After a wild 12-game Monday, we get a breather with just two games on Tuesday evening, but unfortunately only one of them was competitive. But before we dive into the games, we have a trade!
Bryn Forbes to the Nuggets
Bryn Forbes is headed to the Nuggets, Juancho Hernangomez to the Spurs and Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier to the Celtics. San Antonio will also get Denver’s 2028 second-round pick, but from a fantasy standpoint, this doesn’t mean much. Bryn Forbes could be a points and threes guy in Denver, but I’m not picking him up unless he has an established role, and even then his upside his pretty limited. Hernangomez could play a bit but the Spurs don’t lack big men, and Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier are both injured, so you can leave those three alone.
Timberwolves 112, Knicks 110
This game was very much a back-and-forth affair, and despite a 40-point third-quarter Knicks downpour, the Wolves came up on top to get to 0.500 (22-22). No one on Minnesota’s side scored more than 21 points and five guys reached double digits, with Anthony Edwards leading the way with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting in 39 minutes. That’s the good news, but the bad is that despite his two steals and two threes, he was pretty quiet elsewhere with only three boards and three assists and also turned it over four times. He also was not effective at all in the second half and scored just five points in those 24 minutes, and he looked slightly disinterested and may have gotten more flack if the result was different. Karl-Anthony Towns was on Edwards’ tail with 20 points (6-of-12 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), five rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, two 3-pointers and two turnovers in 36 minutes. This was a pretty so-so game from KAT which says a lot, and he’s as steady as they come in fantasy hoops with nearly guaranteed first-round per-game status, and it’s great that he’s been pretty healthy too. D’Angelo Russell was efficient for D’Lo’s standards with a 5-of-11 mark from the floor for his 17/2/4/1/1 evening with four treys and four turnovers, and he stunk it up in his last game but took better shots on Tuesday night. Jaylen Nowell came through with 14 points (5-of-12 shooting) along with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 23 reserve minutes, and he’s actually scored in double figures in five straight if you exclude his two-minute evening against the Pelicans a week back. He’s just been a late-rounder over the past two weeks but is a fine option for deep leagues unless he completely falls off. Malik Beasley (10 points in 17 minutes) and per-minute stud Naz Reid (9/3/2 with two blocks in 12 minutes) just aren’t getting enough playing time to make enough impact, Jarred Vanderbilt had just four points and seven boards but is still getting plenty of minutes (34 on Tuesday) and he’ll be fine and Patrick Beverley went for a nice 7/5/6/3/1 line which works as long as you don’t expect him to score a ton.
A Knicks loss ruined a rare yet stellar full line from Julius Randle, as he went off for a near triple-double including 21 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, two steals and four blocks in 39 minutes. The only issues were his shooting (6-of-15 FGs) and turnovers (three, not awful), but he came out swinging in the third quarter and this was one of the more complete Randle lines in recent memory. Just keep in mind, he’s only had six combined steals/blocks one other time this season, with the next highest “stocks” total being three, so don’t get used to that. Evan Fournier was hot and hit 10 of his first 12 shots but then proceeded to miss his last five, but still came out of the game quite efficient for his game-high 27 points with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, five triples and two turnovers in 37 minutes. He scored just six points on 2-of-9 shooting a night ago and is really hard to figure out, but he’s flirted with top-100 value over the past two weeks and is fine to roster if you expect some classic Fournier no-shows. RJ Barrett had a 17/6/2 line with two triples and no defensive stats, but his 6-of-16 shooting and seven turnovers make this line nearly unusable. Kemba Walker (knee) returned from a nine-game absence and started right off the bat and looked good doing it, scoring 19 points (6-of-13 shooting) with two rebounds, four assists, one steal, four 3-pointers and one turnover in 30 minutes, but he’s hurt quite frequently and doesn’t have the most appealing game as far as fantasy goes, but he’s still rostered in 62% of leagues because he’s Kemba Walker. Kemba starting meant a bench role for Alec Burks, which did not look good as he played just 17 minutes and didn’t even score, adding just three boards and a pair of turnovers. If this change sticks, Burks will be waiver-wire material again, but Tom Thibodeau will likely have ample tricks up his sleeve for the second half of the season, so don’t cut him just yet. Mitchell Robinson scored eight points with six boards in 20 minutes before fouling out via various unnecessary fouls, and the only Knicks bench player I have any interest in is Immanuel Quickley, but he scored six points in just nine minutes and isn’t an asset at this point in time. Mitch Rob and Taj Gibson (5/4 with two blocks) both fouled out and Thibodeau still didn’t want to use Obi Toppin (4/4 in nine minutes), which is chin-scratching, but Thibs will Thibs.
Warriors 102, Pistons 86
This outcome can’t be all too surprising in a matchup between one of the best and one of the worst teams this season. Jonathan Kuminga tallied the first double-double of his career, scoring 12 points (4-of-10 FGs) with 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two triples and three turnovers in 25 minutes. He started on Tuesday and has been a popular pickup with Draymond Green out for a couple weeks, and he’ll have his rookie moments but he’s a pretty decent short-term guy as long as Steve Kerr doesn’t keep him on too short of a leash. Klay Thompson had his best game since returning to the court, scoring a game-high 21 points (19 in the first half) on 6-of-13 shooting (6-of-6 FTs) along with three rebounds, four assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and one turnover in only 22 minutes. You seriously couldn’t tell that he’s multiple years removed from two serious injuries, and basketball is just better when Klay is playing. The only issue with Klay playing is the lack of opportunity for Jordan Poole, who scored just five points in 21 minutes, but he’s usually better than this when sharing the floor with Thompson. Stephen Curry’s hand is fine and he went for an efficient 18/3/8 line in 29 minutes and added three steals, four treys and one turnover, while Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points with some fun stuff in the way of triples (three) and defensive stats (three steals, one block). Kevon Looney was scoreless but did have 10 rebounds with three dimes, one steal and one block, and he’s been a steady source of rebounding with Draymond sidelined but that’s about all he’ll do for you.
Isaiah Stewart double-doubled for just the fourth time this season and looked better than usual with 14 points, 11 rebounds and one block in 28 minutes. He has been really underwhelming for much of the season, but just remember that he was a top-50 player over the last 15 games of last season, and he could turn it around any second. Hamidou Diallo also double-doubled but hit just five of his 17 shots for 16 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, one block and one triple in 35 minutes, and Saddiq Bey struggled too with a 3-of-13 clip but didn’t help out anywhere else with just 10 points, one rebound and one dime to his name in 30 minutes. Killian Hayes (no stats) suffered a right hip contusion in the loss and made it through just nine minutes before exiting, which allowed Saben Lee (two points, nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks) to play 22 minutes, but neither guy is a fantasy option. Trey Lyles has actually been pretty decent and was one of the better Pistons with a 13/5/2 line with a swat, but Kelly Olynyk should be back any day now and will ruin Lyles’ value. Rodney McGruder had a very random 19 points (7-of-10 FGs) with five boards, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes, but this was a season high and he scored 18 points combined over his last four, so no need to change your stance on him.