Editor’s Note: Enjoy 15% off our NEW NBC Sports EDGE+ Subscription this holiday season and get every tool (Fantasy, DFS & Betting) for every game at a great low price. Use promo code HOLIDAY15 at checkout. Click here to Buy Now.
Friday's NBA slate was a busy one, with 11 games being played. Among the highlights were Memphis' winning in Denver, thanks in large part to their electric point guard, and Golden State's future Hall of Fame shooter making the first buzzer-beater of his storied NBA career. Let's get into the Daily Dose.
Hornets 121, Thunder 98
It didn't take long for this one to get out of hand, as the Hornets led 37-20 after the first quarter and pretty much coasted from there. P.J. Washington (right hip contusion) was in his usual spot backing up Mason Plumlee after originally being questionable, and he would have a very good night at the office. Shooting 6-of-10 from the field (all 3-pointers) and 2-of-2 from the foul line, Washington finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 27 minutes. Rostered in 56% of Yahoo leagues, Washington is providing 11th-round value in 9-cat formats according to Basketball Monster. He hasn't played to that level recently, so hopefully, this performance turns out to be the spark that Washington needs.
Something to keep an eye on moving forward is the impact that Jalen McDaniels' ankle injury has on the Hornets rotation. He's expected to miss some time, which could result in Washington getting minutes at the power forward position behind Miles Bridges (22/14/4/2/2 with three 3-pointers). Another possible option is Cody Martin, who played 28 minutes and accumulated four points, four rebounds, five assists, and one steal. He's only rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues and has provided fantasy value similar to that of Washington. The Hornets have one more game this week (Sunday vs. ATL) and four the next, which boosts the short-term value of a player like Martin.
The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!
Oklahoma City's big question entering this one was whether or not Derrick Favors would be available to play, as this was the first game of a back-to-back (Saturday at CLE). He was listed as available on the pregame injury report but ultimately did not play, racking up a DNP-CD. Given Cleveland's size, fantasy managers should anticipate Favors starting Saturday night. He and rookie Aaron Wiggins (5/6/1/2 in 27 minutes) have served as Oklahoma City's fifth starter, with Mark Daigneault's choice being influenced by the matchup. Wiggins got the start on Friday, which shifted fellow rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (12/11/2/2 with two 3-pointers in 24 minutes) to the center position. Wiggins' inconsistency, and Daigneault's rotation, essentially rule him out as a viable fantasy option in most leagues.
Beyond Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (29/5/6/1/1 with one 3-pointer in 33 minutes) and Josh Giddey (21/9/3 with one 3-pointer), there isn't much to like on the OKC roster with regard to fantasy value. The latter established a new career-high with 21 points, and he did so on 10-of-17 shooting. Giddey's shooting 46.2% from the field over the last two weeks, but the free-throw shooting (50.0%) remains an issue. The struggles there are why he hasn't been a top-100 player during this stretch.
Luguentz Dort (3/3/1 with one 3-pointer in 29 minutes) is shooting just 39.1% from the field over the last two weeks but is still rostered in 62% of Yahoo leagues. We're approaching the point where standard league managers will have to make a hard choice, as the poor shooting is why he's only a 12th-round player for the season. Managers might as well hold onto him for Saturday but, with the Thunder only playing twice next week, a poor showing in Cleveland could be what moves many to drop Dort.
Lakers 116, Magic 105
The biggest question for the Lakers entering the first game of their annual Grammy Awards road trip was how would Russell Westbrook respond after being benched late in their loss to the Pacers. Well, he responded pretty well, shooting 8-of-17 from the field and recording a line of 18 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and three turnovers in 35 minutes. Westbrook is a 16th-round player in 9-cat formats for the season, a fall from "fantasy grace" that few anticipated before the season began. We'll see if this road trip can spark a turnaround for Westbrook because, while the attention will still be there, he won't be dealing with noise in Los Angeles.
