October 11, 2017, 10:08 am
We are less than a week away from all the action and it’s time to get pumped for the NBA season. After an offseason for the ages, real games are about to be played. We can hardly wait for tip-off on Tuesday. Before we get there, it’s time to read the tea leaves that we call preseason. Sure, the games might be meaningful but we are finally getting a true taste of the action which could tell you who could be risky/safe or a stud on draft night.
Let’s take a look at some of the headlines on a busy Tuesday night.
A MAN AMONGST BOYS: GOBERT TAKES OVER FOR JAZZ
Rudy Gobert was upset when Gordon Hayward ditched the Jazz for the Celtics. It was the right and honest reaction. Since then, he hasn’t batted an eyelash about it. That was evident on Tuesday, when he posted 29 points (10-for-12 FGs, 9-for-11 FTs) with 13 boards, two assists, one steal and two blocks in 33 minutes. He took Brook Lopez (7-4-1-1-1 in 22 minutes) to the woodshed all night. A star is being born.
His new running mate Ricky Rubio looked every bit the part as well, shooting 6-for-18 from the floor for 22 points with three boards, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. This is going to be a fun team to watch and a true playoff team out west.
Donovan Mitchell continued to exude talent in his best game of the preseason, dropping 26 points with five boards, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. His versatility is lacking so far, but he is making a case for a role on this team. Consider him near the end of your draft.
CAVS AND BULLS SURVIVE INJURY SCARES
LeBron James had a close call as well. After driving on Paul Zipser early in the game (excellent defense by Zipser by the way), LeBron came up lame under the basket and jumped around a bit on the same ankle giving him trouble before. He returned and finished with 17 points, five boards, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. Draft LBJ with the same confidence.
Kevin Love left the game clutching his left shin and knee areas in the third quarter. He hobbled to the bench and was immediately attended to by Cavs trainer Steve Spiro. After the game, fantasy owners exhaled when Love said that he felt fine and that sitting was precautionary. Love finished the game shooting 1-for-12 from the field for three points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes. Working out the kinks is what preseason is for. Expect better during the season.
Mirotic’s injury was a bit scarier, as he limped off the court with a sprained ankle and was taken to the locker room early in the first quarter. He did not return. After the game, Mirotic said that he would have been able to finish the game if it was a playoff game. Nice try Mirotic! We all know the Bulls won’t be in that situation for a while.
THUNDER’S BIG THREE PLAY NICE, SHARE THE ROCK
Time to draw conclusions! We got a good glance at the Thunder’s big three together for significant amounts of time on Tuesday night. This much is clear: they can all co-exist.
The reigning MVP Russell Westbrook poured in 20 points with seven assists, one board, one steal and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He looked well over his injections and ready to be a first-round fantasy talent. Treat him no different than you did before.
Paul George got the most run with 35 minutes with an impressive line. George shot 7-for-19 from the field for 19 points with 11 rebounds, four assists, five steals, one block and five 3-pointers. If you were doubting his value in the top-25, you may want to reconsider.
Carmelo Anthony rounded out the trio with 16 points (7-for-17 FGs), nine boards, one assist and two 3-pointers in just 16 minutes. He clearly has the green light to chunk up shots in this offense, which bodes well for his value. He is a mid-round talent with scoring upside in points leagues.
AIR GORDON LEADS THE MAGIC OVER THE SPURS
If you have been following Hoop Ball at all this season, you already know Aaron Gordon is a thing. It was never more true this preseason than on Tuesday night, when Gordon went off to lead the Magic to a 103-98 win over the Spurs.
Gordon double-doubled with 27 points (11-for-24 FGs, 3-for-4 FTs), 11 boards, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. He is a solid choice in the mid-rounds of your draft with high upside.
Jonathan Simmons added 20 points with 10 assists, one board, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. If he keeps the job over Jonathan Issac, keep him on your radar early in the season.
As for the Spurs, we got another glimpse of Rudy Gay, who put together his best preseason game thus far. Gay shot 3-for-6 from the field for 13 points with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes. The upside is always there with Gay and we have seen him be a star in this league, but the Spurs could limit his minutes all season which will stunt his upside. He will need 30 minutes per game to realize his true value.
That will 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 one week from tipoff!!
