Sunday’s schedule consisted of eight games, capped by the Timberwolves’ game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Duos Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and LeBron James and Antony Davis, both played well in their respective teams’ victories, as did Spencer Dinwiddie and Trae Young. Here’s a look at all that happened on Sunday, beginning with Dinwiddie and the Nets coming back to beat Wichita State.
Nets 105, Nuggets 102 — With Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) yet to make his full return to practice, Spencer Dinwiddie continues to run the show and it’s likely to be that way for another couple weeks. And he continues to produce, finishing Sunday’s win with a line of 24 points (10-of-17 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), eight assists and four rebounds in 34 minutes. Dinwiddie was 0-of-3 from beyond the arc, but that isn’t a long-term concern since he’s averaging a career-high 2.0 made threes per game. And he’s had good chemistry with Jarrett Allen in the pick-and-roll game, with the young center tallying 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one steal in 30 minutes.
Also reaching double figures for Brooklyn were Garrett Temple (15 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and three 3-pointers) and Joe Harris (13 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers), with Taurean Prince making up for a 3-of-13 afternoon by supplementing his nine points with 11 rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and one three-pointer.
With regards to Temple, he’s been a top-100 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats over the last two weeks. While he isn’t the first beneficiary who comes to mind when assessing the impact of Irving’s absence (that would be Dinwiddie), the move to the starting lineup has paid off for the veteran guard. He’s currently owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues, and if he’s on your league’s waiver wire it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab Temple while Irving continues to work his way back.
For Denver, Nikola Jokic managed to reach double figures in points in consecutive games for the first time since November 20-22. Jokic shot 10-of-21 from the field Sunday, scoring 24 points with 11 rebounds, six assists and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He was one of two starters to score in double figures, with Jamal Murray (21 points, three rebounds, five assists and three 3-pointers) being the other. Will Barton scored nine points on just six shot attempts, while also accounting for three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two 3-pointers.
Over the last two weeks the Nuggets have just three top-100 players in nine-cat formats, Jokic, Murray and Gary Harris. Harris, who accounted for nine points (3-of-10 FGs), three rebounds, three assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes Sunday, drops out of the top-100 in eight-cat (punting turnovers). Jerami Grant added 15 points, two rebounds, one steal, one block and five 3-pointers in 24 minutes off the bench, and in four games this month he’s shooting 9-of-18 from beyond the arc. He’s still a player who should only be owned in deeper leagues however, as the production on defense hasn’t been there on a consistent basis.
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Hawks 122, Hornets 107 — Trae Young led six Hawks in double figures with 30 points, while also accounting for six rebounds, nine assists, four 3-pointers and just two turnovers in 35 minutes. For the season he’s provided second-round value despite averaging just under five turnovers per game, and over the last month he’s been a top-10 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats. With the Hawks getting healthier the miscues will have a greater impact on Young’s value, so it’s good to see that he was able to take care of the ball Sunday night.
Kevin Huerter and Allen Crabbe were both restricted to 25 minutes, with Huerter accounting for nine points, two rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and three 3-pointers without a turnover. He spent more time on the ball when Young was on the bench and played well, so Huerter initiating the offense may be something that we see more of moving forward. And if Sunday’s performance is any indication, that would bode well for his fantasy value. Getting in on Huerter now, as he’s owned in just 34% of Yahoo leagues, would be worth considering even with the minutes restriction. Crabbe played 23 minutes, scoring 11 points with two rebounds, one assist, two steals and three 3-pointers.
Jabari Parker, who continues to be of value with John Collins serving the remainder of his 25-game suspension, finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes, while Vince Carter (17 points, one rebound, two assists, one block and three 3-pointers) and Alex Len (13 points, ten rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one three-pointer) also scored in double figures. DeAndre Hunter tallied ten points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal and one three-pointer in his return to action, playing 28 minutes off the bench.
PJ Washington (eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers) and Miles Bridges (six rebounds, one steal and three 3-pointers) scored 20 points apiece to lead Charlotte, and centers Bismack Biyombo (four rebounds) and Cody Zeller (six rebounds, two assists, two steals) added 11 points apiece. But that wasn’t enough to make up for the horrid nights had by point guards Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham.
Rozier shot 3-of-13 from the field, scoring eight points with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, two 3-pointers and four turnovers. Graham was 4-of-17 on the night, scoring 12 points, with six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two 3-pointers. The good news for Graham was that he turned the ball over just once, thus limiting the negative impact that his shooting had one his overall line. Both have provided seventh-round value on the season, while Rozier (fourth-round value) has been the more productive of the two over the last month.
