Terry Wasn’t Scary. On the Contrary, He was Legendary

Terry Rozier has been a scary player for fantasy nerds since 2017. He shot 39% from the field that season on 10 attempts per game. BOO! We should’ve known, though, as he shot 36% from the field in 2016 and 27% his rookie year, but the athleticism was tantalizing. He’s young they said. He’ll develop they said. Just wait until he starts they said. Well, he started 30 games in Boston, and while the percentages did improve, the increase only took his field goal percentage from 37% to 39%. BOOOOO!!!! So why did we keep going back to Terry? Why do you slow down and gawk at an accident? There’s a chance you may see nothing. There’s a chance you may be horrified. But there’s also that chance you may see something you’ve never seen before. Well, Rozier scored 33 points in a game during the 2017 season and has messed around once in his career. Just wait until he becomes a full-time starter they said. Well, we are dummies and keep falling for the bananna in the tailpipe. In 10 starts as the man to replace Kemba Walker, Rozier was shooting….class? Yup, 38% from the field. BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! But every once in a while, he accesses a ceiling game to keep us coming back for more. Last night was that instance…

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
33 5 6 2 0 5 7/12 13/21 0

The usage rate is 25.4 and he’s averaging 31.8 minutes, 16.8 points, 2.4 tres, 3.9 boards, 5.2 dimes, and 1.1 steals. The 3.5 turnovers and 41% shooting (last night’s game increased his percentage 3%) from the field have him just outside the top 100, but he has value if you can stomach the poor percentages. Beep. Boop. Bop. You know what always shoots a high percentage? The Stocktonator.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Around the NBA. Nov. 11, 2019.

NBAnetwork

– Russell Westbrook and James Harden combine for 65 PTS
– Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker combine for 54 PTS, lead Boston Celtics to 8th straight win
– Rudy Gobert records 25-PT and 14-REB double-double
– Spurs retire Tony Parker’s Jersey

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Check out the winners from Monday’s 6 game-slate! ⬇🏀

1. The L.A. Clippers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 98-88. Kawhi Leonard recorded a near triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists for the Clippers in his first game against his former team, while Montrezl Harrell added a double-double of 14 rebounds and 11 rebounds in the victory. Pascal Siakam recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists for the Raptors.

Leonard missed nine of 11 shots but still got the best of his old team. The Raptors did all they could to take the ball out of Leonard’s hands. In fact, they nearly forced Leonard into a quadruple-double, as he had a career-high nine turnovers.

Afterward, Leonard hugged and greeted several of his former teammates, but he made it clear that he has moved on from his one special year with Toronto. "It’s over now,“ Leonard said when asked if he had any feelings from last season’s championship run going through his head during the game. "We won. Like I said before, I had a great time there. But it’s the next chapter now.“

2. The Utah Jazz defeated the Golden State Warriors, 122-108. Rudy Gobert tallied a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, while Donovan Mitchell added 23 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the victory. D’Angelo Russell recorded 33 points and 8 assists for the Warriors.

Rudy Gobert went 11-for-12 from the floor. Gobert’s field-goal percentage (91.7%) is the highest for a Jazz player with at least 10 FGA in a game since Karl Malone shot 12-for-12 on Feb. 3, 2001.

The Jazz pulled away thanks to their 3-point shooting and a huge advantage at the free-throw line. Utah shot 46 percent (16 for 35) from beyond the arc and went 26 of 32 at the foul line.

3. The Houston Rockets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 122-116. James Harden tallied a game-high 39 points (19 in the 4th quarter), along with 4 rebounds and 9 assists for the Rockets. Russell Westbrook contributed to the win with 26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. J.J. Redick led the Pelicans with 24 points, while Jrue Holiday added a near triple-double of 18 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists.

For Pelicans, Brandon Ingram was a late scratch before tip with Lonzo Ball already out. However, Redick tried to keep Pelicans in the game. With 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Redick pulled backs Pelicans from 11 down to within 4. However, Harden hit the Pelicans with one blast of scoring to put the game away as he scored 19 points in the 4th quarter.

4. The Boston Celtics outscored the Dallas Mavericks, 62-52 in the second half on their way to a 116-106 victory. Kemba Walker recorded 29 points (24 in the second half), along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the Celtics, while Jaylen Brown added 25 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Luka Doncic recorded a game-high 34 points, along with 6 rebounds and 9 assists for the Mavericks.

