Sunday was a busy day in the NBA, as there were ten games on the slate. But before anything happened on the court, it was reported that the Warriors lost rookie center James Wiseman to a right meniscus injury. The Warriors don’t have many quality options at the center position, so don’t be surprised if Juan Toscano-Anderson moves into the starting lineup while Kevon Looney continues to come off the bench. Neither offers much in the way of fantasy value, so there isn’t much harm in waiting to pick up either until they show the ability to produce on a consistent basis.
Now, let’s get into Sunday’s games, beginning with the Hawks outlasting the Hornets.
Hawks 105, Hornets 101: Atlanta was down two rotation players for this one, as Trae Young (calf) and Danilo Gallinari (foot) were held out. Young’s absence meant a rare start for Brandon Goodwin, who took full advantage of his opportunity. Shooting 7-of-10 from the field, he finished with 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Not many rolled the dice on Goodwin as a streaming option, as he’s still rostered in 0% of Yahoo leagues. Sunday’s effort likely convinced a few managers to go with Goodwin the next time Young has to sit. Lou Williams played 29 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the fourth while also accounting for one rebound, four assists and three 3-pointers.
Gallinari’s absence meant rotation minutes for Nathan Knight, but he played just 10 and finished with two rebounds and one steal while going 0-of-4 from the field. Bogdan Bogdanovic (32/3/3/2 with eight 3-pointers) and Clint Capela (20/15/3) were the standouts for the Hawks, while Kevin Huerter dished out seven assists.
Charlotte, which is already without LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward, watched another starter go down with an injury as P.J. Washington sprained his right ankle during the second half. Consider him to be questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers, which is the first of a back-to-back. Should Washington not be able to play Cody Zeller (6/9/2 in 16 minutes) would figure more prominently in the game plan, possibly as a starter, while Bismack Biyombo (2/1/1 in eight minutes) would get more time after falling out of the rotation in recent games.
Miles Bridges had a very good afternoon, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, three 3-pointers and an absolutely filthy dunk on Capela that will stand as one of the best come season’s end. Jalen McDaniels is rostered in 31% of Yahoo leagues, and he’s a worthwhile pickup in deep leagues. After scoring a total of 40 points in the two games prior he had just nine on Sunday, but McDaniels did manage a full line with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. His status as a starter appears to be safe until the aforementioned Hayward is cleared to return.
Celtics 105, Nuggets 87: Denver appeared to be in control of this one, but Boston closed the game on a 40-8 run and ended up winning by 18. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jayson Tatum (28/10/2/1 with two 3-pointers) and Jaylen Brown (20/8/3/2 blocks with two 3-pointers). Kemba Walker (14/5/6/1/1) finished with a full stat line, but his struggles from three continue.
He was 0-of-7 from distance Sunday, and is now 7-of-31 over his last four games. And when more than half of your shot attempts on the season are 3-pointers, that’s a concern as far as Walker’s fantasy value is concerned. He still sits just inside of the top-75 in 9-cat for the season but, over the last two weeks, Walker is providing 8th-round value. Robert Williams (10/8/1/1/2) played 27 minutes as the starting center, and Tristan Thompson (9/4/1 steal/1 block) logged 19 as his backup. Grant Williams (2/2/1/1 block in 20 minutes) and Romeo Langford (five points, five rebounds in 16 minutes) are safe bets for rotation minutes with Evan Fournier still sidelined, but neither provides enough to merit consideration in any league.
Michael Porter Jr. (22/11/1 steal/1 block with one 3-pointer) led the way offensively for Denver, but he also tweaked his right hand during the game. He said after the game that the issue wasn’t anything serious, and it did not affect his shooting. That being said, Porter was 1-of-12 from beyond the arc. Denver’s back in action Monday night against the Warriors, so fantasy managers who have Porter rostered will want to pay close attention to the injury report.
