March 14, 2021, 6:27 am
We opened with the Knicks easily accounting for the Thunder thanks to a triple-double courtesy of Julius Randle. He becomes the first Knicks player to record multiple triple-doubles in the same season in more than 30 years. Moses Brown played well again for the Thunder and with Al Horford likely to sit on Sunday, he makes for an intriguing add. The Nets managed to get by a tenacious Pistons team, with James Harden dropping a triple-double of his own. Delon Wright’s playing time was up over 30 minutes and he should now be active in all formats. The Hornets came roaring out of the gates, connecting on 11 triples in the first quarter as they built an early 20 point lead over the undermanned Raptors. LaMelo Ball was once again the best player on the court and the Rookie of the Year award seems as though it is his to lose at this point. Chris Boucher put together another strong game but was forced from the court after suffering a cut to his lip. The Wizards pushed the Bucks all the way but fell short despite a career-best performance by Rui Hachimura who recorded 29 points to go with 11 rebounds and a host of other stats. Jrue Holiday continues to look better with each game and the buy-low window has firmly slammed shut at this point.
The Kings continue to underwhelm, although the play of Richaun Holmes has been more than adequate of late. He turned in another double-double and now ranks as the 37th best player in standard leagues. Danilo Gallinari had himself another decent game and the change in coaching regime has certainly done wonders for his fantasy outlook. The Blazers managed to eek past the Wolves who have certainly looked more competitive of late, with Carmelo Anthony continuing his strong recent surge. Jaylen Nowell has been a steady source of points for the Wolves over the past few games and that continued here. He is worth a look in standard leagues, at least until they start getting some of their guards back on the floor. The Pacers were too good for the Suns with Domantas Sabonis having his way with the Phoenix frontcourt. Caris LeVert made his debut for the Pacers and while there was some clear rust, the playing time was encouraging and he is obviously a big part of their future. Deandre Ayton had a 14-and-12 double-double but his flaws on the defensive end were clearly on show. Finally, the Mavs were far too good for the Nuggets on the back of some hot shooting from Josh Richardson. For the Nuggets, Will Barton continued his recent form, dropping 23 points including five 3-pointers.
Add(s) of the Night
Will Barton, G/F, Denver Nuggets – We have seen this from Barton in the past and we know he can be a top-80 player for significant periods of time. If he is on your waiver wire, he should be added, at least until the tide turns.
Danilo Gallinari, F, Atlanta Hawks – Gallinari has now played at least 29 minutes in three straight games and his role is certainly trending up. He has scored at least 15 points in all three games, while also hitting a combined 12 triples.
Gary Trent Jr, G, Portland Trail Blazers – Trent remains a 12-team guy for now but if you want to get ahead of the curve, he is someone who can be dropped in competitive formats before C.J. McCollum returns.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/F, Atlanta Hawks – He has only been back for a handful of games but the minutes just don’t appear to be there and it’s hard to see him being a standard league asset.
Elfrid Payton was out with his ongoing hamstring concern
Derrick Rose continues to miss games due to health protocols
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander remained on the sideline but sounds as though he could be back for their next game
Darius Bazley also remained out with his shoulder injury
Dennis Smith Jr. is currently in the mandatory health protocols and will miss at least another few games
Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin as going to miss at least another week of action for the Nets
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot sat out again with a knee injury
The Raptors were without five players due to COVID-19 but there is a chance they return for their next game
Bradley Beal did not play on the second night of a back-to-back but should return for the next game
Davis Bertans also sat out with a calf injury
Hassan Whiteside remains out due to health protocols
Likewise, Jordan McLaughlin is out due to COVID-related issues
Caris LeVert played 27 minutes in his return to action
Jeremy Lamb is battling a knee injury and missed Saturday’s game
Cameron Johnson is another player out due to health protocols
James Johnson missed the game due to personal reasons
Monte Morris is dealing with a quad injury and sat out on Saturday
Can Carmelo Continue…
Carmelo Anthony has certainly been one of the more polarizing players throughout his career and whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect what he has been able to achieve. After his playing days seemed almost at an end, the Trail Blazers threw him a lifeline and then proceeded to re-sign him for another year in November. His role as a sixth-man has been a blessing for the veteran and one that he has fully accepted, much to the surprise of many.
Projecting this season has been near on impossible and the Blazers have been one of the hardest-hit teams when it comes to injuries. Both C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic have been out for an extended period, leaving the team without two of its key components. Of course, it has been Damian Lillard who has put the team on his shoulders and he has them sitting as the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 22-and-15. Lillard receives the majority of the attention, and rightfully so, but it has been the role players who have been able to also step up to the challenge.
Despite the injuries, Anthony has remained as the sixth-man and it’s fair to say he has rediscovered some vintage form over the past few weeks. In fact, across the last two weeks, he is the 22nd ranked player in standard leagues with averages of 21.2 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.6 triples. Not only is he filling the boxscore on a nightly basis but he is doing it on efficient shooting, coming in at 52 percent from the field and 91 percent from the line.
Is this sustainable? Almost certainly not. However, he is the 115th ranked player for the season despite connecting on only 42 percent of his shot attempts. The Blazers need his scoring off the bench and even when they start getting their players back on the court, his role is seemingly set in stone. He should absolutely be rostered right now and that could extend beyond a short-term addition should he continue playing like the savvy player we know he can be.
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