January 7, 2021, 6:05 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! There were 11 games played this evening, and plenty of storylines to boot. Read on for my conclusions.
Adds of the Night
While you may find yourself in a shallow league, I try not to provide any incredibly obvious choices here.
Justin Holiday, G, Indiana Pacers – 32 minutes, 20 points, five rebounds, one steal, three 3-pointers, 6-for-9 FG
While the 20 points marked a season high, the playing time has been there all season for Holiday, who has averaged 29.1 minutes per contest. His brother Aaron started the game, but Justin seems to be serving as the Pacers’ Sixth Man. He went 3-for-4 from long range and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul line. Meanwhile, two of his rebounds came on the offensive end in a narrow 114-107 win over the Rockets. Holiday is only 8% owned in ESPN leagues, but that figure has been rising of late and this performance should continue the trend.
Austin Rivers, G, New York Knicks – 32 minutes, 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, five 3-pointers, 9-for-14 FG
Wednesday marked the fourth game as a Knick for Rivers, and he made quite the impression in a comeback victory over the Jazz. He scored 15 points in just 17 minutes on Saturday versus the Pacers, but this was his coming out party at Madison Square Garden. Rivers was a terrific 5-for-7 from long range and was one of only eight Knicks to play in double digit minutes. His 32 minutes off the bench exceeded the total of reserves Kevin Knox and rookie Immanuel Quickley. The opportunities may be fewer when Alec Burks returns, but you could do worse when it comes to streaming choices.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Yes, Osman is owned in just 9% of ESPN pools as I write this. However, he came into Wednesday’s matchup having totaled 29 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, five steals and a block in his previous two appearances. Osman got the start against the Magic, playing 33 minutes but shooting just 1-for-12 from the floor. It’s tough when a player tanks your team’s field-goal percentage for the night, but that’s exactly what happened to his owners. He missed all seven of his attempts from behind the arc and unsurprisingly the Cavs lost to the Magic 105-94. You’re not obligated to drop Osman if you play in a 14-teamer. He did add five rebounds, seven assists and three steals despite the paltry four points. Still, keep an eye on your league’s free agents if Osman is still on your roster.
Speaking of field-goal percentage, Howard certainly won’t hurt you in that department. His 72% shooting from the floor is actually in line with his production with the Lakers last season. Nevertheless, it’s questionable what else he brings to the table in his current role with the Sixers. He has played under 14 minutes per contest as a depth option in Philadelphia and just 11 on this night. By contrast, Joel Embiid played 37 minutes in the 141-136 loss to the Wizards. Howard recently held over 10% ownership in ESPN, but that has dipped to under 8% now. In his prime, Howard totaled nearly 3,000 minutes per regular season. Now, he’s not even seeing the 19 nightly minutes that typified his 2019-20 campaign. The product of his matchup on hump day: one point, three missed free throws, four rebounds and two blocks. The swats alone might merit deep league ownership if he were guaranteed 20 minutes or more, but the trends are not encouraging in that department.
Steph Curry turned his left ankle against the Clippers and was forced to leave the court, but Steve Kerr said that it was not a serious injury.
Christian Wood (left knee soreness) was held out of action.
Derrick Rose suffered a right knee contusion and departed early versus the Bucks.
Marcus Smart (right thumb sprain) scored nine points in 32 minutes.
De’Aaron Fox experienced right hamstring tightness after playing only five minutes.
Russell Westbrook dislocated a finger on his right hand near the end of the Wizards’ loss to the Sixers.
Markelle Fultz tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season.
Isaac Okoro (left foot sprain) played 28 minutes versus the Magic.
Moe Harkless (left forearm contusion) was unable to face the Celtics.
Josh Jackson missed Wednesday’s contest with a right ankle sprain.
Tyrese Haliburton (bruised right wrist) returned against the Bulls.
Marcus Morris (right knee soreness) made his season debut.
Paul George (ankle) scored 21 points in 38 minutes against the Warriors.
Doug McDermott (left ankle sprain) was forced to exit the game against the Rockets.
James Ennis (right hamstring/calf strain) played his first game of the season.’
Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle stiffness) played 18 minutes.
Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle) did not play.
Reggie Bullock (left knee soreness) suited up and scored 12 points.
Beal Blasts Off
For all the news activity in the United States on Wednesday, one of the most surprising developments I read on social media had to do with Bradley Beal scoring 52 points before the third quarter of the Wizards’ matchup with the Sixers had even ended. He finished with an even 60 thanks to a terrific 7-for-10 line from deep. Beal shot 20-for-35 from the field and missed only a pair of his 15 free-throw attempts. For good measure, he piled up seven rebounds, five assists and a steal. Despite averaging 30.6 points, Beal had not exceeded 39 in any single game. Unfortunately for him, the Wizards still fell to the visiting Sixers who shot 62% from the floor in the contest.
Hot Hot Hayward
The Gordon Hayward redemption tour continues apace now that he decided to don the blue jerseys of the Charlotte Hornets. He had posted 28 points on two occasions prior to facing the Hawks on Wednesday, when he delivered 44 points on 15-for-25 shooting from the field and hit 10 of his 12 tries from the charity stripe.. Hayward filled up a lot of categories nicely, sinking four triples and grabbing seven boards. None of his owners are complaining about the two assists, one block and one steal either. Overall, Hayward has made 47% of field-goal attempts compared to 50% last season with the Celtics. Still, it feels like his ceiling is higher in James Borrego’s system and this latest data point is very encouraging.