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Happy New Year! There were ten games on the NBA schedule for the final day of 2021, and a few stars went out with a bang. LeBron James continues to defy Father Time, Ja Morant produced another exemplary performance (as did Trae Young), and Robert Williams did something that he had never done in his career prior to Friday. Let’s dive into Friday’s action.
Celtics 123, Suns 108
Marcus Smart was back in action after missing two games due to a hand injury, and he looked sharp in 39 minutes on the court. Shooting 10-of-18 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line, Smart recorded a line of 24 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. His return meant a drop to the bench for Payton Pritchard, who played 13 minutes and tallied 11 points, two rebounds, one assist, and three 3-pointers. With Jayson Tatum (protocols) on his way back, this would be a good time to drop Pritchard in order to find a player who’s guaranteed to hit the mid-20s in minutes.
But the headliner for Boston on Friday was fantasy basketball favorite Robert Williams, who recorded his first career triple-double. He shot 5-of-5 from the field, accounting for 10 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, and five blocked shots in 35 minutes. The Time Lord has been a top-20 player in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks according to Basketball Monster, and he’s ranked within the top-50 for the season. After teasing many during the first three seasons of his NBA career, Williams is making good on those expectations.
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In the other change to the starting lineup, Grant Williams (15/4/1/1/1) played the three as Ime Udoka wanted a bigger player on the court to help with Boston’s defending of Chris Paul (14/5/8/2 with two 3-pointers) and Devin Booker (22/6/4/2 with one 3-pointer) in ball-screen situations. They shot a combined 13-of-41 from the field, so it’s safe to say that Boston’s defensive approach worked. Also, the move back to the bench didn’t hurt Romeo Langford, who played 23 minutes and finished with 16 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two 3-pointers. Langford can still provide some value to deep-league managers for as long as Tatum and Dennis Schroder remain sidelined, and the same can be said for fellow reserve Josh Richardson (19/4/2/1/1 with two 3-pointers in 33 minutes).
The big change for Phoenix was that they were without their top two centers, as Deandre Ayton was joined by JaVale McGee in the league’s health and safety protocols. While this set the stage for the aforementioned Williams to have a career day, it also gave former lottery pick Jalen Smith an opportunity to prove himself. Stix was solid, logging 19 points (7-of-9 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), seven rebounds, and one blocked shot in 27 minutes. Given Phoenix’s lack of interior options, Smith is worth streaming until Ayton and McGee are back in action. And the Suns will be adding reinforcements, as it was reported that Bismack Biyombo will be signed to a 10-day contract.
Bulls 108, Pacers 106
DeMar DeRozan (28/3/6/3 with one 3-pointer) ended this one in thrilling fashion, knocking down what the Bulls have referred to as the “New Year’s Heave” as time expired. He’s been playing at a high level all season, so getting another quality line out of DeRozan comes as no surprise. But Coby White, who’s rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues, has made some serious strides with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso sidelined. He’s providing 7th-round value in 9-cat formats over the last week, and White will have a good matchup Saturday night when the Bulls face the Wizards.
Washington currently has four point guards, including starter Spencer Dinwiddie, sidelined due to health and safety protocols. Zach LaVine (17/6/4/1/2) recorded a full line, which made up for a 7-of-17 day from the field, while Nikola Vucevic (14/16/4) ends 2021 on a run of four straight games with a double-double.
Indiana had a new starter, as rookie Duane Washington Jr. filled the void left by Chris Duarte (protocols; he was starting due to Malcolm Brogdon being out). Washington was certainly active, getting up 14 field goal attempts on the day, but he wasn’t particularly accurate. Shooting 3-of-14 from the field (0-of-6 3-pointers), the former Ohio State guard finished with eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one blocked shot in 30 minutes. The playing time and shot attempts are positives when considering the possibility of streaming Washington, but there isn’t much reason to make that move.
