I usually have an internal debate about whether to write the Dose as soon as the games end and then go to bed, or to first take a nap, write the Dose, and go to bed when the sun comes up. On Monday night I chose nap-Dose-bed, although I didn’t set an alarm or anything. So when my messed up body clock awoke me, I let the dog out and had another internal debate: do I write the Dose at Starbucks, where I might interact with other human beings, or do I write it in my office, where I won’t see or hear anyone? I decided on Starbucks, until I got ready to go and noticed that it was only 3:30 in the morning. Ah, the life of a vampire.
Another thing I tend to do as a vampire is read emails in small print on my phone in the middle of the night when I’m half asleep and lying in bed. I saw this gem at some point last night:
Subject: This website blows! - Way to tell me Rondo is out tonight in a 2-game week.
Naturally, I got all defensive and lobbed this shot back at him:
Seriously dude? Look at the previous Rondo blurbs as well as today’s daily dose. We've said countless times he wouldn't play on Monday.
And then, as soon as I hit the send button, I realized he was a friend of mine, sending a venting note out to our entire league, ripping the league manager site we use for not having Rondo listed as injured. Which led to a second, apologetic email. I have no idea why I shared these stories this morning, but it’s possible this conversation I had yesterday had something to do with it. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Pacers Crush Nuggets
David West hit 11-of-13 shots for 25 points, three rebounds and two blocks, keeping alive the trend of opposing PFs abusing the Nuggets. Roy Hibbert was also nice with 14 points, 12 boards and four blocks, and both helped me win a little cash in a daily league. Paul George, who is not a big man, struggled badly against the Nuggets, hitting just 4-of-10 shots for 10 points, but still had a decent stat line, while George Hill was nice again with 10 points, seven boards, five dimes and two steals. Maybe he’s turned the corner after his recent 37-point explosion. Lance Stephenson had 12 points and six boards, but not much else, and is likely still not 100 percent after his bad fall over the weekend, but at least he played.
Ty Lawson missed this one with his broken rib and remains out indefinitely. Randy Foye got the start at point guard and hit just 2-of-13 shots for nine points, 10 assists and a 3-pointer. He tweaked an ankle, but was able to stay in and play through it. Quincy Miller started at SG but failed to score against the Pacers, while only Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson and Jordan Hamilton managed to score in double figures in a blowout.
Raptors Down Pelicans
Kyle Lowry did it again with 19 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, as the trade rumors have died down with his strong play. Amir Johnson was out with an ankle injury giving Patrick Patterson the start. He responded with a season-high 22 points and six rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting, while Jonas Valanciunas was quietly disappointing with nine points, eight boards and a block. If Johnson is going to miss time, Patterson is the pickup, but Amir’s injury doesn’t sound terribly serious. Terrence Ross hit four 3-pointers and had 14 points, four rebounds and a block as he continues to cling to fantasy relevancy. DeMar DeRozan stayed hot with 22 points, while Tyler Hansbrough added 12 points and six boards off the bench with Johnson out.
Tyreke Evans was out of Monty Williams’ doghouse and back on the court for the Pelicans, where he went off for 23 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in the loss. Apparently he smelled what Williams was cooking after being benched on Sunday, and I hope you had him in your lineup. Brian Roberts had 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and three 3-pointers, and remains a solid fantasy option as long as Jrue Holiday is out with his leg injury. Anthony Davis had 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals, but didn’t block a shot, which is going to sting a lot of owners in a short week (me included). This was just his fifth game of the season without a blocked shot. Anthony Morrow cooled off with Evans and Eric Gordon (10 points) in action, and had just eight points off the bench.
The Day After: Pistons Beat Spurs (with help from ‘Bad Green’)
Brandon Jennings kept it going Monday with 21 points, six dimes, two steals and two 3-pointers, and is simply a must-start player despite his random disappearing acts. Greg Monroe double-doubled with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Pistons spanked the Spurs under interim coach John Loyer. Monroe has been the subject of trade rumors, but is playing pretty well right now. Rodney Stuckey had 20 points off the bench and while he’s an interesting fantasy option, he doesn’t do much beside score points. Josh Smith had 12 points and a full stat line that included more poor shooting (4-of-12), while Kyle Singler made another start at shooting guard. He finished with 10 points, six boards, two steals and two 3-pointers on 3-of-11 shooting, and is still worth a look in all leagues as long as he’s starting. And as usual, Andre Drummond was solid with 14 points, nine boards, a steal and three blocks on 7-of-10 shooting, as all five starters managed to hit double digits in scoring for the Pistons.
Marco Belinelli returned from a back injury and had 20 points and four 3-pointers. He’s inconsistent, but the minutes are almost always there. Tony Parker played 21 minutes and had 11 points and three assists, and may still be bothered by a sore back. With Parker back, Patty Mills played just 14 minutes and scored six points, although he also suffered a sprained ankle in this one, leaving him iffy for his next one. Tiago Splitter was out again with his calf injury, while Danny Green suffered some sort of hand injury during the game. He tried to play through it, but was a disaster, hitting 1-of-6 shots for two points, two rebounds and a block. I have been really down on Green all season but got excited when he got hot recently. Of course, he’s been awful since I put him in my lineup, and I’m a sucker. Maybe he bounces back on Wednesday against the Celtics, if he even plays. Kawhi Leonard will have an X-ray on his broken hand next week to determine a target date for his return, while Manu Ginobili is expected back on Feb. 18 after missing about three weeks with a hamstring injury.