Lastly Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played 23 minutes while Dwayne Bacon and Malik Monk played 17 apiece. MKG finished with seven points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and one three-pointer, while Bacon posted a line of five points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal. And Monk accounted for nine points, two rebounds and one three-pointer. Kidd-Gilchrist’s 23 minutes are the most he’s played in a game this season (three appearances), but that doesn’t change anything regarding his fantasy value (or lack thereof). And neither Bacon nor Monk has provided much either, so feel free to leave all three on the waiver wire.
Heat 110, Bulls 105 (OT) — Tyler Herro led four Heat in double figures with 27 points (10-of-22 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) while also accounting for six rebounds, three assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 41 minutes off the bench as Miami outlasted Chicago in overtime. With both Justise Winslow (back) and Goran Dragic (groin) both sidelined, Herro is the only healthy reserve guard that Erik Spoelstra is willing to rely on at this point. That means more touches and more scoring opportunities for the talented shooting guard. Herro’s currently owned in 61% of Yahoo leagues, and even when Winslow and Dragic return he’d be good to have for the points and three-pointers alone.
Jimmy Butler shot 3-of-14 from the field but still scored 23 points thanks to a 17-of-21 night from the charity stripe, while also tallying six rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one blocked shot in 44 minutes. Bam Adebayo struggled with turnovers as he racked up seven, but he also put up 21 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Due to the injuries mentioned above the Heat are short on guys who can make plays for others, which has led to Adebayo spending more time on the ball as a facilitator. He’s been a top-50 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats over the last month.
Kendrick Nunn added 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 42 minutes. While he’s fallen off a bit following his hot start to the season, which in all fairness was to be expected, Nunn still provides late-round value in eight-cat formats while being an option in deeper leagues in nine-cat.
Lauri Markkanen has now scored 20 points or more in three of his last four outings, as he tallied a team-high 22 to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Over the last two weeks he’s been a top-100 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats, a positive development for the fantasy owners who have hung onto him. Zach LaVine had a tough night shooting the ball, going 5-of-19, while finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, one three-pointer and seven turnovers. The turnover count was the killer, as the seven recorded are the most that LaVine’s had in a game this season.
Kris Dunn started for the fifth straight game, scoring 16 points with five rebounds, two assists and three steals in 34 minutes before fouling out. He’s been part of a three-guard lineup with LaVine and Tomas Satoransky during this stretch, and he entered Sunday averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.0 three-pointers per game in the four starts prior. While Dunn doesn’t provide much value as a scorer, his production in other areas is what has kept him around the top-100 in both eight- and nine-cat formats this season.
Another noteworthy line was that of Denzel Valentine, who scored 11 points with one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in 14 minutes. He doesn’t get enough playing time to be worth grabbing off the waiver wire, but he’s worth tracking especially if he can continue to knock down threes consistently. Valentine is shooting 53.8% from three over his last four outings, with an average of 2.3 made threes per game.
76ers 110, Raptors 104 — Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle led the way scoring-wise for Philadelphia, with the former posting a line of 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, one block and four 3-pointers. Once again Toronto, which held Joel Embiid (ten points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and seven turnovers) scoreless in the first meeting, was able to keep the big man under wraps but they did not have an answer for Harris.
As for Thybulle, the rookie shot 5-of-8 from three and finished with 20 points, two rebounds, three assists, three steals and one blocked shot in 32 minutes. Over the last two weeks he’s been a top-100 player in both eight- and nine-cat formats, and he’s only rostered in seven percent of Yahoo leagues. Simply put, that number needs to go up as Thybulle seems to have gotten over those struggles that led to his falling out of the rotation earlier this season.
Ben Simmons fell one assist short of a triple-double, scoring 16 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists and five turnovers, while Al Horford (four rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks) and James Ennis (two rebounds, one assist and one three-pointer) added 11 points apiece. Furkan Korkmaz had another quiet night, finishing with three points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one three-pointer, so if you have him and Thybulle is available make the switch.
The biggest development for Toronto was the knee injury suffered by Fred VanVleet during the first half, which limited him to 12 minutes on the night. The official diagnosis was a right knee contusion, and with Toronto back in action Monday night in Chicago it feels unlikely that he’ll be able to play. With that being the case, Norman Powell is a player who should be considered as a streaming option. Powell played 23 minutes, scoring eight points with two rebounds, two steals, one block and one three-pointer.
