As far as this season is concerned, injuries appear to be having a greater impact on fantasy basketball, thanks in part to the condensed schedules. Atlanta won Friday night despite being down multiple key players, while Denver lost a starter to injury in a road game against the Warriors for the second time this season. Let’s get into the Daily Dose for Friday’s seven-game slate.
Hawks 118, Heat 103: Atlanta picked up the win in spite of the fact that Trae Young and Clint Capela have joined their long list of injured players. Nate McMillan chose to keep both Brandon Goodwin and Lou Williams with the second unit, instead putting more of the playmaking responsibilities on the shoulders of Bogdan Bogdanovic (21/3/8/1 with five 3-pointers) and Kevin Huerter (11/4/6/5 with three 3-pointers). And the move paid off, as Bogdanovic and Huerter combined for 14 assists and three turnovers. As for Goodwin (17/3/4 with one 3-pointer) and Williams (13/0/2/2 with one 3-pointer), they were both effective in their reserve roles.
Also effective off the bench was Danilo Gallinari, who played 22 minutes in his return and accounted for 17 points (5-of-11 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), five rebounds, one assist and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes. The Hawks host Milwaukee in the first game of a back-to-back Sunday night so, if Gallinari plays in that one, fantasy managers should prepare for the likelihood that he sits out Monday’s game in Detroit. John Collins (20/8/1/0/1 with one 3-pointer) has now shot 60% or better from the field in four of his last five games.
Miami was comparatively healthy, with Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent both being announced as “available.” Vincent, who has seemingly be listed as probable since the turn of the calendar, was a DNP-CD and isn’t a consistent rotation player at this point. Herro played 17 minutes, scoring 12 points (5-of-10 FGs) with two rebounds and two 3-pointers. He hasn’t lived up to his showing in the bubble, but that may be due (in part) to the fact that opponents may be more focused (preparation-wise) on Herro than they were at the start of his rookie season.
Kendrick Nunn (21/2/2/1 with five 3-pointers) rebounded from a quiet night Wednesday in San Antonio, and he has scored 17 points or more in three of his last four games. With Victor Oladipo still without a timeline for return, Nunn should be rostered in most standard leagues with this being fantasy playoffs time. He was rostered in 40% of Yahoo leagues as of Friday night. Jimmy Butler (19/2/7/3/1) and Bam Adebayo (16/3/5/3/1) chipped in with full lines. With regard to Adebayo, Atlanta has done a good job of keeping him off the boards this season regardless of who’s playing. After he grabbed 13 rebounds in the first meeting back on February 28, the Hawks limited Adebayo to a total of five in the next two meetings.
Nets 109, Celtics 104: Still without Kevin Durant and James Harden, Brooklyn completed its regular season sweep of the Celtics (4-0) Friday night in Brooklyn. And they did it with a balanced scoring effort, led by Joe Harris (20/4/3/0/2 with four 3-pointers) and Jeff Green (19/2/3/2/1 with three 3-pointers). Harris has reached double figures in five straight games, tallying 20 or more in three of them. More noteworthy were the two blocked shots, his first of the month (and first since March 21 vs. Washington). Let’s call that a welcome bonus for managers who have Harris rostered, as he now has a total of 12 for the season.
Kyrie Irving (15/9/11/4/1) had a tough night shooting the basketball, going 4-of-19 from the field, and he also had five turnovers. Bet on Irving bouncing back Sunday when the Nets host the Suns. Bruce Brown (15/8/1 with one 3-pointer) and Blake Griffin (13/5/3/2 with one 3-pointer) also scored in double figures, while DeAndre Jordan (8/11/3/1/3) made the most of his 25 minutes on the court. With Nicolas Claxton sidelined due to health and safety protocols and LaMarcus Aldridge having retired, Jordan suddenly has some deep league value. His presence within the rotation remains matchup-based, but managers who have a roster spot that they can afford to play around with should consider picking Jordan up.
Boston was once again without Jaylen Brown, who has missed three of the team’s last four games due to left shoulder bursitis. While he did go through a workout before the game, getting a full range of motion remains an issue. Kemba Walker joined Brown on the bench for injury management reasons, as this was the second game of a back-to-back for Boston. Look for him to be a full go Sunday afternoon when the Celtics visit the Hornets. This time around it was Romeo Langford, and not Payton Pritchard, who filled the void left by Walker. Be it as a spot starter or as a reserve, Pritchard (22/3/2/0/1 with six 3-pointers) is a far better streaming option than Langford (zero points, two rebounds in 19 minutes).
