November 14, 2019, 3:44 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! Fans were treated to a seven-game slate including Bradley Beal scoring 44 points in a loss to the Celtics. Along the way, we learned a little more about how coaches are using their rosters as injuries play a growing role in the early portion of the season. Let’s get right to some possible adds and drops.
Adds of the Night
JaMychal Green, F, Los Angeles Clippers – 32 minutes, 14 points, 14 rebounds, two steals, one block, four 3-pointers, 5-of-11 FG
I can understand approaching this pick with skepticism. After all, Paul George is about to return from shoulder rehab and Montrezl Harrell is a frontcourt fixture along with Kawhi Leonard. Still, the Clippers get right back on the court against the Pelicans on Thursday and there is speculation that Leonard will be held out of that one. If you’re looking for streaming value, Green is owned in only 11% of Yahoo leagues and he really had the range going in Houston. Add to that 36 boards over his last three appearances as well as some decent defensive contributions and you have a multi-category contributor if Doc Rivers is deploying him consistently. Some of that will depend on how Patrick Beverley is used, too.
Rodney Hood, G, Portland Trail Blazers – 32 minutes, 25 points, two rebounds, one assist, five 3-pointers, 9-of-15 FG
Hood had missed two consecutive contests with back spasms but showed his value immediately upon returning. He’s shooting a cool 48.8% from behind the arc so far this season but has always been a sniper with a 37.0% career mark. While it’s very early, he has grabbed 3.7 rebounds per game per contest which would surpass any of his previous seasons. Many owners dropped Hood while he was injured, so he only has 13% Yahoo ownership as of this writing.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
The Time Lord missed the Celtics’ game against the Wizards on Wednesday due to a sore ankle. He is owned in 20% of Yahoo leagues but has only cracked the 20 minute mark once in his last four appearances. With Enes Kanter back in the fold and Daniel Theis likely to return from his hand injury, Williams doesn’t appear to hold a ton of value in leagues with 12 teams or fewer.
Zubac enjoyed a double-double as recently as last Thursday against Portland, and I’m not talking about hamburgers. Nevertheless, the playing time just hasn’t been there recently. He barely got into double digit minutes against the Rockets, scoring seven points to go with four rebounds and two assists. The amount of time he spent on the bench was reminiscent of the nine minutes he received on November 6 versus the Bucks. Don’t dump him if you’re in a league with a paucity of big men because he came into the night averaging 1.4 blocks. However, we haven’t even seen the Clippers at full strength yet so the trend lines for Zubac don’t look great right now.
Clint Capela hit his head in a collision with JaMychal Green and headed to the locker room, but no update was provided.
Dwayne Bacon was held out with right knee soreness.
Anthony Davis was given a night to rest his sore right shoulder.
Grayson Allen was unable to play due to left ankle soreness.
Danuel House missed the game with a bruised back.
Shabazz Napier’s right hamstring strain made him unavailable.
Javonte Green had been listed as probable with a sore right hip and played six minutes.
Hassan Whiteside had been dealing with a right foot sprain but logged 30 minutes against the Raptors.
Omari Spellman had previously sprained his left ankle but felt well enough to face the Lakers.
Trey Burke dressed against the Magic despite some left calf tightness but did not get into the game.
Jeff Teague had been ill but scored 18 points in 23 minutes.
Why, exactly, did I see Steve Ballmer dancing on my television screen during the fourth quarter as the Clippers faced the Rockets? Well, Kawhi Leonard had just drawn a four-point opportunity, then converted the free throw due to a foul on Thabo Sefolosha. Suddenly, the Clippers led 84-80 with under seven minutes to play. On the next Rockets possession, he elevated for a rebound to keep the momentum going. Eventually Houston would end up winning 102-93 thanks to a big game from James Harden, but in the process Leonard showed many reasons why teams pursued him so aggressively in free agency. He flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 26 points, 12 boards, seven assists, one block, and one steal. Leonard added three triples and while four turnovers may not seem like a clean game, it was a step forward given that he committed nine in Monday’s win over the Raptors.
Things are really going to get interesting for the Clippers with the addition of George, possibly as soon as Thursday. However, after a 41 minute performance it wouldn’t be surprising if the Clippers rested Leonard in that one. At this point, it is hard to deny that the product on the court would improve if the league could find a way to schedule fewer back-to-backs over the course of a campaign. Given summer international play, preseason, and the rigors of travel, it’s frustrating that a shorter regular season has not been considered more seriously.
Rookie and second overall pick Ja Morant got off to an excellent start this season before hitting a bit of a speed bump. After seven straight games with double digit points including one contest in which he scored 30, Morant shot 5-for-25 from the field and scored a total of 17 points in the two contests prior to Wednesday. He also missed a matchup with the Mavs for rest purposes between those performances.
Morant shook off the troubles and it was all systems go against the Hornets. The totals: 23 points, 11 assists, one rebound, and one steal. This was also his most efficient shooting game so far at 10-for-15 from the floor. Nailing the game-winning driving layup in a 119-117 victory for the Grizzlies put an exclamation point on his evening. The degree of difficulty was quite high on that shot as he had to weave his way through Charlotte defenders. The assist total was a career best: Morant has looked to shoot off drives rather than pass most of the time.