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RECENT NBA NEWS provided by RotoWire.com
Coverwire Update Coverwire Take
Tyreke Evans (G)  SAC 3/23/2017
Evans (ankle) finished with 18 points (8-14 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 0-1 FT) while posting three rebounds and two assists over 21 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 loss against the Bucks. Evans didn't show any ill effects of his ankle injury, as he was very effective from the floor, especially from long range. He missed three of the past four games due to a sore ankle, but it appears safe to get him back into the active fantasy lineup following this impressive showing.
Arron Afflalo (G)  SAC 3/23/2017
Afflalo (personal) posted 12 points (5-9 FG, 2-5 3Pt) with two rebounds over 23 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 loss against the Bucks in his return to the lineup. Afflalo missed the past two games due to undisclosed personal reasons. He certainly didn't look rusty since he misfired on just four of his attempts from the field, with three of the misses coming from behind the arc. It appears safe to get him back into the active fantasy lineup in all leagues.
Garrett Temple (G)  SAC 3/23/2017
Temple posted 12 points (5-7 FG, 2-4 3Pt) with three rebounds, three assists and a steal over 24 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 loss against the Bucks. Temple returned to a bench role after starting three of the past four games with Arron Afflalo away from the team for personal reasons. The swingman was still effective for fantasy owners in leagues of 12 or more teams and will be a steady contributor down the stretch, starting or coming off the pine.
Willie Cauley-Stein (C)  SAC 3/23/2017
Cauley-Stein posted 10 points (5-10 FG, 0-1 FT) with seven rebounds, two assists and four blocked shots across 27 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 loss against the Bucks. Cauley-Stein was busy in the middle with Kosta Koufos (rest) inactive, clogging up the middle while serving as a defensve force. He has amassed nine blocked shots (2.25 BPG) over his past four outings. The former University of Kentucky standout has a bright future and he has really benefitted the most since the trade of DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans last month.
Buddy Hield (G)  SAC 3/23/2017
Hield posted a team-high 21 points (8-16 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 3-5 FT) with four rebounds, two assists and a steal across 36 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 loss against the Bucks. Hield has found a home in Sacto, posting double-digit point totals in three straight and 10 of his 11 outings in the month of March. His production and playing time was rather erratic in New Orleans but he has been a steady fantasy contributor with at least one 3-pointer in all 14 of his games since being acquired from the Pelicans.
Spencer Hawes (C)  MIL 3/23/2017
Hawes posted 10 points (3-4 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-3 FT) with three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots over 18 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 win against the Kings. Hawes totaled 30 minutes over his past nine games with three DNP-CDs, so don't get overly excited about this performance. It's a start, but he has a long way to go before he can be trusted by fantasy owners outside of the deepest leagues.
Mirza Teletovic (F)  MIL 3/23/2017
Teletovic scored 13 points (5-10 FG, 3-8 3Pt) while posting four rebounds and two assists over 20 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 win against the Kings. Teletovic averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds over the final five games of the teams road trip while totaling nine 3-pointers. While those numbers aren't overly impressive, the averages are higher than his season marks. He is starting to see a regular role off the bench for head coach Jason Kidd and the sharpshooter is trending upward.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (F)  MIL 3/23/2017
Antetokounmpo finished with 32 points (12-22 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 7-10 FT), 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot across 40 minutes in Wednesday's 116-98 win against the Kings. Antetokounmpo scored 22 of his points in the first half while grabbing nine boards with five dimes in the first two quarters. He finished up the road trip strong averaging 27.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals in the final two games of the sojourn. The Bucks return to Cream City to host the Hawks on Friday. Antetokounmpo is averaging 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists in three outings against Atlanta this season.
Enes Kanter (C)  OKC 3/22/2017
Kanter recorded 24 points (8-9 FG, 8-9 FT), 11 rebounds, one steal and one block across 20 minutes during a 122-97 win over the 76ers on Wednesday. Kanter was extremely efficient in totaling a game-high 24 points in just 20 minutes. The 24 points marked his highest scoring total since Jan. 15. He was also able to total his second consecutive double-double in the win. Kanter should be a reliable source of points, rebounds and percentages to close out the regular season.
