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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.