Dose: The Blake Show

Matthew Braine breaks down all of Friday night�s action including Blake Griffin�s stellar line

The first week of the NBA fantasy season continued on Friday night with an exciting seven-game slate. Derrick Rose made headlines when he tweaked his ankle against Cleveland while the Grizzlies frontcourt went bananas. Let’s get right to the action.

The Blake Show comes to town

The Clippers and Lakers squared off in an L.A. showdown on Friday night and Blake Griffin came to play. The power forward notched 39 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, adding two three-pointers just for fun. Griffin was dominant against the Lakers underwhelming frontcourt, doing basically whatever he wanted. Griffin shot 13-23 from the field and 11-12 from the line, the only blemish being his five turnovers. The big man is poised for a monster year and could set several new career-highs. Enjoy the ride if you own him in fantasy.

Rudy brings the pain

Sacramento swingman Rudy Gay blew up for 40 points against the Blazers on Friday night. The small forward shot a blistering 13-19 from the field, adding eight rebounds and three triples for good measure. Gay’s high efficiency night was a pleasant surprise after he went 5-15 in Wednesday’s opener and owners will be hoping he can continue trending up in that category. Gay put together arguably his best all-around season with the Kings last season so fantasy owners have to be pleased with Friday’s standout effort.

Z-Bo and Gasol get it going

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol took advantage of Luis Scola and Roy Hibbert, combining for 42 points and 19 rebounds as the Grizzlies buried the Pacers. Randolph added three steals to go along with his share of 22 points and 13 boards while Gasol piled on two steals, two assists, and two blocks to go with his six boards and 20 points. Gasol was highly touted headed into this season and for good reason. His all-around fantasy friendly game is providing owners with great lines right away while Randolph looks to be on pace for another 20-10 season.

Rose comes up gimpy

Derrick Rose stepped on Kyrie Irving’s foot midway through the third quarter on Friday, spraining his left ankle in the process. While he initially seemed okay, he later headed to the locker room and did not return. Rose was actually having a great game, finishing with 20 points, four boards, four assists, and a pair of triples. However, despite Kirk Hinrich’s late heroics, the Cavaliers escaped Chicago with the victory. Rose commented after the game saying that the x-rays were negative and that he feels okay. While all signs point to this being a minor issue, Rose’s recent injury history is a bit unnerving for owners. Kirk Hinrich, who scored 20 points during the game, would certainly be worth owning in most leagues if Rose misses any time.

The King gets back on his throne

After a shaky opener on Thursday in which he scored just 17 points on 5-15 shooting, LeBron James got back on track Friday, tallying 36 points, eight boards, four assists, four steals, and one block. James looked much more comfortable in the offense and was aggressive in getting to the basket. He dominated in overtime, scoring eight points and was the driving force behind Cleveland’s victory. Not that anyone should have been nervous after Thursday’s pedestrian performance but hopefully this line quells any worries that James’ fantasy owners had.

Tristan gets offensive

Meanwhile, Tristan Thompson thoroughly outplayed starter Anderson Varejao on Friday, scoring 16 points while grabbing a staggering 12 offensive rebounds. Thompson was vital in keeping several Cleveland possessions alive and had a huge put-back dunk in overtime. The power forward’s reserve role is obviously due to Kevin Love’s presence and while Thompson likely won’t overtake Anderson Varejao for the center job, his minutes will likely be in the 30’s all season and he could be a dark horse Sixth Man of the Year candidate. For fantasy owners, his high efficiency scoring and rebounding numbers will be of good use.

Mayo looking good in Milwaukee

O.J. Mayo may have gotten his mojo back. After scoring 17 points on Wednesday, Mayo put up 25 points with five three-pointers on Friday night. He added five assists, three rebounds, and a steal as the Bucks came from behind to defeat the Sixers. Mayo has a new lease on life so far this season and is providing a huge spark off the bench for both the Bucks and fantasy owners. If he’s available in your league, he shouldn’t be.

Parker looks better on Friday

Rookie of the Year frontrunner Jabari Parker looked much better on Friday, notching a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He added a triple and a steal as he played the most minutes on the team. Parker owners were a bit shocked on Wednesday when he scored just eight points and four rebounds but the bottom line is that Parker will get plenty of run and is the clear future of Milwaukee basketball. Owners should be patient. Meanwhile, teammate Brandon Knight came slightly back down to the earth, scoring 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and eight dimes. Knight shot just 2-8 from the floor and that’s something that likely won’t improve much this season. He shot just 42% last season and that was a career-high so the odds of his shooting improving greatly are slim. However, Knight does provide value in multiple categories and the fact that his job seems completely secure bodes very well for fantasy owners.

Ginobili and Leonard ice cold on Friday

Both Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard were dreadful on Friday, as both players shot 0-5 from the field, combining for just eight points, all coming via the charity stripe. They added a combined 10 rebounds, three assists, and nothing else as the Spurs lost to the Suns. It was certainly a disappointing effort for Ginobili after the Argentine scored20 points during the opener. For Leonard, it was his season debut after struggling with an eye injury recently. Ginobili will likely be slightly inconsistent for most of the season while Leonard will be just fine. This was just a very rough night for San Antonio as the Suns’ speed was tough for them to defend.

Morris comes alive

Following an underwhelming opener on Wednesday in which he scored just 12 points in 25 minutes; Markieff Morris played a whopping 43 minutes on Friday, scoring 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds. He didn’t knock down any three-pointers which was a slight downside, however, his usage and aggressiveness was a very positive sign, especially due to the fact that this line came during a win against the Spurs. His teammate Isaiah Thomas was a key cog in the victory, scoring 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Thomas was truly a microwave for Phoenix, heating up at the right time while providing speed that the Spurs just couldn’t keep up with. Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Thomas will certainly produce for fantasy owners.

Lin shows signs of life

After two straight duds from the point guard, Jeremy Lin finally got back on track on Friday against the Clippers. Lin scored 17 points, adding three triples and nine assists. Even more encouraging was the fact that Lin did his damage against Chris Paul and company. Much more effective when he’s going to his right and being aggressive, Lin looked more comfortable in the offensive and finally gave fantasy owners what they drafted him for. Lin will likely settle into the 14-15 points per game range when it’s all said and done, with solid assists, three-pointers, and steal numbers.