Once again filling in for the injured Jamal Murray, Facundo Campazzo (14/3/4/1 block with three 3-pointers in 33 minutes) had one of his better outings of the season. As noted above this was the first game of a back-to-back for Denver, and Murray was able to go through a workout before Sunday’s defeat. If Murray’s able to give it a go Monday night, Campazzo would be back with the reserves, and he would lose any fantasy upside that he possessed while Denver’s starting guard was out. Nikola Jokic (17/10/11/1/1) posted yet another triple-double, while Will Barton (13/6/3/1 with one 3-pointer) also reached double figures.
Pelicans 116, Cavaliers 109: The “Point Zion Experience” continues, and Zion Williamson was nearly unstoppable in Cleveland. Shooting 16-of-22 from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line, he tallied 38 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in 36 minutes. The only negative for Williamson was the fact that he was also responsible for four turnovers but, given the overall production, you can work with that. Over the last month he has been a top-25 player in both 8- and 9-cat formats. The better he gets at facilitating, the more likely it is that Williamson will be a first-round pick in most leagues ahead of next season.
Brandon Ingram (27/4/8/1 with three 3-pointers) and Naji Marshall (15/7/4/1/1 with two 3-pointers) also had good nights, while James Johnson (9/5/4/2) was solid in his 33 minutes off the bench. Marshall, who’s starting due to the absences of Lonzo Ball and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, had the best game of his NBA career Sunday night and is worth a look in deep leagues if you’ve got an open roster spot to play with. The consistency has been lacking, but that isn’t a surprise when you’re talking about a rookie who wasn’t in the rotation just over a week ago.
The good news for Cleveland is that Kevin Love (19/5/3/1 block with five 3-pointers) and Matthew Dellavedova (7/3/10/1 with one 3-pointer) were able to play 30+ minutes in the second game of a back-to-back. The bad news is that they were without their starting guards, as Darius Garland and Collin Sexton were both held out due to injury. Due to those absences Dellavedova started and played 34 minutes, with Isaiah Hartenstein (10/6/1/1 block) being the other spot starter. Hartenstein played just 22 minutes due to foul trouble, but he’s hit double figures in three of his last four games. Rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues, Hartenstein can be a helpful addition on deep leagues as the Cavs are still without Jarrett Allen.
Bucks 124, Magic 87: Jrue Holiday (12/5/7/1/1 with two 3-pointers), Donte DiVincenzo (9/7/4/1 with one 3-pointer), Khris Middleton (21/8/5/1/1 with two 2-pointers) and Brook Lopez (9/4/1 with one 3-pointer) were all back in the starting lineup for Milwaukee after sitting out Friday’s loss to the Hornets. Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, remains sidelined due to a sore left knee. This time around it was Pat Connaughton who was tabbed to fill that void, with Bobby Portis remaining with the reserves. Connaughton played 17 minutes, accumulating 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers (4-of-4 FGs overall). Portis played 23 minutes, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers.
Portis, who has hit double figures in each of his last five games, is already rostered in 51% of Yahoo leagues. So streaming him will be a bit more difficult and, frankly, he’s too productive for that kind of role on a fantasy roster. He should be on more teams, and that’s with his Yahoo rostered percentage increasing by 13 percentage points over the last 24 hours. Connaughton, who hit double figures for the first time since March 27, is rostered in just 4% of Yahoo leagues. He fits the streamer role better than Portis does. With the game being a blowout, Jordan Nwora (11/3/1/1/2 with one 3-pointer) was able to get some quality minutes and he hit double figures for the second straight game.
The rookie wing has made the most of the few rotation opportunities that have come his way, so keep Nwora’s name in mind for the next time Milwaukee sits most of its starting lineup. And with another back-to-back scheduled for Wednesday (at Minnesota) and Thursday (at Atlanta), we may not have to wait very long for this to happen.
