When Keepin It Beal Goes Wrong

Mike Gallagher
The Wizards and Celtics both held home court to take 3-2 leads in their series on Wednesday, led by Bradley Beal, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley

Wednesday was a busy night and we’re not even going to waste time on an introduction.

You can follow me on Twitter for relevant stats and info as it happens @MikeSGallagher

Wednesday’s injury news:


The Wizards announced Bradley Beal suffered a fractured right fibula and he will miss the rest of the season. They have handled Beal in a very strange manner since he sustained a left ankle injury on March 3. The team listed him as day-to-day and even though X-rays were negative on March 4, it didn’t make any sense considering he missed six games after the sprain. After averaging 20.0 minutes per game in his three contests after that sprain, he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Phoenix on March 20. He returned on Sunday, scoring 24, then on Tuesday Beal tapped out in the fourth quarter of the game for what looked to be left ankle soreness. It was not a fun month for one of the best rookies this year.

Moving forward, he is expected to resume basketball activities in six weeks and he should be ready to go for next season. Although, there will be an injury red flag on him. This year he missed 26 games with injuries to his right fibula, left ankle, right wrist and back. Not good. That said, the Florida rookie shot 49 percent from the field and hit two triples per game in March and February, plus he has the arsenal to be a fantasy beast for years to come. It's early, but I plan on targeting him.


Marcin Gortat said that he expects to return to the lineup at some point this year and Phoenix needs him back. Since Gortat has been out, the Suns have allowed the most shot attempts within 15 feet and their hollow defense has dropped them to the worst record in the Western Conference. As nice as it sounds that Gortat could return, why would the Suns do that? They sat their best player, a healthy Goran Dragic, for two games last week to give Kendall Marshall a shot to run the point. Marshall doesn’t really have the skills to be a legit point guard, so one would think that they let a player with a little promise, Markieff Morris, get some extra playing time. Gortat isn’t likely to have an impact this year.


Nicolas Batum did not play on Wednesday due to a right shoulder injury and his owners have every reason to be concerned about a shutdown. He has a tear to his labrum, but there’s nothing official just yet. Terry Stotts did say that he’s not inclined to sit players under most circumstances. "If a player wants to play and he can play, then he should play,” Stotts said. This isn’t exactly going to make Batum or LaMarcus Aldridge owners feel all warm and fuzzy and cynics will try to call shenanigans on that pretty quickly.


Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson did not play on Wednesday and both players have been disappointments. Many will call Joe Johnson the worst max player this side of Rashard Lewis and it’s tough to contest that outside of his clutch play in the last minute of games. As for Wallace, he’s been an absolute disaster all year. He entered the night ranked 164 in eight-cat leagues and guys like Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince and Kendrick Perkins have turned in better seasons. Yes, The Kendrick Perkins. The Nets are one of six teams that play on Thursday, so some owners in stream-happy daily formats might want to give them a chance. As for next year, they’re both going to have draft repellent on them.


Devin Harris missed Wednesday with a foot injury. This is a recording.


Jose Calderon was a late scratch with an arm injury. It’s too bad since he was playing well all year and leads all starting point guards in assists-to-turnover ratio and 3-point percentage. He isn’t expected to miss much time and we’ll cover this further below. He will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Nets vs. Cavs


MarShon Brooks went off against the Cavs on Wednesday, shooting 12-of-16 from the field for a career-high 27 points with four boards, seven assists, one block and one 3-pointer. Yes, this came against the Cavs and it should come with a tablespoon of salt, but it’s nice to see him step up with Joe Johnson out of the lineup. Brooks had a solid rookie season with 12.6 points per game, but he was moved to a secondary role this year and was scoring just 5.1 points per game before Wednesday’s eruption. Johnson was ruled out early for Wednesday’s game, so daily league owners might want to consider giving MarShon a look for a light three-game night on Thursday.

As for the other Brooks Brother, Brook Lopez had a somewhat positive line, making all six free throws and shooting 4-of-9 from the field for 14 points with six boards and two blocks in just 26 minutes. The Nets as a team shot 57 percent from the field and scored 113 points. The Cavs allow the worst field goal percentage in the league and the Nets have the slowest pace in the league, so it was the classic matchup of the immobile force vs. the very, very movable object.

