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.
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
September 20, 2019, 4:03 pmDaryl MaconPG, Miami Heat
The Heat have signed Daryl Macon.
Macon getting picked up by another NBA squad after a solid Summer League campaign is not a shocker. If he were to crack the rotation he would post a nice assist rate, but it is unlikely Macon will be getting playing time unless something goes terribly wrong for the Heat this season.
September 20, 2019, 1:10 pmTahjere McCallF, Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.
This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp
Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter
September 20, 2019, 11:58 amThabo SefoloshaSF, Houston Rockets
Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.
Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
September 19, 2019, 3:22 pmTyler ZellerC, Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.
Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.
Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter
September 19, 2019, 3:03 pmLuke KennardSG, Detroit Pistons
Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.
In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.