• With 10 games on the NBA slate on Sunday we jump right into things as playoff positioning was at a premium with some of the matchups. The Heat travelled to Boston to take on a Celtics team that sat only 0.5 games back of first overall in the Eastern Conference while in the West the Grizzlies travelled to Oracle Arena to square off against the Warriors. The game of the day however took place in Houston where the perennial MVP favourites went head-to-head  in what could very well be a first round playoff preview. With White Zombie playing in the background, here’s Monday’s Daily Dish.

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    HORNETS 120, SUNS 106

    Hot off a 70 point performance could Devin Booker continue his scorching streak? The short answer is no as this one was pretty much over after the first quarter.

    THE GOOD

    Kemba Walker played well in 38 minutes of action scoring 31 points on 10-of-18 from the field. Walker is the undisputed leader of this Hornets team and it will take a small miracle for the Hornets to leap-frog two other teams to slide into one of the bottom playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. Walker shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the line and added nine assists, four rebounds, four triples and one steal in the win. With four games upcoming this week owners should feel great about the prospect of Kemba finishing the season strong.

    Marvin Williams shot an efficient 6-of-8 from the filed for 21 points to go with seven rebounds to assists and one steal. Williams was also deadly from 3-point land connecting on 5-of-6 from the land beyond. Over the last two weeks Williams has flirted with top 35 value averaging 10.7 PPG and 10.2 RPG. He’ll look to finish the season on a high note with four games upcoming this week.

    Nicolas Batum posted a double-double scoring 18 points and adding 10 assists in 30 minutes of action. His shooting today wasn’t the greatest as he only connected on 6-of-15 from the field but Batum did add six rebounds, three triples and one steal in the win.

    Cody Zeller played well once again scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 from the field. He also added seven rebounds, two assists and a team-high four steals. These are the types of lines that elevate owners into the championship week. For those of you who rostered Zeller, congratulations!

    Coming off a career-high 70 point performance Devin Booker was surely to drop back to reality. While he didn’t come close to 70 points he did lead the Suns once again in scoring 23 points on 7-of-17 from the field. He added four rebounds, five assists, two triples and one block in 35 minutes of action. With four games upcoming this week for the Suns look for Booker to finish this season on a high note.

    T.J. Warren returned to the Suns lineup on Sunday and promptly double-doubled in 39 minutes of action. Warren scored 21 points on 9-of-16 from the field and added 10 rebounds, two assists and a team-high four steals in the loss. Warren has been a pleasant surprise this season and as long as he is healthy will have every opportunity to finish the season on a positive note.

    THE BAD

    Coming off back-to-back 20+ point games, Marco Belinelli fell back to reality shooting 3-of-7 from the field for eight points and two rebounds in 21 minutes of action.

    Jeremy Lamb has really fallen off since Nicolas Batum returned to the starting lineup. Lamb played nine minutes off the bench but only chipped in two points with two rebounds.

    Derrick Jones Jr. came off the bench and played 20 minutes but only chipped in two points with two rebounds and one assist. Jones Jr. hasn’t played very well in his limited opportunities but look for him to gain valuable experience and improve as he gets older.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    With the win the Hornets improved to 33-40 but still sit in 11th spot in the Eastern Conference. They will need to have a strong week if they want to get a realistic chance of playing in the post-season this year. They play four games this week beginning with a home date vs. the Bucks on Tuesday night. The Suns meanwhile dropped their 8th game in a row and now sit at 22-52 on the season. They head to Atlanta to take on a struggling Hawks team who has also dropped seven in a row. Something will have to give on Tuesday night.

    NETS 107, HAWKS 92

    In what looked like a mismatch on paper turned out to be the complete opposite as the worst team in the league came to Atalanta and dismantled a struggling Hawks team.

    THE GOOD

    Brook Lopez led all Nets scorers with 23 points on 7-of-17 from the field. Lopez added seven rebounds, two triples, one steal and one block and he was a big reason why the Nets led from start to finish in this one.

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, despite being listed as questionable before the game posted a double-double in the win with 11 points and 13 rebounds. That’s back-to-back double-digit rebound games for RHJ and he looks to be making the most of his opportunity for the Nets as the season winds down. He added one dime, one steal and one block in 25 minutes of action.

    Jeremy Lin, playing in his second game since returning from injury scored 19 points on 7-of-15 from the field. Lin played a healthy 28 minutes in this one and added a full line with four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one triple and one block. With the Nets playing four times this upcoming week look for Lin to continue the strong play, that is, as long as he’s healthy.

