January 21, 2021, 5:16 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! Despite two games that were postponed, we saw nine matchups unfold this evening. Let’s get right to the takeaways.
Adds of the Night
While player availability varies by league type and structure, I try not to provide any incredibly obvious choices here.
Kendrick Nunn, G, Miami Heat – 35 minutes, 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, four 3-pointers, 9-for-12 FG
Tyler Herro missed his third straight game with neck spasms, but even with Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley also missing Nunn still had to come off the bench. Gabe Vincent got the start despite playing only nine minutes in his previous game against the Pistons, while Nunn scored 18 points in 34 minutes on Monday. By contrast, Vincent received 28 minutes on Wednesday versus the Raptors, but was largely ineffective. On the other hand, Nunn ended up playing the second most minutes on the team. He ended up leading all scorers thanks in part to shooting 4-for-6 from long range. While Herro’s return will sap much of Nunn’s value in the long term, the Heat face the Raptors again on Friday. He’s available in 81% of ESPN leagues and that’s a streaming matchup I would target in the right situation.
Cole Anthony, G, Orlando Magic – 28 minutes, 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one block, three 3-pointers, 5-for-7 FG
Television cameras former NBA standout Greg Anthony celebrating when his son Cole hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Wednesday to send the Magic to a 97-96 win over the Timberwolves. The younger Anthony put in an efficient scoring effort thanks in part to shooting 3-for-3 from downtown. It was a nice bounce back after a terrible 2-for-12 shooting night against the Knicks on Monday. However, Anthony had scored in double figures in four of his five prior appearances and Wednesday was a return to form. What’s more, he nearly doubled his season average of just over four rebounds. Take into account the peripheral stats and you can see why Steve Clifford has Anthony in the starting lineup these days. At least in ESPN, he is rostered at just about the same frequency as Nunn.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Thompson accumulated five fouls on Wednesday and despite starting was limited to 21 minutes against the Sixers. He ended with two points, nine rebounds and two assists while making one of his two attempts from the field. Nevertheless, Thompson’s underwhelming game was pretty much in keeping with the rest of his month. Thompson has scored in double figures just once in those seven games while shooting under 45% from the field. He did post 8.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest in that span, but there’s a reason why he is rostered in only 12% of ESPN leagues. Those in deeper pools are likely already ignoring this advice, but other managers may be able to do better on the waiver wire. Daniel Theis certainly outclassed Thompson in this one.
Lonnie Walker IV
Walker has had his bright moments this season. He remains in the Spurs’ lineup and has posted 13.1 points per contest so far while remaining on 18% of ESPN rosters. However, those numbers have taken a dive over his last three appearances when Walker has collected a total of 16 points while shooting 5-for-21 from the floor. He hasn’t added much elsewhere, with two assists and one block during that time. Even the 3-point shooting has cratered: Walker shot 44% from long range in December but has gone 2-for-13 of late. On Wednesday Walker was just 1-for-6, sinking one triple. He finished the blowout loss to the Warriors with three points and three rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Maybe this is cherry picking during a fleeting slump, but I know there are more versatile options available for the taking in many instances.
Christian Wood scored 20 points despite leaving the game briefly with an ankle injury.
Andrew Wiggins (right knee soreness) scored 18 points.
Lou Williams (left hip discomfort) managed to play 15 minutes.
Evan Fournier (back spasms) played a strong 28 minutes after a nine-game absence.
Terence Davis (right hip contusion) scored 16 points.
Jeremy Lamb (torn left ACL) scored 10 points in his season debut.
Darius Garland (right shoulder sprain) was unable to play.
De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) was held out of action.
Cam Reddish (right knee contusion) did not suit up.
Myles Turner (right hand fracture) was unavailable against the Mavericks.
Goran Dragic (foot contusion) scored 17 points against the Raptors.
Trae Young (right heel soreness) posted 38 points and 10 assists.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (left groin strain) had 19 points versus the Pacers.
Marvin Bagley (wrist soreness) played 29 minutes against the Clippers.
Kemba Walker (left knee) was limited to 22 minutes.
Jeremy Lamb (left knee) played 19 minutes.
Sterling Brown (right lower leg soreness) played a quiet 21 minutes.
Hassan Whiteside (left hip flexor strain) remained out of action.
Joel Embiid has made just under 80% of free-throw attempts for his career, which is especially meaningful on a night like Wednesday. Not only did he post a double-double with 42 points and 10 rebounds, he made the Celtics pay by going 17-for-21 at the charity stripe. Embiid is up to 84% at the foul line, 55% from the field, and 36% from long range this season. The big man from Cameroon also shot 12-for-19 from the floor with one triple while collecting two assists, two steals and a swat. Boston really missed Jayson Tatum, who could have altered the outcome of the 117-109 Sixers win in a variety of ways. Embiid scored only nine points during an easy win last Thursday, but he struck for 45 points on Tuesday, January 12. This is becoming reminiscent of his excellent 2018-19 season with a bit less rebounding and shot blocking but improved shooting in every department. Sixers fans are pleased that he only missed Saturday’s game after dealing with right knee soreness.
Collin Sexton had missed two weeks due to a sprained left ankle, but that didn’t stop Wednesday’s game against the Nets from going into double overtime in a 147-135 victory for the Cavs. It was poetic that Kyrie Irving also made his return to action given that Irving was traded for the draft choice used to select Sexton in 2017. Sexton sank a three that forced the first overtime and helped him pile up 42 points on 16-for-29 shooting from the floor. The third-year man out of Alabama was 5-for-11 from behind the arc despite never making more than three of them in any other game this season. The extra time had something to do with that, but Sexton was in a zone similar to his December 26 performance against the Pistons when he had 32 points in 45 minutes. He only needed 38 minutes in Brooklyn. Aside from just pure scoring, this was also a full fantasy line for Sexton that included five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.