Recent NBA Player News
Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo wins Slam Dunk Contest
Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Hamidou Diallo won the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night.
Diallo defeated Dennis Smith Jr. in the final round by leaping over rap artist Quavo and then cramming down a two-handed windmill. In the first round, Diallo tore apart some of his jersey to reveal a Superman shirt before proceeding to fly over Shaquille O'Neal and hang with his arm through the basket, recreating Vince Carter's "honey dip" dunk from 2000. Miles Bridges finished in third place and John Collins placed fourth.
Diallo is averaging just 11.4 minutes through 45 games (three starts) for the Thunder this season.
Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki unsure about retirement after this season
Dallas Mavericks forward / center Dirk Nowitzki is currently undecided about retiring after the 2018-2019 season.
While many believed this was likely Dirk's last season, the future Hall-of-Famer would not commit to retiring while talking to the media on Saturday. "I’m going to wait and see the last couple of weeks, how my body feels," said Nowitzki. "And if I continue to see improvement and I’m still having fun, we’ll see.”
At the midpoint of the 2018-2019 season, Dirk is averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 rebounds.
Pelicans' Anthony Davis says Celtics are on his list of his preferred destinations
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis said that the Boston Celtics are on his list of preferred trade destinations.
He also said that the Lakers, Knicks and Bucks are other teams he'd want to be traded to while speaking with reporters during All-Star media availability.
Davis is averaging 59.1 FanDuel points per game this season.
Celtics' Kyrie Irving (knee) says he will play in the All-Star Game
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said he's healthy and will play in the All-Star Game on Sunday night.
Irving has missed three of the Celtics' last five games with a right knee strain, but looks like he will be a go on Sunday and when Boston returns from the All-Star break.
He is averaging 43.4 FanDuel points per game this season.
Pelicans reportedly name Danny Ferry as interim general manager on Friday
The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly labeled Danny Ferry as interim general manager on Friday.
After parting ways with Dell Demps on Friday, the Pelicans have named Danny Ferry as their interim general manager according to ESPN. Ferry was originally brought in as a special adviser in 2016 after being let go by Atlanta for reportedly making inappropriate comments about other players.
According to owner Gayle Benson, Ferry will be tasked with "immediately beginning the process of restructuring our basketball operations department". The Pelicans currently rank fourth in the Southwest Division with a 26-33 record.
Boston's Kyrie Irving (knee) 'very, very close' to returning
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (knee) is 'very, very close' to returning according to general manager Danny Ainge.
Irving is currently in Charlotte for All-Star weekend and will work out with Celtics physical therapist Brian Dolan and his personal trainer Robin Pound before determining if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday. Expect Irving to return after the break if he is cleared to play on Sunday.
In 47 games this season, Irving is averaging 23.6 points and 6.9 assists.
Kent Bazemore scores 16 in 27 minutes, Hawks lose to Knicks
Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Kent Bazemore scored 16 points (7-of-14 field goals, 2-of-3 free throws) with 6 rebounds and 1 assist in 27.0 minutes of a 106-91 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday.
It was the first time Bazemore logged over 20 minutes since returning from his ankle injury on January 30. He also scored more than 15 points for the first time since hitting the shelf. The Hawks host the Detroit Pistons on February 22 in their first game after the All-Star break.
Baze scored 24.7 FanDuel points in the loss. He's averaging 26.5 FanDuel points through 44 games overall.
Luke Kornet goes 3-of-16, adds 4 steals in rare Knicks' victory
New York Knicks power forward Luke Kornet scored 11 points (3-of-16 field goals, 2-of-2 free throws) with 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block, and 3 3-pointers in 31.4 minutes of a 106-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
Kornet drew the start in place of Mario Hezonja (leg) after being in and out of the rotation over the past few weeks. He went 3-of-10 from beyond the arc in a poor shooting effort, but still managed to put together a solid fantasy line. The steals were one shy of Kornet's career-best. The Knicks' first game after the All-Star break is on February 22 at home versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kornet finished with 29.6 FanDuel points in the win. He's averaging 15.2 FanDuel points through 29 games this season.
