• The Sacramento Kings snapped an eight-game losing streak Monday night, beating the Orlando Magic 120-115.  The team had struggled to get going offensively in recent games, but the team was lifted by big scoring nights from all over the roster.

    Orlando didn’t have many issues scoring, shooting 46.4% from the field and 38.2% from behind the arc, but their defense struggled to contain Sacramento’s offensive attack. A good run late in the fourth quarter made it a tight game late, but a few crucial mistakes from the Magic late sealed the win for Sacramento.

    The Kings decided to give a few regulars the night off, resting Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson, Kosta Koufos and Tyreke Evans.  The rest came as somewhat of a surprise, but it did open up some minutes for players that don’t normally see much action.

    Here are some notes from the matchup:

    • Skal Labissiere saw a large increase in minutes tonight, playing 20 minutes while starting at power forward.  Labissiere stayed active on both ends of the floor, scoring 11 points on nine shots to go along with seven rebounds and four blocks.  He still has some learning to do on both ends of the floor, but Labissiere has shown that he has the talent to be a big part of this team’s future.
    • Buddy Hield had a good game as the team’s starting shooting guard, scoring 17 points on 6/13 shooting with two steals and just two turnovers.  Hield has been able to score efficiently since joining the Kings, and has been one of the team’s most reliable three-point shooters.  He will need to continue to keep his turnover numbers down moving forward, so games like this are encouraging for the young shooting guard.
    • Georgios Papagiannis saw some meaningful minutes tonight, scoring just two points while grabbing four rebounds in 12 minutes of action.  Papaginnis appeared to struggle much of his time on the court, although some of that could be rust.  Either way, he may not be ready to see regular minutes in the rotation, but still figures to be in the team’s plans moving forward.

    The Sacramento Kings are now 26-41 on the season, and are still 13th in the conference.  A playoff run is very unlikely at this point, but it’s always great to see the team win on the strength of their young players.

     

     

Fantasy News

  • Bismack Biyombo
    C, Charlotte Hornets

    Thanks to injuries that sidelined Cody Zeller in 2019-20, Bismack Biyombo managed to serve as a streamable shot-blocking specialist for fantasy teams, finishing the season with averages of 7.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 0.9 BPG on .543 shooting in 19.4 minutes per game.

    Through 53 games, Biyombo managed to produce total value just outside of the top-250. However, his per-game value at 299/306 in 8/9-cat formats. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of his stat line and the drawback of his .603 free throw shooting, Biyombo was not able to contribute more than his rim protection during his run as a starter.

  • Willy Hernangomez
    C, Charlotte Hornets

    Second-year Hornets big man Willy Hernangomez finished the 2019-20 season ranked 345/364 in 8/9-cat in Per Game value and 347/353 in 8/9-cat total value in 31 games played.

    Despite the Hornets' thin frontcourt, Hernangomez was unable to earn any significant minutes. The team's decision to go "ultra-small" as a playstyle didn't help his cause either as Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo came away with most of the minutes at center. In just 12.1 minutes per game, Hernangomez recorded averages of 6.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG on .529 shooting from the field. Until a team finds a way to feed this young Spaniard some quality time, he's not going to be a fantasy-relevant any time soon.

  • Taurean Prince
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    Taurean Prince has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not participate in the NBA restart, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    The Nets lose yet another rotation player and will now head to Orlando, and likely the playoffs, without Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Prince, DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler (as well as Kevin Durant and Nicolas Claxton). Look for Garrett Temple to pick up some extra minutes on the wing, with Justin Anderson and Rodions Kurucs potentially getting into the mix at power forward. Deep bench players like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dzanan Musa may also benefit. Joe Harris and Tyler Johnson may log a few extra minutes as a ripple effect, while Caris LeVert's fantasy price keeps going up as the primary scorer by default.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jayson Tatum
    SF, Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum put it all together as the new top dog in Boston, posting top-20/12 value (8/9-cat) in an outstanding season.

    A reshuffled roster led to a much clearer pecking order, and Tatum thrived as the primary option. There was a two-month stretch towards the end of the year where he was a comfortable top-10 option. The third-year forward put up career-bests all over the board, including 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers. Tatum added 3.5 minutes to his nightly average this season but saw an increase of nearly six shots per game as the main beneficiary of Kyrie Irving's departure. While Tatum's percentages actually dipped (from .450 to .448 FG% and .855 to .806 FT%), the volume gains were too great to be dragged down. As Tatum continues to improve, he should be in the group of players that gets selected around the first round turn in fantasy drafts.

