Welcome to my first Daily Dose of the year. If you’re not already following me on Twitter, it’s time. Hit this link.
4 Games: Celtics, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers, Lakers, Pelicans, Timberwolves, Sixers, Suns, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz.
3 Games: Wizards, Kings, Blazers, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, Grizzlies, Heat, Nuggets, Bobcats, Hawks, Nets.
2 Games: Bulls, Pistons, Bucks.
Hello, My Name Is Russell
Russell Westbrook actually played on Sunday night, and played well. He had 21 points, four boards, seven dimes, one steal and hit 11-of-14 free throws in the win. He also hit just 5-of-16 shots on the night, but more importantly, he looked a lot like Russell Westbrook. Get him in your lineup ASAP. While Reggie Jackson was solid with 10 points and five assists in 28 minutes, I’m fine with moving on to a hot free agent.
Note: I’m pretty psyched to be here and am celebrating another winning night at FanDuel.com. Join this league and play against me on Monday! Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday, Nov. 4th games. It's just $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7pm ET. Here's the link.
Dragic Wrecks Ankle Sunday
Goran Dragic may have ended up being the story of the weekend for dubious reasons. He suffered a sprained left ankle on Sunday night and I’m going to go ahead and call it severe, even though I’m not a real doctor. My guess is he could miss three to four weeks with the injury, and that is mostly based on how much pain he was in when he was half-carried to the locker room by teammates. If he does miss significant time (and I think he will), Gerald Green should reap the benefits, while Eric Bledsoe will slide over to point guard. As if we didn’t already love Bledsoe enough, right? And Green went off for 21 points, eight rebounds, a steal and five 3-pointers last night. Green’s not a must-add, but could be a nice bonus player for you if you’re ahead of the pack.
I had a draft with some of my rock and roll buddies on Sunday night and the results were kind of crazy. Drafting a week into the season creates some serious reaching. Here are a few tidbits.
5. Anthony Davis, 10. Russell Westbrook, 15. Damian Lillard, 24. Klay Thompson, 29. Michael Carter-Williams, 34. Eric Bledsoe, 44. Andre Drummond, 47. Victor Oladipo, 53. Lance Stephenson, 80. Bradley Beal, 91. Miles Plumlee, and 111. Vitor Faverani. It was ‘reach city’ and I was happy to have been included in the madness. I ended up with Westbrook, Lillard, Bledsoe, Millsap, Boozer and Kanter, and couldn’t be happier about it. I’m not sure what my point is, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing where some so-called sleepers are going in current drafts.
The Nuggets are looking at making some changes to the starting lineup so don’t be surprised if Kenneth Faried replaces J.J. Hickson at PF, while Anthony Randolph could be replaced by a guy like Jordan Hamilton in the starting lineup. Just know changes are coming. I’m still fine with holding Hickson, as he should play a major role off the bench if he ends up there.
MCW & Oladipo
He went at No. 29 in our draft and the hype machine is up and running. I own him in several leagues and am not selling high. I plan on riding him until he breaks, and he backed up his incredible opening night with 26 points, four boards, 10 assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. If you don’t know whom I’m talking about, it’s Michael Carter-Williams – the starting point guard for the Sixers and the early favorite for Rookie of the Year. Sorry, Victor Oladipo. Oladipo is making his own noise though, and had 19 points, six boards, four assists, two steals and seven turnovers on Sunday night.
Nicolas Batum recorded the first triple-double of the season on Saturday with 11 points, 12 boards, 11 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. The Blazers play just three times this week, but Batum, Lillard and Aldridge should be in your lineups. Lillard is on fire after going for 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three more 3-pointers on Saturday.
George Hill’s hip injury is a bit concerning, but it sounds like he’s going to play through it this week for the Pacers. With four games, he’s probably worth a roll of the dice.
Al Jefferson is hoping to play on Tuesday through his ankle injury after missing a couple games, but is not guaranteed to play. I’d try to find someone else for your weekly lineup, if you can. The Bobcats play three games this week.
Orlando’s Tobias Harris could miss more time with his ankle injury and I’m benching him until I see him on the court.
Omri Casspi says he’s going to play on Monday despite an ankle injury and could be a sneaky source of 3-pointers in deep leagues if he’s truly good to go. Ditto for Francisco Garcia, who is not injured. The Rockets have four games this week, making both intriguing. Patrick Beverley (ribs) isn’t expected to play this week, meaning Jeremy Lin looks like a must-start with four games. James Harden’s knee is a concern, but he’s been playing through it and is a must-start, unless we get bad news on Monday afternoon.
Harrison Barnes is close to a return from toe inflammation, but there’s no way you can start him as long as he’s behind Andre Iguodala and a red-hot Klay Thompson in the Warriors’ rotation. But stash him on your bench if you can.
Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Deron Williams (ankle) are slowly seeing increased minutes for the Nets. Williams looks like a must-start with three games, but I’m hesitant to play AK after he played just 11 minutes on Sunday.
Nene is out right now with a calf injury and there’s no way you can play him again until you see him back in action. Watch for updates on Monday. John Wall’s back isn’t feeling well, but he played 39 minutes and scored 11 points on Sunday. I’d keep him in your lineup for Washington’s three games this week.
The Heat don’t have a back-to-back this week and play three games, so it should be safe to put Dwyane Wade into your weekly lineup. He had 20 points, five boards, five dimes, two steals and a block on Sunday. LeBron James left the game for unexplained reasons, but returned and finished with another big line.
Brandon Jennings played on Sunday and had 14 points, four assists, four steals and a 3-pointer, but the Pistons play just two times this week. Andre Drummond had 15 points, 12 boards, two steals and two blocks, but may be better off on your bench with the two games. Keep an eye on Rodney Stuckey. If he plays well this week, it’s time to pick him up.
Tim Duncan returned from his chest injury on Saturday and had 24 point, seven boards and a block in 31 minutes. The Spurs play four times this week, so I’d roll with Duncan if you own him. Rotoworld is catching some heat for our love of Kawhi Leonard after his nine points and lackluster line on Saturday, but I’m guessing we’ll have the last laugh when it’s all said and done. Play him, and target him in a buy-low scenario.
Steve Nash & Xavier Henry
Nash actually looked like a player on Sunday with 13 points, six dimes, a steal and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes, and it’s possible he makes it through the upcoming four-game week. But he’s risky. Xavier Henry started over Nick Young and had 18 points and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. With four games this week, your Lakers are probably decent starts.
Vitor Faverani and Jeff Green spent time on the bench in the fourth quarter on Sunday, which is a concern. Green is off to a slow start, but I’m still not all that worried. Faverani played just 19 minutes, but still had a decent line, while Kelly Olynyk went off for 15 points, eight boards and two steals in 28 minutes. I still love the idea of holding Faverani, as I think he’ll be good for a ton of blocks and boards most weeks.
Tyreke Evans had 15 points, six boards and seven assists on Saturday, so he might be ready to break out.
Rudy Gay’s Big Line & JV
Gay had 18 points, a career-high 15 rebounds, three steals and two 3-pointers on Saturday and plays four times this week. Jonas Valanciunas has gotten limited minutes lately, but I bet he plays more this week against true centers. Play him.
Arron Afflalo stayed hot on Sunday with 16 points, six boards, eight assists, two steals and three 3-pointers and the Magic play three times this week. I’d play him. Jameer Nelson is playing well, and I’d continue to roll with him, despite the trade rumors.
Washington center Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 11 boards without Nene on Sunday, and looks like he’s good to go in his new digs.
Miles Plumlee fell back to earth for the Suns on Sunday while Channing Frye went off with 19 points, five rebounds, three 3-pointers, a steal and two blocks. This is not a good sign for Plumlee, but I still think you start him as long as he’s starting for the Suns. And if you want to pick up Frye, it makes sense. The Suns play four times this week. Eric Bledsoe went nuts on Sunday with 26 points, seven boards, a career-high 14 assists, three steals, two 3-pointers and eight turnovers. His line would have been spectacular without the TOs, but with Goran Dragic in doubt for the near future, Bledsoe should have plenty more big lines in front of him.
Kevin Martin had 30 points, two steals and five 3-pointers on Sunday, while Corey Brewer shared minutes with Derrick Williams last night. The Wolves, like the Sixers, are 3-0. Who saw that coming? The Wolves play four games this week, which is great news for Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Martin.
DeMarcus Cousins was benched on Saturday after being abused by Andrew Bogut and his coach wants him to be a better ‘communicator.’ Whatever. Boogie is still a strong play this week despite just three games.
Kyle Korver hit six 3-pointers and had 22 points, four assists, two steals and a block in 37 minutes against the Lakes on Sunday, making him a solid three-game starter this week. DeMarre Carroll started again, but lost minutes to Cartier Martin, which could become a trend. Keep an eye on this position battle.
Shawn Marion had 21 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 34 minutes on Saturday. The Mavs go four times this week, and it looks like Marion, along with Dirk Nowitzki, Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis should be in your lineup.
Cancel the Larry Sanders Show?
Larry’s off to a terrible start and had four points, four rebounds and one block in his last game. He then complained about a lack of fourth quarter minutes after the game. Yes, he’s annoying right now, but the Bucks are paying him big bucks and he simply has to get it turned around. Hang in there with him, or steal him for a song from a disgruntled owner.
The NBA is back, baby!