Tuesday’s seven-game schedule featured some high-scoring performances, with Zach LaVine scoring 41 points in a loss and LeBron James dropping 40 in a win over the Pelicans. Jerami Grant and Coby White established new career-highs, with the latter making NBA history in the process. Below is a look at what happened Tuesday night in the Association.
Pacers 119, Hornets 80 — Indiana was without both Victor Oladipo (back) and Jeremy Lamb (left knee), with the latter having been ruled out for the remainder of the season. That meant a move into the starting lineup for Aaron Holiday, who will take up the majority of the minutes that went to Lamb moving forward. Holiday played 30 minutes, finishing with nine points (3-of-7 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), three rebounds, three assists, one block and one three-pointer. Not the best night for him, and with Oladipo due back soon I’m not as high on Aaron as I am his older brother Justin. He played 23 minutes off the bench and posted a full stat line, accounting for 16 points (6-of-12 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), three rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers. Over the last month he’s provided eighth-round value in nine-cat (10th-round value in eight-cat), and he’s rostered in just 10 percent of Yahoo leagues. Go pick up Justin Holiday if he’s available.
Domantas Sabonis (21/15/9 with one three-pointer) finished one assist shy of a triple-double, with T.J. Warren (19/3/2/1 with one three-pointer), Malcolm Brogdon (15/6/7 with two 3-pointers), Doug McDermott (10/4/2) and JaKarr Sampson (10 points, one rebound, one steal and one block) also scoring in double figures. Myles Turner scored just six points on the night, but that figure doesn’t tell the full story. He also accounted for 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and eight blocks, with the latter representing a new career-high. The change to the starting lineup, with Sabonis doing the majority of his work around the basket, has done Turner no favors as a scoring option. But he has the tools needed to be impactful on the defensive end; the key is to do it on a consistent basis. Turner has tallied at least one block and one steal in each of Indiana’s last four games.
Charlotte was without Devonte' Graham (rest), with Malik Monk moving into the starting lineup as a result. Monk, who had been playing well coming off the bench, was unable to carry that over Tuesday night as he finished with eight points (4-of-13 FGs), one rebound, three assists and one steal in 27 minutes. Monk is still picking up in standard leagues, especially for those in need of points and 3-pointers (2.0 3-pointers per game over the last two weeks). Terry Rozier was even worse, shooting 2-of-13 from the field and finishing with five points, three rebounds, seven assists and one three-pointer. Miles Bridges (17/6/1/1 with two 3-pointers) led the way offensively, with reserves Caleb Martin (11/3/2 with one block and three 3-pointers) and Cody Martin (9/6/3/2) posting decent fantasy lines. Neither of the twins are worth rostering right now, however.
Bucks 108, Raptors 97 — Brook Lopez (back) was back in the starting lineup Tuesday after being held out on Monday, and in 28 minutes he accounted for 15 points, three rebounds, two steals, five blocks and two 3-pointers. And with this being the Bucks’ second game in as many nights, Ersan Ilyasova (DNP-CD) was given the night off despite it not being officially declared beforehand. He doesn’t offer a great deal with regard to fantasy value anyway, thanks in large part to the presence of one Giannis Antetokounmpo (19/19/8 with three blocks and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes). Khris Middleton led the way offensively with 22 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers, and Eric Bledsoe (17/7/4/1/1 with two 3-pointers) was the fourth starter in double figures. Donte DiVincenzo (5/7/3/2) is still worth a look in deeper leagues, but a healthy Bucks rotation limits the fantasy impact that he can have.
Pascal Siakam led the way offensively for Toronto, scoring 22 points (6-of-14 FGs, 5-of-7 FTs) with six rebounds, three assists, one block and five 3-pointers. Interestingly Siakam, who entered the game shooting 50.8% from two on the season, was just 1-of-5 inside of the arc Tuesday night. Give Milwaukee credit for that, and it should be pointed out that his “struggled” paled in comparison to what Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry experienced. Ibaka shot 2-of-15 on the night, finishing with five points, five rebounds, one assist and one three-pointer (on 10 attempts). Lowry was slightly better, shooting 2-of-12 from the field and accounting for 10 points, four rebounds, six assists, one block and one three-pointer. Ibaka’s backup, Chris Boucher, was solid with 10 points, seven rebounds, one block and two 3-pointers in 19 minutes, and he’s been a top-100 player in nine-cat since the All-Star break. With Marc Gasol (hamstring) out, Boucher is a solid pickup in standard leagues due in large part to what he can provide defensively.
