Maybe he didn’t call glass on his clutch three with 1:05 left in the 4th, but when you’re Dirk Nowitzki, a future hall of famer, who cares? I know fantasy owners don’t care whether it was a swish or a banked in three. All we care about are the final stats. And, boy, did Dirk deliver.
Down one going into the second half, Dirk took over for the Mavericks, leading them to a 10-point win against the Clippers. Dirk finished the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds on 11-14 shooting, including 5-6 from downtown. It was vintage Dirk.
Midway through the 3rd quarter he caught a Zaza Pachulia pass off of an offensive rebound and without squaring up, knocked down an one foot fade away jumper without hesitation. He knocked down threes with DeAndre Jordan in his grill. It was truly a great game.
As a fan of the game, it’s amazing to watch games like this, but as a fantasy owner, you have to realize that these games aren’t as common for the 37 year-old as they used to be. It was Dirk’s first 30-point game since December 28, 2014. In his 18th year in the NBA, Dirk is still a top 50 player when he plays, but just be aware his minutes are monitored more closely and he sits on back to backs, hurting his total overall value.
Now onto the other nightly notables:
Zaza Pachulia – Joined Dirk as the only other Maverick to finish with a double double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks) and unlike DeAndre Jordan, can actually hit his free throws (88% on the season). He’s got 5 double-digit rebound games so far this season and doesn’t appear to have anyone challenging him for the starting center spot. Zaza’s not the sexiest big, but at only 38% owned in Yahoo leagues, owners could do a lot worse.
Wesley Matthews – It’s slow in the early going for Matthews coming off of a ruptured Achilles, but nights like this (25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 threes) remind everyone of the upside. Buy now before nights like this become more common.
Chandler Parsons – Parsons sat out Wednesday’s game due to rest. The Mavericks don’t want to overuse Parsons in the early going of the season, as he hasn’t seen more than 17 minutes in any game so far. I’m not sure you can trade him with his value so low, but I definitely wouldn’t be buying low either.
Austin Rivers – I can’t believe he’s getting this many minutes. I’m not so sure he would be playing as much, if he weren’t playing for his father. Either way, 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists off the bench is pretty nice. I just don’t think there will be many nights like this, despite seeing 20+ minutes in 4 straight games.
Chris Paul – Despite going 2-11 from the field, Paul still dished out 11 assists with just 2 TOs. Even on off nights, Paul finds way to help fantasy owners, just like his State Farm commercials.
Kristaps Porzingis – I got clowned in the comments section last week for saying he was a borderline must own player. After watching him a little more, I agree that he’s must own in all leagues. He’s knocking down threes, blocking shots, and dunking on entire teams. He scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. He even had a potential game winning three at the buzzer, but it was called off because the ball was in his hands as the buzzer sounded. For the 23% of Yahoo leagues where he’s available, what are you doing?
Carmelo Anthony – Told you he’s not going to shoot 30% from the field all season. With three straight 20-point games (29/6/4 on 12-25 shooting last night), the window for buying is slowly closing.
Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb – The Jeremy connection is real. Lin followed up a 19 point, 3 assist game with a 17 point, 3 assist game, while Lamb went 18 points, 4 rebounds and 14 points, 4 rebounds in the back to back Hornets wins. Maybe with the Hornets on a winning streak, the two Jeremys will get more minutes off the bench. I mean one of them should be starting for P.J. Hairston for crying out loud!
Nicolas Batum – Outside of punching Juan Carlos Navarro in the groin, there’s nothing I don’t like about Batum’s game. He had an off year last season, but he’s back to his usual stat stuffing self (24 points, 5 rebounds, 2 threes, and 1 steal).
Nikola Vucevic – In his first game back from injury, Vucci Mane may not have started the game, but he finished it, with the first game-winning buzzer beater of his career. With 18 points and 5 rebounds in 26 minutes, Vucevic should return to the starting lineup next game, pushing Dewayne Dedmon back to the bench.
Victor Oladipo – Unfortunately for owners he left early in the game with concussion symptoms. He’ll be day-to-day as he goes through the concussion protocol. Shabazz Napier got 30 minutes off the bench and contributed 22 points as his replacement.
Kobe Bryant – Missed his second consecutive game with a sore back. The Lakers are being extra cautious with the 37 year-old, but no decision has been made on whether he’ll be back on Friday. Nick Young (10 points) and Louis Williams (13/3/3) should get more playing time whenever Bryant sits.
Luis Scola – Just shows you how bad the 76ers truly are, when Luis Scola looks like an all-star. 21 points and 5 rebounds on 10-15 shooting. As TLC says, don’t go chasing waterfalls. Leave him on the waiver wire.
Bismack Biyombo – Nice double-double for the big man in the Raptors’ blowout (10 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks), but just like Scola, he should remain on waiver wires. This game was due to a blowout, rather than a change in roles.
T.J. McConnell –13 assists for the point guard, for his 3rd double digit assist game of the season. He’s making it tougher and tougher for coach Brett Brown to decide whom to start, when Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten are ready to return from injuries.
Jahlil Okafor – Another day at the office for the rookie big man: 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Whether Nerlens Noel is in or out of the lineup (missed his second consecutive game), Okafor is a must start every night. And Noel owners, don’t worry, he’s due back on Friday.