Caris LeVert (27/6/6/1/1 with one 3-pointer) continues to produce at a higher level than he did earlier this season, providing 5th-round value in 9-cat over the last two weeks. The question for those who have LeVert rostered: do you ride this out, or look to sell high? What may also influence managers to move LeVert are those reports from early December that the Pacers were open to moving some of their more established players in order to begin a rebuild. LeVert’s name was mentioned in that report, so this may be another reason to try to trade him while he’s a focal point in the Pacers rotation.
Domantas Sabonis (24/14/6/1/2 with one 3-pointer) and Justin Holiday (16/4/1/1 with five 3-pointers) produced solid stat lines, while Myles Turner (10/6/1/0/1 with one 3-pointer) played just 18 minutes due to foul trouble. Torrey Craig (10/11/5/1/2) and Oshae Brissett (9/7/2/1/1) had decent nights off the bench, but they’re deep-league streams at best right now. Indiana has one more game this week, and three the next, so the clock is ticking on both when it comes to their fantasy relevance. Lastly, Lance Stephenson is returning to the Pacers for a third run with the franchise, as it was reported that he’ll be signing a 10-day contract.
Mavericks 112, Kings 96
Two nights removed from beating the Mavericks on a Chimezie Metu 3-pointer, Sacramento went #KANGZ on the final day of the calendar year. Not only were they beaten convincingly, but the Kings also witnessed a disagreement on the bench between Metu (10/5/0/2 with two 3-pointers in 19 minutes) and Moe Harkless (DNP-CD) during the fourth quarter. Harkless would eventually leave the bench and head back to the locker room. Rostered in 18% of Yahoo leagues, Metu is providing 12th-round value over the last two weeks. He’s worth a look in deep leagues, especially with Marvin Bagley injuring his right thumb Saturday afternoon.
Bagley (15/5/1/1 in 25 minutes) underwent X-rays, which came back negative. If he has to miss time, that would open things up for Metu to return to the starting lineup. That would make him a player worth streaming in some standard leagues, depending upon how much time Bagley would miss. Damian Jones (10 points, eight rebounds; 2% rostered in Yahoo leagues) has seemingly jumped past Tristan Thompson and Alex Len in the pecking order behind Richaun Holmes (11 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks) at the center position. He isn’t worth picking up unless you’re one of the poor souls who still have Thompson rostered (3% Yahoo).
Tyrese Haliburton (16/4/10/1 with four 3-pointers) has not hit double figures in assists in three straight and seven of his last eight games. That run began when De’Aaron Fox (10/1/7/1/2 with one 3-pointer) was sidelined due to health and safety protocols in mid-December, and the second-year point guard has carried on with Fox in the lineup. That’s a great sign for the managers who have Haliburton rostered.
With Frank Ntilikina ruled out due to a left thigh contusion, the Mavericks had a spot to fill in their starting lineup. Reggie Bullock, back in action after missing time due to health and safety protocols, would do the honors, and he played well. In 31 minutes Bullock shot 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line, scoring 16 points with five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers. Given Dallas’ absences, Bullock is worth a roll of the dice in deep leagues for the time being. He’s rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues, and after playing the Thunder on Sunday he’s looking at a four-game week.
Dorian Finney-Smith (12/3/6/1/1 with two 3-pointers) is still rostered in 55% of Yahoo leagues, which is too low given his recent production and importance to the Mavericks rotation. Kristaps Porzingis (24/9/6/0/2 with two 3-pointers) and Jalen Brunson (23/5/8 with one 3-pointer) continue to lead the way with Luka Doncic sidelined, and yet the latter is rostered in 77% of Yahoo leagues. Outside of extremely shallow leagues, Brunson should not be available.
Heat 120, Rockets 110
Two days removed from having their game in San Antonio postponed due to a lack of available players, the Heat were considerably deeper Friday night. Kyle Lowry (12/3/3/0/2 with two 3-pointers) cleared health and safety protocols, and he was able to play 37 minutes without any issues. And one of Miami’s recent 10-day signings was outstanding off the bench. Kyle Guy played 24 minutes, scoring 17 points with four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and four 3-pointers.