Jayson Tatum (38/10/4 with six 3-pointers) and Marcus Smart (19/5/3/2 with two 3-pointers) led the way offensively for the starters, but they were also responsible for five turnovers apiece. Not great as far as 9-cat leagues are concerned, but at least both managed to provide solid (or better, in the case of Tatum) production in other areas. Lastly Evan Fournier made his return to the rotation but, similar to his Celtics debut, he looked incredibly rusty. Fournier failed to make a field goal (0-of-7) in his 22 minutes, scoring two points with two rebounds, five assists, one steal and one blocked shot. Fournier’s second game with the Celtics (6/3/1/1 on March 31 vs. Dallas) wasn’t great, either. Hopefully he’ll put forth a better effort Sunday afternoon.
Hornets 108, Cavaliers 102: Charlotte made a change to its starting lineup for this one, with P.J. Washington returning to the first five and Vernon Carey Jr. dropping out. Not only did the rookie head back to the bench, but he didn’t play at all in this one. Washington played less than half of his 37 minutes at the five, and he finished with a line of 25 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and five 3-pointers. Washington getting more minutes at the five could enhance his fantasy value, but that will likely depend upon the matchup. Bismack Biyombo played 27 minutes off the bench, recording a line of four points, 11 rebounds and one assist.
Biyombo’s rebound tally was nice, but there isn’t much reason to commit to any of Charlotte’s “true” big men at this point. Cody Zeller, like Carey Jr., picked up a DNP-CD. Miles Bridges (25/10/2/2 with four 3-pointers), Terry Rozier (25/1/6/1 with two 3-pointers) and Jalen McDaniels (10/6/3 with one 3-pointer) joined Washington in double figures. Bridges has been close to a top-50 player over the last month. And with Charlotte struggling offensively, they’re going to need more performances like this from him in order to avoid the play-in rounds.
It was announced on Thursday that Taurean Prince will undergo season-ending ankle surgery and that, in theory, freed up some bench minutes. Ultimately two reserves who were already in the rotation, Larry Nance Jr. (5/8/2/1 with one 3-pointer in 27 minutes) and Dean Wade (2/2/1 in 18 minutes), absorbed the minutes that would have gone to Prince. Lamar Stevens was a DNP-CD, so there’s no need to even consider picking him up. Collin Sexton (28/7/2/1 with three 3-pointers) and Darius Garland (27/4/6/2 with two 3-pointers) led the way offensively for the Cavaliers, and unless they’re rested for load management reasons both young guards stand to dominate the offense until the end of the season.
Jarrett Allen (15/9/1), Kevin Love (12/5/2 with three 3-pointers) and Isaiah Hartenstein (10/5/2/0/1) also scored in double figures, which Hartenstein has done in each of his last three games. Deep league managers looking for bigs who are “guaranteed” to play, even in back-to-backs, may be able to get some use out of Hartenstein. Keep an eye on him for the Cavaliers’ upcoming back-to-back against the Wizards (Sunday) and Raptors (Monday).
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Clippers 109, Rockets 104: If you’re a fan of “The Sopranos,” you probably remember the words that came out of Richie Aprile’s mouth when he walked into the poker game that Tony was in charge of. Fantasy managers are likely to say the same when they look at Houston’s lineup for Saturday’s game against the Nuggets. Why? Well, John Wall (27/3/13/1/2 with one 3-pointer) has already been ruled out, and both Christian Wood (24/19/2 with two 3-pointers) and Danuel House (five points, one rebound and one 3-pointer) appeared to aggravate past injuries during Friday’s loss to the Clippers.
Add those three to Houston’s already lengthy list of injured players, and the question now is whether or not the Rockets will be able the meet the league minimum for available players (eight). “At this point, I don’t have any idea what we’re’ going to have on the floor tomorrow,” Stephen Silas said after Friday’s game. With that being the case, so long as he plays, DFS players should be all-in on Kelly Olynyk (23/10/2/4 with two 3-pointers) and Jae’Sean Tate (8/2/7/2 with two 3-pointers) for Saturday. Armoni Brooks (nine points, four rebounds and three 3-pointers) may be able to get managers a few 3-pointers, but Olynyk and Tate would be much better choices.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are off until Monday and will only play three games next week. We’ll see how that affects Kawhi Leonard, as he was ruled out for at least three games due to a sore foot back on April 20 (Friday was the third game). Paul George has done much of the heavy lifting offensively, and he posted a line of 33 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. The negatives for PG-13: he shot 10-of-27 from the field, and was also responsible for seven turnovers. However given the full line, managers won’t be too concerned.
