August 6, 2020, 4:38 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! The last time I wrote one of these columns, I had recently attended an NBA game, an NHL hockey game, a college baseball game, and a college basketball game. It’s a little hard to take seeing all those cardboard cutouts in the background at baseball stadiums right now. Nevertheless, I am grateful to be safe and wish you and your families all the best. How about some analysis of the games we can still watch from the comfort of our couches?
Adds of the Night
I’m trying not to go too obvious here, but these are players who should have the ability to benefit certain fantasy teams.
Royce O’Neale, F, Utah Jazz – 35 minutes, 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, three 3-pointers, 4-for-8 FG
Without Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz are relying more heavily on O’Neale for production. He has scored in double figures during three of his four appearances since the restart despite averaging 6.5 points per game during the season. He also raised some eyebrows by pulling down 13 rebounds on Monday against the Lakers. O’Neale is a career 38 percent shooter from distance, so we know that his recent success behind the arc is not a fluke. Amassing nine steals in four contests doesn’t hurt anyone, either.
Dion Waiters, G, Los Angeles Lakers – 26 minutes, 14 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, 5-for-13 FG
Waiters wasn’t perfect on Wednesday, shooting 38 percent on field goals against the team he represented in 2015 and 2016. He has confidence that more shots will start falling, and indeed he missed all four of his 3-point attempts in this one. Nevertheless, this is the most playing time Waiters has gotten since donning purple and gold. He also contributed in a variety of categories including on the defensive end. Having already clinched the top seed in the West, perhaps Frank Vogel was eager to deploy his bench in a 105-86 loss to the Thunder that got out of hand. Regardless, Waiters seems to be firmly in the rotation. If you happen to be in a particularly deep restart league…well, start here.
Not exactly a household name, but the third year player from France had opened some eyes in the early going of bubble action. One of my friends tweeted “Who is this guy??” after he racked up 26 points on Tuesday against the Bucks. His performance against the Magic last Friday was similarly impressive as he buried five triples off the bench and shot 8-for-12 from the floor to rack up 24 points. Unfortunately, Luwawu-Cabarrot returned to a supporting role on Wednesday with Caris LeVert and Joe Harris back on the hardwood for the Nets. Despite some available garbage time situations in a 149-115 loss to the Celtics, he made just one of five shot attempts during 11 minutes. Jacque Vaughn seems to be spreading the minutes around when he can.
Many owners have already disembarked from this particular train, but Morris had at least some fantasy value on the Pistons. Over 44 games with Detroit, Morris averaged 11 points per contest while making nearly 40 percent of 3-point attempts. After signing with the Lakers in February, Morris is seeing his share of nights like Wednesday. Thanks in part to surrounding talent, he only played 13 minutes. The final line: five points, four rebounds, one swipe and one swat. It’s worth noting that his brother Marcus was also sent to Los Angeles to join the Clippers and has seen a similar drop in value after a surprisingly good run with the Knicks.
Ben Simmons, who suffered a left knee injury during Wednesday’s game versus the Wizards is considered day-to-day after undergoing an MRI.
Torrey Craig was hit in the mouth during the second quarter of Wednesday’s matchup with the Spurs but managed to return during the third quarter and played 30 total minutes.
Dwight Howard was held out of Wednesday’s contest with a sore right knee.
Glenn Robinson III missed another contest with a left hip pointer.
Jamal Murray was ruled out with left hamstring tightness.
Aaron Gordon left Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury, and while it was not deemed serious he will be re-evaluated later.
Marco Belinelli returned to game action after missing two games with a left foot sprain.
Caris LeVert scored 13 points in 27 minutes on Wednesday after being rested on Tuesday with a minor thigh contusion.
Joe Harris shook off right hamstring and lower back maladies to score 14 points on Wednesday against the Celtics.
Hitting a Wall
Coming into the day, I had read all about how Dillon Brooks was struggling offensively since the NBA restarted play. On Wednesday, I figured he had turned a corner once he had scored 20 points by halftime on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. However, he scored just three more points in the second half while shooting 1-for-6 and eventually fouling out. The Jazz would win 124-115 in yet another disappointing loss for the Grizzlies, who fell to 32-37 having dropped all four seeding games so far. Brooks has shot an unsightly 21.4 percent from downtown and 37.8 percent from the field in those contests. Compare those to regular season numbers of 35.8 percent on triples and 40.1 percent from the floor. The road ahead for the Grizz isn’t easy either: a gauntlet consisting of the Thunder, Raptors, Celtics, and Bucks awaits. At least they brought those sweet throwback jerseys.
DFS Bargain Bin
These players were all less than 10% owned in Yahoo leagues back in March, but for this slate you could have done far worse for the price in daily leagues.
The former Kentucky Wildcat made a name for himself with the Austin Spurs of the G League by scoring 20.3 points per game there. However, he shot just 25 percent on 3-point attempts there. Meanwhile, he has gone 6-for-9 from downtown during his last four games in Orlando. Against the Nuggets, the result was a career-high 20 points to go with six rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He shot 7-for-10 on field-goal attempts and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Johnson did make 38 percent from long range with the Wildcats, so this latest run could be the start of something.
Speaking of the Spurs, Gregg Popovich promised that Mills would remain in the rotation even when the team got healthier. Sure enough, Mills received 22 minutes on Wednesday. He contributed 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and drained 2-of-5 from long range. The veteran guard from the Australian capital of Canberra tends to be reliable in any role.
Make that four straight games in double figures for Robinson. The former Clipper and product of Boston College has come off the bench to help make up for Bradley Beal’s absence. Against the Sixers, Robinson managed 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. He shot 5-for-11 from the floor and added a pair of treys. Robinson also played 29 minutes which exceeded the 27 minutes allotted to starter Isaac Bonga.