Russell Westbrook (G)  OKC 3/22/2017
Westbrook produced 18 points (6-6 FG, 6-6 FT), 14 assists, 11 rebounds and two blocks across 28 minutes during a 122-97 win over the 76ers on Wednesday. Westbrook, who had been averaging 23.8 field goal attempts per game on the season, took a major step back offensively Wednesday, as he went perfect from the field in taking a season-low six attempts from the floor. He was also able to secure a triple-double after missing out in the previous two games. It is unlikely that he will continue to be so passive on the offensive end, but he may take a small step back to finish the season to conserve a little energy with the playoffs looming.
Jahlil Okafor (C)  PHI 3/22/2017
Okafor (knee) contributed six points (3-6 FG), two rebounds and two assists across 17 minutes during a 122-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. Okafor wasn't able to get much going in the return as he only received 17 minutes. He had strung several good games together before he was forced to sit out with the sore knee, but it's hard to imagine him being productive on a consistent basis while receiving such a low amount of minutes.
Nik Stauskas (G)  PHI 3/22/2017
Stauskas totaled 20 points (7-12 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 1-1 FT) and one assist across 30 minutes during a 122-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. Stauskas stunningly reached the 20-point mark for the second consecutive game, and did so in much more efficient fashion this time as he matched a season high with five three-pointers made. His 20 points off the bench also marked a team high. It is extremely unlikely that he will continue at this rate of production.
LeBron James (F)  CLE 3/22/2017
James posted 18 points (8-12 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-4 FT), six rebounds and five assists over 34 minutes in Wednesday's 126-113 loss to the Nuggets. James scored well below his 26.2 point season average on Wednesday and had an all-around unimpressive stat line (at least for The King). Kyrie Irving provided the majority of Cleveland's offensive spark in a losing effort, but Wednesday's game further illustrates the need for the Cavs to be humming on all cylinders if they wish to be competitive when playoff time arrives. Despite the loss, James is a must-start every game, but owners should closely monitor Cleveland's game-day updates as they could rest their starters multiple times in the coming weeks.
Deron Williams (G)  CLE 3/22/2017
Williams posted 19 points (8-10 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot over 20 minutes in Wednesday's 126-113 loss to the Nuggets. Since joining the Cavaliers on March 1, Williams hasn't had much impact playing behind Kyrie Irving, but tonight marked his highest point total with the team. Williams could have an interesting role with the team in the next few weeks, as Cleveland may opt to rest some starters leading up to the playoffs, and his output tonight could garner some extra minutes in that role. He's also an excellent insurance policy for Irving if you're in a format that begins their playoffs this week or next week.
Kyrie Irving (G)  CLE 3/22/2017
Irving scored 33 points (11-22 FG, 4-5 3Pt, 7-7 FT), three assists and two rebounds over 27 minutes in Wednesday's 126-113 loss to the Nuggets. Irving's night was remarkable considering all he achieved in just 27 minutes on the court. He shot 50 percent from the floor, 80 percent from beyond the arc and a perfect 100 percent from the charity stripe. His performance on Wednesday only bolsters his standing among his peers as he now ranks third in the league in field-goal percentage among point guards (47.4 percent). Unless Cleveland blows out a team or rests their starters, Irving's output is almost guaranteed to be high as the team prepares for playoff action.
Nikola Jokic (C)  DEN 3/22/2017
Jokic tallied 16 points (8-10 FG), 10 rebounds and seven assists over 29 minutes in Wednesday's 126-113 win over the Cavaliers. Jokic remains a premier stat machine for the Nuggets, where he's recording double-doubles and triple-doubles almost at will. He's almost matchup-proof at this point and keeps exceeding his season averages, especially in rebounds, where he has beaten his current average of 9.4 rebounds per game seven times this month. Jokic's versatility earns him positional eligibility at both power forward and center in most formats, and he's a quality start in either spot.
Gary Harris (G)  DEN 3/22/2017
Harris scored 21 points (8-14 FG, 3-6 3 Pt, 2-2 FT) to go along with four assists and three rebounds in Wednesday's 126-113 win over the Cavaliers. Gary Harris continued his excellent play on Wednesday after notching a career-high 28 points on Monday against the Rockets. Across 11 contests in March, Harris has averaged 16.9 points, 3.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals all of which exceed his seasonal averages with the exception of rebounds. Harris will try to keep his hot streak going against the Pacers on Friday.
