Another week in the National Basketball Association is in the books, and this time next week we’ll know who won the All-Star Skills Challenge, the Slam Dunk Competition and the playground-style All-Star Game between teams selected by captains LeBron James and Steph Curry. But that’s next Sunday. This Sunday I am pinch-hitting for Jared Johnson. Players acquired at the NBA trade deadline are starting to settle into their new digs, and it’s an exciting time to see the fantasy ramifications for all involved. Let’s get started!
For NBA news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!
Sunday’s Fantasy Five
Victor Oladipo did not turn in one of the many double-doubles across the NBA on Sunday, but he certainly stuffed the stat sheet in grand fashion. He posted 30 points with nine assists, eight rebounds and six steals over 39 minutes in a 121-113 victory against the New York Knicks. He hit just 10-of-24 from the floor, including 2-of-8 from behind the 3-point line, and he added 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also had a blocked shot while he only turned it over once. In his first four NBA seasons his high in points was 17.9 PPG back during the 2014-15 season in Orlando. He posted a career best with 4.8 RPG during the 2015-16 season with the Magic, too. This season he is having a breakout season, averaging 24.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 2.0 SPG, and he is also hitting 2.4 3-pointers per outing. Playing back in Indiana where he played for the Hoosiers has really seemed to inspire him.
Andre Drummond continues to put up huge numbers regardless of who is on the court with him. He posted 25 points with 15 rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and a steal over 37 minutes in a 118-115 setback at Atlanta. He was sharp, hitting 8-of-14 from the field while going a respectable 9-of-13 from the free-throw line. Drum and Blake Griffin have been impressive, though, and the newcomer added 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal over 34 minutes. Since Griffin’s arrival on Feb. 1, however, Drummond is averaging 18.0 PPG, 18.5 RPG and 2.7 BPG in six contests, well above his season averages while shooting 48.8 percent (48-of-88) from the field.
Another big man had a strong performance, as Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon was on the other side trying to defend against Drummond, Griffin, etc. He handled himself with aplomb, posting 20 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, a blocked shot and an assist on 7-of-9 shooting across 31 minutes. Dedmon’s name was bandied about around the NBA trade deadline, but he obviously ended up staying put in the ATL. His past two games weren’t terribly impressive, as he totaled 11 points with six rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. However, he posted his seventh double-double of the season, and second since Feb. 4. He is always working on a surprising streak of eight straight games with at least one 3-pointer made.
Editor’s Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It’s the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.
Paul George was the primary scoring option with both Carmelo Anthony (ankle) and Russell Westbrook (ankle) out of the lineup. It didn’t matter, as PG-13 led the Thunder to a 110-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. George stepped up with 10-of-24 shooting, including 5-of-10 from behind the 3-point line, while adding 8-of-11 from the free-throw line. He also added eight assists, three steals, a blocked shot and a rebound. He is on fire in the month of February, averaging 30.7 PPG with 5.2 RPG, 4.3 APG and 2.8 SPG in six outings. He has managed at least two steals in each of the past six, and nine of the past 10 outings.
In a losing effort, Terry Rozier continues to bring the heat. The Celtics were dropped 121-99 by the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, but Rozier’s star continues to rise. He posted a team-high 21 points across 34 minutes off the bench, hitting 6-of-15 from the floor, 3-of-8 from the perimeter and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. He also added nine rebounds, five assists and a steal while turning it over just once. He has scored in double digits in a career-high seven straight outings, averaging 17.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.3 APG with 1.2 SPG. The buy-low fantasy window has likely slammed shut, but if he is still on the waiver wire you need to pounce on him immediately. Rozier has also connected for at least one 3-pointer in 11 consecutive outings dating back to Jan. 21.
Fantasy Game of the Night
The Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers were the final game of the night, but it was worth the wait. For the visitors, Donovan Mitchell led the way with 27 points in the 115-96 road victory. He hit 10-of-24 from the field, while going 2-of-5 from behind the 3-point line while hitting 5-of-5 from the free-throw stripe. He also added six rebounds, two assists and a steal, as the rookie continues to roll again. He is averaging 26.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 APG over the past two games after a couple of off games. Joe Ingles has also picked up the pace, going for 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals over 30 minutes. He hit six 3-pointers, as the 30-year-old Aussie set a career high in points for the second consecutive outing. Jae Crowder stepped into the mix and posted 15 points off the bench, hitting three triples while adding five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Derrick Favors was also good for 15 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Royce O’Neale stepped into the starting five and grabbed 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. He was in the lineup for his first NBA start with Ricky Rubio (hip) resting his sore left hip.
For the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard continues to play well. He went for 39 points in 39 minutes, hitting 12-of-25 from the floor. He also was impressive getting to the free-throw line, going a perfect 13-of-13 from the field. His point total was the highest of the evening across The Association, but he wasn’t the only one in Rip City doing well. Ed Davis stepped up his game, snagging 12 rebounds across 29 minutes off the bench, hitting 4-of-6 from the field to end up with eight points. C.J. McCollum was his regular consistent self, going for 22 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals over 37 minutes, dropping in two 3-pointers. He is working on a 10-game streak with at least one triple, and he is working on a 39-game run with 10 or more points. It wasn’t all great, as Jusuf Nurkic was held scoreless over 14 minutes, going 0-of-4 from the field with three personal fouls and a minus-10 rating. He then checked out due to a back or hip injury and did not return. That’s why Davis was seeing a little more run, stepping up his game. Al-Farouq Aminu went for eight points over 23 minutes, but he hit two more 3-pointers. He has at least one triple in 10 consecutive outings dating back to Jan. 22.
Quick Hits: C.J. Miles finished with 24 points in just 18 minutes off the bench in a 20-point road win in Charlotte. He banged home six 3-pointers with a pair of steals. … DeMar DeRozan was an impressive 10-of-19 from the field, finishing with 25 points, eight assists and three 3-pointers. It was a nice bounce-back game after his eight-point dud on Thursday against New York. … Jonas Valanciunas was good for 21 points and nine rebounds in just 24 minutes, as he continues to hold off all challengers in the middle in Toronto. … Dwight Howard went for 17 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot for the losing side. It was a much needed effort, as Nicolas Batum was at the other end of the fantasy spectrum with just two points while going 0-of-10 from the field. … LeBron James was good for 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in a blowout win at Boston. It was an impressive win, as the rebooted Cavs showed off their new parts. Larry Nance Jr. was good for five points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 21 minutes off the bench. Rodney Hood was hungry, posting 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Jordan Clarkson, the NBA’s league leader in baskets by a reserve, went 7-of-11 from the field to finish with 17 points, three rebounds and two steals. George Hill made a start, going for 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Cedi Osman made a start, too, and he posted 12 points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal with two 3-pointers. It’s uncertain if he’ll continue to start with Kevin Love on the shelf, but he looks like he could be a fantasy sleeper in deeper formats. … Michael Beasley was good for 16 points, 13 rebounds and three assists in a 121-113 loss at Indiana. Newcomer Emmanuel Mudiay went for 14 points and 10 assists across 29 minutes, and perhaps a change of scenery will make him fantasy relevant again. Kyle O’Quinn ended up with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, hitting 5-of-6 from the field across 21 minutes. … In Memphis, JaMychal Green posted 14 points with 12 rebounds and is someone to snap up if you need boards. … Looking ahead to Monday, Draymond Green (finger) is considered doubtful for the Warriors. That means Omri Casspi, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney and David West should all see a bump in playing time. … LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) will miss Monday’s game. Look for Davis Bertans to get all the run he can handle.