards 113, Kings 99 – John Wall struggled on 4-of-15 shooting but had a career-high 19 dimes, Marcin Gortat racked up a monster line of 27-16-4, and Garrett Temple started again and hit 8-of-17 shots and five 3-pointers for a career-high 23 points, five boards, three assists and two steals. That’s two big ones in a row for Temple, while Ramon Sessions chipped in with 15 points off the bench. Temple led the team with 42 minutes played and now looks like the guy to own in the absence of Bradley Beal (leg). He will be one of the hottest pickups of the week. Kelly Oubre has been starting at SF with Otto Porter out with a thigh injury, but has scored just eight points in two straight games. Wall is dealing with sore ribs, but it sounds like he’ll continue to play through it. Gary Neal was out with a sore back.
DeMarcus Cousins went off, Rudy Gay had a solid stat line, Marco Belinelli hit three 3-pointers off the bench and Darren Collison had 13 points, eight assists and a 3-pointer off the bench. Omri Casspi was quiet and Rajon rondo hit just 1-of-7 shots, but did have nine assists and eight boards. Collison has been playing well and might be available in your league. If so he’s worth owning, and the same goes for Casspi. Belinelli’s a borderline player to own and had one of his best lines in recent memory last night.
Celtics 113, Wolves 99 – Isaiah Thomas was quiet, hitting 3-of-9 shots for eight points, but had seven boards, 12 assists and four steals in the win. The other four starters (David Lee, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley) all played well. Each player had a block, scored in double figures, and Crowder double-doubled. Lee and Olynyk started in place of Amir Johnson (foot) and Jared Sullinger (back), who were out with injuries. If they remain out, both Lee and Olynyk, who made his first start last night, are worth a flier when starting. Jonas Jerebko (12 points, seven boards, three 3-pointers) and Tyler Zeller (14 points, eight boards, one block) both played well off the bench, while Evan Turner chipped in with 10 assists off the pine.
The Wolves got a monster line from Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins added 26 points, and Zach LaVine had 17 points off the bench. Gorgui Dieng started again and had 12 points, five boards, three assists, a steal and two blocks, and is finally starting to live up to the hype. Ricky Rubio hit just 1-of-9 shots but did have eight assists and four steals. Kevin Martin played just 19 minutes off the bench and scored three points. He’s not even startable in fantasy right now.
Magic 107, Knicks 99 – Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris played well for the Magic, Channing Frye cooled off and Evan Fournier hit 6-of-14 shots and three 3-pointers for 16 points and six boards. He’s played well in two straight games and might be ready to finally get hot again. Elfrid Payton played just 10 minutes before leaving with an ankle injury. Shabazz Napier, and not Victor Oladipo, started the second half and had six assists in just 12 minutes, but hopefully Oladipo will benefit if Payton’s going to miss more games. Dipo had just 12 points and two assists in 24 minutes.
Lance Thomas led the Knicks with a career-high 24 points and three 3-pointers on 9-of-9 shooting in 27 minutes off the bench and is averaging 15.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 76 percent shooting over his last five, making him a hot pickup. Carmelo Anthony scored 23 and played through a sprained ankle, Kristaps Porzingis hit just 3-of-12 shots but had eight boards, four blocks and a 3-pointer, and Arron Afflalo cooled off on 2-of-8 shooting for just four points.
Nets 105, Bulls 102 – The Nets beat the Bulls with six players in double digits. None of them posted monster lines, but Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez double-doubled, Jarrett Jack handed out eight dimes, and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 12 with two 3-pointers. He’s worth a close look, despite his inconsistency. Wayne Ellington played 28 minutes off the bench and has scored in double figures in two straight, putting him on the radar in deep leagues.
Derrick Rose struggled on 3-of-11 shooting and has now scored a total of 14 points in his last two games. Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler all played well, while Nikola Mirotic hit 3-of-9 shots in 22 minutes. He’s been super frustrating to own and you might be able to find more reliability off your waiver wire. However, he started over Tony Snell, so it’s possible he’s quickly playing better if the move sticks. Bobby Portis played just 14 minutes for six points, backing up a big game with a dud. The Bulls have lost three straight and you have to think Rose’s run in Chicago will be coming to an end this year. Joakim Noah was decent but suffered a shoulder injury and didn’t return. He’s day-to-day and X-rays were negative, so check back for news on him. His arm was in a sling and it sounds like the shoulder popped out and then went back in. Ouch.
Rockets 102, Hornets 95 – James Harden came through with 36 points, Patrick Beverley had 11 points, seven boards and two 3-pointers, while starters Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard all had off nights. Terrence Jones continues to show signs of life off the bench and had 17 points, six boards and two blocks in 24 minutes. Marcus Thornton scored 13 points with two 3-pointers in just 14 minutes, and is completely unreliable right now.
