March 5, 2020, 3:11 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! Tonight’s nine games offered many story lines, a few of which are likely to impact your fantasy league.
Adds of the Night
Jordan McRae, G, Detroit Pistons – 26 minutes, 15 points, two rebounds, three assists, two 3-pointers, 5-for-11 FG
After the Nuggets finished buying out McRae’s contract, the Pistons managed to grab him on waivers not long before Wednesday’s game was set to begin. On Wednesday versus the Thunder, McRae shined in Bruce Brown’s absence. Brown has now missed three straight games with a left knee issue. While it may not keep him out much longer, Derrick Rose will miss weeks with an ankle issue and McRae figures to help fill the void along with the resurgent Brandon Knight. McRae is only owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues as I write this, so now is the time to strike. Right now, the Suns are probably wishing that their waiver claim had won out instead.
Naz Reid, C, Minnesota Timberwolves – 25 minutes, 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, three 3-pointers, 5-for-10 FG
Having risen to 27% Yahoo ownership, Reid may no longer be an option in your league. However, he has flourished in the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns and just put up a double-double against the Bulls for the second time in as many nights. It’s always impressive to see a big man go 3-for-3 from downtown while still providing more traditional stats like blocked shots. While he wasn’t as sharp from long range during Tuesday night’s matchup with the Pelicans, he ended with an even more diverse line: 13 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two swats, and three steals. Reid has seemed to take over Gorgui Dieng’s former role as fantasy handcuff to Towns before he was traded to the Grizzlies.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Gary Trent, Jr.
Damian Lillard only played 22 minutes in his return from a right groin injury, but on Wednesday his presence alone was enough to demonstrate Trent’s declining value. After three straight performances scoring in double figures, Trent ended Wednesday’s win over the Wizards with two points, five rebounds, and four assists. He made just one of his seven field-goal attempts. Trent was still allotted 28 minutes, but that figures to dip even further when Lillard is ready for a more normal workload. He’s now down to 7% ownership in Yahoo pools.
Lest this choice seem too obvious given his 5% Yahoo ownership, Melli actually strung together five straight games with at least 10 points between February 21 and March 1. In that context, it’s understandable that some owners used him while he was hot. During Wednesday’s overtime defeat in Dallas, Melli was anything but on fire. He sank one triple but ended 1-for-9 from the floor. He scored three points to go with four rebounds and three assists. J.J. Redick’s hamstring injury will keep him out for another couple of weeks, but after two straight disappointing games it will be hard to trust Melli in any case.
Aaron Gordon (right knee inflammation) returned to play 36 minutes.
Semi Ojeleye took a knee to the groin during Wednesday’s contest but returned to score 22 points.
Josh Jackson played an excellent 17 minutes despite leaving for the locker room briefly.
George Hill (groin contusion) was held out of action
Gordon Hayward (right knee contusion) did not play.
Dorian Finney-Smith was forced to leave after nine minutes with a right hip injury.
Thomas Bryant was rested on a back-to-back following his recent return from a foot ailment.
Lauri Markkanen scored 13 points in 20 minutes in his return from a right pelvic stress reaction.
Ish Smith (left hamstring tightness) was sidelined for Wednesday’s game in Portland.
Jayson Tatum (illness) was excellent after a one-game absence.
Kevin Porter Jr. left Wednesday’s game in Boston with an apparent concussion.
Seth Curry overcame lower back tightness to score 21 points.
Malcolm Brogdon departed the contest against the Bucks with a sore left hip.
Christian Wood (right foot sprain) played a strong 39 minutes.
Brandon Knight (right quad strain) scored 18 points in 38 minutes.
Nerlens Noel overcame an early leg ailment to play 16 minutes.
Thon Maker (right foot sprain) had six rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
Kevin Knox (left leg contusion) played an unremarkable 20 minutes.
Mitchell Robinson (sore left hamstring) got the night off.
Jaylen Brown will miss at least a week due to a right hamstring strain.
Tristan Thompson (left knee contusion) did not play.
Victor Oladipo (sore right knee) was ruled out.
J.J. Barea (right ankle soreness) was unable to suit up.
Collin Crushing It
While the Cavs ended up falling 112-106, you couldn’t blame Collin Sexton for the result. He set a career high for the second consecutive game with 41 points on Wednesday right on the heels of Monday’s 32 point contest against the Jazz. He has made 28 of his last 47 field goals for a cool 59.6% conversion rate. Even better, seven of those shots were 3-pointers. Sexton is sporting nine assists and four steals since the weekend ended. Even for a guy averaging 20.5 points per night over the course of the season, this has been a revelatory stretch. It’s doubtful that Sexton will get 30 shot attempts every game when Andre Drummond and Tristan Thompson are healthy. Nevertheless, this has been an interesting look at what happens when you hand him the keys.
Earlier in the season, seventh overall pick Coby White struggled with his shot for long stretches. However, Wednesday was the latest game exhibiting how far he has come in the last couple of weeks. Since February 2, he has made anywhere from two to seven triples in each game, interestingly reaching each of those numbers exactly once. Mathematical oddities aside, White is looking more like a force and less like a liability. It was way too soon to dismiss his talent in the early going, but White seems to be realizing his potential more and more each day. He has scored at least 19 points in each of the last six games, including three contests with 33 or more. February’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month has hit nearly 40% from behind the arc in his last ten as well. The assists and steals are a nice bonus for owners who grabbed White when his value was much lower.