Sunday was a busy day in the NBA, as there were 11 games on the schedule headlined by the third matchup of the season between the Lakers and Clippers. The stars did what they were expected to do in that one, but Avery Bradley’s contributions to the Lakers victory shouldn’t be overlooked. Among the other standouts Sunday were Toronto’s tandem of Norman Powell and Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, Luka Doncic and Ricky Rubio.
Nets 110, Bulls 107 — The first game of the Jacque Vaughn era in Brooklyn brought about two other changes, with DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler replacing Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince in the starting lineup. Jordan, who’s averaging just under 22 minutes per game for the season, played 29 and tallied 11 points (4-of-5 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Allen played 19 minutes, more than six fewer than his season average (25.9 mpg), and accounted for 11 points (4-of-5 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), six rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot. Allen’s fantasy value takes a significant hit with the switch, but it’s difficult to find a starter-level replacement at this point in the season. If Jordan’s available make the move for him, but if not fantasy owners who still have Allen may have to just hope for the best with this being a four-game week for Brooklyn.
As for the Chandler/Prince situation, neither one is a must-have in any league. Prince shot 1-of-7 from the field and turned the ball over five times Sunday, finishing with seven points, nine rebounds, one assist and two steals in 29 minutes. Chandler was nowhere near as loose with the basketball but he wasn’t all that productive either, finishing with six points, four rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes. Feel free to leave both on the waiver wire. Spencer Dinwiddie (24/3/6/1 with two 3-pointers) shot 14-of-15 from the foul line but his fantasy line took a hit in nine-cat with nine turnovers, with Joe Harris (23/2/1 with three 3-pointers) and Caris LeVert (23/6/5/1/1 with four 3-pointers) joining him as 20-point scorers. All three are attractive plays thanks to the upcoming schedule.
Zach LaVine (left quad soreness) and Ryan Arcidiacono (right Achilles soreness) both sat out for Chicago, which meant another quality run for Shaquille Harrison. Two nights removed from scoring a career-high 25 points he wasn’t as productive, starting and scoring six points with eight rebounds, three assists, four steals and one blocked shot in 36 minutes. As long as LaVine and Arcidiacono remain sidelined, Harrison is a worthwhile pickup in the short-term. Lauri Markkanen (16/2/4/1 with four 3-pointers) was the only starter in double figures, with reserves Otto Porter (23/3/2/4 with three 3-pointers), Coby White (21/6/8/1 with three 3-pointers) and Thaddeus Young (17 points, five rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers) leading the Bulls in scoring.
The returns of Markkanen and Porter don’t help Young from a fantasy value standpoint, but he’s worth holding onto as the Bulls have four games to play this week. With there being a back-to-back, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Chicago exercised some caution with either Markkanen or Porter (or both) and gave them one of those two nights (Saturday or Sunday) off. Given Young’s durability, he’d likely benefit from such a move.
Pelicans 120, Timberwolves 107 — Jrue Holiday (37/9/8/1/1 with three 3-pointers) and Zion Williamson (23/7/1 with one three-pointer) led the way offensively for New Orleans, which finished the game with five double-digit scorers. Lonzo Ball (18/8/2 with four 3-pointers) continues to work well with Williamson, and since the All-Star break he’s averaging 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 3.1 3-pointers per game, while shooting 46.7% from the field and from beyond the arc. The only negative for Ball Sunday night was the turnover count, as he racked up a team-high seven. Brandon Ingram (15/12/7/1 with five turnovers) and Nicolo Melli (11/4/3/1/1 with one 3-pointer) rounded out the double-digit scorers, and Josh Hart (one points, five rebounds and two steals) continues to struggle.
Since the break Hart is averaging 8.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers per game while shooting 42.4% from the field and 60.0% from the foul line. The inconsistency from a production standpoint makes Hart a prime candidate to be dropped onto the waiver wire in standard leagues.
Malik Beasley led seven Timberwolves in double figures with 21 points (8-of-20 FGs), while also tallying nine rebounds, one steal and four 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Since joining Minnesota at the trade deadline, he’s averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 3.7 3-pointers per game while shooting 48.6% from the field and 75.0% from the foul line. Beasley’s playing 33 minutes per night now, which was not going to happen in Denver. He’ll miss out on the postseason, but the former first-round pick is getting his chance to shine individually and he’s taken advantage. D'Angelo Russell (19/6/5/1/1) shot just 6-of-18 from the field (0-of-7 3-pointers) and turned the ball over five times, but a 7-of-7 night from the foul line salvaged what was a difficult night offensively.
