March 15, 2021, 5:56 am
Sunday night capped off the post-All-Star break week and it did not disappoint. There were more than a handful of surprising outcomes that made many people, yours truly included, do a double-take.
Firstly, the short-handed Thunder did a number on the Grizzlies, which was especially surprising considering how many of the OKC players were sitting last night’s game out. A lot of credit does go out to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who returned to action and powered his team to victory.
Thanks to a triple-double by Draymond Green and 32 points from Steph Curry, the Warriors were able to upset the Jazz. The Dubs are 25-1 when Green registers a triple-double.
Zion Williamson flexed his winning form, along with Brandon Ingram to stun the Clippers, 135-115. What was that about? Well, Lonzo Ball happened, really. He was balling like a mad man and it translated into an unexpected win. Was this a showcase for a potential trade with his future team? Maybe.
Add(s) of the Night
Kenyon Martin Jr., SF
The Rockets may be a mess, but KJ Martin is not part of that chaos. He’s playing at a standard-league level right now and should be someone to ride out while the run lasts. He’s an emerging force in the fantasy landscape, albeit based on a limited sample size of games.
Jordan Poole, PG/SG
Poole has strung together four straight games of double-digit scoring now and he’s worth a pickup on the strength of that recent consistency. Don’t get too attached though as he’s someone who can easily fall off the edge of the fantasy map in the blink of an eye.
Kendrick Nunn, PG/SG
Nunn was only really as good for the time that Tyler Herro was ineffectual. That all changed tonight as Herro bounced back with a strong 22-point game. Nunn’s days are numbered, even as a deep-league asset. Best to be ahead of the curve and move onto the next hot FA.
The Thunder sat a bunch of players due to various injuries, namely, Théo Maledon, Darius Bazley, Al Horford (rest) and Lu Dort. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made a triumphant return and we all got a closer look at Moses Brown.
Ben Simmons returned to action for the Sixers and was able to take it easy as his team was able to blow out the Spurs.
It was another game without Bam Adebayo (knee tendinitis) for the Heat but they got back a healthy Tyler Herro (right shoulder strain), who bounced back with a 22-point game.
Terrence Ross (sore left knee) got back into the thick of things and came up with 31 points in his return. Still no sign of Cole Anthony (fractured ribs) though, and Aaron Gordon missed tonight’s game due to injury management.
Onyeka Okongwu sat out tonight’s game due to right adductor soreness, but at least the Hawks were able to see Trae Young give it a go and play through some left quad soreness. Clint Capela, who is dealing with left heel pain, was the biggest and most noteworthy absentee from the roster.
Darius Garland was listed as probable but managed to play in tonight’s game and was quiet in his return as the Cavs got blown out of the water.
David Nwaba (right wrist sprain) was available for the Rockets but played like he was able to use just one hand. Yikes. Beyond that, still no John Wall, Danuel House Jr. and Christian Wood.
Jarrett Culver missed the Wolves’ game due to a left great toe sprain, while Jaden McDaniels and Jordan McLaughlin were unavailable due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Reggie Jackson started for an injured Patrick Beverley (right knee soreness) and managed to play well with 18 points in 24 minutes.
Kevin Love played just two minutes and asked to be subbed out as he “didn’t feel right” and was concerned about experiencing a setback.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker sprained his right ankle and was helped to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Anthony Edwards fell after driving to the basket and hurt his hip. He went to the locker room but was able to return and score a game-high 34 points.
Serge Ibaka left Sunday’s game due to lower back tightness and Ivica Zubac started the second half in his place.
Keita Bates-Diop suffered a hamstring injury and played just seven minutes in the Spurs’ game but he never really mattered in fantasy… so, yeah…
John Collins needs a trade. Badly.
As mentioned in the injury report section, Clint Capela missed tonight’s game due to left heel pain. As a result, John Collins was able to have the freedom to play a bit more as he did in 2019-20, exploding for 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting with 12 rebounds, one assist, two 3s and one block in 31 minutes. Collins is a really good basketball player, Really good. Yes, you could say that he did his damage against a lowly Cavs squad, but you also cannot rule out the correlation between his explosive performance and the absence of Capela.
There aren’t any more “ifs” or “buts” about it. There’s no more room to speculate further. The addition of Capela has hurt Collins this season.
There’s an argument that Collins’ amazing 2019-20 season was partly due to the great on-court rapport he has/had with Trae Young. Those P-&-Rs were a thing of beauty. At this point, however, fantasy GMs would rather roll the dice on Collins finding his way to another team – far, far away from Clint Capela and his imposing presence in the paint.
If you’re sitting on the side of the fence that Collins is too good for other real-life NBA teams to pass up, given that he’s just 23 and already in possession of a reasonably polished game that fits the modern game, then you should consider him as a serious buy-low candidate with some top-15, maybe top-12 upside.
I think he will be moved. So much so, in fact, that I went ahead and picked up Nathan Knight in the 30-deep Experts League. Knight, though he’s been out of the rotation for most of the season was able to put on display an interesting stat set. He went 9-of-10 from the line. So, FT%, check. He hit one trey, swiped one steal and blocked two shots – diverse stat line, check. He won’t likely be relevant in more common league depths, unfortunately. And in full transparency, the move was/is a very speculative one. I just fell in love with the stat line that he delivered tonight.
Aside from Knight, I’d also recommend that everyone keep tabs on Onyeka Okongwu, who sadly has not been healthy enough this season to prove that he’s worth playing more than 10 minutes a night.
Join me in keeping our collective fingers crossed that John “the Baptist” Collins gets traded. Somehow. A 20-10-1.5 line with solid shooting percentages is not beyond the realm of possibility on another team.