  • Jaylen Brown
    SG, Boston Celtics

    Jaylen Brown finished the fantasy regular season as a top-55/70 player (8/9-cat), blossoming with a new-look Celtics roster.

    With all of the changes Boston went through last summer, Brown was empowered to carry a larger share of the load and responded in a big way. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.1 3-pointers while shooting .490 from the field and .736 from the line — all career-highs besides blocks. Brown took full advantage of an increase in nearly eight minutes per contest and an additional five shots, becoming a vital two-way part both on the court and in the box score. Brown made incremental improvements across the board, and the volume numbers carried his rise in the rankings, but don't sleep on his improved efficiency — particularly at the free throw line, where he had been under 66 percent in each of the previous two seasons. That could be the difference between a top-60 and a top-90 player moving forward, but Brown's new prominent role should secure him at least middle-round value for years to come.

  • Daniel Theis
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Daniel Theis emerged as a key contributor for the Celtics this season, finishing with top-110/80 value (8/9-cat) thanks to averages of 9.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers per contest.

    An injury to Enes Kanter opened the door and Theis burst right through, never looking back. Theis also made 57 starts in 58 games this year after making just five starts combined over his first two campaigns. He set career-highs across the board, including a .565 mark from the field despite increased volume. A heady defender and versatile offensive threat, Theis was the missing piece at center for Boston between his rim protection and modest floor-spacing ability. Despite a handful of absences, Theis was even better by total value standards with top-90/75 rankings. He rarely wows you, but tends to check multiple boxes on any given nights and should remain a nice depth piece for fantasy purposes moving forward. With extended stretches as a top-75 player, there may still be some untapped upside if Theis can get more than the 23.8 mpg he received this season.

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    Although Jonathan Isaac (knee) is at Disney World with the rest of the Magic, he is still rehabbing his injury and GM Jeff Weltman splashed some cold water on the idea that he might play during the restart.

    "He's at the stage where he can do a little light court stuff, but that's about it," Weltman said. Isaac was putting together a huge fantasy season and delivering on the high expectations that the Magic have for him before a devastating knee injury took him out of action on January 1. While Orlando is a safe bet for a playoff spot, they will likely err on the side of caution when it comes to Isaac's status. He's too important to the organization's future to bring back for a playoff series against one of the league's elite teams, especially after an eight-month layoff. Keep an eye out for more Isaac updates but don't count on his availability if you'll be playing fantasy games when the NBA starts again.

    Source: Josh Robbins on Twitter

  • Robert Williams III
    C-F, Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams had a productive second season in the NBA despite a 37-game absence due to a hip bone edema, finishing with top-195/175 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats.

    Williams was actually up close to the top-150 before he returned from his injury to a more limited role behind a resurgent Enes Kanter and a breakout campaign from Daniel Theis. The Time Lord needed just 14.0 mpg to come away with 1.2 blocks and 0.9 steals per contest, while also shooting a sterling .677 from the floor (albeit on low volume). It's clear that Williams already boasts block specialist appeal and if the Celtics reshuffle the frontcourt this offseason then he may make for a nice late-round flier type next year.

  • Grant Williams
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Grant Williams' first fantasy season ended with averages of 3.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.3 3-pointers in 15.5 mpg.

    That was good for top-340 value on a per-game basis, and while Williams is not an important offensive cog for the Celtics it's clear that he has all the makings of a glue guy for Brad Stevens and fantasy GMs alike. Williams is the sort of player who does a lot of little things well and can rely on above-average basketball IQ. Boston's depth will be a limiting factor but there's a lot to like about this first viewing of Williams' stat set. He's on the deep-league radar next season and could surprise if he carves out a larger role.

  • Semi Ojeleye
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Semi Ojeleye was only a modest contributor to the Celtics this season, but he did set a pair of career-highs with marks of 89.3% at the free throw line and 36.7% from 3-point range.

    Ojeleye only averaged 14.6 minutes per contest, but he remains a trusted defensive option for Brad Stevens even if his offensive game is extremely limited. The fact that he was able to hit his freebies, even at extremely low volume, so efficiently bodes well considering he was around 61% in each of his first two campaigns. Ojeleye ended the fantasy season with top-400/380 value in 8/9-cat leagues and is not a recommended option moving forward.