Pelicans lose another wing
Jrue Holiday got off to another sluggish start on Saturday, scoring just six points on 2-of-7 shooting through the first half of action, but he came out firing to begin the second half of action with Brandon Ingram (head injury) unavailable and finished the game with 16 points (6-of-15 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), six assists, three rebounds, two 3-pointers, one steal and two turnovers across 35 minutes. Holiday has been oddly passive through his first four games this season, operating with a 20.7 usage rate, which is the lowest usage he’s seen since his rookie year. He’s also been missing a lot of shots he traditionally makes, connecting on just 36.2% of his field goal attempts, but there’s no way that’s a trend that will continue for the career 45.2% shooter.
He’s basically cold from everywhere right now, and while I am semi-concerned about him meeting his lofty, first-round expectations, I do not doubt that he’ll be better than he’s been. He’s simply too good to be this bad. Take a look at his shot chart this year (first picture) vs. his shot chart from last season (second picture); there's just no way we don't see a regression to the mean here.
Ingram got struck in the head during the second quarter, and him not being cleared to return for the second half suggests he’s entered the league-mandated concussion protocol testing. The Pelicans play again on Monday in Brooklyn, and for now, Ingram should be considered questionable for that one. If he isn’t able to give it a go, maybe that will finally get Holiday going and Josh Hart would likely be looking at another start.
Speaking of Hart, he had a nice bounce-back game following Friday’s three-point dud, scoring 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with 15 rebounds, two 3-pointers, three assists, one steal, one block and one turnover across 30 minutes. He’s been a fun surprise this season, clocking in with fourth-round value in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 13.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.3 triples, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.7 swats and just 1.3 turnovers per game on 46.6% shooting from the field and 92.9% from the stripe, so he’s one of the early contenders for waiver wire pickup of the year.
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J.J. Redick finally had a good game with 17 points (6-of-12 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), four 3-pointers, three rebounds, one steal and one assist in 27 minutes off the bench. In the four games leading up to Saturday’s, Redick had been connecting on just 25.8% of his shot attempts, but he was hot on Saturday and saw some increased opportunity when Ingram went down. I do think that consistency will be an issue for Redick in his age-35 season, but if Ingram needs to miss time, that could help him get going.
Eric Paschall got the start on Saturday with Draymond Green (finger) on the sidelines and dropped in a career-high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting (5-of-8 from the line) to go with four rebounds, two assists, one block and one turnover in 35 minutes. He looked great while operating as Golden State’s No. 1 scoring option with his 29.7 usage rate, and with the Warriors already extremely banged up and trending towards tanking, Paschall is worth a long look in all formats. Green is out for at least another few games, and even if D’Lo (ankle) comes back for the next game, Paschall is going to have an oversized role moving forward.
Ky Bowman shined as a starter with D’Angelo Russell (ankle) unavailable, scoring 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with seven rebounds, four assists, two 3-pointers, two steals and two turnovers in 39 minutes. Russell tweaked his ankle during Friday’s game, so they held him out of the second leg of the back-to-back, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him back in action on Monday. However, if D’Lo does need another game off, Bowman will make for an extremely attractive streamer.
Damion Lee was another Warrior who stepped up in Saturday’s game, scoring 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with three 3-pointers, three assists, two rebounds and three turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench. Basically, anyone in Golden State who is in uniform is going to have opportunity, and Lee has shown in the past two Curry-less games that he’s ready for some increased responsibility with averages of 14.5 points, 2.5 triples, 2.5 dimes, 3.0 boards, 0.5 steals and 2.5 turnovers per game on 55% shooting.
Glenn Robinson III also had a solid outing, tallying 16 points, nine rebounds, four 3-pointers, three assists, two steals and two turnovers in 36 minutes. He can be hit-or-miss, but he’s starting and a lock for major minutes, which puts GRIII on the radar in deep leagues.
Willie Cauley-Stein recorded eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and zero turnovers through 21 minutes as a starter, and he should continue to see his minutes ramped up with Kevon Looney (hamstring) out at least another few games. The Warriors are absolutely desperate for a big man, and Trill has nice double-double potential, so he’s another guy who will benefit as the last man standing on this decimated Dubs’ team.
Nerlens Noel was solid in another start sans Steven Adams (knee) on Saturday, scoring eight points on 4-of-8 shooting to go with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, six swats and two turnovers in 24 minutes. As long as Adams is out, Noel will be worth owning, but he tends to be a negligible factor when Adams is healthy and it’s not like Adams is dealing with a serious injury.
Jahlil Okafor posted a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double in another start sans Derrick Favors (knee) on Saturday, adding three assists, two blocks and four turnovers in 29 minutes. The Pelicans haven’t offered many updates regarding Favors, simply listing him as doubtful and then out with a sore knee, but the lack of updates and transparency is semi-concerning. Favors also doesn’t have the best track record with staying healthy, so Okafor is looking like a pretty appealing grab at the moment. In his three starts this season, he’s come through with averages of 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.3 blocks and 3.7 turnovers per game on 58.1% shooting from the field and 68.8% from the stripe.
