• So this is what it’s like to be a fantasy writer. Thank you @aaronbruski for the opportunity. Without further ado, let’s talk ball. Could the Warriors bounce back after their Saturday night loss to the Spurs? Would the Spurs suffer a letdown after keeping their home winning streak against the suddenly hot Hornets? Here’s the Tuesday morning Daily Dish.

    HORNETS 91, SPURS 88

    It didn’t take long to witness the evening’s first upset as the Hornets surprised the Spurs 91-88. After falling behind by 21 points in the first quarter, Charlotte stormed back to outscore San Antonio 84-60 over the final three quarters. On a night when Kemba Walker had one of his worst games of the year (2/11 for six points), Jeremy Lin stepped up in a major way.

    Linsanity produced a solid line of 29-7-2-1 on 11/18 shooting and 4/4 from the stripe. Courtney Lee also chipped in with 17 points on 8/13 from the field. With the win, the Hornets moved to 10 games above .500 and inched to within half a game of idle Miami for third; and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

    The Spurs on the other hand suffered only their 11th loss of the season. San Antonio was once again led by LaMarcus Aldridge who put up yet another double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds). Tim Duncan returned to the starting lineup and put up a good line with 16-10-2-2-4 in 30 minutes of action.

    Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard also scored in double-digits, but Danny Green continued his inconsistent season shooting 0/7 for two points. The Spurs have three more games this week, but have a back-to-back against the Grizzlies and Thunder on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. The “POP” alert is in full effect.

    PACERS 91, 76ERS 75

    There was no way the Pacers were going to lose this one. Indiana is currently fighting with the Bulls, Wizards and Pistons for one of two playoff spots available in the East. The Pacers’ starting five all scored in double-digits, led by Paul George with 15 points. All was not good with PG though, as he only shot 4/16 from the field. He salvaged his night with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a perfect 6/6 from the line.

    Ian Mahinmi played 30 minutes and produced 12 points and 10 rebounds with an efficient 6/8 from the field. George Hill also produced a solid line of 12-4-4 with no turnovers and 6/8 from the field. The Pacers have three games remaining this week, and PG and company look safe to deploy as usual for those games.

    On the other hand, the miserable season continued for the shorthanded 76ers. With Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington both out the 76ers relied on Hollis Thompson and Isaiah Canaan to produce. Thompson played 32 minutes and shot 6/13 for 15 points and added six rebounds, two assists and one steal.

    Meanwhile, Canaan played 30 minutes and shot 6/14 (3/7 from downtown) for 15 points, four rebounds and nothing else. Ish Smith shot a horrible 2/15 from the field and finished this game with a line of 4-9-4-3 with one turnover. Rumor has it that Covington could be back for Wednesday’s game, but when you score less than 76 points, there may not be anything to save you.

    CAVS 124, NUGGETS 91

    There was no surprise here as the Cavs took a page out of BTO’s book and took care of business. A usual, LeBron James led the way with his second triple-double of the season. LBJ posted a line of 33-11-11 while shooting 12/19 from the field and 8/11 from the stripe. No other Cavs player surpassed 30 minutes of playing time tonight.

    J.R. Smith scored 15 points with four rebounds and five assists, while Channing Frye made another spot start for the injured Kevin Love (back) and scored 14 points with another 3 made from the land beyond. With upcoming back-to-back games this week against the Bucks and Nets, coach Tyronn Lue may prioritize resting his starters as opposed to playing for top seed.

    The Nuggets were coming off a big road victory in Charlotte on Saturday and everyone except Will Barton showed up for this one. Barton scored 27 points on 9/12 shooting with four rebounds, two steals and 5/6 from the charity stripe. Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic also scored in double-figures with 11 points apiece. The one interesting tidbit to take away from this game was that Jusuf Nurkic started the second half and had a line of 11-7-3-1-3 in 25 minutes of action. If Nurkic proves that he can stay healthy to end the season, he may be worthy of a pickup in standard leagues. Up next for the Nuggets is a date with the lowly 76ers at home on Wednesday night.

Fantasy News

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.

    Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.

    Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.

    "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.

    The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.

    "Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.

    Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.

    With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.

    Source: Charlotte Hornets

  • Jon Leuer
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.

    Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.

    Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.

    The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.

    Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker feels that his left knee hampered him earlier this year because of all of the basketball he's played over the course of his career.

    The knee pain has been a constant this season, and Walker has missed eight games due to the injury overall. He should be fully recovered for when the season does resume at this point, and if he is able to get enough practice reps in he'll be able to avoid any restrictions whenever the league-wide shutdown is lifted.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    If Ante Zizic chooses to leave the NBA when he hits free agency this offseason, he could draw interest from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Zizic had a lot of success in 2016-17 when he was last in the Euro League with Darussafaka, averaging 9 points and 6.7 rebounds in under 21 minutes per game. In comparison, he's been an afterthought for the Cavs this season, only averaging 10 minutes per game. Moreover, the Cavs declined to pick up his player option for next season, and they already have plenty of options for the frontcourt between Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and possibly DeAndre Drummond (player option). Maccabi will have to see how much salary flexibility they have this offseason as ticket sales are likely to take a hit in Israel next year.

    Source: Euro Hoops