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Derrick White Spurs Jersey

The San Antonio Spurs' Derrick White doesn't just post quality stats for a guard, he's even chipping in blocks.

In a crucial win over the Mavericks on Tuesday night that vaulted the team into the sixth seed in a contentious Western Conference, the Spurs’ star duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge produced at least 25 points in the same game for the sixth time this year. Surging second-year combo guard Derrick White also helped the winning cause with 23 points, his fourth career 20-point game, all of which have come this season.

An excellent free-agent acquisition to consider for the fantasy playoffs, White has a Dwyane Wade-like block rate for a guard, as only John Wall and White have produced a block percentage of at least 2.2 percent this season among players 6-foot-4 or shorter. White dropped seven dimes and secured three steals last night, good for his fifth-highest game score (a linear estimate of player efficiency rating) of the season.

White is slashing for 14.7 PPG, 5 RPG, 5.8 APG and a stellar 3.3 combined blocks and steals during his past six appearances and yet is still floating for the price of a few clicks in three-quarters of ESPN leagues.

Tuesday recap

Highlights

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks: 34 points (12-16 FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 TO

DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs: 33 points (11-19 FG), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 3 TO

Elfrid Payton, New Orleans Pelicans: 14 points (6-15 FG), 15 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 TO

Lowlights

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets: 6 points (2-9 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 TO

Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks: 10 points (4-13 FG), 4 rebounds

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls: 11 points (4-17 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 TO

Tuesday takeaways

  • Payton is thriving from a statistical perspective with Jrue Holiday sidelined, producing consecutive triple-doubles for the first time in his career, and he’s now averaging 14 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 9.0 APG, 2.0 3PG, and 1.7 combined blocks and steals the past three games. Holiday is likely to miss several more games. You can find Payton in free agency in roughly 30 percent of ESPN leagues.
  • It was a particularly rough night for star rookie Luka Doncic, who netted only 12 points on 18 shots and made just one of nine free throw attempts while turning the ball over a career-high nine times. With the Spurs swarming Doncic at the point of attack on defense, led by White, it’s best to chalk this up as an outlier poor game for the gifted rookie. Fellow NBA freshman Brunson was brilliant in producing a career-best scoring effort as a pro. ESPN’s Tim McMahon noted this was Brunson’s top scoring performance since high school. In 10 games since the All-Star break, Brunson is averaging 16.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.3 APG and 1.6 3PG in 29.6 MPG, while he’s currently rostered in only 3.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
  • The 76ers have held opponents under 100 points in consecutive games for just the second time this season after downing the Cavaliers last night. Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman delivered strong fantasy performances for Cleveland, while Philly’s Ben Simmons tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, good for his fourth career game with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists; and second such outing this month.
  • The Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum poured in 35 points in a big win over the Clippers on Tuesday night. This marked the Lehigh product’s 14th 30-point game this season after posting seven such games all last season. McCollum’s 23 points in the final frame last night marked the most he’s ever scored in a fourth quarter in his career.

Injuries of note

  • Andrew Wiggins was a late scratch on Tuesday night with a quad ailment and is considered day-to-day.
  • Golden State’s Kevin Durant is expected to miss tonight’s tilt with Houston due to a right ankle injury suffered in this past Sunday’s loss to the Suns.

Analytics advantage for Wednesday

Two teams heading in opposite directions meet on Wednesday when the Thunder host the Nets at 7 ET on ESPN. Brooklyn has won four straight and is 28-15 since Dec. 6, tied for the fourth-best record in the NBA during that span, trailing only the Bucks, Rockets and Warriors. The Nets were 8-18 before that stretch.

The Thunder, meanwhile, are 4-6 since the All-Star break, tied for 11th in the Western Conference over that stretch. Paul George is shooting just 31 percent from the field in four games since returning from a shoulder injury.

The Nets are averaging 47.6 bench points per game this season, second most behind the Clippers (53.0). Brooklyn has outscored the opposing bench a league-high 58 times this season, thanks in large part to the work of Spencer Dinwiddie, who is averaging a career-best 17.4 points this season. That’s the second-highest scoring average by a bench player this season, trailing only Lou Williams (20.4 PPG). While Williams is a respected fantasy contributor, the market is still sleeping on Dinwiddie (rostered in just 61 percent of leagues).

Top players to watch tonight

The Warriors visit the Rockets Wednesday at 9:30 ET on ESPN. The Rockets have won four straight regular-season meetings against the Warriors by an average of nine points. Houston has a chance to become the first team to sweep a four-game season series against Golden State in the past five seasons, per ESPN Stats & Info.

We’re always watching James Harden, as the bearded one is averaging a ridiculous 36.1 PPG for the season, on pace for the most by any player since Michael Jordan in 1986-87 (37.1 PPG). This would mark the second-highest average over an entire season in the past 50 seasons.

With Durant sitting this one out, it’s worth noting Klay Thompson consumes a team-high leap in usage (an estimate of team plays consumed by an individual player) of nine percent in such scenarios.This means Thompson’s usage roughly doubles when Durant isn’t on the floor, while Stephen Curry is second on the roster with a 6.8 percent boost in usage rate. Even if you missed out on drafting the “Splash Brothers” in season-long leagues, stacking the Warriors’ backcourt in DFS could prove rewarding, given these impressive opportunity rates with Durant on the pine.

Cheap Kawhi Leonard Jersey From China

Just like they did at the start of training camp, the San Antonio Spurs announced Wednesday that they plan to keep All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely as he continues to recover from right quadriceps tendinopathy.

“Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said. “This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play.”

When asked about it before Wednesday’s game in Brooklyn, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ruled out the possibility of Leonard missing the rest of the season.

