• Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish!  While the Bulls did not face the Grizzlies as originally scheduled, fans were still left with an even dozen games.  

    Adds of the Night

    While player availability varies by league type and structure, I try not to provide any incredibly obvious choices here.

    Doug McDermott, F, Indiana Pacers – 28 minutes, 28 points, five rebounds, one 3-pointer, 12-for-22 FG

    While Jeremy Lamb got a slot in the starting lineup, McDermott ended up coming off the bench to lead the Pacers in points.  He established a new season high which had previously been set at 23 points.  McDermott edged out Malcolm Brogdon, who tallied 25 points in 37 minutes of action.  While McDermott went only 1-for-5 from deep, he is a career 41% shooter from 3-point range and is now at 49% from the field this season.  If you push aside his last clunker on Monday against the Raptors, McDermott had scored at least 13 points in each of his last five appearances while burying 12 triples in that span.  He is rostered in 12% of leagues, but the solid offense and eligibility at both of ESPN’s forward positions makes him worth considering in the right circumstances.

     

    Norman Powell, F, Toronto Raptors – 41 minutes, 26 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, five 3-pointers, 8-for-13 FG

    While the Raptors fell to the Bucks by the score of 115-108, Powell did his best to make things competitive.  After starting in place of OG Anunoby, who was kept out due to a left calf strain, Powell barely left the floor.  He missed just two of seven attempts from long range and posted his fourth straight game with 20 or more points.  While the streak coincided with an expanded role, Powell is also capable of big games off the bench.  On January 16 against the Hornets, he scored 24 points in only 28 minutes.  Powell won’t see quite so many opportunities when Anunoby returns, but he has averaged 13.6 points overall while hitting 38% of 3-point attempts and is available in nearly 80% of ESPN pools.

     

    Drop Zone

    Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.

    Shake Milton

    I will admit that I rode the wave while Milton could do no wrong, taking advantage of my IR spot to add the Sixers guard.  Milton averaged 23.6 points, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals while hitting half his threes and 60% of field-goal attempts from January 6-20.  Seth Curry’s return after missing two weeks with COVID-19 is certainly a factor in Milton’s fantasy decline.  While Milton has improved in a variety of ways this season, including a jump from 79% to 88% in free-throw percentage, his production has fallen to earth of late.  He has not sustained last year’s 43% clip from long range, which has fallen nearly 10 points so far.  On Wednesday, Milton ended with nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and a steal while shooting 4-for-8 from the floor and missing both 3-point attempts.  Milton can provide reliable production in a backup role, but he’s one of the most dropped players of late because of how many managers grabbed him during his hot streak.

     

    Josh Jackson

    Jackson has been slightly more productive compared to his 22 games with the Grizzlies last season, but he spent much of that campaign in the G League.  Jackson has enjoyed some decent nights in his first year with the Pistons, and lately has piled up eight blocks in his last four appearances.  However, he scored only four points on Wednesday on 2-for-9 shooting and missed all three of his attempts from behind the arc, putting him under 30% for January.  Jackson added five rebounds, three assists and two swats.  He has converted only 37% of field-goal attempts this month while playing just 21.4 minutes per night.  Jackson doesn’t get to the line much, where he makes only 63% of his free throws.  Deeper league managers may decide to hold onto him for defensive purposes, but Jackson currently occupies a roster spot in just 8% of Yahoo leagues.

     

    Injury Report

    Lonzo Ball left the game against the Wizards with a sprained right ankle.

    Donovan Mitchell was unable to play as he entered the league’s concussion protocol.

    LeBron James (left ankle sprain) scored 34 points after being labeled as questionable.

    Pascal Siakam (left knee swelling) managed to play 35 minutes against the Bucks.

    Hassan Whiteside (hip soreness) played 16 minutes.

    Devin Booker remained sidelined with a hamstring strain.

    Larry Nance Jr. (right wrist sprain) missed his second straight game.

    D’Angelo Russell (right quad contusion) was unable to suit up.

    Goran Dragic was held out with a groin ailment.

    Derrick Rose (left knee soreness) scored 13 points in 19 minutes.

    Rajon Rondo (left ankle sprain) missed the matchup with the Nets.

    Raul Neto (left groin tightness) played despite a questionable tag.

    George Hill (sprained right thumb) was held out of action.

    Derrick Favors (lower back soreness) was unable to play.

    Anthony Davis (right ankle contusion) scored 23 points.

    Tyler Herro (neck spasms) missed his seventh consecutive game.

    Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) scored 24 points in 35 minutes.

    Seth Curry (right ankle soreness) had a quiet game against the Lakers.

    Danilo Gallinari (right ankle sprain) only played 14 minutes.

    Clint Capela (right hand soreness) played 30 minutes.

     

    Stubborn Sabonis

    Domantas Sabonis suffered a left knee bone bruise in Monday’s win over the Raptors, but he didn’t let that stop him from returning two days later.  Sabonis didn’t just show up on Wednesday: he posted a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and a steal in 37 minutes as the Pacers defeated the Hornets 116-106.  Sabonis shot 9-for-10 from the field and hit a pair of triples in the process.  One interesting development is his incorporation of long-range shooting this season.  Sabonis has attempted 2.6 of them per game while making a solid 37% compared to 1.1 attempts last season with a 25% conversion rate.  This was only his second game of the campaign with 10 or more assists, but that kind of playmaking helps to display his pivotal role in the Pacers’ offense.

    Beal’s Battles 

    It wasn’t even that shocking when Bradley Beal ended Wednesday’s game with 37 attempts from the field while playing 40 minutes.  The Wizards have dealt with so many absences of late, many falling under the umbrella of the league’s health and safety protocols.  Beal made 17 field goals while shooting 6-for-14 from long range.  Meanwhile, among his teammates only Robin Lopez and Garrison Mathews sank as many as five field goals.  The result was a 124-106 defeat at the hands of the Pelicans as the two-headed monster of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram combined to score 64 points, shooting 24-for-35 from the field along the way.  Even Beal’s 47 points couldn’t compete with their efficiency.  At least in fantasy terms, Beal made all seven foul shots and ended with four steals.  He even chipped in with four rebounds and six assists.  None of that is likely to provide him comfort as the Wizards are now 3-11 even though he leads the league in scoring with 35.4 points per game.  This was the third time he has exceeded 40 points in January alone.

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