The only positive to come out of this game for Orlando was the play of Mo Bamba, who tallied a career-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds, one block and five 3-pointers in 21 minutes. Rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues, he has now scored in double figures in eight of Orlando’s last nine games. Now would be a good time to hop on the Bamba bandwagon, but it would be understandable if some managers were hesitant to do so due to his injury history.
Chuma Okeke did not play due to a hip injury, and his absence freed up a spot in the starting lineup for Gary Harris. In 27 minutes, he accounted for nine points, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer, shooting 4-of-10 from he field. Cole Anthony was 5-of-16 but joined Bamba as the Magic’s only double-digit scorers, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
Spurs 119, Mavericks 117: DeMar DeRozan was the hero for San Antonio, as he shot with five-tenths of a second remaining halted the Spurs’ five-game losing streak. He finished with 33 points, five rebounds and eight assists in 35 minutes, shooting 13-of-25 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line. Even with his lack of production from three, DeRozan is still a top-25 player in 9-cat formats. Dejounte Murray also had a big night, shooting 11-of-17 from the field and posting a line of 25 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals and two 3-pointers. He has recorded two steals or more in each of his last six games, and this is a reason why Murray has been a top-20 player in 9-cat over the last two weeks.
Lonnie Walker (13/3/1 block with two 3-pointers) and Jakob Poeltl (12/8/2/4 blocks) also scored in double figures, and Derrick White (9/4/1/2/2 with one 3-pointer) made up for an off shooting night by posting a full stat line in his 33 minutes played.
This was the first game of a back-to-back for Dallas, and with Luka Doncic (29/3/7/1 with two 3-pointers) and Kristaps Porzingis (31/15/3/2 blocks with three 3-pointers) both playing at least 35 minutes, it’s fair to wonder if either will sit out Monday’s game against the 76ers. Porzingis has been sitting out one of the two games in recent back-to-backs, so if either is to be given Monday night off it may be him. Tim Hardaway Jr. had a rough night off the bench, going 0-of-5 from the field and finishing with two points and two assists. While he is capable of the occasional dud, Hardaway is also capable of going off on any given night. We’ll see if he rebounds from this poor effort Monday night.
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Pacers 132, Grizzlies 125: Caris LeVert had his best game as a Pacer, producing a line of 34 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Just an excellent bounce-back performance for LeVert, who scored a total of 29 points in the two games prior. Malcolm Brogdon (29/9/11/1 with five 3-pointers) fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, while Domantas Sabonis (18/15/9/1 with one 3-pointer) was one rebound short of one.
One of the more interesting lines was put up by Goga Bitadze, who has seen a slight increase in minutes with Myles Turner still out with an ankle injury. Bitadze played 18 minutes, accounting for seven points, six rebounds, one assist and five blocks. He has now blocked a total of 11 shots in his last four games and, until Turner is cleared to return, Bitadze is worth rostering in deep leagues. He’s rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues after Sunday’s games. Doug McDermott (13/4/2 with one 3-pointer), Edmond Sumner (11 points with one 3-pointer) and T.J. McConnell (10/5/4) all scored in double figures, as the Pacers had one of their best offensive games of the season.
Memphis lost despite Jonas Valanciunas being nearly unstoppable in the post, as he recorded a line of 34 points, 22 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 32 minutes. Over the last two weeks, he has provided first-round value in 9-cat formats. Ja Morant (23/2/6/2) and Kyle Anderson (15/5/2/3 with one 3-pointer) posted solid stat lines, while Dillon Brook (13/1/1/1 block with one 3-pointer) didn’t offer much beyond his point total. Grayson Allen had a tough night, shooting 2-of-7 from the field and finishing with five points, one rebound, four assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes.
After going off for 30 points in a win over the Hawks he has cooled off considerably, scoring a total of 18 points in losses to the Knicks and Pacers. Desmond Bane, Allen’s backup, played 26 minutes off the bench and recorded a line of seven points, two rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. No De’Anthony Melton means that Allen and Bane have one less player to share minutes with, but neither is rostered in more than 15% of Yahoo leagues. The fantasy value isn’t great for either, but Allen would be the better choice of the two for managers in deep leagues.
