There were only four games on Tuesday’s NBA schedule, with Miami’s comeback from six down with less than a minute remaining in regulation to beat Atlanta providing the excitement. In Wednesday’s Dose we’ll take a look at the Heat trio that led the way (Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn), with Adebayo deserving consideration for the All-Star game. Also playing well on Tuesday were Devonte' Graham, Davis Bertans and Damian Lillard.
Hornets 114, Wizards 107 —Devonte' Graham led the way for Charlotte with 29 points (9-of-19 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), one rebound, six assists, two steals, one three-pointer and six 3-pointers. And this performance came two nights after he shot 4-of-17 from the field in a loss to the Hawks. Both he and Terry Rozier (17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one three-pointer) are providing sixth-round value in nine-category formats for the entire season. But over the last two weeks, Graham’s played at a second-round level in both eight- and nine-cat formats. The season’s only about two months old, but he clearly should be on the short list of candidates for Most Improved Player.
Also scoring in double figures for Charlotte were Miles Bridges (16 points, two rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers), P.J. Washington (15/4/3 with one block and three 3-pointers), Bismack Biyombo (13 points and 15 rebounds) and Cody Zeller (14 points, ten rebounds, one steal and one three-pointer). Zeller has scored in double figures in five of the six games he’s played since moving to the bench in late-November, with Thursday’s game being his first double-double. Over the last two weeks he’s been a top-100 player in eight-cat, dropping just outside of the top-100 in nine-cat due to turnovers (2.3 per game; four vs. Washington).
For the Wizards Davis Bertans had a career night, as he went off for 32 points (11-of-18 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), nine rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot and eight 3-pointers in 30 minutes. A top-10 player in nine-cat formats over the last two weeks, he’s still providing second-round value in eight-cat (punting turnovers) during that stretch. He’s currently rostered in 72% of Yahoo leagues, and that number feels low given how well Bertans has been playing.
Charlotte was able to keep Bradley Beal under wraps for most of the night, as he shot 0-of-7 from three and finished with 16 points (6-of-19 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), four rebounds, nine assists, one block and four turnovers. He has a lot on his plate offensively, and with opposing teams focusing their defensive efforts on him Beal has only provided sixth-round value over the last two weeks (3.8 turnovers per game). Also scoring in double figures for Washington were Rui Hachimura (18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and one steal) and Ish Smith, who finished with 15 points, five assists, one block and one three-pointer in 38 minutes.
Troy Brown Jr. didn’t shoot the ball well, missing all four of his field goal attempts, but in addition to the four points he scored the second-year forward tallied eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to somewhat salvage his night from a fantasy standpoint. Moritz Wagner (six rebounds, three assists and one block) and Ian Mahinmi (three rebounds, one steal and two blocks) scored nine points apiece. Wagner remains the more attractive play of the two, but Mahinmi’s minutes have increased in each of his three games on the floor. Probably won’t be worth using a roster spot in, but the veteran center may be worth tracking as the Wizards are still without injured starter Thomas Bryant.
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Heat 135, Hawks 121 (OT) — This one was wild, as the Hawks went from leading by six with 59 seconds remaining in regulation to losing by 14. And the triumvirate of Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo played a major role in Miami’s comeback. Nunn scored 36 points, shooting 14-of-26 from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line, while also accounting for six rebounds, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 42 minutes played.
Robinson and Adebayo also hit the 30-point mark, with Robinson shooting a scalding 10-of-14 from three and finishing with 34 points, three rebounds, four assists and one blocked shot. He’s currently rostered in just 26% of Yahoo leagues, and Robinson would qualify as a flat-out steal if he’s available in your league at this point in the season. As for Adebayo, he posted the first triple-double of his NBA career, tallying 30 points (13-of-18 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), 11 rebounds, 11 assists and two steals (career-highs in points and assists). Add in Jimmy Butler’s triple-double, as he accounted for 20 points, 18 rebounds, ten assists and one three pointer, and the Heat got what it needed to rally and take care of the Hawks at home.
While Nunn and Robinson have been good stories for Miami so has Adebayo, who’s played at a level that makes him worthy of All-Star consideration. For the season he’s been a top-50 player in both eight- and nine-category formats, providing fourth-round value in nine-cat and third-round value in eight-cat. And with Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic both missing time due to injury, Adebayo’s ability to serve as a playmaker has been huge for Miami. Derrick Jones Jr., who was asked to defend Trae Young at times, added nine points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 35 minutes off the bench.
The aforementioned Young finished the game with 21 points, four rebounds, nine assists, three 3-pointers and four turnovers in 41 minutes, but he was not on the floor in the final seconds of regulation. He didn’t seem too thrilled about when asked following the game, either. De'Andre Hunter led the way offensively with 28 points, while also accounting for four rebounds, three assists, one block and five 3-pointers in 40 minutes on the floor. He and Young were two of the five Hawks that scored in double figures, with Jabari Parker (16/7/2/1/1 with one three-pointer), Cam Reddish (14/7/1 with two 3-pointers) and Vince Carter (12/3/4 with four 3-pointers) being the others.
Kevin Huerter finished with nine points, seven assists, two rebounds, one block and three 3-pointers, and in recent games he’s spent more time at the point. While he’s played off the ball for the majority of his minutes on the court with Young, the second-year guard has been used more often to initiate things offensively when Young is on the bench. Huerter’s averaging 5.0 assists per game in his last three outings, and he hasn’t committed a turnover either. If he can get the scoring average (6.0 ppg) up a bit, Red Velvet’s fantasy value should jump considerably given the role he’s being used in.
