ESPN picked a good one for their weekly Wednesday night NBA showcase. Stephen Curry vs. John Wall, two of the best point guards in the league. It was a very high scoring, up-tempo game, with the final score 134-121. And the stars did not disappoint.
Curry started out on fire, scoring 25 points in the first quarter and 36 in the first half. He cooled down a little bit, but still knocked down 11 of his 16 three point attempts, en route to 51 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Wow. Just like his Charlotte buddy Cam Newton, can they crown him MVP already?
John Wall was doing his best to cover Curry, but it’s a difficult job, even for a strong defender like Wall. Since he couldn’t stop him, Wall tried to match him offensively, finishing with 41 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds. He even knocked down all 3 of his three-point attempts, a facet of his game that is nowhere near the level of Curry. It was nice to watch two point guards with very different styles of game dominate the box score.
Oh, and lost in this point guard matchup was that Draymond Green got his league leading 10th triple-double with 12 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. He even added 5 blocks as a point forward!
As a Wizards fan, I figured that the Warriors would win the game, but was happy to see the Wizards play the defending NBA champions close for stretches of the game. Now onto the other nightly notables:
Klay Thompson – It’s tough being the Robin to Curry’s Batman sometimes, but that didn’t stop Thompson from scoring 24 points on 6-13 from downtown.
Tim Hardaway Jr. – When you blow out a team as badly as the Hawks did on Wednesday, you end up with a lot of good, but not great stat lines. The Hawks had 8 guys who hit double figures, but only one player played more than 25 minutes. That player was Tim Hardaway, Jr. It was a garbage time special, but he posted 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 three on 5-8 shooting. Mike Scott also received more minutes off the bench (20) and responded with a 13 and 9. Leave both guys on the waiver wire.
Dennis Schroder – Just like the starters, Schroder’s minutes were limited in the blowout. In 17 minutes, Schroder scored 12 points, grabbed 5 boards, and dished out 2 assists. There are Jeff Teague (10/3/3/3) trade rumors, but I’m still not sure that the Hawks will trade him away. Either way, Schroder has been receiving enough minutes to matter this season and is a great dynasty player to target for next year.
Nik Stauskas – There aren’t many positives when you get blown out by 38 points. Stauskas led the 76ers in scoring with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. He hit 5-7 from the field, 2-3 from beyond the arc, and 5-5 from the free throw. Easily the best 76er of the night, but that’s not saying much.
Nerlens Noel – Noel had a nice all-around fantasy line with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Jeremy Lin – His haircuts are usually what people are talking about, but with Kemba Walker sitting with a sore left knee, Lin started and led the Hornets to a victory over the Cavs. He exploded for 24 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Great game for Linsanity, but it doesn’t sound like Walker should be out long though.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – He wasn’t supposed to be back this early or playing this many minutes, but fantasy owners are happy about both. In 37 minutes, MKG recorded another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Nicolas Batum – Batum returned from a one-game absence to post a 10/5/5 line. Hopefully he’s back for good and doesn’t suffer any more setbacks.
Frank Kaminsky – Frank the Tank had a nice game for the Hornets off the bench with 15 points and 6 rebounds, missing only one shot (7-8 FG, 1-2 3PT).
LeBron James – In the mist of his hall of fame career, James passed Kevin Garnett for 16th all-time on the NBA scoring list. He did this on a night where he went 10-21 from the field with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. There will be a few more people that he passes before he hangs it up.
Kyrie Irving – Irving led the Cavs in scoring with 26 points and 5 assists. Don’t look now, but that’s 4 straight 20-point games for Irving.
Kevin Love – On a night when his shot wasn’t falling (4-12 FG, 2-7 3PT), Love still managed a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He even chipped in 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 2 threes.
Isaiah Thomas – Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 17 points. He also added 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 threes.
Avery Bradley – It’s been a little up and down for Bradley lately, but Wednesday was an up for him, with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists on 7-15 shooting.
Evan Turner – He’s not the sexiest name, but Turner continues to post out all-around numbers off the bench: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. He’s been playing well enough lately that he makes a good pickup (up to 30% ownership).
Andre Drummond – Another one (DJ Khaled voice). Another double-double for Drummond with 16 and 13. He even hit 4-6 from the free throw line!
Reggie Jackson – Mr. October dished out 7 assists to go along with 17 points and 3 threes.
Stanley Johnson – Johnson had a nice line of 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals in 30 minutes off the bench. It could have been an even better night if Johnson could find his stroke. He went 3-10 from downtown and 4-13 overall. Johnson has finally put together a string of consistent games, rewarding his owners who were patient with him.
C.J. Miles – When he’s on, he’s on, but you just don’t know when it will happen. Miles dropped 27 points on 10-15 shooting (4-7 from downtown). Prior to this explosion, he had scored less than 10 points in 7 straight games. Hopefully this game gets his confidence back.
Paul George – My old roommate doesn’t like when people have two first names, but you gotta love his line: 17 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block, and 2 threes.
