• Sunday was a busy one in the Association with 8 games on the slate. Damian Lillard went nuts vs. the Heat, The Homie and the rest of the Sixers surprised the Celtics and LeBron and Co. were back at it at Staples this time facing the young Lakers. With Will Smith’s “MIAMI” playing in the background, here’s Monday’s Daily Dish.

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    MAVS 104, NETS 92

    This was one that the Mavs needed to keep their playoff hopes alive and despite a second half run by the Nets they were able to prevail.

    THE GOOD

    Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs’ attack by scoring 23 points and adding nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action. He shot 9-of-17 from the field and hit on 3-of-6 from downtown. The win kept the Mavs 3.0 games behind Denver for eighth in the West and as long as they are in the playoff hunt Nowtizki owners can be sure that he’ll be out there.

    J.J. Barea came off the bench and scored 20 points on 8-of-12 from the field. He added seven assists, one rebound, one triple and two steals and over the last two weeks he’s averaging 8.0 assists per game. Any owner in need of dimes in the midst of their fantasy playoff run should give Barea a hard look.

    Harrison Barnes scored 19 points on 8-of-15 from the field. He added six rebounds, two assists and one triple and should continue to play heavy minutes as the Mavs fight for their playoff lives.

    Brook Lopez went ff for 27 points for the Nets in the loss. He shot 8-of-18 (including 3-of-6 from downtown) with seven rebounds and four turnovers. That’s five consecutive 20+ games since Lopez returned from a one game absence. As long as he’s healthy owners will continue to reap the benefits.

    Spencer Dinwiddie started the second half (for Jeremy Lin, more on that below) and scored 18 points on 5-of-9 from the field. He added seven assists, two rebounds, two triples and one steal in 30 minutes.

    THE BAD

    Jeremy Lin left this one after seven minutes of play with a right ankle sprain. Initially it didn’t look bad, but he left to the locker room shortly after. This could mark the end of Lin’s season and what a disappointing season it has been. Owners in the thick of the playoffs may have to cut bait here and Spencer Dinwiddie may be a solid pick up for the stretch run.

    Caris LeVert started again but was limited to five points on 2-of-6 from the field. He added five boards, one triple and one assist in 25 minutes. The minutes are there and he has shown flashes of goodness, but tread carefully here.

    Seth Curry was quiet in this one connecting on 3-of-9 from the field for eight points. He shot 0-of-5 from 3-point land and only added one rebound and one assist in the victory.

    Yogi Ferrell was kept to single digits for the fourth game in a row and despite the five assists, three steals, two rebounds and one block he’s lost some playing time to J.J. Barea and time-share could continue for the forseeable future.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    With the win the Mavs improved to 30-39 on the season and sit 3.0 games back of the Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West. They have a three-game week upcoming beginning with a home date vs. the Warriors on Tuesday night.. The Curry bowl should be an intriguing one. The Nets dropped to 13-56 and continue to count down the games in their dreadful season.  The Nets have a four-game week beginning with a home match up with the Pistons on Tuesday night.

    SIXERS 105, CELTICS 99

    With no Isaiah Thomas in the fourth quarter, the Sixers took advantage and stole this one from the Celtics.

    THE GOOD

    Dario Saric continued his impressive play scoring 23 points on 10-of-20 from the field. Saric added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two triples in 32 minutes of action. Saric is flirting with top 40 value over the last two weeks and he’s a big reason why the Sixers are no longer considered push-overs in the Association.

    Richaun Holmes took over for the injured Jahlil Okafor (more on him below) and scored eight points to go with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks. These are the types of lines that will win championships and if you were lucky enough to pluck Holmes from the waiver wire, congratulations!

    Robert Covington scored 16 points on 7-of-15 from the field to go with eight rebounds, two steals, two triples and one block in 36 minutes. Covington has flirted with top 35 value all season and should finish the season strong as the Sixers try and spoil some playoff dreams.

    Al Horford  busted out for a season-high 27 points in a losing cause. He shot 11-of-16 from the field and added eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks, one steal and one triple in 33 minutes of action. This was only his 11th game of the season scoring 20+ points in a game, but also the second time in three games that he’s achieved the feat. Hopefully he can continue the hot play into the coming week.