Kyle Lowry appeared to snap out of his shooting slump in his return to his hometown, shooting 7-of-14 from the field and scoring 26 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Unfortunately, his return to the lineup has coincided with Pascal Siakam struggling with his shot. In the Raptors’ last three games he’s shot a combined 21-of-54 from the field and 2-of-14 from beyond the arc, which is quite the drop for a player who’s shooting 46.4% from the field and 37.6% from three on the season. Siakam finished Sunday’s loss with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in 36 minutes, shooting 7-of-16 from the field and missing all four of his three-point attempts.
OG Anunoby filled the stat sheet, accounting for 19 points, ten rebounds, two assists, four steals, one block and two 3-pointers, while Serge Ibaka (seven rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (two rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one three-pointer) added 12 points apiece.
Clippers 135, Wizards 119 — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George did what many expected them to do when they made the move to Los Angeles in the summer, combining to score 61 points as the Clippers took care of the Wizards in the first game of a back-to-back. Leonard played 32 minutes, scoring 34 points (12-of-18 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs) with 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers, while George tallied 27 points (11-of-21 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), six rebounds, six assists, four steals and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes.
While Doc Rivers didn’t say which would sit out Monday’s game vs. the Pacers, he did say that it was likely that one would not play. And Leonard’s recent track record in back-to-backs and the fact that he played more than George on Sunday, that may mean that he’s the one who sits out.
Moe Harkless added 11 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes, seeing more playing time as a result of JaMychal Green being limited to four minutes as he continues to work his way back from a tailbone injury. Should Green continue to be limited, and Patrick Patterson remain out due to back spasms, Harkless’ value increases. Montrezl Harrell added 20 points, five rebounds and one block and Lou Williams posted a line of 18 points, one rebound, six assists and two 3-pointers.
While Bradley Beal was pestered into a 5-of-18 night from the field, he finished with 20 points, two rebounds, five assists and one three-pointer in 36 minutes. Washington received quality contributions off the bench from Davis Bertans (25 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and six 3-pointers) and Troy Brown Jr. (22 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers), and Rui Hachimura accounted for 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
With Isaiah Thomas still sidelined with a left calf strain, Ish Smtih played 31 minutes and tallied 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers, but he also turned the ball over five times. Also, Chris Chiozza has moved into the backup role as a result of Thomas’ injury and he posted a line of five points, two rebounds, six assists, two steals and one three-pointer in 16 minutes. He isn’t a fantasy option right now, but due to Washington’s lack of depth at the point Chiozza’s name is one to keep in mind if there are any more injuries at the position.
Kings 110, Mavericks 106 — Due to injuries Sacramento played just eight players, yet the Kings managed to win anyway thanks in large part to Nemanja Bjelica and Buddy Hield. Bjelica scored a season-high 30 points, shooting 13-of-18 form the field, while also accounting for seven rebounds four assists, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He’s providing sixth-round value in both eight- and nine-cat formats this season, with the absence of Marvin Bagley (thumb) freeing up even more minutes in the rotation. Bagley won’t play in Monday’s game vs. Houston, but he’s expected to be back on the floor soon. Bjelica’s value will take a hit once that happens, but with the Kings playing four games this week he’s a safe play for the time being.
Hield finished with 26 points, four rebounds, five assists and five 3-pointers in 34 minutes, as he shot 10-of-15 from the field. Harrison Barnes added a line of 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal, with Richaun Holmes (12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal), Trevor Ariza (ten points, five rebounds, one steal and two 3-pointers) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (ten points, three rebounds, three assists and one three-pointer) also scoring in double figures.
Luka Doncic made some post-merger NBA history Sunday, as he accounted for at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists for the 19th straight game. That breaks the record established by Michael Jordan. Doncic posted a line of 27 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes, and while he did turn the ball over the second-year talent made up for those mistakes with his all-around stat line. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way offensively for Dallas, scoring 29 points, with one rebound, two assists, one steal and nine 3-pointers. He doesn’t consistently produce in areas outside of points and three-pointers, but if there’s a need for either of those the Hardaway Jr. would be a good pickup.
Kristaps Porzingis (eight rebounds, one assist, one block and one three-pointer) and Dorian Finney-Smith (eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three 3-pointers) scored 13 points apiece, while Dwight Powell was limited to six points, five rebounds and two assists. Dallas didn’t get much production from its bench, as Delon Wright (right adductor) was held out after injuring himself during Saturday’s win over New Orleans. His absence freed up a few more minutes on the perimeter for the likes of Seth Curry (two points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal) and J.J. Barea (four points, one rebound and five assists), but neither did much while on the court.