Fred VanVleet (14/2/1/1 with three 3-pointers) and Terence Davis (10/4/2/1 with one three-pointer) also scored in double figures, with Matt Thomas knocking down three 3-pointers in 12 minutes off the bench. He isn’t worth picking up, but Thomas has made an average of 2.0 3-pointers per game since Toronto returned from the All-Star break. Patrick McCaw (illness) did not play for the third straight game, and the eventual returns of he and Norman Powell (finger) will affect Davis’ fantasy value (which isn’t that particularly high right now). Powell is due to be re-evaluated in a week.
Thunder 124, Bulls 122 — Offensive balance won out here, as Oklahoma City had six players in double figures. Danilo Gallinari (24 points, four rebounds, one steal and five 3-pointers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (21/11/3/1/2 with two 3-pointers) and Dennis Schroder (21/2/5/1 with two 3-pointers) all surpassed 20 points on the night, with SGA posting his ninth double-double of the season. Rounding out the double digit scorers for the Thunder were Chris Paul (19/3/9/1), Steven Adams (16/9/2/3/3) and Terrance Ferguson (11 points, three assists, one block and three 3-pointers). Ferguson, who shot 3-of-5 from three, has struggled with his shot for much of this season. But Chicago has been a good matchup for him, as he was 4-of-7 from deep in a win over the Bulls back on December 16. Ferguson should be left on the waiver wire, as his value within the Thunder rotation is higher than his fantasy value.
For Chicago it was the Zach LaVine/Coby White show, as they combined to score 76 points on the night. LaVine posted his sixth 40-point game of the season, scoring 41 (19-of-35 FGs) with five rebounds, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers. White surpassed the 30-point mark for the third straight game as he accounted for 35 points (13-of-21 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), seven rebounds, three assists and six 3-pointers. He’s the first rookie in league history to score 30 or more in three straight games coming off the bench. After the game Jim Boylen was asked about White’s role, but the head coach made it clear that he’ll continue to bring White off the bench. White said after his second 30-plus scoring night that he didn’t care about starting, as being on the court in crunch time is of greater importance to him. His fantasy value is in good shape whether he starts or not, yet White is still rostered in just 44 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Shaq Harrison (11 points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks) and Tomas Satoransky (10/5/7) also scored in double figures, but Chicago doesn’t have enough firepower. And until that changes, as the Bulls remain without Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter and Lauri Markkanen, LaVine and White are going to get all the shots that they can handle.
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Nuggets 115, Pistons 98 — Jerami Grant had the best night of his career, as he tallied 29 points (12-of-15 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with four rebounds, one assist and three 3-pointers in 29 minutes. While it would be understandable if you cut him loose once Paul Millsap (9/4/2/1 with one three-pointer) returned to the starting lineup, it’s also understandable if you hung onto Grant. Coming off the bench does lower his fantasy value, but he’s worth the gamble if he’s being used to simply supplement your roster. Michael Porter Jr. also had a good night off the bench, scoring 13 points with eight rebounds, one assist and one three-pointer in 22 minutes. I’d leave him on the waiver wire, at least until he strings together a couple solid efforts in a row (six points total in the two games prior). Nikola Jokic (16/5/4/4 with one three-pointer) and Jamal Murray (16/5/8/1/1 with two 3-pointers) rounded out Denver’s double-digit scorers, with Gary Harris (9/3/3/1 with one three-pointer) falling one point shy.
