The Rockets were flawless in February, injury news hit some big names on Wednesday night, and Boban Marjanovic saw his shadow on Tuesday and crawled back into his hole on Wednesday.
Clint Capela back with a vengeance, no revenge for CP3 and Rockets post a perfect month
Clint Capela returned from his illness and torched the Clippers for 22 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. He’s good to go. Chris Paul killed a lot of hopes and dreams last night, as he disappeared against his former team, the Clippers, with eight points and eight assists on 3-of-12 shooting. He’s been great, but he was probably trying to overdo it last night. Oh, and the Rockets finished February with a 12-0 record, have won 14 straight games, and look like they might just win it all.
Devin Booker scored 34 with six boards, three steals and a 3-pointer, and Josh Jackson started in place of T.J. Warren (tailbone) and added 29 points, seven boards, four assists, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 9-of-16 shooting. Jackson is basically my free agent pickup of the year and I’ve loved him for quite some time now. Even when Warren is healthy. Warren’s tailbone (ischial tuberosity contusion) injury is a bit of a mystery, but given how bad the Suns are, it’s possible he will miss time, or could even be shut down if the injury is at all serious. Jackson should be owned everywhere, either way, and owners just have to hang tight for more TJW news.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs in scoring last night, while LaMarcus Aldridge left with a sprained ankle and Pau Gasol sat out with a left knee injury that required an MRI. The Spurs are going to make the playoffs, but with Kawhi Leonard injured, MIA and unhappy, and the Spurs two other stars now injured, it’s probably not going to end well this year. Gay had 19 points, five boards, four assists, three blocks, a steal and two 3-pointers, and by default, could be the man for the Spurs down the stretch. Joffrey Lauvergne is also worth keeping an eye on, as he added 14 points, seven boards and a block in 19 minutes. Really, I could name just about every Spur as a potential streamer any time the team is going to be without Leonard, Aldridge and Gasol. But I’d start the list with Gay and Lauvergne.
Blake Griffin in a funk
Blake Griffin hit just 3-of-10 shots for eight points, but at least had nine boards and seven assists in his 25 minutes. And somehow, the Pistons blew out the Bucks last night. I’m not sure what Blake’s problem is, but he’s hit 3-of-10, 4-of-12, 5-of-19 and 4-of-10 shots in four of his last five games, averaging just 14 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 4.6 turnovers and 1.2 3-pointers over that stretch, and hitting just 38 percent of his shots. And the Pistons simply aren’t going to win many games when their superstar is doing that.
Myles Tuner off, Bojan Bogdanovic on for Pacers
Just when it looked like good ol’ Myles Turner was about to go off down the stretch, he totally disappeared on Wednesday, playing just 16 minutes and scoring five points. We’re going to call it foul trouble, but something seems off with Turner, as he just can’t put a run together. But I also know that he’s better than he’s shown us thus far. Meanwhile, Bogdanovic got tired of hearing about his namesake in Sacramento and went off for 26 points and five 3-pointers, and has been red-hot over his last five games. And the reeling Pacers have lost two straight. That wouldn’t be news, but it is when those two teams are the Mavericks and Hawks.
Kyrie Irving keeps it rolling with 34
The Celtics destroyed the Hornets, and while Al Horford and Jayson Tatum suffered because of it (limited minutes in blowout), Kyrie Irving made the most of his 25 minutes, knocking down 13-of-18 shots for 34 points, five assists and four 3-pointers. The Celtics are really, really good, which makes some of them frustrating to own at times. But Irving is on a tear, averaging 30.0 points and a bunch of goodies over his last three games, and the Celtics have won five straight after a 1-4 stretch.
Otto Porter matches season high with 29 points
Otto Porter hit 10-of-17 shots and four 3-pointers to match his season high of 29 points, adding 10 rebounds and two steals to his line. Bradley Beal didn’t have it going (3-of-15), so OPJ stepped up in his spot. Guys like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook probably had better lines, but we expect it from them every night. Meanwhile, Porter might be the most underrated player in fantasy hoops.
Rajon Rondo flirts with another triple-double
Rajon Rondo had 13 points, eight rebounds, 12 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in a win over the Spurs. I guess Anthony Davis can’t steal every New Orleans headline, but I still don’t really love Rondo, even though he’s had 12 assists in three straight games. There’s no bigger fantasy tease in the league this season, as he seems to post a monster line once every two weeks, just as soon as we start to forget about him.
Pickup-worthy players from Wednesday
Memphis PG Andrew Harrison has been on this list forever, but is still available in some leagues and had 20 points, seven assists, two steals, a block and three more 3-pointers. He should be owned everywhere.
Dallas big man Dwight Powell matched his career high with 21 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals on 10-of-13 shooting. He’s been on this list for over a month and there’s no reason he should still be available in viable leagues.
Atlanta’s John Collins had 16 points, seven boards and two blocks in 27 minutes and Taurean Prince had 15 points, seven boards, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers against the Pacers. Both are must-owns now that Ersan Ilyasova has been cut loose.
Jarell Martin dropped 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers for the Grizzlies in 37 minutes last night. I have no idea if he can keep it going, but deep-leaguers might want to take a flier to find out.
Domantas Sabonis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers on a night that Myles Turner failed to show up, but the Pacers absolutely need Turner to be big as they race toward playoff seeding. And Sabonis has been cold lately, making him a luke-warm pickup.
Pascal Siakam has been hot for the Raptors and hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points, six boards, four assists, two steals and a block last night. OG Anunoby went down last night with an ankle injury and Siakam is probably the biggest beneficiary if he’s going to miss time.
Do you believe in miracles?
After going bananas on Tuesday, Boban Marjanovic returned to action on Wednesday for just three minutes. He failed to score and had two rebounds and one turnover. If you happened to watch him play on Tuesday night, this was a crushing blow. And if you happened to pick him up on a whim after Tuesday’s 18 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block, it just didn’t work out. Boban is like the unicorn, Punxsutawney Phil, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Easter Bunny all rolled into one. Only a few special people can see him, and he only makes an appearance once a year. Actually, I think we’ll see more of Boban this season and I had more fun watching him on Tuesday than I’ve had in weeks. But he’s just too much of a wildcard to try to hold in most fantasy leagues.
Injury Tracker – Quick Hits
Giannis Antetokounmpo (eye) – He says he’s fine, but had blurred vision. Watch for updates.
Ryan Anderson (hip) – He’s missed two straight, but Rockets are too good to shut him down.
Tyrone Wallace (contract) – He’s at the end of his two-way deal, but you have to think Clips will sign him.
Danilo Gallinari (hand) – No improvement in hand and day-to-day. Who’s surprised? No one.
Avery Bradley (groin) – May need surgery. It’s time to move on in fantasy, but he should return at some point.
Josh Hart (hand fracture) – He’s going to miss a few weeks, meaning you need to find a replacement.
Tyreke Evans (ribs) –Grizzlies are talking as if he’ll be back, but I really don’t see the point. Glad I don’t own him.
Wayne Ellington (quad) – Doubtful tonight and I’ve dropped him in most leagues.