Pelicans' Kenrich Williams bounces back with 9 points, 12 boards
New Orleans Pelicans undrafted rookie shooting guard Kenrich Williams scored 9 points (4-of-7 field goals) with 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 3-pointer, and 1 turnover in 34.4 minutes of a 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
It was an encouraging effort after Williams shot 1-for-7 in 31.5 minutes on Tuesday and finished with just 2 points. He's pulled down 12-plus boards in two of the past three games. The Pelicans play in Indiana against the Pacers on February 22 in their first game after the break.
Williams scored 34.4 FanDuel points in the victory. He's scored at least 25.0 FanDuel points in eight of the last nine games.
Nerlens Noel scores season-high 22, grabs 13 boards in Thunder loss
Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Nerlens Noel scored a season-high 22 points (10-of-16 field goals, 2-of-2 free throws) with 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 turnover in 21.7 minutes of a 131-122 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.
In addition to the season-high scoring effort, Noel matched his career-high with 8 offensive boards. The 24-year-old had logged fewer than 15 minutes in each of the previous two contests, but Jerami Grant's (ankle) absence led to an expanded workload. It was the first time in seven games that Noel finished with more than 4 points. Grant will likely be back after the break on February 22 for a home matchup with the Utah Jazz, which would slash into Noel's value.
Noel finished with 44.1 FanDuel points in the loss, his second-highest output of the season. He's averaging 18.1 FanDuel points through 53 games overall.
Pelicans' Anthony Davis (shoulder) plans to play in All-Star game
New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis (shoulder) plans to play in Sunday’s All-Star game, but it’s dependent on how he responds to upcoming treatment, according to Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports.
This seems to confirm an earlier report from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, which claimed Davis' injury is "nothing too bad" and that he would receive treatment over the next few days before making a decision for Sunday. Either way, it sounds like Davis will be cleared to play on February 22 against the Indiana Pacers in the Pelicans' first game after the break.
Davis is averaging 59.1 FanDuel points through 45 games. numberFire's models expect him to record 30.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.2 blocks, and 0.7 triples per contest over the remainder of the season.
Julius Randle scores 33 with 11 boards, 6 dimes in Pelicans' victory
New Orleans Pelicans power forward Julius Randle scored 33 points (11-of-21 field goals, 9-of-12 free throws) with 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 3-pointers, and 4 turnovers in 38.9 minutes of a 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
Anthony Davis made an early exit at the end of the first half for a shoulder injury, but Randle helped fill the void and led the Pelicans in scoring. It sounds like Davis will be fine after the break, but if he suffers a setback during All-Star weekend, Randle would benefit greatly. New Orleans' next matchup is in Indiana against the Pacers on February 22.
Randle scored 57.2 FanDuel points in the win, his second-highest total of the season. He's averaging 36.8 FanDuel points through 52 games overall.
Trae Young yields 16 points, 11 assists in Hawks' loss
Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young scored 16 points (6-of-19 field goals, 3-of-4 free throws) with 6 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 1 3-pointer, and 3 turnovers in 31.1 minutes of a 106-91 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday.
Young has four double-doubles over his last six games, with averages of 16.7 points, 4.5 boards, 9.7 dimes, 1.0 steals, and 2.0 treys in that span. The Hawks host the Detroit Pistons on February 22 in their first game after the break.
Young scored 42.7 FanDuel points in the win. He's averaging 31.6 FanDuel points through 58 games overall.
Jrue Holiday scores 32 with full line as Pelicans topple Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday scored 32 points (12-of-27 field goals, 5-of-5 free throws) with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 3 3-pointers, and 2 turnovers in 38.8 minutes of a 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
It was Holiday's fourth 30-pointer of the season and first since December 3. He and Julius Randle combined for 65 points while Anthony Davis didn't play in the second half due to a shoulder injury. The Pelicans' first game after the break is on February 22 in Indiana versus the Pacers.
Holiday scored 61.5 FanDuel points in the win, his third-highest total of the season. He's averaging 43.2 FanDuel points through 59 games overall.
Anthony Davis reportedly suffers shoulder contusion in Pelicans' win
New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis suffered a muscle contusion in his shoulder during Thursday's 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Davis made an early exit at the end of the second quarter after banging into Nerlens Noel and never returned. Shelburne says an MRI revealed “nothing too bad”, according to a source close to Davis. He will head to Charlotte for All-Star weekend and receive treatment over the next few days before deciding whether to play in the All-Star game on Sunday night.