Paul George – Thought it might take PG a little more time to get back to his old self, but he is not human! 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists for the Pacers’ win over the Celtics.
Jared Sullinger – A popular waiver wire addition in the last week (+11% ownership), Sullinger delivered for owners who invested: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists.
Evan Turner – Usually known for his consistency, Turner surprisingly led the Celtics in scoring with 20 points on 9/13 shooting.
Ish Smith – With all the Pelicans’ injuries, Smith has gotten 30+ minutes in 4 straight games. He delivered (18 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds) for the few owners who picked him up, with Jrue Holiday sitting. I don’t see these numbers being sustainable, but he’s worth a pickup while he’s hot.
Ryan Anderson – Back to back double-doubles for the sharp shooting big man (17 points and 11 rebounds). Anderson should continue to see extra shots and rebounds with Anthony Davis out. Speaking of AD, no timetable for his return has been given.
Jeff Teague – Fortunately he wasn’t suspended for punching the Timberwolves’ Nemanja Bjelica in Monday’s game. As a result, he was able to play Wednesday and delivered 14 points and 10 assists for the Hawks.
Paul Millsap and Al Horford – Monster games for the Atlanta big men: 19 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals for Millsap; 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 4 threes (!) for Horford. These guys were already fantasy studs, but Horford’s early three point prowess just makes him even more valuable.
Bojan Bogdanovic – Nice game for BoBo the Clown off the bench: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 threes. Known for his shooting, maybe Bogdanovic will get more playing time with the Nets getting their first win of the season.
Joe Johnson – Starting off slow, JJ has begun to show signs of life. He almost messed around and got a triple double (16 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds) and should continue to see 30+ minutes a night for the struggling Nets.
Marcus Thornton – He’s still available in way too many leagues (up to 44% ownership), yet continues to deliver: 21 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 threes. Ty Lawson will eventually get things going (only 8/4/5 last night), but Thornton has supplanted himself over Jason Terry, Patrick Beverley, and Corey Brewer for minutes.
Dwight Howard – He must have heard me complain about the lack of blocks in last week’s daily notes. He responded with 20 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks this time around. Not much to complain about with that line, but can I complain about his poor free throw shooting anyway?
Marc Gasol – The blocks, FG%, and rebounds are all down so far this season so maybe you can pry him away from impatient owners. It’s worth a shot, but may get tougher with more nights like this: 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 13-14 from the FT line.
Stephen Curry – The Warriors and Curry haven’t had a Finals hangover yet. It may have been a poor shooting night (9-21 and 3-10 from the 3-point line), but that didn’t stop Curry from giving owners a great fantasy line: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals.
Tony Allen –Known for his defensive play, Allen scored 15 points, only 2 less than he had scored in the previous 3 games combined! Don’t worry, he’ll go back to scoring 5 to 7 points a game in no time.
Emmanuel Mudiay – The shooting and turnovers are a problem, but the upside is real. He finished Wednesday with his second double-double of the season (16 points and 11 assists) and he only had 1 turnover! Progress!
Danilo Gallinari – Nice to see Danilo bounce back from a poor shooting performance on Monday (2-10 FG) to provide 25 points and 7 rebounds on Wednesday. Let’s just hope he stays healthy.
Jerryd Bayless – Tyler Ennis may be starting for the injured Michael Carter-Williams, but it’s Bayless who has been providing the better fantasy output. Last night was no exception, as Bayless provided 22 points and 4 assists off the bench, while Ennis scored 7 points without any assists. Greivis Vasquez got in on the fun too with 15 points and 9 assists. MCW is hopeful to return on Saturday, but should he have any other setbacks with his ankle, Bayless is the guy to grab.
Andre Drummond – Another poor game for Drummond. He only had 14 points and 17 rebounds. What are owners to do? What happened to the 20/20 averages!?
Marcus Morris – While Drummond has been a monster on the glass, Morris has been a thief on the defensive end. Morris put up 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals for the Pistons. That’s now 14 swipes in the last 5 games!
Rajon Rondo – It’s not every day you see someone play every minute of the game. The Kings needed every minute out of Rondo as he went off for 14 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds in the Kings’ victory over the Pistons.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay – Joining Rondo in playing a ton of minutes, Gay and Cousins were the recipients on a lot of those Rondo assists. Cousins finished with 33 points, 9 rebounds and 4 threes (!), while Gay chipped in 25 points and 6 rebounds. The wins may not be there for the Kings, but Rondo, Cousins, and Gay should continue to be strong fantasy plays.
LaMarcus Aldridge – In his return to Portland, Aldridge reminded the Trail Blazer fans of what he can do with 23 points and 6 rebounds. He has more options on the Spurs than he ever had on the Blazers so the 20 point nights will be fewer than they were on the Blazers.
Kawhi Leonard – He took a nasty fall on a nice dunk in the 4th quarter, but was able to finish out the Spurs win. Aldridge’s addition hasn’t hurt Leonard’s stat lines at all, as he posted 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal; his 4th straight 20-point game.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum – One of the best backcourts in the league, you’ll be seeing a lot of these guys’ names in the daily notes all season. Lilliard scored 22 points and dished out 9 assists, while McCollum put up 21 points.