Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Warriors move on

Thursday, April 28, 2016


The Hornets pulled off a huge win on the road to take a 3-2 lead over the Heat, the Blazers beat the star-less Clippers in L.A. for a 3-2 lead, and the Rockets rolled over for the Warriors as their series ended with a Golden State 4-1 win. Yeah, it was a weird night without some of the stars out there. As I posted on Twitter on Wednesday, there have been 119 Game 7s in NBA history, and the visiting team has won just 24 of them. Take note, fans of Boston and Indiana.

 

Hornets 90, Heat 88 (Hornets lead 3-2, Game 6 in Charlotte)

 

The Hornets won at Miami to take a 3-2 lead and now have a chance to put the Heat out of the playoffs with a win at home on Friday. I didn’t see this one coming, and I’m guessing you didn’t either. Nicolas Batum returned from an injury, came off the bench and didn’t hit a single field goal through three quarters, but came on late to hit two big 3-pointers and finished with eight points, three boards, and three assists in 25 minutes. Marvin Williams bounced back from another disaster with 17 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three 3-pointers, and Courtney Lee hit a huge 3-pointer that decided the game. Al Jefferson had a modest 14 points and seven boards in 22 minutes, Kemba Walker hit just 4-of-18 shots for 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers, yet the Hornets still got the unlikely win. Lee didn’t do much until the end, but hit 2-of-9 shots (both 3-pointers) and had eight points at the right time. Jeremy Lin played 35 minutes off the bench and had 11 points, six boards and seven assists, but didn’t have any steals, blocks or 3-pointers. Frank Kaminsky started and played 27 minutes, but finished with just eight points and four boards. Marvin was the surprise of the night for Charlotte, and Lee decided to make a shot at the right time. Jeremy Lamb didn’t even enter the game, while Spencer Hawes and Cody Zeller got decent run off the bench. The Hornets were down 0-2 and have won three straight to take command of this series.

 

The Heat got 25 points, five boards, four assists and five turnovers from Dwyane Wade, who hit 11-of-19 shots. Wade also appeared to get fouled with 4.5 second left and a chance to tie the game at the line, but didn’t get the call. To me, it was an obvious miss by the officials and this game probably should have gone to overtime. Luol Deng had 16 points, six boards and two 3-pointers, but hit just 4-of-12 shots, and Joe Johnson stayed hot with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 5-of-8 shooting. Hassan Whiteside came through with 11 points, 12 boards and three blocks, and Goran Dragic struggled with 10 points, six boards, three assists and two steals on 5-of-15 shooting. Josh Richardson hit a couple of big threes off the bench, but finished with just eight points, four boards, two assists and two blocks in 31 minutes. Justise Winslow had five points, nine boards, a steal and a block in 19 minutes, but hit just 1-of-9 shots.

 

Game 6 is on Friday at Charlotte and the Heat will have to bring their A-game if they’re going to force a Game 7 back in Miami.  

 

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Blazers 108, Clippers 98 (Blazers lead 3-2, Game 6 in Portland)

 

Like the Heat, the Clippers once led this series at 2-0, but now trail 3-2 after losing three straight games to the Blazers. Of course, not having Chris Paul or Blake Griffin will do that.

 

The Blazers went on a 16-3 run in the third quarter to take control and never looked back. C.J. McCollum led the way with 27 points and a fun stat line, Damian Lillard got hot in the second half to finish with 22 points, five assists, three steals and five 3-pointers, and Moe Harkless stepped up with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two 3-pointers for the winners. Al-Farouq Aminu came in hot, but hit just 1-of-6 shots for seven points, eight boards, two assists, a steal and a block, but was 0-for-5 from downtown after hitting six of them in Game 4. I still like Aminu over Harkless in DFS, going forward, but it’s probably a crapshoot. Mason Plumlee came through with 10 points, 15 boards, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes, and Allen Crabbe hit a couple 3-pointers to finish with 11 points, four boards, three assists and a steal off the bench. Plumlee is basically a must-start, value center the rest of the way. The Blazers won this one in L.A. and now just have to win one at home to close out the short-handed Clippers.

 

The Clippers got 19 points and three 3-pointers from J.J. Redick (despite a bum heel), DeAndre Jordan had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, and starting point guard Austin Rivers had 13 points, three boards, three assists and a 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Jamal Crawford also started and had 17 points and a 3-pointer, but hit just 6-of-23 shots, which is a big reason the Clippers didn’t win. Jeff Green surprisingly came off the bench behind Crawford and hit 6-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for 17 points, six boards and three steals in the loss. I’m guessing that Green will start in Game 6, which is at Portland, like he should have in Game 5. Crawford is used to coming off the bench and I’m guessing his poor shooting was directly related to his move into the starting lineup. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out for the remainder of the postseason, Green, Livingston and Jordan look like excellent DFS options. And if you haven’t seen Doc Rivers breaking down in the post-game conference about his mom, you have to check it out. I love that guy, and he’s fought bigger battles than this one.

 

Warriors 114, Rockets 81 (Warriors win 4-1 – Face winner of LAC-POR)

 

The Rockets looked horrible and they even left Dwight Howard out there for the garbage-time slaughter, which was either embarrassing or a tribute, depending on how you look at it. I’ll take embarrassment, and I think the Rockets just wanted to leave him out there to be humiliated before they say goodbye to him in free agency.

 

The Warriors, without Stephen Curry (ankle/foot), got 27 points and seven 3-pointers from Klay Thompson, and I’m convinced he would have gone for 50 had this game been close. His last few 3-pointers were from Iceland, and he was like the Honey Badger, who just don’t care. Thompson hit 10-of-14 shots and the Warriors look they are still at Top 4 team, even without Curry. And if they get through the Blazers or Clippers in Round 2, and I think they will, Curry might be back for a meeting with the Thunder or the Spurs. Starting point guard Shaun Livingston had 16 points, three boards, three assists and hit 7-of-8 shots in Curry’s absence, and Brandon Rush stepped up off the bench with 15 points and three 3-pointers on 6-of-8 shooting in just 18 minutes. Draymond Green came through with 15 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers, and as long as Curry is out, Klay, Dray and Shaun are must-start fantasy players. Harrison Barnes had just eight points and three rebounds on 4-of-11 shooting, and Andre Iguodala offered just six points, six assists and two steals off the bench. And if the Warriors can figure out a way to get by the Blazers (or Clippers) in Round 2, Stephen Curry might be back in time for a meeting with Thunder or Spurs (I've got the Thunder). 

 

The Rockets were blown out of the gym and it’s time to blow this team up. James Harden, of course, went off for 35 points, six boards, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers on 12-of-23 shooting. No one makes it look easier than Harden and he reminds me of Beavis and Butthead making fun of my boys in the band Pavement back in the day. “They need to try harder. They’re too lazy to rock,” the boy wonders once said. The Rockets just didn’t appear to be trying and the final score, without Curry, justifies that take. In fact, no Houston starter scored more than eight points and free agent-to-be Dwight Howard was left on the court at the end of the game when both benches were cleared. Maybe the Rockets were giving him a road tribute, or maybe they were just forcing him through the same pain that he’s put every team he’s played for through. He finished with 21 rebounds, but just eight points and one block on 3-of-13 shooting. Thanks for the memories, Dwight. The Rockets are gone fishing and I doubt anyone is going to miss them. And Jason Terry, who guaranteed another game, didn't score a point in this one. OK, Jet. 



Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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