Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 124-104, behind a well-balanced scoring attack and more Nikola Jokic brilliance. Seven Nuggets’ players scored in double figures, led by the Joker, who finished the game with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, and one block. It was Jokic’s 14th triple-double of the season and the 71st of his career. Will Barton added 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, and one block. Aaron Gordon tallied 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal. Monte Morris chipped in with 12 points, five rebounds, and eight assists and Jeff Green finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Bryn Forbes (11) and Zeke Nnaji (10) also scored in double figures. Forbes (25), Nnaji (20), Bones Hyland (17), and DeMarcus Cousins (16) played the most minutes off the bench.

Nets Notes

The Brooklyn Nets slide into oblivion (and sports infamy) continues apace. The Nets lost another game with two of their three stars sidelined and trade rumors circulating. James Harden and Kevin Durant missed this game along with Nic Claxton, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Joe Harris. Kyrie Irving shot the ball poorly, but led this skeleton crew in scoring with 27 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, and three blocks. Cam Thomas poured in 20 points off the bench and added three rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks. Blake Griffin—who started at center as head coach Steve Nash continues to search for reliable center minutes with Claxton and Aldridge sidelined—tallied 19 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Patty Mills notched 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Kessler Edwards (two points, six rebounds, one assist, and one steal) continues to start in the wake of the Nets injuries and DeAndre’ Bembry continues to be Nash’s preferred defensive specialist. This week’s trade deadline will answer the big question, of whether or not James Harden will be traded and if that will solve some of the Nets’ ills.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls

The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Chicago Bulls 119-108, behind a 40-point afternoon from Joel Embiid, who continues to pour in the points and build his case for the league’s most valuable player. He finished the game with 40 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Tobias Harris showed some signs of life and finished the game with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block. Tyrese Maxey chipped in with 16 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Seth Curry finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Georges Niang and Furkan Korkmaz each had nine points off the bench. Matisse Thybulle (shoulder) and Shake Milton (back) missed the game for the 76ers.

Bulls Notes

The Chicago Bulls have persevered through a rash of injuries quite admirably this season and had they won this game, their coaching staff would have had the honor of coaching the All-Star game. Instead, this loss drops them a half-game behind the Heat in the Eastern Conference standings, and Billy Donovan and company get to spend some extra time with friends and family. DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with a game-high 45 points and added nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal. Nikola Vucevic has had some nice games of late, but he did not shoot the ball well in this game and tallied a hollow 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Javonte Green notched 17 points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks. Ayo Dousnmo didn’t do much as a scorer, but he continues to provide some necessary playmaking for the shorthanded Bulls. He finished the game with eight points, two rebounds, seven assists, and one steal. No other Bulls player tallied more than five points. Zach LaVine (back), Coby White groin), Derrick Jones Jr. (finger), Lonzo Ball (knee),  Alex Caruso (wrist), and Patrick Williams (wrist) were all sidelined for this game.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Detroit Pistons 118-105 to extend their winning streak to four games. All-Star reserve Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves in scoring and rebounding and finished the game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and one block. D’Angelo Russell tallied 22 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and one steal in his first game since January 27th. Malik Beasley made five threes off the bench and notched 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Anthony Edwards finished the game with 17 points, two rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Jaden McDaniels has strung together some solid performances of late and he looks to finally be comfortable in his role. He finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds, and three blocks. Patrick Beverley added 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal in his third game back from injury. It’s hard to know what to make of any potential Ben Simmons trade, but I’m intrigued by the idea of Simmons in Minnesota.

Pistons Notes

Saddiq Bey led the Piston in scoring with 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one block. Trey Lyles added 16 points, seven rebounds, and one assist in just 17 minutes off the bench. Corey Joseph finished the game with 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks. Hamidou Diallo finished the game with 11 points, six rebounds, and two blocks. Jerami Grant tallied 10 points, two rebounds, five assists, and one block in his fourth game back from injury. Grant has scored in double figures in each game since he returned, but he’s otherwise been unimpressive. The expectation for weeks has been that he’ll get traded at the deadline, but his desire to be the first or second offensive option for a team has complicated his trade market. Nonetheless, I’d still bet on a trade happening. Isaiah Stewart scored just five points, but he did grab 12 rebounds, swat four shots, and dish out one assist. I don’t know what to make of Stewart’s season. Barring a trade or draft pick changing the landscape, he should remain the starter, but his upside seems significantly lower than it did a season ago. Killian Hayes added 10 points, three rebounds, eight assists, one steal, and one block. Hayes has an old-school guard game, his best skills are his defense and passing and the area of greatest need is his scoring. If he can competently defend multiple positions and continue to improve his passing, he could be a rich man’s Elfrid Payton. That’s not exactly what you want out of a top pick, but it’s better than nothing. Kelly Olynyk played just 13 minutes and notched only three points, two rebounds, and four assists. It has been a rough year for those of us counting on Olynyk and a heater like he had last season in Houston does not appear imminent. The Pistons were without Cade Cunningham and Josh Jackson in this game.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Atlanta Hawks

