Nets 122, Magic 115
Best Work, BKN (tie): Kevin Durant
First 30-point, double-double debut by teammates in NBA history per Yahoo! Sports. Friggin’ Brennan Huff and Dale Doback have reunited to stuff shit up. “Look at the turnovers, though!” That’s like telling someone about the terrible gas mileage that their monster-truck gets before the demolition derby, nobody’s gonna care about that right now.
Does the Harden deal leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth? Can you imagine what would happen if we put on 25 pounds and told our respective partners that they needed to change? Given that Harden played 39 minutes (Durant clocked 40), any physical impediments haven’t manifested themselves, yet, so The Beard’s The Belly doesn’t seem to be anything that should concern us as fantasy owners.
Biggest Jerk, BKN: DeAndre Jordan
Did you fall for it this week, too? “I know that DJ’s so old, he has a reverse-equity loan on his Lob City condo, but they have nobody left to play center…he HAS to play, for at least a few games. How does he not just trip and fall into a double-double between the lobs and bricks to put back?” I guess by being himself; he played 23 minutes, only had one foul, and, I dunno, maybe he led the team in high-fives or help-ups. Rookie Reggie Perry, a 6’10” second-round pick by way of Mississippi State, played 23 minutes off the bench, scored 7, grabbed 5, and picked up 5 fouls. Don’t roster Jordan or Perry.
NOTE: Kyrie was eligible to return Saturday provided he had a negative ‘Rona test, but was ruled out with little other detail.
OBSERVATION: “Poor Steve Nash” is never a sentence I thought I’d write, but poor Steve Nash. Are you going to tell me he’s not the first to get thrown under the bus if this isn’t working out by mid-April, with a tenured coach like Mike D’Antoni already on staff? Nets are 8-6 with this dub, stay tuned.
Best Work, ORL: Nikola Vucevic
Vooch doing work is about the only constant we can rely on in these times of uncertainty, unrest, and upheaval, scoring a season-high 34 last night. He’s producing like this WITH a usage rate of 27.2 percent for the year; why isn’t The Swiss Swish pining for a trade, himself, as he wastes away in Orlando during his 9th NBA season? Is he really into alligators? College football? The Swiss are a neutral people, so maybe that’s why he can quietly produce.
Biggest Jerk, ORL: Aaron Gordon
I’ll admit, it’s not the worst line, but someone’s gotta be the jerk, and it didn’t seem fair to assail Dwayne Bacon with his 10 points, 2 steals, and donuts everywhere else considering he’s only owned in 2 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Gordon’s averaging 14.7/6.2/3.1 for the year, but Gordon just never seems to live up even to pro-rated expectations; he’s rostered in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues, which means there are enough people out there who have said, “Dunks aren’t a stat, latah, ked.” Those are all probably 6-teamers with tween managers, but much like how players will give others guff over their 2k ratings, I imagine there’s a grenade tossed every now and again in NBA locker rooms to the effect of, “Sit down, bitch, you ain’t even universally owned in 10-cats.”
Spurs 103, Rockets 91
Best Work, SAS: Demar DeRozan
Not the best shooting night but it was still another solid night from this steady performer, who’s playing all-star caliber ball yet again, with a 24.3 usage rate on the season to go with 20.7/5.7/6.7. If I were Kevin Durant, I’d rather play with a guy like this, instead of someone who looks like they’re trying to see what it would be like if Homer Simpson balled out in real life.
Biggest Jerk, SAS: LaMarcus Aldridge
Pff, more like LaMarcus Almost, amirite?!?! Certainly, a game to be forgotten by the 35-year-old in his 15th NBA season. He’s still averaging 13.6/5.0/2.5 for the season, but 4 points were a season-low, and owners hope it doesn’t get any lower. He’s 94-percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues, but expect that to drop precipitously after this one.
Best Work, HOU: Christian Wood
Poor The Crucifix (Josh Lloyd’s moniker, not mine). Signs a 3-year pact to go to a contender and it’s been chaos to start his Houston tenure. He’s been a great buy in fantasy, so thanks for sacrificing yourself so that the rest of us can thrive. Can you hold this bottle of Aquafina for a second, Christian? Thanks, I’ll take that, preesh, bleck, still just water, but ehhh, it was worth a shot.
Biggest Jerk, HOU: Ben McLemore
If Thrift Shop is making you wonder if you should go Goodwill Hunting on the waiver wire, pump the brakes on your Chevelle, Chucky; he did play a season-high 38 minutes last night, but the Rockets had the league-minimum 8 players available, resulting in a season-high for shots, too. He’s 9.0/2.4/1.1 entering his 8th season, and while the 27-year-old is getting a fresh start with his new coach in his home state, that’s the stuff for in-game puff-pieces, not fantasy rosters; we know who this jerk is from his body of work, and he’s an unrosterable one.
Raptors 116, Hornets 113
Best Work, TOR: Chris Boucher
Why isn’t Big Bouch starting? Aron Baynes got the start at center the last two games, playing 8 and then 4 minutes respectively. Not, “until Boucher subbed in, but eventually Baynes came back in and tossed a few boomerangs around in the paint to salvage the night,” that’s all Baynes played in those two contests, total. Why is Nurse starting him, still? Is he terrified of Baynes? I wouldn’t blame him for that, but, maybe trade him back to the Celtics, who have a plethora of undersized guards, and clearly, the Raptors can’t get enough of them. Boucher played 30 in this one and is averaging 15.7/6.8/1.0 on the year.
