October 25, 2019, 1:43 am
After tonight’s action, every NBA team has played their first game and we got a look at some familiar faces in new situations. There was some somber news before any of the games tipped off, as Marvin Bagley is set to miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured thumb, but the rest of the night’s action had plenty of fun stuff to chew on.
Add(s) of the Night
Luke Kennard, SG, Detroit Pistons – 30 minutes, 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, three 3-pointers, 3-for-12 FG, 4-for-4 FT
Kennard should have been swooped off your waivers after his 30-point performance in the first game of the year, but if he wasn’t then tonight should do it. Blake Griffin is out for multiple weeks due to a knee injury and Kennard is one of the most reliable guards on a Pistons roster devoid of scoring talent. Tony Snell, Bruce Brown Jr. and Reggie Jackson are the starting guards and if we’re being honest, Kennard should be starting.
The 30 minutes will be a nightly thing and he’s a guy who can get hot from deep so he should be added over any dead weight on your roster in standard leagues. His playmaking ability is also something that doesn’t get much attention, but he’s more than a shooter which is why he’s getting so much playing time.
Another guy to keep an eye out on is De’Andre Hunter. The Hawks selected him with the fourth pick of the draft and was touted as one of the more “complete” players coming out of college. He looked the part tonight and scored 14 points with two triples on 5-of-8 shooting. He’s a great foil to Trae Young’s berserk offensive style and his defensive playmaking go hand-in-hand with the Hawks’ star point guard. He’s a solid stash candidate as a 3 & D player.
Check out our Pickups of the Night article for more detailed analysis on players to target from tonight’s action.
Even though he’s the main man at point for the Pistons, Jackson just isn’t cutting it. His fantasy game is full of holes (not to mention the black hole he is i reality), but he left the game with back stiffness and didn’t return after logging 15 minutes. Derrick Rose is playing well and has been outplaying him thus far with Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway sharing some point guard duties as well. If you’re hanging onto Reggie Jackson you have to ask yourself, what’s the upside? The first weeks of the season are when you have to be quick with your moves in order to find value before it’s established and I can guarantee that you won’t regret cutting Jackson for another promising option on the wire.
Chriss is a name that is constantly floating around in fantasy circles because of his potential stat set, but the Warriors are giving more run to Jacob Evans III and Eric Paschall. Even though he made the final roster, there’s not enough playing time to go around for Chriss to really establish any value as he’s a guy who needs upwards of 20+ minutes to give you the cash counters you’re looking for.Jordan Poole was awful shooting the ball tonight, but his usage coupled with his high volume of 3-point attempts make him a better option in fantasy than Chriss in deeper leagues.
Marvin Bagley suffered a thumb fracture and is set to be sidelined 4-6 weeks. This news is awful as the Kings entered the season legitimate playoff aspirations. Luckily for Sacramento they have Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica who are solid rotational players.
Deandre Ayton is facing a potential 25-game suspension due to testing positive for a diuretic. It’s a devastating blow to a second-year player who was off to a strong start and this means that Dario Saric and Aron Baynes will pick up the slack. We’ll have to wait and see if the amount of games gets lowered as Ayton is going to appeal this.
Markieff Morris played through a bruised hand as shown by his 3-for-11 shooting against the Hawks, but he played through it and should be a decent points streamer as long as Blake Griffin (knee) is shelved for the next few weeks.
Draymond Green suffered an elbow injury and headed to the locker room which was a brief scare, but he returned to action with his arm wrapped. He’s good for now and is as tough as they come, so expect him to play unless some surprising news comes out saying otherwise.
Isaiah Thomas is questionable for Friday’s game against the Thunder with his thumb injury and we should see an update closer to tipoff.
Buddy Hield is suffering from a sprained ankle and is considered day-to-day but we’d expect him to play considering all of the events that have occurred in the past two days.
Pau Gasol will sit out Friday’s game against the Kings as he recovers from left foot surgery he had over the summer.
Reggie Jackson left Thursday’s game with back stiffness and is considered day-to-day, but as stated earlier, you shouldn’t have him on your roster.
Holmes Sweet Holmes
Marvin Bagley’s injury means a ton of shakeup for the Kings and Coach Walton has already stated that they’ll fill the void with Nemanja Bjelica. Bjelica was solid with high minutes last season, but this season the Kings have Trevor Ariza and Harrison Barnes which means you shouldn’t expect the same Bjelica as last season. Obviously Richaun Holmes is the money maker with this news and for the next month we can expect a bump in his production, which was already going to borderline standard-league value with a fully healthy roster.
If you’re a Bagley owner in head-to-head leagues, you obviously stash him and wait as the payoff will be there for the fantasy playoffs as the Kings ramp up for their playoff push. Roto league owners will have to bit the bullet and stream to make up for lot production and if you missed out on Holmes, there are still plenty of ways to make up for those stats on the wire as it’s only three days into this long season.
Roto is a grind and you’re rewarded for persistence, attention to detail and knowledge. If you’re reading this you’re already a step up from the competition. Aim to stream big men that play teams that like to play quick and give up a lot of points, it’ll be a day-by-day process, but it’s how you keep the ship from sinking with an injury to a mid-round player like Bagley.
On the subject of homes, Russell Westbrook got comfortable with his new Houston teammates rather quickly. The Rockets are pushing the ball on every Westbrook rebound and the Rockets shooters are quick with the trigger with Russ. He’s throwing some chaotic passes, but they usually end up in the hands of his teammates who are much better at finishing plays than his Thunder counterparts. The Brodie looks like he’ll still get his numbers, but the free throw shooting is still a concern, overall it was a good night if you were a Westbrook owner.
James Harden struggled to get anything going for himself and the Bucks just absolutely swarmed him on defense. Giannis Antetokounmpo played up to his MVP standards with big triple-double before fouling out and the Bucks still look like legitimate contenders. They lost some pieces, but the foundation with the Greek Freak is still there and that’s what matters most. Both of these teams look to be headed for another strong year.
Trae Young is going to be all over social media with his performance against the Pistons tonight and rightfully so. We were bullish on him coming into this season as the Hawks are giving him complete control of an offense that loves to play fast. His numbers during the second half of his rookie campaign were astonishing and there’s a real chance he leads the league in assists as one of the best passers in the game. The shot will come and go, but tonight he was on fire and it’s why you pay a second/third-round price for him on draft day. If your league hasn’t drafted yet, taking Young within the first 15 picks should be considered the norm as assists are hard to come by after the elite guards get taken off the board. The Steph disciple is growing his wings and flying.
Speaking of which, Steph didn’t have a great night and there might be some overreaction as to how he’ll shoulder the load in a season with an already ailing Draymond Green and no Klay Thompson. The first week is where you cash in your chips.It’s hard not to live in the moment, as shown by the gushing of Trae Young above, but in an 82-game season it’s important to look at everything with a holistic view. The Warriors won’t have to play the juggernaut Clippers every night (how the turntables have…turned) and Curry still had a 23-4-4 line with two triples against arguably the best perimeter defense in the league.
There’s 81 games to make up for that ground and Steph is far too good to play this poorly for an extended period of time, but there might be some bumps as the Warriors adjust to their new roster. It’s highly unlikely that you can pry Steph, Harden or any of the marquee names from owners for cheap as they’re so established, but keep an eye out on every game’s box score to find players playing below their average to find some buy-low opportunities. Owners are far more likely to move players in the beginning of the year while the sample size is low.