March 23, 2016, 2:30 am
Westbrook-mania dominated headlines on Tuesday night, as Russell Westbrook recorded his third-straight triple-double in a monster showing. More on that later. On the injury front, we did see D’Angelo Russell leave his game and not return, citing a bruised left shin. He is questionable for tonight’s game against the Suns. Meanwhile, Luke Babbitt is worth a roster spot on your fantasy team. Go place the add. With a four-game slate, let’s get to today’s edition of your Daily Dish:
Hornets 105, Nets 100
Linsanity is officially a thing again. For the second time in two nights, Jeremy Lin dazzled off of the bench in 30 minutes, going 8-for-12 from the field for 21 points, four assists, two rebounds, one steal and one three ball. While Lin is off to a roaring start this week, we do not recommend him as an add in season-long leagues. It’s not that we don’t love some Linsanity, but he only plays two more games for the rest of the week and just three games next week (one of which is on a crowded Sunday, April 3). Winning your playoffs are all about planning ahead so thank us later for keeping you away from him as you hoist your fantasy accolades.
As the 3-6 seeds are all separated by half a game, Charlotte joined that muddled mess in their win. They were led by Nicolas Batum, who played 39 hard minutes for 23 points, four threes, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and no turnovers. He continues to be a top-30 fantasy asset and a big reason why Charlotte is on their quest for a home-field in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Hornets were without the services of Marvin Williams (ankle), who limped to the locker room on Monday after the upset against the Spurs. Hornets coach Steve Clifford is “hopeful” that Marvin plays on Friday against the Pistons, which is ample amount of time for him to rest. Frank Kaminsky entered the starting lineup in his place and had a nice night, scoring 14 points along with two treys, seven boards and two blocks. Even in a best case scenario for Kaminsky, I can’t see him being of high value with the Hornets’ upcoming schedule, to be Frank.
If you are panicking on Kemba Walker, stop it. He is 6-for-25 this week and hasn’t been shooting well going back to last week, but a huge line is just around the corner. I know it, and you know it. It is frustrating when a player lets you down at this time of the year, so I feel you on that, but you aren’t dropping him so pop some Tums and wait for Friday.
The Nets hung tough in this one, as Bojan Bogdanovic cut the lead to within one point late in the game. Bojan stayed hot again with 20 points (4-for-8 FGs, 9-for-9 FTs) with three triples, three rebounds and one turnover. Sean Kilpatrick stayed hot as well for 25 points and four threes. Kilpatrick’s recent 18 PPG and 2.6 threes over his last five games make a good points and threes specialist if you are hurting there. Bojan should be owned and Kilpatrick is worth a look as the Nets play five games next week.
Brook Lopez was questionable with an illness coming into Tuesday’s game, but the only thing sick about him was his stat line. BroLo was 11-for-19 from the field and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe for 29 points with nine boards, six assists and three turnovers. He will finish the season strong. Thaddeus Young was the one who must have had the illness, as he was on fire coming into this game but put up a dud by his standards. Young was 5-for-12 for 10 points and eight boards and committed six turnovers. Expect him to bounce back immediately.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle surgery) missed the Nets’ last 50 games and finally returned to the court tonight to play 15 minutes. He put up five points, three boards, two assists and one steal off of the bench. This wasn’t a line to write home about, but the Nets will slowly ease him along. He is certainly worth consideration as the week progresses due to the Nets’ excellent five-game schedule next week. Stay tuned.
Heat 113, Pelicans 99
This contest never really got close as Miami shot 54 percent in the first half to take a 59-40 lead at halftime. Hassan Whiteside was a big reason with his 10-for-11 shooting for 24 points with 14 rebounds, three blocks, one steal and four turnovers. He wants that max contract. Dwyane Wade played 31 minutes and put up 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one turnover. Keep Whiteside and Wade rolling in those lineups.
Goran Dragic capped off the trifecta of Heat players with big numbers in a night where he produced 21 points with three triples, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and three turnovers. Dragic did sprain his left foot in this contest and told reporters after the game that he wondered how it would feel on Wednesday. However, he spoke about playing against the Spurs on Wednesday and sounded as though he would play. Coach Spoelstra said that Dragic was fine after the game, but he was surprised that he walked away fine. Watch the injury reports today.
Unfortunately, Josh Richardson couldn’t keep up with his hype on Tuesday with a six-point night (3-for-8 FGs), one rebound and one turnover in 25 minutes on the court. With his incredible run over the last eight games, Richardson deserves a longer leash in season-long leagues. His matchup with the Spurs tonight will be tough, but he gets Orlando on Friday. Hold for now. Justice Winslow played 30 minutes but only had eight points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one turnover. No need to pick him up.
Joe Johnson and Luol Deng also struggled to get much going on Tuesday, but both should still be counted on to get back to their usual numbers. I’d be more worried about Deng, however, since this is his second straight letdown. It won’t get easier tonight against the Spurs.
The biggest fantasy story for the Pelicans was to figure out who would replace Anthony Davis (knee, out for season) in production. We got another sample size tonight, as Jrue Holiday and Luke Babbitt picked up the slack on Tuesday. Jrue went for 24 points with five boards, seven assists and four steals. You can expect top-50 value from him the rest of the way. Babbitt broke with to the tune of a 10-for-19 night from the field with 23 points, two threes, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 35 minutes of play. As I said above, get him on your squad.
The ailing Pelicans also saw Ryan Anderson (groin) sit this one out, and he could possibly miss a lot more. Dante Cunningham was an underwhelming replacement in 27 minutes of action, producing four points, four boards and three assists. No thank you. Omer Asik was one of the hottest adds after his 15-14 double-double on Sunday, but he couldn’t keep it going tonight. Asik played 21 minutes for a 8-point 9-rebound line. Even at his best, Asik doesn’t hold much value due to his narrow category help. Find cheap big man stats elsewhere.
Toney Douglas and Tim Frazier are still logging high minutes as Norris Cole (back) continues to sit, and both are worth some use. Douglas was off on Tuesday, hitting just 4-for-16 from the field but helped with 14 points, one three, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and two turnovers. Frazier posted similar numbers with 3-for-10 shooting for 11 points, one three, four assists, two rebounds and one turnover. I prefer Douglas over Frazier, but both can be owned as low-end assets.