LeBron James (29/7/5/1/1 with two 3-pointers and six turnovers) was 12-of-23 from the field, so no real surprise there. The production of Carmelo Anthony (23/3/0/0/1 with four 3-pointers in 17 minutes) was, however, as he exceeded his point total in the prior two games combined. While he is ranked just outside of the top-100 for the season, Anthony doesn't offer much beyond points, rebounds, and assists. And with the veteran forward coming off the bench, that doesn't do much for him as far as fantasy value is concerned.
Stanley Johnson (11/5/2/1/1 with three 3-pointers) isn't worth streaming just yet, but his presence gives the Lakers the ability to play small (LeBron at the five) without serious penalty in most matchups. That's worth keeping an eye on, as LBJ's fantasy value is enhanced when he's at the center position.
Wendell Carter Jr. (left hamstring) was back in the Magic rotation for the first time since January 5 (seven games missed), but he did not return to the starting lineup. Jamahl Mosley brought the big man off the bench, staying with a three-guard starting lineup. Carter logged 19 minutes and was productive, recording a line of 19 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers. Multiple players saw their minutes decrease with Carter back in action, including Cole Anthony (4/4/2/0/2 in 28 minutes) and Moritz Wagner (three assists in five minutes). The latter doesn't come as a surprise, and Anthony's loss in playing time likely had more to do with his struggling than WCJ being back in the fold.
Orlando gained a player but it also lost one, as Terrence Ross left after playing nine minutes due to a sore right knee. Franz Wagner (15/3/3/0/2 with one 3-pointer), Gary Harris (13/4/2 with two 3-pointers), and Chuma Okeke (11/6/1/1 with three 3-pointers) absorbed the minutes that would have gone to Ross, with each playing at least 31 minutes. Either Harris, who logged 39 minutes, or Anthony stands to be the odd man out once Carter is moved back into the starting five. The former is rostered in 20% of Yahoo leagues, and that number may decrease with Orlando scheduled to play three games next week (the first being Wednesday against the Clippers).
Lastly, Jalen Suggs (22/4/9/2/2 with one 3-pointers) shot just 6-of-16 from the field and committed six turnovers, but the overall line made for a good night for DFS players who slotted the rookie into their lineups. His fantasy value isn't great, but with the rookie playing 34 and 35 minutes in his last two games, Suggs won't lack opportunities to turn things around as long as he remains healthy. He took a hard fall on a Talen Horton-Tucker foul in the third quarter but would remain in the game.
Clippers 102, 76ers 101
Nicolas Batum (protocols) and Marcus Morris (personal) were both back in action for the Clippers, who outscored the 76ers by a 32-21 margin in the fourth quarter to win the game. Batum (15/7/3/2 with three 3-pointers in 30 minutes) is providing 7th-round value for the season, but he's been a top-50 player over the last two weeks. With the veteran forward back in the fold, there's no way that he should remain rostered in just 17% of Yahoo leagues. As for Morris (12/9/1/1 with two 3-pointers in 30 minutes), he was just 4-of-11 from the field, but he remains a player that fantasy managers need to roster with Paul George (right elbow) sidelined. Reggie Jackson (19/3/9 with one 3-pointer) is in a similar spot, while Amir Coffey (12 points, three rebounds, and two 3-pointers) has been a top-50 player over the last two weeks. He should be held (39% rostered), so long as he remains in the starting lineup.
The fantasy "fun" with the Clippers is making sense of the center rotation. Ivica Zubac (12/10/1 in 24 minutes) remains the starter, and at 11th-round value for the season, he's worth holding onto if you have him rostered. Serge Ibaka only played six minutes off the bench, and the returns of Batum and Morris pretty much eliminate any chance of him being a viable fantasy option since the available minutes at the four have evaporated. Isaiah Hartenstein (10/3/1 in 16 minutes) isn't a great fantasy option, either, but he's superior to Ibaka at this point.
Philadelphia's lack of depth did the 76ers in Friday night, as Joel Embiid (40/13/6/0/1 with three 3-pointers), Tobias Harris (20/7/4/3/1 with one 3-pointer), and Tyrese Maxey (19/2/8 with three 3-pointers) scored 79 of the team's 101 points. Embiid has been flat-out dominant since Christmas, as he's scored 31 points or more in 12 of his last 13 games. The absence of Seth Curry (left ankle) meant that even more was asked of Maxey, and he played 46 minutes in this one. The Sixers have one more game to play this week (Sunday vs. SAS) and three the next, which will give Maxey a little more time to rest. Isaiah Joe started in Curry's place and didn't offer much, tallying three points, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 15 minutes. Charlie Brown (2/7/0/1 in 22 minutes) was more impactful off the bench, but neither is worth streaming if Curry has to miss more time.
Hawks 110, Heat 108
Clint Capela was back in action after missing six games with a sprained ankle, but Nate McMillan decided to hold off on immediately inserting his veteran center back in the starting lineup. Capela was on a minutes restriction, so it made sense to bring him off the bench. In 26 minutes he accounted for six points, six rebounds, and two assists. Onyeka Okongwu remained in the starting lineup but his impact was minimal, logging 25 minutes and recording a line of six points, four rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot. Capela and Okongwu did share the court briefly, but that isn't something that fantasy managers should expect to see consistently.
To give you an idea of how much injuries have impacted the Hawks, this was the first game of the season in which Capela, Okongwu, and De'Andre Hunter (13/10/3/1 with one 3-pointer) were all available. Trae Young (28/3/7/1 with four 3-pointers) struggled with turnovers (eight), but that will happen on occasion. Despite averaging more than four turnovers per game he's still providing first-round value in 9-cat formats. Kevin Huerter (21/2/4 with five 3-pointers) has shot 13-of-22 from the field in his last two games, so it's safe to say that he's snapped out of the five-game funk (32.8% FG) that he was in.
Miami was without Kyle Lowry (personal) and Tyler Herro (protocols), but Max Strus (right knee) was cleared to play after originally being listed as questionable. He played 33 minutes off the bench, tallying 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, and three 3-pointers. Even in a reserve role Strus, who's rostered in 20% of Yahoo leagues, has value. He's averaging 2.7 3-pointers per game on the season, not far off from teammate Duncan Robinson (19/1/3/1 with five 3-pointers), who's averaging 3.0 per. Fantasy managers, especially those in deeper leagues, in need of 3-point production should consider rostering Strus until Lowry and Herro are back in action.
Gabe Vincent made another start with Lowry sidelined and was solid, recording a line of 14 points, two rebounds, nine assists, and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes before fouling out. If Lowry sits out Sunday's game against the Lakers, be sure to stream Vincent. Bam Adebayo (21/6/5/0/1) had a solid night offensively, shooting 7-of-13 from the field, but Jimmy Butler (13/8/8/2 with one 3-pointer) struggled, shooting 5-of-14. He had an opportunity to give the Heat the lead with 22.8 seconds remaining, but he failed to convert the alley-oop layup.
Trail Blazers 109, Celtics 105
Nassir Little (7/8/2 with one 3-pointer in 33 minutes) and Dennis Smith Jr. (2/0/2/2 in 10 minutes) were both available for this one after appearing on the injury report, as the former has been dealing with soreness in his right knee and the latter a sprained right ankle. Little being a starter gives him a shot at providing fantasy value, but even before the injury, he wasn't coming through consistently. Standard and shallow league managers should be able to find better options on the waiver wire. And the eventual return of Norman Powell (personal) won't help Little, either.
Jusuf Nurkic (29/17/6/1/1 with one 3-pointer) has been the subject of trade rumors recently, and he put forth an excellent performance Friday night. Sure the five turnovers were suboptimal, but the overall line more than makes up for that. C.J. McCollum (24/5/4/0/2 with five 3-pointers) and Anfernee Simons (21/2/4/2 with four 3-pointers) led the way on the perimeter, while Ben McLemore chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds, and four 3-pointers in 20 minutes off the bench. McLemore's value took a major hit once Little was cleared to play, but he's primarily a points and 3-pointers option whether he starts or comes off the bench.
