January 26, 2021, 4:29 am
Monday’s games did not lack for entertainment, highlighted by LeBron James’ 46-point effort in his homecoming game against Cleveland, a surprising defensive effort from the Brooklyn Nets and an upset win for the Detroit Pistons. See below for the other notables from around the Association!
Adds of the Night
Delon Wright, G, Detroit Pistons
Wright had his best game of the season, tallying a season-high 28 points to go with seven rebounds and nine assists. He’s operated as Detroit’s only PG over his last two with Derrick Rose (left knee) sidelined, and has churned out two very reliable lines as a result. It’s still really tough to trust anyone not named Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee in Dwane Casey’s rotations, and Delon has had his fair share of inconsistent play to this point of the season, but he’s certainly worth a look right now as we see if he can parlay this stretch into long term production.
T.J McConnell, G, Indiana Pacers
Ever since Victor Oladipo left town, McConnell has taken advantage of open ball-handling duties in the second unit. In those six games since that trade, T.J has been posting top-70 value in 9-cat, bumping his minutes per-game up to 25, and providing elite assists and steals at 7.0 and 2.3 per-game respectively. He’s been outplaying Aaron Holiday consistently, and it appears that he can stick with this role playing alongside Malcolm Brogdon, who has thrived as a spot up two-guard this season.
Paul Millsap, F/C, Denver Nuggets
Millsap has looked a little rough around the edges all season, but with Michael Porter Jr. now back in full tilt, and JaMychal Green outplaying him off the bench, it’s pretty tough to justify continuing to roster the veteran starting forward.
OUT – Covid Protocol
New Orleans Pelicans & San Antonio Spurs: Their game on Monday night was postponed for potential, separate exposures in both’s traveling parties. It is unclear if there are any positive cases among either team’s players at this time.
Memphis Grizzlies: Entire team – Only one confirmed case (assumed to be Jonas Valanciunas), rest of team remains out for now
Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard & Paul George
Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler & Avery Bradley (expected to clear protocols today, should return later this week)
Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns & Juancho Hernangomez
Dallas Mavericks: Josh Richardson, Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith & Maxi Kleber
Washington Wizards: Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Davis Bertans, Moe Wagner & Ish Smith
Kemba Walker (rest) was ruled out for Boston’s second leg of their back-to-back, which is likely to be the case for him the rest of the season. Jayson Tatum (health and safety protocols) meanwhile, was able to make his return to the court for the first time since Jan. 8th.
Domantas Sabonis (knee contusion) was forced to leave Monday’s game after bumping knees with Kyle Lowry. Though he did not appear to be in much pain he was scheduled for both an X-Ray and MRI. As of now the X-Ray has shown no structural damage, and the MRI is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Stay tuned…
Joel Embiid (back tightness) was held out of Monday’s game. He’s missed a couple of games this season due to the ongoing back tightness, and given Philly’s desire to manage his minutes he may continue to here and there down the road.
Pascal Siakam (knee) and Kyle Lowry (toe infection) both came into Monday’s game as questionable, and while Lowry was able to make his return from a two game absence, Siakam remained sidelined with his injury.
D’Angelo Russell (quad) was ruled out for Monday’s game. He missed Minnesota’s last game on Saturday for “rest”, but it appears that this quad injury may have had something to do with that.
Robert Covington (concussion) was the latest addition to Portland’s growing injury report. He figures to be out for a handful of games going forward.
Larry Nance Jr. (wrist) missed Monday’s game against the Lakers, his first missed game with the injury.
Wendell Carter Jr. (quad) missed his third straight game on Monday after injuring himself in practice a few days ago.
Aaron Gordon (hip/back) managed to return from a one game absence with his injuries, while Michael Carter-Williams (foot) remained out.
George Hill (thumb) was ruled out for Monday’s game
Trae Young (back), Clint Capela (hand) and Danilo Gallinari (ankle) are all being considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Clippers.
Christian Wood (ankle) is uncertain to play in Tuesday’s game, while Danuel House (health and safety protocols) is expected to make his return following an 11-game absence
Patrick Beverley (knee soreness) has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Hawks
Kelly Oubre Jr.’s Passes: Steve Kerr made a change to his starting lineup heading into Monday’s game, but there is some debate as to whether he made the correct swap. Rookie James Wiseman was demoted in favor of Kevon Looney, which is justifiable if you’re looking for a more crisp defensive identity to start off games. However, the glaring hole in their offense still went unaddressed, which of course, is Kelly Oubre Jr.. While much has been made about Oubre’s inability to knock down a jump shot, the real damning aspect of his play is his particularly low assist count in what has traditionally been a very passing friendly Warriors offense. Coming into Monday’s games, Oubre Jr. has totaled just 16 assists in 449 minutes of action, and even more alarmingly only three (!) of those had gone to Steph Curry. This particular criticism was loud on social media, and perhaps Oubre Jr. took note of that, as, in his defense, he tallied a season-high four dimes in last night’s win over the Wolves. He’ll need more of those types of outings going forward as he continues to fit into the Warriors’ play style.
Myles Turner’s expanding role: With Victor Oladipo going out in the James Harden trade, and Caris LeVert currently unable to fill the role, it’s worth checking in on how his scoring, floor spacing and playmaking has been replaced. I mentioned earlier how T.J McConnell has taken on larger duties as a creator, but where else has Dipo’s 33 minutes and 17 shots per-game gone? You’d be correct in assuming that Jeremy Lamb and Doug McDermott have inherited the lion’s share of his playing time, but you might be surprised to see the offensive leap Myles Turner has taken in his three games since the trade. Heading into Monday’s games, Turner had been on a roll, averaging 19.3 PPG and 2.3 3PG on 13.3 shots in 38.1 minutes of action. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but it is noteworthy that he’s seen back-to-back-to-back proliferation on his shot. His role in the offense deserves close attention going forward, especially if Domantas Sabonis (knee) is out for an extended period of time.