A record-breaking $1.5 billion jackpot was up for grabs in the latest powerball drawing on Wednesday. While I didn’t buy a ticket, winning that kind of money is very tempting, despite the terrible odds. The odds are so bad that Bartolo Colon is more likely to hit an inside-the-park homerun than you are at winning the big jackpot. (Interesting fact: Colon also shares a nickname with JB: Big Sexy.) Even with the odds, hopefully your number was called!
The odds of Russell Westbrook scoring 0 points is definitely better than winning the jackpot, but it’s still rare. He was ejected after 15 minutes of playing time with nary a point. Fortunately, he still contributed 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals before departing.
Another rarity: Mavericks big man Salah Mejri came off the bench to post 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block in 25 minutes. Zaza Pachulia and Dirk Nowitzki were rested, but still. Mejri had played a combined 20 minutes all season coming into the game!
Stephen Curry scored 38 points. Not that surprising. Well, how about the Nuggets beating the Warriors? Now that’s unexpected. The Warriors were playing without Draymond Green (scheduled rest day), but the Nuggets were just 14-24 coming into the game! In addition to his 38 points, Curry also added 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 threes, and 3 steals.
Those were some of the stranger games of the night. Here are the rest of Wednesday night’s daily notes:
Paul Millsap – Did the Monstars steal the Hawks’ talent? It sure looked like it after the Hawks got blown out by 23 by the Hornets, a lead that was much worse during parts of the 4th quarter. Millsap was the only useful Hawk, posting 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Kemba Walker – Walker bounced back nicely from two 11 point outings, to post 23 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 threes, and 1 block. For being only a 6’1” point guard, Walker gets a lot of blocks. He has 26 on the season.
Cody Zeller – The New Year has been great so far for Zeller. He went for 19 and 10 with 3 blocks, his fourth game with 10+ rebounds in 2016.
Jeremy Lin – It might not be Linsanity anymore, but Lin was productive off the bench with 19 points and 5 rebounds.
John Wall – 19 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds for the Wall-Star.
Nene – The Wizards were without Marcin Gortat (knee infection), giving Nene the start at center for the second straight game. Nene is always a risk for another injury, but made it through the game with 12 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
Bradley Beal – Beal made his return for the Wizards, after missing 16 games due to a stress fracture in his right leg. He was on a minutes’ restriction, but posted 11/3/3 while shooting 3-8 from the field. I expect the Wizards to limit Beal’s minutes, a la Jrue Holiday, in order to keep him fresh throughout the season. Meanwhile, Otto Porter (10 points) left the game with a hip injury. The Wizards just can’t stay healthy.
Garrett Temple – His minutes are in flux with Beal back in the lineup, but he posted another useful stat line with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 3 threes. He’s not must own by any means, but he’s giving top 130 stats over the last 30 days. Temple and Ramon Sessions (15 points, 5 assists) would continue to see plenty of minutes if Porter were to miss more time.
Greg Monroe and Giannis Antetokounmpo – The Bucks might have lost the game, but they destroyed the Gortat-less Wizards on the glass 47-30. Monroe (21/12) and Antetokounmpo (19/11/6) led the Bucks, both of whom have been on a double-digit rebounding rampage lately.
Jabari Parker – The scoring was still there, but he did little else with 22 points and 6 rebounds.
Khris Middleton – While Parker seems to only be able to score, Middleton continues to fill up the stat sheet with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez – In the Battle of New York and Lopez brothers, Brook bested his brother, delivering the win and posting a 20/8/5 line. Robin posted a useful 9 points, 12 rebounds, and 1 block for the Knicks.
Thaddeus Young – The double-double machine posted another double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
Joe Johnson – Don’t look now, but JJ has been posting decent numbers over the last 4 games. Last night, he contributed 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. More importantly he shot 6-12 from the field, his third straight game shooting over 50% from the field.
Shane Larkin – The Nets are still looking for a point guard with Jarrett Jack (torn ACL) out for the year. Larkin scored 17 points and dished out 5 assists off the bench, while starter Donald Sloan posted an 8/4/3 line. Neither is very good, but both should see heavy minutes down the stretch, especially if the Nets trade Young, Johnson, or Lopez to a contender.
Derrick Williams – With Carmelo Anthony out with an ankle injury, Williams seized the opportunity, scoring 31 points off the bench with 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Melo’s ankle doesn’t appear to be too serious so feel free to leave Williams and Lance Thomas (6/3/3) on the waiver wire.
Kristaps Porzingis – KP shot poorly (5-17), but still contributed a fantasy friendly 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. It’s crazy to think he’s only a rookie.
Jose Calderon – Calderon scored 13 points in the last three games combined, but then went off for 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 threes on Wednesday. Go figure.
Amir Johnson – Johnson was a monster on the glass, grabbing 18 rebounds to go along with 14 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals. He’s been producing and getting plenty of minutes lately, making him a strong pickup in all leagues.
