Wednesday offered a busy 10-game night in the NBA and it’s too much to try to hit every game in detail in such limited space. So I’m going to do a bit of stream-of-consciousness Dose this morning. The original idea of our news blurbs, as well as the Daily Dose, was to offer some quick information on players who did something out of the ordinary. While we’ve pretty much thrown that idea out the window with the blurbs, giving nearly every player who did anything at all some verbiage, the Dose is limited in space. Therefore, you may not read about a stud having a good night, or a scrub having a bad one in either place. In any case, here’s the noteworthy news you need to know from a busy Wednesday slate. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Kevin Durant had a season-high 35 points with 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in a win over Charlotte. This was KD’s third 30-point triple-double, but interestingly, his first triple-double of the season. In fact, he only has three double-doubles on the season, but he’s going to start going off with Curry expected to miss at least a couple weeks after his nasty ankle sprain. Draymond Green was out with sore shoulder, but it doesn’t sound serious. If he misses more time, Jordan Bell is worth a look, although he didn’t score last night (3 blocks).
It was a big night for centers, as DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Al Horford and Nikola Vucevic all went off. You had to try hard to fail at center in DFS last night.
Boogie was all-world, racking up 40 points, 22 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two 3-pointers against the Nuggets. That’s one of the best lines ever posted by a center and the Nuggets are clearly missing the defense of Nikola Jokic (ankle). I get too many “are you worried about KAT?” tweets and whatnot, but he might have quieted the doubters after his 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and four blocks against the Clippers. He’s fine, although I wish he played for someone other than Tom Thibodeau. And the old adage that you can’t go wrong playing a center against KAT held true last night, as DeAndre Jordan went off for 18 points, 21 rebounds and two assists. Drummond had 27 points, 20 rebounds and six dimes, and Horford had 17 points, eight boards, eight assists, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers against Dallas. When you’re setting a DFS lineup, look to see who’s going against Dallas or Minnesota and act accordingly, as they’re terrible against centers. Vuc was also nice with 22 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, two steals, four blocks and two 3-pointers. That’s a lot of points, assists, and threes from centers.
In other center news, Marc Gasol left early with an apparent foot injury, but was able to return and finish with 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. I think he’s fine, but you might want to watch for news if you own him. Lastly, Dwight Howard was kind of quiet with 14 points, seven boards and a block, but he’s going to be busy going forward, as both Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller could miss time with injuries. Additionally, Dwight is hot from the free throw line, hitting 16-of-20 of them over his last four games. I don’t expect that trend to continue, but you never know.
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Jamal Murray had 15 points, four assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 5-of-11 shooting, and Josh Richardson added 19 points, two rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting. Murray is averaging 16.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting over his last five games. Richardson is at 17.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.6 3-pointers on 59 percent shooting over his last five. I’m not trying to say we were right about these guys, but if they had played like this all season, the Rotoworld hoops crew wouldn’t have been bombarded with tweets and emails about them for the last two months. Richardson is actually available in a lot of leagues and based on those five-game numbers, that’s about to change.
Danny Green is very frustrating to own and bounces in and out of waiver wires as often as most of us change our underwear. He was great last night, hitting 5-of-7 shots and two 3-pointers for 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. And that is why owning Danny Green is still a thing. He’s shot the ball much better over his last three games, which helps.
JaMychal Green fizzled with six points, five rebounds and three turnovers on 2-of-7 shooting. I know our blurb says he is droppable, but he was averaging 15 points and 8.0 rebounds over his previous two games and I feel like he just had an off night. He’s not stealing or blocking, but I still think he’ll be a decent big man to own.
Aaron Gordon torched the Hawks for 24 points, 15 rebounds and a block on 9-of-15 shooting, and is now averaging 23.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five. If you reached for him on draft night like I did, it’s been a pretty fun ride. Austin Rivers is also hot, scoring 23 points with a couple 3-pointers and averaging 21.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five. Rivers should be owned everywhere with Patrick Beverley out for the long haul. The guys listed above are grouped together only because I own them in most of my leagues, and well, they’re my guys.
Mike James, Devin Booker and other injury-related updates
The Suns will sign Mike James to a contract for the rest of the season in the wake of Devin Booker’s groin injury. Booker’s expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks so both James and Tyler Ulis look like solid pickups right now. We still don’t know who the Suns will cut to make room for James, but Tyson Chandler and Greg Monroe are early favorites. If that happens, Alex Len will probably be worth owning.
Danilo Gallinari finally returned to the Clippers from his glute injury after a month-long absence and hit 2-of-13 shots for seven points, four boards, a steal and two turnovers in 26 minutes. It might take him a minute to get going, but if he’s somehow available in your league, pick him up.