Reggie Evans continued his rebounding bonanza with 18 boards and eight points in 27 minutes while Deron Williams filled it up in the win, adding 24 points, three boards, eight assists and four 3-pointers in 27 minutes. Deron has been a monster from deep and in his last 21 games, only Stephen Curry has made more treys.


Kyrie Irving played in his second game since returning from a shoulder injury and shot an ugly 5-of-16 from the field for 16 points with six assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. We’ll have more on the poor shooting in the loss in a bit, but Kyrie didn’t look to be hindered by his shoulder. The Cavs said they won’t play him in a back-to-back set, so Kyrie owners should prepare for a DNP in each of the upcoming two weeks.

When Kyrie plays, the Cavs use him a bunch. In his previous five games he has a usage rate of 33 percent. Only Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook have a higher number in that span. Kyrie has also been scoring from all over the place and you can check out his scoring heat maps by clicking here. It's also interesting that he shoots 52 percent from the field in wins and 44 percent in losses, which really isn't that surprising.

As for the other Cavs, Marreese Speights and Tyler Zeller were solid with 16-10 and 14-4 lines, respectively. Speights has caught fire in the shooting department lately and is worth a look. Kyrie driving and kicking to him for mid-range jumpers makes some sense. Tristan Thompson had a ho-hum game of eight points and eight boards on 4-of-11 shooting. He’s struggling badly in his last five, shooting 39.5 percent from the field and a putrid 21.3 percent from the line. He’s still a must-start in almost every format.

Wizards vs. Raptors


How about a baseball reference? Jonas Valanciunas’ rookie card won’t be valued at $1.2 million like Honus Wagner’s 1909 card, but the rookie is certainly a red-hot property. He’s been fantastic around the basket in his previous 10, making 83 percent of his 4.6 attempts per game. This helped him boast a sterling 69 percent from the field in that stretch and he’s been a top-five center in fantasy. JV didn’t disappoint on Wednesday with 24 points, 10 boards, one assist, one steal and two blocks. He made a living at the line with 16-of-18 makes to go with an efficient 4-of-7 from the field. If you’re scoring at home, 24 points on seven field goals is ridiculous. He’s as must-start as it gets right now.

Consequently, his surge has made Amir Johnson fall off and Amir is falling out of truly must-own territory. However, he was solid on Wednesday with nine points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. If he was let loose, he’s worth grabbing for defense and field goal percentage.  Kyle Lowry flirted with a triple-double (nine points, eight boards and 13 dimes) and DeMar DeRozan had a rare effective game (25 points on 11-of-21 shooting) while Rudy Gay struggled (six points, eight boards and two steals on 2-of-8 shooting).


John Wall finally cooled off on Wednesday, shooting 5-of-17 from the field for 20 points with five boards, five assists and two turnovers. Despite the off shooting night, he’s flying high right now. Before this current outburst, everyone that knows basketball could have spotted Wall’s weakness from outer space: His jumper. Last year he shot 28 percent on jumpshots and a barftastic 7.1 percent from downtown. Yes, barftastic. In March, he shot 45.5 percent from downtown and a fairly impressive 44.2 percent on shots from beyond three feet, which is up from his February percentage of 23.5. Jimmy Wall has been arguably the best point guard in fantasy hoops in the past month and if he keeps it up, he’ll be looking at a second-round valuation in drafts next year.

Martell Webster kept his slump going and he’s on thin ice in standards right now. He shot 1-of-8 from the field for four points with three assists on Wednesday. In his four games back from an abdominal injury, M-Web shot 29.9 percent from the field including 7.1 percent from downtown. His loss has been Trevor Ariza’s gain and the Ariza played 34 minutes on Wednesday, scoring eight points with seven boards, one steal and two 3-pointers. It’s hard to believe, but switching Webster for Ariza makes sense. That said, I expect Webster to rebound and he’ll have plenty of opportunity with Bradley Beal out for the year.

