Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler go off on Thursday
Stephen Curry scored 40, Jimmy Butler triple-doubled and the banged-up Blazers knocked off the Sixers on Thursday. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
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Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler go off on ThursdayRead full articleOops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.More content belowOops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.More content belowSteve AlexanderFebruary 12, 2021, 5:41 AM·13 min readOops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.More content belowOops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.More content below
This is the first Daily Dose of the hundreds I’ve written to be posted under the NBC Sports EDGE brand. If you missed my , it’s worth checking out. I got an incredible response and judging from the feedback, it's probably one of the best things I’ve ever written.
Heat 101, Rockets 94 – went off with a 27-10-10 triple-double, his first of the season, flirted with one with 10 points, 13 boards, eight assists, two steals and eight turnovers before fouling out, while starters (16-5-3-4) and (15 points, five triples) both played well. scored just six points, but also had 13 rebounds, two blocks and two 3-pointers. The Heat were without (ankle) and (health protocols), so played 25 minutes and got hot off the bench for a career-high 21 points and five 3-pointers. Nunn is worth using any time Dragic is out and all the Heat regulars, especially Duncan and Strus, get a boost when Herro isn’t playing. Adebayo’s eight TOs and foul out were a bit of a buzzkill, but at least he piled up some numbers along the way. Olynyk is a fantasy wild card and I’ve both added and dropped him a few times this season. But he’s generally worth holding and is currently rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues. I’ve Strus in my 30-team league and actually have to start him due to injuries right now, so I was happy to see him come through with a nice game. With Butler back the Heat are rolling with four straight wins.
The Rockets got 17 points, eight boards and seven dimes from , Jae’Sean Tate and each scored 16 points with fun lines, and (right foot/ankle) and (thigh) got hurt in this one. moved to the bench and scored 17 with four assists and three 3-pointers on 5-of-13 shooting, and had nine points, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on a 3-of-13 shooting night. Gordon and Tate are going to both see a boost if Oladipo’s injury keeps him out. Tate has played minutes at both guard spots and both forward spots this season and is officially worth grabbing with the Rockets so banged up. He’s been a Top 70 player over his last five games. Wall will hopefully be good to go until the Rockets go back-to-back on Feb. 19 & 20 and his numbers tend to jump without Oladipo. As for Oladipo, the Rockets were already being very cautious with him this season, resting him in back-to-backs, so I’d expect them to proceed with caution here. , who was very quiet on Thursday, will also see a bit of a bump if Dipo misses time. Hopefully, is getting closer despite his right ankle sprain, but we haven’t really gotten a meaningful update yet. And I really miss him.
Celtics 120, Raptors 106 – is dealing with left knee tendonitis and it sounds like it could be an ongoing problem for him. Danny Ainge is concerned about it and the Celtics will likely monitor him closely going forward and rest him as much as they can. He struggled on Thursday, hitting 3-of-12 shots for 12 points, but he also had a career-high 10 assists to go along with five rebounds, two steals and a block. The Celtics go back-to-back on Feb. 16 & 17 and it will be interesting to see what Boston does with him in that scenario. It might be a good time to float some offers out if you’ve got Brown and are concerned about his injury.
caught fire and hit 8-of-12 shots and six 3-pointers for a career-high 24 points and six rebounds, had 21 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal and five 3-pointers, had a 17-6-9-2 line with a 3-pointer on 5-of-13 shooting, and filled the stat sheet with eight points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocks in 27 minutes. Tatum will get a boost if Brown’s going to miss time. came off the bench and hit a career-high six 3-pointers for 20 points, five rebounds and one assist in 29 minutes, and might also see a boost with Brown hurting. Pritchard and Ojeleye became the first pair of Celtics to hit at least six 3-pointers each in the same game. Pritchard has posted a couple of decent lines lately, but he also had just three points and one assist in his previous game. Just keep a close eye on him. And while Ojeleye deserves to be on watch lists right now, I’m not racing out to pick him up. Prior to this explosion, Ojeleye had scored five or fewer points in each of his last eight games.
hit 10-of-15 shots for 24 points and six dimes, and added 23 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and two 3-pointers as was out again with his left calf strain. While Siakam’s line was mildly disappointing, it was nothing compared to the struggles of and last night. FVV hit 2-of-9 shots for five points and 11 assists, while Powell hit 6-of-15 shots for 15 points, four rebounds and nothing else. Both guys have been crushing lately but just couldn’t get anything going last night. Powell should take a hit once Anunoby is back, but I wouldn’t drop him until we see how that goes. He could easily keep it going once Anunoby is playing again. still hasn’t cracked the starting lineup but kept it going with 12 points, six rebounds, a steal, five blocks and two 3-pointers. started and had eight points and eight rebounds, and I am still awaiting the day that Boucher displaces him in the starting unit.
