Boxscore Breakdown Day 24: Kevin Durant Is Alright

img24257514Only two boxscores to breakdown in a typically slow Thursday in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not information to digest. It also came out that Matt Barnes will sit out two weeks with a retinal tear, which doesn’t sound ideal in the slightest.

Thursday 21st November 2013

The Best Player Ever, Tonight

Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder:
28 points (10/19 FG, 6/9 FT), 2 threes, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 1 turnover

Surprisingly, this is Durant’s first line of the night award of the season, but I’m sure it won’t be last. He also had a bad free throw shooting night, which is out of the ordinary for him. The assist numbers are on the improve this year and even if he doesn’t finish the year number 1, he’ll be thereabouts in the fantasy rankings.

Honourable Mentions: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Waiver Wire Line of the Night

Mike Dunleavy, SG, Chicago Bulls (3% owned):
15 points (6/11 FG, 1/1 FT), 2 threes, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 turnovers

With Jimmy Butler out for about two weeks, Dunleavy becomes a hot waiver wire option and given the production in this, his first start, I’d be willing to classify him as must own. He is a great source of threes, as well as getting decent rebound numbers for a shooting guard

The Stinker

Luol Deng, SF, Chicago Bulls:
6 points (2/18 FG, 0/0 FT), 0 threes, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 4 turnovers

Whilst the Bulls have been struggling, at least Deng had been playing well. But apart from the high rebound total, he was dreadful. His shooting numbers would’ve almost definitely sunk your weekly matchup and having almost as many turnovers as points is not the mark of a great night. There’s no need to panic, as he’ll bounce back in the next game, rest assured.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Oklahoma City Thunder

The biggest take away from this game, in my opinion, is how good Blake Griffin has become. Amoungst all the hate cast his way, he is playing like a legitimate elite NBA power forward. He had another 20-10 game, his sixth in a row. He added five assists and even shot 75% from the line. Chris Paul had another double double with 17 points and 12 assists, and is the number 2 player in fantasy behind Anthony DavisJ.J. Redick had a dud, hitting only 3-of-11 shots, but did get two steals. DeAndre Jordan had another subpar offensive night, but his defensive numbers were still present, grabbing 12 boards with a block. Boards and blocks are clearly his strength, where as the 0-of-4 free throw shooting is an obvious weakness. Apart from Jamal Crawford getting 18 points with two threes off the bench, there’s nothing else much happening with the Clips.

Steven Adams played more minutes than Kendrick Perkins in a pleasant development and finished the night with seven rebounds and three blocks. He isn’t worth a spot on your roster in 10 or 12 team leagues, but should be in larger leagues. Serge Ibaka also had three blocks to go with his 17 points and five threes. Russell Westbrook was quiet from a scoring perspective with only 12 points, but at least added six rebounds and five assists. He seems to be still feeling his way back after the injury and as we near Christmas, he will return to having top ten value. Reggie Jackson played 21 minutes backing up Westbrook and was serviceable with nine points and six rebounds, but you can do better in 10 team leagues. Jeremy Lamb had 11 points in 10 shots off the bench in only 19 minutes and he could be a challenge to Thabo Sefolosha’s minutes as we progress in the season. If only Scott Brooks would redistribute Derek Fisher’s minutes between Jackson and Lamb, they’d have real value.

Chicago Bulls @ Denver Nuggets

Taj Gibson was ejected after receiving his second technical foul, but still almost finished with a double double, getting nine points and eight rebounds. These are about usual numbers for Taj and he is fairly reliable and is good to spot start if you need rebounds. Derrick Rose scored well with 20 points, but only added four assists and missed his only free throw. He is still a long way away from his fantasy upside, meaning your chance to target him as a buy low is still very much there for the taking. Joakim Noah got close to triple double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. He’s playing much better of late and is one of the better passing big men in the league. Kirk Hinrich was thought to be a big beneficiary of the Jimmy Butler injury  and although he played 31 minutes, he didn’t really do much. He had seven points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, but I’d expect him to be a better in the coming games. He’s still worth a pick up for the short term. Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but shot below 40% from the field to drop his value. He also only hit 1-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Ty Lawson cooled off considerable from his hot recent form, but was still decent. He had 10 points and seven assists. Wilson Chandler put up a much bigger stinker going scoreless in 27 minutes with three rebounds and three assists. Despite Jordan Hamilton’s explosion of 17 points, three threes and six rebounds, Chandler is clearly the wing to own from the Nuggets. J.J. Hickson continued his solid form as the starting centre, with 14 points and nine assists and if he’s still available in your league, he needs to be scooped up. Kenneth Faried started off slowly this year, but he’s getting into solid form now, with another double double under his belt.

I’ll be be back tomorrow with coverage of all 11 games. Let me know what you think of today’s performances and who was your player of the night in the comment below or on twitter @redrock_bball

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