Sixers vs. Bobcats


Jrue Holiday had rough night. He shot 2-of-24 from the field and his 24 attempts are the most in the last 25 years by a player who made two or fewer. This is obviously going to be a death blow to any owner that is battling for field goal percentage. It wasn’t just this game and the milk has gone bad for Jrue in scoring, making just 39.4 percent of his attempts in March. Over the past month, he’s ranked as the 15th-best point guard and that will drop following Wednesday's disaster. As bad as it seems, he’s still a must-start player.

Spencer Hawes was solid with 12 points, seven boards, one steal and one block in 33 minutes. It’s hard to believe, but he’s put up first-round value over the past month. Evan Turner was just OK, shooting 6-of-15 from the field for 14 points with six boards, three assists and two steals. He’s snapping out of his frigid February, but he is too consistent to a reliable asset in standards.

Damien Wilkins scored a team-high 20 points. Yes, you’re not going to win many games when that happens. Kidding aside, D-Dub has been effective with 16.3 points in his last seven games. He’s going to have a low upside since he’s only made four 3-pointers in that span, so you’d have to be in a jam to make the move and grab him. Dorell Wright scored 14 points and hit four 3-pointers, so an argument can be made that he’ll be more valuable in this timeshare. It’s probably a moot point in most leagues, though.


Josh McRoberts double-doubled with 12 points and 16 boards on Wednesday, playing a team-high 43 minutes and the Bobcats are absolutely gutted up front. Furthermore, they have the worst frontcourt in the league and it’s not close. Among frontcourts, they have the least points and lowest field goal percentage while allowing the most points and highest field goal percentage to opposing frontcourts. Byron Mullens might be down for the count with his bum left ankle and the minutes are there for the taking for McRoberts. He’s a must-own player in standards until Mullens comes back.

Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson did their thing in a win, too. Kemba filled up the stat sheet with 17 points, five boards, 10 dimes, five steals and two 3-pointers while Hendo scored 24 points with two steals and one block. They’re both must-start players.

Knicks vs. Hawks


Carmelo Anthony followed up his 50-point explosion with a 40 burger against the Hawks. He only hit one triple, unlike the seven he buried on Tuesday, and there was more than one way to skin the cat for Melo in the two wins. In Tuesday’s game, he didn’t take any shots from within 15 feet on 26 attempts and Wednesday he took 10 shots in the paint and only missed one of them. Last month, Woodson said he might try to limit Anthony’s minutes. Well, that hasn’t happened. He’s played 36.7 minutes per game in his last six and it would be higher if not for the blowout the Knicks handed the Celtics on Sunday. He’s scored 32.8 points per game in his last seven and he closed the gap to just 0.2 points per game to catch Kevin Durant for the scoring crown.

Raymond Felton turned in a nice game with 14 points, five boards, three assists and three steals. He’s going to be a top-12 point guard for the last six weeks of the season thanks largely to the favorable schedule. Tyson Chandler was quiet again with just two points, four boards and one steal in 24 minutes. He’s a guy that should be benched and not someone that should be cut. Although, if you’re in a do-or-die situation, I can hardly blame you. J.R. Smith got out of his mini-slump, shooting 8-of-15 from the field for 19 points.


Josh Smith didn’t exactly have it on Wednesday. He missed all seven free throws and made 5-of-13 from the line for 10 points with eight boards, five assists and one steal in 38 minutes. The seven misses dropped him to a Howard-like 51.3 percent from the line and he’s the third-worst player to own for FT% behind Howard and DeAndre Jordan in fantasy leagues. What’s more, since his FG% isn’t helpful, it’s easy to make a case that he’s the worst player to own for combined percentages. If you’re in a Roto league, you might want to keep this in mind for next season.

Kyle Korver made a three for the 69th game in a row on Wednesday on his way to 25 points, six boards, one steal two blocks and six 3-pointers. He has been locked in all year from deep ranking fourth with his 182 triples while shooting a second-best 45.7 percent –trailing only Jose Calderon. Jeff Teague (15 points, nine assists and two steals) and Al Horford (nine points, seven boards, five assists and one steal) were a bit sub-par.

