• Welcome to the Sunday Dish! It was a light Saturday night by normal standards and that’s because we have a massive 10 game slate tonight that’s going to end up deciding a lot of playoff hopes around the fantasy landscape. March Madness has been thrilling to say the least, I had Oregon over Kansas (bonus points as a Mizzou Alum living in Kansas City), but honestly my eyes are entirely on the fantasy playoffs as I can’t keep my eyes off of even miserable games for my extended championship matchup. We’ve only got a five game slate to go over though so we can just dig right into.

    Best of luck to all of you as we wrap up the fantasy playoffs! On to The Dish.

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    Jazz 95 Clippers 108

    The Jazz conceded a 14 point lead to end the first quarter and were in catch up mode the entire game. Gordon Hayward had a sub-par performance as he scored 13 point son 5-of-12 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers and suffered a bruise to his left leg but coach Quin Snyder said he believes Hayward to be “fine.” Rudy Gobert has had a monstrous stretch for playoff owners and he came through yet again with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 14 rebounds and two blocks. He’s likely single handedly winning your field goal, rebounds, and blocks in the last two weeks. George Hill had a bad night as he scored just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting with one assist, one rebound, and one 3-pointer while turning the ball over four times. Boris Diaw drew the start at power forward but played just 20 minutes on his way to six points with five rebounds and five assists while Joe Johnson came off the bench to play 26 mintues with 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers.

    The Clippers were ahead this entire game and thus conserved their players since they have a five game week. Blake Griffin scored 15 points with six rebounds, one assist, and three steals while also hitting a 3-pointer, though he was just 1-of-5 from outside the arc (6-of-16 overall). DeAndre Jordan scored seven points but grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked a shot in 25 minutes. Chris Paul scored 14 points with five assists and a steal but also turned the ball over three times and shot 5-of-18 from the field in his 28 minutes on the court. He’s been having a bit of a rough week as far as studs are concerned. Jamal Crawford was huge off the bench with 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting (3-0f-6 from deep) along with three assists and two steals. J.J. Redick scored 12 points with four rebounds and a pair of 3-pointers in just 23 minutes on the night.

    Wizards 127 Cavs 115

    The Wizards raced out to a massive 40 point first quarter largely thanks to the John Wall who finished the game with 37 points, 11 assists, four rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers while shooting 14-of-21 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line. Markieff Morris scored 14 points with six boards and a block while shooting 5-of-12 from the field while Marcin Gortat scored 10 points with five rebounds in just 22 minutes on the floor. Morris ended up playing some decent minutes at center in matching up with Tristan Thompson tonight. Otto Porter bounced back with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers which makes up somewhat for his lackluster nights previously this week. Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting with six assists and two 3-pointers while hitting all six of his free throws. Kelly Oubre made an appearance off the bench by playing 26 minutes and hitting 7-of-8 shots to score 16 points with seven rebounds and a steal. Still Oubre is not getting enough burn in order to make an impact on a nightly basis except as a possible streaming option.

    LeBron James scored 245 points with 11 rebounds, eight assists, and a block while hitting 10-of-21 shots in this game. He and the the other big names will be a candidate to rest another time, maybe even two, down this stretch but he’ll still give you upper echelon production even with a missed game. Kevin Love scored 17 points with seven rebounds, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in a full 32 minutes, his first time playing full time since his injury. If you’ve been able to hold onto him for a playoff run he should benefit you a lot now. Tristan Thompson scored nine points with four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block while J.R. Smith continues to struggle with just 2-of-6 field goals for six points and two assists with two 3-pointers. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting with four assists, a steal, and two blocks while hitting 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.

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    Raptors 94 Mavericks 86

    Serge Ibaka scored 18 points with eight rebounds and two 3-pointers while shooting 8-of-16 from the field, but he failed to block a single shot unfortunately. P.J. Tucker played 34 minutes and scored nine points with nine rebounds, three assists, four steals and a 3-pointer. He’s the perfect role player for a fantasy team in the playoffs needing defensive stats, and the trickle of 3-pointers certainly doesn’t hurt as well, he needs to be owned I believe. DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points with three rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer while hitting 8-of-17 from the field and he continues to dominate the offensive workload while Kyle Lowry is out. Cory Joseph scored eight points with seven rebounds and five assists and seems to be worth a stream on occasional nights but isn’t really worth owning full time. Jonas Valanciunas scored nine points with six rebounds and a steal in only 22 minutes and should be on your waiver wire where he belongs. Patrick Patterson scored 14 points with five rebounds and hit all four of his 3-point attempts for a solid line in 24 minutes.

    Harrison Barnes scored 23 points with seven rebounds, two assists, and three steals while shooting 8-of-17 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Dirk Nowitzki scored just nine points with five rebounds in 28 minutes and just had a general rough night. Nerlens Noel is being “experimented with” at center and only scored three points with eight rebounds and a block while taking three field goal attempts in 25 minutes. If I’m in a championship run it’s really difficult to want to own and put him out any given night as the inconsistency is just too high. Wesley Matthews scored four points on 2-of-12 shooting with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, obviously he had a bad shooting night but the peripherals helped ease the pain. Seth Curry started at point guard and scored 11 points but only handed out two assists while adding a steal and two 3-pointers. In my opinion the experimentation at point guard is likely a bad thing for his value as most players who are asked to run the point and inexperienced at doing so tend to struggle.

    Knicks 98 Spurs 106

    The Dark Wizard Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with two assist sand three 3-pointers in a start at small forward for the Carmelo Anthony who sat out his second straight game with knee soreness. Kristaps Porzingis scored 12 points on just 3-of-8 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block and he turned the ball over five times. It’s inexplicable to see him get just eight shots with no Anthony on the court and the reason is Derrick Rose, who scored 24 points on 10-of-22 shooting with five rebounds and five assists. It’s scary to think just how good Porzingis could be without the occasional offensive anchor and stopper that Rose has developed into. Willy Hernangomez scored 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting while adding 13 rebounds, a steal, and a block while Courtney Lee played 40 minutes and scored six points but came through with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steal and a block. The Knicks are going to play a ton of Hernangomez down the stretch as Joakim Noah is officially out of the picture as he was suspended 20 games for an over the counter supplement. Kuzminskas should be owned as the Anthony situation reeks of a shutdown.

    Kawhi Leonard was having a bit of a down last couple weeks by his standards but came through with 29 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers while shooting 11-of-18 from the field on Saturday night. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, a steal, and a 3-pointer while shooting 9-of-21 from the field. Dewayne Dedmon started but played just 20 minutes and scored five points with 13 rebounds in that time while Pau Gasol played 26 minutes off the bench and scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers while shooting 8-of15 from the field. Tony Parker scored 10 points with three assists and two steals in 22 minutes while Patty Mills came off the bench to play 26 minutes and score 10 points with seven assists, a steal, and two 3-pointers of his own. Jonathan Simmons started for Danny Green (rest) and Simmons scored just six points with three turnovers in his 24 minutes.

    Timberwolves 100 Blazers 112

    Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points but had just two assists and a steal to his name while going 8-of-19 from the field and 4-of-7 from the line tonight. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 16 points with five rebounds and a block, and he’s been so good over the last two months it’s hard to appreciate the scoring stretch he’s been on until this game. Gorgui Dieng scored 13 points with seven rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks while hitting 7-of-8 from the free throw line in an exceptionally well-rounded line from the big man. Ricky Rubio only played 25 minutes but managed to score 16 points with four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer while shooting 6-of-11 from the field. The big news of the night was Kris Dunn who scored a career-high 17 points with four rebounds, one assist, two steals and a 3-pointer while shooting 8-of-13 from the field. He shouldn’t be picked up but it’s nice to see him make some noise in what’s been a rough rookie season.

    C.J. McCollum was the man as he scored 32 points with four rebounds, four assists, a steal and four 3-pointers while shooting 11-of-13 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Damian Lillard scored 21 points with six rebounds, eight assists, and three steals while hitting three 3-pointers and shooting 8-of-13 from the field. Jusuf Nurkic scored 14 points with nine rebounds, four assists, and a block while hitting 7-of-14 from the field and there’s no doubt he’ll be a fantasy asset the rest of the way and a very tempting mid round guy next year. Maurice Harkless played 26 minutes but scored just four points with two assists and nothing else while Noah Vonleh started at power forward and only scored three points with three rebounds. It’s a bit odd to see the Blazers fighting for their playoff lives and still giving large minutes to Vonleh. Al-Farouq Aminu scored eight points with six rebounds and two steals off the bench in 26 minutes as he gave way to Vonleh.

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Fantasy News

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.

    Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.

    That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.

    The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert
    PG-SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.

    LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

    Source: Newsday

  • Jordan Crawford
    SG, Free Agent

    Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.

    Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.

    Source: Sportando

  • Lance Stephenson
    SG, Free Agent

    Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.

    Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.

    As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.

    Source: ESPN

  • Deng Adel
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).

    Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.

    Source: Sportando

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.

    Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.

    Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).

    Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter