There were only five games in the NBA last night, which is my favorite kind of night as far as writing the Dose goes. Let’s dive right in to what happened on the court, and then take a quick trip around the league for news and notes, or should I just say, run down the never-ending list of injuries.
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Monday's Game Notes
Spurs 102 Hawks 100 – Tim Duncan exploded for 23 points, 21 boards and two blocks, and also hit the game-winner with 0.4 remaining to beat the Hawks. Duncan got off to a brutal start, but is now rolling, which means it’s probably time to sell high. Boris Diaw played through a hand injury and had 16 points and a nice stat line on 7-of-9 shooting. If you pick the right night to play him he can be useful, but it’s easier said than done. Danny Green hit just 1-of-7 shots for three points, and to put it bluntly, has been a disaster this season. Kawhi Leonard got Popped again with 22 minutes and four points. I don’t really know what to tell you, other than he’s a much better player than what Gregg Popovich has allowed him to be this season.
The Hawks fought a tough battle, but a losing one, as Paul Millsap had 15 points, 14 boards, a couple steals, a block and two more 3-pointers. That makes six treys over his last two games and back-to-back double-doubles. The Millsap roller coaster ride might finally be getting fun. Lou Williams had 10 points and zero 3-pointers in 27 minutes, as Kyle Korver missed his fourth straight game with a rib injury. I’m still not too psyched about Lou-Will, but he could be fun to own a few weeks from now. DeMarre Carroll had 17 points, eight boards, two steals and three 3-pointers in the loss, and continues to be a decent player to keep at the end of your bench. Jeff Teague was rock-solid again with 19 points, seven dimes and three 3-pointers, and has become one of the league’s more reliable point guards.
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Pelicans 131 Bulls 128 – Ryan Anderson started at power forward in place of Anthony Davis and hit seven 3-pointers on his way to 36 points and six rebounds. He’s going to be fun to own for as long as the Brow is out. Jason Smith helped me win some daily cash by posting 12 points and 14 rebounds, and also gets a boost with Davis out. Al-Farouq Aminu had 14 points, nine boards, three steals and a 3-pointer in a start at small forward, and is yet another guy who wins because we lost Davis. Jrue Holiday had 19 points, 12 assists and just two turnovers, and hit the game-winning layup at the end of the third OT.
The Bulls finally saw Mike Dunleavy catch fire, which we’ve been waiting for ever since Jimmy Butler went down. MD hit six 3-pointers and scored 23 points with seven boards, five dimes and two steals in the triple-overtime loss. Dunleavy has been a disaster for owners who trusted him recently, but finally got hot last night. Maybe he’ll keep it going. Tony Snell cooled off with six points and two 3-pointers, but I still like him as long as Butler is out. Kirk Hinrich double-doubled with 13 points, 11 assists, six boards and two steals, and is a solid point guard option with Derrick Rose done. It’s hard to believe, but Carlos Boozer flopped in a triple-overtime game, finishing with just four points and six boards in 26 minutes. Taj Gibson stayed hot with a career-high 26 points to go along with 14 rebounds and five blocks. He’s averaging a ridiculous 22 points, nine boards and two blocks over his last three. Congratulations if you had him in your lineup last night. Luol Deng is predictable right now, as the main offensive weapon for Chicago, and racked up 37 points, eight boards and seven dimes.
Blazers 106 Pacers 102 – LaMarcus Aldridge went off for 28 points, 10 rebounds and a block, and is one of the best power forwards in fantasy this season. Wesley Matthews’ hip injury didn’t stop him from scoring 15 points, although I’ve seen him play better. Damian Lillard had 26 points and just two assists, and still hasn’t had a 10-assist game yet, which is odd. Nicolas Batum attempted just five shots and finished with eight points, which is annoying. But you simply have to keep rolling him out there, because his next monster line is just around the corner.
Paul George went off to the tune of a career-high 43 points, three steals and seven 3-pointers on 16-of-30 shooting, but it wasn’t enough against the red-hot Blazers. George is in the MVP race and owners who gambled on him with a Top 8 pick haven’t stopped to look back. George Hill had a season-high 11 assists and is a reliable point guard once again, while Roy Hibbert chipped in with 16 points, 14 rebounds and a block. Lance Stephenson continued his bumpy roller coaster ride with just two points before fouling out, and his inconsistency is the only problem I have with him, as the numbers, in general, have been solid. And David West cooled off with 12 points and eight rebounds, as George handled things offensively tonight. This was just the second loss of the season for the Pacers.
Wizards 98 Magic 80 – John Wall stayed hot with 16 points and 13 assists, but hit just 5-of-14 shots in the win. Trevor Ariza is having a big season and hit 8-of-9 shots for 24 points, a full stat line and four 3-pointers. His shot will disappear at some point, but he is rolling. Nene powered through his Achilles injury and had 14 points, six boards and three blocks. He should still be considered day-to-day and has been experiencing “sharp pain” in his Achilles. Martell Webster hit just 2-of-6 shots and a 3-pointer for five points, and also had an eight-point game on Friday. He’s been pretty strong outside of those two games, so I’m not ready to panic on him as long as Bradley Beal remains out with his leg injury.