Pistons vs. Celtics


Rodney Stuckey drew the start against the Celtics on Wednesday and had 22 points with two boards, four assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Calderon's status is up in the air and the Pistons aren’t likely going to be giving the point-guard keys back to Brandon Knight. At the time of Knight’s demotion from the PG spot, he ranked dead last on assist-to-turnover ratio, so Stuckey should be the man at the one for the while JC is on the shelf.

Greg Monroe went off with 24 points, 17 boards, three assists and two steals on 11-of-22 shooting. He leads the league in shot attempts at the rim this year and it’s no surprise after he finished second behind DeMarcus Cousins last year. He’s a beast. Other Piston storylines include Charlie Villanueva putting up a Holiday-esque 2-of-17 from the field and Knight also struggled with just 2-of-10 makes from the floor. Jonas Jerebko scored 19 points, but he’s been way too inconsistent all year. Andre Drummond was also a letdown with eight points, nine boards and one steal while shooting 4-of-6 from the field and missing all three free throw attempts. If you care about FT%, he’s not someone that should be on your team right now.


Anyone that doesn’t own Jeff Green has to be jealous. He’s on a tear right now and busted loose again on Wednesday to the tune of 34 points, six boards, one steal, four blocks and three 3-pointers on 13-of-19 shooting. He’s been flirting with second-round value in the past month and he’s probably going to wind up on a lot of championship fantasy teams.

Brandon Bass wasn’t too shabby with 17 points, seven boards and three blocks on 6-of-8 shooting. He’s surprisingly had the look of a must-start guy while KG has been out, so act accordingly. Paul Pierce was a game-time decision and was solid with 17 points, three boards, five assists and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes. He’s fine.

Wolves vs. Bucks


The Spaniard slayed the Bucks with the best fantasy line of his career, scoring 19 points with four boards, 12 assists, eight steals and five 3-pointers on 7-of-12 shooting in 34 minutes. Ricky Rubio’s five treys were a career high and he shot 5-of-6 from downtown. The long-range J has been a bugaboo for him and he entered tonight shooting just 23.4 percent from deep on the season. He spent a nice chunk of his rehab working on his jumper, but it hadn’t really paid off up until tonight. He’s shot just 32 percent on jumpers in his career, but the 22-year-old still has plenty of time to improve. His eight steals also gave him the league lead with 2.41 per game, just a hair above Chris Paul’s 2.40.

Nikola Pekovic was also a stud for the Wolves with 27 points, eight boards and one steal on 11-of-14 shooting. He’s ranked second in the league in shots at the rim and he’s one of the best centers in fantasy as long as he’s healthy.


Larry Sanders logged his fourth double-double in a row on Wednesday with 11 points and 10 boards in 34 minutes. He added four assists, one steal and two blocks on 5-of-12 shooting. Sanders has been a different player since the All-Star break and it’s largely due to discipline. Since the break, his minutes, points, boards and free throw shooting are up while his blocks and fouls are down. He’s still blocking 2.3 per game in that span and it’s encouraging to see him not trying to block anything with a basketball to keep his fouls in check.

Ersan Ilyasova went bananas with 29 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers on 12-of-21 shooting. You might be surprised to know that he is ranked fourth in the league for 3-point percentage on the season. He’s also crushing since the break and it’s hard to believe many people were dropping him back in November.

Mike Dunleavy turned in a nice Roto line of 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. It’s his second productive game in a row and he’s worth a look in standards. Brandon Jennings (13 points, eight assists and three steals) and Monta Ellis (18 points, five boards, three assists, one steal, one block and two triples) were solid in the loss. J.J. Redick scored eight points with no threes, so he’s making his owners angry these days and he’s not a must-own player anymore.

Magic vs. Spurs


Nikola Pekovic wasn’t the only Nikola that was great on Wednesday, Nikola Vucevic went off with 16 points, 14 boards, four steals and two blocks on 7-of-13 shooting. Anyone that picked him up on Saturday has to be sitting pretty and he’s almost a lock to lead the Eastern Conference in total rebounds.

