August 20, 2020, 4:22 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! With the playoffs officially upon us, it’s hard not to notice the relative unpredictability of high-stakes games played in the bubble. Without regular season or resumption leagues for players to manage, tonight’s focus will fully shift to daily league play.
Joe Harris (personal) left Orlando shortly after the Nets fell to the Raptors in Game 2, leaving his status for the rest of the playoffs in question.
Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) played 36 minutes on Wednesday, scoring 23 points.
Jaylen Brown (right thigh bruise) shook off his injury and scored 20 points.
Patrick Beverley (left calf strain) was unable to play in Game 2 against the Mavericks.
Trey Burke (left ankle sprain) scored 16 points in only 18 minutes versus the Clippers.
“What actually is a rundown?”
Instead of providing some recommended adds and drops, I selected a couple of top performers in each of four daily fantasy price tiers.
Bargain Bin Category
When I think of basketball players who attended Iowa State, I often think of Paul Shirley whose brief NBA career resulted in a book called Can I Keep My Jersey? Morris is another former Cyclone who was a regular contributor off the bench this season. Morris saw a slight dip in playing time: 22.4 minutes per game compared to 24.0 in 2018-19. However, he still hit 37.8 percent of 3-point attempts while delivering 9.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 0.8 steals in his second full season. The Nuggets fell 124-105 as the Jazz evened the series on Wednesday, but Morris contributed similar numbers: 10 points and four assists while shooting 2-for-4 from downtown. Without Gary Harris and Will Barton in the lineup, Morris received another opportunity to provide solid but unspectacular production in reserve.
Free Boban! The Mavericks benefited from 36 minutes of Kristaps Porzingis, but Rick Carlisle made sure that Marjanovic saw meaningful action early on. In the first half, the Serbian big man scored 10 points while shooting 5-for-6 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds during only seven minutes. He only played 10 minutes in total, which is sort of a microcosm of his career to date. Nevertheless, who wouldn’t accept 13 points, nine boards and a dime in that small of a window? All in all, it was a banner night for the Dallas bench which shot 19-for-31 from the floor as the Mavs evened the series.
Moderately Priced Category
On Tuesday, the Jazz asked fans on Twitter to post what they would buy at the team store if they happened to win a gift card. A couple of fans mentioned a Jordan Clarkson jersey, and they have every right to desire one these days. Clarkson excelled in a big victory over the Nuggets which helped the Jazz get back on track after an overtime loss in Game 1. Yes, Clarkson played 29 minutes while nominal starter Jawun Morgan only got on the court for 14 minutes. Nevertheless, Clarkson’s 26 points ranked only behind Donovan Mitchell for the team lead. He went 4-of-9 from behind the arc while chipping in with four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Clarkson also led Utah in field goal attempts, ending 9-for-18 from the floor.
Despite averaging 20.1 minutes per game in 2019-20, Milton made his presence known by shooting a lethal 43 percent from long range. He also got a chance to shine when Ben Simmons was sidelined late in the regular season, racking up a career-high 39 points and making seven of his nine 3-point attempts on March 1 against the Clippers. Milton is being asked to pick up the slack now that Simmons is again out of the lineup after undergoing left knee surgery. While he has yet to exceed 16 points in any single bubble game, Milton went 5-for-8 in Game 2 and scored 14. He added three rebounds and four assists while pouring in a pair of triples. Instead of trying to do too much, Milton has shot 67 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point land in the series. Too bad it hasn’t resulted in a victory for his team just yet.
Affordable Luxury Category
The Clippers will want to forget about Wednesday’s 127-114 defeat, but Williams stood out as a mostly positive force despite his five turnovers. The Sixth Man extraordinaire made only 40 percent from the field in Monday’s Game 1 victory. However, he scored 23 points and handed out seven assists in 32 minutes off the bench during Game 2. On a night when Paul George shot 4-for-17 from the floor, Williams went 8-for-13 including two 3-pointers. He rounded out the line with four rebounds and a steal, making it his sixth consecutive game with at least one swipe.
While Nets fans dream of watching Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season, one of Brooklyn’s young standouts continues to give them reason to hope. The Nets have fallen behind 2-0 in their series with the Raptors, but Allen continues to act as a human metronome. With 14 points and 15 rebounds on Wednesday, Allen has now posted a double-double in six of seven August contests and scored at least 11 points in every bubble game. In Game 2, he led the squad with 41 minutes played while blocking three shots and passing out five assists. Without DeAndre Jordan in the mix, Allen is getting every opportunity to show off his skills.
High Roller Category
Lowry might have been upstaged a bit by Norman Powell’s 11-for-17 shooting performance, but he did a fine job nonetheless. Not only did the Raptors hang onto a 104-99 victory, Lowry managed to contribute in a variety of ways. While Fred VanVleet struggled with his shot, Lowry made 50 percent from the field and added a trio of triples. Fantasy owners also appreciated his defensive stats, including two steals and a swat. Lowry ended the game just one rebound short of a double-double and dished out three assists. Only seven Raptors were allotted double digit minutes, so let’s just say that Nick Nurse is counting on Lowry’s steadying presence as the team hopes to repeat in 2020.
The Celtics fell into an early hole in Game 2 and trailed the Sixers 27-14 late in the first quarter. Moments later, Jayson Tatum’s best impression of Damian Lillard would help change all that. He heaved a shot from just past center court with the shot clock winding down and nailed it to cut the deficit to only six points. It was that kind of night for Tatum, who drained 8-of-12 attempts from the perimeter while scoring 33 points and leading Boston with five assists. He added five rebounds while finishing 4-for-8 on 2-point shots. While plus-minus is not a widely used statistic in basketball, he also led his team with a +29 rating for good measure. The Celtics are off to a 2-0 series lead, and Tatum’s 65 points over two contests are a major reason for it.