Under normal circumstances, it would be advisable to take the wait-and-see approach with Guy; watch his next game (Sunday vs. Sacramento) before making a decision. But these aren’t normal times; the Heat will once again be shorthanded, that’s the first game of a back-to-back (Monday vs. Golden State), and it may be a revenge game of sorts for Guy. He began his NBA career in Sacramento but failed to stick, so he should be motivated to put on a show at his former employer’s expense. At the very least, Guy’s worth slotting into a DFS lineup as a cheap roster filler.
Omer Yurtseven (10/13/2/2/2) continues to flourish in the starting center role, with Friday’s double-double being his third in as many games. The rookie center has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in seven straight games, and he’s been quite productive as a defender as well. After failing to record a steal or blocked shot in Sunday’s win over the Magic, Yurtseven’s tallied five steals and two blocks in the Heat’s last two games. Yurtseven is rostered in 51% of Yahoo leagues, and at this rate, it’s going to be difficult for Erik Spoelstra to take him out of the rotation completely once Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon are both healthy.
Lastly, Caleb Martin (11/6/0/1 with one 3-pointer) played 38 minutes and is a standard league add at this point. He’s rostered in just 16% of Yahoo leagues, which is way too low given the current state of the Heat rotation.
For Houston, Jae’Sean Tate made his return after missing two games due to health and safety protocols. Stephen Silas decided to bring Tate off the bench and he had a very good night, posting a line of 22 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, and two 3-pointers in just 25 minutes. This was the first game of a back-to-back for Houston, which hosts Denver on Saturday, so we’ll see if Tate is made available for that one. And if he does play, whether or not he’ll be on a minutes limit.
David Nwaba remained in the starting lineup and played 20 minutes, accounting for seven points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and one 3-pointer. While he has been a top-100 player over the last week, the spike in value has come due to the Rockets being down multiple wings. With many of those players back in the fold, streaming Nwaba really isn’t an option in most leagues.
Hawks 121, Cavaliers 118
Already down multiple perimeter players due to either injury or health and safety protocols, Atlanta lost another one during the first half of Friday’s game. Cam Reddish sprained his right ankle after playing 10 minutes and was ultimately ruled out for good at halftime. If there’s a positive it’s that the Hawks won’t play again until Monday vs. Portland, so it’s possible that Reddish will be healthy enough to play in the third game of the Hawks’ six-game road trip.
What happens if Reddish has to sit? Atlanta could have a few of its rotation players back in the fold, as Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are all approaching the end of their respective quarantines. With none of those three available, Wesley Iwundu logged 43 minutes and finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and two 3-pointers. There were also long stretches in which Trae Young (35/4/11/1 with five 3-pointers) and Lou Williams (14/3/5 with one 3-pointer) were on the court together. Fantasy managers considering Iwundu and Williams would be better off going with the latter, as he will be a part of the rotation once the Hawks return to full strength. Iwundu, on the other hand, is on a 10-day contract.
Clint Capela (18/23/2/1/4) posted a monster line, while Skylar Mays (19/3/0/2 with four 3-pointer) was productive in his 23 minutes on the floor. Mays is providing 11th-round value in 9-cat over the last week, but the time to stream him appears to have passed.
Playing its second game in as many nights, Cleveland welcomed back a starter in the form of Jarrett Allen. And he looked sharp, playing 37 minutes and finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, one steal, and three blocked shots. Allen’s return meant that Kevin Love was dropped back to the bench, and he had his best game of the season. Love still played 30 minutes and finished with 35 points 11 rebounds, four assists, and seven 3-pointers. Love long ago established himself as a standard league player, eliminating the concerns of fantasy managers who did not expect to see much in the way of production from him before the season began.
Kevin Pangos made his second career start, playing 24 minutes and finishing with eight points, one rebound, and four assists. With Cleveland reportedly closing on a deal that would land them Rajon Rondo, and Darius Garland due back after being sidelined due to health and safety protocols, there won’t be a need to even consider streaming Pangos in the near future. Brandon Goodwin (13/4/6 in 25 minutes) is in a similar boat, but he was more productive than Pangos Friday night. Cleveland is back in action on Sunday, so we’ll see what the point guard depth chart looks like soon. Also, Rondo will also need to clear health and safety protocols, so he may not be available immediately upon completion of the reported trade.
Raptors 116, Clippers 108
Toronto was as close to full strength as it has been in quite some time, as Fred VanVleet (31/4/9/2/1 with four 3-pointers), OG Anunoby (26/6/0/4 with three 3-pointers), and Khem Birch (6/5/1) were all back in the lineup. While VanVleet and Anunoby played 39 and 36 minutes, respectively, Birch logged just 19. Yet even with that being the case, the presence of both he and Precious Achiuwa (four points and three rebounds in nine minutes) in the rotation takes away from Chris Boucher‘s fantasy value.
Boucher, who went off in Tuesday’s loss to the 76ers, played 19 minutes on Friday and finished with six points and nine rebounds. And with Scottie Barnes due back soon, the minutes available to Boucher are likely to decrease even more. He isn’t an automatic drop just yet, but fantasy managers who are able to find better options will want to make that swap. Boucher is still rostered in 78% of Yahoo leagues, so there are clearly those who are willing to exercise some patience. Pascal Siakam (25/19/7/2/2 with one 3-pointer) put up a massive line in 40 minutes of action, and he’s providing 3rd-round value in 9-cat over the last two weeks.
The Clippers welcomed back Reggie Jackson, who was immediately inserted into the starting lineup. He played 31 minutes, accounting for 17 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals, and five 3-pointers. Jackson’s return means that Eric Bledsoe takes a major hit as far as fantasy is concerned, with Bledsoe logging 17 minutes and accounting for six points, one rebound, and six assists. This was the first game of a back-to-back for the Clippers, who visit the Nets Saturday night. Bledsoe, who’s rostered in 59% of Yahoo leagues, is worth holding onto in case Jackson is either held out or given a limited workload. But after that, it will likely be time for most managers to pull the plug.
Along with Terance Mann (18/11/1 with two 3-pointers) and Luke Kennard (13/1/6/0/1 with two 3-pointers), Amir Coffey (15/1/1/1/1 with three 3-pointers) appears to be the other wing whose fantasy prospects have improved since Paul George was sidelined by a torn ligament in his elbow. Coffey’s played 23 minutes or more in each of his last five games, and Friday’s performance was his best of the bunch. No need to pick him up right now, but Coffey is worth tracking, especially in deeper leagues.
Also of note recently has been the Clippers’ center rotation, as Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein are both out due to health and safety protocols. Serge Ibaka is essentially the last man standing, and in 18 minutes, he was responsible for seven points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one 3-pointer. That’s a better effort than what he put forth in Wednesday’s win over the Celtics, but still not enough as far as fantasy value is concerned. If you have Ibaka he’s worth holding onto due to the depth chart situation, but he’ll likely be an automatic drop once Zubac or Hartenstein is cleared to return.
Thunder 95, Knicks 80
Oklahoma City welcomed back a few rotation players Friday night, most notably Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Having been held out of Wednesday’s loss to the Suns due to a sore ankle (and that was the second game of a back-to-back), SGA played 35 minutes and recorded a line of 23 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, and two 3-pointers. While the field goal percentage could use some work, Gilgeous-Alexander is usually a safe bet to record a full line (or close to it). Also back in action were Kenrich Williams (8/7/4 with two 3-pointers) and Aleksej Pokusevski (six points, eight rebounds, and two 3-pointers), who are at best deep-league streamers.
Aaron Wiggins (13/4/1/1 with two 3-pointers) has now reached double figures in each of his last four games, a stretch in which the rookie is providing 7th-round value. Until players such as Josh Giddey, Darius Bazley, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl clear quarantine, Wiggins is worth adding in deeper leagues. He’s currently rostered in 20% of Yahoo leagues.
New York was down two starters, as Julius Randle is out due to health and safety protocols, and Kemba Walker was held out due to his knee. In the case of Walker, the decision to hold him out makes one wonder why he was asked to play both ends of a back-to-back earlier this week. Those absences meant that Miles McBride and Obi Toppin were thrust into the starting lineup, and neither was particularly productive. McBride shot 3-of-9 from the field, accounting for seven points, one rebound, one assist, and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes. As for Toppin, he accounted for five points, seven rebounds, and one assist in 27 minutes. Toppin is worth streaming, even with Friday’s performance, due to the reason why Randle is currently sidelined.