Thaddeus Young – With 16 points and 14 rebounds, Young set a new career high in double-doubles, with his 22nd of the year.
Joe Johnson – JJ bounced back from a 3-point outing to post 20 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. More importantly, he shot 7-12 from the field.
Brook Lopez – Mr. Consistent posted another strong line with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block.
Russell Westbrook – Draymond Green isn’t the only one who can record triple-doubles. Westbrook posted an insane one with 24 points, 19 rebounds, and 14 assists. Green may be leading the league right now, but Westbrook is trying his best to catch him.
Kevin Durant – There aren’t very many players who can put up as versatile a line as KD: 37 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, and 6 threes. A lot of teams are going to offer a lot of money for his services next season.
Serge Ibaka – In what’s been a down year compared to where you drafted him, Ibaka swatted 6 shots with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Victor Oladipo – Oladipo did his best to match KD shot for shot, finishing with 37 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 3 threes.
Mario Hezonja – The sharp shooting rookie caught fire, hitting 4-6 from downtown to post 16 points and 4 assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge – Aldridge has done a good job picking up the slack with Tim Duncan out with a knee injury. LA posted 36 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and was also a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. David West (14 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists) returned to the starting lineup for Duncan, after Boris Diaw (0 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists) started Monday’s game, but neither is recommended for fantasy.
Kawhi Leonard – 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks for the All-Star.
Danny Green – It’s still up and down for Green, but his 3-point shooting has really improved lately. He knocked down 4 of 8 on Wednesday, on his way to 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Norris Cole – A popular pickup recently (up 9% in ownership), Cole has been playing nicely for the oft-injured Tyreke Evans (knee). Starting at point, Cole scored 14 points, dished out 9 assists, and grabbed 4 rebounds. Pick him up because who knows when Evans will return.
Jrue Holiday – With Evans out, the other beneficiary is Holiday. With 20 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, Holiday has scored 20+ points in 4 of the last 5 games.
Ryan Anderson – Anderson did not make a three (a rarity for him), but posted a 10 point-10 rebound double-double. Can the Pelicans trade him to a contender already?
Danilo Gallinari – Gallo struggled from the field (5-16 FG), but made up for it with 12-14 from the free throw line to score 24 points.
Will Barton – Barton posted a double-double off the bench with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Derrick Favors – Favors’ minutes have risen up to the 30-minute range and he responded with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and an impressive 6 blocks. It was his first double-double since returning from back spasms.
Gordon Hayward – It was a low scoring affair, but Hayward, along with Favors, led the Jazz in scoring, with 16 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Chris Bosh – He missed all 6 of his three point attempts, but still managed to score 20 points and grab 4 rebounds.
Hassan Whiteside – After a 6-game absence, Whiteside came off the bench and played 17 minutes. He was still able to post 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks in the limited minutes.
Dwyane Wade – Wade continues to produce: 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists
Dirk Nowitzki – 28 points, 4 rebounds, 2 threes, and 3 blocks for the future hall of famer.
Zaza Pachulia – It’s been a great year for the Georgian and he continues to produce: 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Andrew Wiggins – A night after scoring 30 vs. Kobe Bryant, Wiggins scored 31 points, with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 threes.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Scoreless at halftime, KAT posted another double-double in the T’Wolves surprise win over the Clippers, with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Gorgui Dieng – Joining KAT in the double-double club, Dieng scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but turned the ball over 5 times. Dieng has now played 30+ minutes in 4 consecutive games with both Garnett and Nikola Pekovic injured.
Zach LaVine – A spark plug off the bench, LaVine finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 threes
DeAndre Jordan – Jordan had no problem scoring up close (7-8), but shoot poorly from the free throw line (4-10), on his way to 18 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks
Chris Paul – CP3 had the 3-ball working, knocking down 4 of his 9 attempts. He also added 22 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals
Jamal Crawford – After a poor 2-game stretch, Crawford has scored 20+ points in 3 of the last 4 games. On Wednesday, he scored 21 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists. The scoring was buoyed by a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line.
Pau Gasol – The All-Star snub produced a nice double-double, scoring 16 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists.
Derrick Rose – Rose has been picking it up a little lately, scoring 21 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. While he’s been relatively healthy this season, I would still see what you could get at the trade deadline.
E’Twaun Moore – Starting for the injured Jimmy Butler (left knee tendinitis), Moore delivered 24 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 4 threes. Hopefully Butler’s injury isn’t serious and that it was more of a maintenance thing. He had played 47 minutes in the Bulls’ previous game.
DeMarcus Cousins – After missing Monday’s game with an ankle injury, Cousins returned to his old self, posting 30 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
Marco Belinelli – Bellinelli found his stroke against the Bulls, knocking down 7-14 and 3-7 from downtown, on his way to 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Darren Collison – Off the bench, Collison produced another fantasy worthy stat line with 19 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds. Still no word on whether the Kings will trade Rajon Rondo (6 points, 9 assists, and 3 steals), but Collison has been a fantasy asset even with Rondo starting.