With Marcus Morris ruled out for rest reasons, Patrick Patterson (12 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers) made a spot start and put up a decent line. Managers who decided to stream Patterson can drop him back onto the waiver wire Saturday morning. The other absence that impacted the rotation was that of Rajon Rondo, who was ruled out due to illness. Amir Coffey managed to crack the rotation, playing 25 minutes and recording a line of 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer. He isn’t a factor as far as fantasy is concerned, but give Coffey credit for taking advantage of his opportunity. Reggie Jackson (19/5/5/2 with three 3-pointers), Ivica Zubac (12/8/1) and DeMarcus Cousins (11/8/2/0/1 with one 3-pointer) all reached double figures.
As for a Serge Ibaka update, he was able to do some 4-on-4 work during a recent practice but remains without a timeline for return. So if you have Zubac rostered, hang onto him.
Wizards 129, Thunder 109: Washington moved to 9-1 in its last 10 games, and with Deni Avdija (fractured right ankle) joining Rui Hachimura (sore left knee) on the sideline, Isaac Bonga was moved into the starting lineup. He played just 10 minutes, tallying three points, two rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer. We’ll see if Bonga gets another start on Sunday when the Wizards host the Cavaliers, but there’s no need for managers in head-to-head playoffs to consider him as a streaming option. Raul Neto (15/4/5/2 with three 3-pointers), on the other hand, may be worth a look.
He’s accounted for 33 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, five steals and six 3-pointers in Washington’s last two games, and they’ve got a back-to-back on the schedule for Sunday/Monday. The fantasy value isn’t great, but the schedule and Washington’s recent injuries seem to work in Neto’s favor as far as streaming goes. Russell Westbrook (37/11/11 with three 3-pointers) offered up the efficient triple-double that many have been clamoring for, while Bradley Beal (33/6/3/1/2 with four 3-pointers) surpassed the 30-point mark and provided fantasy managers with a full stat line. Davis Bertans (12 points, two rebounds and four 3-pointers) and Anthony Gill (9/10/1/1 with one 3-pointer) were solid off the bench. In the case of Gill, a prolonged absence for Hachimura would mean more chances for him to prove himself. He made the most of his opportunity Friday night.
Luguentz Dort was back in the lineup for Oklahoma City, playing 35 minutes and finishing with 18 points (5-of-15 FGs, 7-of-7 FTs), eight rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer. Not a great night for Dort, but he won’t lack for shot attempts whenever he’s on the court at this point. Darius Bazley (20/6/0/5 with three 3-pointers) and Theo Maledon (20/2/8/1/1 with four 3-pointers) led the way offensively, and in the case of the latter, he has accumulated a total of 20 assists in his last three games.
Oklahoma City will play five games next week, and Maledon has gone more than a month without a DNP (March 14). Given the approach that the Thunder have taken with some of their more established players as far as rest/injury management is concerned, Maledon’s workload could get even heavier than it already is. The upcoming five-game week also means that Moses Brown won’t lack for opportunities to get back on track. He played just seven minutes Friday night, and as a result Tony Bradley (4/3/0/1) was tabbed to start the second half. Isaiah Roby (18/8/2/2/1 with one 3-pointer) stands to be a better deep league choice than either Brown or Bradley at this point in the season.
Warriors 118, Nuggets 97: This one got off to a bad start for Denver, as Will Barton suffered a hamstring injury a minute in, and it only got worse from there. The good news for the Nuggets is that no one else suffered an injury during the game, which was played in a building that has been a house of horrors for the visitors this season (Jamal Murray tore his ACL during the prior meeting at Chase Center). Michael Porter Jr. (26/5/1/1/2 with seven 3-pointers) had a good night, while Nikola Jokic (19/6/6) and Aaron Gorgon (17/6/2/0/1 with two 3-pointers) joined him in double figures.
Facundo Campazzo (7/1/4/1 with one 3-pointer) shot 1-of-8 from the field, and he hasn’t offered much (as far as fantasy is concerned) since replacing the injured Monte Morris in the starting lineup. So, should you hold onto Campazzo? Unless there’s a better option lurking on your league’s waiver wire, there isn’t much harm in keeping him. Murray remains without a timeline, and now Denver has to prepare for the possibility that Barton will be out for a while. Also this was the first game of a back-to-back for Denver, which hosts Houston Saturday night.