Beno Udrih may have had his last go ‘round on Wednesday with 14 points, eight assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes. If he’s still sitting out there in your shallow league, it doesn’t make much sense to pick him up since Jameer Nelson could be back on Friday. Maurice Harkless (18 points, nine boards and two blocks) and Tobias Harris (11 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, three blocks and one 3-pointer) both continued their massive second halves.


Gary Neal was expected to be the winner from the Manu Ginobili injury and he finally turned in a positive outing on Wednesday. The Towson product scored 16 points with eight boards, two assists and four 3-pointers. As nice as this is, Gregg Popovich said he expects everyone to play on Thursday with the exception of Ginobili. It’s a fool’s errand to try and figure out who will have the better game off the bench for the Spurs.

Danny Green was terrific as usual with 20 points, three assists, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting. He’s putting up mid-round value. Tim Duncan wasn’t officially rested with a DNP-OLD, but Pop played him just 14 minutes. He’ll get more playing time against the Thunder on Thursday. It goes without saying that it’s not going to be fun to own the older Spurs down the stretch.

Jazz vs. Nuggets


Danilo Gallinari finished strong in the fourth quarter with a team-high 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting, adding four boards, three assists and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. He scored nine straight in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach in a tough loss for Utah. Gallo hasn’t been much of an efficient scorer and it was the first time he scored 20 points on 10 or few shot attempts since January 3, 2010. Why did I look that up? I have no idea. Gallinari really needed a strong game after shooting a paltry 33.3 percent from the field in his previous 10 games. The Rooster was a nice piece of poultry on Wednesday.

Kenneth Faried played well with 19 points, eight boards and two blocks on 8-of-10 shooting. He needs some more consistency, but he has the potential to be the best rebounding power forward in the NBA. Yes, I know who Kevin Love is. Evan Fournier was outstanding in 21 minutes with his 18 points, two boards, two assists, three steals and one 3-pointer. This won’t happen again and he’s nothing more than a spot-start on a slow night like the three-game night on Thursday.


Utah’s playoff chances took a massive hit on Wednesday with a loss at home to the Nuggets. As for the players, Gordon Hayward continues to hold a must-start distinction, scoring a team-high 18 points with one board, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers on 7-of-13 shooting. Mo Williams cooled off with four points, five boards, seven assists, one steal and no triples on 2-of-12 shooting. He hit 10 treys in his previous three games, so his owners shouldn’t be too concerned. Everything else was business as usual.

Rockets vs. Kings


Chandler Parsons was fantastic in his return from an illness on Wednesday with 29 points, five boards, four assists, one block and three 3-pointers on 12-of-18 shooting. The University of Florida product has been one of the best draft picks in fantasy leagues and he’ll be going off the board in the early-middle rounds next year, assuming Houston doesn’t shake things up.

James Harden wasn’t quite his old self in the win with 21 points, seven boards, nine assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes. The 40 minutes should alleviate concerns about his foot, though. Omer Asik double-doubled with 19 and 10 and actually was effective from the line, making 7-of-9 attempts. Jeremy Lin added a double-double of his own with 15 points and 10 dimes. Terrence Jones showed up with a double-double that included 14 points and 12 boards. We’ll need to see it again, but he has upside.


It wasn’t that great to be the Kings in a loss, but they still scored 102 points. DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting while Jason Thompson had his best game in a while, scoring 17 points with 15 boards and two blocks. The needle hasn’t moved on him at all despite the Kings doing big things on offense.

Speaking of which, do you know who has the fastest pace in the NBA since the All-Star? Well, if it wasn’t the Kings, it wouldn’t make much sense to put it in here, would it? The Kings are edging the Rockets by 0.26 possessions per game and they are also ranked fourth in offensive efficiency. This easily explains why they’re leading the NBA in points per game in that stretch and why Isaiah Thomas playing some of the best ball of his life. Since the break, Jose Calderon is the only point guard with better field goal shooting than Thomas’ 49.6 percent, which is even more impressive when factoring in his 2.4 triples per game. What’s more, his 1.53 points per shot rank second among guards behind James Harden (minimum 20 minutes per game) since the break. I wouldn’t be even remotely concerned with his 3-of-16 shooting on Wednesday. If you thought you weren’t going to get your dose of IT2 because I’m filling in for Aaron Bruski... Welp.