Kristaps Porzingis scored only four points on 1-of-11 shooting in 20 minutes in the loss. He sat out the final nine minutes, four seconds after picking up his fifth foul, a decision Carlisle attributed to Porzingis’ "tough night.”

The Celtics’ lead grew to as many as 14 points during the final four minutes and never dropped below nine points en route to a 116-106 victory. They were in complete control following Kemba Walker’s big shots. Jayson Tatum finished with 1-18 FG, the 2nd-worst shooting performance by a Celtics player over the last 65 seasons (min. 15 FGA). 

5. The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Detroit Pistons, 120-114. Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with a game-high 33 points, along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Karl Anthony Towns added 25 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the victory. Luke Kennard tallied a team-high 25 points for the Pistons, while Blake Griffin recorded 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in his season debut for Detroit.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are the first pair for Timberwolves to record at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same game since Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis on March 18, 2007.

The Wolves led nearly wire-to-wire and hung on down the stretch to improve their record to 6-4 on the season.

6. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 113-109. Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way for the Grizzlies with a season-high 24 points, along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Jonas Valančiūnas added a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Rudy Gay tallied 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Spurs.

The sting of a 113-109 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was quickly forgotten as a sell-out San Antonio crowd celebrated the career of Spurs’ Tony Parker.

Parker became the 10th player in franchise to have his number retired, joining fellow Big Three members Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in having their jerseys lifted to the rafters of the AT&T Center.

Turn Down the Injury Slider

I used to spend hours upon hours upon hours upon hours playing franchise mode in NBA 2K. I was a fantasy draft guy, so I’d draft my team. Then I’d go into the playbook and select all the plays I wanted for my offensive system. The rotations and minutes distribution would be all taken care of. I’d make sure the players were happy with their roles, and ensure contracts were all taken care of. Finally, I’d spend hours upon hours upon hours upon hours tweaking the sliders so that the game would play as realistically as possible. One slider in particular would always cause me much consternation: the injury slider. If I put it too low, then no one would ever get injured and the simulation experience would be tainted. On the other hand, if I put it too high, then I’d want to throw my controller into the wall….repeatedly. Well, whoever is handling the NBA matrix has put the injury slider too high! Just yesterday, Brandon Ingram’s knee tightened up before the game and will now have an MRI on Tuesday. Danuel House suffered back contusions and left the game after 12 minutes. De’Aaron Fox sprained his ankle during practice and will be out at least 3-4 weeks. Finally, Gordon Hayward will be out six weeks after undergoing surgery on his injured hand. Whew! Beep. Boop. Bop. You know what never gets injured and is always there working for you? The Stocktonator. O. G. Anunoby left after 2 minutes due to an eye injury. Landry Shamet only played 12 minutes due to an ankle injury. Now, from a fantasy perspective, if Ingram misses time, then Josh Hart will likely start in his place. Jrue Holiday should be the one to soak up the most usage. If House is unable to play, Ben McLemore would likely replace him in the starting lineup. With Fox out for a while, Cory Joseph will likely start but Bogdan Bogdanovic probably benefits the most. There’s been talk that Fox could be out more than 3-4 weeks, and when he does return, he won’t be as explosive. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should see a bump in playing time if Anunoby misses time. As for Shamet, Rodney McGruder could see more run or Lou Williams may get a few more minutes. Not sure there’s a direct beneficiary from the situation, but we will monitor to see how Doc decides to play it. Since we can’t rage quit and press reset on the box, we must make do with what we have and offer sacrifices to the injury gods.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Post Up: Kemba Hits Eight 3’s as Celtics Win Eighth Straight

Timberwolves 120 (6-4), Pistons 114 (4-7)

Blake Griffin’s return to the court was spoiled as the Pistons fell at home. The All-Star forward put up 19 points in 23 minutes. Andrew Wiggins continued a string of strong performances with a game-high 33 points in the win.

Mavericks 106 (6-4), Celtics 116 (8-1)

Kemba Walker and Luka Doncic went toe-to-toe, but it was Walker’s Celtics who walked away with the win. Kemba finished with 29 points and hit eight 3’s to lead Boston. Doncic poured in 34 points for Dallas.

Grizzlies 113 (3-7), Spurs 109 (5-5)

Jaren Jackson Jr. (24 points) and Dillon Brooks (21 points) stole the win in San Antonio.

After the game, the Spurs celebrated Tony Parker’s jersey retirement.