James Johnson (15/5/4 with one block and three 3-pointers), Josh Okogie (12/5/4/3 with one 3-pointer), Jake Layman (11 points, one rebound and one steal), Naz Reid (10/5/1/3/1) and Jarrett Culver (10/3/1/2) also scored in double figures for Minnesota, with Reid continuing to struggle with his shot. Over the last 10 games the rookie forward, who’s filling in for the injured Karl-Anthony Towns (left wrist), is averaging 11.8 points per game on 38.9% shooting. But he’s also averaging 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per during this stretch, and with Towns out at least another two weeks he’s definitely a player who you should continue to put in your lineups. Kelan Martin (left ankle) sat this one out, but neither Jordan McLaughlin nor Jaylen Nowell did much with the additional minutes that they picked up as a result.
Lakers 112, Clippers 103 — In consecutive games LeBron James has managed to out-duel Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard, leading the Lakers to two statement victories. Sunday afternoon he tallied 28 points (7-of-17 FGs, 12-of-14 FTs), seven rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes, with Anthony Davis (30/8/2/2/1 with one three-pointer) and Avery Bradley (21/3/1/2 with six 3-pointers) joining James in double figures. Over the last month Bradley, who’s rostered in just three percent of Yahoo leagues, has provided 11th-round value in nine-cat formats. He’s playing well right now, and for those in need of three-point shooting and steals heading into the fantasy playoffs Bradley wouldn’t be a bad pickup especially in deeper leagues. His play on Sunday resulted in limited minutes for Alex Caruso, who played just seven and finished with one assist and one steal.
Kyle Kuzma finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, one steal and two blocked shots in one of his better defensive games of the season, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope adding nine points, one rebound, one assist and one three-pointer in 28 minutes off the bench.
The aforementioned Leonard had a good afternoon offensively, as he accounted for 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the foul line. But he didn’t have much of an impact in any other areas, tallying two rebounds, one blocked shot and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. This was the first game this season in which Leonard was blanked in both the assist and steals categories. Paul George (31/6/3/3/1 with three 3-pointers) and Montrezl Harrell (20/8/1 with two blocks) joined Leonard in double figures, with Lou Williams (7/5/3 with one three-pointer) shooting 3-of-11 from the field. Since scoring 24 points in the Clippers’ win over Philadelphia last weekend, he’s shot a combined 8-of-25 from the field and scored a total of 26 points.
Ivica Zubac (5/7/1 with one blocked shot) and Marcus Morris (1/6/1/1) also struggled to make much of an impact, with the latter going 0-of-9 from the field with seven of those attempting being 3-pointers. While Zubac, who feasted in the Clippers’ win over the Rockets, is still worth holding onto, there isn’t much upside to be found in Morris at this point. Post-trade from New York, his value to the Clippers’ rotation is higher than his fantasy value.
Thunder 105, Celtics 104 — Oklahoma City played this one without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was ruled out due to a right hip contusion. But Billy Donovan decided to keep Dennis Schroder with the second unit, instead moving Terrance Ferguson back into the starting lineup. While Ferguson (four points, two rebounds and one steal in 20 minutes) wasn’t all that productive Schroder was, as he came off the bench and scored 27 points (10-of-21 FGs, 4-of-7 FTs) with two rebounds, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. In four games this month he’s averaging 22.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers in 31.0 minutes per game, and he’s provided solid fantasy value off the bench all season long. If Gilgeous-Alexander were to miss another game, with the Thunder off until Wednesday against the Jazz, Schroder and Chris Paul would receive a boost in the usage department.
Paul finished Sunday’s win with 28 points (9-of-19 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), six rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one blocked shot, and Danilo Gallinari (18 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers) joined the two guards in double figures. Luguentz Dort (8/4/1/2/1 with two 3-pointers) and Steven Adams (6/6/1/3/1) produced some solid defensive stats, but neither did enough to make much of a dent fantasy-wise. Adams remains a center worth rostering in standard leagues, while Dort should be left on the waiver wire even when one of Oklahoma City’s top guards are sidelined.