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Atlanta Hawks 103-94 in a game where it felt like everyone in a Dallas uniform struggled with foul trouble. Luka Doncic had four fouls at the half and quickly picked up his fifth foul early in the third quarter. Jalen Brunson found himself in the exact same situation not long after. However, the Mavericks were able to hold off the Hawks with some timely buckets from Trey Burke and Reggie Bullock until Doncic returned in the fourth quarter. Brunson co-led the Mavs in scoring, finishing the game with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Reggie Bullock also scored 22 points and added nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Doncic tallied 18 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and one steal. Despite the foul trouble, Doncic nearly notched his triple-double in the first half (14p, 8 reb, 7 ast) when he set the offensive tone for the Mavs by relentlessly breaking the paint and finding shooters. Dwight Powell added 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Dorian Finney-Smith was the fifth and final Mav in double figures; he finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Make no mistake, the Mavs won this game with their defense, the Hawks shot 38% from the field and 20% from three. The Mavs foul trouble was largely what kept the Hawks in the game. Yet, another piece of evidence that suggests this Mavs defense is legit.

Hawks Notes

After an impressive win over the Suns on Thursday, the Hawks have now lost two in a row. Although five Hawks scored in double figures, Trae Young struggled with his shot in this game and the Hawks struggled to find a reliable secondary creator. John Collins had an impressive double-double, leading the Hawks in scoring and rebounding and finishing the game with 22 points, 18 rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Young tallied 17 points, two rebounds, and 11 assists, but the Mavericks attacked him in the pick and roll as often as they could. De’Andre Hunter finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Kevin Huerter notched 11 points, one rebound, two assists, and one steal. Danilo Gallinari finished the game with 11 points, five rebounds, and one block. Clint Capela played 20 minutes and finished the game with eight points, nine rebounds, and one block. Onyeka Okongwu played just 16 minutes, but he racked up 5 “stocks” in those minutes, finishing the game with four points, two rebounds, one assist, three steals, and two blocks.

Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

The Boston Celtics easily defeated the Orlando Magic 116-83. The Celtics appear to have righted the ship and should, finally, be competing for a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference during the second half of the season. They are just one game back of the Nets in the loss column and unless Kevin Durant returns from injury sooner than expected, it’s hard to imagine them getting back on track anytime soon. Six Celtics’ players scored in double figures, led by Jaylen Brown, who finished the game with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Dennis Schroder made four threes and finished the game with 22 points, four rebounds, and two assists off the bench. Jayson Tatum struggled with his shot, but had a nice all-around game. He finished the night with 15 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal. Al Horford added 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block. Grant Williams chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block off the bench. And the Time Lord himself, Robert Williams III, finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks.

Magic Notes

The Magic lost again. They have the worst record in the league, a game ahead of the Detroit Pistons for that honor. At least the team will be well-represented in the rising stars game during All-Star weekend, as Franz Wagner, Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony will be participating. Only two Magic players scored in double figures in this game, led by Suggs, who finished the game with 17 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Suggs has played pretty well since returning from his wrist injury and may change the narrative on his rookie season in the second half. Wendell Carter Jr. tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and one block. Anthony notched nine points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Wagner finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds, and one assist. Mo Bamba also scored eight points and added 10 rebounds, one assist, and two blocks. Veterans Gary Harris and Terrence Ross seem like the most likely players on the roster to be traded, with Harris more likely than Ross due to his defensive abilities.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 98-85 immediately after trading for Caris LeVert. There had been reports of the Cavs being interested in Caris LeVert for some weeks now and they finally decided to pull the trigger. It’s possible missed games from Darius Garland revealed the full extent of their weaknesses on the perimeter. Neither Garland nor Markkanen played in this game, but they had just enough to get the job done. The Cavs bench mob was the star of this game as all three of their top scorers came off the bench. Cedi Osman led the way with 22 points, four rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Kevin Love added 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. and Rajon Rondo tallied 15 points, five rebounds, 12 assists, and one steal. Love & Rondo, who’ve both won championships with LeBron, albeit in different uniforms, turned back the clock in this game. Jarret Allen also scored 15 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and swatted two shots. Dean Wade, who continues to fill in admirably on the wing, finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Evan Mobley, still the likely favorite for rookie of the year, was fairly quiet in this game, and finished the contest with nine points, four rebounds, and three blocks.

