• We are hitting the ground running here at Hoop-Ball! Preseason is in full swing. After one of the most memorable NBA offseasons, it feels like there was no true offseason. It’s great to be back!

    A few studs popped up on new teams around the league on Tuesday night in preseason action. As we learn time and time again, chemistry takes a little while and kinks will be worked out. That is what the preseason is for. Let’s dive right in to what was ticking on a fun Tuesday night in the NBA.

    PAUL GEORGE, CHRIS PAUL DEBUT FOR NEW TEAMS

    A lot of first names in the headline there. Tuesday night was our first crack at watching superstars join perennial playoff teams. The Thunder weren’t at full strength, however, as Russell Westbrook (knee) sat this one out due to his PRP injections. No need to panic on the MVP, he will be just fine.

    The Rockets debuted their new look lineup and all eyes were on their guards. Chris Paul scored 11 points with two boards, seven assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes. He looked comfortable on the floor and his efficiency should continue in this system. Paul is a late-first/early-second rounder.

    The fantasy community was curious about how Paul’s signing would impact James Harden. It didn’t look too different, as Harden silenced doubters with a 16-5-10-3-2 line with three 3-pointers on 5-for-16 shooting. He had seven turnovers. It looks like the same old Harden. Treat him as you did last season.

    Eric Gordon took advantage of the spacing and kept up his old tricks. He got hot, shooting 7-for-12 for 21 points, one steal and six 3-pointers. Nothing has changed.

    Paul George shot 6-for-13 from the field for 15 points in his debut for the Thunder, adding five boards, two assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Carmelo Anthony co-starred, shooting 7-for-13 from the field for 19 points with four boards, one steal and three 3-pointers. The two took 13 shots each, something that would likely take a dip when the MVP returns. The Thunder will likely try to get a game in with their starting lineup whole before the season begins. Treat Westbrook as a consensus first rounder and George as a second rounder for now.

    Steven Adams (back) left this one in the third quarter, showing discomfort in his lower back. It was just precautionary. Carry on.

    NEW-LOOK KNICKS DISPLAY FANTASY POTENTIAL

    Without the high usage of Carmelo Anthony for all those seasons, the New York Knicks took to the court and gave us a nice preview of what’s to come this season. Kristaps Porzingis was 6-for-14 from the floor for 15 points with five boards, one assist, one steal and two swats. He took the first three shots of the game, proving that he is the focal point on both ends of the floor moving forward. It’s a new day in the Big Apple.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. made the most of his volume, scoring 17 points with seven boards, two assists, two steals and five 3-pointers in 25 minutes. The opportunity is there. Roster him. Enes Kanter also picked up the scoring slack, pouring in 17 points in 17 minutes. He will remain an efficient center late in drafts.

    As for the Nets, while expectations may be low, they didn’t look half bad. D’Angelo Russell continues to develop before our eyes. He posted a 19-2-4-1-1 line with two 3-pointers in 20 minutes last night. The keys to the offense are his. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson helped out with his usual hustle line, scoring 13 points with two boards, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes. Consider him in the later rounds.

    BABY BULLS HANDLE PELICANS’ TWIN TOWERS

    It’s preseason, so anything goes. The muddled Bulls roster had eight guys score in double-figures. The wealth will probably be spread around all year, so get used to it. Bobby Portis has been #FREED, but he continues to disappoint in the time he is given. Portis shot 1-for-7 for three points, nine boards and three assists in 17 minutes. No need to draft him, for now.

    Jerian Grant dropped 11 points with nine dimes, one steal and two 3-pointers in 20 minutes. If he continues to outperform Kris Dunn (11-1-3-2) as he has so far, rise Grant up a few rounds on your list.

    Anthony Davis reminded the league that he is in his prime and continues to play on another planet. The Brow shot 6-for-15 from the field for 24 points with 10 boards, three assists, two blocks and one 3-pointer. He also nailed 11-for-14 from the charity stripe. He is easily a first rounder. Set and forget.

    AD’s running mate DeMarcus Cousins flexed his fantasy muscles as well, dropping a 20-10-5-6-1 line with one 3-pointer as well. Watching Boogie and AD dribble up the ball like guards was a sight to see. This will be a fun team to watch this year. Boogie is a fringe first-round fantasy talent.

    SUNS SKATE BY BLAZERS IN WESTERN SHOOTOUT

    Youth was at center stage as the Suns came back to beat the Blazers 114-112. T.J. Warren led the way with 24 points (9-for-15 FGs, 6-for-7 FTs), six boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 33 minutes. He could be sneaky good this year. Keep him on your radar in standard leagues.

