by Ray Kuhn
Wednesday is generally one of the best nights of the week for hoops action, and last night did not disappoint. There was a full night of games to enjoy, and anytime the Warriors are in action, you know that there is sure to be some offense. Let’s jump right into five performances that stood out from the crowd.
1) Carmelo Anthony Passes the Ball
Generally the knock, or one of the knocks, on Anthony is that he is not a complete player. Sure, he can score, but he often does so at the expense of his teammates, and he often does not make those around him better. Last night was another poor shooting night for him, six of 15 from the field, but Anthony was a well rounded contributor to the Knicks’ victory. Yes, he only scored 20 points, but Anthony added 15 rebounds and nine assists (both season highs) as he just missed a triple-double. So far this season, Anthony’s scoring average is the lowest, 21.7 it has been since his second year, but if he starts to do some other things, his value should not take too much of a hit.
2) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Goes Off
Last season, Caldwell-Pope was usually a cheap DFS play depending on the night, and a back end roster filler in season long leagues. This year though, Caldwell-Pope’s usage has skyrocketed, and with it has his scoring. Caldwell-Pope is one of those players that you need to find for a bargain, because aside from his scoring, there isn’t much ancillary production. But when he is on the floor for 44 minutes, like he was last night, it really doesn’t matter how many rebounds (two) or assists (three) he manages. With his career high 31 point outburst, Caldwell-Pope’s average for the season is now up to 14.1 points per game and climbing after he averaged 12.7 last season.
3) Klay Thompson Splashes Away
Thompson is good and he is one of the best shooters in the game. After getting off to a slow start this season, Thompson reminded everyone of that last night in case they had forgotten. The guard simply could not miss, and that was especially true in the third quarter when he put 27 of the 43 points he scored on the night. Thompson really could not have done it much more efficiently as he was 15 for 22 from the field and he added eight 3-pointers. It might be hard after last night’s performance, but buying low on Thompson is worth a shot if possible as he is averaging just 19 points per game, and rising.
4) Draymond Green Has a Complete Game
With a night full of action, I usually don’t like highlighting two players from the same game but in this case I couldn’t help myself. Everyone knows Stephen Curry and all his dynamic play. Last night, it was hard to miss Thompson and his explosive shooting night. But don’t sleep on Green, especially from a fantasy standpoint. It is not hard to make the argument that Green is one of the more valuable options in fantasy leagues as he put up his fourth triple-double of the season last night. Green scored 16 points (including two 3-pointers), and added 11 rebounds and 10 assists. On the season, Green is averaging 14.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game as he continues to be a fantasy asset.
5) Isaiah Thomas Goes Off
Thomas has been increasing his profile in fantasy circles all season, and that was no different last night as he put up 38 points. What was even better about that performance, other than that it didn’t appear to come out of nowhere, is that Thomas did it efficiently. The guard shot 12 of 20 for the field (adding three 3-pointers) and was a perfect 11 for 11 from the line. After adding seven assists, we had a complete game from Thomas who is averaging 21.2 points and 6.6 assists per game this season.