Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Celtics Lose Hayward

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Opening night in the NBA sure provided plenty of fireworks, injury news, a team fight and a truly devastating injury to Gordon Hayward that will impact the Celtics, fantasy owners and fans of Hayward to no end. Yes, it’s great to have the NBA back in action, but it didn’t go down as most of us would have preferred.

 

Cavaliers 102, Celtics 99

 

Cleveland held on to beat the Celtics, but it wasn’t easy. The story of the night in sports was a gruesome injury suffered by Boston’s Gordon Hayward. He broke his fibula and dislocated his ankle, and I haven’t seen anything like that since Shaun Livingston went down with his knee and leg pointing sideways in 2007. The Hayward injury is such a bummer. He was reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens, was playing for one of the best teams in the East (and league), and it’s truly heartbreaking to think he may not play again this season. Get well soon, Gordon! 

 

For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown started and played 40 minutes, racking up 25 points, six rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers on 11-of-23 shooting. Especially given the the Hayward news, he looks like a must-own player and is clearly the pickup of the day. Jayson Tatum started for Marcus Morris (knee) and had 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a 3-pointer in 37 minutes. In my opinion, Tatum should be starting over Morris either way, but that remains to be seen. Tatum is also worth a look in most leagues. Kyrie Irving had 22 points, four boards, 10 assists, three steals and four 3-pointers in 39 minutes, and is going to be an absolute beast this season, just as we predicted. Al Horford was quiet, but he’s also going to have to do more offensively without Hayward, and Marcus Smart started the second half in place of Hayward. He had 12 points, nine boards, three assists, two steals and two blocks on 5-of-16 shooting in 35 minutes. His shot’s a mess, but he’s another guy you should think about picking up if you have someone to drop.

 

For the Cavs, LeBron James (not surprisingly) played through his sore ankle and racked up 29 points, 16 rebounds, nine dimes, two blocks and a 3-pointer, hitting 12-of-19 shots in the win. Mr. Efficiency, he was, although owners will want to keep an eye on the Rotoworld newsfeed to make sure his ankle will allow him to go again on Friday. Kevin Love had 15 points, 11 boards and a 3-pointer, and Jae Crowder was effective in a start with 11 points, five boards, two assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, despite hitting just 3-of-10 shots. Crowder played 35 minutes and is going to be a solid fantasy forward until further notice. Derrick Rose will play point guard for the Cavs until further notice, as Isaiah Thomas recovers from his hip injury, and had 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a 3-pointer in 31 minutes. He hit just 5-of-14 shots, but as long as he can stay healthy, Rose might be fun to own for the first half. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, so make sure he’s not available in your league.

 

Dwyane Wade was nearly invisible in his 29 minutes, hitting just 3-of-10 shots for eight points, two rebounds, three assists and two blocks, and as my friend Kelin said after rostering him in FanDuel, “never again.” I think I’m with him. The Cavaliers' bench didn’t do a whole lot, but Tristan Thompson played 20 minutes and had five points and six boards, and J.R. Smith played 22 minutes and had 10 points, four boards, one assist and a 3-pointer on 4-of-7 shooting. Neither player is worth picking up at this point.

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting the Rotoworld Beat the Writers Series, where you can play against five Rotoworld football writers for your chance at cash prizes and free entry into their Sunday Million. Put your knowledge to the test!

 

Rockets 122, Warriors 121

 

This game also featured some weirdness and injuries. On the injury front, Chris Paul sat out the final five minutes of a close game after coach Mike D’Antoni said he was “playing on one leg.” His knee was clearly bothering him and D’Antoni added “I had to get him out of there.” Stay tuned. And if CP3 does miss time, James Harden will slide over to point guard and Eric Gordon will get a big boost.

 

The Warriors suffered a blow when Draymond Green left the game after the third quarter with a left knee strain that kept him out for the rest of the game. He said after the game that he’ll be “fine,” but owners have to monitor him to make sure he’ll be ready to go on Friday. The loss of Green clearly hurt the Warriors defensively down the stretch, as Houston overcame a 17-point deficit and went on a 10-3 run in the final 3:45 to win the game. If Green were to miss time, both David West and Jordan Bell would see a boost, but aren’t worth adding at this point. Andre Iguodala sat this one out with a sore back, which also may have helped Nick Young (see below). Additionally, Omri Casspi hurt his ankle and was unable to return. I think Green will be OK and I'm guessing he'll play on Friday, while Casspi is essentially not a factor in fantasy, healthy or not.

