Dinner was done, the kids were in bed, the dog was walked, and I was just about to kick back and finally watch the next episode of Stranger Things Season 2, when my phone buzzed. It was an email from Son letting me know that he had not left the bathroom since happy hour ended at his local sushi joint and he needed me to write today’s fantasy recap. So of course being the dedicated Razzball soldier I am, I let him know that I would add to my assist total and take the rock. It was only after agreeing to write the recap that I realized this was one of the busiest nights of basketball all season, so Son, I want to see a doctor’s note.
I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I will do my best to entertain the masses with a recap of yesterday’s action.
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Kyrie Irving has to be the first mention. I mean, the kid went off. Irving scored 47 points in Boston’s 110-102 overtime win over the Mavericks, including 10 of Boston’s 14 points in overtime. The win was the Celtic’s 16th in a row, tying the franchise’s fourth longest winning streak, which is really saying something. This is the Celtics people, not the Toronto Raptors or Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, there is a ton of history here. Irving made more history in this game by becoming the first Celtics player with 45+ points and 5+ assists in a game since Jay-Z doppelganger Paul Pierce did it in 2006, which is also the same year that all new music became absolutely unlistenable. Oh yeah, Kyrie also hit 16-of-22 shots, 10-of-11 from the foul line, had six assists, three rebounds, one steal, and five threes. The only downside to this line is now I am going to have to listen to a bunch of Boston accents chant M-V-P on every sports channel for the rest of the week. I will also have to read countless articles about how Kyrie made the right decision leaving the team that has arguably the best player of all-time and who has been to eight straight NBA finals. Yeah, the guy who thinks the Earth is flat made a great decision (does anyone know how to eye-roll in a fantasy basketball article?)
Meanwhile, while Kyrie was making everyone drop their Hater-ade, Al Horford had a bit of a fantasy dud. Luckily for Horford owners, a dud for him is just a low scoring night. Al had three points, seven assists, eight rebounds, one steal, two blocks ,and one three. The only duds I like more than this one are the ones made of chocolate that I steal from my five-year-old’s Halloween bag when he goes to sleep.
Jaylen Brown is making a strong case for Waiver Wire MVP with a 22 point, nine rebound, and one steal night. He was also 3-for-6 from the three point line.
Jayson Tatum kept up his end for team Jay-Jay with 15 points, one assist, nine rebounds, one steal, and one block. Any other year and Tatum would be the early season favorite for rookie of the year. Unfortunately NBA rules consider Ben Simmons a rookie…ok, I will be getting to him in a bit.
Marcus Smart managed to stay ice cold hitting just 3-of-15 shots, which included going 2-of-11 from three point range. Brad Stevens has not actually given Smart the green light, Smart is just color blind. He did end up with 12 points, eight assists, three rebounds, and two steals, making Smart the perfect anchor of an epic punt-FG% team.
Marcus Morris had another helpful yet incredibly boring eight points, two assists, nine rebounds, one steal, one block, and one three. Wake me when Gordon Hayward’s new foot is ready to be attached and this Celtics team gets even scarier. Amazingly, only seven Celtics players even scored in this game with Terry Rozier chipping in three points and almost nothing else. If Brad Stevens does not win Coach of the Year, then I will eat my hat (I am actually 75 years old).
Harrison Barnes had a fantastic night on the losing side of this game with 31 points, two assists, six rebounds, one block, and one three. Barnes was 10-for-21 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line. Mr. Barnes, are those percentages in your pocket or are you just happy to…oh, nope, not percentages, my bad.
Wesley Matthews finally got some shots to drop and ended with 18 points, three assists, six rebounds, four steals, and four threes.
Dirk Nowitzki just keeps on doing it. He had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He even added a block for good measure.
Dennis Smith Jr. continues to frustrate fantasy owners by flashing his crazy potential followed by games like this: eight points, four assists, five rebounds, one steal, one block, hitting 4-of-16, including 0-for-4 from deep. DSJ is going to be a fantasy stud for years to come, but I have a feeling he will not be on many winning fantasy rosters this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns must be amazing because when I saw his line of 18 points, two assists, 12 rebounds, and one block and thought, “that’s it?”
Jimmy Butler looked like he was getting back to second-round form the last couple of games, but yesterday he put up what could very well be his average line this season, well, the 0 assists was definitely out of the ordinary, but the 14 points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one three is right in line with what we have been seeing. Butler is still adjusting to not being the big dog, since the big dog in Minnesota is actually a KAT.
