Coming off of Cleveland’s championship, LeBron James has led the Cavaliers to a 9-1 start. It looks like there hasn’t been a championship lay-off at all. James finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with 28 points, 14 assists, 9 rebounds. He’s off to an incredible start. He may be rested down the stretch, if the Cavs continue their winning ways, but for now enjoy the ride.
It was a short slate of games on Tuesday so let’s get right to it:
Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving – The rest of Lebron’s posse brought it against the Raptors too. Love posted 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Irving dropped 24 points (10-20 FG, 2-4 3PT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
Tristan Thompson – TT finished with an efficient double-double: 15 points, 11 rebounds on 7-8 shooting. You expect the rebounding every night, but the 15 points was a season high.
Channing Frye – With J.R. Smith (ankle) held out, Richard Jefferson (5 points, 1 assist) started, but it was Frye who really enjoyed the extra usage. Coming off the bench, Frye knocked down 5-8 from downtown, on his way to 21 points and 3 rebounds. That’s now back-to-back 20-point games for the sharp shooting big man. Smith is expected back soon, as coach Tryonn Lue said Smith “could’ve been ready” on Tuesday.
Jonas Valanciunas – After playing only 20 minutes in the last two games coming back from injury, JV looked like his old varsity self, with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists in 34 minutes. Owners concerned that Lucas Nogueira (0 points, 4 rebounds) would continue to steal minutes, played only 10 minutes off the bench, picking up a quick 5 fouls. Nogueira won’t have it every night, but has taken over the Bismack Biyombo role in the 6.
Kyle Lowry – Lowry led the Raptors with 28 points, 9 assists, 4 steals, 5 rebounds, and 4 threes.
DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan had an off night shooting (10-27 FG), but still managed 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. He has been off to such a strong start to the season, that it’s only his second time scoring under 30 points in a game. That’s a good problem to have.
Norman Powell – With DeMarre Carroll resting on the first night of a back-to-back, Powell started and responded with 12 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 threes. The Raptors are still being cautious with Carroll, as he comes off knee surgery. I wouldn’t add Powell in standard leagues, but he makes for a good play in daily leagues, anytime Carroll sits.
Paul Millsap – Typical stat stuffing line from Millsap: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
Dennis Schroder – Schroder did his part as well with 18 points, 4 assists, and 2 threes.
Dwight Howard – Before leaving with a quad contusion in the third quarter, Howard posted 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals. With Howard and the Hawks playing a back-to-back on Wednesday, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Howard sit, but look for an update on his injury status on Wednesday.
Mike Muscala – Coming off the bench, Muscala posted 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 threes. Locked in at about 20 minutes off the bench, Muscala could be useful for very deep leagues.
Hassan Whiteside – 19 points, 25 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Wow. The 25 rebounds are not only his season-high, but are the highest single-game total in the NBA as well. He’s locked in.
Josh Richardson – Goran Dragic (ankle) missed his third straight game, giving Richardson another start. Richardson finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. As long as Dragic is out, Richardson should see plenty of minutes and can help teams in need of defensive stats. He has 4 blocks and 5 steals in the 3 games Dragic has missed. That’s great from your guard position.
Kemba Walker – Walker led the Hornets to a win over the Timberwolves with 30 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals.
Cody Zeller – Zeller shot a nice 6-9 from the field to finish with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Nicolas Batum – Now that’s more like it: 16 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 threes. That’s now three straight games with 15+ points and 5+ assists and rebounds.
Frank Kaminsky III – Frank the Tank came off the bench to score 20 points (8-14 FG and 3-7 3PT) and added 5 assists and 4 rebounds. The Hornets have plenty of big men to choose from off the bench, but Kaminsky should still plenty of minutes, as long as he’s outplaying Roy Hibbert (9 points, 4 rebounds in 12 minutes) and Spencer Hawes (0 points in 4 minutes).
Andrew Wiggins – Coming on the heels of Sunday’s 47 point game, Wiggins posted 29 points, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 threes. He’s locked-in, averaging 30+ in the last 5 games.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Towns is in a shooting slump, but still managed to post 21 points (9-23 FG, 3-10 3PT), 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. He’s taking way more threes than last year, bringing down his field goal percentage from his awesome rookie year, but still remains a top player.
Ricky Rubio – Rubio posted a near triple-double with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. As long as Rubio is playing, Kris Dunn (4 points, 3 assists in 13 minutes) will play limited minutes off the bench.
Zach LaVine – LaVine had it going from beyond the arc, as he knocked down 5-10 to finish with 19 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez – The Bulls’ big men also contributed double-doubles. Gibson went 12 and 11 with 2 blocks, while Lopez went 13 and 11 with 1 block and assist. No reason why owners can’t expect this from both guys each night.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum – The Trail Blazers just didn’t have it on Tuesday, as they were blown out by 25. Lillard (19/5/4) and McCollum (17/4/4) were their usual studs, but received little help from the rest of the team. Allen Crabbe (15 points, 4 rebounds) was the only other player in double figures.
Julius Randle – Randle messed around and got a triple-double against the Nets, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Enjoy the highlights:
D’Angelo Russell – Russell led the Lakers in scoring, posting 32 points (11-20 FG, 7-13 3PT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Between Russell, Randle, and Jordan Clarkson (13 points, 3 assists, 5 steals), the future is bright in LA.
Timofey Mozgov – Arguably his best game as a Laker, Mozgov scored 20 points with 6 rebounds. Unfortunately, I still don’t trust him enough in fantasy.
Brook Lopez – Despite Robin’s double-double, Brook was the better twin on Tuesday. He finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. He even continued his strong 3-point shooting, knocking down 4-11.
Bojan Bogdanovic – In addition to his 29 points (11-18 FG, 2-5 3PT, 5-5 FT), he had a nasty dunk all over the Lakers:
Trevor Booker – Booker continues to do a little of everything for the Nets with 11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. Pick him up.