Welcome back fans of guys putting an orange ball through an eerily similar shaped rim! The Day Before Tomorrow is back in action this season to give you all the news and notes from around the NBA the day before… well… tomorrow. That’s actually today if you are calendar impaired or just don’t like to think. Let’s dive in…
Only two games last night, but plenty of news, albeit mostly injury updates outside of a few games. If you haven’t had a chance yet, be sure to check out my appearance on ALL THINGS FANTASY on Yahoo Sports AM 730.
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–DeAndre Jordan wasn’t the headliner for most people last night, but it looks like he may have finally turned the corner in his development. He has 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time in, well, forever. Last night he posted a monster line of 21 points, 8 rebounds, a block and a steal, while hitting 8 of 10 shots and 5 of 7 free throws. His field goal percentage is no fluke as Chris Paul is setting him up perfectly and his long arms allow him to dunk everything. Look for him to continue to play well this season and I could see him averaging close to 13 and 10 with 2 blocks, which would be a huge improvement on his numbers from last season. He is a definite hold at this point.
-Not to be outdone, Serge Ibaka was very impressive last night as well. Ibaka had 21 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 4 blocks in the kind of game that shows why he was in fact getting a 2nd or 3rd round price tag in a lot of leagues. He only had one 20+ point outing all of last season and based on his last few games, the Thunder are needing him to score more this season. His blocks will come and the 4 he had tonight were proof of that. He is going to be inconsistent, but he is a guy I would buy any time he has a down streak because of nights like this. Hopefully, Scott Brooks will keep allowing him 35+ minutes a night, but keep in mind this was a national TV game and Brooks tends to play him extended minutes in those for some asinine reason.
–Anthony Davis is expected to return from his concussion Friday, that takes a bit of the shine off the big minutes Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson have been getting. Either he or Anderson will likely be seeing an uptick of small forward minutes with Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon still banged up.
–Andrew Bogut has been ruled out for at least 7-10 days, this gives Carl Landry likely 30+ minutes off the bench every night and puts rookie Festus Ezeli into the starting lineup. Landry is the man you want to own, he has been fantastic so far this season. Ezeli can help you in the blocks department, but he is foul prone at this point in his career.
–Anderson Varejao is probable for tonight after missing his last game unexpectedly. That sends Samardo Samuels back to a bench role. Tristan Thompson should be the one to step up with Tyler Zeller out of the lineup, but don’t sleep on Samuels in extended minutes.
–Meyers Leonard was a guy that caught my eye last night, so let’s talk about the man one of my Twitter followers called “White Howard” last night. The Blazers got down big in the first half of this one, so they decided to give Leonard some extended run and he didn’t disappoint. He played half the game, splitting time almost evenly with JJ Hickson in this one and posted 8 points, 6 rebounds, a steal and a block. He actually reminds me a little of JaVale McGee, which I’m not sure if that is good or bad. He isn’t afraid to dunk on anyone, showcased by a vicious slam on Ronny Turiaf. His block was also very JaVale like and you can see both in the video.
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
MIA @ ATL
CLE @ PHX
UTA @ DEN
Steph Curry has been solid this season despite shooting struggles, I expect that he gets going soon and tonight against Steve Blake may be the night. Vasquez finally cooled off a bit last game, but faces a Bobcats team that struggles to cover big point guards. Ridnour has a clear path to minutes with JJ Barea banged up, he is also coming off a 29 FP game last time out.
Wade has a great matchup with a Hawks team that has no one to guard shooting guards right now. They run Kyle Korver and Lou Williams out there for most of the minutes, recipe for shooting guard points. Moore has been great and is still undervalued, check for an update on Jameer Nelson tonight though as he is still listed as day-to-day, but not expected to play. JR Smith is loving playing with no Amare and he also shoots substantially better at home, get him in there.
James has been fantastic and still hasn’t had that huge game yet. He’s only played 30 mpg over the last 2, so the upside is there even if it doesn’t seem like it. Crowder is playing almost 30 mpg with Shawn Marion out, he has been consistent, but hasn’t shown us elite upside yet. He is hitting 50% of his threes though. Dorrell Wright should get the start for Jason Richardson again and improve on his numbers from last time out. He is a solid, but unspectacular option tonight for those risk-averse players.
Carl Landry sees a big bump in value with Andrew Bogut being shut down. Oh, and he has also been one of the best power forwards in the league so far. Scola has cooled a bit after a torrid start, but just ask David Lee what the Cleveland frontcourt can do for a slump. Seraphin has been solid since being activated, playing 36 minutes last time out.
I’m sure you are all tired of seeing Dwight at the top of my list, but he is a flat out stud in most points formats and gets David Lee a lot tonight. Recipe for success. Mullens showed what he can do when his shot is falling last time out and he showed how solid he is by producing in the games before that when his shot wasn’t falling. Kaman has been seeing increased minutes since returning and has outproduced his last game every night so far. He is rock solid when he suits up.