Dwight Howard was a monster in this game and the Timberwolves really had no answer for him in the paint. He ended with 25 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks while hitting 8-of-10 shots. Yet, no Howard gem would be complete without mentioning his 9-of-14 from the line. I hope the Howard owners out there either surrounded him with Curry-esque free throw shooters or punted FT% so hard that even Devin Hester was like “nah.”
Nicolas Batum, AKA everyone’s favorite draft stash, put up a solid 17 points, two assists, four rebounds, two steals, and three threes while shooting 50% from the floor. I could see a lot of teams out there starting to climb the standings now that Batum is back in action. If I ever get the chance to do a recap again I need to figure out a way to work in the line, “It’s not a Batumor!”
Jeremy Lamb is the player that was probably going to be the most effected by Batum coming back, but he has remained a solid fantasy player. Last night he put up 16 points, three assists, five rebounds, one steal, and one three. He only played 20 minutes, however, so he is going to have to stay super-efficient to maintain his value.
Frank Kaminsky would have gotten the game ball if Dwight Howard had not gone all 20-20 last night. He put up 24 points, three assists, three rebounds, and four threes. This line is even more impressive since he was seen an hour before tip-off drinking Old Style while tuning up the engine on his ’88 T-Bird.
Ben Simmons (see, I told you we would get to him) and the Sixers laid an old-fashioned butt-whooping on the Utah Jazz, winning 107-86. Simmons continued to show that three pointers are overrated, hitting 13-of-24 shots for 27 points, two assists, 10 rebounds, and four steals. He was just 1-for-4 from the free throw line since that’s a bit outside his range. I am actually typing this briefing with my nipples since I recently traded for Simmons and just got done hanging his poster on the ceiling above my bed.
Joel Embiid was a game-time decision but he did end up playing. He “only” scored 15 points, with 3threeassists, 11 rebounds, and two blocks in just 26 minutes. You may have noticed that Joel’s jersey was sparkling last night. Well that is because he just started endorsing the “Embiidazzler.” The tagline is: When you want your clothes to shine as bright as your game. Embiidazzle it!
Amir Johnson got the back-up center minutes last night, putting up eight points, one assist, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. Richaun Holmes has not played well since coming back from his injury, so Embiid owners may want to pay attention to see how this handcuff battle shakes out.
Donovan Mitchell played 36 minutes and the rookie had 17 points, five assists, four rebounds, one steal, one block, and one three. He continued to struggle with his shot, but he is getting a ton of minutes and putting up point guard numbers even when he is playing next to Ricky Rubio.
Speaking of Bricky Rubio, he actually shot 50% from the floor with 12 points, two assists, three rebounds, three steals, one block, and two threes. Rubio owners have been super disappointed with Bricky this season, but maybe this is the game where his shot starts to fall.
Lebron James having a down game this season seemed about as likely as the Embiidazzler actually becoming a real thing. Last night it happened, however, as the King put up “just” 18 points, eight assists, two rebounds, one steal, one block, and three threes. Skip Bayless is about to go on the air to announce that Lebron should no longer be in the MVP conversation and that Kyrie was smart to leave Cleveland. Am I the only one who thinks that Skip Bayless looks like the old man in the Scooby Doo cartoons who dressed up like a ghost to scare people away from his amusement park?
Kevin Love had another double-double with 19 points, four assists, 11 rebounds, one three, and…wait for it….0 blocks!
We had a Jae Crowder sighting in this game, 18 points in 25 minutes with 0 steals. After the Celitcs trade, all I heard about was how Crowder’s defense was going to make all the difference. Still waiting.
Avery Bradley was just one of a bunch of terrible Pistons players. Nine points, three assists, two rebounds, and one three. If you have any Pistons on your fantasy team, just try to pretend that last night was just a bad dream, just like I’m going to do with that Embiidazzler joke.
Blake Griffin is really the only Clipper worth mentioning. He had 21 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals, and two threes. The big news out of Clipper land is that Danilo Gallinari said he will be out at least another 7-10 days. Wesley Johnson is filling in pretty well, but he seems way too inconsistent to be on fantasy rosters in leagues with 12 teams or less.
Tim Hardaway Jr. may have plantar fasciitis, so that’s bad. He played through the pain, however, scoring 13 points with five assists, five rebounds, two steals, one block, and one three. THJ’s foot injury is totally unrelated to his dad’s foot-in-mouth disease.
