Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons
- Tim Hardaway Jr. is looking much more comfortable as a starter. After busting out of a horrific shooting slump in his last game with 22 points and five treys, THJ one-upped himself with 26 points and six triples on Thursday, even tossing in two steals and a block for good measure. Hardaway is the definition of streaky, as these last two offensive explosions came on the heels of a four-game rut that saw him average a paltry 3.5 PPG and 0.5 3PTM. However, the change in role may be a catalyst in turning his campaign around. If he keeps knocking down shots he should stick as a starter, and be a major source of points and treys. If you’re in need of help in those two categories, he’s still available in about two thirds of standard leagues (37 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).
- Maxi Kleber has been an important part of Dallas’ rotation since returning to the lineup. In the four games since his return he hasn’t played less than 24 minutes in any contest, topping out at 32 last night. His fantasy appeal was on display, knocking down a pair of triples en route to 10 points and swatting four shots. That sexy treys/blocks combo has him permanently on my radar as a guy to round out a roster with. The only thing holding him back is volume, as he’s averaging just 8.3 PPG in this stretch despite shooting at least 50 percent from the field in every game. Still, the minutes are trending up and Dallas should know that he ought to be part of their best lineups. He’s not a must-add (nine percent rostered), but can be an effective streamer on light nights like last night.
- Killian Hayes has been on fire recently, culminating in a season-high 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting, with eight assists and a pair of clutch triples to win the game in OT. A lack of scoring prowess has always been the bugaboo holding Hayes back, but he came up with several big baskets down the stretch on Thursday. Even if the shooting regresses a bit, as long as he continues to get minutes (and he should as long as Cade Cunningham remains sidelined), his knack for stuffing the stat sheet everywhere else makes him a valuable fantasy commodity. Over his past four outings, Hayes has posted averages of 16.5 PPG, 7.8 APG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.5 3PTM. Fantasy managers have caught on, as his ownership has jumped up to 56 percent, but take a look and see if he’s still available in your league.
- Saddiq Bey has had a rough go of it of late. Over the past three weeks he’s been ineffective, injured, and in his past two contests has been relegated to the bench and played under 20 minutes a game. Last night, he managed just six points on 2-for-7 shooting and wasn’t a part of the crunch time five. Over his last eight games, Bey has averaged just 9.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.9 3PTM. Worst of all, he hasn’t topped 40 percent shooting from the field in any of those outings. Given his putrid production and his demotion, it’s understandable that fantasy managers may getting antsy with Bey. That presents a buy-low opportunity, and I’d be sniffing around for it. I’m optimistic Bey will turn it around and be a top-100 player the rest of the season. The 27 percent shooting from deep will bounce back up, and there’s no reason he should remain on the bench long term behind the likes of Isaiah Livers. The Pistons have an extension decision to make on him as soon as this offseason and will want to see what kind of a piece he can be for their long term future. If he’s gettable, make an offer.