Gordon Hayward was a question mark entering this due to right knee soreness, but he was ultimately able to start and play a team-high 38 minutes. Hayward led Boston’s starters with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers, shooting 9-of-19 from the field and 2-of-4 from the foul line. Over the last month he’s providing middle-round value in nine-cat formats, and his return meant a return to fantasy irrelevance for Semi Ojeleye (three minutes played). Marcus Smart (19/10/4 with two 3-pointers) and Jayson Tatum (19/5/3/2/1 with three 3-pointers) also played 38 minutes, with Kemba Walker (14/6/5/2 with two 3-pointers) and Daniel Theis (11/5/3 with one 3-pointer) playing 31 and 28 minutes, respectively.
The biggest loser of late from a minutes standpoint has been Enes Kanter, who played just six minutes on Sunday and a total of 11 minutes in Boston’s last two games. Robert Williams (6/5/1/1/1) has seemingly surpassed Kanter in the rotation, likely because of the fact that he’s the superior defender. The Time Lord left Sunday’s game during the fourth quarter due to a hip injury suffered on an awkward fall, something to keep in mind ahead of the Celtics’ next game Tuesday night against the Pacers. Williams having to miss some action would open the door for Kanter, defensive issues and all, to work his way back into the mix.
Suns 140, Bucks 131 — Milwaukee was without Giannis (left knee), who is also expected to miss Monday night’s game in Denver, and that meant more shots for Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez. Middleton shot 13-of-26 from the field and 10-of-11 from the foul line, scoring 39 points with two rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes, with Bledsoe (28/3/7/1 with two 3-pointers) and Lopez (18/2/2/1/2 with one 3-pointer) also scoring in double figures. Antetokoumpo’s absence also freed up additional opportunities for Donte DiVincenzo, who played 29 minutes off the bench and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers. He’s definitely worth picking up with the reigning MVP sidelined, as over the last month DiVincenzo has provided 10th-round value in nine-cat formats.
George Hill (2/1/1/1) played 16 minutes in his return from a groin injury that sidelined him for two games, with Ersan Ilyasova (seven rebounds in 15 minutes) getting the start in place of Antetokounmpo and Marvin Williams (5/5/3 with one block and one 3-pointers) played 26 minutes off the bench. Hill didn’t have his best night but he still has some appeal in deeper leagues, as he get consistent minutes and tends to play well when healthy. D.J. Wilson (left ankle) was cleared to play but was a DNP-CD Sunday night, so maybe he’ll get some minutes Monday with that being the second game of a back-to-back.
Milwaukee’s issue Sunday was their defense, as Phoenix lit up the Bucks for 140 points (the most that Mike Budenholzer’s team has allowed in a game this season). Four of Phoenix’s six double-digit scorers tallied at least 21 points, with Devin Booker (36/5/8/1/2 with four 3-pointers) leading the way. Ricky Rubio posted his second triple-double of the season, finishing with 25 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists, three steals, three 3-pointers and just one turnover in 38 minutes. Rounding out the 20-point scorers were Aron Baynes (24/7/1 with one block and four 3-pointers), who made another start in place of the injured Deandre Ayton (left ankle), and Mikal Bridges (21/10/3 with one block and two 3-pointers in 43 minutes). Baynes has scored 61 points in his last two games, while Bridges had the first 20/10 game of his career Sunday night.
Jevon Carter (12/4/1/1 with two 3-pointers) played 32 minutes off the bench and Dario Saric (11/5/1/1 with three 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, with Ty Jerome (five points, two assists and one 3-pointer) playing 14 minutes in the backup point guard role. Carter and Jerome playing well meant a DNP-CD for Elie Okobo, who struggled in each of Phoenix’s two games prior. None of those three are worth considering in any league, with Carter’s minutes coming as a result of Cameron Johnson (illness) being sidelined. But the competition for backup point guard minutes is worth tracking, if only because of the impact that it will have on the decision-making process of the Suns front office this offseason.
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Heat 100, Wizards 89 — Miami lost Jimmy Butler to a toe injury during the second half of Sunday’s win, with the team deciding to keep him out despite the All-Star wanting to return to the game. The Heat don’t play again until Wednesday, so Butler (nine points and one steal in 24 minutes) will have a couple days to recover. His absence wasn’t a killer however thanks in large part to Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson, who combined to score 50 points on the night. Adebayo put up a stat line of 27 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot, with Robinson adding 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and seven 3-pointers.