    Terry Rozier came off the bench and scored 14 points to go with 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. He added two assists, two triples and one steal and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. Despite the strong line this was only the first time since March 5th that Rozier has scored in double figures.

    THE BAD

    Amir Johnson was quiet in 23 minutes of action scoring two points with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.

    Jonas Jerebko and Jaylen Brown came off the bench but combined for three points on 1-of-8 from the field.

    Jahlil Okafor left this one early with a sore right knee. The extent of the injury is unknown, but the good news is that he will travel with the team as they head out to Orlando for Monday night’s game. Richaun Holmes is a must-own if Okafor misses time.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Sixers improved to 26-43 and continue to play an exciting brand of basketball. The Sixers play four times this coming week beginning with a road matchup with the Magic on Monday night. The Celtics dropped to 44-26 and fail to gain any ground on the Cavs. They have four home games this week beginning with a tough battle vs. John Wall and the Wizards on Monday night.

    PISTONS 112, SUNS 95

    This one was surprisingly close for good part of the game, but then reality hit and the Pistons took full advantage.

    THE GOOD

    Andre Drummond posted a monster double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds in the win. He shot 7-of-10 from the field (but only 4-of-11 from the line) to go with two assists and two blocks in 28 minutes of action. Drummond continues to be one of the most dominant big men in the game but he’s free-throw shooting will continue to be a cause for concern as the Pistons battle for a playoff spot in the East.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 from the field. He connected on 5-of-9 from downtown and added eight assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes of action.

    Aaron Baynes came off the bench and posted a pretty impressive double-double of his own scoring 13 points and adding 17 rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. Baynes shot 5-of-9 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from the line. He hasn’t been a key fantasy contributor for most of the season but he has two double-doubles in the last three games. He might be someone to keep an eye on if you need rebounds.

    Tyler Ulis scored 17 points and added 11 assists in 43 minutes of action. He added three steals and three rebounds but only shot 7-of-24 from the field (including 0-of-5 from downtown). Despite the poor shooting Ulis has the keys to the Suns’ offence right now and he should be owned in all standard leagues.

    T.J. Warren put up a solid line of 15 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks, one dime and one triple in 45 minutes. Warren has been one of the more pleasant surprises this season and with very little competition at the three spot in Phoenix he should close out the season strongly.

    THE BAD

    Derrick Jones Jr. started for the injured Devin Booker (ankle) and promptly put up a dud scoring only three points on 1-of-9 from the field. He did add five rebounds and one block but he’s been disappointing thus far with the minutes that have been thrown his way. He’s still very young and raw, so owners in Dynasty leagues just have to have patience here.

    Tobias Harris started for the Pistons but was quiet scoring only eight points on 2-of-10 from the field. He added four rebounds and one block in the loss. Harris has been solid all season so chalk this one up as a minor hiccup.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    With the victory, the Pistons moved into the eighth spot in the East with a 34-36 record. They currently sit 0.5 games behind the Bucks for 7th in the East. The Pistons have three games this week (all on the road) beginning with a matchup in Brooklyn with the Nets. The Suns meanwhile continue with the youth movement. They are currently 22-48 and sit in 14th in the West. The Suns have four road games this week beginning with a Tuesday matchup vs the Heat in Miami.

Fantasy News

  • Furkan Korkmaz
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    After an injury-plagued sophomore campaign for the Sixers, Furkan Korkmaz knows this season will be crucial for his future and he is hoping to make big strides this year.

    The one thing Korkmaz has going for him is his shooting ability and that is something the Sixers could surely utilize on this roster. It did not click last season, but Korkmaz will get another chance to prove his worth at some point this season. Still, it is hard to picture him coming out of the gate with a big role on opening night.

    Source: Sixers.com

  • Nikola Mirotic
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    On Sunday, Nikola Mirotic dropped 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for Barcelona.

    Mirotic's opening appearance for his new EuroLeague club, Barcelona, resulted in a victory, and he did not have to work too hard for most of his buckets at the Supercopa Endesa versus Valencia. Mirotic should find quick success during his return to European basketball, but NBA fantasy players will surely be missing his presence stateside.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Bruce Brown
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey spoke highly of Bruce Brown’s defensive play, calling him an ‘elite defender.’

    Brown remains in contention for a starting spot with the Pistons, but he is not a high-usage player, and the Pistons have stocked up with offensive threats such as Derrick Rose and the immortal Joe Johnson. It will be tough for Brown to rack up enough touches or minutes this season.

    Source: Pistons.com

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    There is some optimism in league circles about Kevin Durant's (Achilles) chances of playing this season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

    Looking back on Durant's decision to return during the Finals, the Nets may want to exude caution when considering KD's return to action. However, Durant is pursuing his rehab with a sense of purpose, and it would be great to see him get back on the court this season. We'll keep you posted when a real timeline on Durant's rehab emerges. This news does not make him a target on draft day for standard leagues.

    Source: New York Post

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. is the presumed favorite to start at PF heading into training camp according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

    Fedor went on to speculate that Nance Jr. could see a lot of time at the four while Kevin Love starts at center and Tristan Thompson and John Henson compete for back up minutes behind those two. Any uptick in playing time would be a huge boost to the per-minute dynamo that Nance Jr is, and a starting role with a new coaching staff bodes well for that. He's trending in the right direction.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Kevin Knox
    SF, New York Knicks

    Coach Fizdale told the Knicks players that no starters have been determined and players had to earn their minutes.

    Kevin Knox will battle with veteran Marcus Morris for the starting small forward spot. Knox has been working on getting his body stronger to be able to take on more contact on drives to the basket. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 12.8 points on a putrid 37 percent from the field. Knox will look to get more looks closer to the basket and increase his field goal percentage to more respectable levels. Knox provided little else outside of points and rebounds last season and will need to improve his shooting and defense to be considered a standard-league player.

    Source: New York Post

  • Bol Bol
    C, Denver Nuggets

    According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, Bol Bol could spend his entire rookie season in the G-League.

    Bol Bol was not drafted to be an immediate impact player, but just fell too late fore the Nuggets liking. The 44th overall pick needs to bulk up and show that he could take the bumps and bruises before having his chance on the big stage.

    Source: Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    After speaking with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank, Dan Woike's takeaway is that Kawhi Leonard's "load management" will not be as strict as it was last year.

    It was reported in July that Kawhi said he wants to play all next season fully and approach load management on a game-to-game basis so this is further confirmation that he will most likely play more than the 60 games he played last year but surely won't play all 82 either. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports speculates that this could be for several reasons. One could be that Leonard can take on more now that he is a little healthier while he believes the Clippers might also limit his per-game minutes to help him play more games. The other idea is that because the Western Conference is so deep, the Clippers will not be able to get a good seed if Leonard sits too many games. Fantasy wise, Leonard finished last season seventh in per game value but 18th in total value since he played only 60 games. Near the top of the second round would be a great place to snag him if he plays around 70 games this season.

    Source: Dan Woike on Twitter

  • Malik Beasley
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets want to extend Malik Beasley and Juan Hernagomez before the October 21 deadline.

    The Nuggets already locked up one of their 2016 first-round picks (Jamal Murray) to a long-term deal and now want to do the same with their other two 2016 first-round picks, Hernangomez and Beasley. If not, the two will likely become restricted free-agents at the end of the season. Both players saw stretches of big minutes last season due to injuries but at full health, Beasley was around 20 minutes per game while Hernangomez was at around 10. Fantasy wise, neither player puts up big defensive stats but Beasley is a very efficient shooter with low turnovers, knocking down 2.0 triples per game last year, putting him near top-150 value at only 23.2 minutes per game. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder and knocked down 0.9 triples per game but he would need closer to 30 minutes per game to be a factor in standard leagues.

    Source: Denver Post

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse intends to put OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."

    With Kawhi Leonard vacating the starting small forward spot, Anunoby is the leading candidate to take the role. Before the arrival of Leonard, Anunoby started 62 games in his rookie season. Last season he started 6 out of 67 games, and missed the entire playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 33.2 percent from 3-point range and 58.1 percent from the free-throw line. He can be picked up as a late round flier in drafts.

    Source: The Athletic