 

As for the game, James Harden lived up to the hype with 27 points, six boards, 10 assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on 10-of-23 shooting. Chris Paul had just four points, eight boards, 11 assists, two steals and a block on 2-of-9 shooting in 33 minutes. He’s clearly day-to-day and owners will need to monitor his status. Clint Capela played just 18 minutes, despite having no fouls, and finished with 12 points, four boards, a steal and a block. Luc Mbah a Moute came through with 14 points, four rebounds and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes off the bench and hit 6-of-9 shots. Don’t panic on Capela, as the Rockets simply need him to play center this season, especially since Mbah a Moute won’t be this good on most nights. The Warriors don’t really play a center, so this wasn’t a great matchup for Capela.

 

Ryan Anderson started and scored 13 with eight rebounds, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers, and Trevor Ariza had eight points, six boards, five assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 3-of-9 shooting in 38 minutes. Eric Gordon was one of the surprises of the night with 24 points, a steal, two blocks and zero 3-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting off the bench. The fact he was 0-for-6 from downtown is a bit shocking, but he was money when not shooting 3-pointers. I’m not racing to pick him up, but I’d use him in DFS right now and he’s worth keeping a close eye on, especially if CP3 misses time. P.J. Tucker also had a nice game with 20 points, six boards, a steal and four 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting off the Rockets bench. This is a mirage in my book, and I’m not making a move on Tucker. But I will watch him closely in his next couple games. He played well and looked like a true team leader when he was on the court. The Rockets only played eight players in this one, and they all contributed.

 

Things were just as weird on the GSW side of things. Stephen Curry got into some foul trouble early and finished with 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal and three 3-pointers in just 30 minutes. While he was on the bench, Nick Young went ballistic, hitting 8-of-9 shots and 6-of-7 3-pointers for 23 points and not much else. Swaggy P was feeling it and scored 20 points in his first 13 minutes! I’m not taking the bait, but he’s another guy firmly on my watch list. Kevin Durant hit 7-of-15 shots for 20 points, five boards, seven assists, four blocks and two 3-pointers, but took an extra dribble on his apparent game-winning shot, which caused it to be waved off, handing Houston the win. He was trying to avoid a flying Harden, but the extra dribble cost him. Klay Thompson played 38 minutes and finished with 16 points, six boards, three assists, two steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers, but did most of his damage in the first half. He’s good to go, but we now know the Warriors aren’t going to go undefeated.

 

Fight Club

 

Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis got into a serious fight at Bulls practice on Tuesday and Mirotic took the worst of it, suffering two broken bones in his face, a possible fractured jaw and will likely require surgery that could keep him out for multiple weeks. Portis is facing a suspension and rookie Lauri Markkanen could be looking at a significant opportunity as a result. If you have someone to drop and want to pick up Markkanen, do it. It makes sense.

 

Dr. A

 

Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

A reader and fantasy hoops fanatic named Audrey Beckner sent me an amazing email on Tuesday, but I was unable to reply to it. If you’re reading this, please hit me again, maybe from a different email address that will allow me to reply, as I certainly would like to.

 

Lastly, my 10-year-old son’s baseball coach and mentor for the last four years was a man named Frank Boston. Frank and I were good friends and talked baseball weekly, if not daily. He was the father of 10-year-old and 8-year-old sons and his wife, Kelli, is expecting baby number three in a few months. Frank passed away suddenly on Monday night and it has left a huge hole in my family’s heart, not to mention the rest of the small town we live in, or his family. He was just 44 years old and in good health, so his loss presents a major shock to our community. My son wrote Frank’s initials on his cleats for his baseball game last night and we’ve been a mess ever since getting the news. If you’re interested in helping a family in need (self employed, no insurance), send me an email at docktora@hotmail.com  and I’ll hit you with the GoFundMe page. Sorry for the personal stuff on what was supposed to be a great opening night. I’m just thankful to have the NBA season underway and all of you guys as a distraction on a very tough week.  

 

Doc



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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