76ers 97, Nuggets 92 — While the matchup between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid was worthy of headlines going into this game, there are backcourt health issues for both teams worthy of conversation as well. For Philadelphia, Josh Richardson made his return to the lineup after missing six game with a hamstring injury. He was on a minutes restriction, playing 19 minutes and scoring three points with one rebound, one steal and one three-pointer.
Prior to the game it was said that the rotation won’t be expanding once Richardson’s minutes restriction is removed. If anything, coach Brett Brown anticipates that someone will either see their minutes decrease or they’ll fall completely out of the rotation. That makes these next few games big for the likes of Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz (six points, three rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointersin 17 minutes) and Raul Neto (two assists and one rebound in 11 minutes), and Thybulle played well in his 26 minutes on the floor Tuesday night. The rookie wing shot 5-of-8 from the field, scoring 13 points with five rebounds, one assist, one steal and three 3-pointers.
Over the last two weeks Thybulle has been a top-50 player in nine-cat formats, averaging 8.4 points, 2.0 three-pointers, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks per game during this stretch. And over his last eight games he’s shot 16-of-26 from beyond the arc. Given how well he’s playing, and the impact he’s capable of having defensively, it’s tough to see Thybulle falling out of the rotation anytime soon.
The aforementioned Embiid (ten rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block) and Tobias Harris (seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers) led the way offensively for Philadelphia, scoring 22 and 20 points, respectively. Al Horford added 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one three-pointer, and Ben Simmons finished with seven points, nine rebounds, seven assists and one steal. Mike Scott (one rebound, one steal and two 3-pointers) and James Ennis (three rebounds, one three-pointer) chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively.
Denver’s backcourt health issue was the trunk contusion suffered by Jamal Murray during the first quarter, an injury that he was unable to return from. With Murray limited to just five minutes Monte Morris (seven points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and one three-pointer) and Will Barton (26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers) saw increases in minutes, with Morris playing 33 off the bench and Barton a game-high 40. Gary Harris also surpassed the 30-minute mark, scoring 14 points, with two rebounds, five assists, two steals and one three-pointer in 33 minutes.
Jokic played 33 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the field and accounting for 15 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, one block and one three-pointer. Paul Millsap chipped in with ten points, six rebounds, three steals and one block in 29 minutes. Denver essentially went nine deep instead of its usual ten with Murray going down in the first quarter, with his minutes being divvied up among Morris, Barton and Harris as mentioned above. Denver hosts Portland Thursday night, so each of those three (especially Barton) would merit DFS consideration if Murray is unable to go.
Trail Blazers 115, Knicks 87 — This one got away from the Knicks, playing their first road game under interim head coach Mike Miller, early as Damian Lillard torched them for 14 points in the first quarter. With the game being a blowout Lillard was able to get an extended rest during the fourth quarter, as he played 29 minutes and finished with 31 points (9-of-15 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), two rebounds, six assists and eight 3-pointers.
Also scoring in double figures for the Blazers were starters Hassan Whiteside (17 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and five blocks), Carmelo Anthony (16 points, four rebounds, two steals, one blocks and three 3-pointers), C.J. McCollum (13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one block and one three-pointer) and reserve guard Anfernee Simons (16 points, five rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes). Simons is still a player who shouldn’t be rostered at this point, as he remains well outside of the top-200 in both eight- and nine-cat formats over the last month. But he’s worth keeping an eye on, as Portland needs to find consistent options capable of helping account for the loss of Rodney Hood.
Kent Bazemore accounted for four points, three rebounds and one steal in 22 minutes, while Mario Hezonja finished with five points, ten rebounds, one assist and one steal in 20 minutes. Bazemore gets the edge if the decision is between he and Hezonja, but if Simons can build on Tuesday’s performance that should result in him getting even more opportunities.
New York struggled to make shots consistently, shooting 7-of-38 from three and 35.2% from the field. Julius Randle led five double-digit scorers with 15 points (6-of-11 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs) to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one three-pointer. Also scoring in double figures were Mitchell Robinson (14 points, five rebounds and one block), Allonzo Trier (13 points, three assists and two 3-pointers), Bobby Portis (11 points, ten rebounds, one steal and one block) and Marcus Morris (ten points, three rebounds and one three-pointer).
Simply put the point guard position was a shambles for New York Tuesday night. Frank Ntilikina started and played 18 minutes, scoring two points (1-of-5 FGs) with one assist and one steal. Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton played 14 and 13 minutes, respectively, with Smith tallying five points, four rebounds and one three-pointer and Payton added two points, two rebounds, four assists and one steal. Add in RJ Barrett shooting 1-of-9 and finishing with five points and four rebounds, and outside of Trier and Damyean Dotson (eight points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers) the Knicks didn’t get much from their guards.
Kevin Knox played 20 minutes, shooting 1-of-7 from the field and finishing with two points, three rebounds, two assists and one block. The Knicks are back in action Wednesday night at Golden State, and given how little many of the rotation players played (Morris led the way with 27 minutes) everyone should be available for that one.
Wednesday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
LA Lakers at Orlando, 7 PM
LA Clippers at Toronto, 7 PM
Houston at Cleveland, 7 PM
Boston at Indiana, 7 PM
Charlotte at Brooklyn, 7:30 PM
Utah at Minnesota, 8 PM
Atlanta at Chicago, 8 PM
Memphis at Phoenix, 9 PM
New Orleans at Milwaukee, 9:30 PM
Oklahoma City at Sacramento, 10 PM
New York at Golden State, 10:30 PM