Dwane Casey made two changes to the starting lineup for this one, going with Christian Wood and John Henson with Thon Maker (two points, three rebounds and one steal in six minutes) and Sekou Doumbouya (three points in 18 minutes) moving to the second unit. While Henson (4/6/1 with one block) didn’t provide much in his 21 minutes on the court Wood was quite effective, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 34 minutes. It’s possible that the lineup change was made to match up with Jokic and Millsap, but even if he returns to the bench in Detroit’s next game Wood is a must-have in standard leagues. Derrick Rose (20/2/5/2 with one three-pointer) and Brandon Knight (14/2/6/1 with four 3-pointers) both scored in double figures, as did Tony Snell (10/4/7/1 with two 3-pointers) and Langston Galloway (12 points, two rebounds and four 3-pointers).
The Pistons were without Bruce Brown, who was held out due to a sore left knee. That freed up some playing time for Khyri Thomas, who played 14 minutes and finished with three points, one assist and one three-pointer. No need to consider picking him up, as Knight and Galloway are far better options should Brown miss additional time.
Celtics 118, Blazers 106 — Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) missed his fourth straight game Tuesday night, and it’s looking unlikely that he’ll be able to play in Wednesday’s game against the Jazz. With the All-Star guard sidelined Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have done even more of the heavy lifting on offense, and against Portland the duo came through with 60 combined points. Tatum shot 14-of-22 from the field, scoring 36 points with five rebounds, one assist, two blocks and a career-high eight 3-pointers. Since the All-Star break, he’s been a top-5 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats. Brown added 24 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes, and he’s provided third-round value since the break. Marcus Smart (12/6/3/2/1 with four 3-pointers), Gordon Hayward (12/5/2 with one three-pointer) and Daniel Theis (10/9/3) all scored in double figures, with Brad Wanamaker contributing 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. While this was a good game for him, Wanamaker scored a total of eight points in Boston’s first two games after the break.
C.J. McCollum led Portland with 28 points, four rebounds, 10 assists, three blocks and five 3-pointers, with his fantasy line taking a hit in nine-cat due to five turnovers. Hassan Whiteside (18/19/3 with one block and one three-pointer), Trevor Ariza (17/8/2/2 with two 3-pointers) and Carmelo Anthony (14/2/1/1 with two 3-pointers) also scored in double figures for the Blazers, but the concern here is for Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons. With Damian Lillard (groin) sidelined, at first glance it appeared as if those two young guards would have more opportunities to shine offensively. But neither has taken advantage of the increase in minutes, with Trent providing 15th-round value over the last two weeks and Simons 18th-round value. Trent is worth giving another shot since he’s been the starter with Lillard out, but I wouldn’t blame anyone if they decided (or have already decided) to cut bait.
Lakers 118, Pelicans 109 — This was the game that many had circled on the schedule, as it was the first time that Zion Williamson has faced off against LeBron James in his young NBA career. And the “old man” hit the 40-point mark for the first time this season, tallying 40 (17-of-27 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs) to go along with eight rebounds, six assists, one block and five 3-pointers in 34 minutes. If there was a negative for LeBron it was the seven turnovers, but that’s almost nit-picking given the overall stat line. Williamson surpassed the 20-point mark for the ninth straight game, finishing with 29 (8-of-18 FGs, 13-of-19 FTs) while also tallying six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes. I’m not sure he can win Rookie of the Year honors, as no winner of the award has played in 50 or fewer games since Patrick Ewing in 1986. If Zion were to play in every remaining game and beat out Ja Morant (he’s the clear frontrunner), he would do so while playing in just 37 games.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 34 points, shooting 12-of-20 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line, and he completed his line with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers. Like James he also turned the ball over seven times, but given the line you’re willing to concede that. Jrue Holiday (11/5/9/2 with one three-pointer), Nicolo Melli (11/6/2 with one block and one three-pointer) and Lonzo Ball (10/8/8 with two 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, while J.J. Redick didn’t even attempt an official shot. He scored three points, all from the foul line, to go along with five rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes. You don’t see that every day.