Evan Fournier went down for the Magic last night with a right ankle injury in overtime. X-rays were negative, but the fact they even took them could mean he could miss some time. D.J. Augustin got hot for the Magic after he left, while Jonathon Simmons should also see a usage boost if Fournier’s going to miss time. DJA’s not a must-grab player, but might be worth a look in most leagues, while Simmons is a must-own player in my book.
As I mentioned above, Stephen Curry (ankle) is going to be re-evaluated in a couple weeks. Quinn Cook started in his place last night and played well, while Shaun Livingston was a disappointment as the Warriors look to limit his minutes. Patrick McCaw would be the pickup in Curry’s absence, but he’s out with a concussion and could also miss time. Keep an eye on Cook in case he continues to start, but he’s more of a DFS punt or very deep-league option at this point.
Kristaps Porzingis returned from his illness/ankle issues and had 18 points in 34 minutes. If you picked up Michael Beasley or some other Knick, you can probably move on.
Jaylen Brown (eye) was out for the Celtics and Marcus Smart started in his place. Smart was a fantasy disaster with two points and four turnovers in 34 minutes. Hopefully Brown is ready for Friday’s game against the Spurs.
Tyler Johnson went off for the Heat with a season-high 25 points with five 3-pointers, three boards, two assists and a steal last night. I’m not sure where this came from, although Johnson has scored in double figures in four straight games, making him worth a look.
Zach Randolph started for the Kings and went off for 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. Skal Labissiere was stuck in the G-League and Willie Cauley-Stein is out for a couple games with a back injury. Using Randolph again on Friday makes sense.
Jeremy Lamb had just six points and six rebounds for the Hornets, snapping a 10-game streak of double-digit scoring. He should be fine going forward.
Tweets and emails are rolling in about cutting Avery Bradley, but he was good last night with 20 points, two assists, one rebound, one steal and three 3-pointers. Yes, he hit just 5-of-13 shots and his rebounding numbers are WAY down this season, but he’s too good not to hold. I wouldn’t drop him if I owned him.
Courtney Lee scored 24 points with four 3-pointers and a full stat line for the Knicks after scoring just eight points on Monday. He’s been playing well, averaging 16.4 points, 1.4 steals and 1.4 3-pointers on 58 percent shooting over his last five, and should be owned everywhere right now.
Waiver wire fodder & quick hits
JaKarr Sampson – Made a surprise start for the Kings and had a career-high 16 rebounds with six points and a steal. Plug him into your DFS lineup Friday and keep an eye on him as long as Willie Cauley-Stein is out with his back injury, but also keep in mind that Labissiere should be back from the G-League on Friday, as well.
Buddy Hield – Had 17 points, four boards, three assists, three steals and two 3-pointers last night, and 19 points and a full stat line on Saturday. It might finally be time for him to bust loose for the Kings and it’s time to pick him up.
Jeff Green – I’ve picked him up recently with so many injury problems and he had 17 points, three rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes for the Cavs. He had 14 points on Monday and is averaging 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and is shooting 57 percent over his last five. He’s not for everyone, but isn’t a bad four-game week option in most leagues.
Chandler Parsons – Had 13 points, three boards and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes. He’s not trustworthy, but if he gets healthy and starts getting 25-30 minutes a night, he’ll probably be worth grabbing at some point.
Tyler Cavanaugh – Cavanaugh bombed two 3-pointers for 13 points, six boards, two assists and a steal in 30 minutes. I picked him up three weeks ago in my 30-team league due to injuries, and he’s been really solid there. But it’s still too early for him to be owned in 12-team leagues. However, the Hawks love him and are banged up, so it’s time to start monitoring him closely, and considering him for a DFS punt.
Maxi Kleber – Had a career-high five blocks last night and finished with 13 points, five boards, one assist, one steal and a 3-pointer in 28 minutes. He’s been starting for the Mavs, but is still only a deep-league flier at this point.
Frank Mason – Mason had 15 points, two assists, two rebounds, three steals and a 3-pointer in just 19 minutes off the Kings bench. He’s not worth owning, as his minutes are too wonky.
Jarrett Jack – Jack had a rare 10-point, 10-assist double-double for the Knicks and added six rebounds in 27 minutes. He’ll get you assists if you need them, but that’s about all he does.
Damyean Dotson – Dotson went back to the bench last night and didn’t do anything in his five minutes. He’s too risky to use in DFS and if you picked him up in a standard league, go ahead and dump him. The return of Porzingis got him.
Bryn Forbes – Forbes started over Pau Gasol in the second half for the Spurs and went off for 17 points, a career-high five 3-pointers, and two rebounds and two assists. His minutes and role are too shaky for him to be used in most leagues.