Rockets 122 (7-3), Pelicans 116 (2-8)

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for a blistering 65 points as Houston edged out New Orleans. JJ Redick connected on seven 3’s and contributed 24 points in the loss.

Jazz 122 (7-3), Warriors 108 (2-9)

The short-handed Warriors couldn’t keep up with the Jazz in this one. Utah enjoyed 20+ points from Rudy Gobert (25), Donovan Mitchell (23) and Mike Conley (22). D’Angelo Russell was hot all night, ending with 33 points to lead Golden State.

Raptors 88 (7-3), Clippers 98 (7-3)

A tight game down the stretch ended up in the Clippers’ favor. Los Angeles scored 25 points in the fourth quarter, compared to just 10 points for Toronto in the final frame. Kawhi Leonard almost notched a triple-double, registering 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

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Nick Nurse: Kawhi Leonard Was ‘Cruising to His 30 Points a Night’

Kawhi Leonard was “cruising to his 30 points a night” during the 2018-19 regular season, according to Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

Nurse wondered if Leonard “was going to flip a switch” and received an emphatic answer during the NBA Playoffs, when the reigning Finals MVP led Toronto to their first-ever championship.

Kawhi is looking forward to a “fun” reunion Monday night with his now-former teammates as the LA Clippers play host to the Raps.

Per The Athletic:

Nick Nurse: “There were several times and team meetings that I thought (Leonard) kind of inserted himself into our team. I know you probably remember me talking a lot about his leadership, and that got to be a big story, people saying he’s not a leader and this and that. I wasn’t making that up. That was probably early on. I think we were probably 13-4 or something and we were having a little meeting about how the offence was running, and he kind of stepped up and said to the team, ‘This is how I see it.’ He couldn’t have said it better, for me. It was perfect.”

Fred VanVleet: “Obviously, he didn’t talk a lot. I think it took a long time for him to open up to us. I think for him to become open and trust us on the court — off the court, he was great — but on the court, I think we saw over the course of the year him open up and trust us, the entire team. I think him and Kyle had a good chemistry pretty early. And you could see it gradually happen for the entire team.”

Marc Gasol: “He speaks when needed. That, to me, is a great trait of a leader. When the team needs it, he has a voice, a voice that everyone listens to. He speaks the right stuff, cares about the right stuff. It was awesome. … I’ll keep it in the locker room. I have a lot of respect for the locker room stuff. But he’s always, always on point and never negative. Always balanced, always steady. You see him out there, and that’s the way he is. He’s not dramatic at all. He never has highs or lows. He’s always steady and on course.”

Nurse: “I’m not sure I ever said this publicly last year, but about February of last year, I was like: ‘He’s not playing to his full capabilities. He’s cruising to his 30 points a night.’ I figured it could go one of two ways. He was gonna cruise on out of here or he was going to flip a switch and try to win the whole damn thing. Obviously, we saw what happened.”

Related Nick Nurse: ‘Can’t Blame’ Kawhi Leonard for Joining the LA Clippers

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Kawhi Leonard: ‘It Was Shocking’ NBA Publicized Knee Injury Details

Kawhi Leonard was shocked the NBA put out a press release Thursday night, announcing that the reigning Finals MVP is “suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.”

Leonard added that he fully backs head coach Doc Rivers after making comments that “were inconsistent” with Kawhi’s health led to a $50,000 team fine.

Leonard, who led the Clips’ 107-101 comeback win against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers with 27 points and 13 rebounds, says the League appears to be pressuring players to hoop “if they’re not ready.”

Per ESPN:

“I mean it was shocking, but it doesn’t matter to me,” Leonard said when asked what he thought about the NBA revealing details about his injury. “I’m not a guy that reads the media anyway. We’re going to manage it the best way we can to keep me healthy and that’s the most important thing, me being healthy moving forward.”

This is the second time the Clippers have been fined this year for comments involving Leonard.

“For me, I’m on his side, you know what I mean?” Leonard said when asked about the league fining the Clippers twice over Rivers’ remarks about him. “I’m a Clipper, he’s my coach. That’s just disappointing. It feels like they want players to play if they’re not ready.

“It is what it is. Like I said, I don’t read into it. I got to do what makes me healthy and is going to help the team be successful and that’s me being able to play basketball games for us.”

Related Clippers Fined $50K for Doc Rivers’ Comments on Kawhi Leonard Sitting Out

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