RJ Barrett led the way for the Knicks, scoring 26 points with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one 3-pointer. While it was good to see him get untracked, Barrett was still 1-of-8 from three on the night. With Randle down, Barrett is going to have to do even more on offense. Lastly, it appears to be time for many managers to move on from Evan Fournier. A game-time decision due to the sore ankle that kept him out of Tuesday’s win over the Pistons, Fournier shot 1-of-8 from the field and finished with three points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes. He’s providing 15th-round value in 9-cat, and while Randle’s absence should result in more opportunities for Fournier, he has been maddeningly inconsistent this season.
Grizzlies 118, Spurs 105
Ja Morant is an absolute star, and he finished out 2021 in fine form Friday night. Shooting 12-of-18 from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line, he accounted for 30 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. San Antonio being without Dejounte Murray (protocols) didn’t help the visitors’ chances of slowing down Morant, but he has been on a roll recently. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaging 26.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.2 3-pointers per game while shooting 51.3% from the field and 77.8% from the foul line. Even better for managers who have Morant rostered is the fact that Memphis will play five games next week.
Due to Memphis’ schedule, there are likely to be some players whose fantasy profiles are enhanced in the short term. Brandon Clarke and Tyus Jones are two such options, as both played well coming off the bench Friday night. Clarke scored 17 points while also accounting for nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one 3-pointer. His fantasy value hasn’t been great recently, as he’s ranked outside of the top-200 over the last two weeks, but the absences of Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton have freed up additional minutes for Clarke. Rostered in 7% of Yahoo leagues, he’s worth rolling the dice on for next week’s action.
As for Jones, he played well while Morant was out with the knee injury and has continued to do so. He played 29 minutes Friday night, scoring 18 points with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two 3-pointers. Having two back-to-backs in a week means that Memphis will need to get some of its primary options time to rest, so Jones (8% rostered) could benefit. Jaren Jackson Jr. (12/11/3/2/3 with one 3-pointer) dropped a full line but did so on 5-of-17 shooting; he’s made just 34.4% of his field-goal attempts over the last two weeks. Hopefully, he’ll turn things around in short order, but the overall production helps cover the shooting struggles.
With the aforementioned Murray sidelined, the Spurs have gone with Keita Bates-Diop as their fifth starter. He played 23 minutes in this one, recording a line of eight points, 11 rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocked shots. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues, but that’s about it as the production has not jumped much with Murray sidelined. Keldon Johnson (6/6/2 with one 3-pointer) and Doug McDermott (6/6/1 with two 3-pointers) shot a combined 4-of-19 from the field, and that proved to be too much for the Spurs to overcome. Rolling a few weeks ago, Johnson has come back to earth offensively. Derrick White (15 points, nine assists, two steals, and two 3-pointers) has been a top-50 player over the last week. Hopefully, he can continue on that path once Murray returns to the lineup.
Jazz 120, Timberwolves 108
Utah was down two rotation players for what was the first game of a back-to-back, with Mike Conley getting the night off and Joe Ingles sitting due to a lower back strain. And they lost a third player during Friday’s win, as Hassan Whiteside exited due to concussion-like symptoms. As a result, Utah essentially went with a seven-man rotation. Trent Forrest (4/3/3 in 21 minutes) started in place of the resting Conley and offered nothing that would reveal him to be a possible streaming option on nights when the Jazz are light on bodies on the perimeter. Utah hosts the Warriors Saturday night, and Forrest should be headed back to the bench. But the Ingles injury could mean another shot at rotation minutes for the young guard out of Florida State.