    Alex Len double-doubled with 14 points and 13 boards, adding one steal and one block. Once Tyson Chandler leaves, his minutes will shoot up. I stand by it: this is the year!

    Devin Booker was 4-for-12 from the floor and 9-for-9 from the field, scoring 19 points with two rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers in 19 minutes. His efficiency still lacks. If he will make the leap remains to be seen.

    The Blazers took a look at 15 different guys, going at a heavy rotation at forward all night. Damian Lillard made the most of his 15 minutes, scoring 18 points with four assists, one board, two steals and one 3-pointer. He is worthy of early-second round consideration.

    Jusuf Nurkic also showed burst in just 16 minutes. shooting 8-for-13 for 16 points in 16 minutes. Health is always his concern, otherwise the production is there.

    Caleb Swanigan made headlines again, scoring 18 points with six boards in 17 minutes. The big rookie is on the radar but a clear path to playing time has yet to be established. Keep him on the watch list.

    That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, preseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. We are less than two weeks from tipoff!!

Fantasy News

  • Trey Lyles - F - Denver Nuggets

    Trey Lyles hobbled off the court during the Nuggets' practice on Wednesday, so consider him questionable for Friday's game vs. the Mavs.

    Lyles has not held much value while Paul Millsap is healthy and active and this news does not help his short-term outlook. You can consider dropping him in deep leagues for a more promising FA.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter

  • Gary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets

    Gary Harris, who has missed the Nuggets' last seven games due to a right adductor strain, is available to play vs. the Mavs on Friday.

    Harris has had a rocky 2018-19 season to say the least, dealing with an assortment of injuries that have kept him off the floor for multiple games. Hopefully, he can finally stay healthy for the second half of the season. He has a top-30 upside when at 100 percent health, so feel free to slot him in your active lineups.

    Source: Christian Clark on Twitter

  • Emanuel Terry - PF - Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed undrafted D2 All-American forward Emanuel Terry to a 10-day contract.

    Terry played in nine games for the Heat's G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season and posted averages of 16.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He's currently not someone worth picking up in fantasy leagues.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter

  • Troy Brown Jr. - F - Washington Wizards

    According to Candace Buckner, Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr., who missed the last several games due to an ankle injury, has been looking "fresh and spry" while going through a shooting drill.

    Brown has not made much of an impact in fantasy this season, but with the Wizards out of the playoff race, we could see Brown get some run. He's worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues for now.

    Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Coach David Fizdale said that he's open to Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) and Dennis Smith Jr. together in the backcourt.

    This would make for an interesting albeit the most inefficient scoring backcourt in the league. Even if Mudiay does share the floor with DSJ, he's not going to bring enough fantasy juice to worth an add outside of very deep leagues.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Robin Lopez - C - Chicago Bulls

    Coach Jim Boylen said "We have not discussed a diminished role for him at all" in reference to Robin Lopez, who was shut own post-ASB last season.

    Lopez looks like he'll be sticking it out with the rest of the Bulls starters until further notice. He's good for some points and boards with reasonable field goal shooting but that's about it. As long as you're not expecting to be wowed, Ro-Lo is a decent pickup in 16-team leagues or deeper. Cristiano Felicio is a drop as he won't hold value while Lopez is in play.

    Source: KC Johnson on Twitter

  • Kris Dunn - G - Chicago Bulls

    Kris Dunn (back contusion) is on track to play on Friday after going through Wednesday's practice.

    Dunn missed the last game before the All-Star break but wasn't expected to miss any further time. Ryan Arcidiacono will move back to a bench role going forward.

    Source: Mike McGraw on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) will return to the lineup on Friday against the Wolves.

    Mudiay won't be usurping Dennis Smith Jr.'s starting role, so he'll likely have to settle for battling with Frank Ntilikina for backup minutes. He's safe to cut in the vast majority of fantasy leagues.

    Source: Zach Braziller on Twitter

  • Frank Ntilikina - G - New York Knicks

    Frank Ntilikina (groin) is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Friday.

    It sounds like Ntilikina will not suit up on Friday. He'll be fighting with Emmanuel Mudiay for backup point guard minutes when he does get back on the floor, and while he might be able to get an edge there with Mudiay headed for free agency there isn't enough to warrant attention in fantasy leagues.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes - F/C - Boston Celtics

    Aron Baynes (left foot contusion) will not play on the Celtics' upcoming road trip, which means he'll miss at least three more games.

    Danny Ainge said that Baynes may not return until early March, so this isn't too surprising. Daniel Theis gets at least three more games of fantasy appeal.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter