Week 22 Games Played
4 Games: HOU, LAC, NOP, OKC, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR
3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, UTA, WAS
Ain’t Nobody Doin’ it with Blocks!
Anthony Davis celebrated his 25th birthday in style on Sunday, recording his first career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks (!), three assists, three steals, one 3-pointer and two turnovers through 40 minutes of floor time. The Brow was a monster from start to finish, tying the Pelicans franchise record for most blocks in a half (six, previous set by him) and registering a new franchise record (and career-high) for most blocks in a single game. He did exit the game towards the closing seconds when Utah had an insurmountable lead, but there was no mention of an injury after the game, so maybe he was just gassed after briefly turning into a video game. AD’s been the No. 1 stud in fantasy hoops this season by a fairly wide margin, so while James Harden will likely be bringing home the League MVP award, Davis should be crowned the fantasy hoops MVP this season.
Here’s a look at all 10 (count ‘em, 10) of his swats:
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 11, 2018
Donovan Mitchell ruined Anthony Davis’ party, tallying 27 points, three 3-pointers, three rebounds, four assists, one steal and two turnovers through 41 minutes in the 116-99 win. He’s easily going to be this year’s Rookie of the Year winner, and he also did this:
The Durantuala Strikes… Ls
Kevin Durant scored 39 points on 11-of-32 shooting in Sunday’s 109-103 loss to the Timberwolves, adding 12 boards, five 3-pointers, four assists, three blocks and two turnovers in 39 minutes. While his efficiency has dipped (43.4%) since Stephen Curry (ankle) hit the sidelines, he's been a monster with the counting stats posting averages of 39.5 points, 5.5 triples, 9.0 boards, 5.0 dimes, 2.5 swats and 3.5 turnovers per game over the past two while rocking a gaudy 40.5 usage rate. It is worth noting, however, that the Dubs have now lost two straight despite getting cheat code KD, so maybe he’ll look to get his teammates more involved on Wednesday against the Lakers. Either way, The Durantula’s stat lines are going to be ridiculous for however long Curry is out.
The Good RoCo
The Good Robert Covington came to play on Sunday, as he went 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line on his way to 19 points, five rebounds, three triples, four assists, one steal, two blocks and zero turnovers in 29 minutes. After a disastrous few months from January-February, RoCo has seriously picked up his play through the month of March with averages of 13.2 points, 5.5 boards, 2.3 assists, 2.5 triples, 2.2 steals, 1.3 swats and just 0.8 turnovers per contest on 42.4% shooting. That’s an improvement that didn’t seem fathomable just a handful of weeks ago, but the current trend would suggest he’s gearing up for his standard second-half surge. Congrats if you bought low or stuck with him through the rough times.
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Bully Ball with Revenge
Julius Randle bullied his way to a career-high 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting (8-of-10 from the line) to go with 14 boards, seven dimes, one steal, two swats and four turnovers across 38 minutes. Randle essentially willed the Lakers to victory with his immense hustle, pestering the Cavs on defense, finishing plays with putbacks and expertly timed backdoor cuts in addition to breaking down his man one-on-one.
Isaiah Thomas also got a bit of revenge in the win, scoring 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting (4-of-4 from the stripe) to go with two triples, five boards, nine dimes, one steal and five turnovers in 31 minutes off the bench.
LeBron James was solid in the loss with 24 points, 10 boards, seven dimes, two triples, one steal, one block and two turnovers, but aside from Larry Nance, he didn’t get much help from his teammates.
LBJ also did this, which was egregiously ridiculous:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 12, 2018
On the Radar
Nemanja Bjelica was on the floor for at least 40 minutes for the third game in a row on Sunday, scoring 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting (1-of-2 from the line) to go with seven boards, four dimes, three steals, two blocks and one turnover. Since Jimmy Butler (knee) hit the sidelines and Bjelica entered the starting five, he’s been pumping out averages of 13.3 points, 8.2 boards, 2.3 dimes, 2.0 triples, 1.5 steals, 0.5 swats and 1.3 turnovers per game on 50.8% shooting, which has been good enough for top-35 value in 9-cat leagues. He obviously needs to be owned everywhere.
Luke Kornet scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting (1-of-2 from the line) to go with three 3-pointers, four rebounds, two assists, one block and one turnover through 34 minutes as a starter. He got the start with Enes Kanter dealing with back spasms and watching from the sidelines, and while he could return to being a negligible part of the rotation on Tuesday if Kanter is able to get back out there, he’s shown that he’s capable of producing when given the minutes. I wouldn’t recommend Kornet as an add in most settings, but if Kanter ever goes down with a long-term issue, he’d make for a reasonable pick up in deep leagues.
