March 30, 2016, 2:29 am
#RestGate was in full-motion on Tuesday night, as first-round fantasy studs Kevin Durant and LeBron James sat out their respective games. Serge Ibaka was on the shelf too. Tuesday featured a six-game slate with all kinds of playoff implications in five out of six games, so the players who did play tried to be on their best behavior. Nicolas Batum was one of them. Some were, and some weren’t. Let’s find out what it all meant in today’s edition of Daily Dish:
BULLS 98, PACERS 96
The Bulls seems to enjoy making it an exciting game every time they face the Pacers. All three of the Bulls wins this season have been within three points, as Jimmy Butler nailed a 10-footer to win the game with 3.7 seconds left. Unfortunately, game winners don’t help too much in fantasy. Butler was 6-for-10 from the field for 14 points with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes. The Bulls swear up and down that Butler is fine, but it’s an election year. Results are all that matter.
The Bulls gutted out a win even without their floor general Taj Gibson (ribs) who left the game at halftime and did not return. Nikola Mirotic was a huge reason, scoring 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting with seven threes, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal in 37 minutes off the bench. With five chances this week, Mirotic was bound to go off, as he did similarly last week in Madison Square Garden. Mirotic plays three more times this week and should be started in all leagues.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bulls game this season if there weren’t multiple injuries. In addition to Taj, Derrick Rose suffered a hyperextended elbow and was being evaluated after the game ended. Rose played through it, but having to get X-rays after the game never sounds good. E’Twaun Moore (hamstring) returned from a six-game absence and played 24 minutes and had five points, four boards and one steal. If Rose misses time, go with Moore over Aaron Brooks.
Players were falling like flies in this contest, as Paul George tweaked his left ankle but stayed in the game. PG24 went for 20 points, nine boards, five assists, four steals and one block. With the Pacers leading the Bulls for 8th place in the East by just two games, George should fight to play on despite the injury. Keep a close eye on his status moving forward, but he should be fine. Ian Mahinmi kept up the recent trend for big men to gash the Bulls inside with 18 points, seven boards and two blocks. This is the third straight game that Mahinmi has scored 18 or more points, marking the best three game stretch of scoring in his career. The Pacers play three more games this week so hold on to him.
A poor game for Monta Ellis these days looks a little bit like Tuesday night, as he shot 3-for-12 from the field for eight points with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block. I’ll take that. Expect Monta to bounce back and finish the week strong. Bad George Hill is quite a bit worse than bad Monta, and unfortunately for owners that’s the version we got Tuesday. Hill followed Sunday’s three-point, three-rebound, three-assist dud with six points, three rebounds and four assists on Tuesday. He is still posting 11th round value over the past week and is a hold for now, but his last two outings aren’t pretty.
Myles Turner followed the ugly trend, scoring six point on 3-of-8 shooting with five boards and one block. His 10th round value over the last week should rise with an easier schedule on the horizon. Be patient as the Pacers still have three more contests this week.
MAGIC 139, NETS 105
Skiles was handing out minutes tonight like Oprah to her audience. You get 20 minutes! You get 20 minutes! Nine players shared the wealth with over 20 minutes on Tuesday in the Magic win. The blowout had a lot to do with it, and none felt the effect of this more than Victor Oladipo (wrist) who made his return to the lineup after a two-game absence. Dipo played just 25 minutes, shooting 3-for-7 from the field with one three ball for seven points, three boards, eight assists and three steals. He will get more time in closer games.
It was encouraging to see that Elfrid Payton didn’t slow down despite Dipo’s return, as he scored 11 points with five rebounds, 12 assists and two steals. Payton is posting top-80 value since returning from injury six games ago. Expect to see big numbers from him down the stretch. No other Magic point guards deserve your attention.
Nikola Vucevic (groin) sat this one out after returning to practice on Monday, leaving the power forwards to get all the work they wanted. Aaron Gordon and Andrew Nicholson took advantage, combining for 44 points on 18-of-20 shooting. Gordon will continue to hold value, but Vucevic will put a cloud on all other frontcourt value on the Magic. That’s right, for fantasy purposes, consider Dewayne Dedmon a dead man.
The Nets rested Thaddeus Young and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Tuesday, getting a chance to look at other players in the rotation. Thomas Robinson stepped up for 18 points with 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. This guy just needs minutes. Keep an eye on the Nets starting lineup in the coming days and consider T-Rob if he gets a start.
Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic were benched for the entire second half, for no apparent reason other than to piss off fantasy owners. Since it was an 18-point deficit at halftime, Net coach Tony Brown got a chance to look at some of his other players. Keep both Lopez and Bojan on rest alert moving forward.
September 22, 2019, 9:20 pmFurkan KorkmazSG, Philadelphia Sixers
After an injury-plagued sophomore campaign for the Sixers, Furkan Korkmaz knows this season will be crucial for his future and he is hoping to make big strides this year.
The one thing Korkmaz has going for him is his shooting ability and that is something the Sixers could surely utilize on this roster. It did not click last season, but Korkmaz will get another chance to prove his worth at some point this season. Still, it is hard to picture him coming out of the gate with a big role on opening night.
September 22, 2019, 9:08 pmNikola MiroticPF, Milwaukee Bucks
On Sunday, Nikola Mirotic dropped 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for Barcelona.
Mirotic's opening appearance for his new EuroLeague club, Barcelona, resulted in a victory, and he did not have to work too hard for most of his buckets at the Supercopa Endesa versus Valencia. Mirotic should find quick success during his return to European basketball, but NBA fantasy players will surely be missing his presence stateside.
September 22, 2019, 8:56 pmBruce BrownSG, Detroit Pistons
Coach Dwane Casey spoke highly of Bruce Brown’s defensive play, calling him an ‘elite defender.’
Brown remains in contention for a starting spot with the Pistons, but he is not a high-usage player, and the Pistons have stocked up with offensive threats such as Derrick Rose and the immortal Joe Johnson. It will be tough for Brown to rack up enough touches or minutes this season.
September 22, 2019, 8:41 pmKevin DurantSF, Brooklyn Nets
There is some optimism in league circles about Kevin Durant's (Achilles) chances of playing this season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
Looking back on Durant's decision to return during the Finals, the Nets may want to exude caution when considering KD's return to action. However, Durant is pursuing his rehab with a sense of purpose, and it would be great to see him get back on the court this season. We'll keep you posted when a real timeline on Durant's rehab emerges. This news does not make him a target on draft day for standard leagues.
Source: New York Post
September 22, 2019, 10:40 amLarry Nance Jr.PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Larry Nance Jr. is the presumed favorite to start at PF heading into training camp according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
Fedor went on to speculate that Nance Jr. could see a lot of time at the four while Kevin Love starts at center and Tristan Thompson and John Henson compete for back up minutes behind those two. Any uptick in playing time would be a huge boost to the per-minute dynamo that Nance Jr is, and a starting role with a new coaching staff bodes well for that. He's trending in the right direction.
September 21, 2019, 9:45 pmKevin KnoxSF, New York Knicks
Coach Fizdale told the Knicks players that no starters have been determined and players had to earn their minutes.
Kevin Knox will battle with veteran Marcus Morris for the starting small forward spot. Knox has been working on getting his body stronger to be able to take on more contact on drives to the basket. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 12.8 points on a putrid 37 percent from the field. Knox will look to get more looks closer to the basket and increase his field goal percentage to more respectable levels. Knox provided little else outside of points and rebounds last season and will need to improve his shooting and defense to be considered a standard-league player.
Source: New York Post
September 21, 2019, 5:13 pmBol BolC, Denver Nuggets
According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, Bol Bol could spend his entire rookie season in the G-League.
Bol Bol was not drafted to be an immediate impact player, but just fell too late fore the Nuggets liking. The 44th overall pick needs to bulk up and show that he could take the bumps and bruises before having his chance on the big stage.
Source: Nick Kosmider of The Athletic
September 21, 2019, 9:21 amKawhi LeonardSF, Los Angeles Clippers
After speaking with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank, Dan Woike's takeaway is that Kawhi Leonard's "load management" will not be as strict as it was last year.
It was reported in July that Kawhi said he wants to play all next season fully and approach load management on a game-to-game basis so this is further confirmation that he will most likely play more than the 60 games he played last year but surely won't play all 82 either. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports speculates that this could be for several reasons. One could be that Leonard can take on more now that he is a little healthier while he believes the Clippers might also limit his per-game minutes to help him play more games. The other idea is that because the Western Conference is so deep, the Clippers will not be able to get a good seed if Leonard sits too many games. Fantasy wise, Leonard finished last season seventh in per game value but 18th in total value since he played only 60 games. Near the top of the second round would be a great place to snag him if he plays around 70 games this season.
Source: Dan Woike on Twitter
September 21, 2019, 8:31 amMalik BeasleySG, Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets want to extend Malik Beasley and Juan Hernagomez before the October 21 deadline.
The Nuggets already locked up one of their 2016 first-round picks (Jamal Murray) to a long-term deal and now want to do the same with their other two 2016 first-round picks, Hernangomez and Beasley. If not, the two will likely become restricted free-agents at the end of the season. Both players saw stretches of big minutes last season due to injuries but at full health, Beasley was around 20 minutes per game while Hernangomez was at around 10. Fantasy wise, neither player puts up big defensive stats but Beasley is a very efficient shooter with low turnovers, knocking down 2.0 triples per game last year, putting him near top-150 value at only 23.2 minutes per game. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder and knocked down 0.9 triples per game but he would need closer to 30 minutes per game to be a factor in standard leagues.
Source: Denver Post
September 20, 2019, 8:49 pmOG AnunobySF, Toronto Raptors
Coach Nick Nurse intends to put OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."
With Kawhi Leonard vacating the starting small forward spot, Anunoby is the leading candidate to take the role. Before the arrival of Leonard, Anunoby started 62 games in his rookie season. Last season he started 6 out of 67 games, and missed the entire playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 33.2 percent from 3-point range and 58.1 percent from the free-throw line. He can be picked up as a late round flier in drafts.
Source: The Athletic