Thursday Night Recap
Charlotte Hornets vs. Detroit Pistons
- With rookie center Mark Williams exiting early due to injury, this may be the moment for Nick Richards to shine. The youngster came off the bench to record a double-double in 29 minutes, with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 10 boards, a steal, and two blocks. It was his highest point and rebounds totals in a month, as well as the first time in a month he’s recorded a swipe. If Richards gets a runway to play big minutes, he can deliver bushels of traditional big man stats. If word comes out that Williams misses time, don’t hesitate to pounce on Richards (nine percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).
- Tank mode is fully engaged in Detroit, but the Pistons are doing it the less traditional way. Instead of a full on youth movement and G-League callups, they’ve broken some of their vets out of mothballs, like Cory Joseph (remember when he was a relevant NBA player?), who played 24 minutes off the bench on Thursday. Joseph finished with 17 points on 6-for-12 from the field, handing out three helpers and picking up a pair of steals. It was his third straight game in double figures, and if he continues to receive a healthy dose of minutes he’s a solid streaming option (four percent rostered).
Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers
- Tari Eason has seen his roster share slowly creep up as he’s received more playing time. Even if you’ve been slow on the uptake, he’s still available in about half of all leagues. Eason came off the bench to score eight points, haul in 10 boards, and record a steal and a block apiece in 27 minutes. He recently lost a streak of five straight games with double digit points, but over his past seven contests he’s putting up 13.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG, and 0.9 3PTM. Eason is a very intriguing rookie and should be added everywhere.
- With Bennedict Mathurin turning an ankle Thursda night, the door may be open for Chris Duarte to reclaim a spot in the rotation. Duarte didn’t shoot well last night, going just 3-for-10 from the floor, but he scored in double figures for the third time in his past four outings. He added three assists, two steals, two triples, and a rejection to his line. Duarte can fill the sixth man role in Mathurin’s absence, and would be a good source of points and threes while the rookie recoups (nine percent rostered).
Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic
- Did you ever think you’d hear the name Kris Dunn again? Well not only is the former flameout back in the league, he’s making a strong case to be added in all leagues. Since finding a foothold with the Jazz a couple weeks ago, Dunn has been a top-40 overall player in 9-cat, thanks largely to his signature steals—but he’s also shot the ball well and boasts a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s scored in double digits and shot at least 50 percent from the field in all seven of his appearances thus far, after going 5-for-9 with 12 points Thursday night, to go along with nine rebounds, four dimes, three swipes, and a swat. He’s averaging 12.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 1.0 3PTM, and 0.6 BPG. Stream him while he’s hot (33 percent rostered).
- Jalen Suggs is starting to gain some traction in Orlando. The second-year guard has played 30-plus minutes in three of his past four. It might not be a coincidence that he’s scored at least 15 points in all three of those appearances. Suggs made seven of his 14 shots last night to score 17 points, while also dishing out six assists and recording two steals. There are still probably better options on the wire, but Suggs is a consistent source of steals with the potential for much more if he can fully turn the corner. He’s not a bad speculative add (27 percent rostered).
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- The Warriors had a tough time being competitive in this one, as their season-long road woes continued in Memphis. No real fantasy nuggets stemming from Thursday night, so I’ll just point out my favorite stat of the game. Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole each started and played 34 minutes for Golden State, so there was a fair amount of overlap in their court time. And yet, the Warriors were a +2 in Steph’s minutes, and a -33 in Poole’s. Wild stuff.
- I’ve hated Dillon Brooks since way before it was cool to hate Dillon Brooks. I don’t know why it took everyone until two months to realize he can’t make a shot, yet insists on take nearly 15 a game anyways on a team loaded with talent everywhere. Thursday night was also the first time I’ve seen someone get the TNT postgame interview after scoring 14 points on 15 shots. But credit where credit is due I guess. Once you get past the 6-of-15 shooting (actually a good night by his standards), Brooks finished with six assists to zero turnovers, as well as a three, steal, and block. Still, he’s barely inside the top-250 for the season, so the 41 percent roster share is about 10x too much.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- It’s not every day you see three of a team’s five starters fail to record a single point, but the Nets managed that distinction Thursday night. With the first unit cast aside, and several regulars sitting out, Brooklyn’s deep bench got a chance to take center stage. Patty Mills had a throwback night (big night for Spurs reserve guards from a decade ago), leading the Nets with 23 points in 31 minutes and nearly mounting an improbable comeback. He also added seven boards, five treys, four dimes, a steal, and a swat. Mills hadn’t seen the court in nearly a month, and will probably go back to waving a towel pronto (two percent rostered).
- I may have been too quick to dismiss Grayson Allen‘s fantasy relevance. Allen is still starting and receiving his usual allotment of minutes. He played 32 minutes last night, canning three triples and knocking down all six of his foul shots to score 19 points, to go along with seven rebounds and a pair of swipes. Allen is basically just a three-point specialist, but those types of guys have their place in the streaming world, and Allen remains a viable option (20 percent rostered).
New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings
- Immanuel Quickley didn’t help his burgeoning Sixth Man of the Year case Thursday night, taking a 1-of-11 dump on national TV. IQ finished with just three points and five assists, despite having to step back into the starting unit after Jalen Brunson left early. Still, Quickley has entrenched himself in the closing lineup and will get enough opportunity to be a fantasy force down the stretch. He’s rostered in about two-thirds of leagues and that number should be higher.
- The Kings have been one of the healthiest teams all season, making them a known commodity fantasy-wise. It’s been tough to mine their bench for value, but Trey Lyles has found some consistency lately. The Kentucky product scored 16 points in 25 minutes against he Knicks, grabbing six boards and converting all seven of his free-throws. That was the sixth time in the past seven games that Lyles reached the double-figure plateau in points, while shooting at least 50 percent from the field. He’s also made at least one triple in every outing over that span. Lyles (10 percent rostered) is a decent streamer for points, boards, and treys.