Timberwolves 121, Bulls 117: D’Angelo Russell is still coming off the bench, and he has played well since returning from a knee injury. In 26 minutes, he tallied 27 points, two rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers. Russell has scored 25 or more in three of the four games that he has played in, and he hasn’t been on the floor with Ricky Rubio for very long. That’s a positive for both, and Rubio accounted for 17 points, four rebounds, nine assists, one steal and five 3-pointers with no turnovers in 25 minutes. Regardless of who starts moving forward, so long as Chris Finch keeps Russell and Rubio split apart within the rotation both will have a shot at reaching their fantasy ceilings.
Karl-Anthony Towns (27/12/8/2 blocks with three 3-pointers), Naz Reid (18/1/2 with two 3-pointers) and Anthony Edwards (15/5/2/3 with two 3-pointers) all scored in double figures, while Jaden McDaniels came back to earth in a sense. Shooting 1-of-7 from the field, he finished with four points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocked shots in 30 minutes. McDaniels’ offense was lacking but, to his credit, he managed to make contributions in other areas. McDaniels’ ability to produce full lines, even if the scoring isn’t up to par, makes him a player worth utilizing, especially in deep leagues.
After scoring 50 points in Friday’s loss to the Hawks, Zach LaVine followed that up with 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Chicago had six double-digit scorers on the night, so the offense wasn’t their problem. Nikola Vucevic (18/5/5/3 blocks with two 3-pointers) and Troy Brown Jr. (15/7/2/1 with three 3-pointers) were next in line behind LaVine, with the latter hitting double figures for the first time since February 12. Brown was still a member of the Wizards at that point. He’s managed to carve out rotation minutes for himself with improved play, but fantasy managers should hold off on adding Brown until he shows the ability to produce on a consistent basis.
Knicks 102, Raptors 96: Kyle Lowry made his long-awaited return to the Raptors lineup, while Pascal Siakam was back after sitting out Saturday’s game for rest reasons. Siakam filled the void left by OG Anunoby, who sat out for rest reasons, while Lowry’s return meant that rookie Malachi Flynn was back on the bench. Lowry played 37 minutes, accumulating 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two 3-pointers while shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line. Flynn played 27 minutes off the bench, but he finished with a line of six points, five rebounds, four assists, one block and one 3-pointer. The rookie is still hanging on, especially in deep leagues, but he’s due to take another hit once Fred VanVleet is cleared to play.
Siakam recorded a line of 16 points, seven assists, two blocks and one 3-pointer, while also tallying five turnovers. The fifth was the most costly, as Siakam was whistled for a double dribble that nullified what would have been the game-tying layup. Gary Trent Jr., who scored 44 Saturday night, followed that up with a line of 23 points, three rebounds, one assist and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, and Toronto will have a decision to make as he has played well post-trade. Chris Boucher (17/14/4 blocks with one 3-pointer) played 30 minutes as the starting center, with recent signing Khem Birch (four points, five rebounds) playing the other 18 in his Raptors debut. Aron Baynes was a DNP-CD, and there will likely be more of those in his future.
Julius Randle (26/8/5 with one 3-pointer) and RJ Barrett (19/1/5/2 with three 3-pointers) led the way for the winners, and the latter has been a more efficient player in recent weeks. Over the last month Barrett has threatened top-100 status in both 8- and 9-cat formats, cracking that threshold in the former. During this stretch, Barrett is averaging 19.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game, while shooting 46.9% from the field and 74.3% from the foul line. Slowly but surely, Barrett is developing into the player that the Knicks were hoping to get when they selected him third overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Nerlens Noel had himself a night on the defensive end, as he tallied 13 rebounds, one steal and four blocks while also accounting for nine points and one assist. He played 28 minutes to Taj Gibson‘s 20, with the latter posting a line of two points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Noel hasn’t cracked the top-100 but he isn’t that far off, and he should be rostered in more than 54% of Yahoo leagues given his importance to the Knicks rotation.