Pacers 111, Pistons 95 – flirted with a triple-double and had three steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers, bounced back with a decent line that included 14 points, eight boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers, and had 18 points, nine boards, four assists, a steal and two 3-pointers as the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak. started over but managed just nine points, while hit 4-of-11 shots for 11 points and four assists. Lamb looked good with the second unit and his usage rate tends to go up there. He finished with 17 points, five boards, two steals and three 3-pointers on 6-of-7 shooting, which is encouraging. played 32 minutes off the bench and had seven points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. The Pacers like him and he’s averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 3-pointers over his six February games and is worth a look if you need assists and have a high-scoring team. I think Lamb should be rostered everywhere again, while both McDermott and Holiday are worth a look, even with their sometimes-lackluster lines and inconsistency.
The Pistons gave a last-minute scratch due to a minor elbow injury, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll miss more time. got the spot start last night and went off with a career-high 17 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block on 8-of-9 shooting. If the Pistons ever officially give up the fight and start Stewart, he’s going to be a hot pickup. came off the bench and hit 6-of-10 shots for 18 points, eight boards, four assists, a steal and six 3-pointers. He’s been fun and should be rostered everywhere, in my opinion. had 16 points and six assists, but I’m not touching him, and imploded last night, hitting 4-of-17 shots for nine points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. Grant had scored in double figures in every game but the season-opener, so I guess he was due for an off night. hit just 3-of-10 shots for six points, five boards, three assists and two blocks, which was disappointing coming off his back-to-back 22-point games. He’ll bounce back. made his Pistons debut but didn’t look great in his 16 minutes. He finished with four points on 2-of-5 shooting and threw up an ugly airball from downtown. I’m not taking the DSJ bait in Detroit. I somehow had the foresight to use Stewart in DFS and he was awesome, but Grant and let my squad down.
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Warriors 111, Magic 105 – went beast mode on the Magic, hitting 14-of-26 shots and 10 3-pointers for 40 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. He’s incredible. had 21 points, seven boards, three assists, three more blocks and two 3-pointers as his dream season continues, and was fun with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers on 6-of-12 shooting. Hopefully, you held onto him through the dark period earlier in the season. had eight points, six rebounds, 11 assists, a steal and two blocks, and also played a great defensive team against a surprisingly pesky and undermanned Magic team. Green has magically hit double figures in assists in five straight games and I think I heard the broadcast team say he’s the first Warrior to do that since Mookie Blaylock did it back in the day. Hopefully, you stuck with Green as well. He’s averaging 6.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks in his six February games. added nine points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 21 minutes and another start. He’s averaging 10 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers in his six February games and is officially worth a deep-league look. The Warriors scored 111 points and are now 13-1 when they score at least 110 points.
The Magic were without (shoulder) and the last point guard standing in Orlando, , left early with a strained right groin. had 25 points, 13 boards, five assists and three 3-pointers, and came through with a season-high 20 points. He hit just 7-of-18 shots to get there, but added three boards, one assist, three steals and four 3-pointers in the loss. was also out with his back injury so Bacon got all the minutes he could handle. He’s in my 30-team starting lineup but I haven’t considered him in any standard leagues – yet. scored 20 with six rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers, and scored a season-high 17 points with 10 rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers in another start. With so many injury issues in Orlando, Vucevic’s usage is going to be off the charts, while Ross, Ennis and Bacon are all going to be worth a look, especially as fliers in DFS. But the bottom line is that outside of Vuc, this Orlando roster is a mess.