The Hornets’ leading scorer was Kemba Walker with just 14 points. They didn’t record a single double-double, but Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminsky, Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb all made a little bit of noise. Lin is worth a look right now, averaging 17 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. The Hornets shot just 35 percent, with starters Williams (2-of-9), P.J. Hairston (2-of-12), Walker (3-of-10) and Batum (3-of-11) the major offenders.
Spurs 106, Pacers 92 – Kawhi Leonard was in beast mode again with 24 points and a fun line, and Tony Parker scored 15 points with four assists. LaMarcus Aldridge cooled off with 10 points and nine boards, and Tim Duncan was quiet with seven points in 23 minutes, although he did have two blocks and two steals. Danny Green was horrendous again, hitting 1-of-7 shots for three points. I give up. Boris Diaw and Patty Mills both hit double figures off the bench but can both be ignored for now. The Spurs have won six straight and the only team playing better is the Warriors.
George Hill was the only Pacer starter in double digits with 15 points and three 3-pointers, but also had just one assist. Monta Ellis scored six with six assists, and is clearly not fully recovered after offseason knee surgery. Ian Mahinmi stayed relevant with nine points, 11 boards, a steal and a block, making him a borderline player to own in most leagues. Paul George hit just 1-of-14 shots for a season-low seven points and he’s now shooting just 34 percent over his last five games. I guess he couldn’t stay as hot as he was forever, but he’ll be fine. He hasn’t hit 50 percent of his shots in eight straight games and simply got ‘Kawhi’d’ last night. Lavoy Allen started again and had nine points, eight boards and a block and should at least be watched closely as long as he’s starting. Jordan Hill had 15 points and nine boards despite Mahinmi’s nice game, and C.J. Miles came off the bench and finished with just nine points in 18 minutes. He was scoreless in his last game and can’t be trusted if he’s not an everyday starter. Rodney Stuckey led the way with 16 points for the Pacers and has scored in double figures in five of his last six games, but I don’t really trust him, either. But he’s averaging 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and nearly a 3-pointer per game in 27 minutes over his last five. So if you need a guard, Stuckey’s worth a look, and his recent rise is not doing Miles any favors.
Jazz 110, Suns 89 – Starters Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood all played well, Alec Burks scored 13 off the bench and Trey Burke added 11 points in 22 minutes. Burke’s averaging 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and a 3-pointer over his last five games, making him worth a look. Trevor Booker played 26 minutes and had nine points, eight boards, two steals and a 3-pointer, but still hasn’t really blown up in the absence of Rudy Gobert.
The Suns were blown out in this one, as none of their five starters scored more than nine points. That means that Jon Leuer, T.J. Warren, Tyson Chandler, Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker (just 13 minutes) were all pretty bad. Bledsoe was painful on 2-of-10 shooting and Chandler played just 18 minutes and missed his only shot. Despite Chandler’s shortcomings, Alex Len didn’t do much with five points and three boards in just 17 minutes. The lopsided score meant scrub city for much of the Suns’ night. Brandon Knight scored 26 off the bench and Mirza Teletovic hit 5-of-6 shots for 17 points, seven boards and three 3-pointers in 21 minutes. Teletovic keeps showing signs of life about once a week, but had scored a total of just five points in his previous two games, making him impossible to trust. The Suns switched things up by starting Booker over Knight, but neither player’s numbers really changed. Jon Leuer played just 16 minutes and is averaging 22 minutes a game over his last five, and it will be tough for him to produce consistently with those kind of minutes.
Thunder 100, Clippers 99 – As usual, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went off, while the rest of the Thunder didn’t do much. Enes Kanter played just 15 minutes and might be the most overpaid player in the league. Dion Waiters played a whopping 35 minutes, but had just nine points to show for it. Durant blocked Chris Paul’s shot at the buzzer after draining a 3-pointer to win the game with 5.8 seconds left. The Thunder have won 11 of their last 14 games.
Blake Griffin struggled against Ibaka and Durant, hitting just 7-of-21 shots for 15 points, seven boards and five assists. DeAndre Jordan was also a bit quiet, while Chris Paul got it done with 32 points, five boards, 10 assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in one of his best games of the season. J.J. Redick hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, as has now hit a 3-pointer in six straight games, and has hit at least three of them in all six. And his hot play is killing Jamal Crawford, who hit 4-of-10 shots for eight points, zero threes and not much else. The Clippers have lost three straight games.
There are only four games on Tuesday night, featuring the Grizzlies @ Sixers, Pistons @ Heat, Mavericks @ Raptors and Lakers @ Nuggets. Yawn.