A late Happy New Year to everyone taking the time to read this article. Welcome to 2022 NBA basketball where 10-day contracts bear 30-point performances, the league is finally getting healthy and every armchair general manager swears that every team should just blow it up. The more things change the more they stay the same eh? Well with 11 games and 22 teams playing last night let’s get right into it. 

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Pistons vs Hornets

Injury Report: Jerami Grant

What an absolute blowout win for the Charlotte Hornets, 140 to 111. 32 of those points coming from Kelly Oubre Jr. off the bench. If Tyler Herro wasn’t popping off, Oubre would be a strong 6th man of the year contender. Other than him, points came from all over the line up with LaMelo Ball scoring a near triple double. As for the Pistons, Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey continue to look strong? Not much to comment about in a blow out loss, both coaches allowing depth options to get minutes. 

 

76ers vs Magic

Injury Report: Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Suggs

Four starting Sixers end up with point totals over 20, those being from Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, and Furkan Korkmaz. Curry, Harris, and Korkmaz all played at least 40 minutes each. The most impressive performance of the night has to go to Danny Green who played 24 minutes and posted a zero in every statistical category. A perfect 0 0 0 0 0 performance not seen since Tony Snell in 2017. As for the Orlando Magic, they sure have missed Cole Anthony, as he dropped 26 points in his return. My only question moving forward is, does Franz Wagner stay the number one option with everyone returning?

 

Rockets vs Wizards

Injury Report: Montrezl Harrell

Washington, how do you lose to the tanking Houston Rockets after all the drama surrounding Saturday’s game? No win in the NBA is easy but this is one of the easier ones. The main question I’m left asking is, how crucial is Montrezl Harrell to this Wizards team? His numbers early in the season suggested he was All-Star caliber player. He’s cooled off since then and, coincidentally, so have the Wizards. One statline I think worth pointing out is Kyle Kuzma: 24 points, nine rebounds, 44 minutes, and a team leading four turnovers. He’s still top 25 in rebounds per game, in case you’re wondering.  

Jalen Green is heating up averaging 20 points in his last 10 games. Unfortunately, his shot creation seems to be his only positive offensive trait as his play making leaves a lot to be desired. He’s still young so seeing any progress for him after his slow start is a good sign to celebrate. Also Daniel Theis is gone at the deadline right? An aging player who isn’t helping the rebuild in the same way Kevin Love is this year in Cleveland. The Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers would be very suitable trade destinations.  

 

Spurs vs Celtics

Injury Report: Lonnie Walker IV

Is anyone gonna notify the Spurs that they’re rebuilding? Anyone? Regardless, this win says a lot more about the Celtics struggles then the Spurs, but congratulations on the win regardless. I don’t know if this is a controversial opinion but Dejounte Murray should be in the All-Star game, but definitely won’t be because of his team’s record. He’s averaging 18 points, eight rebounds (top 25 in the league), and nine assists (top 10 in the league). He’s the reason the Spurs are anywhere near a play-in spot. As for the Celtics, they fall to the 10th seed with this loss, even though Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were both healthy. They were just simply outplayed, beaten in nearly every single category, even with more free throws awarded. I have absolutely no clue how to fix the current version of the Boston Celtics but they need to be fixed and fast. 

 

Nets vs Pacers

Injury Report:Caris Levert, Joe Harris

First and foremost, we need to acknowledge the 30-bomb that Lance Stephenson dropped last night on a 10-day contract. What an inspirational story and a wild night to remember. Surprisingly, he didn’t score the most last night, as Domantas Sabonis put up 32 en route to a triple-double. But alas the Pacers couldn’t hold on the the lead and Brooklyn’s big three proved superior. When I said big three I ment the big three, as Kyrie Irving returned to action and didn’t disappoint, putting up 22 on 9-17. Not to be outdone, Kevin Durant put up 39 of his own tonight while James Harden scored 18. The league may be screwed if COVID laws loosen by the start of the playoffs. 

Warriors vs Mavericks

Injury Report: Kristaps Porzingis

Luka Doncic has returned and coincidentally the Mavericks have won three straight games, including last night over the Warriors. While Luka coming back and falling off was never the concern, his return makes me even more skeptical of Jalen Brunson as a viable fantasy option. As a secondary playmaker with easier looks he should theoretically improve but with less opportunity he might fall right back off. As for the Warriors Stephen Curry had a bad shooting night (5-24) and the bench scoring didn’t show up tonight. Jordan Poole only scored six points and was a -21 on the court. 