Stephen Curry had to leave the game briefly during the first quarter due to a tape job that was giving him some trouble. The MVP candidate returned, and ultimately finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers. Curry has scored 30 points or more in 12 of his last 13 games, and he’s shot at least 45% from the field in each of those 12. Following the game Curry said that he didn’t expect the right foot/ankle issue to be a problem moving forward, which is good news given the issues that he had to deal with early in his career.
Kelly Oubre (23/6/3/3/2 with three 3-pointers) had another good game off the bench, with Steve Kerr keeping him with the second unit in order to give that group some needed firepower. And that could ultimately help Oubre as far as his fantasy value is concerned, as he stands to get more touches as a reserve than he did as a starter.
Andrew Wiggins (19/7/2/1/2 with three 3-pointers), Jordan Poole (15/1/3/2 with two 3-pointers) and Mychal Mulder (14 points, one rebound and two 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, while Draymond Green (2/12/19) matched his career-high with 19 assists. Green attempted just three shots on the night, but that isn’t an issue given his production as a rebounder and facilitator. Juan Toscano-Anderson (9/8/4/1 with one 3-pointer) was back in the rotation after missing time due to the league’s concussion protocol, and he was involved in a second half collision with teammate Kevon Looney. Toscano-Anderson was able to return to the game, so he should be good to go moving forward.
Grizzlies 130, Trail Blazers 128: Jaren Jackson Jr. made his season debut Wednesday night in Los Angeles, but Friday’s showing in Portland may have been the official “I’m back” performances. In 25 minutes off the bench, he recorded a line of 23 points (10-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot. The rebounding total was a bit lower than what you’d want from a big, but that’s somewhat understandable when you remember that Jackson Jr. had to deal with Jusuf Nurkic (26/17/5/1/1 with one 3-pointer) and Enes Kanter (12/7/1) throughout his time on the court.
Xavier Tillman (12/6/1/1/1) remained in the starting lineup, filling the void left by the injured Jonas Valanciunas (concussion), and the rookie played well. Tillman has scored 12 points or more in four of his last five games, preserving some fantasy value for the time being. Once Valanciunas returns to action, it’s going to be very difficult for Tillman to remain a factor from a fantasy standpoint. Memphis has a back-to-back scheduled for Sunday (at Portland) and Monday (at Denver), and it’s possible that Valanciunas will be able to return in one of those games.
Ja Morant (33/5/13/1 with one 3-pointer) and Dillon Brooks (25/2/3/1 with three 3-pointers) both surpassed the 20-point mark, while Kyle Anderson (14/8/1/1/1 with two 3-pointers) and De’Anthony Melton (10/0/1/1/2 with two 3-pointers) also scored in double figures. Grayson Allen (2/6/3) had a tough night, but Melton was able to help pick up the slack there. That shooting guard position appears to be a “hot hand” spot; Taylor Jenkins is going with whoever is playing better basketball at that point in time. That makes Allen, Melton and Desmond Bane (one rebound and four assists in 14 minutes) difficult players to truly peg as far as fantasy is concerned.
Melton tends to give managers more production defensively, but Allen has proven himself to be a capable offensive option. But he’s scored a total of eight points in Memphis’ last two games.
Before getting into the Trail Blazers that played, a quick update on Zach Collins. According to Jason Quick of The Athletic, Collins is not expected to play during the regular season. And it’s likely that a deep playoff run will be needed in order to keep open the possibility of Collins playing at all this season. It’s also worth noting that he will be a free agent this offseason, so a lot is riding on Collins’ recovery from a second ankle surgery. He’s rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues, so there should be no issues as far as freeing up an IL spot is concerned.
Listed as questionable beforehand, Derrick Jones Jr. was able to play 13 minutes and finished with six points, one rebound, one assist, one block and one 3-pointers. “Airplane Mode” doesn’t offer a great deal as far as fantasy is concerned, especially in the aftermath of Portland acquiring Norman Powell (13/2/2/1 with one 3-pointer in 37 minutes). The aforementioned Nurkic and C.J. McCollum (22/9/7/1 with four 3-pointers) were able to go, with both posting quality fantasy lines. Damian Lillard (27/3/5/1 with three 3-pointers) led the way offensively, while the aforementioned Kanter and Carmelo Anthony (13/3/1/1 with three 3-pointers) also scored in double figures.
Portland essentially when with an eight-man rotation as the ninth, Anfernee Simons (two points, one assist), played just nine minutes. With Portland looking to avoid the play-in rounds, look for this to remain the case moving forward.