Celtics Wax Bucks Behind ‘Good Green’
We got a dose of good Jeff Green last night, who torched the Bucks for 29 points, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 11-of-22 shooting. I’ve given up on trying to figure out when he’s going to be hot or cold, and am just going to keep plugging him into my weekly lineups going forward. There’s nothing worse than having Green on the bench when he goes nuts. Brandon Bass was poked in the eye and didn’t return on Monday, and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Which is a shame since he was playing well. He still finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block in the win. Jerryd Bayless saw an opportunity with both Rajon Rondo (knee) and Avery Bradley (ankle) out, but hit just 2-of-10 shots for four points. Rondo should be back on Wednesday, while Bradley is likely out through the break. Phil Pressey got the start for Rondo and had 13 points, six assists, a steal and three 3-pointers in the easy win. Jared Sullinger was solid again with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Kelly Olynyk had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and could be a sneaky add if Bass is going to miss time. This is another sign that Brad Stevens has given up on Kris Humphries. Gerald Wallace got a start in place of Bradley, but scored just eight points to go along with three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Larry Sanders has a fractured orbital bone and is out indefinitely, although a one-to-six-week timetable sounds likely. I've heard of a lot of folks dropping him for Chris Kaman. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. John Henson got the start last night, but left early with a right ankle injury after landing on the foot of Zaza Pachulia, who was also in the starting lineup with Ersan Ilyasova (back) out. Pachulia had eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, and is officially worth owning with the news on Sanders and Henson. O.J. Mayo missed yet another game for the Bucks with an illness that won’t go away. Maybe it’s a case of LarryDrew-itis. With so many Bucks’ big men hurting, Miroslav Radujica could end up making some noise going forward, but he played just seven minutes last night. The Bucks were a mess again, as usual, as Gary Neal got loose for 17 points in just 19 minutes. Khris Middleton struggled with foul trouble and hit 2-of-6 shots for eight points and five rebounds, but was coming in very hot. Stick with him. Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 1-of-5 shots for four points off the bench, and as you know, I’ve given up on him for this season. Nate Wolters made another start and had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals on 2-of-9 shooting, but I just don’t trust the guy. And Luke Ridnour was out with a back injury, in case you care.
Rockets Blitz Wolves Despite Love
Patrick Beverley is quietly hot again and had 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals and four 3-pointers in the win. He’s an unreliable scorer, but is averaging 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five. Those are nice numbers and I’d recommend picking him up if he was dropped in your league. Terrence Jones bounced back from an off night and had 14 points, but somehow didn’t have a rebound. Hang in there with him while he figures out how to break out of his funk. Chandler Parsons also bounced back with 20 points and six assists, and like most of his teammates, is really struggling for consistency right now. James Harden was disappointing again, hitting just 4-of-14 shots and three 3-pointers for 19 points, five rebounds and five assists, and simply isn’t the same player we were watching a year ago. I just hope that he’s fully healthy and just in an extended funk. Dwight Howard had 18 points, 15 boards and three blocks, as all five Houston starters scored at least 14 points in the easy win.
Kevin Love was back after his scary fall over the weekend and didn’t miss a beat, going off for 31 points, 10 boards and a 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Chase Budinger started for Kevin Martin, who is out indefinitely with a broken thumb, and had 15 points, seven rebounds and a 3-pointer on 5-of-14 shooting. I used him in my daily league and he contributed to my win, so give him a look if you need a deep-league pickup. Corey Brewer was in foul trouble and had just five points in 18 minutes, but I still think both of these guys are going to have some good games coming due to Martin’s injury. Ricky Rubio was back to struggling on offense, hitting just 2-of-10 shots for seven points, but did have seven boards, nine assists, a steal, a block and a trey.
Globetrotters Destroy Washington Generals
OK, so it was really the Warriors blitzing the Sixers 123-80, but you get the idea. Andrew Bogut sat again with his shoulder injury and Jermaine O’Neal also missed this one with his sore back and old legs. Marreese Speights scored a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting, and also had eight rebounds and three blocks, which can be directly tied to the absence of the two big men. If you want to use Speights in a daily game if Bogut and JO continue to miss time, go for it, but don’t expect a similar performance from him, like, ever. David Lee returned from a shoulder injury and had 13 points and 13 boards in 31 minutes, meaning he should also be OK for his next one. Klay Thompson was disappointing with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Michael Carter-Williams had 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and a 3-pointer, but didn’t have a steal or block. Spencer Hawes was awful with six points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Thaddeus Young hit 5-of-15 shots for 12 points and just two boards, but at least had three steals. The Sixers have lost by 45 and 43 points in their last two games, which is very Washington Generals-esque. They’re just the second NBA team to lose back-to-back games by 40 points.
News and Notes
Kobe Bryant says he’s still planning on play again this season, but I’m not buying it. And if you're eternally looking for updates on Jrue Holiday, I don’t know what to tell you, except that we’re only as good as our sources and there just isn’t any information about there. If we don’t get a timetable during the All-Star break, it could be time to cut bait. And yes, Eric Bledsoe sure sounds on track to play again this season, and possibly sooner than later, but I’m still a little skeptical. Monta Ellis reported no side effects on his hamstring injury after playing (and struggling) in Sunday’s game, and sounds like a go on Tuesday night. Steve Nash still sounds on target to play on Tuesday despite his left leg pain, while Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Xavier Henry are all out through the break, at least. Trey Burke has a sore back and is a little iffy for the Jazz tonight. Anderson Varejao’s back MRI came back negative but he’s questionable for Tuesday vs. the Kings, while teammate C.J. Miles is in the same boat with a foot injury.
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