If there’s a concern for the Lakers it’s the health of Anthony Davis, who played 36 minutes and finished with 21 points (6-of-21 FGs, 9-of-10 FTs), 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal and six blocked shots. He banged his elbow during the second half, and shortly thereafter aggravated the issue by hitting his hand on the backboard while attempting to block a Melli layup. He did stay in the game in both instances, adding a sleeve to his left arm after the first. He’s consistently been listed as probable on the injury report due to various issues, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were to be fine moving forward. But it is something worth keeping an eye on given Davis’ importance to the Lakers and to fantasy rosters. Danny Green (17/5/4/2/1 with five 3-pointers) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15/1/1/2 with three 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, with Kyle Kuzma adding nine points, one rebound and one steal.
Avery Bradley has really fallen off after carrying over a solid pre-break run with a 14-point effort against the Grizzlies. He went scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting Tuesday night, and over the last two games has scored a total of three points on 1-of-12 from the field. Alex Caruso gave the Lakers good minutes off the bench, finishing with eight points, three rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one block in 17 minutes. I’d leave him alone at this point, because he’s still splitting minutes with Rajon Rondo. And Markieff Morris made his Lakers debut, playing 15 minutes and accounting for four points, one rebound and one blocked shot. Kuzma took the biggest hit, dropping from 27 minutes in Sunday’s win over the Celtics to 12, and this could also impact Dwight Howard (2/4/2 with two blocks in 18 minutes) off the bench. Morris doesn’t offer much in the way of fantasy value right now, with his biggest impact likely being what players such as Kuzma and Howard lose.
Kings 112, Warriors 94 — De'Aaron Fox played 32 minutes, tallying 21 points (8-of-15 FGs, 4-of-9 FTs) with two rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and one three-pointer, but he had to leave during the game due to some tightness in his groin. The good news is that he was able to return and play though the issue, so hopefully that’s a good sign regarding his availability for Thursday’s game in Oklahoma City. Harrison Barnes (21/2/1 with two 3-pointers) has surpassed the 20-point mark in four of his last six games, and over the last two weeks he’s provided fourth-round value in nine-cat formats. Rostered in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues, Barnes is a worthwhile pickup in standard leagues if he’s somehow available. Buddy Hield (19/6/2/1 with five 3-pointers) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (17/1/3/2 with two 3-pointers) both had solid scoring games, something that hasn’t happened all that often since Luke Walton moved Bogi into the starting lineup and Hield to the bench.
Harry Giles (13/9/4/1) and Cory Joseph (11/3/3 with one three-pointer) also scored in double figures, with Kent Bazemore adding nine points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes off the bench. This was a good game for Giles, but not enough to justify picking him up. I’d like to see him produce with more consistency before making the jump.
Golden State was once again with Draymond Green (pelvis), meaning another start for Eric Paschall (12/3/2/1 in 36 minutes). The star for the Warriors was Marquese Chriss, who shot 8-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line and finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 25 minutes. The bad news is that he departed late after appearing to aggravate the left calf injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game and Monday’s practice. More time on the shelf for Chriss would move Kevon Looney (5/3/2 with one block) back into the starting lineup. Andrew Wiggins, who was considered to be questionable due to leg soreness, played 31 minutes and finished with 16 points and one assist. As we saw during his time in Minnesota, Wiggins is capable of putting up lines when he scores and offers nothing else. We’ll see how he performs once Stephen Curry returns to the lineup on Sunday.
Damion Lee (14/6/4/1/1 with three 3-pointers) and Jordan Poole (13/1/4/1 with one three-pointer) stand to take a hit when Curry takes the floor, which would trickle down to Ky Bowman (10/4/2/1) as well. Dragan Bender had a rough night, going scoreless (0-of-4 FGs) with five rebounds, one assist, one steal and three turnovers. He’s on a 10-day contract, and two games in he’s got some worth to do in order to guarantee himself a second deal.
Wednesday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
New York at Charlotte, 7 PM
Philadelphia at Cleveland, 7 PM
Brooklyn at Washington, 7 PM
Minnesota at Miami, 7:30 PM
Orlando at Atlanta, 7:30 PM
Memphis at Houston, 8 PM
Dallas at San Antonio, 8:30 PM
LA Clippers at Phoenix, 9 PM
Boston at Utah, 10:30 PM