OKC @ SAC: This wasn’t hard to predict. DeMarcus Cousins (14 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL) missed 12 shots and committed seven turnovers, so Kevin Durant (24 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL) and Russell Westbrook (18 PTS, 14 AST, 4 REB) didn’t have to play big minutes. Tyreke Evans (16) led the Kings, but he has made PG Isaiah Thomas (7 PTS in 21:40) almost irrelevant. Kevin Martin (24 PTS, 3 REB, 2 STL) enjoyed his return to Sacramento, where he played his first six seasons.
January 26 Game Previews
NYK @ PHI: Speaking for my fellow Raymond Felton owners, welcome back. Once Ray’s up to speed, Jason Kidd’s minutes won’t disappear, as he can play SG, with Iman Shumpert at SF. You have to like Jrue Holiday against any of the Knicks’ guards, especially tonight. We’re expecting Spencer Hawes to start at C, though Tyson Chandler is a tough matchup. The Sixers have lost eight of their last ten to fall 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot; they need to turn things around ASAP. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are in for a long night against Carmelo Anthony.
CLE @ TOR: The Cavs won at home last night, the Raptors are flush from a successful Florida trip. This could be high-scoring and fun to watch, though neither team is adept at closing out games. It’s almost time to make buy-low offers on Kyle Lowry. If you own him, keep the faith. Jose Calderon and his expiring contract are quite likely to be traded. There are rumblings about Jonas Valanciunas (hand) being one week away and Andrea Bargnani (elbow) — another prime trade candidate — about two weeks from returning.
CHI @ WAS: It’s back-to-back home games for the improving Wizards, with the possibility that Chicago is tired and/or takes them lightly. Not the greatest game for fantasy owners; the possible return of Deng makes it hard to predict minutes (as well as intensity) for the Bulls. I’ll be ignoring this one in daily leagues.
MIN @ CHA: Sad to see a promising season fade away for Minnesota. Destroyed by injuries, they have lost six straight on the road, but Charlotte has dropped 16 in a row at home. Maybe neither team will win. If the Bobcats get anything at all from their big men, they should prevail. Kemba Walker is a must-start and Ramon Sessions has been sharp, but it would be nice if Bismack Biyombo could do more than rebounding and shot-blocking.
BRK @ HOU: Both teams played on the road last night; the Rockets were very good and the Nets got destroyed. We don’t expect D-Will (quad bruise) to miss any time, but he might not be 100% for this. High scores are not uncommon in Houston, so Joe Johnson is a strong play and Brook Lopez should have decent numbers against Omer Asik. Don’t sleep on Carlos Delfino, a consistent source of points and threes off the Houston bench.