March 14, 2016, 3:21 am
March madness is upon us, and Jose Calderon is hitting game winners in an arena near you. Sunday featured a light five-game slate, but with most head-to-head leagues beginning playoffs over the next few weeks, each stat line is magnified this time of year. Welcome to the Daily Dish, where we will recap the games from the night before and run through the busy NBA slate. Let’s get straight to the action:
Cleveland 114, LA Clippers 90
Los Angeles is known for their sunny weather, but it sure rained triples in the Staples Center on Sunday afternoon. The Cavs tied a season-high from beyond the arc as they poured in 18 threes. Five of those came from J.R. Smith, who caught fire in the third quarter to score 14 of his 17 points. Smith is as streaky as they come, but continue to count on him as a strong specialist in scoring and hitting threes.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on Sunday was Channing Frye’s output, despite the return of Kevin Love (leg). For the second straight game, Frye did what the Cavs signed him to do, hitting five threes from beyond the arc for 15 points with five rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes. Frye is best left on the waiver wire, as most of his production was due to the result of a blowout.
Meanwhile in stud land, LeBron James continued to prove that he is a first round fantasy asset, shooting 9-for-15 on field goals and 6-for-7 from the charity stripe with 27 points, three treys, six rebounds, five assists and one steal in only three quarters of play. Kyrie Irving was the only Cavs starter to play in the fourth quarter, putting up 17 points on 7-for-17 shooting with two threes, five assists, two rebounds, and one steal. The triplets were complete again, as Kevin Love (leg) returned to the court to post 12 points and nine rebounds.
As for the center position, Timofey Mozgov drew the start in order to match up better with DeAndre Jordan, but he only played 14 minutes. Tristan Thompson posted his third straight double-double in relief and is a much better own over Mozgov if you are in need of the cheap big man stats.
For owners worried about the prospect of their Cavs studs sitting down the stretch (especially with their tasty 4-4-4 playoff schedule over the next three weeks), Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said that he plans on playing all of his starters in the second leg of a back-to-back on Monday in Utah. With both LeBron and Kyrie logging only 31 minutes each in Sunday’s blowout, and Love playing only 25 minutes, this comes as good news. Not to mention, the Cavs only hold a 2.5 game lead over the Raptors for the top seed in the East. Owners can breathe easy until the next back-to-back set on Friday and Saturday.
The Clippers are probably glad to move past the Cavs on their schedule this season. They are just 2-7 against the Cavs since the 2006-07 season. Chris Paul was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing night, dishing for a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists with five rebounds and two steals. He continues to excel without Blake Griffin (hand) and performs like a top-five player consistently. J.J. Redick shot well on Sunday, going 7-for-11 from the field for 19 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He is being leaned on more heavily in recent weeks and should pose mid-round value through the stretch run.
DeAndre Jordan shocked no one with yet another double-double, shooting 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line (not a typo) for 11 points with 11 rebounds, one assist and one block. The fact that Sunday’s line is very modest as a double-double for DeAndre tells you just how good of a March he is having. Outside of CP3, Redick, and DeAndre, the Clippers had nothing else to get too excited about.
Jeff Green showed his daily rollercoaster tendency with a 2-for-10 performance for just seven points, five assists and three rebounds. If you like playing roulette, Green is your guy. His days of must-own potential are long gone. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (eye) was out for more games than the length of his full name, but he returned on Sunday and played 22 minutes as a starter for two points, one rebound, two steals and one block. Mbah a Moute is not worth wasting your breath over. Reading his name is about as much thought as you should put into entertaining any notion of adding him. Wesley Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers all played over 23 minutes, but none were effective in their time. There are better players to fill up important roster spots this time of year.
Hawks 104, Pacers 75
The Hawks and Pacers continued Sunday evening’s trend of resting players in the fourth quarter. This game was out of hand in the third quarter. The Hawks spread out the rotation and made sure that none of their players eclipsed the 30-minute mark in their playing time. Paul Millsap led the way with 29 minutes, hitting 7-for-14 from the field for 18 points, two threes, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks in a full line. Talk about useful, Millsap does it all. Al Horford hit a pair of threes of his own on Sunday, adding 18 points and four rebounds. You can always count on the Millsap-Horford big man duo.
Jeff Teague only had six points and nine assists, but he only played 22 minutes and will stay solid during the final weeks of the season. His line is more of a result of the blowout. Kent Bazemore wasn’t very useful, logging 18 minutes for eight points and three rebounds. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer wasn’t very happy with Bazemore on the sidelines, as he allowed Monta Ellis hit a wide-open three in front of Atlanta’s bench. A blown assignment won’t keep Bazemore from staying productive. Hold him for now. Dennis Schroder only played 19 minutes despite the blowout, and his value will continued to be limited to Teague’s handcuff. You can do better.
