A matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers is Candyland for talented opposition and on Tuesday night it was Thaddeus Young‘s turn to feast. The injury-depleted Sixers couldn’t keep Thad off the glass as he collected a season-high 16 rebounds (four offensive). In addition to the board-fest, Young scored 14 points on 5-9 from the field and a perfect 4-4 mark from the foul line. He handed out a team-high four assists (with no turnovers), swiped the ball twice and rejected three Philly shots for an eight-category gem. The only disappointment for Thad’s owners on this night is that he fouled out, holding him to 33 minutes, or the line could have been even sweeter.
Thad has been a fourth round value on the season so big lines have popped up here and there, but monster outings like Tuesday’s illustrate just how favorable a matchup with Philadelphia can be. All told, the Nets hung 131 points on ’em (in regulation) and with the 76ers having now given up more than 110 points in twelve of their last fifteen games, it’s worth a look ahead to see who else might have an opportunity to post a season-best line at the expense of Philadelphia pride in the near future…
- Thursday, March 17th vs Wizards – Look for Otto Porter to go big, especially if Bradley Beal can’t go.
- Friday, March 18th vs Thunder – If you’ve ever wondered if Russell Westbrook can post a triple-double in less than 20 minutes, this might be the night we find out.
- Sunday, March 20th vs Boston – Avery Bradley is due for a scoring outburst as he hasn’t had a 20+ point performance since February 22nd. Maybe he busts loose against the “defense” of Isaiah Canaan and Nik Stauskas.
Beyond that the ‘6ers head out on a four-game road trip with the last of those contests taking place at Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors…yikes.
Let’s take a game-by-game look at the studs, duds and noteworthy performers from a six-game Tuesday night.
Celtics @ Pacers
Hot: Paul George – Surprising efficiency from PG13 versus the Cs as it took him only 16 FGAs to score his game-high 25 points. George didn’t stop there as he contributed across the board with seven boards, four dimes, four swipes, a block, and a pair of 3-pointers. After shooting sub-40% in each of his last three games, his 9-16 mark on Tuesday was a sight for sore eyes.
Not: Myles Turner – Another quiet night as the proverbial rookie wall seems to have formed in front of Turner. Only six points and three boards for the first year big man in 21 minutes with the starting unit. He was able to chip in a steal and a block, but he’ll need more consistent run and a higher usage if he wants to recapture some of the magic he showed back in January and February.
Worth Mentioning: Isaiah Thomas struggled with his shot (5-18 FGs) but still managed to post 21/6/8/2/1 and three treys…The Celtics’ 3-guard starting lineup of IT2/3, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley combined to shoot only 4-21 from long distance…Jonas Jerebko came alive for a season-high 17 points (including a pair of threes), but there’s no reason to think this is any more than an aberration…Monta Ellis put up a versatile 16/7/6/2/0 (with two 3-pointers) line for his owners. Ellis now has at least one steal in 32 of his last 33 games and looks like a nice asset for the fantasy playoffs.
Nuggets @ Magic
Hot: Evan Fournier – 30/3/3/1/0 looks nice enough but gets even better when you see that Fournier drained five 3-pointers and shot 11-19 from the field. That’s now five straight games of 15+ points as he looks to help fill the scoring void left by the injured Nikola Vucevic. With a couple more 4-game weeks following this one for the Magic, fantasy owners will want to hold on tight to Fournier.
Not: Kenneth Faried – Unfortunately for the Manimal, his pesky back flared up on him after 15 minutes of action. Darrell Arthur (13/4/2/1/0 in 28 minutes) is the guy you want to scoop up if Faried is listed as anything worse than “questionable” for the Nuggets’ next game.
Worth Mentioning: Nikola Jokic played well (14/6/4/1/1) but still couldn’t convince Mike Malone to play him heavy minutes as his upside is capped in these 25-minute outings…Gary Harris was excellent on both ends of the court, stealing the ball three times and draining a pair of shots from beyond the arc. He’s seeing the heaviest run of any Nuggets player and they have a favorable playoff schedule, so owners can expect nice returns from the Denver 2-guard…Will Barton posted an empty 15 & 4 line and is a far cry from the shoe-in MIP award winner we saw during the first half of the season…Aaron Gordon was efficient (7-10 FGs, two 3-pointers) and brought the defense (two blocks and a steal), but saw only 27 minutes of court time. Skiles and Malone at their finest…Brandon Jennings got a spot start and double-doubled with 12 points and 11 assists. He tossed in a steal and a three for good measure, but Skiles still doesn’t trust him as he too only saw 27 minutes…Jason Smith blew up off the bench for 25 & 13 as he assumed the role of really-good-mid-range-shooting-white-guy-in-Disney-World.
76ers @ Nets
Hot: Bojan Bogdanovic – I mentioned that the Nets put up 131 against the visiting Sixers. Well, 44 of those came from the hand of BoBo. He played 37 minutes, took 27 shots from the field (connecting on 17 of them), and pulled down eight rebounds for good measure. That’s that Philly bump, kids.
Not: Donald Sloan – When you’re the starting point guard for a team that scores no less than 29 points in any quarter, you should be able to fall back-asswards into more than 9/2/3/1/0. It’s not even like Shane Larkin beasted off the bench (10/0/2/3/0, 24 minutes). Tough to explain this one away.
Worth Mentioning: Isaiah Canaan hit five of his 10 long range attempts and finished with 20 points. He is worth an add if you’re hard up for treys…Nik Stauskas was nice in 30 minutes off the bench, going 18/7/1/2/1 with two threes. That’s three straight double-digit scoring games for Sauce Castillo with rising minutes each time out. Certainly not a must-add, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on him…Sean Kilpatrick was another of the Nets who enjoyed the Philly effect – 19 points on 6-9 shooting (including 3-4 from beyond the arc).
