There were only five games on the slate Saturday night, but they provided plenty of action. After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we'll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday's games.
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Celtics 135, Spurs 115:
The Celtics won the battle but lost the proverbial war Saturday night. Late in the first half of Boston's 135-115 beatdown of San Antonio, Gordon Hayward broke his left hand. Hayward will miss at least a month and could be forced to undergo surgery. It's a tough blow for Boston, and fantasy GM's that invested a mid-round pick in the versatile forward, especially considering he had been playing so well to start the season. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are likely the biggest beneficiaries, as they should see their playing time and scoring opportunities increase. Javonte Green, Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye will also probably soak up additional minutes.
As far as Saturday's game is concerned, Jaylen Brown led the way, pouring in a game-high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes. Robert Williams stuffed the stat sheet for Boston in one of the best all-around games of his career. Rob Will blocked a career-high six shots, and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor, en route to 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes. Enes Kanter (left knee contusion) sat out again on Saturday, which has allowed Williams to strut his stuff. However, Kanter may return next week. Kemba Walker did his thing, as usual, racking up 26 points, five rebounds, eight assists, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers. Jayson Tatum chipped in 19 points, seven boards, four dimes, three steals and two treys.
This was an ugly loss for the Spurs, highlighted by an incredibly disappointing performance from LaMarcus Aldridge. Fresh off a 39-point gem on Thursday, Aldridge laid an egg on Saturday, totaling just three points, four rebounds, one assist, one block and two turnovers in 26 minutes. Dejounte Murray's night wasn't much better, as he shot 2-of-8 from the field for four points with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and five turnovers in 24 minutes. DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points and hit 10-of-11 free throws, but was only 6-of-15 from the field.
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Pelicans 115, Hornets 105:
Brandon Ingram refuses to slow down and was dominant once again on Saturday. Ingram poured in 25 points (on 8-of-12 shooting) and added nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, seven turnovers and three 3-pointers. On the season, BI is now averaging a whopping 25.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.9 dimes and 2.6 trifectas, while shooting 53.7% from the floor and 46.9% from downtown. Ingram had an ADP outside of the top 100 last month but sits inside the top-25 three weeks into the season.
Lonzo Ball (right adductor strain) did not play Saturday vs. Charlotte. He was listed as probable for Friday's game vs. Toronto and ended up tallying five points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes. However, sat out the back end of their back-to-back. J.J. Redick started in place of Ball and looked sharp, scoring 22 points with five rebounds, two steals, two blocks and five 3-pointers in 29 minutes. Kenrich Williams also made a surprising start and made coach Alvin Gentry look quite smart. Williams had 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block, no turnovers and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Derrick Favors showed signs of life, posting a double-double (10 points with ten rebounds, three assists and two blocks) in 29 minutes. Jahlil Okafor was smacked with a DNP-CD. It was Jaxson Hayes that backed up Favors, and scored nine points with one rebound and two blocks in 18 minutes.
Some folks keep waiting for Devonte' Graham to come crashing back down to earth, but the kid keeps on stuffing the stat sheet. He was back at Saturday, racking up 24 points, five rebounds, ten assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes. How about this for a bewildering stat. On the season, Graham is one of just three players averaging at least 17 points, seven dimes, four boards and three made triples per game. The other two are James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Yes, it's a small sample size, but that's still remarkably impressive company for D Graham to keep. Terry Rozier had a solid all-around game (18/5/6) despite shooting just 5-fo-14 from the floor. PJ Washington appeared to injure his ankle in the third quarter, but returned to action and ended up with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes.
Mavericks 138, Grizzlies 122:
Luka Doncic only needed 29 minutes to accumulate 24 points (9-of-16 FGs and 4-of-5 FTs), 14 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two turnovers and two 3-pointers. Doncic has now had at least 24 points, 13 boards and eight dimes in four of his last five games. During this five-game stretch, he is averaging a mind-boggling 29.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 11.0 assists. The cherry on top of this fantasy sundae is that he's shooting 91% from the free-throw stripe during this run.
Kristaps Porzingis (injury recovery, left knee) sat out Saturday. It wasn't a surprise he was rested on the back end of a back-to-back, considering he logged 36 minutes Friday night in a loss to the Knicks. Boban Marjanovic was inserted into the starting lineup vs. Memphis and finished with nine points, five boards and two dimes in 16 minutes. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points off the bench, and hit five trifectas, but had just one assist and nary a rebounds, block or steal.
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a team-high 23 points (on 10-of-17 shooting) for Memphis to go along with four rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers. JJJ hasn't lived up to expectations early on this season, but at least it appears he's trending in the right direction.
Both Ja Morant (rest) and Brandon Clarke (injury maintenance, back) were ruled out of Saturday's game vs. Dallas. Morant had logged 26 minutes in Friday's loss to Orlando, and the Grizz have been adamant they will limit Morant's minutes early in the season. It's unknown if Morant will sit out B2B's going forward. Memphis won't play another back-to-back set until the beginning of December. Tyus Jones started at PG and scored 14 points with two rebounds, eight assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Clarke has been battling minor back soreness for weeks, but this was the first game he's missed.
Rockets 117, Bulls 94:
James Harden just missed a massive 40-point triple-double on Saturday. Fantasy GM's will have to settle for 42 points (12-of-27 FG's 9-of-11 FT's), ten rebounds, nine assists, two steals, six turnovers and nine 3-pointers in 36 minutes. The Beard is now averaging a ridiculous 37.1 points per contest. Per Basketball-Reference, there are only three other players in league history to average more than 37 points per game, nine games into a season: Wilt Chamberlain Rick Barry and Michael Jordan. Oh, and Harden is also averaging 8.2 dimes, 5.6 boards and 4.3 triples.