Kyle O'Quinn scored eight points on 3-of-9 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two turnovers in 22 minutes off the bench. He’s about as inconsistent as they come, but KOQ has been playing well over the past few weeks with averages of 8.7 points, 5.5 boards, 3.2 dimes, 2.0 swats and just 1.2 turnovers per contest. He's on the radar in deep leagues.
Cameron Payne ripped away another two steals on Sunday, finishing with seven points, one 3-pointer, four assists, two rebounds and zero turnovers in 18 minutes off the bench. Payne isn’t the sexiest name out there, but he’s emerged as a potential deep league steals specialist over the past seven games, contributing averages of 7.6 points, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals per contest on 45.7% shooting. Maybe think about streaming him the next time you need some help in the steals department.
Isaiah Taylor handed out eight dimes in a start on Sunday, adding seven points, one rebound and three turnovers across 27 minutes. Dennis Schroder missed the game with an elbow issue and both Kent Bazemore (knee) and Jaylen Morris (ankle) left their game with their own injuries, so Taylor could be forced into heavy minutes on Tuesday against the Thunder. He’s on the radar in deep leagues.
Taurean Prince exploded for a career-high 38 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go with six rebounds, seven assists, seven trey-bombs, one steal and two turnovers in 35 minutes. He was also nearly perfect from the line, finishing 9-of-10 from the charity stripe to give him an 84.8 true shooting percentage to accompany his 31.1 usage rate. Prince might have gotten cut in your league after back-to-back lame games, and while the volatile stat lines will assuredly continue, his immense upside makes him worth the headache in most settings.
Mike Muscala scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with five triples, five boards, one block and one turnover in 23 minutes off the bench. He saw some increased opportunity with Kent Bazemore (knee) going down and Dennis Schroder (elbow) unavailable, and you also have to consider his opponent (the tanking Bulls), so I’ll need to see him do this again before recommending him as an add in most places.
Kosta Koufos posted a 14-point, 10-board double-double to go with one steal through 20 minutes as a starter, notching his second consecutive dub-dub. I don’t really trust him to keep it going, but he’ll have the opportunity for some extended minutes while Skal Labissiere (hip) is out, so he might be someone to consider streaming on Monday.
Dwight Powell kept the good times a rollin’ on Sunday, scoring 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with five rebounds, one 3-pointer, one steal and zero turnovers in 23 minutes. He’s been absolutely crushing it over the past few weeks, flirting with top-50 value (punting free throws) behind averages of 13.0 points, 9.0 boards, 1.1 steals and just 1.0 turnover per game on 66.1% shooting. A majority of his “shots” are actually dunks, so the sky-high shooting is sustainable, and Dallas has every reason to turn him lose over this second half of the season. Make sure he’s not floating around on your waiver wire.
Nerlens Noel returned from a rest day and produced 10 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal in 15 minutes off the bench. He’s a low-end, defensive specialist in deep leagues.
Terry Rozier started the second half for Kyrie Irving (knee) and finished with 16 points, three triples, six boards, two assists and two turnovers in 34 minutes. He’s capable of filling it up when given the playing time, so he’s on the radar in deep leagues with Irving looking iffy for the week.
Kyrie Irving exited Sunday’s game with left knee soreness and did not return, saying after the game that his knee has been “achy” for the past week and that he might need to miss some time. This is the same knee that kept Irving on the sidelines last Monday, so it would make a ton of sense for the Celtics to play it safe here, particularly with the depth they have at the point guard position. He did say he wasn’t concerned about his long-term health, so a short break should be able to do the trick. Consider him doubtful for Wednesday’s game vs. the Wizards and look to guys like Al Horford (illness), Marcus Smart (thumb), Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier to pick it up on offense if Uncle Drew sits.
Marcus Smart got the start with Jaylen Brown (concussion) unavailable finished with 20 points (6-of-13 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), seven boards, eight assists, six triples, four steals and four turnovers through 36 minutes as a starter. He did jam his thumb but was able to play through it, and I’d expect him to fight through the pain and give it a go on Wednesday given how much the Celtics will need him if both Brown and Kyrie Irving (knee) are out.
Al Horford (illness) did not play Sunday, but I’d expect him to return to the court for Wednesday’s game against Washington with a full three days to rest up.
Daniel Theis got hit in the leg on Sunday and is headed for an MRI.
LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) will not play Monday vs. the Rockets, and he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Magic. Davis Bertans should draw the start in his absence with more minutes falling to Rudy Gay and Joffrey Lauvergne. Manu Ginobili will be rested on Monday.
James Harden (knee) did not play against one of the worst teams in the league on Sunday, but he’ll be back out there for Monday’s game against the Spurs. While the Rockets listed him out with a knee injury, it sounds a whole lot more like a rest day; he will play the proceeding day after all. He’s fine.
Brandon Ingram (groin) will not play on Tuesday or Wednesday, and he’ll be re-evaluated on Thursday. That means in a best-case scenario, Ingram might play one game on Friday, so he should be left on the bench in weekly settings. He’s also a cut candidate in shallower leagues if you’re battling in the playoffs and have limited roster space.
