How about some love for the underdog?

These daily recaps, especially on nights with a lot of games, often demand focusing on one of two players per team that had good nights. Most of the time we’re looking at star players doing what they do. It’s tough for a role player to get a write-up, and it’s even tougher for those end of the bench guys to get any ink.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to…

Alize Johnson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 15 3 2 0 0 11/15 1/1 1

Johnson signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn on Sunday and had himself a debut on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. A G-League monster who averaged 16 points and 13 boards in this season’s bubble, Johnson stepped up for a Nets squad that was without Durant, Irving, and Harden while playing the second night of a back-to-back against the best team in the West. If you watched the highlights, you noticed that this game was O-V-E-R pretty much from the jump. Johnson was doing major mop up work and will be facing an uphill battle for PT going forward. He’s not an add by any stretch, but I’ve got no problem highlighting him to celebrate his big night. Raise a glass to my man. He earned it.

Here’s what else caught my eye on a busy night of basketball…

Jerami Grant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 6 2 1 2 2 10/20 7/9 4

Finally! It’s been some frosty shooting of late for Grant, so seeing the ball go through the net with some efficiency is definitely welcome. He’s been shooting 40% from the floor for the last month or so, dragging his overall value down with it.

Isaiah Stewart

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
11 7 0 0 1 0 5/7 1/2 0

Threw up a -5 in his 18 minutes out there in a close contest that ultimately got away from Detroit. Beef Stew’s per 36 numbers are tasty — 11/11/1/1/1 with minimal triples and turnovers. He’s blocked from the big minutes by Plumlee and foul trouble, but if the path clears be sure to have a spoon ready.

Caris LeVert

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 6 4 2 0 4 10/19 4/6 1

When LeVert is efficient, the ceiling becomes really apparent. Malcolm Brogdon has been in trade rumors, and while that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, it would certainly be LeVert’s world if that came to pass. Caris has obviously had a rough go of things since arriving in Nap City. It would be great to see him put together a good stretch of ball before season’s end.

Malcolm Brogdon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 3 3 0 2 2 7/14 0/0 4

Is this the last line Mal posts as a Pacer? His name has been swirling around in the rumor mill ahead of today’s deadline.

Jamal Murray

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 2 7 1 0 3 8/17 1/1 1

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 10 5 1 0 0 8/14 4/4 4

Michael Porter Jr

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 8 0 0 0 5 7/13 0/0 1

Well, these guys showed up. Millsap too, I suppose (11/6/6/1), but the rest of the Nugs got smoked by the Raptors. Outside of MPJ, Joker and Murray, Denver made just 18 FGs. Nuff said.

Kyle Lowry

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
8 5 9 0 1 2 3/5 0/0 3

The end of an era? Lowry and Powell seem destined to be moved out of town after an especially challenging year is proving to be too much for the Tampa Bay Raptors. It’s not a dream line to go out on if this is indeed the end, but the championship banner in Toronto hangs forever. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put Lowry’s number 7 up there next to it when it’s all said and done.

Pascal Siakam

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 8 6 1 1 3 8/16 8/9 1

One of the few Raps who hasn’t been mentioned in trade rumors this week, Spicy P and his recent hot streak are here to stay. Since coming back from Toronto’s Covid disaster, Siakam has been a top 30 player, posting 21/6.5/5/1 averages along the way.

Norman Powell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 2 3 1 1 3 8/12 3/4 1

OG Anunoby

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 6 3 1 1 5 8/12 3/4 1

Matching lines for OG and Stormin’ Norman. Get your twinning out of your system now, fellas. Powell also seems like a good bet to be moved by the end of the day today.

Jaylen Brown

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 10 2 0 0 4 10/16 0/0 2

Kemba Walker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 2 6 3 1 5 9/18 0/0 4

Brown and Walker dragged the Celtics back into this one after looking like roadkill for two and half quarters. A decent line from Tatum probably would have put them in the winner’s circle, but instead the Bucks held on. Brown has been en fuego recently, a top 15 player over the last week, while Walker has been more of top-50 guy.

Khris Middleton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 13 4 0 0 2 11/20 3/6 5

On a night when Giannis didn’t have it, Khash carried the load offensively. The turnovers sting a bit and have been trending in the wrong direction for about a month or so, but the boards and buckets definitely play.

Bobby Portis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 4 1 1 0 4 7/10 3/3 0

Bobby gets buckets.

Donte DiVincenzo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 4 1 0 1 5 5/7 2/2 2

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of piping hot Ragu? Over the last two weeks, DD has upped his scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals over his season averages and has looked much more like the player we were hoping for on draft day. That’s amore.

Deandre Ayton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 9 0 1 0 0 8/12 5/5 1

Devin Booker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 7 7 3 0 1 9/21 6/6 2

Chris Paul

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 6 7 1 0 1 8/15 6/6 1

The big scoring night from Ayton and steady contributions from the All-Star backcourt weren’t enough in a road L to the Magic. Booker couldn’t execute a difficult layup on the last possession, giving the good people of Orlando one more moment of glory with…

Nikola Vucevic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 14 4 1 1 3 11/19 2/3 1

Vuc was dealt to the Bulls for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and first-round picks. Al-Farouq Aminu will also be joining Vuc in the Windy City. Evan Fournier is also splitting town too, as the Magic shipped him up to Boston for a couple of second rounders.

Aaron Gordon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 7 3 0 2 0 5/15 3/4 2

He’s still here, but maybe just long enough for me to post this and then it be out of date. It was another clunker for a guy who will be wearing a different jersey by this weekend. Hard to think of a realistic potential landing spot that is going to be more favorable for AG than Orlando. I’ve never really been a Gordon guy, though I would love to be wrong and see the talent blossom in a different locale. UPDATE: Gordon was traded to the Nuggets for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, and a first-round pick.

Chuma Okeke

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 3 0 0 0 4 6/6 1/2 0

Okeke could be a guy worth keeping an eye on if AG gets moved. He pulled in 20 minutes tonight and the line was supported by the perfect shooting, but with forwards like Otto Porter Jr. and James Ennis III in front of him, it’s not impossible to see Chuma getting some burn down the stretch.

Darius Garland

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 4 9 1 0 4 8/20 2/2 3

No Sex(ton) in Cleveland tonight, but Garland didn’t abstain from shooting his shot.

Jarrett Allen

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 9 1 2 3 0 9/12 1/2 3

The return of Larry Nance has cut into Allen’s scoring chances, but the dude is rock solid for boards and swats. The pair of swipes are a bonus. JaVale McGee has hit the road. It’s Allen’s show in Cleveland, now more than ever.

Larry Nance Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 14 5 2 1 2 5/11 2/2 0

Been a bit of rollercoaster for LNJ recently, but this was arguably his best line since returning from injury. He’s going to play big minutes for Cleveland regardless of where they rank in the standings or where we are in the calendar.

Zach LaVine

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 3 4 0 1 4 8/20 2/2 5

That whooshing sound you hear is all the goodwill LaVine cultivated in the first half of the season blowing away. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the recent stretch of shooting 42% from the field and ballooning turnovers are hard to ignore after playing at such a high level earlier this year. I’m sure there’s a bounce back headed our way soon.

Lauri Markkanen

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 5 2 1 0 1 7/15 2/2 0

Another steady line from Lauri, even as his name continues to be discussed in trade talks. I’m seeing a lot of Lauri for Lonzo chatter on the internet. Whether or not that specific deal comes to pass, the fact that Chicago doesn’t seem comfortable paying Markkanen the dough he’s looking for in his next contract portends a trade.

Tomas Satoransky

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
11 2 4 0 0 1 4/8 2/2 2

Coby White

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
11 3 3 2 0 1 4/12 2/2 1

White played 26 minutes, Sato played 25. Despite the minute advantage, White has lost his grip on his gig and I’m not sure I see the path back for White being a productive fantasy player ROS. In a league where I’m digging out of a KAT-sized hole, I dropped White for Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

Terry Rozier

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 3 4 0 0 4 9/14 3/3 0

Devonte’ Graham

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 2 3 0 0 6 7/10 1/1 2

Malik Monk

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 3 4 2 0 2 7/10 3/3 1

No LeMelo, no LeProblem. Charlotte’s backcourt carried the Hornets passed the thrust-less Rockets. PJ Washington was the only other Hornet who scored in double figures, but they still won by 25 in Houston. No recaps for the team that got rinsed.

Kristaps Porzingis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 9 4 1 2 3 11/23 4/4 1

For the first night in a while, Luka didn’t go absolutely ballistic. Turns out, Dallas didn’t need him, as Porzingis bullied a Wolves team that has all but packed it in.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 4 4 0 0 5 7/17 2/4 0

“Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot,” the old saying goes. Or in THJ’s case, maybe we can edit that down to “shoot.”

Jalen Brunson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 11 5 1 0 0 7/12 2/3 2

Logged almost 30 minutes, as this game was over in the third quarter. The Brunson burner was lit.

Anthony Edwards

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 5 3 1 0 3 9/22 8/9 1

The number one pick launched twelve (!) triples in this one. That’s an incredibly green light for a dude shooting 31.8% on the season. Maybe the swollen point totals in the home stretch of the season will bolster his ROY case, but the shooting numbers certainly won’t.

Karl-Anthony Towns 

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 5 6 3 0 3 9/22 8/9 1

Tweaked his leg but stayed in the game. It feels like a matter of time now before Minnesota puts this season out to pasture. I don’t know what’s happening in KAT’s head, but given the injuries, the losing, and the Covid, I certainly wouldn’t blame the guy for checking out on the remainder of this year. The rough ride for those who roster Towns might not be getting easier any time soon.

Juancho Hernangomez

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 5 1 0 0 2 5/9 5/7 1

Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels both were miserable and foul happy, opening the door for Juan to get busy in mop up time. Nothing to get too excited about.

Brandon Clarke

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
8 9 2 2 5 0 4/8 0/0 1

Five swats in 25 minutes is pretty impressive, even if the rest of it doesn’t blow you away.

Dillon Brooks

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 3 0 1 1 1 8/13 8/9 2

Grayson Allen

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 5 2 0 0 4 8/14 0/0 2

Tough night for Morant, but Allen and Brooks picked up the slack. De’Anthony Melton (14 points, 4 boards and steal in 16 minutes) also helped carry the Memphis backcourt against OKC.

Moses Brown

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 12 0 2 3 0 7/9 5/9 1

It’s surprising to see Horford on the roster still and it would be downright shocking if he didn’t get moved today. Regardless, Moses is going to get his time as Thunder gallop toward the lottery. He’s done enough to make a believer out of me. Follow him to the promised land.

Luguentz Dort

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 3 3 3 2 1 6/17 1/2 0

Without SGA, Dort got plenty of run. Given OKC’s trajectory and the nature of SGA’s injury, I’d expect them to baby Shai the rest of the way. Dort has been erratic this year, but opportunity could be knocking.

Al Horford

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 8 6 1 1 1 6/11 0/0 0

For now, he’s still in town and logging time (28 minutes). Pretty vintage Horfy line. Let’s see what jersey he’s wearing come Friday.

Kawhi Leonard

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 7 3 5 0 2 9/12 5/5 1

Leonard didn’t take it easy on the franchise that drafted him. Instead, Kawhi did Kawhi things. What do you want me to say? He’s a fantastic player.

Paul George

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 6 4 1 0 0 8/18 1/2 1

Kind of strange to see PG throw a up a goose egg from deep. Not that it mattered, as the Clips won by [counts out fingers, takes off shoes to count toes, gets a mirror and counts those digits too]… a lot.

Nic Batum

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 4 4 0 2 3 3/5 4/5 1

Been a bit of slide for Batum since his solid start to year. Twenty-six minutes of burn definitely helps, even though it’s Marcus Morris Sr. who has taken up the other starting forward spot and turned in a 20-point game. There’s enough supporting stats to keep Batum in the ballpark of the top 100 though.

DeMar DeRozan was one of four Spurs to crack the 10-point ceiling, but he needed 18 shots to score 19. If that’s the best San Antonio has to offer, I think it’s safe to move on.

Donovan Mitchell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 6 7 1 0 5 11/18 0/0 0

Mitchell and co. did just enough to hold off Alize’s Nets.

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 3 9 1 0 1 11/24 6/6 3

I’d love to know what happened to Young this offseason that short-circuited his three point shooting. He’s averaging 0.9 fewer makes this year than last and it’s at the heart of his regression as a fantasy player.

Clint Capela

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 17 2 1 1 0 10/12 5/8 2

It’s been a bit since we’ve seen a beastly game like this from the Swiss Mister. Still, given the Hawks position in the standings, it’s reasonable to expect CC to be a big factor down the stretch.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 1 2 1 4 7/11 2/2 1

Those of you who tuned in for the Bogi revenge game in Sac surely weren’t disappointed. Well, except for circling a Kings/Hawks game in late March during a pandemic as appointment television. That’s gotta be a little bit of a disappointment.

De’Aaron Fox

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
37 2 3 2 1 3 13/20 8/9 0

Played well enough to be considered for the lede, but I’m a softy. At least he did enough to get the W in the Bogdanovic revenge game — an event that I’ll tell my children about.

Tyrese Haliburton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 5 7 1 1 2 6/12 3/3 4

What would Hali have to do over the last 30 games for you to consider him above Ball or Edwards for ROY? He’s the least discussed of that trio, but he’s been excellent both IRL and fantasy. After the game, Sacramento broke the seal on deadline deals, flipping Corey Joseph for Delon Wright. This certainly doesn’t help Tyrese’s situation. Perhaps a Hield deal is imminent?

Richaun Holmes

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 8 1 1 2 0 7/12 2/2 0

Capela was a handful for Holmes, so Luke Walton turned Hassan Whiteside loose for 18 minutes to help against the Hawk’s center. Still, it was another productive night in an extremely solid season for Richaun.

  1. joe beisbol says:
    (link)

    Just when you think Smart is turning a corner, he gives you two shooting clunkers in a row to hurt your FG (he’s the primary reason for me losing that cat this week). J-Rich gets the D-stats, sometimes, but he’s also the fourth scoring option on his team. And J.Harris hasn’t cracked the top 100 in a month, sadly. Would you drop any or all of those three for one of:

    Burks, Graham, Hill McConnell, Rubio, or Wall? I could also go even bigger and grab a Carter or Claxton, but I do have several bigs.

    Team in a 12-team h2h 9-cat keeper
    Lowry, Smart, Lamelo, J-Rich, Beal, J.Harris, Barnes, Jokic, Wood, M.Brown, Vala
    (I can’t drop Lamelo because I can keep him next season at a 7th rd price)

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      That’s a tough run of guard play, especially since you’re right, you just have to eat that LaMelo roster spot for next year.

      Of Smart, Richardson and Harris, I’d cut Richardson first. Smart is critical to Boston, and I suspect that the calvary coming over the hill will give Harris a boost.

      It’s tough to fully endorse any of these guys. Burks, Graham and Wall could further destabilize that FG%, but definitely provide more a of scoring punch than Hill, TJ, Rubio. I think if you feel like you need to grab some upside, Burks is where I’d start. I’m wary of Wall catching some DNPs and generally not caring about this lost season. Graham is hard to trust.

      Of the second group, I prefer McConnell to Rubio ROS but I think Ricky could produce better in the immediate future until DLo returns/Minny quits on the year. Hill has been on the shelf for a long time. I wouldn’t want to wait for him to get up to speed in an offense that isn’t ever going to feature him. You’re set with size, so pass on Claxton and Carter.

      TL;DR — Burks if you think you need the boost, TJ if you’re more conservative.

      • joe beisbol says:
        (link)

        Thank you! I’ll keep an eye on all involved over the weekend (two games each) and see what I put in on Sunday night for our end-of-week waiver bids. I hope Rose comes back this weekend so I can see how it will affect Burks. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Burks has gotten all this run in March; Rose has been out due to COVID since March 2. I also want to see whether Fournier impacts Smart in any way.. TJ is such a tease. He’ll have these phenomenal games and then he’ll go a couple of games with 4 points each. And yeah, you’re totally right about Ricky losing value once Beasley and Russell are back.

        Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful insight!

  2. PattyMillsismyhomeboy says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the wrap up and some good predictions on the trade deadline shuffle!

    I’ve got Nurk coming back from IR and don’t have any obvious drops in a shallow 9 cat 10 teamer.
    I’ve got one last chance to try swing a 2-4-1 but there isn’t much appetite out there.

    Any thoughts on either:
    My Haliburton & LNJ for his Ayton & Herro (I’ll drop Herro).

    or

    My Haliburton, Derrick White, Boucher for his Ben Simmons & Ayton.

    Not sure I could get either through but with 12 man lineups I can’t really find much more I’d want to give. He desperately wants to offload Wall but I just don’t think I want to take on the %s and TOs coming into playoffs.

    Otherwise, who’s your drop out of LNJ, Derrick White, Halliburton, Rob Williams 3?

    Thanks again man.

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      I appreciate the love!

      Two-for-ones are always tough because of the drop component. Of the options provided, I prefer the deal with Simmons and Ayton. It seems like you’ve got a good read on Wall. I’d expect the Rockets to find ways to keep him off the floor and embrace the tank now that we’re on the other side of the deadline. The prospect of Wall playing for nothing when he’s out there could mean that the TOs and chucking go up instead of down. It’s a pass for me too.

      I’m keeping Nance with that group and probably White too, as their PT seems more secure. I’m a bit concerned about the acquisition of Delon Wright in Sac because, as a rule, it’s safe to assume the Kings are going to turn lemonade into lemons. If Wright only steps into Cojo’s 21 MPG, then the impact on Tyrese shouldn’t be too significant, but it’s possible that Delon gets more than that. I don’t love it as much as I did yesterday, but I’m holding Tyrese too.

      Unless you really need the boards, I think Time Lord is the drop.

      Is Mills your homeboy because he’s an Aussie or because he’s a Gael?

      • PattyMillsismybomeboy says:
        (link)

        Yeah good read on that situation. It’s hard passing on the time lord right now with Theis getting dealt but maybe I’ll just sit with Nurk in the IR and see how things shape up in Sac and Boston.

        Aussie represent!

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      I don’t know if you caught the most recent Son pod, but it sounds like Thompson has really fallen out of favor in Boston, which wasn’t something I knew when you asked this. After seeing the line Williams threw out tonight and no Theis, I don’t know how you drop the kid. I guess it’s White or Hali. If you’re keeping Rob, then you’d be set for blocks.

      • PattyMillsismybomeboy says:
        (link)

        Yeah it’s a tough one. I might see how long I can get away with doing nothing!

        Thanks again man.

  3. miles proudfoot says:
    (link)

    Nice writeup. ROS, how would you rank McConnell, Claxton, amd Otto Porter for overall value? Thank you!

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      Thanks Miles!

      I like the way you arranged them: McConnell, Claxton and then OPJ. Maybe Porter walks into a starting gig in Orlando and recaptures some old magic and makes me look silly, but I’m letting some other guy take the chance on that. Claxton is solid but a bit erratic in a Brooklyn rotation that is very fluid. TJ is TJ, so give me the known quantity.

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