• Right out of the gate, the Hornets’ Nicolas Batum fractured the middle finger on his left hand in a 126-125 win over the Bulls.  He is being listed as day-to-day, but the Hornets are expected to be conservative with their forward. Batum played just 11 minutes, ending with four rebounds and two assists.  Read on for more developments from a busy night around the league.

    Adds of the Night

    PJ Washington, F, Charlotte Hornets – 38 minutes, 27 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, seven 3-pointers, 9-of-17 FG, 2-of-2 FT

    The NBA record for most 3-pointers made in an NBA debut had been five.  Washington hit five of them in the first half on Wednesday against the Bulls.  He added two more in the second half to make history with seven total.  At the time of writing he’s just 30% owned in Yahoo leagues, but there’s no question that will skyrocket.  Not only did Washington shoot well, but he’s getting starter’s minutes right away. 

    Don’t expect him to make another seven triples in his next appearance against the Wolves, but this isn’t a fluke.  Washington scorched the nets in his final season at Kentucky to the tune of 52.2% shooting from the field and 42.3% behind the arc.  Surprisingly, he only averaged about one 3-point make per game there despite the obvious skill.

    Coby White, G, Chicago Bulls – 27 minutes, 17 points, three rebounds, seven assists, one 3-pointer, 6-of-13 FG, 4-of-5 FT

    White is 44% owned in Yahoo leagues, but that figure should rise after a solid opening night for the rookie.  During the preseason, Bulls coach Jim Boylen had stated that White would “absolutely” be a part of the rotation.  White exploded for 29 points, six rebounds, and a block last Thursday against the Hawks. He nailed six 3-pointers and helped set himself up for regular season success.

    The Bulls narrowly lost in Charlotte, but White tied with Zach LaVine for the team lead by dishing out seven assists.  By contrast, Tomas Satoransky only had three assists and Kris Dunn ended the night with two. Don’t jettison a productive starter for the likes of White, but certainly keep him in mind in deeper leagues or if your last draft pick was less than fully appealing at the time.

    If you’re looking for more potential adds, check out our Pickups of the Night, part of the Hoop Ball Gametime Premium package.

    Drop Zone

    Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting in favor of someone who has shined more brightly in the early going.

    Meyers Leonard

    Despite starting the game, Leonard played 19 minutes and did not score.  He grabbed three rebounds and managed one steal. His first regular season appearance for the Heat was not encouraging.  Leonard was outplayed by Kelly Olynyk and even Duncan Robinson was deployed more often.

    Jakob Poeltl

    Some observers expected Poeltl to be part of the starting lineup for the Spurs, but Gregg Popovich went with Trey Lyles instead.  As a result, the native of Austria played a mere 16 minutes. His final line of six points, four rebounds, one assist, and one block reflected his lack of opportunity and Lyles likely did enough to remain the starting five for now.

    Injury Report

    Blake Griffin will be held out until early November with left hamstring soreness.

    Mitchell Robinson missed Wednesday’s game in San Antonio with a right ankle sprain.  

    Taj Gibson was previously questionable with a sore right calf but got onto the court for 15 minutes.

    Markieff Morris had been listed as questionable due to low back tightness but scored eight points during 23 minutes against the Pacers.

    Reggie Jackson also overcame low back tightness to play 20 minutes for the Pistons.

    Jimmy Butler was unable to face the Hornets for personal reasons.  Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that he was unsure whether Butler would play Saturday against the Bucks.

    Wendell Carter Jr, who had been battling a left thumb sprain, played 29 minutes against the Hornets.

    Jonas Valanciunas played just 16 minutes because he has been dealing with a foot injury.

    Chandler Hutchison is suffering from a left hamstring strain and did not face the Hornets.

    Julius Randle suffered from leg cramps late in the game against the Spurs but managed to return.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. dealt with a minor leg injury but returned to the game versus the Wizards.

    Bojan Bogdanovic injured his ankle against the Thunder, but returned for the second half and appeared to be fine.

    TJ Warren took a fall and bruised his hip but expects to be ready for Saturday against the Cavs.

    Philadelphia Evolution

    For years, the motto was “Trust the Process.”  The Sixers became associated with their former GM Sam Hinkie, spreadsheets, and allegations of deliberate tanking.  After winning 28 games in 2016-17, Philadelphia has gone to the Eastern Conference Semifinals the last two seasons. Last year ended in crushing fashion with a Kawhi Leonard buzzer beater in Game 7, but the present looks bright.  Wednesday’s showdown with the Boston Celtics provided a possible peek into a playoff series. The Sixers did more than hold their own in this one, with all starters scoring in double figures and Ben Simmons putting on a show. Even at home, beating Boston 107-93 was impressive.

    Philadelphia ended the night with seven blocks, including two from Matisse Thybulle.  While he played just 22 minutes and committed two fouls in seven seconds against Kemba Walker, Thybulle flashed some defensive potential.  The rookie out of the University of Washington ended the night with two steals and two blocks. Despite finishing 1-for-5 from the field, he added a rebound, an assist, and a 3-pointer.  He could be worth a pickup for the thefts and swats alone. Mike Scott led the Sixers reserves with six points, but the rest of the bench was nothing special.  Of the lesser-owned Celtics, Robert Williams had the most impact.  In only 11 minutes, he scored five points to go with three rebounds, one assist, and one block. The man nicknamed Time Lord could be intriguing if he can wrest playing time away from Enes Kanter or Daniel Theis.

    For his part, Simmons wasn’t far from a triple-double.  He shot an impressive 11-for-16 from the field to go with 24 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and four turnovers.  Joel Embiid was less efficient but still cruised to 15 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks.  After several years in Miami, Josh Richardson integrated into the lineup nicely. Meanwhile, it seems almost unfair that Tobias Harris also gets to be a part of this starting five for a full season following last season’s trade from the Clippers.

    Former Clipper Nation

    Speaking of which, the top three scorers for the Thunder in their 100-95 loss to the Jazz are former members of the Clippers.  Here’s a closer look.

    It seems like only yesterday that the Clippers traded up to draft Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as part of a rebuilding plan.  About a year later, he was dealt to the Thunder as part of the trade that sent Paul George to Los Angeles. Gilgeous-Alexander was not afraid to fire away against the Jazz as his final line read 10-of-23 from the field, good for 26 points.  That included a 3-of-7 effort behind the arc.  

    Thanks to the same Paul George trade, Gilgeous-Alexander is once again teammates with Danilo Gallinari.  While rumors swirl about whether Gallinari will be flipped again, he hit 2-of-5 threes and scored 21 points along with seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

    Chris Paul hasn’t been a Clipper since 2017, but Houston dealt him to Oklahoma City in the Russell Westbrook deal.  It’s possible that Paul could also be on the move, but he was the second leading scorer against Utah. Paul took aim from deep, ending with a 4-for-7 line on 3-pointers.  It was a valiant overall effort despite the loss: 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

    As far as Thunder players who haven’t called Los Angeles home, Dennis Schroder had a harder time finding the range in making 1-for-8 from the floor.  Looking at players who should be available in most leagues, Hamidou Diallo impressed with 12 points, three rebounds, and one steal off the bench.

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