Trail Blazers 118, Sixers 114 – This was the game of the night and the Blazers got the win primarily because of ’s fourth-quarter heroics. He got hot at the start of the quarter and scored 11 quick points, hitting his first six shots. He finished the quarter with 17 points in the quarter and hit some incredible shots, as well as the two game-sealing free throws with 3.1 seconds remaining. Melo finished with a season-high 24 points, two rebounds and four 3-pointers and has now scored at least 21 points in four of his last five games. came out of the gates hot tonight with 19 first-quarter points, including a stretch of 10 straight, but then hit just one of his next 11 shots. He still finished with 30 points, two rebounds, seven assists, two steals and four 3-pointers on 6-of-21, but the line could have been so much better had his shots been falling. kept it going with 19 points, four rebounds, one steal and five triples and has scored at least 15 points in eight of his last nine games. And he’s averaging 4.3 3-pointers over that stretch, meaning he should be rostered and starting everywhere. double-doubled after receiving stitches above his left eye and was disappointing with five points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes. RoCo didn’t exactly get revenge on his former team and is still highly frustrating to roster. But he had double-digit rebounds in his previous two games, has at least one 3-pointer and steal in seven straight games, and at least one block in three straight. The Blazers are banged up and simply need RoCo to do more going forward, as do his fantasy managers. But I still don’t think you should drop him. Just keep an eye on after he had nine points, seven rebounds and two 3-pointers in another start.
The Sixers got strong performances from and , while was kind of quiet in this one. Embiid hit 13-of-25 shots, a 3-pointer and 8-of-11 free throws for 35 points, nine boards, three assists and two blocks, and Simmons just missed a triple-double with 23 points, 11 boards, nine assists, a steal and a block on 10-of-12 shooting. He also hit 3-of-3 free throws, which was nice. Harris had 17 points, six boards and five assists, and added 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers. He hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 22 seconds left, but the Sixers couldn’t get over the hill. Curry has scored 11, 22 and 15 points in each of his last three games with nine 3-pointers and it might be time to think about grabbing him.
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The coming months could involve a flurry of trades for some of the biggest names in pro football. Here’s a rundown of some of the most intriguing deals Deshaun Watson and Sam Darnold could both be on the move this off-season. Photograph: Steven Ryan/Getty Images Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles Age: 28. Career touchdowns: 113. Career interceptions: 50. Career passer rating: 89.2 Why the Eagles could trade him: Wentz was the NFL’s worst quarterback in 2020 in a host of categories. He led the league in interceptions (15) and sacks (50) despite playing in only 12 games, while finishing 33rd in yards per attempt (6.0) and 34th in both passer rating (72.8) and completion percentage (57.4%). Why the Eagles could keep him: He was the runaway Most Valuable Player during the 2017 season until going down with a season-ending knee injury in a December game against the Rams. That wasn’t that long ago. Philadelphia believed in him enough to sign him to a four-year, $128m extension in July 2019. Even if they trade Wentz before his roster bonus activates on 19 March, the Eagles would take on a crippling $33.8m in dead cap hit. Possible destinations: It looks to be a two-horse race between the Colts and the Bears. Indianapolis coach Frank Reich was the Eagles offensive coordinator during Wentz’s best season and needs a quarterback after Philip Rivers retired. Chicago are also in the QB market after making the playoffs despite a weakness at the position. Likelihood of trade: 9/10. Both Wentz and the Eagles have given every indication they’re ready to part ways. The Colts appear to be the clubhouse leaders, but they’re less inclined to overpay than the Bears. Sam Darnold, New York Jets Age: 23. Career touchdowns: 45. Career interceptions: 39. Career passer rating: 78.6 Why the Jets could trade him: Darnold was selected with the No 3 pick in the 2018 draft as the quarterback who was going to turn around the franchise and … he has not turned around the franchise. There is little sign he is improving (he finished 33rd out of the league’s 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR rankings for the 2020 season) but he has enough raw talent that a quarterback needy team may snap him up. The Jets also have the No 2 overall selection in this year’s draft so can quickly find a replacement. Why the Jets could keep him: Darnold is still only 23 – younger than last year’s No1 overall pick, Joe Burrow – and clearly has the talent to be a good starting quarterback. It’s also harsh to pin the blame on Darnold for the Jets’ failings since he arrived – he’s been given few weapons at receiver and his offensive line has often appeared to consist of Mekhi Becton and some guys (the now fired) Adam Gase once met in a bar. Sure, the Jets could replace Darnold with Justin Fields or Zach Wilson in the draft, but are they guaranteed to be any better? Possible destinations: The Colts, Bears, Saints and Washington have all been linked with Darnold and the Jets have been taking calls from teams interested in a trade. One intriguing possibility is the 49ers, who may move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, opening the way for Darnold to move back to his native California. Likelihood of trade: 6/10. There is definitely a market for Darnold out there, and the Jets have praised him while stopping short of saying he will be their starter in 2021. It may come down to whether a team offers a first-round pick for him. If that’s the case, the Jets would have three first-round picks this year and two in 2022 – strong foundations to rebuild around a new quarterback. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson is unhappy with his offensive line but is unlikely to leave Seattle. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP Age: 32. Career touchdowns: 267. Career interceptions: 81. Career passer rating: 101.7 Why the Seahawks could trade him: The Seahawks management are reportedly unhappy that Wilson has been telling any reporter willing to listen that he is unhappy at the number of hits he has taken down the years behind the team’s consistently dodgy offensive line. He also told Dan Patrick that he was unsure whether he was available for a trade or not, hardly what you expect to hear from a franchise quarterback. Why the Seahawks could keep him: Wilson is a wildly popular future hall of famer whose favourite pastime is helping kids out of poverty. Possible destinations: The betting favourite for Wilson’s service is particularly tasty: the Seahawks’ erstwhile NFC West rivals, the Las Vegas Raiders. Having one of the league’s quarterbacks leading the team would be a big pull when fans are finally admitted into the Raiders’ new stadium, and there have been rumours that Derek Carr is on his way out. The Cowboys, who still haven’t decided Dak Prescott’s future, are another possibility. Likelihood of trade: 2/10. Wilson being a wildly popular future hall of famer whose favourite pastime is helping kids out of poverty. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers Age: 29. Career touchdowns: 51. Career interceptions: 26. Career passer rating: 98.9 Why the 49ers could trade him: The 49ers, mainly due to a War and Peace-length injury list in 2020, have the No 12 pick in this year’s draft. While Garoppolo is a solid quarterback, he’s more in the “won’t lose you games” category than someone whose genius will propel the Niners to the Super Bowl. He’s due to make $26.6m in 2021: would San Francisco be better off trading him, drafting a cheaper young quarterback and riding to the Super Bowl with their excellent supporting cast? Why the 49ers could keep him: Garoppolo is often derided for being paid millions of dollars to hand off the ball to the Niners’ running backs. But a year ago, he was a quarter away from outplaying Patrick Mahomes to clinch San Francisco a Super Bowl, and – beyond Trevor Lawrence – there are no sure things among the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. Possible destinations: The most interesting option is a return to the New England Patriots. After Cam Newton and Tom Brady, the Pats would be able to continue their run of very handsome starting quarterbacks and Bill Belichick was a fan of Garoppolo during his time as Brady’s back-up. Newton failed to convince he is a long-term option for the Patriots last season, so Belichick may go back to a known quantity in Garoppolo. Likelihood of trade: 4/10. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have both said they expect Garoppolo to be the starting quarterback in 2021. They also had the chance to get involved in the chase for Matthew Stafford but were content for the Rams to make a trade with the Lions. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans Age: 25. Career touchdowns: 104. Career interceptions: 36. Career passer rating: 104.5 Why the Texans could trade him: For some reason, Watson wants out of a franchise with a history of trading away stars for a pittance, making nepotistic hiring decisions, angering its players and failing to listen to the most talented quarterback in team history. That means the face of the franchise is a very unhappy one, which could make the team even more dysfunctional than it already is for years to come. Watson is a ludicrously talented quarterback, who can throw make every throw in the book and pull off stunning plays with his legs. There are teams who would be happy to part with a hefty package of draft picks for him, allowing Houston to start afresh after the disastrous Bill O’Brien era and rebuild towards competence. Why the Texans could keep him: Watson may be unhappy, but the Texans have him under contract and are under no obligation to trade him. And why would they? He’s the best player in team history and the draft prospects they can pick up in return are just that – prospects. Once the poison of the last few months fades a little, Watson may decide he can move forward in a city where he is a hero. After all, it’s not like Houston has recent history of losing its biggest stars? Right? Possible destinations: The Dolphins and Jets are the two teams that come up most. Both have draft capital, cap room to accommodate Watson’s salary and young quarterbacks who could either head to Houston as part of the trade or be traded themselves in order to acquire more picks to send to the Texans. Watson is reported to be open to both teams – the Dolphins have a good young core and a great coach in Brian Flores, while New York is the biggest (and most corrosive) market in US sports. Of course, Watson has power in this move too, a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he can veto any deal if he doesn’t like the look of the team he’s heading to. Likelihood of trade: 6/10. Tough to call. Watson wants out, but the Texans are reportedly telling interested teams that they will not trade their quarterback. Of course, they would say that if they want to get a high a price as possible for someone who could still be one of the best players in the league in another 15 years. So much depends on how much others teams are willing to pay, and how well the Texans can placate Watson. Houston don’t seem to be doing too well on the latter, firing popular backroom staff and hiring a new head coach, David Culley, who hasn’t changed Watson’s mind on his future with the team.
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