Arron Afflalo stayed hot with 21 points, but somehow didn’t hit a 3-pointer, while Victor Oladipo had just one turnover to go along with 13 points and six boards, but hit just 4-of-12 shots. Oladipo will likely start at point guard against John Wall tonight, which should be a good time. Glen Davis struggled by hitting just 1-of-8 shots, but is still worth holding in most leagues. Moe Harkless got loose for 16 points, but has been inconsistent, and will take a hit if we ever see Tobias Harris on the court again. Harris isn’t even traveling due to his ankle injury and I don’t expect to see him this week. Jameer Nelson was out with a foot injury allowing E’Twaun Moore to get a start. Moore hit just 1-of-8 shots and is now 3-of-16 over his last two. Nelson may be back on Friday, but isn't expected to play on Tuesday, at least as of this morning. Nikola Vucevic sprained his left ankle last night and X-rays were negative. Consider him very iffy to doubtful for tonight against the Sixers, and look for Davis to bounce back if he’s out.
Jazz 109 Rockets 103 – Gordon Hayward broke out with a season-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, but hasn’t hit a 3-pointer in four straight games. Alec Burks stayed hot with 21 points, three 3-pointers and a solid line, and has looked much better over his last three games or so. If you own Richard Jefferson, dropping him for Burks makes sense. Point guard Trey Burke did it again on Monday with 21 points, six dimes, a steal and three 3-pointers, and is going to be a fun ride all season long. Enes Kanter is invisible right now and had three points in 13 minutes, as Marvin Williams had 10 points and a couple 3-pointers, while Jefferson was useless. Marvin and RJ have three more games this week to get it turned around, but Kanter looks dead in the water. I'm holding him where I can, but if things aren't looking up soon, we're going to have to part ways. Derrick Favors had his first double-double since Nov. 20, but didn’t block a shot.
The Rockets got 15 points and nine boards from Dwight Howard, but he didn’t block a shot and hit just 1-of-4 free throws. In other words, he wasn’t great. And he’s basically been awful lately, averaging just 13 points, eight rebounds, and has totaled just two blocks over his last five. Buy low if you don’t care about free throw percentage, as Dwight can only go up from here. Francisco Garcia started in place of Chandler Parsons, who was out with a back injury, and had 13 points, six boards, four blocks and three 3-pointers. If you spot started him when the Parsons news broke, you are officially rewarded with a Rotoworld gold star. Omri Casspi added 13 points and a couple 3-pointers, and is also someone who will benefit each time Parsons is out. Terrence Jones had just two points and four boards in the loss, and you should watch for him to be dropped. He came in averaging 13.6 points, 8.6 boards, 1.0 3-pointers and 1.6 blocks over his previous 10 games, so last night looks like a fluke. James Harden is rolling and looking healthy again, and went off for 37 points and a big line, as usual.
Injury News and Notes
J.R. Smith was hard on himself after Sunday’s loss, saying “They were pretty much scoring at will. Especially my guy. I don’t know what the hell I was doing on defense.” As my buddies in @Guster would say, Two Points For Honesty. Iman Shumpert got into it with Carmelo Anthony in the second half of that game, while Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace had a heated exchange in a workout prior to Sunday's disaster. Things are not looking up for Mike Woodson and the 3-13 Knicks, who are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. They’re off this week until Thursday when they get a TNT matchup with the Nets, who aren’t in much better shape. Set the DVR, or better yet, have a date night and watch Carrie Underwood perform The Sound of Music live on NBC instead. It might actually be a more entertaining way to spend a couple hours.
Paul Pierce won’t play in that one, or any other games for a couple weeks due to a broken right hand. And yes, I’m concerned that the injury is to his shooting hand. Alan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic should see a boost, and at this point, I’m more comfortable rolling with Anderson. Deron Williams is out Tuesday and unlikely for Thursday due to his lingering ankle injury, and there’s just nothing fun coming out of New York right now. Williams has missed eight of his last nine, and that number is growing.
Anthony Davis (broken hand) will be re-evaluated today and we should then get a timeframe on his return. I’m guessing he'll be out a month, but it’s just a guess.
Andre Iguodala is nearing a return from his hamstring injury, but we still don’t know exactly when he’ll be ready. Maybe he’ll go Friday at Houston, but it doesn’t sound too likely to happen.
Jordan Farmar’s hamstring injury will keep him out for a month, adding value to Steve Blake, who is dealing with an elbow injury. Nick Young and Xavier Henry will also be worth an extra look over the next few weeks, while we wait and see if Kobe Bryant will play on Friday. Pau Gasol has a right ankle sprain, leaving him a little iffy for Friday vs. the Kings.
Kelly Olynyk’s ankle injury is being called severe, which just adds insurance for those who own Jared Sullinger. Keep running him out there.
Jose Calderon is a game-time decision for tonight for the Mavs due to a bruised right ankle. Stay tuned and give Gal Mekel a daily look if JC is out.
Zach Randolph’s ingrown toenail kept him out of Grizzlies' practice on Monday and he’s iffy for tonight against the Suns. Ed Davis would start if Z-Bo is out again.
Ersan Ilyasova practiced for the Bucks on Monday but is still questionable for tonight against the Celtics. He’s got ankle, thumb and hammy issues, as his ugly campaign continues to stall. And this is just more good news for Khris Middleton and John Henson.
Eric Bledsoe will be back in the starting five for the Suns tonight, pushing Gerald Green to the bench. I’m still into holding Green, but his numbers should tail off, while this move should also mean red-hot Goran Dragic will cool down.