Robinson is just the seventh player in league history to have three straight games with at least seven 3-pointers, and he could become the first to do so in four straight games Wednesday night. He’s long been valuable as a points and 3-pointers guy, and over the last week Robinson has been on a roll. During this stretch he’s averaging 20.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 6.8 3-pointers per game, providing second-round value in nine-cat formats. Kendrick Nunn (18/5/1/1 with four 3-pointers) and Goran Dragic (11/4/3 with one 3-pointer) also scored in double figures for the Heat, with Derrick Jones Jr. (4/8/3/3/1) managing to have an impact despite shooting just 1-of-3 from the field. Jae Crowder (concussion) could be back Wednesday night, which will mean fewer minutes for both Solomon Hill (30 minutes) and Andre Iguodala (19). Neither was all that productive Sunday, and should have already been on the waiver wire.
For the first time in a long time Bradley Beal didn’t lead the Wizards in scoring, as he finished with 23 points (8-of-24 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) to go along with three rebounds, six assists, two blocks and five 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Backcourt partner Shabazz Napier led the way, as he tallied a season-high 27 points to go along with four rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four 3-pointers, with Davis Bertans (25 points, two rebounds and eight 3-pointers) shooting 8-of-15 from beyond the arc. Napier benefitted from the absences of both Ish Smith and Jerome Robinson, who were held out due to hamstring and Achilles injuries, respectively. And with Smith expected to miss at least another week, Napier is worth a look for this upcoming week.
Washington lost because no other player scored more than five points on the night. Rui Hachimura (six rebounds, three assists and one steal) went 0-of-8 from the field and failed to score, with Troy Brown Jr. (5/6/1 with one 3-pointer) shooting 1-of-8. As a team, the Wizards shot 7-of-31 from inside of the 3-point line. Robinson could be back Tuesday night when the Wizards take on the Knicks, which would cut into the fantasy values of both Isaac Bonga and Garrison Mathews, with the latter having tallied a career-high five steals on Sunday.
Pacers 112, Mavericks 109 — Kristaps Porzingis saw his streak of games with at least 24 points (five straight) come to a screeching halt Sunday night, thanks to the efforts of Pacers bigs Domantas Sabonis (20/17/6/1 with one 3-pointer) and Myles Turner (16 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, three blocks and two 3-pointers). Porzingis shot a frigid 3-of-17 from the field, finishing with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in 38 minutes. The Unicorn has been dealing with a sprained right ankle, but he was able to take on his usual workload in Sunday’s loss. We’ll see what happens Tuesday/Wednesday, as the Mavericks have a back-to-back on the schedule. Maxi Kleber had an even rougher night at the office, as he scored just two points to go along with five rebounds and one assist.
Luka Doncic (36/10/8/1 with four 3-pointers) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (30/4/1/2/1 with six 3-pointers) did much of the heavy lifting for Dallas offensively, with Justin Jackson adding 11 points, two rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 19 minutes off the bench. Over the last month Hardaway has provided fifth-round value in nine-cat formats, and he’s currently rostered in just 54 percent of Yahoo leagues. With averages of 21.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals and 3.9 3-pointers per game during that stretch, he’s a player that should be picked up heading into fantasy playoff action.
As noted above Indiana’s big men had productive nights in Dallas, and they were two of the Pacers’ six double-digit scorers. T.J. Warren (16/8/1 with one blocked shot) and Victor Oladipo (16/4/7 with one blocked shot) were two of the others, with the former likely finishing with a higher point total had he not fouled out. Justin Holiday and T.J. McConnell combined to score 26 points off the bench, with the former tallying 14 (with one rebound, one block and four 3-pointers) and the latter 12 (with one rebound and five assists). Justin Holiday is worth a look, especially in deeper leagues, as over the last month he’s provided 10th-round value in nine-cat formats.
Aaron Holiday remains in the starting lineup with Malcolm Brodgon (biceps) sidelined, and he finished Sunday’s win with seven points, one rebound, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes. Aaron may play more than his older brother, but give me Justin when it comes to their respective fantasy values especially with Doug McDermott currently dealing with a toe injury.
Magic 126, Rockets 106 — Another slow start, and another beating for the Rockets. Russell Westbrook (24/8/4/1/ with two 3-pointers) and James Harden (23/7/6/3 with three 3-pointers) led the way offensively for Houston, but they also combined for 12 turnovers with the former responsible for eight of them. Houston’s other starters, P.J. Tucker (7/4/1/1 with one 3-pointer), Robert Covington (7/4/2 with four blocks) and Danuel House (six points, three assists, three steals and one 3-pointer) combined to score 20 points on the night, with the defensive numbers put up by Covington and House salvaging something for those who have them rostered. Despite his 3-of-10 night Covington’s fantasy value remains high, due to both his defensive production and the Rockets’ decision to go all-in with their small ball lineup.