Bruce Brown started at point guard with Reggie Jackson (back), Tim Frazier (shoulder) and Derrick Rose (hamstring) all unavailable, and he finished with 22 points (8-of-20 FGs, 6-of-8 FTs), two rebounds, seven assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 40 minutes of floor time. Jackson is going to miss at least a month, and while it’s unclear exactly how long Frazier and Rose will be out, Brown is at least worth a speculative grab in deep leagues with the Pistons playing again on Monday in Washington.
Luke Kennard drilled another three triples on his way to 24 points (8-of-18 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), three rebounds, four assists and two turnovers through 37 minutes as a starter. Kennard is quietly having himself a top-75 season with averages of 16.4 points, 3.7 assists, 2.9 triples and just 1.1 turnovers per game on 44.6% shooting from the field and 91.3% from the stripe, so make sure he’s not floating around on your waiver wire.
Gorgui Dieng was phenomenal in a spot-start on Saturday with Karl-Anthony Towns (suspension) unavailable, scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting (2-of-3 from the line) to go with eight rebounds, two 3-pointers, one assist, two steals, three blocks and two turnovers in 24 minutes. KAT is going to miss one more game, so Dieng will be someone to consider streaming on Monday vs. Milwaukee, but his long-term value is negligible.
Jarrett Culver finally got some meaningful minutes on Saturday, and he made the most of his opportunity, netting 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting to go with five rebounds, four 3-pointers, one assist, one steal and six turnovers in 26 minutes off the bench. Sure, some of this had to do with the fact that KAT was out, but Culver is supremely talented and the Wolves took him with the No. 6 overall selection on draft day, so this isn’t nothing. Towns is also going to miss one more game, so Culver is someone to consider grabbing in deep leagues to see if he can keep this going on Monday vs. Milwaukee.
Josh Okogie ripped away another two steals in 29 minutes off the bench, adding nine points, four rebounds, four assists and two turnovers in the easy win over Washington. He’s not the most exciting guy out there, but he’s been averaging 1.8 steals over his first five games this season, which puts him on the radar as a potential steals specialist in deep leagues.
Aron Baynes went 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line on his way to 20 points, four 3-pointers, two rebounds, four assists, one steal and one turnover through 28 minutes as a starter. Yes, his value has a shelf life, but it won’t expire until December, so Baynes is worth owning pretty much everywhere right now. Since entering the starting lineup, Baynes has contributed averages of 17.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.2 triples, 1.0 block and just 1.0 turnover per game on 56.9% shooting from the field and 76.2% from the stripe.
Matisse Thybulle got the start on Saturday with Joel Embiid (suspension) unavailable and finished with three points, one assist, one 3-pointer, two steals, one block and zero turnovers in 17 minutes. Thybulle isn’t a guy who will score a lot of points, but he’s averaging 1.0 triple, 1.4 blocks and a ridiculous 2.8 steals per game this season, so he’s worth owning in most leagues.
Kent Bazemore scored seven points on 2-of-5 shooting (2-of-4 from the line) to go with six rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, two steals, two blocks and two turnovers in 26 minutes off the bench. Like Thybulle, Bazemore isn’t the sexiest option out there, but his ability to rack up the defensive stats without really hurting you anywhere gives him some low-end value in deep leagues. Rodney Hood also injured his thigh in Saturday’s game, and if he needs to miss time, Bazemore would likely move into the starting group.
Mario Hezonja got the start with Hassan Whiteside (knee) unavailable and finished with 11 points (4-of-10 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), 12 rebounds, four assists, two 3-pointers, two steals and two turnovers in 37 minutes. Hezonja has been consistently inconsistent throughout his career, but if both Hood and Whiteside miss some more games, he’ll be forced into heavy minutes and could have some low-end value in deep leagues.
Markelle Fultz replaced D.J. Augustin in the starting unit for Saturday’s game against the Nuggets and finished with nine points (4-of-7 FGs, 1-of-1 FTs), one rebound, two assists, three steals and one turnover in 25 minutes. He’s been quietly good this season and while this stat line certainly won’t make the headlines, his entry into the starting unit corresponding with Aaron Gordon (21 points, nine rebounds, one triple, three assists) finally having a good game is significant. If you’re in a deep league and have someone to cut, the former No. 1 overall pick is worth a look.
Dillon Brooks netted 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with two 3-pointers, two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover in 24 minutes. He’s been inconsistent this season, but he’s still providing late-round value with averages of 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 triples, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 turnovers per game on 41.5% shooting.
Kyle Anderson bounced back from Tuesday’s two-point dud with eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two turnovers in 20 minutes off the bench. Jaren Jackson Jr. tweaked his knee on Saturday, and if he needs to miss time Slow Mo could benefit, so he’s worth monitoring in deep leagues.
After scoring a total of 13 points through his first five games, Darius Bazley came alive on Saturday with 17 points, three 3-pointers, five rebounds, one block and one turnover in 19 minutes off the bench. Given how invisible he was to start the year, I’ll need to see this again before recommending him as a pickup anywhere, but he’s certainly on the radar after this performance.