Rudy Gay (12/3/3/1/1 with one 3-pointer in 26 minutes) saw some action as the de facto center during the second half, and he had a decent night. Gay’s a veteran whose value to the Jazz rotation outweighs his fantasy value on most nights. Donovan Mitchell (39/6/5/1 with six 3-pointers) served as Utah’s primary playmaker for most of his 38 minutes on the floor, and Minnesota had no answer for him. Rudy Gobert (14/16/4 blocks) and Bojan Bogdanovic (24/12/2 with three 3-pointers) both recorded double-doubles, and Jordan Clarkson (20/3/1) has scored 19 points or more in each of his last three games. Solid scoring night aside, the free throw shooting and lack of production outside of points and triples limit his fantasy ceiling, unfortunately.
Minnesota welcomed back a few more rotation pieces in this one, as Anthony Edwards (26/3/2 with four 3-pointers) and Jarred Vanderbilt (5/7/2/2/2) were back in the starting lineup. The third player cleared from protocols, Taurean Prince, was a DNP-CD. Edwards being able to play 32 minutes at high altitude with no issues is definitely a positive, so we’ll excuse the 9-of-21 night from the field. Vanderbilt played 22 minutes, while Jaden McDaniels (12 points, six rebounds, and one 3-pointer) logged 33 off the bench. McDaniels, who’s rostered in 57% of Yahoo leagues, isn’t a drop just yet, but managers will want to be on the lookout for alternatives with Karl-Anthony Towns due back soon. With D’Angelo Russell also working his way back, now would be a good time to see if anyone takes the bait on Malik Beasley.
He played 31 minutes and had a very good night, scoring 22 points with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and six 3-pointers on 8-of-16 shooting. Beasley has been a top-100 player over the last two weeks, which may be his fantasy ceiling once Towns and Russell are back. And given the number of scorers on this roster, that ceiling is going to be difficult for him to reach.
Lakers 139, Blazers 106
Not only did the Lakers welcome back their head coach, as Frank Vogel missed time due to health and safety protocols, but a few players returned as well. Austin Reaves (10/1/1 with one 3-pointer in 27 minutes), Trevor Ariza (3/4/2 with one 3-pointer in 22 minutes), and Kent Bazemore (three points, one rebound, one block, and one 3-pointer in six minutes) were all back in action after missing time for the same reason that their head coach did. None are worth picking up, although deep-league managers will want to keep an eye on Reaves.
One player is should be picked up is Malik Monk, who started and tallied 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, one block, and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Monk has been a 3rd-round player over the last two weeks, yet is rostered in just 40% of Yahoo leagues. Friday night he was a productive option alongside LeBron James (43/14/4/2/2 with five 3-pointers) and Russell Westbrook (15/13/12/2). Also in that starting lineup was Stanley Johnson (10/3/2 with two 3-pointers), who has given the Lakers good minutes since coming on board by way of a 10-day contract. The expected trade of Rajon Rondo (and subsequent waiving of Denzel Valentine) would open up a roster spot, and Johnson’s making a case for the Lakers to keep him. The Lakers still have the ability to sign him to a second 10-day deal, so we’ll see what happens there.
The matchups allowed the Lakers to play LeBron and Carmelo Anthony (16 points, two rebounds, three blocks, and four 3-pointers) at the center position, which meant no minutes for either DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard. And Vogel said after Friday’s game that James and Anthony will even get time at the center position once Anthony Davis (knee) returns to the lineup.
Portland was every bit as bad as the final score would indicate; they couldn’t get stops, and they couldn’t make shots either. Damian Lillard (18/4/7 with one 3-pointer) and Norman Powell (12/3/3/2/1) shot a combined 9-of-30 from the field, including 1-of-13 from three. Larry Nance Jr. (13 points, nine rebounds, and one 3-pointer) shot well, while Ben McLemore scored 28 points (9-of-22 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs) with four rebounds and six 3-pointers off the bench. McLemore is available in nearly every league at this point, and he’s worth streaming with both C.J. McCollum and Anfernee Simons sidelined.
Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t shoot the ball well Friday, going 2-of-8 from the field, but he did account for seven rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in 24 minutes off the bench. Due to the absences mentioned above, he’ll get rotation minutes, but there should be no urgency to pick him up. Nassir Little (two points, six rebounds) shot 1-of-7 from the field and only played 14 minutes, a clear sign that managers who have him rostered need to move on.