Danilo Gallinari said he’ll have his hand re-examined in 7-8 days to determine whether or not he will require surgery. At this point in the fantasy season it’s tough to justify hanging onto The Rooster in leagues that don’t offer an IR-spot. He should be stashed if it doesn’t hurt you, though.
Stephen Curry (ankle) Andre Iguodala (wrist) and David West (arm) did not play Sunday and they should be considered questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Lakers. If Curry is out again, Quinn Cook will be looking at another start with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson (thumb) doing the heavy lifting on offense.
Patrick McCaw (wrist) did not play Sunday, but he’s at the end of his initial four-week timetable, so he should be back in action soon which will impact Nick Young’s minutes.
Enes Kanter (back) was a late scratch on Sunday and he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks. There’s zero incentive for Kanter to play at less than 100%, so don’t be surprised if he sits, and the same goes for Lance Thomas (thumb) who also missed Sunday’s game. If both those guys are out again, it’ll be Luke Kornet and Michael Beasley getting the start with more minutes falling to Kyle O’Quinn.
Dennis Schroder (elbow) was a surprise scratch on Sunday and he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Thunder. It won’t take much for Schroder to hit the sidelines over this final portion of the season, and when he’s out, it’ll be Isaiah Taylor getting the start with guys like Taurean Prince, Kent Bazemore (knee), Mike Muscala and Tyler Dorsey being asked to step it up on offense.
Bazemore exited Sunday’s game with a sprained right knee and did not return, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see this injury cost him a few games on the sidelines. Tyler Dorsey will be the primary beneficiary if Bazemore needs to miss time, and he’d be someone to consider as a 3-point streamer in deep leagues. Jaylen Morris (ankle) also exited Sunday’s game and did not return, so the Hawks could be extremely thin on the wings on Tuesday night.
Rodney Hood (back) did not play Sunday, prompting Jeff Green to enter the starting five and he finished with seven points three boards, one triple and one block in 22 minutes. Hood should be considered questionable for Tuesday's game in Phoenix, and if he's out again, it'll Green, Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith picking up his minutes.
Tyreke Evans (ribs) will not play Monday vs. Milwaukee, and he remains without an official timetable to return. Monday will mark his 10th straight game on the sidelines, and at this point in the fantasy season, he should be cut if you don’t have a bye week or an IR-spot. Jarell Martin (foot) is questionable for Monday’s game.
Steven Adams (ankle) is questionable to play Monday vs. the Kings. I don’t think Adams’ injury is serious, but with it being the first game of a back-to-back set against the #Kangz, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Thunder play it safe. Dakari Johnson would likely draw the start if Adams sits, with more minutes falling to Jerami Grant, Patrick Patterson and Nick Collison.
De’Aaron Fox (back) returned from a one-game absence, finishing with 12 points, nine dimes and three boards in 30 minutes. He’s fine.
Willie Cauley-Stein (back) was back in action following a four-game stint on the sidelines, posting 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and zero turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench. If he was cut in your league when he went down, go ahead and pick him up.
Skal Labissiere (hip) did not play Sunday and he should be considered questionable for Monday’s game in OKC.
Wilson Chandler (hip) was back in the starting lineup on Sunday following a one-game absence, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with two triples, six boards, three assists and one block in 26 minutes.
Wesley Matthews (leg) did not play Sunday and he’s headed for an MRI. With Dallas playing for nothing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 31-year-old vet Tuesday’s game in New York. Yogi Ferrell, Doug McDermott and Kyle Collinsworth will benefit in his absence.
Reggie Jackson (ankle) is expected to return at some point during Detroit’s upcoming six-game road trip, which begins on March 13 and ends on March 20. I’d leave him on the waiver wire in most cases, but once he’s back, Ish Smith’s value will begin the downward descent.
Stanley Johnson (back) returned to practice on Sunday, so he should be good to go for Tuesday’s game against the Jazz, which will cut into Luke Kennard and James Ennis’ minutes. Johnson belongs on the wire in most leagues.
Delon Wright (toe) scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in his return from a one-game absence on Sunday, adding two 3-pointers, two boards and four assists in 20 minutes off the bench. A lot of these stats came during garbage time with the game being a massive blowout, and Wright has been far too inconsistent to trust in most settings.
OG Anunoby (ankle) missed his sixth game in row, but his absence from the active roster is irrelevant in fantasy hoops.
Solomon Hill (hamstring surgery) might be able to make his season debut sometime next week, but he’ll be eased into things and is unlikely to be a contributor even when he’s fully up to speed.
Salah Mejri (hamstring) did not play Sunday and no one in fantasy hoops should care about when he might play again.
Terrance Ferguson (concussion) will not play Monday against the Kings.