I’m living at home with my parents temporarily, while work is being done on my condo. I didn’t want to be bothered living there while they’re painting and installing new carpeting and flooring. As a result, I’m getting kicked off the television so that my mom can watch her shows. I missed the Sunday Night Football game for “Downton Abbey” and then had to turn off the Wizards/Cavs and Knicks/Heat games for “Law & Order.” I guess it’s a fair trade, since I’m getting so many home cooked meals and leftovers for lunch.
Fortunately SVU ended early enough for me to catch the Thunder’s dismantling of the Grizzlies. Kevin Durant returned from a toe injury to post 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook continued his near triple-double stat lines with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. You always worry with Durant’s foot being a problem last season, but it was nice to see KD back, after only missing one game.
It was all Thunder in this game, as the Grizzlies played down due to injuries. Mike Conley was out because of a sore left Achilles and Courtney Lee, who started for Conley, left early in the second half after injuring his hip. That left Mario Chalmers, who exploded for 23 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, and 4 threes. It’s unclear how long Conley and Lee could be out, but Chalmers would become the starter by default. It’s not like the Grizzlies will give Vince Carter lots of minutes!
Now onto the other Wednesday night games:
Carmelo Anthony – Melo still is in a shooting slump on the season compared to his career percentages, but he was efficient against the Heat shooting 9-12 from the field on his way to 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Robin Lopez – He may not be as good as his brother, but Robin has been quietly effective lately and continued the momentum with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. That’s quite a good game against a solid big man like Hassan Whiteside, who posted 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block but had this nasty dunk on Kristaps Porzingis. Feel free to ride Lopez, or pick him up (65% ownership), while he’s this effective.
Chris Bosh – Another day at the office for Bosh: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 three.
Dwyane Wade –Just like Bosh, Wade, as usual, produced for the Heat, going for 18/6/6.
LeBron James – James was having a solid enough game, but then went berserk, knocking down 4-5 from downtown to start the 3rd quarter. He finished the game with 34/10/4 on 12-22 shooting and 4-9 from downtown. It’s nice to be the King.
J.R. Smith – James wasn’t the only one knocking down threes. Smith hit 5 of his 10 attempts from downtown en route to 25 points. He’s not the most consistent player, but might be starting a hot streak. He’s scored 20+ points in 2 straight games, knocking down 13 threes in those games.
Kyrie Irving – Irving joined James in the 30-point club, with 32 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. He’s come back nicely from his knee injury and has been worth the wait for owners.
John Wall – Irving may be leading Wall in the Eastern Conference All-Star vote, but Wall still filled the stat sheet up for another double-double: 20 points and 12 assists. Only downside was the 0-2 from the free throw line and 7 turnovers.
Garrett Temple – While LeBron and J.R. were swishing the three ball for the Cavs, Temple knocked down 3 threes in the 3rd quarter to keep the Wizards close. He finished the game with 21 points and 4 rebounds on 7-10 shooting. He’s scored double figures in three straight games, but Bradley Beal (leg) has been increasing his activity lately and may be close to returning.
Jared Dudley – Even with Nene back, Dudley saw 35 minutes, going for 12/5/4 with 2 threes. Nene played 12 minutes, scoring 7 points, but should be left on the waiver wire, except for the deepest of leagues.
Monta Ellis – This is still Paul George’s (20/7/3 on 5-13 shooting) team, but Ellis has been played the complementary role well. Against the Magic, he had 4 thefts, along with 19 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds.
George Hill – You can’t really forget Hill with his dyed hair, but he’s been quietly productive for the Pacers, going for 16/3/3 with 3 threes.
Victor Oladipo – Elfrid Payton missed his first game in his entire basketball career, from high school to pro, allowing Oladipo to move into the starting lineup. Oladipo responded with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 threes. Payton sat with a bone bruise in his ankle, but it’s unclear how long he’ll be out for. Oladipo and Evan Fournier (13/3/4) should see plenty of run in his absence.
Nikola Vucevic – The scoring was there, but Vucevic didn’t contribute much else: 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jonas Valanciunas – In his 6th game back from a broken finger, Valanciunas exploded for 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. It was only his second double-double since coming back so hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Kyle Lowry – He may of shot 0-7 from downtown, but that was the only downside to Lowry’s game on Wednesday. He contributed 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals for Raptors.
Brook Lopez – It was a good day to be a Lopez brother. In addition to Robin’s good night, Brook went for 24 and 13 with 3 blocks. Too bad this talent is wasted on the lowly Nets.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson – The Pistons backcourt led the Pistons to their victory over the Celtics. Jackson scored 24 and dished out 6 assists, while Caldwell-Pope knocked down 4 threes on his way to 20 points and 4 rebounds. Brandon Jennings (6 points, 2 assists) has seen minutes in the teens, but it hasn’t affected Jackson or Caldwell-Pope’s nightly contributions.
Stanley Johnson – Off the bench, Johnson posted an 11/10 double-double. Nights like this show the potential, but like most rookies, he’s been inconsistent.
Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk – Jared Sullinger (8 points in 15 minutes) has seen his role diminish, allowing Johnson and Olynyk more minutes in the starting lineup. Johnson went for 16/11 with 2 blocks and 2 assists each, while Olynyk posted 10/5/4. Whoever is getting the minutes in the frontcourt for the Celtics will be fantasy worthy and it looks like Sullinger is the odd man out, while he’s seeing the least amount of playing time.
Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder – Thomas is shining for the Celtics, leading them in scoring with 22 points and 10 assists. Crowder also helped in the scoring department, pinching in 16 points. Both will be looked upon more for their scoring, while Avery Bradley sits with a hip injury. Bradley hopes to return this weekend.
Chandler Parsons and Raymond Felton – The Mavs rested Zaza Pachulia, Wesley Matthews, Deron Williams, and Dirk Nowitzki as they played 40+ minutes in Tuesday night’s double-overtime thriller. That meant that Chandler Parsons (21/8/6) and Raymond Felton (22 points and 6 assists) became the top scoring options. This was definitely Parson’s best game of the season, but I’ll need to see more before I invest. The Mavericks should have a full squad for Friday’s game.
JaVale McGee – The walking ‘Shaqtin a Fool’ highlight reel (8 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks) started, but had his minutes managed, allowing Dwight Powell to go for a fantasy friendly 13/10/2/2/2 off the bench in 30 minutes.
Anthony Davis – Davis had a monster fantasy game (26 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks), but that’s what owners have come to expect.
Tyreke Evans – He sat out Saturday’s game, but returned on Wednesday, posting 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Danilo Gallinari – Gallo has come back from his ankle injury on fire. After missing 6 games, he now has 3 straight 20+ point games, including Wednesday’s 20/7/4 line.
Jusuf Nurkic – On a minutes’ restriction after having a knee procedure, Nurkic posted a 15 and 10 double-double. Even better, he blocked 5 shots in 22 minutes off the bench. The minutes should slowly increase, making Nurkic a high upside pickup in the leagues that he’s available (43% ownership).
Karl-Anthony Towns – KAT did what he does best with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Nikola Pekovic – Pek played his first game since March 11 of last season. He scored 12 points, but should still take a while to get up to speed. Gorgui Dieng (0 points, 8 rebounds) remains the better fantasy play among the backup T-Wolves big men, but they may end up splitting time, hurting both their values.
David West – Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game, but it didn’t matter, as the Spurs still beat the Jazz by 25. West entered the starting lineup for Aldridge and posted a 14/13/4 double-double. Patty Mills started for Parker, but did nothing (0 points and 2 assists).
Tim Duncan – I guess Pop didn’t want to rest all of the guys, but it allowed Timmy D to go for a vintage line of 18/8/6. Speaking of the Spurs, you should check out Matt Hill’s animated videos about the team. The voices and basketball references are very funny for any NBA diehard.
Boban Marjanovic – I think that Marjanovic could be a sneaky fantasy big man, if Duncan were to finally retire next season. Even with Duncan tonight, there were plenty of minutes in the blowout, allowing him to post 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block off the bench.
Jeff Withey – A popular fantasy pickup this week, Withey continues to play for Derrick Favors (back spasms) and continues to rebound and block shots. He scored 10 points with 7 rebounds and 1 block on Wednesday.
Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke – Without Favors and Alec Burks, the Jazz will rely even more heavily on Hayward and Burke to put points on the board. The consistent Hayward posted an 18/4/4 line, while Trey Burke scored 21 points off the bench.
DeAndre Jordan – The Clippers have been on a tear since Blake Griffin went down and DJ has been a big part of that. Including Wednesday’s 14/14 double-double, he now has 6 straight double-doubles, all Clippers’ victories. Jordan also blocked 4 shots. Griffin plans to be re-evaluated by doctors about his quad sometime next week.
Chris Paul – CP3 doesn’t quite have the streak like Jordan, but Paul scored 21 and dished out 19 assists last night, giving him 4 double-doubles in the last 6 games. That’s still very nice!
J.J. Redick – The sharpshooter continued his streak of strong shooting with 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Redick has been flirting with nearly 20 points a game while Griffin has been out, but hasn’t contributed much else.
Paul Pierce – Starting for Griffin, Pierce posted a 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 threes. Doc Rivers had sat Pierce the previous game, giving the veteran some extra rest.
C.J. McCollum – In a weird pregame miscue, McCollum was accidentally listed as “inactive” before the game, meaning he couldn’t enter the game. It’s a bummer, but he’s healthy for anyone wondering why he didn’t play. The Blazers could have really used him, as they trailed most of the game. Damian Lillard saw a lot of usage, registering 20 points (on 7-25 shooting though), 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 threes, 2 steals, and 1 block. With McCollum out, Allen Crabbe also chipped in 11 points on 4-10 shooting.
Mason Plumlee – Plumlee used a strong 4th quarter to explode for 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. He’ll come back down to earth in the scoring department, as long as the Blazers stop inaccurately labeling McCollum as “inactive.”