While I opted to go with DeMarcus Cousins as the Tier 1 play at the forward spot, let me just take a moment to shoutout the real MVP of your DraftKings lineup last night, Mr. Kevin Durant… Man… Per KD, facing his former team (and new nemesis), is just another game. Yeah, ok. I mean, he’s only had his 2 highest point totals of the season – 39 and 40, respectively against them. No big deal. Buy that bs if you want (I’m not), but either way you slice it, last night, KD balled his ass off.
For nonsensical starters, he put up 40 points on 16 shots! “Ok? So what? He hit a gang of threes…” Nah. While he did go 5-7 from deep, here’s some perspective. Isaiah Thomas, who put up 39 points last night (and also hit 5 threes), took 25 shots. Harden, who dropped 38, took 25 shots. His nemesis, Russ West, took 23 shots… He put up 27 points. You get the point, he shot 81% – Efficiency isn’t even the word.
While on the subject of efficiency, his plus/minus on the night (the point differential for the team while a player is on the court), a ridiculous +31! Meaning, in the most oversimplified way possible, if you just take his 34 minutes played, it was GSW 31 – OKC 0. Oh, then there were the 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and this – good for a measly 70 DraftKings fantasy points. Sheesh! So, while there were 2 triple-doubles on the night, and neither came from KD… KD, you the real MVP.
Alright, I’m done rhapsodizing over that ridiculousness we just witnessed. On to the rest of the guys who played last night (I really just wrote that long ass intro to divert your attention from some of these horrible calls I made)…
Stephen Curry: 24 pts, 2 3PM, 4 reb, 8 ast, 3 stl – 46.50 DK FPTS
While KD went off, Curry wasn’t too bad himself. Obviously, you’d like to see more than 2 threes, but he continues to impress in the assist category (and could’ve easily had a double-double if not for a few bad bounces). Sure, you could’ve dropped $2,700 more for Harden, or $1,400 more for Antetokounmpo who both outscored Curry by about 16 fantasy points, but 1. I’m not here to state the obvious (sometimes), and 2. we can’t all sip champagne when we’re thirsty.
Elfrid Payton: 14 pts, 2 3PM, 2 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl – 22.50 DK FPTS
Not a terrible call by any stretch, I mean he did finish tied as the team’s leading scorer, he just didn’t do much else. Nor did his team, as the real Magic finally stood up. They’re one of 6 teams averaging under 100 points per game (Orl, Mem, Phi, Uta, Mia, Dal), and it was only a matter of time before that offensive explosion fizzled out. It fizzled out.
Avery Bradley: DNP
After logging 33 minutes in his return to the court Monday, Bradley had a flare up and some soreness from the achilles injury which caused him to miss 4 games… He sat this one out. I just didn’t catch the news in time to update, my bad.
Garrett Temple: 9 pts, 1 3PM, 4 reb, 3 ast – 18.50 DK FPTS
Temple didn’t get the start, but still played 29 minutes (he should continue to see decent minutes, as Rudy Gay went down with a torn achilles), he just didn’t do much of anything while on the floor. But, not terrible numbers at only $3,900.
*DraftKings Baller of the Night*
DeMarcus Cousins: 25 pts, 1 3PM, 12 reb, 10 ast, 3 blk – 63.50 DK FPTS
Boogie should’ve had a MONSTER night! Problem is, his 2nd half was horrendous (0-9 from the field, 6 pts, 2 reb), and he ended the game with a team-high 9 turnovers. Thankfully, he put in major work in the 1st half, and only needed 5 assists after the break for his 1st triple-double of the season.
Draymond Green: 12 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk – 40.75 DK FPTS
I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again… Love him, or hate him, he fills up the stat sheet. Night in, and night out.
Jae Crowder: 21 pts, 2 3PM, 5 reb, 1 ast – 29.75 DK FPTS
That’s 4-straight 15+ point, 5 reb games for Crowder – he’s quietly putting together a nice little season. He’s raised his 3P% to a career-high 43%, and with Thomas and Horford spreading the floor and commanding much attention, Crowder is a reliable, mid-range option on a nightly basis; regardless of matchup.
Meyers Leonard: 5 pts, 1 3PM, 4 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk – 13.50 DK FPTS
It was just one of those nights for the Blazers. Their bench was outscored 44-22, they struggled defensively, and outside of the usual suspects – Lillard, and McCollum – they didn’t have a single double-digit scorer. From that perspective, Meyers balled. There’s always a silver lining.
Joel Embiid: 26 pts, 2 3PM, 9 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl – 45.25 DK FPTS
Trust the Process! When I think of Sam Hinkie, I can’t help but think of the cartoons where the one guy constantly has a rain cloud over him no matter where he goes, or what he does. Just him though. Everyone else is in the sun, and living it up. You know what I’m talking about, that’s Hinkie. While I’m sure the diction varies slightly (since he’s a brainiac) I imagine him sulking, under an oak tree, in a curled up ball of sadness saying, “If only they would’ve listened…”
Al Horford: 5 pts, 1 3PM, 7 reb, 10 ast, 1 blk, 1 stl – 33.25 DK FPTS
Horford stunk it up against the Knicks – shooting a woeful 2-14 from the floor, including 1-8 from 3 – resulting in his lowest point total of the season, and only his 5th single-digit scoring effort. Yikes! Luckily, he found other ways to contribute – tying his career-high with 10 assists, and pulling down 7 boards.
Kyle O’Quinn: 2 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast – 4.75 DK FPTS
Wow! My guy only played 10 minutes, and didn’t commit a foul (so, there’s no “foul trouble” out). Ultimately, this just came down to matchups. Hernangomez, and Plumlee both capitalized on their opportunity, giving the Knicks some needed energy and athleticism, leaving O’Quinn (and his glorious beard) wasting away on the bench. It happens.
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