Kristaps Porzingis continues to allow that annoying guy in your league to keep bragging about how he got him in the second round. 25 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, two threes, 2nd round….the prophecy of Twos is complete! Today every second born child will be granted two wishes. All wishes will come true as long as the wish is not for Phil Jackson to ever work in the NBA again.
Russell Westbrook (this one is for Son) messed around and got 22 points, 12 assists, 16 rebounds, three steals, and two threes. Paul George put up 26 points and Melo added 19 points, but the Thunder still lost to the Pelicans. It is all because the prophecy of Twos limited the effectiveness of all Big 3’s around the NBA.
Speaking of Twos:
Anthony Davis had 36 points, three assists, 15 rebounds, and two blocks while his Giant from another Gina, DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points, four assists, nine rebounds, three steals, and one block. Cousins did get ejected for a Flagrant-Two in the third quarter, ending his night early. And all is right in the world since these two big men went a combined 0-for-6 from deep.
Darius Miller is officially a name to watch in fantasy. The most famous Darius since Hootie and the Blowfish had a hit, had 11 points, four assists, seven rebounds, and three threes.
Otto Porter played through his swollen hand, which is no big deal, I played through a swollen hand all through high school, and had 12 points, four assists, 11 rebounds, and one three. He played only 25 minutes, so the hand is still bothering him.
Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he is human, sort of, hitting just 8-of-21 shots for 23 points, four assists, eight rebounds, and three blocks. An off night.
John Henson had a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks. He should not be on any waiver wires.
Noah Vonleh came out of nowhere for Portland to finish with 11 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks. Not sure if this is a fluke or what, but dang.
Shabazz Napier had 16 points, three assists, four rebounds, one steal, one block, and one three and he is starting to show some fantasy life.
Mario Chalmers keeps doing a decent job filling in for Michael Conley with 21 points, six assists, six rebounds, and a three. Conley owners need to make sure Chalmers is not on the wire.
Tyreke Evans bounced back from an off-night and continued his quest to be Waiver Wire MVP with 20 points, three assists, three rebounds, one block, and one three.
John “The Cocktail” Collins (you guys like the nickname?) needs to be owned everywhere. The kid is starting to harness his crazy energy and stay out of foul trouble, which means regular lines like this: 21 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and 10-of-12 from the floor.
Dwayne Dedmon is still holding value and needs to be owned everywhere as well. He put up 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and even hit a three in 27 minutes. He’s not a Deadman yet.
Kyle Anderson is basically a dead man walking. The return of Khawi Leonard will destroy his value, but at this point Leonard is starting to feel like a player I just made up in my head and I am not sure he really exists. Anderson put up another solid line of 13 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, one block, and one three. Slow-mo just keeps ballin’.
LaMarcus Aldridge continued to make his case for comeback player of the year with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and a block.
Will Barton seems to be the main beneficiary of Paul Millsap’s injured wrist (the x-rays were negative by the way) putting up 25 points, five assists, six rebounds, and five threes. The Thrill is not gone, well, actually, in your league he probably is.
Gary Harris has a simple name, a simple game, and simple tastes. Gary likes a nice steak. Gary likes a cold beer. Gary likes sleeping in and hanging out. Gary likes to make more than he misses. Gary likes to win fantasy leagues. Gary got 20 points, two assists, three rebounds, and three threes. Gary Harris: a simple name for a simple game.
The Kings played last night. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
If Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be on a lot of losing fantasy teams this season, then the Yin to his Yang would be Victor Oladipo, who is Yinning his butt off this season. VO came through again with 29 points, five assists, nine rebounds, and a three.
The good Bogdanovic, Bojan, is on fire. Another huge night with 26 points, seven rebounds, and five threes. Bojan is everything we ever hoped Marco Belinelli could be if he never stopped breaking our hearts.
Of course Myles Turner turnered in a huge dud of a game after I vocalized the thought in my head that Turner is a first round player. He finished with eight points and five rebounds. I would not panic after this one, Oladipo and Bojan were on fire and dominating the ball.
Nikola Vucevic had a big game for the Magic in their loss with 25 points, two assists and 13 rebounds.
Ok, getting tired here at the end. This was a long night of basketball and this recap grew into a monster. As always, you can ask us anything in the comments section. See ya next time!