Monday’s Game News
Sixers beat Nets behind Hawes’ big line
Spencer Hawes, who was featured in Waiver Wired this week, blew up for a season-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in his best game of the year, while all five Philly starters, along with reserve Dorell Wright, scored in double figures last night. Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young double-doubled, Evan Turner bounced back from a vicious slump with a full stat line and Wright stayed hot off the bench with 15 points and three more 3-pointers. Wright could take a hit when Nick Young (ankle) returns, but I’m still a fan of holding Wright until further notice. Young missed his seventh straight game on Monday, and Wright has been worth using in fantasy since he went down.
The Nets got a big line from Deron Williams, Joe Johnson scored 20, Brook Lopez had 18 points and six boards, and Reggie Evans added nine points and 11 boards. Other than those four, the Nets are a fantasy wasteland on most nights.
Splitter helps Spurs handle Thunder
The Spurs continue to amaze me, suffering injuries and having studs on their bench nightly, while still rolling through the league and taking numbers. Tiago Splitter blew up for 21 points, 10 boards and a block, while Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard both played very well in the win. Cory Joseph started at point guard but had just four points and one assist in 19 minutes, probably because he was in my starting lineup last night. Tony Parker is hoping to return earlier than his four-week timeframe to recover from his ankle injury, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Spurs still have a favorable fantasy schedule this week with games on ‘off nights’ of Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and I’m hoping that Joseph can bounce back. He just got ‘Pop’d’ tonight.
Russell Westbrook hit just 11-of-27 shots for 25 points, six boards and six assists in the OKC loss, Kevin Durant had a typical Durant night, and Serge Ibaka blew up for 13 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in the loss. Ibaka has managed just six games with double figures in rebounds since the end of December, so tonight was a pleasant surprise.
Mo-Will big as Jazz down Detroit
Mo Williams, who was the first player I profiled in Waiver Wired this week, finally got going with 20 points and six dimes on 9-of-14 shooting, and should be owned in all leagues at this point. Al Jefferson double-doubled and Derrick Favors was quiet in a start for Paul Millsap, who was out with a knee injury. Millsap had an MRI and it sounds like he will be back sooner than later, but he remains iffy for Wednesday’s game. Enes Kanter came off the bench for 14 points, eight boards and a block in just 20 minutes, and might be a better play going forward than Favors (6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks). Jamaal Tinsley missed the game with an illness and has no value with Williams back and healthy. And how Marvin Williams, who was dealing with a hand injury, played more minutes than Gordon Hayward is beyond me.
The Pistons saw Brandon Knight go down early with a severely sprained left ankle and it sounds like he’ll miss weeks (instead of days) with the injury. Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum both played well in his absence, and will be worth a look now that it sounds like Knight’s regular season could be in jeopardy. Jonas Jerebko started for Jason Maxiell (right ankle) and had 15 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-14 shooting, and he’ll also be worth a look as long as Max is out. Khris Middleton had 12 points and four 3-pointers in 25 minutes, but I am not ready to trust him. Jose Calderon and Greg Monroe also played well in the loss.
Koufos explodes for 22 & 10 as Nuggets stop Suns
Kosta Koufos blew up for a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds, a steal and a block on 10-of-11 shooting in 26 minutes. He’s been starting at center all year, but it was tough to see this one coming, even with the Suns being so thin at center with the loss of Marcin Gortat. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried were solid, but Danilo Gallinari let his owners down by hitting just 1-of-8 shots for five points. With Gallo struggling, Corey Brewer went off for 20 points, two 3-pointers and three steals, while Wilson Chandler added 11 points, six boards and three steals on the night. Brewer and Chandler can blow up at any time, but aren’t reliable as long as Gallinari is playing.
The Suns got just eight points and seven assists from Goran Dragic, while Wes Johnson had 18 points on 9-of-17 shooting to lead the team. He’s playing well and getting run, but still has trust issues after scoring five points in two of his previous three games. Luis Scola started at center and had nine points, 13 rebounds and six assists in one of his better games in recent memory, while Marcus Morris dominated his twin brother with 16 points, four boards, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 6-of-13 shooting in another start. Jared Dudley is worth a look right now and had 12 points and three 3-pointers off the bench, while Hamed Haddadi added 13 points, eight boards, a steal and a block as a reserve. Jermaine O’Neal is back with the Suns after his daughter’s heart surgery, but didn’t play on Monday. Look for him on Wednesday against the Rockets, where he’ll likely come off the bench and rain on Haddadi’s parade. O’Neal was hot before leaving the team, and there’s no reason to think he won’t pick up where he left off. Markieff Morris had just four points and two boards on 2-of-7 shooting, and I wrote in Waiver Wired that I preferred Marcus over Markieff, which was justified based on what we saw last night.
Warriors wax Knicks in return of Lee, Melo
The Warriors annihilated the Knicks last night as David Lee returned from a sore knee for 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Stephen Curry poured in 26 points and Klay Thompson added 23 points, three steals and four 3-pointers. As expected, Carl Landry disappeared without a point in 15 minutes.
For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony returned from a three-game absence due to a knee injury, but didn’t look right, hitting just 4-of-15 shots and struggling to elevate. Melo had 14 points and 10 rebounds, so he wasn’t a complete bust, but there was talk on the Knicks’ broadcast about him possibly having the knee drained. Stay tuned. Chris Copeland was the leading scorer on a night the Knicks shot an NBA-low 27 percent, finishing with 15 points and six boards in just 19 minutes. He’s worth a watchful eye with Amare Stoudemire’s season lost to knee surgery. J.R. Smith, who was playing through a sore left knee, hit just 3-of-11 shots before being ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Harrison Barnes, finishing with nine points and zero 3-pointers in the loss. I doubt he’s suspended, but owners should keep an eye out for news going forward. The Knicks should have stayed in the hotel tonight, as they scored just 63 points in the ugly loss.
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Monday’s Idle Team News
Kyrie Irving’s sprained left shoulder is going to keep him out from three to four weeks, and could end his season prematurely. The injury track record is not great for the Cavaliers’ point guard, and while he’s one of the most exciting players in fantasy hoops, he has earned a reputation of being a big injury risk. He will top many owners’ “never again” list going forward, but I’m simply hoping he pulls a Stephen Curry next year and comes back strong. Shaun Livingston will start in his place (and is worth a pickup in most leagues), while Dion Waiters should explode in his absence. C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington are also going to see extra minutes in the absence of Irving, making them both worth a look. And if Irving’s not on the “no cut” list in your league, it’s probably time to move on.
Larry Sanders’ knee injury is not said to be serious, but the Bucks’ center is still iffy for both Tuesday’s game against the Mavs, as well as Wednesday against the Wizards. If he can’t go, Samuel Dalembert should make for a solid pickup-and-play.
Andrei Kirilenko (calf) and Nikola Pekovic (abdomen) are both expected to return for the Wolves this week, but also sound doubtful to play on Tuesday against the Spurs. Watch for updates, and look for Derrick Williams, Mickael Gelabale and Greg Stiemsma to play well for as long as they’re out. As for Williams, I’m planning on sticking with him until further notice, as it seems the only thing that can slow him down is the return of Kevin Love, which isn’t happening anytime soon.
Zach Randolph (ankle) and Darrell Arthur (neck/back) are both iffy for the Grizzlies against the Blazers on Tuesday, although Z-Bo went through a full practice on Monday. Look for him to play tonight, while Arthur sounds more likely to play on Wednesday against the Pacers. The return of the two big men should crush the value of Ed Davis, who had been playing very well in their absence.
Washington’s Bradley Beal didn’t practice again on Monday and I’d be very surprised if he plays against the Cavaliers on Tuesday due to his sprained ankle. That should mean more good things from both Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza.
Clippers Caron Butler (elbow) and Jamal Crawford (ankle) don’t have much in common right now. Butler is expected to miss at least a week with his elbow injury and could be out even longer. Picking up Matt Barnes makes some sense once this brutal two-game week passes. Crawford sounds like a go on Wednesday after practicing on Monday.
James Harden (foot) and Omer Asik (rest) missed Rockets’ practice on Monday, but I’m not concerned. Look for both to play on Wednesday against the Suns.
Shawn Marion (calf) is pretty iffy for the Mavs on Tuesday, and I am guessing he won’t play. If he’s out, look for Vince Carter to have another nice game.
Andre Drummond (back) still has no timetable to return for the Pistons and everything I’m hearing says they’re in no hurry to rush him back. It could be baby steps with Drummond the rest of the way, and I would be reluctant to hold him going forward, as it looks like a fool’s gold situation. And that’s a shame.