Raptors @ Bucks
Hot: Kyle Lowry – Without his bestest backcourt buddy, K-Low took over offensively, needing just 28 minutes to throw up 25 points and 11 dimes. He canned four 3-pointers and made 11 of his 13 attempts from the charity stripe. Don’t be surprised if Lowry gets a rest later this week, with Cory Joseph taking his place in the starting unit.
Not: Jerryd Bayless – What an ugly performance for Bayless who got absolutely steamrolled by Lowry in this one. JB finished with only 11 points on nine field goal attempts, no rebounds and no assists. That’s all kinds of bad, but I still think he’s a hold given how thin the Bucks’ backcourt is.
Worth Mentioning: No DeMar DeRozan (rest) meant a lot more shots to go around for the Raptors. Among those who benefited were Norman Powell (17/3/2/1/2, three triples), Terrence Ross (11 points, a steal, three triples), and Cory Joseph (six points, six dimes, a steal). Jonas Valanciunas hurt his left hand on Monday and also sat this one out, making way for Bismack Biyombo to feast on the hapless Milwaukee frontcourt. Big Bis didn’t disappoint with 12/13/1/0/2 and should have been starting this week, JV or not, given that the Raps play five times in seven days…Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to put up gaudy numbers with a 18/12/9/0/3 effort. Unfortunately he only connected on 6-11 free throws to take a bit of shine off an otherwise stellar game…Greg Monroe didn’t show up for this one, posting only 8 & 9 with no assists, steals or blocks…Apart from his three steals, Khris Middleton was nearly as invisible as Monroe, contributing 12/1/3/3/0 and failing to connect on either of his attempts from deep.
Clippers @ Spurs
Hot: Chris Paul – In a game where his team only scored 87 points and lost by 21, it’s remarkable that CP3 was able to post 22/4/8/3/0 on 9-16 shooting. There are very few surprises with Paul and he is returning fifth overall value on the season (9-cat, per-game). If he can close out the season with a few big performances he could get his averages to 20 points and 10 assists (currently sitting at 19.9 & 9.8, respectively).
Not: Tony Parker – Parker not only got outplayed by CP3, but also by his own backup, Patty Mills. In 24 minutes TP had as many turnovers as he did points (two), to go along with five assists and a pair of boards. The line looks even worse when you see that Mills went for 15/6/5 with a pair of treys in 23 minutes off the bench. Parker is tough to trust down the stretch because he’s not only prone to duds, but also to rest/maintenance days as the Spurs cruise into the playoffs with a top-2 seed.
Worth Mentioning: Jeff Green hasn’t exactly endeared himself to Clippers Nation (or the fantasy community) since making the move to the west coast. He’s the 169th ranked player during his time in LA, due in large part to lines like he had on Tuesday – 15/2/0/0/1 in 33 minutes. He hit a trio of long balls but he’s just too inconsistent to trust, even when he is getting the minutes. There are likely better options on the wire…Wesley Johnson managed to be even worse than Green with a 0/0/1/0/1 line – that’s hard to do in 21 minutes. Normally the ball bounces to you more often out of sheer happenstance if you’re on the court for that long…Kawhi Leonard couldn’t connect on any of his three 3-point attempts but that was pretty much the only blemish in his outing on Tuesday. He finished Tuesday’s rout of the Clippers with 20/5/4/3/0 on 9-15 shooting and is every bit the first round fantasy asset that 9-cat owners were hoping for at the start of the year…Danny Green hit 4-5 shots, all of which were threes for a very Danny Green-esque outing. He added an assist and a steal, but nothing else and this season has been a true test of patience for owners who have stuck it out with him since October – if such a creature exists.
Kings @ Lakers
Hot: DeMarcus Cousins – Brought the defense on Tuesday at Staples Center with three steals and four blocks. Owners would be thrilled if we stopped there, but DMC also poured in 22 points (4-10 FGs, 13-15 FTs, 1-1 3s), grabbed eight boards and dished out three helpers. His turnovers and FT% have capped his upside since the All-Star break as he’s not even in the top-20, but if he can avoid picking up another suspension (either via his 16th technical foul or conduct detrimental to his own team), he should provide some big numbers for his owners over the final few weeks.
Not: Jordan Clarkson – Byron Scott was doing his best Scott Skiles/Mike Malone impression by capping his talented starting backcourt to 26 minutes (Clarkson) and 25 minutes (D’Angelo Russell) in a game that Kobe Bryant sat out and was decided by single digits. Unfortunately Clarkson couldn’t get on a roll and shot a woeful 5-16 from the field, including 2-8 from beyond the arc. His shot is M.I.A. over the last three games but he’s too talented not to turn it around. He’ll catch fire in one of his next couple games, I’d bet.
Worth Mentioning: Rudy Gay had a nice outing versus the Lakers with 20/8/3/3/1 and is locked into heavy minutes the rest of the way so long as he can stay healthy…Darren Collison got a start and went 10-14 from the field for 22 points. He also had six assists, but his five turnovers counteract that in a bad way…Julius Randle was the lone bright spot among the Lakers’ starting unit, posting a 14 & 11 double-double to go along with three dimes and a pair of steals. Randle should be owned and starting in all formats the rest of the way as he’s a nightly DD threat with minutes safely hovering around 30 per game…Lou Williams used nine free throws (on 11 attempts) to help him to his team-high 17 points. With Kobe in & out of the lineup and the starting guards getting their minutes jerked around on occasion, there will be sporadic outbursts from Sweet Lou, but not enough that I’d trust him in DFS or in a weekly lineup lock league.
That wraps up another Tuesday evening in the Association. As always, if you want to chat waiver pickups, DFS plays, or anything else fantasy hoops, drop me a line on Twitter @moneyballmatty. Cheers.