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Dose: Greek Freak Has Arrived

Sunday, October 22, 2017


It was a busy, action-packed night in the Association, with ten games on the schedule. Let’s dive right in…

 

Nightly Notables:
Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in a career-high 44 points on Saturday, including a game-winning dunk in the closing seconds, and added eight boards, four dimes, two steals, one block, one trey and two turnovers. Just three games in, this already has the feel of an extraordinary season for Antetokounmpo. His 44 points were the most by a Buck since Brandon Jennings’ 55 in 2009. And, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Giannis and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players in franchise history with 100 points in the team's first three games of a season. The Greek Freak is averaging a whopping 38.3 points per game and currently leads the league in total points and steals, ranks 10th in total rebounds and 15th in steals. Congrats to those of you that drafted this emerging MVP candidate.

 

Kevin Durant stuffed the stat sheet in supreme fashion on Saturday, tallying 29 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, one steal and four 3-pointers. KD was ejected late in the fourth for arguing with the refs after coming to the defense of teammate Steph Curry, but had already done his damage at that point. We know the points, boards and triples will be there, but the defensive stats have been a delightful surprise for fantasy owners. Durant has stated publicly he wants to improve dramatically on the defensive end of the floor, and has stepped up early on. KD is currently averaging a league-leading 4.6 blocks per game.

 

Stephen Curry was ejected late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss for tossing his mouthpiece. While he’ll likely get hit with a hefty fine, he’s not expected to be suspended and should be good to go for Monday’s game vs. the Mavs. Before getting booted, Steph shot the lights out, scoring 37 points on 9-of-17 FGs and 13-of-13 FTs, with six 3-pointers, six rebounds, three assists and two turnovers in just 30 minutes.

 

Kristaps Porzingis remained red-hot on Saturday, pouring in a game-high 33 points (on 11-of-20 shooting), to go along with five boards, three triples and two dimes. He started off the game on fire, knocking down seven straight shots, but eventually cooled off in the second half once the Pistons started sending multiple defenders his way and forcing other Knicks to beat them. Still, KP has now scored over 30 points in each of the Knicks first two games. According to Basketball-Reference, dating back to 1963, the only other Knickerbocker to score more than 30 points in each of the first two games of a season was Patrick Ewing in 1993.

 

Marc Gasol was a monster in the Grizzlies surprising 111-101 victory over the Warriors. Gasol finished with 34 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 36 minutes. He did much of his damage from the free-throw line, where he made a career-high 16-of-17 free throws. Gasol’s fantasy-friendly game is sure to keep his owners smiling all season long.

 

Ben Simmons tallied 18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three turnovers in 33 minutes in a loss to the Raptors on Saturday. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Simmons is the just the second player in NBA history with at least 10 points, 10 boards and five dimes in each of the first three games of his NBA career. The only other player in that exclusive club is Oscar Robertson. The percentages will be a bummer for Ben, and he’s yet to make a 3-pointer this season, but Simmons is leading the Sixers in minutes played and will provide copious amounts of counting stats on a nightly basis.

 

Victor Oladipo was everywhere for the Pacers on Saturday, finishing with 28 points, four rebounds, five assists, four steals and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes. That’s three straight solid games to open the season for one of the Rotoworld staff’s favorite draft day sleepers. ‘Dipo is in an ideal situation, as one of the primary offensive focal points on a team determined to push the pace.

 

Blake Griffin has opened his 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back 29-point outbursts. Griffin tallied 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three 3-pointers in a thrashing of the Suns on Saturday. With Chris Paul in Houston, Griffin is the top dog in Clipper land.

 

On The Radar:
DeMar DeRozan was listed as questionable due to flu-like symptoms earlier in the day on Saturday, but managed to make the Sixers sick by scoring 30 points in just 27 minutes. DD also added three rebounds, three assists and one turnover. The only negative attached to DeRozan is he’s just 0-of-1 from 3-point territory this season. There was hope that he’d extend his range out past the 3-point arc this year, but we haven’t seen evidence of it yet. He did attempt 10 triples (making two) over four preseason games, so maybe we’ll see him fire away with greater frequency going forward.

 

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 28 points and added 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal in 33 minutes on Saturday. The Spurs committed to Aldridge long term by inking him to a lucrative extension earlier this month, and LMA has looked good early on. He is now averaging 26.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots through San Antonio’s first two contests.

 

Lauri Markkanen scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds across 37 minutes in Saturday's 87-77 loss against the Spurs. Through the Bulls first two games, the rookie is now averaging 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 treys in 35.0 minutes. He’ll have the green light all season in Chicago and will play all the minutes he can handle. Markkanen is worth an add if he’s still floating around your league's waiver wire.

 

James Harden finished with 29 points, three boards, seven assists, two steals, five turnovers and six 3-pointers in 31 minutes on Saturday. This game was never in doubt, as Houston led 62-39 at the half. As a result, Harden was limited to less than his usual allotment of minutes.

 

Nikola Vucevic was at it again on Saturday. After dropping a career-high 41 points on Friday, Vooch scored 23 points (on 11-of-16 shooting) to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots Saturday in a big win over the Cavs. Vucevic is now averaging a robust 27.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 blocked shots through Orlando’s first three games.

 

Patrick Beverley can turn in solid stat lines even when not motivated to shut down down Lonzo Ball. Pat Bev scored 15 points and chipped in two rebounds, two assists, five steals and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes on Saturday.

 

Jusuf Nurkic totaled 17 points (on 7-of-17 shooting) 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two turnovers in 32 minutes on Saturday. This performance was a welcome sight for his owners, as Nurk had just 11 points in each of the first two games of the year… C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard paced the Blazers with 26 points apiece. McCollum added three rebounds, three 3-pointers, two steals and two turnovers to go along with his 26 points. Lillard chipped in five rebounds, four assists, three 3-pointers, four steals and six turnovers.

 

Serge Ibaka tallied 21 points and added five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and five 3-pointers in 25 minutes on Saturday. Ibaka has made seven triples and blocked four shots over the Raptors first two games. That’s the type of specialty production owners were hoping for when they selected Serge in fantasy drafts.

 

Delon Wright scored 14 points with five rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes. That's two strong games off the bat for Wright, who scored 13 points with two rebounds, five assists in the Raptors season opener. He’s more than just a handcuff for Kyle Lowry and should be rostered in deep leagues.

 

Tobias Harris scored a team-high 31 points and knocked down three 3-pointers on Saturday in Detroit's 111-107 victory over the Knicks. He also added six boards and an assist. On the season, Harris is now averaging 24.3 points, 6.3 boards and 2.6 treys.

 

Carmelo Anthony scored a team-high 26 points and chipped three rebounds, two assists and two treys across 37 minutes in OKC’s loss to the Jazz. As many suspected, Melo has been content to spot-up and let it fly from the perimeter with the Thunder. Anthony is averaging 9.0 3-point attempts per game over OKC’s first two contests.

 

James Johnson posted a very James-Johnson-esque stat line on Saturday, scoring 14 points grabbing four rebounds, dishing out eight assists, blocking five shots and knocking down one 3-pointer in 30 minutes.


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