February 19, 2019, 4:41 pmJared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets
Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Dudley has already made it known that he's planning to return right out of the All-Star break, so unless today's checkup revealed some kind of further issue we're expecting him to be ready for Brooklyn's two games this week. His biggest fantasy impact will be taking minutes from more intriguing players.
Source: Greg Logan on Twitter
February 19, 2019, 4:39 pmCaris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert will undergo an evaluation from the Nets medical staff on Tuesday.
There's no sign of any setbacks from LeVert but the team will obviously keep a close eye on him after he's returned from a dislocated foot. This shouldn't be anything more than routine maintenance, so fantasy owners don't need to worry about it.
Source: Greg Logan on Twitter
February 19, 2019, 4:33 pmRay Spalding - F - Phoenix Suns
The Suns are expected to sign Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract.
Spalding was the 56th pick in last summer's draft but only appeared in one NBA game this season with the Mavs. He was waived at the trade deadline with Dallas taking on one more player than they sent away, and will look to make an impression in a crowded Phoenix rotation. His college numbers (12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game) make him a name to file away in deep dynasty leagues.
Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter
February 19, 2019, 11:44 amMarShon Brooks - G - Chicago Bulls
Marshon Brooks has agreed to terms with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.
Brooks played 29 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 6.6 points and he is expected to replace Malcolm Delaney. Leave him on the waiver wire.
February 19, 2019, 11:35 amKristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban said that Kristaps Porzingis won't play this season, even if the Mavs somehow are able to make the playoffs.
The Mavs want to put their world-class training staff, led by Casey Smith, to work, strengthening Porzingis’ body the rest of this season and throughout the summer to hopefully prevent similar injuries in the future. And after all, given the amount of money the Mavs could be committing to KP this summer, a max salary of $158 million, there is no need to risk something happening to him in a season where making the playoffs seems unlikely. Kristaps remains a great stash in redraft leagues.
February 19, 2019, 11:23 amLeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers
Joe Vardon of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are "somehow a little concerned" about LeBron James.
LeBron hasn’t been showing the same speed or overall movement lately and the team is concerned that he’s not fully recovered from the groin injury that cost him to miss a career-high 18 games. The Lakers are in the 10th place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot and they will need LeBron to be healthy for the rest of the season. James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35 minutes per game, while his shooting percentage (51 percent), 3-point percentage (35 percent) and free-throw percentage (68 percent) are all down from last season. He is still returning borderline top-15 value in standard leagues and owners can only hope he doesn’t suffer a setback.
Source: The Athletic
February 19, 2019, 9:49 amMichael Beasley - F - Los Angeles Clippers
Ex-Lakers forward Michael Beasley is finalizing a deal to play with Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Beasley returns to a league he is familiar with after an up and down season with the Lakers where he failed to produce consistently. It’s the smart thing to do since the Chinese team is offering him a lucrative deal and we wouldn’t expect to see him play again in the NBA, at least this season. Drop him if you haven’t already.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
February 18, 2019, 8:24 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
There are people within the Pelicans organization that feel Anthony Davis has played his last game with the franchise.
This is according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate who also reminds us that AD says he wants to continue playing. This is just a reminder that Anthony Davis can realistically be anywhere from the most valuable to the least valuable player in fantasy for the rest of the season. The Pelicans are also tied for the fewest games during the head-to-head playoffs.
Source: Scott Kushner on Twitter
February 18, 2019, 7:55 pmCorey Brewer - G/F - Sacramento Kings
The Kings have signed Corey Brewer to a second 10-day contract.
Brewer has yet to make an appearance with the Kings, so there’s no fantasy relevance here. He would need a few wings to go down to even make him a potential streamer.
Source: James Ham on Twitter
February 18, 2019, 5:10 pmChandler Parsons - F - Memphis Grizzlies
Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he's open to giving Chandler Parsons (knee) some playing time going forward.
"I think it’ll be good that we’re coming out of the break and we’ll have a few days to practice just to get him on the court, get him back with the group, see where he is," Bickerstaff said. "It’s been a while since he’s played as well. So it’ll be good to have him on the floor, get up and down a little bit, see where he is physically and mentally and then we’ll go from there." This is softer than the Shams Charania reports about returning to the Grizzlies lineup, which were curious at best, and owners should take a wait and see approach to his playing time. He hasn't been playing for multiple reasons.