The absences of Eric Gordon (right knee) and Ben McLemore (gastroenteritis) freed up additional minutes for DeMarre Carroll and Austin Rivers, with the former scoring 10 points with two rebounds and the latter accounting for five points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. Give me Jeff Green over both, as he had another solid game off the bench. In 27 minutes Green tallied 18 points, going 8-of-8 from the field, with five rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer. Over the last month he’s provided middle-round value in nine-cat, and as of Sunday night was rostered in just three percent of Yahoo leagues. He isn’t as productive defensively as Covington, but Green’s in a similar spot thanks to Houston’s rotation.
In Houston’s most recent defeats opposing big men have feasted, and on Sunday it was Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic who took advantage. Gordon shot 7-of-17 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 36 minutes. Vucevic also posted a double-double, scoring 16 points (5-of-12 FGs, 6-of-8 FTs) with 16 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot in 33 minutes. Orlando’s guards also played well, with Markelle Fultz (18/1/5 with two 3-pointers) shooting 8-of-12 from the field and the trio of D.J. Augustin, Terrence Ross and Michael Carter-Williams combining to score 56 points off the bench.
Augustin tallied 24 points to go along with two rebounds, three assists, one steal and four 3-pointers, and his fantasy value has received a solid boost with Evan Fournier (elbow) having been ruled out indefinitely. Ross (four rebounds, three steals and four 3-pointers) and Carter-Williams (two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer) scored 16 points apiece. While Wes Iwundu (9/4/1) and James Ennis (three points, two rebounds, two steals and one 3-pointer) are the starters, Augustin, Ross and Carter-Williams are all getting into the high-20s minutes-wise.
Cavaliers 132, Spurs 129 (OT) — Of the eight Cavaliers that played Sunday night seven scored in double figures, with Tristan Thompson (two points and three rebounds in eight minutes) being the exception as he left the game in the first half after getting poked in the eye. His early exit meant even more playing time for Larry Nance Jr., who in 43 minutes tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers. Nance was one of three Cavaliers to play at least 40 minutes in the team’s win over San Antonio, with Kevin Love (14/18/3 with one 3-pointer) playing 40 and Matthew Dellavedova (14/2/11/1 with two 3-pointers) 45.
Delly’s starting and playing heavy minutes due to the absences of Darius Garland (groin) Kevin Porter Jr. (concussion), and Sunday’s double-double was his first since the 2015-16 season. He’s up to 38 assists in his last four games, and for those in deeper leagues that are looking for help in that area Dellavedova is worth a look for as long as Garland is sidelined. Andre Drummond (28/17/1 with three blocks) shot 11-of-16 from the field on the night, with Collin Sexton (26/1/4/1 with one 3-pointer), Cedi Osman (19/4/6/2 with four 3-pointers) and Alfonzo McKinnie (10/5/1 with one block and two 3-pointers) also scoring in double figures for the home team.
DeMar DeRozan led six Spurs in double figures with 25 points (7-of-19 FGs, 11-of-12 FTs) while also tallying eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, with Bryn Forbes (19/1/1 and four 3-pointers) and Rudy Gay (19 points, nine rebounds, one steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers) next in line. San Antonio remains without LaMarcus Aldridge (right shoulder) and that meant another start for Drew Eubanks, who finished the game with six points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in 22 minutes. He still isn’t worth picking up, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Trey Lyles (13/9/2/1/1) is the player to pick up, as he’s providing seventh-round value over the last month and is currently rostered in just 19 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Dejounte Murray (17/7/6/6/1 with one 3-pointer) and Derrick White (17 points, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer) also scored in double figures, with Patty Mills (seven points, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer) playing 19 minutes off the bench.
Knicks 96, Pistons 84 — Julius Randle (22/12/1/3 with one 3-pointer in 33 minutes) and Mitchell Robinson (14 points, 11 rebounds, one steal and three blocks) both posted double-doubles as New York pulled away from Detroit. Over the last month Robinson has provided third-round value in nine-cat formats, so while it remains frustrating that he continues to come off the bench at least the second-year center has been productive. Elfrid Payton added 16 points, five rebounds, six assists and one steal, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from the foul line. What New York does with him this offseason will be interesting to see, as the team has until June 28 to decide whether or not to pick up his option for the 2020-21 campaign.
Payton has been New York’s best point guard this season, and with Dennis Smith Jr. (concussion) still sidelined and Frank Ntilikina (7/3/1/2 with one 3-pointer) lacking consistency it isn’t as if Payton will be losing minutes anytime soon. RJ Barrett had a rough night shooting the ball, as he scored 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field and 1-of-4 from the foul line, with the rookie also accounting for three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. Outside of the point totals he hasn’t brought much to the table fantasy-wise, but given Barrett’s place in the rotation it’s understandable if one were to take a flier on him in deeper leagues. But if you don’t have to take that risk, there really isn’t a reason to do so.
Christian Wood (22/8/2/2 with one 3-pointer) continues to shine for Detroit, which moved Bruce Brown into the starting lineup in place of Brandon Knight. Brown played 37 minutes, scoring 16 points (7-of-14 FGs) with four rebounds, six assists and two 3-pointers. Knight, who’s been dealing with a strained right hamstring, was cleared to play but ultimately did not. Detroit has just two games on the schedule this week, so that combined with the injury make him a player that should be dropped in most leagues. Jumping back to the Pistons frontcourt, John Henson (three points, one rebound and one assist in 15 minutes) left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle. His absence frees up minutes for Thon Maker (3/4/1/3/1 in 28 minutes), but picking up Maker is a move that no one should make.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (9/5/5/1 with two 3-pointers) and Langston Galloway (9/3/2/1 with two 3-pointers) scored nine points apiece, with Jordan McRae struggling mightily from the field (1-of-10 FGs) and finishing with eight points, three rebounds and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes.
Raptors 118, Kings 113 — Norman Powell remains on his heater, as he has scored 22 points or more in each of his last five games. He pumped in 31 Sunday night, shooting 11-of-21 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line, while also tallying two rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and six 3-pointers in 43 minutes. Over the last two weeks Powell has provided first-round value in nine-cat, and the only negative right now is that Toronto only plays two games this week. Of course the eventual return of Fred VanVleet (left shoulder) means that Powell’s fantasy value will take a hit, but it’s unlikely to be a big one given how well he’s playing. VanVleet may be able to return to action for Toronto’s next home game on March 14.
Kyle Lowry (30/5/8/3 with six 3-pointers) also had a big night offensively, as he shot 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line. All five of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures, with Pascal Siakam (23/8/5/3 with two 3-pointers), Serge Ibaka (15/10/5 with two blocks and one 3-pointer) and O.G. Anunoby (12 points, two rebounds, one steal and two 3-pointers) rounding out the quintet. Also Marc Gasol (left hamstring) made his return to action, playing 16 minutes off the bench and finishing with three points, two rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer. While Toronto’s schedule isn’t a good one from a fantasy standpoint, it is a good one when it comes to working Gasol back into the fold. I wouldn’t expect Gasol to play Monday night in Denver, and Toronto will likely exercise extreme caution when it comes to his playing time given the injury that he’s coming back from.
De'Aaron Fox got going in the second half for Sacramento and produced a solid stat line, as he accounted for 28 points, four rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He was one of five Kings to score in double figures, with Alex Len (15/7/1 with two blocks) and Kent Bazemore (15/6/1 with one 3-pointer) next in line. Nemanja Bjelica (14/10/2 with one block) posted his first double-double in five games, shooting 6-of-12 from the field, while Buddy Hield (11/5/1/1 with three 3-pointers) had a relatively quiet night and wasn’t on the floor in crunch time. That was brought up postgame, with Luke Walton pointing out that the Kings’ offense wasn’t the reason why they failed to pull out the win. Hield still figures prominently in the Kings rotation as the sixth man, but he’s made it clear in the past that he prefers to start. His role and the dynamic between he and Walton is something to keep an eye on not only for the remainder of this season but into the offseason as well.
Harrison Barnes (9/5/3/1/1 with one 3-pointer) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (9/4/2/1/1 with one 3-pointer) combined to shoot 7-of-20 from the field, which did the Kings no favors in what turned out to be a close game. Finishing up with some positive Kings news, Richaun Holmes played 19 minutes in the second game of a back-to-back. His line (six points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks) wasn’t great, but the fact that Holmes played in both ends without any issues is good news. Sacramento only has two games this week, which limits Holmes’ fantasy value.
Monday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
Charlotte at Atlanta, 7:30 PM
Milwaukee at Denver, 9 PM
Toronto at Utah, 9 PM