    Dwight Howard played well for the Hawks in a losing cause scoring 19 points and adding 16 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. D12 hit 8-of-12 from the field but only connected on 3-of-12 from the charity stripe. He added one steal and one block with five turnovers in the loss.

    Dennis Schroder scored a game-high 24 points for the Hawks connecting on 10-of-24 from the field. Schroder added three rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two triples in the loss and will have to continues playing at a high level if the Hawks want to avoid a total collapse down the stretch.

    Ersan Ilyasova shot poorly connecting on only 3-of-14 from the field for nine points but did chip in a game-high 18 rebounds. He added one assist but it’s been difficult for him to replicate Paul Millsap’s stats as he fills in for him while Millsap continues to sit out with a left knee injury.

    THE BAD

    Caris LeVert started but only chipped in eight points on 4-of-9 from the field in 26 minutes of action. He added five rebounds, one assist and nothing else in this one.

    Randy Foye was completely invisible going scoreless in 13 minutes of action vs. the Hawks. He finished his line with one rebounds, one assist and one steal.

    The Hawks bench as a whole only chipped in seven points in this one shooting a combined 3-of-19 from the field. Not one Hawk bench player scored more than two points.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Hawks dropped to 37-36 and now sit in 6th in the Eastern Conference. They continue to free-fall and it is not looking pretty for them. They play four times this coming week and will look to get back on the winning track when the Suns pay a visit on Tuesday night. The Nets meanwhile sit at 16-57 with the victory and will look to make it two in a row when the Sixers come to town on Tuesday night.

    BULLS 109, BUCKS 94

    The Bucks blow a wonderful opportunity to separate themselves from the Hawks while the Bulls keep their playoff hopes alive.

    THE GOOD

    Jimmy Butler posted a huge double-double scoring 20 points and adding a career-high 14 assists in the win. Butler added six rebounds, three steals and one triple while shooting 8-of-13 from the field. He did have six turnovers, but owners will live with that considering the exceptional value that Butler produces elsewhere.

    Nikola Mirotic 28 points for the second time in the last three games on 11-of-14 from the field. He added eight rebounds, six triples and one assist in 35 minutes of action and only turned the ball over once in the win.

    Rajon Rondo started at point guard again and flirted with a triple-double scoring 18 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. When Rondo is on it’s tough to control him and he was definitely on this afternoon. He shot 8-of-11 from the field and added one steal for good measure.

    Robin Lopez was solid in the middle scoring 18 points on 9-of-13 from the field. He added five rebounds, two assists and one block and outplayed both Thon Maker and Greg Monroe on the offensive end.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo  led the Bucks with 22 points on 8-of-14 from the field. He added eight rebounds and four assists but did not provide owners with any steals or blocks in this one. He also only hit 6-of-10 from the line. Look for him to bounce back in Charlotte on Tuesday night.

    Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon both chipped in 14 points in the loss. Middleton shot 6-of-17 from the field but added six rebounds, two triples, two assists and four steals while Brogdon 5-of-11 from the field to go with four rebounds, four assists and two steals in the loss.

    THE BAD

    Denzel Valentine and Bobby Portis  combine to shoot 3-of-11 from the field off the bench for the Bulls. Valentine added three rebounds and two assists while Portis only chipped in two rebounds in the loss.

    Despite starting for the Bucks Thon Maker and Tony Snell continue to produce next to nothing of for a team that is in the thick of a playoff run. Maker scored three points on 1-of-3 from the field while Snell scored seven points on 3-of-9 from the field in 32 minutes of action.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Bulls improved to 35-39 and sit in ninth place on the outside looking in at the moment. They only play three times this week so owners in the championship round of their leagues need to be mindful of that. They’re off until Thursday night when they’ll host the struggling Cavs at the United Centre. The Bucks meanwhile drop to 37-36 and continue to be tied with the Hawks while sitting 0.5 games up on the Pacers for sixth in the East. The Bucks play four times this coming week, beginning with a road tilt withe Hornets on Tuesday night.

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • Daryl Macon
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed Daryl Macon.

    Macon getting picked up by another NBA squad after a solid Summer League campaign is not a shocker. If he were to crack the rotation he would post a nice assist rate, but it is unlikely Macon will be getting playing time unless something goes terribly wrong for the Heat this season.

    Source: NBA

  • Tahjere McCall
    F, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.

    This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp

    Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.

    Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Tyler Zeller
    C, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.

    Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.

    In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.

    Source: NBA