An extremely encouraging pattern is beginning to emerge with my every-other-week recapping of the Wednesday night games: Happy returns that are highlighted in the lede. You see, it was my distinct pleasure to highlight KAT’s return from his early season wrist + Covid absence, and I was the one who placed Kevin Durant in this place of prominence when he came back from the extended hammy vacation. Now, I’m due up for the recap on the night Jaren Jackson Jr. returned and you know damn well that I’m going to make him the lede. Welcome back, Jar—

Ah. Actually not. Sorry JJJ, I’m breaking up the welcome party and going with the 40 piece instead. We’ll see you later in the recap, because this lede (and maybe all of the Western world) belongs to…

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
40 11 6 1 0 6 11/21 12/13 4

This is second time in the last week that Julius has gone 40+/10+/6+ with 6 made threes. Wut. That’s just unspeakable heat from New York’s Caesar, who led the Knicks to an OT win against the Hawks last night. Woe to those of you having wrestle this monster in head-to-head playoffs. It might be better just to simply bend the knee when Randle is going like this.

Here’s what else stood out on another busy Wednesday in the Association…

Thaddeus Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 8 3 1 2 1 5/8 3/4 3

In 17 minutes! Talk about playing with a sense of urgency. He does a lot of things that help, but as long as the minutes are in the teens you can safely watch him work while on waivers.

Coby White

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 2 6 0 2 2 5/10 2/2 1

He’s re-taken his job in the starting lineup with LaVine sidelined and has been occasionally productive in that role. His conscience seemed to have gotten the better of him tonight. After registering a steal in each of the last two games, he reverted back to his virtuous ways. Covet thy neighbor’s, uh, balls, I guess. There’s no kink-shaming here, Coby. We’re playing fantasy basketball, emphasis on the fantasy.

Darius Garland

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 2 4 2 0 4 8/13 5/5 3

Collin Sexton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 3 7 1 0 3 11/17 5/6 2

What happens when you introduce some genuine Love into a hot, steamy Sexland?

Kevin Love

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 9 4 0 0 4 5/12 1/2 3

Polyamory, of course.

Darius Bazley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 9 2 1 0 1 9/25 1/8 3

Wanna know what organizational trust looks like? How about a six-game shooting run of 3/9; 10/18; 7/18; 6/15; and 7/19 and then being given permission to chuck 25 more times. That’s a job I want.

Svi Mykhailiuk

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 9 4 0 2 2 9/16 0/0 5

Drew 32 minutes tonight as Dort didn’t play and Poku was pulled early. Even in the silly season, I don’t think this is the answer to your problems.

Kenrich Williams

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 7 2 2 1 2 6/12 1/3 3

It’s not Spring, it’s Kenrich SZN. Are we sure this guy exists outside of the final quarter of the NBA calendar? A Mr. Hooper investigation, tonight at 8.

Malcolm Brogdon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 15 7 1 0 3 11/23 4/4 3

What is going on? Mal has scored exactly 29 points four times in the month of April. *checks earpiece, nods* Scratch the Kenrich SZN investigation, we’re on the Brogdon beat now.

Caris LeVert

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 5 6 4 1 1 11/25 5/6 2

A pretty emblematic line of what I imagine peak LeVert looks like. Stylish, engaging, active, and genuinely inaccurate. He’s like if the movie 300 could hoop.

Oshea Brissett

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 12 1 2 3 2 8/16 5/8 1

How deep in the bench did Nate Bjorkgren have to reach to find Oshea? Put it this way, there was no Domas, no Goga (noGa!), no Turner, and no JaKarr Sampson. I also got a call from a 463 number but let it go to voicemail. Sampson was serving a one-game suspension and will presumably be available again on Saturday. Still, ’tis the season. Keep an eye on the Pacers’ injury report now that we know that this is in the realm of possibility.

Chris Paul

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 3 8 0 1 5 10/17 3/4 0

Zero turnovers while collecting the win in Philly after taking care of business in Milwaukee (in OT) on Monday. Impressive.

Mikal Bridges

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 4 1 2 2 2 6/11 4/4 0

A dead lock for the 1/1/1 club next year. He’s incredibly close to pulling it off as we speak.

Deandre Ayton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
10 5 0 2 2 0 4/8 2/2 0

If we’re grading on the “Dealing with Joel Embiid” curve, I think this is a qualified success. Four stocks prop up this line.

Joel Embiid

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
38 17 4 1 1 3 14/23 7/9 8

A beast who contributes in every cat, even the ones you don’t want.

Kyrie Irving

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 11 8 3 1 2/5 10/21 6/6 3

The absence of his running mates is encouraging Kai to shoulder the load. As long as he’s on the floor, Irving is locked in for the most important stretch of fantasy hoops. It might not make you forget about the DNP-Personal Reasons that he’s collected, but it helps.

Bruce Brown

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 14 1 0 1 2 8/14 3/4 1

I’m sure it’s not as simple as “play Bruce Brown if one of the big three is out,” but it really feels like it, right?

Pascal Siakam

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 9 6 2 0 2 10/19 5/6 2

OG Anunoby

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 3 1 0 2 4 8/14 5/5 4

Fred VanVleet

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 3 5 1 0 5 5/13 2/2 1

Kyle Lowry

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 7 5 0 0 3 4/12 3/4 1

It feels like it’s been a million years since these guys have played together and I’m kind of surprised they’re still bringing the band back together even though they’re in the battle with Washington for the last play-in spot. Rough shooting for Freddy and Kyle, but at least the shots they made were threes? After spending the whole season on the road, FVV’s comments about this year feeling hollow seems like an extremely reasonable take.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-He gone

Steph Curry

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 7 8 1 0 2 7/25 2/2 6

Finally came back to earth. Despite the clunker, he’s still good for, hmm, 41/6/5 over the last month. I think you’ll live with this one.

Kent Bazemore

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 9 3 6 2 4 7/12 1/2 1

Look at Baze, man. So inspirational.

Kelly Oubre Jr. 

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 9 1 0 2 2 8/17 6/6 4

Jordan Poole

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 3 0 2 0 6 7/16 2/3 1

How do you get beat by the Wizards? Curry being the third-leading scorer behind these two seems like a good place to begin the inquiry.

Russell Westbrook

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 20 10 3 0 1 5/17 3/4 9

Working on the inauspicious quad-dub. Not all statistical accomplishments are worth achieving.

Bradley Beal

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 10 4 2 0 2 8/21 11/11 1

I’ll grant that this wasn’t the ideal shooting game to lead into this clip, but Beal telling a bunch of teenagers that the absolutely best-case conclusion of their basketball dreams ends with him torching them has been living rent-free in my head for weeks.

Even on an off night, Beal put his team on his back and carried them to the win. Love this guy.

Daniel Gafford

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 10 0 0 3 0 7/11 5/9 1

We’re still doing the Alex Len thing, I see. Gafford drew the heaviest workload (24 minutes compared to Len’s 13 and RoLo’s 10, so he’s clearly the big to roster in DC.

Raul Neto

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 3 4 3 0 3 7/11 1/1 2

Sure. Let me hit you with some dynamite insights into Raul Neto’s 18-point, 34-minute explosion in game 57 of the pandemic season. I know I left my notes on him around here somewhere. [Opens door, begins walking, continues walking directly into Lake Michigan, begins investigating local shipwrecks.] Huh? You’re still here?

Joe Ingles

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 6 4 1 1 6 7/11 1/2 1

Considering that Donovan Mitchell will be out for some time, it’s worth remembering how effective Ingles is as a starter. Like, 73% True Shooting effective. G’day indeed.

Rudy Gobert

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 18 0 0 2 0 9/12 1/2 0

What’s French for “wake me up when he does it in the Playoffs”?

Mike Conley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
11 5 13 2 0 1 4/12 2/2 1

I know that we only care about these nine (or eight) categories, but it wasn’t Gobert who led the team with a +44 plus/minus number in this win over Houston. That distinction goes Conley at +46. May we all know the joy of having that great of a day at work while only hitting 33% of our attempts.

John Wall

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 3 6 0 0 1 8/19 4/4 3

The good news is he’s still playing, which wasn’t necessarily guaranteed. That’s it. That’s all of the good news. Wall has been a top-150 player on the season and this was the only notable line from a thoroughly done Rockets group. Enjoy the beach, fellas.

Clint Capela

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 22 1 2 1 0 12/17 1/5 0

Free throws are the only bugaboo. Capela was drafted after two of his teammates back in the fall and he’s smashed not only the expectations for him but also the ones for Young and Collins. He’s basically the one Hawk I didn’t draft. Keep that in mind when you’re asking for my advice.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 6 4 3 0 4 8/19 0/0 4

Hit a massive three to send the game into OT but all that did was give Julius Randle more time to flex. Bogi is bringing it down the stretch. A top-20 guy for the last month and could be in for even more because…

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 2 14 4 0 1 6/17 7/7 0

Young was putting on a show in The Garden but landed awkwardly on his left ankle on a shot attempt in the third and didn’t come back. He looked to be in quite a bit of pain, which is the cherry on top for the bitter and disappointed fantasy players who drafted him in the first round. Bogi blast off in three, two…

Nerlens Noel

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
9 12 3 0 3 0 4/5 1/2 0

Here’s a dumb thing that I’m obliged to say because Tom Thibodeau is a head coach once again: Taj Gibson was injured early in this game (it was kind of street fight), clearing the path for heavy Nerlens Noel minutes. 2021: everything old is now older and progress is an illusion.

Derrick Rose

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 3 1 0 1 8/12 3/4 2

Immanuel Quickley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 0 4 1 0 4 7/11 4/6 1

Original Spider-Man Pointing at Spider-Man Template restored in HD 4k - (aka spiderman confusion meme) - [4096*3072] | Spider-Man Pointing at Spider-Man | Spiderman meme, Meme template, Create memes

Jerami Grant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 2 2 0 0 3 9/16 5/8 1

He’s sitting a ton now that the season is all but over in Detroit. Still, it’s been a really nice run for Grant in this campaign. He might be the guy who got you here, but he’s almost certainly not going to be one who brings it home for you.

Corey Joseph

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 5 5 0 1 3 9/15 3/4 3

Mason Plumlee

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 16 7 0 0 0 4/4 5/5 2

Admit it, you were looking for a Saddiq Bey write up, weren’t you? Maybe a little taste of Beef Stew? Killian Hayes, anyone? Hamidon’t Diallo? Forward complaints to Dwane Casey. It must have been senior night or something, as the old heads got the lion’s share tonight despite getting dumped by Dallas.

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 10 9 2 0 4 10/22 6/10 3

When you’re this good it really opens you up to minor critique. With nothing glaring to correct, little things get more attention. An example? Well, since you asked. Doncic’s FT% month over month this season: 80.7%; 70%; 76.1%; 67.3%; 65.2%. I believe the statistics term for this is “dude, shut up and let me enjoy the show.”

Kristaps Porzingis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 7 4 3 0 2 6/13 5/6 0

Availability is the main drawback for KP. The Mavs have the second half of their two-step against the Lakers on Thursday. One Anthony Davis could be featured in that contest and it sure would help the cause if Porzingis could go.

Bam Adebayo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 8 5 3 1 0 8/12 7/8 1

Does everything you want except hit the deep ball. During a sluggish, COVID-marred season, Bam is still turning in top-30 value. A friendly reminder that my man is 23 years old. There’s still more here.

Jimmy Butler

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 7 11 1 0 0 6/13 6/6 3

Sat the last two but looked sharp in his return and he played 34 minutes. It’s been a marvelous season for Butler when he’s been on the floor, upping last year’s averages across the board. Top 10 dude.

Jakob Poeltl

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

Poeltl’s five rejections are the only reason why there any write-ups at all for the Spurs, who lost by 20 at home.

Ja Morant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 6 4 1 0 4 9/15 0/4 4

I’m sorry, zero for four from the line? Ja need to stop hanging out with Luka.

Jaren Jackson Jr. 

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 8 0 0 4 1 4/11 6/6 0

After spending the entire season as a thorn in the side of those who drafted him, JJJ has returned to basketball just in time to create a new kind of pain for those of us participating in the playoffs. He only logged 18 minutes in this one and didn’t start. Memphis has spent months handling Jackson with gloves and I don’t expect them to stop any time soon. Clearly, he’s a force, but will the time be there?

Luke Kennard

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 7 2 0 1 6 10/16 2/3 1

Marcus Morris

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 4 2 1 1 4 9/19 3/5 1

Terance Mann

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 6 7 0 0 1 6/16 6/6 1

Ivica Zubac

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 7 3 0 2 0 6/11 6/8 1

Without PG, Kawhi, RJax, Rondo, Serge, or PBev, this was the group that got it done. Tough loss for the Grizz.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 9 5 0 1 1 9/18 6/7 4

The going is getting tougher without Murray, but the Joker had enough cards up his sleeve to eek out a one-point win in Portland. It was Jokic who led the Nugs in dimes, not…

Facundo Campazzo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
12 5 3 0 1 4 4/6 0/0 1

I grabbed Campazzo after Monte’ Morris went down in a league where I’m light on dimes. A desperation play? Yeah, maybe. Why initiate offense with anyone other than 15? At least the threes were there.

Damian Lillard

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 4 5 2 0 2 9/23 2/2 2

Rust was evident in Rip City. Dame had been absent from the last three with hamstring trouble. I suspect we just need to reset our clocks. Dame Time soon come.

Karl-Anthony Towns

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 5 6 1 0 3 7/17 9/9 2

Naz Reid

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 7 2 0 1 2 11/15 0/0 2

Hard night to be Hassan Whiteside. It’s one thing if KAT does you dirty, but Reid too? Sac ended up getting the win, but yikes.

You Thought Yikes GIF - YouThought Yikes Ummm GIFs | Conceited, Memes, Reactions meme

D’Angelo Russell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 3 9 2 1 2 6/12 1/2 2

I’m having flashbacks to the days of AOL. These DLoading times are slooooow. He’s working his way back though.

De’Aaron Fox

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 5 7 2 1 1 8/20 13/14 2

Finally, a star guard hit some free throws! Tidying up the shooting is the next step for Fox, who is playing his best ball down the stretch. There aren’t many reasons to stay up for Kings games, but Fox has been a top-25 player for the last week.

Buddy Hield

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 6 5 0 1 7 11/16 0/0 1

Considering Buddy scored 11 points last night and 2 points the night before, I think this bounce back (including massive threes down the stretch) is a good enough note to end on.

  1. Joe Beisbol says:
    (link)

    Got a heck of a quarterfinals puzzle! I have two add/drops left for this week, and can only use them tonight (we do M/W/F adds). I’m currently up 5-4. Unless there’s a huge reversal (never say never) I will probably win boards and blocks, lose assists and FT%, and the other 5 cats are in play. I’m reluctant to drop Vala because he’s Vala, but I also don’t love hearing more news about his status, and Jaren Jackson might come back any day. My Friday lineup, however, is already full, even if Vala is out, so players who play Friday plus Sunday don’t have the same appeal, unless I’m targeting specific stats.

    With all that said, would you drop DFS (plays tonight, then Sat.), D-Rob (helps with 3s and TOs, but that’s it), or Vala (status uncertain) after tonight, to head into the weekend with any of these guys instead?

    Guys playing Friday + Sunday: Bojan, Huerter, J.Harris, Jingles
    Guys playing Saturday or Sunday: Bullock, C.Anthony

    12-team, h2h, 9-cat keeper
    McConnell, Smart, Lamelo, Beal, D-Rob, D.Finney, Bridges (Miles), SlowMo, Wood, Jokic, Vala
    (Keepers will likely be Lamelo, Wood, plus TBD)

  2. Mr. Hooper

    Mr. Hooper says:
    (link)

    A puzzle indeed. I guess we’ll start with Vala and then work our way through. So JV sat on Monday and Wednesday with a concussion. On Monday (2OT game), it was Tillman (41) and Clarke (23) that drew the most of the work against Joker. Wednesday the group was Tillman (28), Clarke (19) and JJJ (18).

    Jackson is back now, though to what degree is an open question. With a full compliment of bigs, I’d imagine Vala would be the first choice against Nurk, though his status is still shaky. Considering that you’ve got a full roster on Friday anyway, really what we’re considering here is JV being available on Sunday, which feels like a good bet. How much he’ll play with that mix of guys is a less good bet. HOWEVER! you’re feeling like you’re set with rebounds and blocks, which certainly mutes some of JV’s appeal. Considering it’s win or go home, I think you can move on from a potentially crowded, first game back from a concussion Valancuinas if you feel like you have to, especially considering that he’d have to quarrel with Nurk in the one game you’d have him for. It will feel strange to do, but dropping JV has merit to me. Of course, you’re not obliged to drop him if there’s good news about his availability for the weekend. You don’t have to make both moves just because they’re available to you.

    Of your three drop candidates, Finney-Smith is the one I’m holding tightest to. He’s playing huge, productive minutes and doesn’t really hurt you anywhere.

    I would be very interested in swapping Robinson for Jingles though, since Mitchell isn’t going to be available until next week at the earliest and Ingles has been a top-25 guy for the last two weeks and his numbers as a starter are extremely compelling. He’ll hold his own against whatever you’re losing by dumping Robinson. He’ll hurt you a bit more in TOs, but the rest of what he does should mitigate that.

    Of the rest of the group, Huerter is the one I’m most interested in, as he could be in line for a bump if Trae is out with this ankle. It doesn’t hurt that Huerter been hovering around top-50 over the last two weeks even with Young. He’s got some Jingles, all-around productivity appeal with me. I greatly prefer Ingles to Bojan if you’re adding pieces from the Jazz. Melo hasn’t played more than 30 minutes in game in April. Bullock has been playing better than I think I realized, so that’s option I suppose, though his game tilts more 3 heavy than what you could get out Huerter. We’ve been down this Joe Harris road before. It would be poetic for him be a big pickup for you in a key spot, but I don’t think that’s where I would look first.

    If you end up only making one move, the one that makes the most sense to me is Robinson for Ingles. The rest of it doesn’t seem as compelling to me, but I don’t think you’re a fool if you end up dropping JV for Huerter if there’s reporting about Young (or JV himself) being unavailable for Sunday. I doubt you’ll get that much lead time if the decisions need to be made tonight, but those would be the factors to consider.

    Hope this helps. Good luck this weekend, Joe!

Comments are closed.