Celtics vs Cavaliers
Darius Garland returned to the Cavaliers, putting up 29 points and 12 assists in a close victory over the Boston Celtics. In both games where Garland and Donovan Mitchell have played the Cavs bigs have struggled to score. Jarrett Allen had 15 points last night while Evan Mobley had 14, both were below regular season averages. As for the Celtics, it’s hard to win games when Jayson Tatum shoots 8-21 from the field. On a positive note his defensive numbers were quite solid last night: nine defensive rebounds and four blocks.
Wizards vs 76ers
Tyrese Maxey was one of the most hyped players coming into this NBA season. While he has had a few downs this season, last night proved why that was. Leading the 76ers in points with 32, leading them in minutes with 42 and leading them in field goal percentage shooting at over 50% on fg, 3pt and ft attempts. Maxey was on fire, but without Joel Embiid the 76ers couldn’t overcome the Washington Wizards led by the usual Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis.
Kings vs Heat
See, when I drafted Domantas Sabonis these are the types of performances I expected out of him: 20 points, a monster 12 rebounds and eight assists for the near triple-double. Kevin Huerter also had a stellar night with 22 points of his own, but without De’Aaron Fox, the Kings just didn’t have enough to beat the Miami Heat, even without Jimmy Butler. It was a night of bounce-back performances, as Kyle Lowry put up 22 points, seven assists and two steals. Tyler Herro deserves a shout out too for being a mini-Westbrook last night and grabbing 10 defensive rebounds.
Hawks vs Knicks
Who doesn’t love a good bench brawl? A total of 25 players played last night, including Quentin Grimes making his 2022 season debut. Not much to say fantasy-wise here, as all starters played less than 30 minutes, except for Dejounte Murray, who played 38 and put up 36 points. In addition, he put up a season-high six steals last night, so congratulations to anyone who has this man in CAT leagues. Your steals are covered for the week.
Hornets vs Bulls
When your starters are either injured or suspended, opportunity arises, minutes clear up and roles need filling. You see this happening in Charlotte in real time with players like Dennis Smith Jr. over the last few games and Kelly Oubre Jr. last night scoring 24 points. Worth mentioning as well was James Bouknight, who is steadily getting more and more minutes. The Bulls leading scorer last night was Javonte Green off the bench with 17 points, followed by Patrick Williams and Goran Dragic, both with 16 points. I’m so sorry if you had any of the Bulls players in your starting lineup last night.
Clippers vs Rockets
Tough night for Jabari Smith Jr. While his play over the season hasn’t been ideal, last night was his first truly bad game. Putting up a statline of 2 points, 1-10 shooting from the field, four rebounds and no assists. HIs teammate Alperen Sengun, on the other hand, finally started a game and put up a statline of 26 points and 13 rebounds. As for the Los Angeles Clippers, problems are starting to emerge. This roster on paper is stacked, so why did Paul George need to play 37 minutes to secure a win over the worst team in the league? Why is the hyped bench depth struggling to score points? John Wall and Norman Powell have been invisible so far this year. What’s going on?
Pistons vs Bucks
The Bucks are gonna be so scary once Khris Middleton returns from injury if Jrue Holiday keeps playing like this: 26 points, seven assists, a steal and a block on over 50% shooting from the field. Going from a very obvious observation to a very niche one but Nerlens Noel has finally played a game for the Pistons after being traded there from New York. He only played 13 minutes and was a -7 but he finally played! I’ve held on to this man and started him every game in the hopes that he gets me something in a 30-team league and it finally paid off. Another niche observation for the Bucks but rookie MarJon Beauchamp played a fair amount this game with 16 minutes, three points, four rebounds and one assist.
Raptors vs Spurs
Ah, the second bench brawl of the night, but honestly that should just be the Spurs nickname this season. Every player that suited up last night played at least 10 minutes last night, except Jeff Dowtin Jr. ,who only played three and was a -2. Highlights include eight rebounds and 17 points from Chris Boucher, 17 points from Keita Bates-Diop and eight points in ten minutes from Malachi Flynn.
Jazz vs Mavericks
So just like Tyler Herro last year, Christian Wood will be the unanimous 6MOTY right? He’s averaging 16 points and eight rebounds on 56% from the field off the bench. Why do the Mavericks choose to start JaVale McGee over him? As for the underdog Jazz they’ve just been continuing to win and claim the third seed in the West. I expect them to fully cool off as the season progresses and morale turns around, but a 6-3 record is nothing to be ashamed of.
Grizzlies vs Trail Blazers
Shaedon Sharpe got the nod to start last night’s game against the Grizzlies. Granted, Damian Lillard was out but it shows the organization has confidence in him nonetheless. He rewarded that confidence by putting up his worst stat line of the year with two points on 1-6 shooting, two rebounds, and no assists. The usual suspects all had solid games. Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, and Jusuf Nurkic put up 31, 23, and 23 points respectively. Same story for the Grizzlies as Ja Morant contributed 20 points in a near triple-double. Desmond Bane lead the team with 29 points and Steven Adams grabbed 11 rebounds.
Pelicans vs Lakers
When Matt Ryan hit that three to tie the game, I was so disappointed. For some context, I’m on the east coast so these games don’t finish until one in the morning. Congratulations to the Lakers however, for winning the game and not letting Russell Westbrook see a minute of floor time in said overtime. A cheap shot I know and, in all honesty, he didn’t have a bad game at all: 13 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists on 60% from the field. Lonnie Walker IV absolutely popped off last night, putting up 28 points on 55% three point shooting. As for the Pelicans, Zion Williamson put up 27 points but got into foul trouble that limited him in overtime. CJ McCollum got to 22 points by the end of overtime, but shot terribly, shooting 36% from the field and 20% behind the arc.