The Spurs initially announced during training camp that Leonard would miss the preseason because of the quadriceps issue, but the recovery process lingered into December, with Popovich admitting in November that the forward was “coming along more slowly” in rehabilitation than the club had hoped.

Leonard missed San Antonio’s first 27 games this season because of the condition, which causes pain and weakness in the knee. The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has appeared in just nine games this season as the Spurs have restricted his playing time to ensure a full recovery.

Despite playing just 23.3 minutes per game, the 26-year-old Leonard is averaging 16.2 points per game.

“For us to go where we want to go, we both have to play well,” LaMarcus Aldridge told ESPN. “Golden State is a prime example, Houston with James Harden and Chris Paul. It’s not impossible to co-exist. I feel like I’m playing more confident, I’m playing better this year, where it’s not going to be an issue. When he’s back 100 percent, he’s going to be who he was and I’m going to be who I am. I feel like that’s going to make us better down the stretch.”

Leonard also missed time with what Popovich said is a partial tear in his left shoulder.

A two-time NBA All-Star, Leonard averaged career highs in points (25.5) and assists (3.5) last season while also averaging 1.8 steals. When Leonard debuted against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 12, he hadn’t suited up to play for San Antonio since Game 1 of last season’s Western Conference finals, a series he missed due to a sprained ankle.

As part of the recovery from quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard had been working through a rehabilitation process comprising several steps, including individual work and two-on-two and three-on-three drills, before receiving clearance to practice fully with the team. Leonard had been working out with veteran point guard Tony Parker, who was recovering from a ruptured quadriceps tendon, as well as former Spurs players Matt Bonner and Tim Duncan.

It’s unknown whether the Spurs plan to re-enter Leonard into a similar protocol for recovery.

Popovich said Leonard would return “sooner rather than later” during Leonard’s absence earlier in the season, and despite the conservative approach to bringing back the forward, San Antonio finds itself back still involved in the rehabilitation process. Sources said, however, that Leonard did not experience a setback.

“It’s been pretty hit and miss the entire season,” Popovich said last Saturday. “Even with minutes limitations, when the guys come back like Tony [Parker], Danny [Green] and Kawhi, it makes it a little awkward, a little weird for the guys to really get into a rhythm. But that’s the way it is. We just have to deal with it. Hopefully, everybody will stay healthy after tonight’s game, and we can put something together.”

Throughout Leonard’s recovery, the club was reluctant to offer a timeline for his return, as there’s a level of unpredictability involved with rehabilitation from quadriceps tendinopathy, according to a source. With Leonard out of action, fourth-year veteran Kyle Anderson moved into the starting lineup and took advantage of the extra minutes, forcing Popovich to admit he needs to be on the floor more, even when Leonard is back in the rotation.

Anderson will return to the starting lineup with Leonard out indefinitely.

Leonard returned to action Saturday after missing three games with a shoulder injury. He played 28 minutes, contributing 19 points and 8 rebounds. Leonard appeared to be finally close to full strength in San Antonio’s 112-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Aldridge has averaged 34.1 minutes and 18.0 field goal attempts per game since the beginning of December, and it’s highly unlikely the Spurs will limit the power forward’s minutes moving forward. Aldridge told ESPN.com that during a heart-to-heart sit-down discussion with Popovich over the summer, he actually asked the coach for more minutes this season.

“I think I’ve always been able to do it. I don’t want to sound arrogant. I think that’s who I’ve been,” Aldridge said. “I think having the talk with Pop helped it happen. Having the talk, and telling him I play better when I’m playing more minutes, and maybe we can try to find different ways for finding rest.

“I struggle with playing low minutes, and trying to keep a rhythm. I’ve just never been able to do it. When I was really rolling in Portland, I was top five in minutes every season. So that’s kind of who I’ve become. So, I think Pop understood that, and he’s letting me play more minutes. We’ve all kind of enjoyed how I’ve come along playing more minutes. I’m staying in great shape. I’m feeling good. My rhythm is better. Being out there more, this is just me.”

Cheap Kawhi Leonard Jersey Discount

The San Antonio Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will be making his season debut against the Mavericks.

The club had originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.

Leonard addressed his potential return last week, saying, “soon to come.”
Kawhi Leonard has been sidelined for all 27 of the Spurs' games this season while recovering from quadriceps tendinopathy.
Then, before the team’s win Friday over the Boston Celtics, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his primary concern was the players available right now.

“Whoever is not there is not there. We don’t worry about him [Leonard] or think about it too much. We’ve got to take care of as much as the business as we can, just like Boston is doing. … In the meantime, a lot of the guys are getting time. We’re playing a lot of different people, a lot of different combinations. Some nights it doesn’t work out really well. Other nights, it looks really good. But I think down the stretch it will help us.”

A two-time NBA All-Star, Leonard averaged career highs in points (25.5) and assists (3.5) last season, while also averaging 1.8 steals. Leonard hasn’t suited up to play for San Antonio since Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, a series he couldn’t continue due to a sprained ankle.

As part of the recovery from quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard has worked through a rehabilitation process comprised of several steps such as individual work, two-on-two and three-on-three drills, before receiving clearance to practice with the team. Leonard had been working out with Tony Parker, who was recovering from a ruptured quadriceps tendon, as well as former Spurs players Matt Bonner and Tim Duncan.

The Spurs also listed shooting guard Danny Green (tightness, left groin) as probable for Tuesday’s game, while Kyle Anderson, who had been filling in during Leonard’s absence, is out due to a MCL sprain in his left knee.

Green is averaging 9.7 points in 28.8 minutes per game this season.