Thunder 108, Trail Blazers 96 — With this being Portland’s first game since Rodney Hood went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Kent Bazemore had the opportunity to move into the starting lineup and have an immediate impact. But after getting off to a solid start Bazemore cooled off considerably, finishing with nine points (3-of-11 FGs), five rebounds, two assists, one block and three 3-pointers. Also standing to benefit from the minutes that have come available is rookie Nassir Little, who posted a line of eight points, five rebounds and one blocked shot.
Little is nowhere near being a fantasy option, but with Mario Hezonja playing eight minutes and struggling the minutes are there for the taking. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum led the way offensively with 26 and 20 points, respectively. But they didn’t have much help, as Hassan Whiteside (ten rebounds, three assists and five block) patrolled the paint for the Blazers. While just outside of the top-25 in eight-cat formats this season. Whiteside has provided second-round value in nine-cat. There is the occasional issue of Whiteside not competing with the effort level that a team needs from its defensive anchor, but those moments have been few and far between thus far.
Carmelo Anthony finished with nine points, eight rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes, shooting a frigid 4-of-18 night from the field. None of Portland’s marquee scorers shot the ball well, with Lillard shooting 8-of-24 from the field and McCollum going 8-of-32 from the field.
Oklahoma City was led offensively by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers) and Dennis Schroder (two rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers), who scored 21 points apiece with Chris Paul (four rebounds, two assists, three steals and two 3-pointers) adding 20. Injuries on the wing, with both Terrance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo sidelined, has opened up minutes for Abdel Nader, Darius Bazley and Luguentz Dort. Yet none of those three were particularly effective, with Nader scoring seven points and grabbing two rebounds.
Bazley scored three points to go along with six rebounds and one steal, while Dort accounted for two points and three rebounds in 20 minutes. None of those three should be picked up off the waiver wire, as there are much better choices. In the middle Steven Adams posted a line of six points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Nerlens Noel came off the bench and tallied 13 points, 12 rebounds, one steal and two blocked shots in 20 minutes.
Lakers 142, Timberwolves 125 — Anthony Davis and LeBron James went off for the Lakers Sunday night, with Davis racking up 50 points (20-of-29 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and one blocked shot and James adding 32 points (12-of-20 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four rebounds, 13 assists, one steal and six 3-pointers. As one would expect Minnesota had no answer for these two, and that’s been the case on most nights as the Lakers are off to a 21-3 start. Danny Green shot 4-of-6 from three, scoring 12 points with eight rebounds, one assist and two steals, and in 30 minutes off the bench Alex Caruso tallied 16 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers.
Caruso benefitted from Rajon Rondo (hamstring) being held out and Avery Bradley (leg) still working his way back to being a full go in practice, yet he deserves credit for making the most of his opportunity. And he’s been in the rotation for the majority of this season, playing an average of 20.6 minutes per game. With Caruso’s fantasy value hinging on the availability of other players, he would be best utilized as a streaming option for now as opposed to grabbing him off the waiver wire and playing him at every opportunity regardless of what the Lakers’ injury report looks like.
Minnesota finished the game with eight double-digit scorers, but none scored more than 19 points (Karl-Anthony Tows and Andrew Wiggins. Towns played 36 minutes, accounting for four rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one three-pointer, while Wiggins played 29 and supplemented his point total with two rebounds, three assists and one three-pointer. Josh Okogie, who made another start, scored 18 points with four rebounds, one assist and three 3-pointers. Over the last month he’s provided late-round value in deeper leagues, which won’t move the needle het comes to answering the question of whether or not to grab him off the waiver time.
Shabazz Napier and Jeff Teague scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, with Napier also tallying two rebounds, six assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. with Teague accounting for one assists and two 3-pointers. Jarrett Culver accounted for 12 points, two rebounds, four assistants and one three-pointer, and Keita Bates-Diop finished with 12 points, two rebounds, 11 assists and one three-pointer. Lastly Robert Covington, who has been a steadying influence for the Sooners, tallied 16 points, four rebounds, three steals and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes.
Monday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
LA Clippers at Indiana, 7 PM
Cleveland at Boston, 7:30 PM
Sacramento at Houston, 8 PM
Orlando at Milwaukee, 8 PM
Detroit at New Orleans, 8 PM
Toronto at Chicago, 8 PM
Minnesota at Phoenix, 9 PM
Oklahoma City at Utah, 9 PM
Memphis at Golden State, 10:30 PM