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Light slate precedes a busy Monday

Raphielle Johnson

With Monday’s NBA slate being rather robust, as there are 14 games on the schedule, Sunday’s was predictably light. Just two games were played Sunday, with San Antonio outlasting Miami and Indiana coming back to beat Denver. Domantas Sabonis posted the first triple-double of his NBA career in the night cap, while DeMar DeRozan nearly had a triple-double of his own in the matinee. 

Spurs 107, Heat 102 — San Antonio was short a man in its usual rotation, as Rudy Gay was sidelined due to illness. With the matchup being one that did not lend itself to a second traditional big man playing a lot of minutes, Jakob Poeltl played just 12 and accounted for two rebounds and two blocked shots. The blocks were helpful, but those who had him in their lineups didn’t get much else thanks to the Heat playing smaller lineups for most of the game. 

Derrick White and Patty Mills, who have been in the mid-20’s in minutes for the majority of their appearances, played 26 and 29 minutes respectively Sunday afternoon. White accounted for 11 points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals and one three-pointer, while Mills posted a line of 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers. Over the last two weeks Mills is ranked just outside of the top-100 in nine-category formats according to Basketball Monster, and he’s rostered in just 10 percent of Yahoo leagues. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues, as Mills is averaging 14.4 points and 3.1 three-pointers per during that stretch.

Marco Belinelli was also productive off the bench, as he tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes, and Lonnie Walker IV finished with seven points, three rebounds, two assists and one three-pointer in 20 minutes. Walker’s cooled off after scoring 18 points in a win over the Celtics on January 8, and neither he nor Belinelli is worth rostering at present time. 

DeMar DeRozan (20 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and one steal) and LaMarcus Aldridge (21 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers) led the way offensively, with Dejounte Murray (seven points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one three-pointer) playing 22 minutes despite dealing with an illness. Trey Lyles had his best scoring outing of the month, as he accounted for nine points, six rebounds, one assist and one three-pointer. After averaging 4.5 rebounds per game in December, he’s contributing 7.0 per this month. Lyles still isn’t productive enough to be rostered in most leagues, but he’s managed to retain his spot in the Spurs’ starting lineup. 

Bam Adebayo led the way for the Heat with 21 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 36 minutes, shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line. He’s been a top-50 player all season long, and has a good argument to be included in next month’s All-Star Game. Kendrick Nunn (18 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers) extended his run of double-digit scoring efforts to seven after be began the month with back-to-back seven-point outings. 

He’s rostered in 68 percent of Yahoo leagues, and one could argue that this number is a bit lower than it should be. Nunn has proven that he’s here to stay, and his production is one of the reasons why the Heat have not felt rushed at all when it comes to the possibility of playing Dion Waiters.  

Jimmy Butler (16 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals) and Duncan Robinson (12 points, five rebounds, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, with Goran Dragic adding 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes off the bench. Robinson, who’s averaging 3.2 three-pointers per game on the season, has made three or more in five of Miami’s last six games and is accounting for 2.9 triples per outing in January. If there’s a need for points and three-pointers one could do a lot worse than Robinson, who’s currently rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues. 

Miami welcomed back Tyler Herro, who prior to Sunday had not played since January 12 due to a bruised left knee. The rookie guard played just nine minutes, missing both of his field goal attempts and accounting for one rebound and one assist. While some may be moved to drop Herro onto the waiver wire, it would be wise to exercise some discretion here. You have to think that eventually he’ll be back to around his average of 28.4 minutes per game, and the production should be back to where it was pre-injury when that happens. 

Kelly Olynyk, who had fallen out of the rotation earlier in January, has now appeared in each of Miami’s last three games. He played seven minutes Sunday, going scoreless with one steal. Efforts like that aren’t going to keep him in the rotation, especially when Erik Spoelstra can turn to a James Johnson ( five points, three rebounds, one block and one three-pointer) or Derrick Jones Jr. (six points, three rebounds, two assists and one block) to fill the second unit frontcourt minutes. Olynyk, who’s currently rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues, should not be rostered at this point. Johnson, Jones and Meyers Leonard, who struggled Sunday, would all be better choices among the available Heat players. 

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Pacers 115, Nuggets 107Domantas Sabonis made some personal history in Sunday’s comeback win, as he posted the first triple-double of his NBA career. He played 41 minutes in the Pacers’ win, scoring 22 points (10-of-16 FGs) with 15 rebounds, 10 assists and one three-pointer. Sabonis did turn the ball over five times, but he more than made up for that and the struggles of Myles Turner. Turner was limited to 20 foul-plagued minutes, scoring three points with two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one three-pointer before fouling out. 

