February 13, 2020, 2:49 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! As we move toward the All-Star break, 11 games took place and we got a better look at the roles of players who were dealt last week. Here are a few of my insights from around the league.
Adds of the Night
Malik Monk, G, Charlotte Hornets – 32 minutes, 25 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks, three 3-pointers, 10-for-20 FG
James Borrego has not been afraid to deploy Monk recently, and the production is starting to feel sustainable. Despite playing an average of about 20 minutes per game this season, that figure has crept toward 30 over his last ten games. Lately that has resulted in a win-win, with Monk getting a chance to sharpen his skills and the Hornets profiting from his output. The 25 points represent his second best total of the season, second only to the 31 he posted on January 28 against the Knicks. Nevertheless, he averaged 18.3 points during the three games prior to this one while hitting 7-of-13 on 3-pointers during that span. Monk sits at 13% Yahoo ownership, so now is the time to strike if you need a scorer.
Seth Curry, G, Dallas Mavericks – 34 minutes, 18 points, three rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers, 7-for-10 FG
While his brother Stephen is doing non-contact drills in his quest to return to action, Seth is continuing to do what he does best: knock down shots off the bench. While the heavy minutes against the Kings arrived partially due to the 130-111 blowout, the ability has always been there. It must have felt good for Curry to victimize one of his former teams. It’s hard to believe that he has now played, at least sparingly, for six franchises. This was Curry’s sixth straight contest with 15 or more points, and he did just fine even with Luka Doncic firing on all cylinders in his return from a right ankle injury. All in all, not a bad package for someone owned in a mere 17% of Yahoo pools.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Brunson did yeoman’s work for the Mavs while Luka Doncic sat out, but Wednesday was further confirmation that his best production is likely behind him this season. His ownership has plummeted to 11% in Yahoo and the 14 minutes against Sacramento were further proof that owners in the majority of leagues should be looking elsewhere for help at guard. The fact that he got the start next to Doncic was largely symbolic. He ended with five points, two assists, and a pair of turnovers.
For a little while, Davis did very well to fill in for the injured Norman Powell. Even with Powell still out due to a broken finger, Davis no longer looks like a viable fantasy player. The Raptors guard still holds 16% Yahoo ownership but has fallen back to earth after four straight games with double figure points. Davis has totaled four points and four rebounds in his last pair of appearances while only getting minutes in the teens. Even Nick Nurse’s tight rotation doesn’t appear to be reason enough to hold onto him.
Damian Lillard suffered a right groin strain against the Grizzlies and will have an MRI on Thursday.
Jabari Parker (right shoulder impingement) was unable to play.
Delon Wright (right ankle sprain) scored six points in 26 minutes.
Cody Zeller (facial lacerations) was held out of action.
Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) did not face the Wolves.
Serge Ibaka (illness) scored 28 points in 35 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns (left wrist) did not play a day after having an MRI.
Derrick Rose (left hip adductor strain) played 17 minutes but had a night to forget from the field.
Svi Mykhailiuk (right hip strain) scored eight points in 18 minutes.
DeAndre’ Bembry (right hand neuritis) did not play despite being declared available.
Mike Conley (illness) did not play against the Heat.
Mario Hezonja (left ankle sprain) was unable to play.
Nassir Little (left ankle sprain) did not play against the Grizzlies.
Kevon Looney (left hip soreness) did not face the Suns.
Mohamed Bamba (illness) was ruled out against the Pistons.
De’Andre Hunter (sprained left ankle) contributed 12 points during 36 minutes.
Cam Reddish appeared to hurt his knee on a dunk attempt but eventually returned to have a productive game.
Elie Okobo scored 12 points in 22 minutes and returned to action after a minor ankle issue.
Alex Len (right hip flexor strain) did not suit up.
I saw plenty of griping from Larry Nance owners on my Twitter timeline when the Cavs traded for Andre Drummond. Yes, it’s true that he played a very quiet 20 minutes versus the Clippers on Sunday in his first appearance alongside Drummond. However, Nance put on a show on Wednesday against Atlanta. He ended with 23 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two blocks. Nance shot an efficient 8-for-11 from the field and five of his boards came on the offensive glass. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul line and added a pair of triples for good measure. With Kevin Love absent because of an Achilles issue, Tristan Thompson also came off the bench to feast against a weak Hawks team still waiting for Clint Capela to return from injury. Don’t expect these numbers every night, but it’s also foolish to consider Nance’s prospects a lost cause.
Devonte’ Graham is a testament to what good scouting can accomplish. Drafted 34th overall in 2018, Graham shot 40.9% from long distance during his career at Kansas. Even considering the NCAA’s shorter 3-point line, that’s an impressive figure. As a senior he also averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.2 assists. In his second NBA season, Graham is taking the league by storm and putting up similar numbers as a pro. On Wednesday, he shot 5-of-11 from downtown and keyed the Hornets’ comeback in Minnesota by scoring 28 points and dishing out eight dimes. A field goal conversion rate hovering around 38% may not seem too impressive, but that tends to happen when a player approaches 500 attempts from behind the arc in the middle of February. Graham has taken a massive step forward both in terms of responsibility and output when compared to his rookie season.