There was some concern about Clint Capela over the first handful of games, but he's looked like his defensively dominant self this week. He had 16 points, 20 rebounds, one assist and four blocks in 42 minutes on Saturday and is averaging 17.5 points, 18.0 boards and 5.0 blocks over Houston's last two games. Danuel House chipped in 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, one block, three 3-pointers, and a career-high six steals in 32 minutes. Make sure this dude is not still sitting on your waiver wire, as he's inside the top-50 overall in nine-category formats this season.
The Bulls didn't have a single player score more than 13 points on Saturday. Wendell Carter Jr. hit that number, bit also ripped down a career-high 16 boards and blocked two shots in 29 minutes. Lauri Markkanen was unable to snap out of his shooting slump. He was just 3-of-10 from the floor and 0-of-5 from downtown for his 13 points. I still view Markkanen as a buy-low target and believe he will get back on track soon.
Thunder 114, Warriors 108:
Danilo Gallinari scored a team-high 21 points (6-of-11 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) to go along with five rebounds, three assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Chris Paul had 16 points (5-of-11 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) five rebounds, nine assists and two steals in 31 minutes. CP3 hasn't had many huge nights, but he's been solidly consistent and is right around 50th overall in nine-cat formats. The Thunder play again on Sunday, but coach Billy Donovan said that the team isn't planning on resting anyone in the second leg of a back-to-back, though they will take a game-by-game approach going forward. Thus, it seems Paul should be good to go.
A day after pouring 52 points, D'Angelo Russell scored 30 points (10-of-19 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) with three rebounds, seven assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes against the Thunder. Through the three games he's played this month, Russell is averaging 37.3 points, 5.0 boards, 6.7 dimes, 4.7 made triples, 1.7 steals and just 2.7 turnovers. With the Golden State lineup decimated by injuries, Russell will continue to post monster fantasy numbers.
Another player taking advantage of increased opportunities is Alec Burks, who got his first start of the season on Saturday. Burks stepped in and stepped up, logging 37 minutes and tallying 23 points (9-of-17 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs) five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block. Over the Warriors' last three contests, Burks is averaging 23.0 points, 1.7 treys, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 helpers, while shooting 53.3% from the field and 94.1% from the charity stripe. He'll be flying off waiver wires this week. Eric Paschall (right hip contusion) did not play on Saturday, as he apparently injured his hip in pregame warmups. Omari Spellman (left ankle sprain) joined the walking wounded in Golden State on Saturday, as he twisted his ankle in the first half and was unable to return. Marquese Chriss saw 24 minutes of action with both Paschall and Spellman dinged up. He scored 10 points with four rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Glenn Robinson III posted a season-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with two rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes.
Injury Notes for Sunday's Games:
Hassan Whiteside (foot) is listed questionable vs. the Hawks on Sunday. He looked solid on Friday, tallying 10 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and one assist in 34 minutes against the Nets. However, it appears he sprained his right foot in the process. Rodney Hood (back) and Skal Labissiere (sprained right ankle) are also questionable for this contest. Skal injured his ankle injury on Friday night and did not return. If both Whiteside and Labissiere are sidelined, Anthony Tolliver will see all the minutes he can handle. Mario Hezonja would also see more time at PF. Nassir Little would get a chance to contribute as well.
Myles Turner (right ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Magic. Turner was a game-time decision Friday vs. the Pistons, so it seemed that he was on the verge of returning. However, he's now back to being ruled out a day in advance. No word if he re-aggravated the injury in any way. Goga Bitadze (concussion) has also been ruled out, so Domantas Sabonis will shoulder a heavy burden, and JaKarr Sampson will likely draw another start. Jeremy Lamb (sprained left ankle) has been ruled out as well. Aaron Holiday has started each of Indiana's previous two contests without Lamb, and is averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 29.9 minutes over those two starts.
Ben Simmons (right shoulder) will not play on Sunday against the Hornets. No surprise here, as it was reported on Thursday that he is expected to miss three games. Fortunately, a Sixers team spokesman did say that Simmons is making progress. Raul Neto looked good filling for Big Ben on Friday. He registered 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting with two rebounds, six assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes.
Mitchell Robinson (concussion) will not play Sunday vs. Cleveland. Mitch Rob took an elbow to the temple on Wednesday and was out Friday. Taj Gibson drew the start in his place and had 12 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal in 28 minutes.
DeAndre Jordan (sprained left ankle) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Suns. It looks like it will be just a one-game absence for DJ.
The Raptors got hit with a double dose of bad news this weekend. Kyle Lowry, who banged his hand Friday night vs. the Pels, was diagnosed with a fracture of the distal phalanx of his left thumb. Lowry will miss at least two weeks and will then be re-evaluated. Fred VanVleet will eat and eat with Lowry out of the mix. The Raptors also announced on Saturday that Serge Ibaka (sprained right ankle) will undergo an MRI in Los Angeles this weekend and will be out indefinitely. Ibaka rolled his ankle in the second quarter of Friday's victory over the Pels, and had to limp off the court. After the game, he was seen leaving the Raptors locker room in a walking boot. Chris Boucher is the primary beneficiary and will soak up additional minutes off the bench with Serge sidelined. Toronto may also be forced to lean a bit more heavily on Marc Gasol on both ends of the floor.
Rajon Rondo (strained right calf) is not expected to make his season debut on Sunday against Toronto, according to Yahoo's Chris Haynes. It looked like we'd finally get our first glimpse at Rondo this season, but it seems we'll have to wait until next week.
Kevin Huerter (right knee contusion) and De'Andre Hunter (left shoulder soreness) are both probable for Sunday's game against the Blazers. Huerter's stock is on the rise, as he's coming off a 17-point outing in 30 minutes on Friday. Hunter should see more playing time with John Collins (suspension) out of action.