He’s been a top-100 player in both eight- and nine-category formats this season, but Turner hasn’t been as effective as he was in 2018-19. And it’s likely that Turner will get even fewer touches once Victor Oladipo is healthy enough to make his return. Sabonis was one of four Pacers to score at least 22 points on the night. Malcolm Brogdon posted a line of 22 points, three rebounds, eight assists and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes, and T.J. Warren added 22 with three rebounds and one assist. 

And Doug McDermott scored a team-high 24 points with two rebounds, two assists and six 3-pointers in just 21 minutes. McDermott shot 9-of-10 from the field in hitting his season-high point total, with Sunday’s effort being much-needed for a player who shot a combined 2-of-8 from three in the two games prior. He’s currently rostered in just two percent of Yahoo leagues, and while the prospect of grabbing Dougie McBuckets off the waiver wire may appear to be enticing given Sunday’s performance more consistency is needed. 

Jeremy Lamb had a rough night, as he went scoreless on 0-of-7 shooting and accounted for just one rebound, one assist and one blocked shot. After beginning January with four straight double-digit scoring efforts, he’s scored nine points or fewer in four of Indiana’s last five games. I wouldn’t cut bait on Lamb since he’s still ranked just outside of the top-100 in nine-category formats, but at this rate he’s likely the current member of the rotation that stands to lose the most once Oladipo returns. 

Justin Holiday had a solid night off the bench, as he finished with 14 points, four rebounds, one block and three 3-pointers, and T.J. McConnell added four points, five rebounds and seven assists. 

Denver was once again without the injured Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, which meant another start for the trio of Monte Morris, Torrey Craig and Jerami Grant. Morris had a tough night, shooting 1-of-7 from the field and finishing with two points, two rebounds, five assists and one steal in 29 minutes. After providing 12th-round value in nine-category formats in 2018-19, he’s been well off that pace this season. The absence of Murray means more chances for Morris to run the offense, but he hasn’t taken advantage of the opportunity thus far. 

Craig added eight points, four rebounds, three blocks and one three-pointer in 25 minutes, and he was more productive than in the two games prior (four points, five rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and two steals). He should remain on the waiver wire because unlike Morris, there really isn’t a case to be made otherwise. Grant, who’s rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues, accounted for 16 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block in 33 minutes. Over the last two weeks he’s just inside of the top-200 in nine-category formats, with his value being due to the fact that he’s in the starting lineup. Depending upon how limited Millsap is when declared healthy enough to play, Grant may be an immediate discard in standard leagues. 

Nikola Jokic shouldered much of the offensive workload for Denver, finishing with 30 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Over the last two weeks Jokic, who shot 10-of-16 from the field, is ranked in the top-10 in both eight- and nine-cat formats. Will Barton added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 36 minutes, with reserves Mason Plumlee (13 points, two rebounds and four assists) and Michael Porter Jr. (10 points, eight rebounds and two steals) also scoring in double figures. 

Porter, who played 23 minutes, has provided eighth-round value in nine-cat formats over the last two weeks. If he can avoid the occasional lapse in concentration on the defensive end of the floor, the rookie forward should approach 30 minutes on a consistent basis.

Malik Beasley, one of the stars in Thursday’s comeback win over the Warriors, struggled Sunday night as he shot 1-of-7 from the field and finished with two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in 14 minutes. P.J. Dozier played a season-high 17 minutes, tallying eight points, one rebound and three assists. While Beasley has some appeal due to his ability as a three-point shooter he hasn’t been all that consistent, so even though you could talk yourself into picking him up due to the Nuggets’ injury issues he should be left on the waiver wire. 

Monday’s Schedule (all times Eastern) 

Detroit at Washington, 2 PM 

Toronto at Atlanta, 2:30 PM 

Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 3 PM 

Sacramento at Miami, 5 PM 

Chicago at Milwaukee, 5 PM 

Oklahoma City at Houston, 5 PM 

Orlando at Charlotte, 5 PM 

New Orleans at Memphis, 5 PM 

New York at Cleveland, 5 PM 

LA Lakers at Boston, 7:30 PM

Denver at Minnesota, 8 PM 

Indiana at Utah, 9 PM 

San Antonio at Phoenix, 9 PM 

Golden State at Portland, 10 PM