Paul George – George was a little off on his shooting (7-20 from the field and 3-8 from three), but still managed a 23/8/4 line for the Pacers.
Ian Mahinmi – Despite playing only 22 minutes, Mahinmi double-doubled with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also contributed 2 assists and 3 steals.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Another game, another double-double. 12 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals for the rookie.
Ricky Rubio – In non-turnover leagues, Rubio had a fantastic game with 9 points, 12 assists, 4 steals, and 5 rebounds. Unfortunately, he also turned over the ball 8 times. We can’t have it all.
Andrew Wiggins – Nice shooting performance from Wiggins, as he nailed 9 of 16 from the field on his way to 28 points. If Kevin Martin (22 points) is traded at the deadline, Wiggins could see his usage rate increase.
Dwight Howard – Howard has been on a double-double roll with 8 double-doubles in the last 9 games played. Last night’s 15/10 came with Howard’s usual 2 blocks and 5-10 free throw shooting.
James Harden – Harden’s shot wasn’t falling (8-22 FG, 2-10 3PT) so he relied more on his passing, dishing out 11 assists. He still scored 27 points, thanks to shooting 9-11 from the charity stripe.
Terrence Jones – Jones posted 16 points and 9 rebounds, a night after going 20/4/3/1/3. Just when you think you should drop him, he posts back-to-back useful stat lines.
Serge Ibaka – I-Block-a contributed 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Kevin Durant – Joining Ibaka with a double-double, KD posted 29/10/4 for the Thunder.
Dion Waiters – With Westbrook leaving early, Waiters took full advantage posting 18 points, 5 assists, and 3 threes.
J.J. Barea – Barea scuffled with Westbrook twice, resulting in Westbrook’s ejection, but Barea was able to stay in the game for the Mavericks, adding 18 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds. Deron Williams was rested so Barea’s spot start will be short lived.
Danilo Gallinari – His defense was great down the stretch to secure the victory, but it was his offense that fantasy owners will be exciting about. Gallo knocked down 17-19 from the free throw line, on his way to 28 points and 5 rebounds.
Gary Harris – Playing a whooping 39 minutes, Harris chipped in 19 points and 7 rebounds.
Will Barton – Barton bounced back from a mini-shooting slump to post 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists off the bench.
Darrell Arthur – What a wonderful kind of day! Arthur posted a monster double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Deeper leagues should take note. Arthur’s averaging 10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and almost a block and steal per game in 24 minutes in 6 January games. It doesn’t jump out at you, but he’s been reasonably effective for the Nuggets.
Andrew Bogut – The man from down under contributed a season-high 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks.
Harrison Barnes – With Green out, Barnes received more looks at the basket, scoring 18 points (7-17) with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Damian Lillard – Lillard has been on fire to start the year. He continued the trend with 21 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds on Wednesday. Lillard also knocked down 8-14 from the field and 4-7 from beyond the arc for a very efficient evening.
C.J. McCollum – I think the Blazers learned their lesson to double check the lineup card. McCollum shot only 6-20 from the field, but was still effective alongside Lillard, scoring 15 points and dishing out 8 assists.
Gordon Hayward – Hayward continued his usual efficient fantasy production with 19 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds.
Anthony Davis – The Brow returned from a 2-game absence because of a back contusion to post 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. He played 37 minutes and should be fine going forward.
Eric Gordon – Gordon put it all together last night, posting a very fantasy friendly line: 24/5/6 with 3 steals, 1 block, and a whopping 6-12 from downtown.
Ryan Anderson – Part of trade rumors, Anderson came off the bench for the Pelicans. Despite only 20 minutes, Anderson scored 18 points, including 4-6 from long range. He played 40+ minutes the last two nights so it looks like this was just a one game thing.
Norris Cole – Joining Anderson as a spark plug off the bench, Cole chipped in 18 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Jrue Holiday (6 points, 10 assists) is still the backup point guard so leave Cole on the waiver wire.
DeMarcus Cousins – Initially I was shocked that Cousins shot 30 times, but based on his season numbers, that isn’t that crazy. It didn’t matter anyways, as the Kings lost, but the 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 threes will make fantasy owners happy.
Rajon Rondo – More of the same for Rondo: 17 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. He has dished out 10+ assists in 5 games that he’s played in 2016.
Chris Paul – CP3 dished out 12 assists to go along with his 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Paul Pierce – With Blake Griffin out, Pierce continues to start, but has yet to find the consistency in the box score. For owners that gambled on him last night, he rewarded them with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 threes.
Chris Bosh – Oh my Bosh! He almost messed around and got a triple double (11/12/7).
Dwyane Wade – 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists for the 33-year-old.
Hassan Whiteside – Coming off the bench, Whiteside still dominated with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He missed the previous game with a knee injury so the Heat will be careful with the minutes for their All-Star center.