• Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish!  Only a half dozen games were played tonight, providing less information than we are used to seeing on this particular day of the week.  Regardless, there were still some useful takeaways for fantasy.  Read on for suggestions about how you can tweak your team as we approach the month of February.

     

    Adds of the Night

    Patty Mills, G, San Antonio Spurs – 25 minutes, 18 points, two steals, three 3-pointers, 5-of-11 FG

    Given the crowded point guard situation in San Antonio, this advice is more for owners in deeper leagues.  Nevertheless, even at 7% Yahoo ownership Mills merits inclusion on a slow night for pickups. One of my relatives attended Mills’ alma mater Saint Mary’s and another lives in Australia, so this entry is sure to please them.  Mills drained six triples on Monday against the Bulls and ended with 25 points, so he’s running hot at the moment. He has always shot well behind the arc anyway, making 39.2% of them this season and 39.4% last campaign.  Mills has always been good for a steal per night even when getting less than starter’s minutes.  He is unlikely to hurt your squad at the charity stripe, either.

     

    Trevor Ariza, F, Portland Trail Blazers – 38 minutes, 21 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals, three 3-pointers, 9-for-14 FG

    At 35% Yahoo ownership, Ariza might not be available in your league.  However, he’s worth a long look if he remains unclaimed. Terry Stotts only gave one bench player (Gary Trent Jr.) more than 20 minutes of action against the Rockets.  The strategy paid off as the Blazers defeated the Rockets 125-112 and Ariza was allowed to thrive. Despite a slower night on Sunday, he also scored 21 in his Portland debut last Thursday.  Ariza’s career average of 1.5 thefts per game is nothing to sneeze at, either.  In short, the trade from the Kings has done wonders for his fantasy value.

    Drop Zone

    Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.

    Sekou Doumbouya

    At this point, Doumbouya is only 8% owned in Yahoo and Andre Drummond has returned from injury.  Christian Wood went for 20 points and eight rebounds in his 21 minutes against the Nets. Even Markieff Morris ended the night with 15 points in 32 minutes even though Doumboya was the de facto starter.  Doumboya overcame a left ankle sprain in order to play on Wednesday but has really struggled since his last quality performance on January 15. Despite getting 35 minutes on Monday, he was held to just eight minutes against the Nets.  Dwane Casey also remarked that the forward is a candidate to return to the G League, so there’s little reason to hold on if he’s likely to be playing for the Grand Rapids Drive in the near future.

    Bobby Portis

    Portis managed only four points, one rebound, and one assist in 14 minutes against the Grizzlies.  It was practically a mirror image of his previous outing on Tuesday versus the Hornets. Portis had shown some life earlier in January but appears to have fallen out of favor with Knicks head coach Mike Miller.  Portis teased potential fantasy owners by posting 30 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three steals back on December 20, but those days seem long gone. His 16% Yahoo ownership is likely to dip in short order.

     

    Injury Report

    Garrett Temple took an elbow above his left eye against the Pistons, but returned after getting stitches.

    Clint Capela (right heel contusion) only played 17 minutes on Wednesday.

    James Harden (left thigh contusion) scored 18 points in 38 minutes versus the Blazers.

    Chris Paul (personal) returned to action and had 10 assists in 26 minutes.

    Kyrie Irving (personal) helped defeat the Pistons with 20 points during 33 minutes.

    Andre Drummond (left wrist sprain) played 35 minutes and ended with a double-double.

    Myles Turner (illness) was unable to play against the Bulls.

    Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) had a solid 36 minutes of play.

    Victor Oladipo (right knee rehab) played 21 minutes after missing more than a year of action.

    Jae Crowder (sore right knee) played 30 minutes but was ejected late in the game after a conflict with Elfrid Payton.

    De’Anthony Melton (sore left hand) sat out Wednesday’s game against the Knicks.

     

    Dominant Damian

    Years ago, I decided to draft Damian Lillard in a fantasy NCAA basketball league.  Even though he played for little-known Weber State in Utah, Lillard drew the attention of NBA scouts in short order.  Scoring 24.5 points per game while making 40.9% of threes as a senior is one way to do that. The evidence was clear that Lillard also had a well-rounded game: his final averages were 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.5 steals.  Even shooting 88.7% from the line helped prove that he was deserving of the sixth overall pick in 2012. Why am I mentioning all of this? Well, Lillard just posted his first career triple-double in his eighth NBA campaign. He barely got there in managing to register 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists while hitting six 3-pointers in the process.  Nevertheless, it was certainly cause for celebration in Portland that Lillard helped outduel Russell Westbrook and the Rockets.

     

    Chandler: Bing!

    Chandler Hutchison hasn’t been a very useful fantasy player this season, but he played a strong game against the Pacers on Wednesday.  Hutchison shot 10-of-14 from the field in 28 minutes, scoring a career-high 21 points along with three rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal. For a player with a 1% Yahoo ownership figure, that’s a lofty line.  It’s unlikely that Hutchison is worth a pickup unless the Bulls deal some of his teammates, but at least the second-year man out of Boise State got to show some of the potential that made him a 22nd overall pick.  Even though the game ended in an overtime loss, he provided quality minutes in the absences of Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Gafford, and Wendell Carter Jr.  It’s also worth noting that Hutchison finished with eight more minutes played than starter Luke Kornet.  With no solid timetable for the return of Otto Porter Jr., Jim Boylen could end up depending on Hutchison more than most would have expected.

     

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