Outside of Myles Turner, the Pacers were pretty awful on Sunday. The Pacers also kept everyone under 30 minutes. Turner was the only starter between both teams who played in the fourth quarter. He finished with a nice line of 9-for-17 from the field for 19 points, five rebounds and two steals. Turner is still in the must-own range as he attempts to climb that fabled rookie wall. Paul George and Monta Ellis disappeared significantly. Each played 25 minutes and they combined for 17 points on 7-of-24 shooting. Expect both to bounce back.
George Hill (toe) limped through warmups but still gave it a go on Sunday. He shot 2-for-8 in an otherwise forgettable performance. He admitted that he was uncomfortable after the game. Keep an eye out here on Hoop-Ball for more updates on George Hill as the Pacers take on the Celtics on Tuesday. With Ty Lawson (foot) still out, the Pacers are counting on Hill to be their floor general. Rodney Stuckey (foot) had to leave the game on Sunday, aggravating the same foot that has been bothering him all year long. C.J .Miles will benefit in case Stuckey needs to miss more time.
January 17, 2020, 2:50 amD'Angelo RussellPG, Golden State Warriors
D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting to go with three boards, nine dimes, three steals and six triples in Thursday's 131-134 loss to the Nuggets.
Russel's shooting was off, but it's a good thing that all six of his made field goals were triples. The game-high nine assists also help boost his line and even though he'll be dinged up here and there, the Warriors don't risk much by playing him so there's not too much to worry about here.
January 17, 2020, 2:49 amWillie Cauley-SteinC, Golden State Warriors
Willie Cauley-Stein logged 33 minutes in a start on Thursday and scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
Cauley-Stein has always had ample opportunity to run away with the job, but he just can't. He's simply not good enough to establish himself as a frontrunner for this spot so it's too hard to trust him on a regular basis. Omari Spellman (17 minutes, three points, one rebound, two assists and a triple) got relegated to the bench, but should be held onto for a few more games to see how things shake out.
January 17, 2020, 2:47 amDamion LeeSG, Golden State Warriors
Damion Lee scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting to go with four rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block and three triples on Thursday.
Lee started and logged a team-high 37 minutes on Thursday and should be rostered in all standard leagues. The Warriors like what they see from him and he's proving himself on the court in both reality and fantasy.
January 17, 2020, 2:46 amAlec BurksSG, Golden State Warriors
Alec Burks led the Warriors in scoring on Thursday with 25 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and four triples.
Burks played 32 minutes off the bench as Coach Kerr rode the hot hand. The Warriors took this game into OT, but fell short and Burks continues to provide a strong scoring punch for them. He doesn't do much else, so keep that in mind when looking at him.
January 17, 2020, 2:44 amEric PaschallPF, Golden State Warriors
Eric Paschall logged 20 minutes off the bench on Thursday and scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go with five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one triple.
Paschall was efficient from the floor and was able to fill up the stat sheet in a limited amount of minutes, but our main concern is the playing time. He just doesn't get enough on a regular basis to warrant standard-league ownership.
January 17, 2020, 2:43 amDraymond GreenPF, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks on Thursday.
He's never going to score a lot, but the overall line was juicy enough for us to pay attention and it might be enough for owners to sell-high. There are plenty of risks that come with owning Green and if he can keep up this level of play you should definitely ship him off for a more reliable option.
January 17, 2020, 2:41 amNikola JokicC, Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic posted a 23-12-8 line with two blocks in Thursday's 134-131 win over the Warriors.
Jokic went 10-for-20 from the floor and hit all three of his free throws in 44 minutes of action. Now that he has his legs under him, he's been pushing out first-round lines on a nightly basis. The eight turnovers were a bit uncharacteristic, but we'll live with that as long as he keeps bringing the rest.
January 17, 2020, 2:40 amWill BartonSG, Denver Nuggets
Will Barton led the Nuggets in scoring on Thursday with 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting with five rebounds, seven assists, a steal, a block and seven triples.
Barton was an inferno from deep, connecting on 7-of-10 from distance and looks to be the biggest beneficiary of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris sitting. He should have been owned and starting in all standard leagues prior to tonight anyways, so expect some increased production in the next few contests.
January 17, 2020, 2:39 amMonte MorrisPG, Denver Nuggets
Monte Morris had a quiet night on Thursday, scoring 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting to go with three rebounds, three assists and a triple.
Morris got the starting nod with Jamal Murray (ankle) sitting and while he didn't put up a spectacular line, he's still worth streaming if Murray misses more time.
January 17, 2020, 2:37 amMason PlumleeC, Denver Nuggets
Mason Plumlee scored 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 15 boards, four dimes, one steal and two blocks on Thursday.
Plumlee logged the same amount of minutes (27) as starter Jerami Grant (27 minutes, six points, four boards, two assists and two steals) and outplayed him on both ends of the floor. Grant couldn't capitalize with Paul Milsap sitting and it's unlikely that he'll be the top-100 guy he was in OKC last season anytime soon. He still has potential to reach that point, but it's just not now.