Pacers Notes

Before this game even began, the Indiana Pacers traded Caris LeVert to their opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for Ricky Rubio and some solid value picks, including the Cavaliers’ first-round pick this season. Here’s the breakdown from Woj:

Due to the trade, LeVert did not play in this game, but Domantas Sabonis did return for the first time since January 29th. The Pacers had just three players score in double figures and none of them were Sabonis. As they have been for most of the season, the Pacers remain a mess, a boring mess at that. It does appear that this trade deadline will see them shake things up, however. Rookie Chris Duarte led the Pacers in scoring in this game with 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Fellow rookie, Duane Washington Jr., was right behind Duarte, as he finished the game with 17 points, two rebounds, and two assists off the bench. Justin Holiday added 10 points, two rebounds, and one steal. Sabonis finished the game with nine points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets

The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Houston Rockets 120-107. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans in scoring with 33 points, three rebounds, 12 assists, three steals, and one block. The Pelicans have to be pretty happy with the return they received from the Lakers in the AD trade way back when. Ingram made an All-Star team and his game continues to expand, Josh Hart is a solid player on a team-friendly contract, and Lonzo Ball…nvm. The Pelicans have played well of late and revitalized their season, but the Zion question remains unresolved and the cumulative weight of years of short-sighted front office moves looms over their future. May they act soundly and wisely and with a long view this trade deadline. I’m praying for you Pelicans fans. Jonas Valanciunas finished the game with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Jaxson Hayes, who’s played well in recent games, tallied 21 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks off the bench. Hart notched 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Herb Jones, who’s made a name for himself with opposing coaches over the course of the season, finished the game with nine points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Rockets Notes

I am just a man, sitting at his computer, asking the old gods and the new, to FREE JAE’SEAN TATE!

Christian Wood led the Rockets in scoring with 22 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, and one block. Jalen Green was an efficient 7 of 14 from the field and finished the game with 18 points, three rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Garrison Mathews finished the game with 18 points, one rebound, four assists, and one block. Jae’Sean Tate notched 15 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks. Josh Christopher added 12 points, one rebound, two assists, and one steal off the bench. Kevin Porter Jr. tallied just eight points on 3 of 10 shooting, but added four rebounds, eight assists, and one block. Alperen Sengun tallied finished the game with five points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 137-113. The Bucks have now won three in a row after getting destroyed by the Denver Nuggets on January 30th. All five of the Bucks starters scored in double figures. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge for the Bucks with 28 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and two blocks. Jrue Holiday wasn’t far behind Giannis, as he finished the game with 27 points, five rebounds, 13 assists, two steals, and one block. Holiday was instrumental in putting this game on ice as he scored 11 points and dished out two assists in the fourth quarter. Bobby “Crazy Eyes” Portis added 24 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Portis also had a strong fourth quarter as he scored 10 points and grabbed four assists. Khris Middleton finished the game with 17 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Pat Connaughton tallied 18 points and five rebounds. No other Bucks player scored in double figures, but Greg Monroe and Donte DiVencenzo each had nine points. DiVencenzo seems like a likely trade candidate at the deadline, though it would have to be the right situation for a change of scenery to positively affect his fantasy prospects. The Bucks were without Grayson Allen (hip), George Hill (neck), and Brook Lopez in this game.

Clippers Notes

While the Clippers came up short as a team, Norman Powell had a splashy Hollywood debut as he finished the game with 28 points, one rebound, and four assists. Powell played just 23 minutes off the bench, yet he led the Clippers in scoring. Marcus Morris Sr. started and finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Robert Covington also had a strong game in his Clippers debut, as he finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds, and one steal. You’d have to imagine that Powell and Covington’s arrival would limit the playing time of players like Luke Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr. Nicolas Batum could also be minimized—he played just 15 ineffective minutes in this game, though he did start. Ivica Zubac tallied 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one block in 18 minutes. Reggie Jackson, fresh off the game-winner against the Los Angeles Lakers, finished this game with 10 points, two rebounds, and five assists. Amir Coffey (10) also scored in double figures.

 

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RicoSuave
RicoSuave
6 months ago

Thanks for the great recap Jalen.

I need to drop one of these players… sleeper league format. 1 start pick per week…

who should I drop?

Bane, Maxey or RJ Barret

thanks

Jason Murray
Jason Murray
6 months ago

I’m in a 14-team H2H keeper where we keep 3. I was offered Jaren Jackson and RJ Barrett for Karl-Anthony Towns. Is that offer enough for KAT? Thanks.

Jalen Eutsey
Jalen Eutsey
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason Murray

Hmm, tough to say. Is KAT too expensive to keep (I’m assuming it’s an auction draft)? Barret has come on strong recently but for the season isn’t a dominant player in 9-cat. I’ve been lower on him from the beginning but he had a good season last year and it seems like he’s a hard worker who will continue to improve. I would only do it if you were setting yourself up really well for the draft by saving substantial money and if those two players helped outline your build going into the draft.