Biggest Jerk, TOR: Pascal Siakam
Siakam’s having a rough season, and there’s extensive chatter that the league has figured out his game, and his vaunted spin-move is redundant, predictable, and ineffective; lines like this will do little to salve those criticisms. He’s still averaging 18.9/8.3/4.9 on the season, but I would bail for 70 cents on the dollar if I would find a willing trade counterpart.
Best Work, CHA: Gordon Hayward
What can I start derisively calling Hayward, “The Volvo?” Does that encapsulate something that’s expensive yet practical, sleek, and smooth but without too much panache? More like “The Saab,” because it’s a lot like a Volvo, except it breaks constantly and takes forever to fix it…
Yeah, I wanted that one to linger. Despite a few dips, Hayward’s been largely great this year. I hate him. I hate him so much, friggin’ jerk. Wait, wrong section…
Biggest Jerk, CHA: LaMelo Ball
I mean, he’s not a real jerk, but I had to pick one for this format I arbitrarily conceived, and obviously, everyone wants LaMelo News. Definitely not his best game, but he’s a rookie with no real offseason to speak of, and has averaged 11.8/6.8/6.1 over 25 minutes in reserve duty to start his career.
Pistons 120, Heat 100
Best Work, DET: Jerami Grant
Grant’s definitely looking like The Guy in Detroit with a robust line like this, doing it on both ends to lead his squad to a dub, as he’s posting 24.8/6.3/2.2 in his first season with the Pistons.
Biggest Jerk, DET: Derrick Rose
Rose is a jerk because he follows up a 4-point effort in 20 minutes against Phoenix last week with this stellar night. He is scoring in double-figures with decent assists and steals this season, so maybe he is worth a look, but being rostered in 64-percent of Yahoo! leagues just seems too high for him.
Best Work, MIA: Bam Adebayo
It’s hard to not acknowledge a guy when he has a perfect night from The Nail as Bam did; free throws say more about a player than I think people acknowledge, and while it didn’t matter as the Heat got tossed with Jimmy Butler still out on ‘Rona protocol and Tyler Herro unavailable with a neck-spasm issue, it was still noteworthy.
Biggest Jerk, MIA: Kelly Olynyk
What the stuff, Kid Canada?! He was supposed to produce with so few bodies available, and he did put up 12/6/4 in 38 minutes against Philly the game prior, but disappointed fantasy owners over 24 minutes in this one. He’s still starting, but whatever dirt Baynes has on Nurse to stay in the starting lineup, Olynyk lacks on Spoels, so ditch him if there’s something better on your wire.
Grizzlies 106, Sixers 104
Best Work, MEM: Ja Morant
Was it Ja’s best game as a pro? Hardly, but it’s his first one back after an ugly ankle sprain, a big relief for fantasy owners who may have taken the over on the number of games he’d miss with it. Ja started and played 30 minutes, and there’s no chatter about any restrictions, game on.
Biggest Jerk, MEM: Jonas Valanciunas
Foul trouble kept this big oaf from producing much with which to be pleased. He’s averaging 14.4/10.4/1.8 on the season, and a double-double is the floor when you’re a unicorn-moose like this guy. Do the Grizz need to hire somebody to poke this bear to piss him off before tip-off to get good production? He’ll be fine, but he’s certainly a jerk after this dud.
Best Work, PHI: Shake Milton
A lot of owners tabbed Shake for some big production with a bevy of Sixers unavailable for a stretch, and he had another big night, after dropping 31 on Thursday. He’s posting 16.9/1.8/3.7 for the season, and at 56-percent ownership in Yahoo!, take a peek, just in case.
Biggest Jerk, PHI: Danny Green
Milton did what many others thought Danny would do with the newfound plethora of minutes and shots to be had, but while he did start and play 35 minutes, this was the result. He’s scored 2, 29, 12, and now 8, respectively, over his last 4 games. The mercurial play of such a seemingly even-keeled guy befuddles me.
Blazers 112, Hawks 106
Best Work, POR: Damian Lillard
With CJ McCollum only logging 18 minutes, suffering a sprained left foot in the game (confirmed by MRI, no timeline info available), Logo Lillard knew that it was his turn to pop off, and did thusly. The 36 points weren’t even a season-high for Lillard, who’s posting 27.6/4.8/6.8 in another all-pro campaign, but he can surely buoy the Blazers until his backcourt bro is back.
Biggest Jerk, POR: Robert Covington
Covington owners collectively thought that, with Jusuf Nurkic’s right-wrist fracture and subsequent absence, he would surely produce. You can clearly drop that hope, and probably him in 12-teamers, at least. Covington has made 5 or more field goals once and grabbed double-figure boards twice in his last 10 contests. Thanks for making me look like less of a jerk for me dropping you last week in two 12-teamers, Bobby, you Jerk of the Night.
Best Work, ATL: Trae Young
If Trae was waging some kind of protest by not shooting a ton, as some speculated last week, that’s surely in the past with volume like this. Yes, 1-for-9 from deep is an eyesore, but Traeball’s owners are just pleased he’s heaving them with ease once more. He’s averaging 26.5 percent from long range this year, well below his 32.4 and 36.1 marks his first two seasons, respectively, so that should tick upward, but Trae’s always going to miss a lot.
Biggest Jerk, ATL: John Collins
I can’t believe he was ranked no. 21 by Yahoo! before the season started. I pity anyone who drafted him in the first four rounds. He’s averaging 15.7/7.3/1.6 on the year, but there are rumors that he’s causing problems in the locker room, complaining about touches, and is generally sour after passing on a $90m extension this offseason in hopes of having a monster year and earning a max pact. This reminds me of the opening stanzas of the Stephen Jackson saga, so let’s hope it doesn’t get that crazy for Collins.