[Editor’s Note – No podcast today due to a funny story of JB having to go to the ER, he’s fine though! We’ll be back with the Pod on Thursday]
As the biggest and most surprising player dealt before the Trade Deadline, Tobias Harris arguably has more eyes on him now in Detroit than ever before in Orlando. Brought in to fill the Rashard Lewis role of playmaking 4 in Stan Van Gundy’s quest to reincarnate the 2010 Magic, Harris development with the Pistons will be one of the most intriguing story lines over the rest of the season.
With 16 and 21 points respectively in his previous two outings, Harris has flashed potential in his roll off the bench as a playmaker capable of finding his own shot. Due to any injury to Anthony Tolliver, Harris found himself in the starting lineup at power forward, a potential glimpse into Detroit’s long-term future.
Scoring 14 points to compliment 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, his debut may have lacked a flashy statline to pair with his status as one of Pistons new core pieces. However, Harris is undoubtedly in a better situation right now than his previous tenure in Orlando.
As a result, fantasy owners should be monitoring his value accordingly. While Detroit is in win-now mode to secure a playoff birth, Harris will be acclimating to his new role and teammates for the rest of the year. Not to temper expectations, but I don’t view his multi-cat impact materializing over the last 30 games.
There may be flashes of his potential, but the Harris move is about 2016 and beyond, not just the last two months of the season.
Andre Drummond – Slightly unrelated side story: In my last intramural basketball game, one of my friends shot 2-12 from the foul line in a Drummond-like performance. However with Drummond shooting 8-14 from the charity stripe, it might be time to find new superlatives to describe my teammates. Unfortunately for me, he cannot mimic Drummond’s 16 points, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 2 steals.
Reggie Jackson – With Brandon Jennings officially sent out of Detroit to enjoy all the tourist attractions in Orlando, Jackson has become the only point guard on the roster (sorry, Steve Blake). While he only played 33 minutes last night, he inherits an opportunity to slightly elevate his ceiling with better playmaker as his running mate and a few more minutes per game. With 23 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals, Jackson turned in another solid outing for fantasy owners last night.
Kyrie Irving – Speaking of score-first point guards, Irving lead all scorers with 30 points to accompany his 5 assists, 1 rebound, and 2 steals. Unlike Jackson, Irving’s backup, Matthew Dellavedova, will still see 20+ minutes per game, for some reason…
LeBron James – Maybe James was a little preoccupied trying to prove to fans that this recent taunt didn’t bother him, but the King finished with a modest 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
Kevin Love – Speaking of emotions, I’m a fan of the angry, post-All Star Break version of Love. With 24 points, he recorded his second consecutive night above the 20-point threshold, marking the first time he’s done so since late January. Add in 7 rebounds and 3 assists on 3-7 shooting from deep, and it’s clear what Love needs to do before every game.
Kyle Lowry – All-Star Break??? More like, this small guard’s great!!! Monster triple-double for Lowry last night with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. However, we can begin the campaign for the 6th God bless you with a new nickname…
Jonas Valanciunas – Although he snapped his two-game streak of consecutive double-doubles, the big man finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks, registering his second 20+ point performance in his last three games. As the Raptors vault their way into the NBA’s elite, keep a watch on Valanciunas given his recent mini hot streak.
DeMar DeRozan – The larger of Toronto’s two All-Star guards poured in his third straight 20+ point contest with 22 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
Carmelo Anthony – I’m sure he’s still happy to be a Knick after their 27-point loss to the Raptors… While they may have gotten blown out, Anthony sure did his best to keep pace with the Atlantic Division leaders with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Draymond Green – Even on a poor 2-10 performance from the field, Draymond still impacted the game in a big way with 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Flirting with a non-scoring double-double is simply just a testament to his versatility.
Klay Thompson – While we can try to ignore the 5-14 shooting from behind the arc, Thompson poured in 27 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals last night. Although I just have one question for Klay, WHAT ARE THOSE!!!
