If you’re getting ready for a fantasy baseball draft, check out this amazing live draft with some of my colleagues. I loved it.
Thunder 108, Nets 96 – Russell Westbrook went off again for a triple-double with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and four 3-pointers on 12-of-23 shooting in the win. Westy was already averaging 23.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists heading into this one, so it almost seems assured that he’ll average a triple-double for the third straight season, which is still unbelievable to me. Paul George had a great game, Jerami Grant and Steven Adams were solid, and it was business as usual for the Thunder. Markieff Morris sat out with a sore neck. George is dealing with a shoulder injury, but played well last night. Also, Westbrook is hot from downtown, hitting 18-of-39 in his last five games, good for 46 percent.
The Nets were disappointing across the board, outside of Spencer Dinwiddie’s 25 points, five boards, two assists, a block and two 3-pointers. I’m not going to hide the fact that I didn’t think that Dinwiddie would be this good, and he’s clearly a must-own player the rest of the way. Rodions Kurucs went off in the first quarter and then disappeared, and the box score for the Nets was a mess last night. Kurucs is must-own in my mind, and Joe Harris played 31 minutes, but Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert are just very shaky plays in my mind. I really like both of them, but the Nets are just too deep and I’m only interested in guys who are going to play at least 30 minutes a night the rest of the way. And Shabazz Napier didn’t even play with a right hamstring injury.
Wizards 100, Magic 90 – Bradley Beal stayed hot with a big stat line, Thomas Bryant bounced back with 21 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and a 3-pointer off the bench, and Jabari Parker hit 9-of-12 shots for 19 points, nine boards, a steal and a 3-pointer in the win. Starters Bobby Portis, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green and Tomas Satoransky were all really bad last night, but the Wizards play four games in each of the next two weeks, and I bet most of them bounce back. Wednesday night was just bad. I’m just thankful I didn’t drop Bryant after his two points and zero rebounds on Monday. He’s likely going to bounce up and down like a yo-yo the rest of the way, but he had a heart-to-heart with his coach after Monday’s game, and it apparently worked wonders. The Wizards are 29-39, and sit 3.5 games behind the Heat for the No. 8 seed in the East. Hopefully they keep battling in an effort to make it.
For the Magic, Nikola Vucevic was his usual great self with a huge stat line and his 50th double-double of the season, D.J. Augustin came through with 16 points, seven dimes and four 3-pointers, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac all came through with decent lines in the loss. The bench, including Terrence Ross, didn’t do much, and Ross was a mess after missing 10 of his 13 shots. He should bounce back. The Magic don’t look like a team that wants to make the playoffs right now, sitting 2.0 games behind the Heat for the No. 8 seed, but there’s still time for them to eek their way in.
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Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111 – John Collins continues to roll and had 27 points, 12 boards, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer in just 25 minutes, Trae Young had 22 points, eight dimes and three 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting, Kevin Huerter hit four 3-pointers and had a 16-5-4-1-1 line, and Taurean Prince had 15 points and three 3-pointers in the win. The Hawks are winning too many games for my liking, especially as the Mavericks continue to tank it up, but the future is kind of looking bright in ATL. And yes, Trae is outplaying Luka Doncic right now. Dewayne Dedmon returned to the starting lineup after a knee injury, but it was Alex Len who went off with 20 points, eight boards, four assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers. My man Richard Wright had Len in his FanDuel lineup, and kicked our butts because of it. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t see it coming. The Hawks remarkably scored the most points they’ve scored in regulation this season, despite the Grizzlies being the NBA’s defensive scoring leader this season. Young’s incredibly long pass to Collins for an alley-oop dunk was the highlight of the night.
The Grizzlies got 20 points and seven dimes out of starter Mike Conley, but no other Grizzlies’ starter hit double digits in scoring, or anything else. Avery Bradley, dealing with a sore ankle, played just 19 minutes, but was at least on most benches with just two games this week. Hopefully he’s ready to bounce back next week when the Grizzlies play three, and then four, times. I still don’t know how it happened, but C.J. Miles went nuts to lead the way with a season-high 33 points and eight 3-pointers on 11-of-16 shooting off the bench. He had 13 points in his previous game, but I don’t trust him at all. Joakim Noah and Delon Wright were both solid off the bench, and are both worth a look in most leagues. The Grizzlies gave up the most points they’ve allowed all season.
Heat 108, Pistons 74 – The Heat destroyed the Pistons tonight, but there weren’t any huge fantasy lines. Starters Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk were all solid, while Hassan Whiteside double-doubled off the bench, and Goran Dragic scored 10 with four assists off the bench, as well. The Heat are sitting on the No. 8 seed in the East, and are 2.0 full games up on the Magic right now. That means the studs should keep playing. Dwyane Wade was disappointing with 11 points on 2-of-9 shooting, but I still like him on his farewell tour.
Andre Drummond crushed me in DFS with his five points, nine rebounds, two blocks and six fouls in just 24 minutes, Reggie Jackson hit just 3-of-15 shots, and Blake Griffin was also quiet in the blowout loss. Luke Kennard had 10 points, three boards and four assists with two 3-pointers in 29 minutes, but Langston Galloway continued to struggle with three points on 1-of-5 shooting in 21 minutes. Reevaluate your team and make some moves, but there’s a great chance that Drummond, Jackson and Griffin will bounce back.
Warriors 106, Rockets 104 – Draymond Green led the Warriors with 37 minutes, but had just two points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block, and it felt like he should have had a lot more fantasy value than he offered tonight. Especially with Kevin Durant sitting with an ankle injury. Owners of Durant were already faced with a two-game week, which is now a one-game week, at best. Trust me when I say I feel your pain. DeMarcus Cousins had his best game as a Warrior with 27 points, eight boards, seven assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, knocking down 11-of-16 shots, and I’ll be the first to admit that I slept on him pretty hard. I’ve never seen a player bounce back from a blown Achilles as well as Cousins has. Klay Thompson led the way with 30 points, five triples and a nice stat line, while Stephen Curry added 24 points and a fun line in the win. Andre Iguodala was disappointing in his start for Durant, hitting 1-of-4 shots for three points, five boards and four assists in the win.
For the Rockets, James Harden bounced back from an off night with 29 points, 10 assists, three steals and two 3-pointers, hitting 10-of-23 shots. He was just 2-of-12 from downtown, or his line would have been better. Chris Paul was solid with 24 points, six rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers, Clint Capela came through with 13 points, 13 boards, a steal and a block, and Eric Gordon had 17 points and three 3-pointers in the start. P.J. Tucker was the disappointment here, hitting 1-of-7 shots for three points, a steal and a block, and the Rockets bench did nothing. I got a lot of questions about Kenneth Faried in my Live Chat today, but he played just 13 minutes for three points and three boards, despite the Marquese Chriss suspension.
Jazz 114, Suns 97 – The Jazz got 18 points and 20 rebounds from Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell led the way with 26 points, five boards, two assists, a steal and four 3-pointers, Joe Ingles had 15 points, six assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting, and Derrick Favors came through with 18 points, seven rebounds, a career-high seven assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer. Ricky Rubio was back from his hip injury, but hit just 1-of-7 shots for six points and four assists. I’m not confident that he’ll stay healthy the rest of the way, but I kind of like him as a four-game play next week. Jae Crowder and Royce O’Neale were disappointing with Rubio back, and the only players you want to focus on going forward are the starters. The Jazz play four times next week and hold the No. 7 seed in the West. They should make the playoffs, but should also continue to play their studs down the stretch to assure it happens. The Jazz are now tied with the Clippers for the No. 7 seed in the West, but are comfortably up on the Kings, who sit 4.5 games back for the final playoff spot in the West. Hopefully, this means the Jazz keep rolling their studs out there.
The Suns were hot coming in, but didn’t get much out of their studs tonight. Devin Booker came through with 27 points, four boards, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, Tyler Johnson added 15 points, four boards, two assists and three triples, and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 18 points and a weak stat line in the loss. Deandre Ayton scored a season-low two points on 1-of-9 shooting and added nine boards, two steals and a block to his line, but the Suns were a mess. Richaun Holmes is interesting right now and had 11 points, five boards, two steals and a block in just 15 minutes off the bench, and Josh Jackson had nine points on 4-of-10 shooting in 21 minutes. Mikal Bridges continues to be the most frustrating fantasy player around, playing 33 minutes off the bench, but hitting just 1-of-5 shots for two points, three boards, four assists and three steals. I’m dropping him for a hot free agent, despite the minutes.