Wilson Chandler (F)  DEN 3/22/2017
Chandler posted 18 points (8-14 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-1 FT), five rebounds, three assists and one steal over 41 minutes in Wednesday's 126-113 win over the Cavaliers.. Chandler's return after a four-game absence was a success, as he showed no ill effects from the groin injury that sidelined him. He will continue to start until Danilo Gallinari (knee) is able to return, so he should be a viable small forward in most formats, especially when you consider he often sees time at the 4 slot as well.
Dwight Howard (C)  ATL 3/22/2017
Howard posted 14 points (5-12 FG, 4-6 FT), 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot across 36 minutes in Wednesday's 104-100 loss to the Wizards. With Paul Millsap (knee) out, Howard is seeing an increased role in the paint, as he's averaged 13.7 points and 12 rebounds per game with Millsap sidelined. He notched his 46th double-double of the season on Wednesday, and despite Atlanta's recent woes, he is a must-start in all formats, especially while Millsap is out.
Stanley Johnson (F)  DET 3/22/2017
Johnson tallied 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-4 3Pt) and three rebounds across 16 minutes in Wednesday's 117-95 loss to the Bulls. After not playings Tuesday night against Brooklyn, Johnson made the most of his minutes Wednesday night as he put up 10 shots in 16 minutes. Johnson saw more minutes predominantly because the Pistons were blown out, so don't expect many games like Wednesday night's as it was just his sixth double-digit scoring performance on the season.
Paul Zipser (F)  CHI 3/22/2017
Zipser recorded 15 points (6-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-3 FT), four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block across 29 minutes in Wednesday's 117-95 victory over the Pistons. After earning a season-high 41 minutes Tuesday night, Zipser continued his strong play into the second game of the back-to-back Wednesday night as he scored a season-high 15 points. With Dwayne Wade out for the year, Zipser has a chance to carve out more of a role on the Bulls and the team is obliging as he's played an average of 35 minutes over the past two games. He's not a prolific scorer, but he does just enough of everything that he warrants fantasy consideration if he continues to see extended playing time.
Tim Hardaway (G)  ATL 3/22/2017
Hardaway tallied 29 points (9-16 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 8-9 FT), three assists, two rebounds, two blocked shots, and one steal over 36 minutes in Wednesday's 104-100 loss to the Wizards. With Kent Bazemore (knee) out for over a week, Hardaway started on Wednesday and will be the team's number one shooting guard during that span. Starting or benching Hardaway does change his output (17.7 points per game as a starter, 12.6 points on the bench) but in either situation, he has the ability to erupt for huge stat lines on any given day. His high ceiling makes him a starter in all formats, regardless of his status at game time.
Nikola Mirotic (F)  CHI 3/22/2017
Mirotic tallied 28 points (12-15 FG, 4-6 3Pt), five rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block across 39 minutes in Wednesday's 117-95 victory over the Pistons. Mirotic stuffed the stat sheet Wednesday night as he recorded a statistic in each of the five major categories. It was his most efficient outing on the year as he shot 80 percent from the floor, and with the current lack of depth on the Bulls roster, a few more strong showings could allow Mirotic to get extended run and increase on his average of 23 minutes per game.
Dennis Schroder (G)  ATL 3/22/2017
Schroder posted 18 points (5-16 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 8-8 FT), six assists and two rebounds over 32 minutes in Wednesday's 104-100 loss to the Wizards. Schroder posted the worst kind of double-double on Wednesday, scoring 18 points and coughing up the ball 10 times. That's more turnovers than the rest of the team put together, and that kind of sloppiness can have a devastating effect on a close game like this one. He averaged 3.1 turnovers a game leading up to this contest, so that number will shoot u after tonight. Otherwise, he is posting career-high numbers this season, averaging 17.7 points and 6.2 assists per game over 69 games, so he has undeniable value as Atlanta's top point guard. Atlanta is now in the midst of a five-game skid and will have their hands full against a hot Milwaukee team that's creeping up the standings. Regardless of the matchup, you still have to start Schroder if he is your best option.
Joffrey Lauvergne (F)  CHI 3/22/2017
Lauvergne registered 17 points (7-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT), seven rebounds, three assists and one steal across 28 minutes in Wednesday's 117-95 victory over the Pistons. With Robin Lopez suspended after his altercation last game, Lauvergne started and played well with his minutes, shooting over 50 percent from the floor and snatching a team-high in rebounds. Although he had a solid showing Wednesday night, don't expect many games like this as Lopez will return from suspension next game and Lauvergne will resume his role on the bench, where he's averaged just 14.2 minutes per contest.

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