Al Horford – 23 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks, and the Hawks were seriously considering trading him away…
Jeff Teague – Bouncing back from a wrist injury suffered during the Buck’s game on Saturday, Teague played a full 30 minutes and finished with 16 points, 6 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Paul George – Leading all scorers with 31 points, George did his best to keep the Pacers afloat as the game advanced to overtime. Ultimately, Indiana lost by 8, but the forward certainly delivered for fantasy basketball owners with 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
Myles Turner – With his seventh straight double-digit scoring performance, Turner is rewarding patient fantasy owners savvy enough to roster him early in the year (I was definitely not one of these people). Although Turner fouled out, 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks on 8-13 shooting gives Turner owners another solid performance last night.
Hassan Whiteside – Coming off the bench to play 41 minutes, Whiteside pretty much destroyed everything in his path to recording 19 points, 18 rebounds, 1 assist, and 6 blocks. Mr. Whiteside has put up back-to-back games with video game numbers coming off the bench. While it may not appear to be much of an upgrade to be starting Amare Stoudemire at center, Whiteside owners cannot argue with the results so far.
Goran Dragic – It makes me happy when Dragic plays well. With 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists on 10-17 shooting, LONG LIVE THE DRAGON!
Justice Winslow – Playing 40 minutes off the bench, Winslow lead all players with a +29 plus/minus rating. Moving Whiteside to the bench opens up a few more minutes for Winslow to play in small ball lineups where he is most effective. Winslow may be leaving buy-low territory shortly with three straight double-digit scoring performances. With 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals last night, it’s easy to see Winslow’s multi-cat impact when given an extended run.
Jordan Clarkson – I don’t understand the Lakers anymore. 11 players played at least 12 minutes, and Clarkson tied for the team-lead in scoring with 15 points. Toss in 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steal, and the second-year guard has the fantasy community shouting “DAAAAAAMMMNN!”
Giannis Antetokounmpo – With a monster triple-double, the Greek Freak also extended his steak of consecutive double-doubles to four games. 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 assists on 12-17 shooting, Giannis certainly left a mark last night.
Jabari Parker – This just in: Jabari Parker no longer sucks!! Over his last five games, the second-year forward is averaging a shade under 20 points with 9 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting above 50% from the field. With 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal last night, Parker is well on his way to making a big impact in the home stretch of the season.
Jae Crowder – In 37 minutes of action, Crowder responded with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals on 9-15 shooting from the field. While Crowder has surprised fantasy owners with a mini breakout season, it’s even scarier to think his best days are still ahead of him.
Marcus Smart – With Boston’s devotion to a four guard rotation, Smart’s minutes will be capped in the upper 20s on most nights, but the second-year guard found a way to make the most of them last night. Scoring 17 points off the bench to accompany 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals, Smart proved to fantasy owners he still has considerable value.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Leading all scorers with 28 points, KAT defended his All-Star Skills Contest victory over Thomas with a double-double in the Timberwolves victory last night. Adding in 13 points, 4 assists, and 2 blocks, Towns is rewarded fantasy owners with his 11th double-double in his last 12 games.
Gorgui Dieng – Bouncing back from a three-point performance in his last outing, Dieng recorded his sixth double-double in seven games with 17 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Ricky Rubio – Poor Ricky. After mentions in multiple trade rumors leading up to the deadline, the Spaniard has responded with unselfish and solid basketball in his last few outings. With 15 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 steal, Rubio reminded fantasy owners why he’s worth holding on to as well.
Alex Len – In 31 minutes at center, Len put up a solid 14 point and 8 board to go with 1 assist and 2 steals. While his minutes and play have been inconsistent throughout the year, the Suns are in full-on rebuild mode now, so look for Len to take a bigger role as the Phoenix front office evaluates the third-year center.
Chris Paul – Serious question: Is Chris Paul underrated? For all the talk about his on-court antics, inability to advance in the playoffs, and LAC drama, Paul has quietly been playing excellent basketball as the focal point of the Clippers offense. With 16 points, 14 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals, CP3 is helping fantasy owners out at the same time.