January 14, 2021, 4:44 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! Despite three postponements, seven games were able to proceed even though the entire basketball world was preoccupied with James Harden’s trade to the Brooklyn Nets.
Adds of the Night
While player availability varies by league type and structure, I try not to provide any incredibly obvious choices here.
DeAndre Jordan, C, Brooklyn Nets – 29 minutes, nine points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, 4-for-4 FG
I won’t be the only one to recommend Jordan, who is rostered in 24% of ESPN leagues at the time of writing. In the wake of the Harden trade which sent Jarrett Allen to the Cavs, Jordan should have even more productive nights ahead of him than Wednesday’s 116-109 victory at Madison Square Garden. He is shooting 79% from the floor in limited minutes this season and has finished over 71% twice in his career as a starter. In 2017-18 with the Clippers, Jordan grabbed over 15 rebounds per contest. He has never averaged fewer than 10 points during a season in which he received 30 minutes or more on a nightly basis. Just about the only downside here is the free-throw percentage.
Patrick Beverley, G, Los Angeles Clippers – 37 minutes, 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, three 3-pointers, 3-for-8 FG
Having Beverley on my Hoop Ball staff league team last season was something of a roller coaster. I ultimately dropped him down the stretch, but that mostly had to do with a series of injuries he endured. The reason to keep Beverley on your squad is mostly related to his constant generation of defensive stats. Wednesday’s pair of swats gave him at least one block in four of his last five appearances. On Sunday he posted three blocks, which is not production you expect from most 6’1” guards. Pat Bev also boasts a total of five steals over the last week. The 37 minutes were the most he has played all season. Against the Pelicans, Beverley added the icing on the cake with the sweet long-range stroke. Only 10% of ESPN teams are taking advantage of his skill set.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Dort’s stock has plummeted of late, and he finds himself on just 15% of ESPN rosters. Back on December 28 he turned heads by scoring 26 points, shooting 9-for-11 from the field, and hitting five treys. Since then, Dort’s production has faded despite the 42% shooting from deep. On Wednesday against the Lakers he had nine points, one rebound, and one assist while going 3-for-6 from long range (3-for-8 from the field). In the month of January his averages include 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.7 assists. While that represents a step forward from an abbreviated rookie season, Dort is really only worth rostering if you have a need for threes in a deeper pool.
Derrick Jones Jr.
The fourth-year forward out of UNLV is available in 97% of leagues. Nevertheless, Jones is holding down a spot in the lineup for Terry Stotts so I can understand why some deep league (or Western Conference only league) managers would have added him. He ended with eight points and five rebounds on Wednesday, making one triple in 22 minutes. Jones got into foul trouble, but on many occasions his playing time has been capped anyway. Since playing 31 minutes on January 5, he has averaged 20.2 minutes per contest. Even worse, Jones is shooting 40% from the field this season compared to a career mark over 50%.
Al Horford was rested on Wednesday after playing on Tuesday.
Ivica Zubac (right abdominal soreness) scored nine points in 22 minutes.
Lou Williams (left hip discomfort) only saw nine minutes against the Pelicans.
Richaun Holmes (right hamstring tightness) looked solid versus the Blazers.
Darius Bazley sprained his right ankle against the Lakers and was forced to leave.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left ankle sprain) scored 10 points.
Obi Toppin (right calf strain) returned to action but played only one minute.
Kristaps Porzingis (torn right meniscus) had 16 points in his first action of the season.
Anthony Davis (lower back soreness) scored 18 points in 25 minutes.
LeBron James (left ankle sprain) shook off the questionable tag and ended with 26 points.
Gordon Hayward scored 16 points before suffering a left hip strain in the third quarter.
Jusuf Nurkic (left quad contusion) managed to score 18 points.
Damian Lillard (right ankle sprain) exploded for 40 points.
Josh Okogie (left hamstring strain) played a quiet 27 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns (left wrist) posted a double-double against the Grizzlies.
Derrick Rose (left knee soreness) was unable to play.
Reggie Bullock (sore right hip) was unavailable.
I’ve been hearing about how Buddy Hield is a buy-low candidate for a couple of weeks, which has caused my brow to furrow because I used a ninth round pick on him. I envisioned Hield as a top-100 talent, but things don’t always go smoothly right away during an unconventional season. Wednesday’s 132-126 loss to the Blazers gave him a chance to put up a season-high 26 points while adding six rebounds and an assist in 38 minutes. This is a guy who topped out at 42 points last season while averaging 19.2 per contest. By contrast, Hield has scored only 15.7 points per game this campaign while shooting 37% from the floor and getting the most playing time of his career. Hield has always loved the 3-pointer, attempting 9.6 per game last year and 10.6 per contest so far this season. He took that love to another level against the Blazers, shooting 8-for-18 from the behind the arc while still managing to amass five assists. The previously sprained right ankle seemed to give him no trouble at all.
On a day when a blockbuster trade dominated the headlines, Nickeil Alexander-Walker gave the scribes in New Orleans something else to talk about. He tallied a career-high 37 points and shot an ultra-efficient 15-for-23 from the floor as the Thunder lost a narrow decision to the Clippers. Alexander-Walker also sank five of eight attempts from 3-point range in his 33 minutes of play. He also ranked second on the team with eight rebounds, adding an assist and a steal in the process. Alexander-Walker helped fill the void with Zion Williamson missing the contest due to the league’s health and safety protocols. Lonzo Ball is suffering from knee tendinopathy and Eric Bledsoe couldn’t play due to eye irritation, so all of this was sort of a perfect storm for Alexander-Walker’s usage. Still, we got a glimpse of the talent that can become hidden by the paltry 17.1 minutes per game he has received thus far.