For Boston, Jayson Tatum (27/10/7) and Jaylen Brown (22/5/5 with two 3-pointers) dominated the offense, with no other starter hitting double figures. Dennis Schroder (9/2/4/4 with one 3-pointer) didn't do much offensively, but his shooting (4-of-9) didn't kill fantasy managers, and he also recorded four steals. Marcus Smart (conditioning) being sidelined gave Schroder a shot at providing solid value, and he has been a top-10 player in 9-cat over the last week. But Smart could be back as soon as Sunday in Washington, so expect to see Schroder dropped in more than a few leagues over the next 24 hours.
Robert Williams (5/10/2/2/2) recorded a full stat line, but it's fair to wonder how much longer he'll be paired with Al Horford. Horford (6/4/3/0/3 in 27 minutes) had a rather pedestrian night aside from the blocks, and his name has come up in trade rumors recently. Add in the fact that Grant Williams (13/8/3 with three 3-pointers in 33 minutes) is capable of providing solid production as a combo forward, and managers who have Horford rostered may have a decision to make soon. You obviously shouldn't drop Horford, but now would be a good time to see what can be had in a trade.
Raptors 109, Wizards 105
Toronto had a little more depth on Friday, as Gary Trent Jr. (left ankle) was cleared to play. He was the only starter to not surpass 30 minutes, as he played 29 and tallied 13 points, one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, and three 3-pointers. Given how thin Nick Nurse's rotation has been in recent games, there wasn't a Raptor worth streaming with GTJ sidelined. So his return should not have much of an impact on fantasy rosters. Scottie Barnes (27/8/1/1) had a big night scoring-wise after getting off to a slow start, with the 27 points being a career-high for the rookie. He's shown on many occasions the ability to produce as a rebounder/passer/defender; if he can threaten the 20-point mark consistently, watch out.
Fred VanVleet (21/1/12/2/2 with four 3-pointers) and Pascal Siakam (21/7/4/1 with one 3-pointer) also scored at least 20 points, while OG Anunoby (12/9/1/4/1) logged five "stocks" for the winners. Chris Boucher (10/7/0/1 with two 3-pointers) has value despite coming off the bench, as he appears to be first in line for center minutes with Khem Birch (nose) still sidelined. Boucher's rostered in 82% of Yahoo leagues, so there aren't many managers who need to be convinced at this point.
With Kyle Kuzma (neck spasms) sidelined, the Wizards called on Deni Avdija to fill the void. He played 31 minutes and was solid, accounting for nine points, five rebounds, six assists, and one 3-pointer. Avdija is, at best, a player for deeper leagues so long as Kuzma remains inactive. Once that changes, there won't be a need to roster the second-year forward. Among the three centers, Montrezl Harrell (10/5/3/0/2 with one 3-pointer) played the most, running up 23 minutes while Thomas Bryant (5/2/0/0/1) logged 14, and Daniel Gafford (8/5/0/1) 12. There aren't any great options here, but Harrell is the best of the bunch for managers in need of scoring and rebounding. Shot-blocking? Might as well stick with Gafford, as he's averaging 1.7 rejections per game.
Bucks 94, Bulls 90
Bulls coach Billy Donovan delivered some good news regarding one of his injured guards before Friday's game, saying that Zach LaVine's injured left knee "continues to respond well" to treatment. He's been doing some on-court work, and LaVine may be able to return to game action at some point next week. Chicago will play four games next week with no back-to-backs, so fantasy managers who have LaVine rostered may be able to get some production out of him.
Coby White (7/4/4) and Ayo Dosunmu (5/5/6/1 with one 3-pointer) remained in the starting lineup Friday night, with Alex Caruso once again coming off the bench. The two starters struggled, shooting a combined 5-of-24 from the field. Caruso (7/8/4/1/1 with one 3-pointers) also struggled, shooting 3-of-11, and being on the receiving end of a Grayson Allen Flagrant 2 didn't help matters, either. Caruso wasn't seriously injured on the play thankfully, so fantasy managers should plan for him being available for Sunday's game against the Magic. We'll see if Caruso's minutes increase any after hovering around 24 minutes in each of his first two games back.
