April 13, 2021, 1:48 am
Welcome to the Monday edition of the Hoop Ball Daily Dish!
For tonight’s daily dish, we are going to highlight some of the key storylines in more of a bullet-style format and it’ll include the key injuries from the eight-game slate.
But before we get into it, we have to address what Stephen Curry achieved tonight. He needed 18 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for the most points for the Warriors franchise All-Time. Curry finished Monday’s victory (the Warriors were bound to look great in the contest that Steph passed Wilt) with 53 points and 10 triples. The best shooter of all-time just continues to achieve milestone after milestone and Warriors fans and he has helped the career of so many people within the Warriors organization including owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Meyers, head coach Steve Kerr and all of the teammates over the years. Congrats to one of the best fantasy performers of the last 10 years!
- The Lakers came out flat on Monday and continue to stumble along without both Anthony Davis (calf) and LeBron James (ankle). The return of Kyle Kuzma (left calf strain) didn’t make a difference as they fell to the Knicks who were led by Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton. Nerlens Noel was excellent defensively and slowed Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell as the duo combined for three total points. Markieff Morris briefly left the game with a rolled ankle but was able to return to the game so the injury isn’t expected to be serious and Morris should continue to have low-end standard league appeal while the Lakers remain shorthanded.
- Joel Embiid is doing his best to get back into the MVP conversation despite missing significant time with injury. He roasted the Mavs sans Kristaps Porziņģis (injury management) as he posted 36 points in just 26 minutes with tremendous efficiency. Furkan Korkmaz tied his season-high with 20 points while Jalen Brunson performed well in the spot start for Kristaps. Dorian Finney-Smith double-doubled, J.J. Redick (heel) made his Mavs debut and left little to be desired in terms of fantasy production and Luka Dončić did his thing. At the end of the day, though, the Mavs just didn’t have an answer for Embiid.
- The Spurs took advantage of a rebuilding Magic squad and this game can be thrown out for fantasy purposes due to the blowout nature of the game. No starter played more than 30 minutes of action as the Spurs went up by 23 points at half time. The biggest news for fantasy was the unfortunate hip injury that forced Mo Bamba to leave the game on his own accord. R.J. Hampton was productive off the bench while Chuma Okeke (hip) disappointed in his return to action but the blowout nature of this game doesn’t lend itself to any adds/drops based on this one performance. Hampton can be added to watch-lists, however.
- Lauri Markkanen is starting to lose his minutes and role to Daniel Theis, something that needs to be accounted for in fantasy as well as the future plans for the Bulls this upcoming offseason. Tomáš Satoranský has also slowed down considerably over the last week and can be dropped for a hot pickup. Jonas Valančiūnas continued at the torrid pace he’s been on recently and could help GMs win their first round playoff matchups with his dominant form while Ja Morant double-doubled as the Grizzlies hand on to the eight seed out West.
- The Kings were dealt a tough blow as Richaun Holmes had to leave the game with hamstring tightness. In his stead, we saw Damian Jones play the most minutes while Chimezie Metu and Hassan Whiteside played nine and three minutes respectively. There doesn’t seem to be a clear big man pickup in Sacramento if Holmes misses time. De’Aaron Fox did as much as he could to help the Kings as he dropped 43 points but they ultimately fell to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson as the duo combined for 64 points on 24-of-39 from the field. The Pelicans are developing quite an intriguing roster and they did all this tonight without Lonzo Ball (hip).
- The Jazz defense didn’t show up as they allowed the Wizards to shoot 52% from the field and Russell Westbrook put up yet another triple-double. Daniel Gafford looks like a player worth picking up in standard formats after his first two games back from his ankle injury as he was the best center for the Wizards during the victory. Bojan Bogdanović and Donovan Mitchell excelled offensively but the Jazz just didn’t seem to get up for this affair as their defense is typically much better than what was on display against the nation’s capital.
- Stephen Curry definitely stole the show with his historic achievement but Draymond Green was unusually aggressive on offense as he finished with a season-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting while he also played excellent defense to make life more difficult for Nikola Jokić. We got some sad news near the end of the game that really took the wind out of the sails in what was a well-fought contest. Jamal Murray appeared to injure his right knee on a drive to the rim on a dunk attempt in the fourth quarter. Hopefully, the injury isn’t too serious but it didn’t look good live. Those who have Murray rostered will want to keep tabs as we should learn more in the coming days.
- The Suns were able to make up a little bit more ground on the Jazz as they were able to defeat the hapless Rockets. However, the Rockets had fantasy value abound despite the loss as Jae’Sean Tate, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood all came through while K.J. Martin racked up another two blocks, something that has been impressive from the rookie wing. The Suns look like one of the more complete teams in the league and all of their main guys produced in the victory while their depth has also been impressive. The Suns are definitely to be feared come playoff time.
Add(s) of the Night
Daniel Gafford, C, Washington Wizards
Gafford could be added in standard leagues due to the lack of competition for center minutes in Washington with just Alex Len and Robin Lopez elsewhere on the depth chart. Gafford has looked good since returning from the ankle injury and has a reasonable shot at returning low-end standard league value for the duration of the year.
Lauri Markkanen, PF/C, Chicago Bulls
Markkanen appears to be losing his opportunity to Daniel Theis. With the Bulls searching for a playoff spot, they’ll use lineups that help them achieve that goal. Markkanen should be able to enter the standard league radar once again in future seasons but it appears as if he has worn out his welcome in Chicago. The young big man core of Wendell Carter Jr. and Markkanen that existed in Chicago for the past few years might be gone after this offseason