Davis scored 14 points (5-of-10 field goals, 3-of-4 free throws) with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 3-pointer, and 2 turnovers in 15.9 minutes Thursday before leaving, finishing with 25.8 FanDuel points.
Russell Westbrook extends record to 11-straight triple-doubles in Thunder loss
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook scored 44 points with 14 rebounds and 11 assists in Thursday's 122-131 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Westbrook improved his NBA-record triple-double streak to 11 games, while setting a new season-high in points. He also recorded 2 blocks and 1 steal for the second consecutive game, giving him nearly 20 more FanDuel points than any other player on the night.
numberFire's models projected Westbrook for 55.3 FanDuel points and he exploded for 81.3 in 39 minutes.
Kenrich Miller moves to bench on Thursday for Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Kenrich Williams will not be in the starting lineup for Thursday's game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Williams will come off of the bench after starting each of the past 5 games for the Pelicans. He managed just 2 points in 31 minutes on Tuesday, and will give way to Darius Miller to enter the starting lineup on Thursday.
numberFire's models project Williams for 24.0 FanDuel points at a cost of $6,000.
Jahlil Okafor coming off of Pelicans' bench on Thursday
New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor will not be in the starting lineup for Thursday's game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Okafor will come off of the bench after starting his first game back following an ankle injury. He scored just 8 points in 29 minutes in that most recent game, and will now play as a reserve for the first time since January 18th. Julius Randle is starting in his place.
numberFire's models project Okafor for 28.6 FanDuel points at cost of $5,400.
Darius Miller moves into Pelicans starting lineup on Thursday night
New Orleans Pelicans guard/forward Darius Miller will start in Thursday's game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Miller moves back into the starting lineup after a 1-game stint coming off of the bench. As a result, Kenrich Williams will come off of the bench for the Pelicans on Thursday.
numberFire's models project Miller for 11.0 FanDuel points at a cost of $3,900.
Julius Randle starting for Pelicans on Thursday
New Orleans Pelicans power forward Julius Randle will start in Thursday's game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Randle return's to the starting lineup for the first time since January 23rd, after coming off of the bench in each of the past four games. He missed the prior 6 games with a sprained right ankle, but appears to not have any restrictions going forward and will bump Jahlil Okafor to the bench.
numberFire's models project Randle for 33.4 FanDuel points at a cost of $7,300.
Patrick Patterson starting on Thursday for Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Patrick Patterson will start on Thursday in the team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Patterson is starting in place of Jerian Grant, who is out for Thursday's game with an injury.
Our models project Patterson for 6.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 14.7 FanDuel points in 23.2 minutes of action.
Elfrid Payton (ankle) out on Thursday for Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton will not play on Thursday in the team's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Payton has been out for a month, and the Pelicans won't bring him back until after the All-Star Break.
In 19 games this season, Payton has averaged 9.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 24.8 FanDuel points per game.
Noah Vonleh available off Knicks' bench in Atlanta
New York Knicks power forward Noah Vonleh will be available off the bench in Thursday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Vonleh has been replaced by Luke Kornet in the starting lineup following a rough stretch. He's averaging just 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.8 minutes over the past five games.
numberFire's models expect Vonleh to score 18.8 FanDuel points on Thursday, at a cost of $4,500.
Luke Kornet draws start for Knicks Thursday, Noah Vonleh moving to bench
New York Knicks power forward Luke Kornet will start on Thursday versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Kornet will replace Noah Vonleh in the first unit, joining Dennis Smith Jr., Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, and DeAndre Jordan. He averaged 10.4 points, 3.3 boards, 1.7 dimes, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 2.4 triples (47.1 3-point percentage) over 22.6 minutes in 10 previous starts this season.
numberFire's models expect Kornet to score 22.2 FanDuel points on Thursday, at a cost of $4,300.
Damyean Dotson starting for New York on Thursday
New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson is in the lineup on Thursday in the team's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Dotson is taking over for Mario Herzonja, who was ruled out for Thursday's game earlier.
Our models project Dotson for 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 18.8 FanDuel points in 25.1 minutes of action.
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