Grizzlies vs. Blazers


Mike Conley has been the master of ceremonies for his fantasy owners and it continued on Wednesday with 20 points, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers on 7-of-11 shooting in just 31 minutes. He’s been a top-five asset in fantasy leagues and is flirting with first-round value on the year. He has been stuffing stats enough to fill up MC Hammer’s pants and is nailing it.

Jerryd Bayless missed all eight attempts from the field and he’s coming back to Earth. He should still be owned in most formats, though. Ed Davis had a blip on the radar with a double-double, but he burned owners badly last week and we’ll need to see it again.


Tony Allen scored the first bucket of the game with 23 seconds off the clock and the Blazers trailed the rest of the way. They’re in dire straits on offense with LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) and Nicolas Batum (shoulder) out of the lineup. Damian Lillard (17 points, for boards, six assists, one block and one 3-pointer) and Wesley Matthews (12 points, two boards, one steal and two 3-pointers) did most of the heavy lifting and their field goal percentages are going to suffer. Although, Memphis has the best defense against backcourt players, so their owners shouldn’t be panic.

As for the winners of Batum and Aldridge being out, Meyers Leonard, who keeps playing well (10 points, seven boards and two assists), and Victor Claver (seven points, two boards and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes) look to be the better pickups for deep leagues. Eric Maynor is also worth a look and played 31 minutes for guard-needy owners.

Suns vs. Clippers


Wesley Johnson went off in a loss with 20 points, two rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers in 41 minutes. The 41 minutes and treys are certainly eye-catching and I’d consider him as a hot free agent.

Another guy that isn’t quite as hot is Jermaine O’Neal. JO played 22 minutes and scored 18 points with eight boards and one block on 7-of-10 shooting. He’s hurt too much to be considered in standard leagues. Jared Dudley (15 points) and Michael Beasley (13 points) played well, but the rest of the team was pretty bad. Specifically, Markieff Morris shooting just 1-of-9 from the field. He’s a drop candidate and has shot 35.1 percent from the field in his last five.


DeAndre Jordan shot 10-of-15 from the field for 20 points with 12 boards, one steal and one block in 30 minutes against the Suns. As mentioned above, the Suns have a horrific interior D and this was bound to happen. The biggest takeaway from this is that you play your bigs vs. Phoenix. Caron Butler was nice with 15 points, two steals and three 3-pointers, but since he’s in a timeshare with Matt Barnes, I’d be reluctant to pick him up. Eric Bledsoe looked good in garbage time, but we knew that.

Hornets vs. Warriors


Ryan Anderson was ice cold in a bad way on Wednesday, making 1-of-8 from the field for three points. There’s really nothing to worry about here and he hit 12 triples in his previous four games. Shooters have their bad games and this is what his owners signed up for. Anthony Davis played 32 minutes, but also had a rough night, making just 2-of-11 from the field. The minutes are important and he’s a must-start player.

On the other hand, Robin Lopez (17 points, seven boards and one block) and Al-Farouq Aminu (14 points, five boards, four assists, three steals and one block) shot a combined 14-of-19 from the field while the rest of the team shot 19-of-64, which is good for 25 percent. Yuck. They should be viewed as holds and not pickups.


David Lee blew up in 38 minutes on Wednesday with 23 points, 16 boards, four assists, one steal and one block on 9-of-15 shooting. He is cruising right now and is one of the best players to own for percentages with field goal shooting of 51.5 percent and free throw shooting of 80.3 percent. He’s not much of a defensive force, but until defensive efficiency becomes a fantasy stat, he’ll be a monster.

Stephen Curry tacked on four more 3-pointers to his league high in makes and he scored 20 in the win. He’s a top-five fantasy option as long as his ankles are good to go. Jarrett Jack scored 19 points and is an under-the-radar choice for Sixth Man of the Year. To be clear, he won’t be topping J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford.