March 17, 2021, 4:58 am
Tuesday night was special as it marked the return of a couple of fantasy studs who made it back onto the court after missing some time due to their respective injuries. Bam Adebayo came back after seeing four games from the sidelines and picked up where he left off, albeit still to a lesser extent this evening with 14 points, nine rebounds, six dimes and two blocks. Now that Adebayo is back, the Heat might be inclined to give Jimmy Butler a reprieve and rest him on the second half of a back-to-back set. We will see. Surprisingly enough, Kelly Olynyk still managed to produce a standard-league caliber line, despite Adebayo’s return.
C.J. McCollum returned after missing multiple months due to a fractured foot and was able to log 26 minutes in a starting role tonight. He did show some rust – which, of course, is understandable – as he shot 3-of-11 from the field to end the night with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, two 3s and one block. Even with McCollum’s return, Damian Lillard still crushed it with a 50-point monster game. The Blazers are now just lacking Jusuf Nurkic, who should be returning any time soon now.
Yes, it’s finally good to have some good news to read and not just another lengthy lamentation over more injured players.
Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Daily Dish. I’m Erik Ong, editor here at Hoop Ball, and happy to give you the down-low of what transpired (at least the highlights that matter, from Tuesday night’s games.
Add(s) for the Night
Jae’Sean Tate, SG/SF
Tate has had his fair share of inconsistent weeks since joining the Rockets’ starting lineup but tonight, he played extremely well despite both Kevin Porter Jr. and Victor Oladipo having their own quality games. He’s more stable as a streamer in 12-teamers but can and should be rostered in 14-team leagues or deeper.
Moses Brown, C
Talk about break-out games, Brown’s tonight was on another level. 20-16-5 would have already been an epic line coming from a seasoned veteran. Yes, it is notable that the Thunder were without a resting Al Horford. But the absence of Mike Muscala from this game, via DNP-CD, does bode well for Brown’s ROS outlook for sure.
Derrick Rose, PG
In the latest update on Rose’s condition, the guard, who has been out due to health and safety protocols, still has no timetable for his return. Apparently, he will need to deal with some conditioning issues first before being able to return to the court. Regardless of how much he’s a pet of coach Tom Thibodeau, most teams, especially those without IL slots, can ill afford to sit on him and wait for his eventual return.
Tristan Thompson was out tonight vs. the Jazz due to health & safety protocols and his absence allowed both Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III to deliver some solid fantasy-relevant games.
Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness), Clint Capela (left heel soreness) and Onyeka Okongwu (right adductor strain) were out tonight and AGAIN John Collins and Nathan Knight came up with big games.
John Wall (left knee contusion) remained out and there was still no sign of Christian Wood (right ankle sprain). Victor Oldaipo played great as he dropped a 34-point gem, but has been ruled out in advance of Wednesday’s game (2nd end of B2B).
The Cavs were without Kevin Love (right calf soreness) and Taurean Prince (left shoulder sprain).
Gabe Vincent (right knee soreness), Tyler Herro (right shoulder strain) and Bam Adebayo (left knee tendinitis) were all available for the Heat.
The Knicks missed Elfrid Payton (right hamstring strain), Austin Rivers (personal), Derrick Rose (health protocols) and Mitchell Robinson (right-hand surgery).
The Thunder rested Al Horford and were without Darius Bazley (left shoulder contusion) and Lu Dort (left great toe sprain).
J.J. Redick missed another game for the Pelicans with right heel soreness.
LeBron James (left ankle soreness), Kyle Kuzma (right heel contusion) and Markieff Morris (right knee contusion) were all probable heading into the game but were able to suit up and play. Alex Caruso remained on the sidelines while still in the league’s concussion protocols, but according to coach Frank Vogel, he’s “on track” to play on Thursday.
Jarrett Culver (left great to sprain) was doubtful for tonight’s game but was ruled out in the end just before tipoff.
The Promised Land
Let’s not forget that we’re dealing with a shortened NBA season this 2020-21. The time to jockey and hustle for moves, trades, and deals that will position our teams to make the fantasy playoffs is NOW. Not in a couple of weeks, not after the NBA Trade Deadline, NOW.
It’s been a tough and challenging fantasy season and admittedly, I’m kind of down (emotionally) that many of my teams are not doing too well. A lot of them have shares of Christian Wood and Jaren Jackson Jr. – that alone should be big enough of a clue as to why they’re in such dire straits.
Thankfully, I’m my season’s not a complete hot mess. I am still in contention for the top seed of my division in the 30-Deep Experts League. Proudly, and knock on wood I don’t jinx it, I’m happy to share that Mike Pasador of HB, my boss, is vying for the same spot in his division as well. Together, we’re honored to be hoisting the Hoop Ball banner in an arena loaded with brilliant fantasy minds.
I’m also, as of writing this post, regained the pole position in the 8-cat ($150 entry) roto league I’m playing in that has some pretty stiff competition. Case in point, I just recently retook the spot from none other than our very own Aaron Bruski, who has a kick-ass team and has been giving me headaches all season long.
Ok, let’s keep things simple and straightforward. Here’s a shortlist of hot pickups over Week 12/13 (depending on your platform’s calendar).
Moses Brown, C, Thunder
Tonight’s performance solidifies him as a potentially high-impact ROS. Al Horford might see more and more rest days – and is even a shutdown candidate (if he’s not traded). Brown is positioned for a strong second half of the season. He’s a big enough stud that he could anchor your big-man stat needs and help lead your fantasy team to that “promised land.” and by that I’m referring to a spot on the podium by season’s end.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, PG/SG, Pelicans
Even with Lonzo Ball playing pretty well, NAW has elevated his game, thanks to consistent usage and minutes, over the last several games. Alexander-Walker is also someone who could benefit immensely should Ball and/or Eric Bledsoe be moved by the Pels. He has a great stat set that should be instantly 12-team worthy.
Nathan Knight, PF/C, Hawks
Knight’s value could be completely predicated on John Collins being traded by the Hawks. Yes, Danilo Gallinari will be the primary beneficiary in this case, but PF/C inheritor-apparent Onyeka Okongwu has been too injured this season to see the light of day on the court. Knight, on the other hand, has already flashed two straight very polished-looking games. I cannot promise that his upside can and will hold water in 12-teamers, but he’s a big man who can shoot both threes and free throws while also chipping in rebounds and blocked shots. Need I say more?
Hamidou Diallo, SG/SF, Pistons
Diallo has not yet been able to make his debut for the Pistons, but the team is a great fit in the sense that they’re looking for the next big talent to build their future core. Diallo, if able to deliver a handful of break-out games, could BE that guy for them. He’s the bigger gamble among the names I’ve listed so far and it’s obviously because he’s yet to see a game in a Pistons jersey. But like I had a good feeling about Josh Jackson, I’ve got a good, maybe even better feeling with Diallo.