 

Raptors vs Bucks

Injury Report: Giannnis Antetokounmpo, Grayson Allen, Dante Divenchenso, Brook Lopez

Fred VanVleet should be a lock for the All-Star game right? Not the starting guard but a bench option absolutely. The Raptors are currently 7th in the Eastern Conference and Fred VanVleet has been the largest contributor to that success. Pascal Siakam went off and for good reason. I remember a few weeks ago the Bucks played the Rockets and I complained that Christian Wood didn’t go off. Well, Siakiam did what Wood should have. 33 points total and only two three-pointers. 

As for the Milwaukee Bucks they played valiantl;y, but couldn’t overcome the gluttony of injurtes and protocols enforced upon the team and coaching staff. But quick question for the Bucks, why are you releasing  DeMarcus Cousins? This was reported by Shams on Twitter right after the game and I don’t get it. I presume that it’s to make space for a trade but what are you really getting at the deadline that’s better than Cousins? He’s a good depth option who would have signed for the minimum. It seems counterintuitive. I guess they believe they are overloaded at the F/C position but still, I don’t get it man. 

 

Thunder vs Wolves

Injury Report: Luguentz Dort

Did you know that Malik Beasley is currently 4th in total three-pointers made this season? Neither did I. Sometimes while covering Wednesday games I can become tunnel visioned and only focus on single-night performances and miss the big picture. For example, Beasley missed all seven of his attempted threes, but still stands fourth overall. I’m an adult and I can admit my mistakes. I owe a big apology to Timberwolves fans for dismissing Malik Beasley so casually week after week. So here it is, I’m sorry I didn’t notice Malik Beasley’s contributions so far this season. I still don’t think they’re going to do anything serious with Karl-Anthony Towns as they are competing for the 8th seed currently but that’s neither here nor there. Speaking of Karl-Anthony Towns, he grabbed 16 rebounds last night and should be a lock to make his 3rd All-Star game this year. As for the Thunder, they’re a rebuilding team, they put up a spirited fight, the right young players got minutes let them be.

 

Jazz vs Nuggets

Injury Report: Rudy Gobert

Bojan Bogdanovic with 20 shot attempts, 36 points, and only one three? Who are you and what have you done with the real Bojan? In all seriousness, Bojan had an amazing game and the fact that Utah has this depth means that even when Donovan Mitchell has a bad shooting night players are ready to step up. Speaking of depth, Rudy Gay is a legitimate rotation player for the Jazz, as he played 29 minutes and is averaging 20 in his last 10. I only have one request of the Denver Nuggets in their struggling season. That being the release of Bol Bol to a terrible team where he can expand his game instead of riding the bench and playing four whole minutes. I’m not that high on Bol Bol. I just think he deserves more opportunity on a non-competing team. With how weak the West is this year Denver isn’t going to give up and tank this season. 

 

Heat vs Trail Blazers

Injury Report: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Damian Lillard

The Heat are phenomenal at just stumbling upon quality NBA players, more so than any other franchise going through similar injury and protocol woes. Max Strus with 25 last night, Gabe Vincent is averaging 16 through his last seven, and Omer Yurtseven is averaging 13 rebounds through his last 10 starts. Even new signing Kyle Guy almost put up double digits last night, Kyle Guy! He sounds like an auto-generated player on NBA 2K, but here he is giving quality minutes to a championship contender. The Trail Blazers are so far the other direction. They should just punt the season, pull a Toronto Raptors or Golden State Warriors last year, keep Damian Lillard out until healthy, and tank this season away. Fantasy managers everywhere, buy in on Anfernee Simons now as he’s only gonna see more opportunities

 

Hawks vs Kings

Injury Report: Trae Young, John Collins, Richaun Holmes

The Hawks had no right to win this game and the fact that they have a handful of guys like Kevin Huerter who can just go off is what makes them a scary team once fully healthy. The Kings have had the same decisions facing them all year, Marvin Bagley III’s future, where to trade Buddy Hield, and whether to stick with the three young guards or sell De’Aaron Fox. See me after the trade deadline Kings. 

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hjyuan
hjyuan
8 months ago

Now that the Raptors are healthy, is it time to cut bait on Boucher? He’s been pretty quiet the last couple games.