Clippers 131, Pistons 124: Kawhi Leonard getting the night off for rest reasons opened up a spot in the starting lineup for Luke Kennard (11 points, one rebound and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes), but he wasn’t the Clipper who benefitted the most. That would be Marcus Morris, who scored a season-high 33 points while also accounting for six rebounds, one steal and six 3-pointers. Morris, who shot 13-of-18 from the field, scored a total of 22 points in the three games prior.
He’s rostered in 24% of Yahoo leagues, which makes some sense given the fact that he ranks no higher than third in the pecking order behind Leonard and Paul George (32/3/9/1 with one 3-pointer) on most nights. However, Morris should be rostered on nights when either Leonard or George sit, and we saw why Sunday night. There are no guarantees that he goes off, but Morris is a safer bet in a scenario like this than Kennard. Another Clipper who had a good night was Nicolas Batum, who put up a full line of 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal, three blocks and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes off the bench. Batum, who’s rostered in 32% of Yahoo leagues, has scored 31 points in his last two games.
Ivica Zubac (13/10/7/1 block), Reggie Jackson (12/5/7/1 block) and Rajon Rondo (10 points, six assists and two 3-pointers) also reached double figures, and the former is still rostered in just 48% of Yahoo leagues. That’s too low of a percentage for Zubac, especially with Serge Ibaka still without a timetable for a return from a back injury.
For Detroit, Wayne Ellington was back in the starting lineup after sitting out Saturday’s loss to Portland. Finishing Sunday’s game with 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, one block and five 3-pointers, Ellington will be a prime candidate for rest days when the Pistons have back-to-backs between now and the end of the season. Detroit will have another this coming Friday/Saturday, so the few who still have Ellington rostered will need to prepare for the possibility that he will miss one of those games.
Frank Jackson had a good night, finishing Sunday’s loss with 16 points, three rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes off the bench, but some of his playing time can be attributed to the fact that Killian Hayes (rest) did not play. For that reason, Jackson would be a tough play on nights when Ellington sits.
Josh Jackson (26/4/3/2 blocks with two 3-pointers), Saddiq Bey (25/1/2/4 with five 3-pointers) and Cory Joseph (18/5/13/2 with one 3-pointer) all had productive nights as starters, while Mason Plumlee (12/5/3) played 27 minutes to rookie Isaiah Stewart‘s (7/6/2 with one 3-pointer) 21.
Heat 107, Trail Blazers 98: One night after Enes Kanter grabbed a franchise-record 30 rebounds, Portland’s centers had a tough time against the Heat. Jusuf Nurkic (6/9/4), who’s still on a minutes restriction, left Sunday’s game briefly due to a sacral (located between the last lumbar segment of the spine and the tailbone) contusion. Kanter was also injured, as he took an inadvertent shot to the head from teammate Derrick Jones Jr. After being observed on the sideline he was cleared to return, finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes played. Portland plays again Tuesday night when the Celtics visit, so neither Nurkic nor Kanter will have a lot of time to recover from their injuries.
For the Heat, this was the first game that they’ve played without Victor Oladipo since he was injured during Thursday’s win over the Lakers. Kendrick Nunn was called upon to fill the void, and he finished the game with 15 points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. Nunn has fallen well off the fantasy radar for most of this season due to his lack of consistent production, but the Oladipo injury could potentially change things. For at least the remainder of this road trip, it would be wise to pick up Nunn if he’s available in your league. He’s rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues, so finding Nunn on the waiver wire shouldn’t be tough to do.
Bam Adebayo (22/3/2/2) and Jimmy Butler (20/4/5/4/2 with one 3-pointer) led the Heat offensively, while Duncan Robinson knocked down four 3-pointers and Tyler Herro posted a line of 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes off the bench.