Dose: Wall's World
Friday night was a wacky night in the fantasy world. John Wall outplayed all of the Cavaliers while Rajon Rondo was bested by Mike Conley. The Memphis twin towers dominated the Celtics and Jarrett Jack took over for the Nets. Let’s get right to the action.
Wall outduels Irving
John Wall got the best of Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers on Friday night as he led his Wizards to a huge win. The point guard hit 12-20 shots on his way to a game-high 28 points, seven assists, six boards, and four steals. Irving wasn’t bad. He scored 22 points and six boards but had just two assists and shot 0-6 from downtown. Kevin Love had just eight points and eight rebounds while LeBron James finished with 22 points, four boards, and four assists. The King looked noticeably frustrated during the contest, blatantly not hustling back down court on one particular defensive sequence. The Cavaliers now have a losing record and the only silver lining that fantasy owners can take from this is the fact that James, Love, and Irving may need to play a lot more games towards the end of the season than they originally expected.
The Nets outlasted the depleted Thunder on Friday thanks largely in part to Jarrett Jack’s game-high 23 point performance. Jack was a solid 8-15 from the field and got to the line a bunch, hitting 6-7 free throws. He added five assists and one triple. All of a sudden Jack is on the fantasy radar in a legit way. He’s scored in double figures for five straight games and is averaging 17 per contest during that span. The other counting stats aren’t too plentiful but his scoring and light assist appeal make him worth adding if you’re in need of scoring.
Dallas own L.A.
The three-headed monster of Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis wreaked havoc on the Lakers Friday night, dropping a combined 64 points as Dallas easily prevailed 140-106. The 34-point margin of victory is a good indicator of how poor the Lakers have been this season. Dirk led the way with 23 points, Parsons added 21, and Ellis had an even 20. It was basically effortless for the entire team as the Mavs shots a blistering 62% from the field.
Jeremy Lin actually had a good game for the Lakers, scoring 18 points and five assists. Jordan Hill’s 16 and 10 wasn’t bad either. However, Kobe Bryant did his usual thing, shooting just 6-22 from the field on his way to 17 points. Bryant continues to fire up loads of shots despite his suspect accuracy these days.
Gasol and Randolph feast on the Celtics
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph dominated the paint on Friday as the Grizzles waxed the Celtics. Gasol tied his career and season-high with 32 points, adding eight boards and one block. Randolph picked up his ninth double-double of the season, ending up with 16 points and 16 rebounds. These two really play well off of each other and should continue putting up quality lines all year.
Rondo gets bottled up
Conversely, Rajon Rondo struggled to get anything going against Mike Conley, finishing with just four points, five boards, and four assists in less than 30 minutes. Backcourt mate Avery Bradley wasn’t much better, finishing with 11 points and no other stats. It was an off night for the pair, especially Rondo, who was once again mentioned in the trade rumor mill earlier this week. For his part, Conley finished with 15 points and eight assists. The Grizzlies point man is a model of fantasy consistency.
The Comeback King
The Orlando Magic erased a 23-point deficit and topped the Hornets 105-100 on Friday. Tobias Harris led the way for Orlando, playing nearly 40 minutes while scoring 17 points and 16 rebounds. He added two blocks for good measure and was clearly the floor general. He’s now notched four double-doubles this season and is providing dividends for owners who trusted that he was the real deal last year.
Kemba Walker had the best fantasy line for Charlotte in defeat, scoring 15 points, 12 boards, and eight assists. Al Jefferson wasn’t too shabby himself, dropping in 24 and 11.
Teague leads the charge for Atlanta
Jeff Teague scored a season-high 28 points, adding six assists, two steals, and two blocks, as the Hawks held off the Pistons. The point guard took advantage of a banged up Brandon Jennings, who hyperextended his thumb during the contest. Teague has been really looking good lately, averaging over 18 points per game over his last five. On the opposite side of the court, Jennings’ injury doesn’t appear to be that serious but grabbing D.J. Augustin as a stash is not a bad idea.
Mirotic explodes for Chicago
Pau Gasol missed another game on Friday due to his calf strain but picking up some of the slack was Nikola Mirotic, who came off the bench for a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago fell to Portland. The sharpshooting big man hit 4-7 shots from long range and was the best player on the floor for the Bulls during most of the contest. The Bulls were a bit shorthanded as both Derrick Rose and Gasol were absent, however, Mirotic’s range and aggressiveness were certainly hard to ignore regardless. Also of note is the fact that Taj Gibson picked up an ankle injury during the game and subsequently left the arena on crutches wearing a walking boot. While Coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the injury, Mirotic would certainly see more playing time if both Gibson and Gasol were out. As a long-term stash with big upside, Mirotic is an interesting pickup.
Pizza guy heats up
Isaiah Thomas led all scorers during the Suns Friday night win over the hapless Sixers. The sleek point guard started out hot, finishing with 23 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 9-9 from the charity stripe. Thomas also added eight dimes and three steals, rounding out a fantastic line. Unfortunately these explosions have not come too frequently. He was averaging just five points over his previous two contests, shooting 2-17 combined in those affairs. It’s a hot and cold situation with Thomas and barring an injury to Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic that likely won’t change anytime soon.
Gallo finally breaks out
Danilo Gallinari posted a season-high 17 points on Friday as Denver defeated New Orleans. He buried three triples and grabbed three boards, adding one steal and one block to round out his line. The Nuggets had the game locked up late so Gallo’s 23 minutes were slightly inflated, however, the scoring could be a nice confidence booster for the Italian. He scored just 19 points over his previous four games so this was certainly a bright spot. If you’ve been holding onto him this game was a good sign.