It was a rather slow end to the week for fantasy basketball owners with only three games on the NBA schedule Sunday night, but that didn’t stop the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley from stealing the show. Conley wasn’t the only player to post some big numbers, either. I’ll discuss who else broke the box score bank, as well as some other players who were just plain broke.
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
21 points (7-of-7 FT), 13 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 turnovers
Mike Conley has been forced to carry much of the load for the Grizzlies since center Marc Gasol went down with an MCL injury on Nov. 22 – and Sunday night was no exception. The seventh-year player out of Ohio State scored 21 points while handing out 13 assists, falling one short of his season-high of 14, which he set vs. Phoenix on Dec. 3rd. He contributed in other areas too, grabbing four boards and swiping four steals, all while committing just two turnovers. Conley had his own injury scare three weeks back and it took a few games for him to round back into form, but boy has he ever. Over his last seven games he’s averaging 22.4 points, 7.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.7 threes. Gasol is scheduled to participate in practice on Monday for the first time since his injury, making his return look imminent, but that shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing for Conley owners. Conley averaged 19.5 points and shot 51.6 percent in 13 games prior to Gasol’s injury, compared to 17.7 points and 43.4 percent shooting in the 21 games since.
Honorable Mentions: Isaiah Thomas (26 points, 10-of-11 FT, 6 assists, 2 steals), Kawhi Leonard (17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 three-pointer), Courtney Lee (15 points, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 three pointer)
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
14 points (3-of-14 FG), 7 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 three-pointers)
From a fantasy standpoint, this was easily the worst game of the year for Kevin Love. Surely, lots of owners who were counting on him to give them an extra push on this shorthanded Sunday were left face-palming after this epic dud. Not only did the Wolves get embarrassed by the Spurs in San Antonio, Love compounded matters by hitting just 21.4 percent of his shots – his third-worst shooting game of the year – and failed to hit a single three-point shot for only the fourth time in 36 games this season. Additionally, it was just the fourth game of the year in which he didn’t record double-digit rebounds, with two of the other three also coming in the month of January. Simply put: Love showed his fantasy owners no love.
Dishonorable Mention: Kyrie Irving (7 points, 3-of-14 FG, 1-of-4 FT, 0-of-3 3PT), Kevin Martin (6 points, 2-of-12 FG, just his fourth single-digit scoring game of season), Lou Williams (0 points, 0-of-6 FG, 2 turnovers)