And there was another change to the starting lineup, as Tyler Cook replaced Alfonzo McKinnie (DNP-CD). Cook had a difficult matchup, as he was asked to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo and wound up in early foul trouble as a result. Cook finished with four points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block in 26 minutes, and there's no need to consider streaming him while the Bulls are shorthanded. DeMar DeRozan (35/6/3) and Nikola Vucevic (19/11/3/1/2 with two 3-pointers) will continue to shoulder the offensive workload with LaVine and Lonzo Ball (left knee) sidelined.
Milwaukee did not make any changes to the starting lineup used in Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies, which meant that Jrue Holiday (13/4/2 with one 3-pointer in 27 minutes) remained with the second unit. Eventually, he'll be back in his usual role, which would mean a return to the bench for George Hill (4/4/1 in 26 minutes). Hill didn't provide much of a boost fantasy-wise when Holiday was sidelined, so he should have already been on most waiver wires. The aforementioned Antetokounmpo (30/12/3/1/2) was dominant, while Khris Middleton (16/10/6/1/1 with one 3-pointer) and Bobby Portis (12/12/1 with one 3-pointer) also recorded double-doubles. Portis is closing in on top-50 value in 9-cat formats, a far cry from his Yahoo ADP (137.6).
Nets 117, Spurs 102
Given how well LaMarcus Aldridge played in Wednesday's win over the Wizards, it was fair to wonder if he would be back in the starting lineup for his return to San Antonio. Steve Nash had other ideas, sticking with Day'Ron Sharpe (six points, 10 rebounds in 14 minutes). Aldridge didn't match his 27 points from two nights prior but he was still effective, tallying 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one block in 22 minutes.
Sharpe, who's rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues, has been an 11th-round player over the last two weeks, but a lot of that production occurred when the Nets were without both Aldridge and Nicolas Claxton (left hamstring). And with Claxton possibly making his return on Sunday when the Nets visit the Timberwolves, it's too late to go through the process of adding Sharpe. That being said, the rookie should remain on your radar, because while the Nets only have three games on the schedule for next week, two will be played on consecutive nights (Tuesday/Wednesday against the Lakers and Nuggets). James Harden (37/10/11/0/1 with four 3-pointers) rebounded from a pedestrian effort in Washington, and Kyrie Irving (24/3/4 with three 3-pointers) also had a good night.
For San Antonio, Dejounte Murray (25/12/10/1 with one 3-pointer) recorded another triple-double, while Jakob Poeltl (15/11/1/0/3) also had a solid night. Fantasy managers know what they're getting from those two, and the same can be said for Derrick White (17/6/7 with three 3-pointers) despite his shooting 4-of-16 from the field in Friday's loss. But what should we make of the fact that Doug McDermott (7/3/1/0/1 with one 3-pointer) continues to start while Devin Vassell (9/3/1/1) remains with the reserves? Maybe this changes later in the season if the Spurs are no longer in contention for a playoff or play-in tournament spot, but we aren't there yet. Vassell, who was a top-100 player earlier this season, is still providing 11th-round value despite coming off the bench (25.1 minutes per game). More playing time could be what gets Vassell back into the top-100 and ultimately keeps him there. Juancho Hernangomez made his Spurs debut, playing the final two minutes. He wasn't a viable fantasy option in Boston, and that won't change in San Antonio.
Grizzlies 112, Nuggets 118
Memphis was once again without Dillon Brooks (left ankle), Desmond Bane, Kyle Anderson, and Tyus Jones (protocols), but Killian Tillie (protocols) was cleared to play Friday night. Tillie was ultimately a DNP-CD, and he should not have been on anyone's fantasy radar to begin with. But we did finally get the big game from De'Anthony Melton that we've been waiting for. He played 27 minutes off the bench, scoring 21 points (6-of-13 FGs, 7-of-11 FTs) with nine rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers. It would have been nice to get some defensive production, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to Melton. A 12th-round player for the season, he's ranked outside of the top-250 over the last two weeks. There are still Melton believers out there, as he's rostered in 33% of Yahoo leagues, so it was nice to see him come through with a quality stat line.
Due to the absences mentioned above, John Konchar (8/5/1/0/2 with one 3-pointer in 33 minutes) made another start. While the line was underwhelming, he's worth rolling the dice on as a spot starter. But if Ziaire Williams (17/5/0/2/1 with two 3-pointers) is also available, he would be the better option of the two for me. Ja Morant (38/6/6/2 with two 3-pointers) had himself a night, even with the six turnovers, while Jaren Jackson Jr. (20/5/1/0/4 with two 3-pointers) and Steven Adams (4/6/3/4) put up some solid defensive numbers for the victorious Grizzlies.
Denver got another big night from Nikola Jokic (26/11/12/2/1 with two 3-pointers), who continues to amaze at the center position. He's posted a triple-double in four straight games and now has 11 on the season. And he's been incredibly efficient in this stretch, averaging 29.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 2.0 3-pointers, and 2.8 turnovers per game, while shooting 62.0% from the field and 87.5% from the foul line. Incredible. Denver's starters were good, with Will Barton (27/5/8/0/1 with four 3-pointers) and Jeff Green (15/7/1/0/3) among that quintet. Green's rostered in just 14% of Yahoo leagues, which is a bit too low now that he's in the starting lineup.
But the bench, especially the guards, continue to struggle. Bryn Forbes (9/1/1 with one 3-pointer) made his Nuggets debut and led the reserves in scoring, but unless you only need points and 3-pointers he isn't your guy on most nights. Facundo Campazzo and Bones Hyland went scoreless, with the latter being ranked well outside of the top-200 over the last two weeks. Neither should be rostered at this point, and an argument can be made that the former wouldn't even be in the rotation if Denver were whole on the perimeter.
Jazz 111, Pistons 101
Already without Donovan Mitchell (concussion), the Jazz could have potentially needed to account for the absence of Rudy Gobert (left ankle) as well. But he was ultimately cleared to play, with the big man logging 32 minutes and recording a line of 24 points (8-of-11 FGs, 8-of-11 FTs), 14 rebounds, one assist, and four blocked shots. Gobert will get his opportunities to score, especially with Mitchell sidelined, but the key is the foul line as teams will not hesitate to give the foul. He's averaging a career-high 6.9 free throw attempts per game, with his percentage (68.8%) also being the best of his career thus far. Of course, you want the percentage to be even higher, but we can't get too greedy when it comes to Gobert (63.5% for his career). He's been a top-15 player over the last week, with Mitchell's absence being a factor, at least on the offensive end of the floor.
Joe Ingles (5/3/5/1 with one 3-pointer) remains a streamer as he's filling the void in the starting lineup that was left by Mitchell, but that's it. Mitchell's absence has done more for Jordan Clarkson (20/4/1/0/1 with three 3-pointers), who is rostered in 78% of Yahoo leagues. He's providing 10th-round value over the last week, noticeably better than his production for the season as a whole. However, being able to fetch solid value for Clarkson via trade may be out the window now, as Mitchell appears poised to return as soon as Sunday against the Warriors (first game of a tough B2B, with the Jazz visiting Phoenix the following night). Bojan Bogdanovic (23/6/2/1 with three 3-pointers) has scored 21 or more in two straight and three of his last four games, with the lone exception being the five-point dud in last Monday's loss to the Lakers.
Detroit was once again without Killian Hayes (right hip), which kept Cory Joseph in the starting lineup. Fantasy managers and DFS players hoping that he would build on his 19-point, nine-assist effort in Wednesday's win over the Kings went to bed disappointed, as Joseph shot 2-of-7 from the field and finished with eight points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. Sunday's matchup with the Nuggets would be a better one for Joseph, especially if he remains in the starting lineup, so it may be worthwhile to hold onto him if Hayes sits. Cade Cunningham (25/6/5/2/3 with one 3-pointer) played 41 minutes and recorded a very good line, shooting 11-of-23 from the field. He's been close to a top-100 player over the last two weeks, a positive development for the rookie guard.
Detroit's center rotation remains interesting to watch, as far as fantasy is concerned. Isaiah Stewart (8/9/1) remains the starter and he played 25 minutes, but his ceiling is a bit low given the lack of defensive stats. He has averaged 1.6 blocks per game over the last two weeks, but Beef Stew doesn't get you steals, and the combination of low scoring with a subpar field goal percentage would make him a tough sell if not for the fact that he's starting. Kelly Olynyk (4/4/5 in 19 minutes) had a rough night, which freed up more playing time for Trey Lyles (16/5/2/0/1 with three 3-pointers) in 25 minutes. He can be used at either the four or the five, which has helped with the Pistons still playing without the injured Jerami Grant. I'd take Olynyk if forced to choose between the three, but I don't think we'll be seeing "Houston Kelly" anytime soon.
Warriors 105, Rockets 103
For all of the big shots that Stephen Curry has hit in his NBA career, he had never connected on a true buzzer-beater before Friday. Unfortunately for the Rockets, he changed that, as his jumper as time expired capped a 6-0 run to give Golden State the victory. Curry didn't shoot the ball well, going 6-of-21 from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line, but he did supplement his 22 points with four rebounds, 12 assists, one steal, one block, and four 3-pointers. The last month has been a tough one for him as far as field goal percentage is concerned, with Curry making 39.0% of his attempts. It's possible that the combination of his chasing the career 3-pointers record and the return of Klay Thompson (who rested on Friday, as did Andre Iguodala) has impacted Curry's game, but he remains a highly productive fantasy player. He'll turn it around soon enough.
Thompson's absence meant a spot start for Jordan Poole and he played well, finishing with 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, one block, and two 3-pointers. He took a shot to the head from Garrison Mathews during the second half but would remain in the game after the officials reviewed the play (flagrant 1). As one would expect, Poole is still working through the process of adjusting to the reserve role, but he's definitely worth exercising some patience with if you have him rostered. Also of note was Steve Kerr going with Otto Porter (13/7/1/0/1 with one 3-pointer) in the starting lineup instead of Jonathan Kuminga (seven points, two rebounds, and one 3-pointer).
Kerr did say earlier in the week that Kuminga would start while Draymond Green (back/calf) is sidelined, but things changed on Friday. Porter and Kuminga should be rostered regardless of their spots within the rotation with Green not being available. And Kevon Looney (8/12/0/1/4) should be rostered in more than 27% of Yahoo leagues, as he's been an 11th-round player over the last month. That isn't great, but it's decent value for a supplementary big who has PF/C eligibility.
Christian Wood gave fantasy managers a big line, scoring 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting with 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks, and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Kevin Porter Jr. (17/1/8/4 with two 3-pointers) shot 6-of-14 from the field, but the best stat for him may have been the turnover count (one). After struggling with turnovers earlier this season he's had three or fewer in four of his last five games. Also, he's shot no lower than 42.9% from the field in any of those outings. Sure there will still be some tough nights as KPJ continues to get acclimated to that lead guard role, but he appears to be headed in the right direction.
Jalen Green had a rough night offensively, as he missed all 11 of his field-goal attempts, finishing with three points, two rebounds, and three assists. It may be time for standard league managers to look elsewhere, as Green hasn't even been a top-250 player over the last month. The aforementioned Mathews (12/4/0/1 with two 3-pointers) and KJ Martin (14/4/3/2) helped pick up the slack for the Rockets, whose two-game winning streak came to an end. Martin is still coming off the bench, but he's a player that fantasy managers should track with an eye towards the silly season. He'll definitely get minutes, especially if the Rockets wind up moving a veteran (Eric Gordon, especially) at the trade deadline.