Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Big Ben

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


It was a busy night in The Association, and there were several amazing and unexpected performances on Monday. Yes, we had the usual suspects doing their thing. Of course, there are also some new faces in town ready to stake their claim, too. Some of the guys who went off, like Ben Simmons and De'Aaron Fox, have tremendous pedigrees. Others like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Mike James and Garrett Temple did big things while flying under the fantasy radar. So what did we learn?

 

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Move Over Big O

 

It was a good night on the gridiron in the City of Brotherly Love, but 'The Process' was finally kicking into gear and finally paying dividends in the Motor City, too. Ben Simmons missed the entire 2016-17 regular season due to a foot injury, but he is proving to fans he was well worth the wait. He notched a career-high 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists across 34 minutes for his first triple-double as a pro. He is the first rookie since Art 'Hambone' Williams to go for a triple-double within his first four games in the NBA back in 1967. While you likely never heard of him, Oscar Robertson also accomplished the feat with three triple-doubles over his first four NBA contests during the 1960-61 season. That's not bad company.

 

It wasn't all Simmons in the team's first win, as Robert Covington proved he is still a valuable contributor, too. He registered four of Philly's 11 steals in the game, making up for the fact he failed to record at least one block for the first time in four outings. Amir Johnson provided solid depth off the bench with nine boards in just 19 minutes. On the other side of the ball, Andre Drummond was busy on the board, gathering 14 rebounds while matching Covington with four steals. He has at least 12 boards in each of his four games while logging seven steals and four blocked shots. Tobias Harris launched 16 shots, making just five field-goal attempts, his lowest point total of the season and the first time in four outings he missed more shots than he made (5-of-16).

 

King Me

 

Garrett Temple exploded for a career-high six 3-pointers in 24 minutes off the bench in Sacramento's 117-115 loss in Phoenix. While you should still temper fantasy expectations in regards to Temple, it's fine to get excited about Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere's performances on Monday. Bogdanovic made his NBA debut with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals while hitting a three. He missed a couple of games due to a bum ankle, but he proved he is healthy and ready to contribute. However, as long as Buddy Hield is healthy he isn't likely to carve out a huge role. Still, Bogdanovic is a player who should be stashed away. He has a bright future.

 

Skal Labissiere saw a little extra run with the Kings falling behind early. Sacto ended up using their bench a little more than they might normally have, and the reserves answered the bell and made a game of it. Labissiere hit six of his 10 field-goal attempts to finish with 17 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot. Fox also contributed with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Kings have an amazing core of young talent, as 'Kentucky West' could be a year or two away from making real noise in the Western Conference.

 

Prince and the Revolution

 

His team might have lost, but it had nothing to do with Taurean Prince's effort. The former first-round pick out of Baylor showed out with a 9-of-14 shooting performance, dropping in 20 points with seven rebounds, three steals and two assists over 37 minutes. It would have been an even better evening if not for his seven turnovers, but fantasy owners will certainly forgive him. He has a tremendously bright future. John Collins also stepped up with a 6-of-11 night from the floor, dumping in 14 points to go along with 11 boards in just 18 minutes off the bench. He has back-to-back double-doubles despite the fact he has averaged less than 20 minutes per outing. Marco Belinelli has his third double-digit scoring total in four outings, averaging 13.8 PPG during the early going. He is a tremendous veteran in their backcourt who will see plenty of minutes even if he isn't starting.

 

Jordan Mickey made a start for the Heat, and while he logged just 15 minutes he did what he does best - block shots. He was a stud at Louisiana State swatting shots, and while he has played sporadically in Boston and Miami so far, that's his biggest contribution to fantasy owners. Kelly Olynyk came off the pine for 10 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes, and whether he is starting or not, he is far more valuable from a fantasy perspective than Mickey. Still, if you need cheap blocks, Mickey is worth a go in deeper leagues. Tyler Johnson was brutal with a 1-of-9 shooting night, but he'll have better days. Don't panic.

 

Bigs Dominate in H-Town

 

It was a fantasy fiesta among frontcourt men in Houston on Monday. Marc Gasol was impressive from the field, hitting 8-of-15, but he did most of his damage at the charity stripe. The big man buried all 10 of his free throw attempts to pile up a team-high 26. Gasol also accounted for the team's only two blocked shots. James Ennis also helped fantasy owners with 14 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He earned himself extra playing time thanks to the fact he was 8-of-8 from the field over his first two games. While he was just 4-of-8 in this one, the good shooting will continue to earn him plenty of run.

 

Ryan Anderson has really struggled with his shot during the early going, and he turned in his second consecutive single-digit scoring performance. He is shooting just 33.3 percent from the field (10-of-30), and that simply will not do. He is a big man who can hit the three, and he has at least one triple in each of his four games. He'll catch fire eventually, so don't do anything rash and give up on him too soon. Clint Capela picked up the slack with a 7-of-9 shooting night, posting 14 points with six rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal. He can do a little bit of everything, and he flies under the radar on a team with James Harden. He is a lunch-pail guy who just does his thing, regardless of accolades and attention.

 

Quick Hits: Dwight Howard had 22 rebounds with four blocked shots in a loss at Milwaukee, reminding fantasy owners of halcyon days. Teammate Frank Kaminsky hit 6-of-8 from the floor to finish with 18 points, and he is averaging 19.5 PPG with 5.5 RPG over the past two outings. … Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to show why he is gaining traction as the No. 1 player in all of fantasy. He scored 32 points with 14 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots. He is no longer just that guy in Cream City with the crazy long name, and even Stacey King will know his name and how to pronounce it. … Mirza Teletovic bagged five triples off the bench in the win, and he now has eight treys over the past two games. That's the biggest reason fantasy owners want him on their roster. … Jakob Poeltl was a big man on campus at the University of Utah, but he has been a little fish in his brief time in the NBA. That's changing, though. He scored 10 points with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, his second straight game with at least three swats. He is making the most of his chance with Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) sidelined, and Lucas Nogueira struggled. … Dejounte Murray posted 16 points with 14 rebounds and six assists, as he continues to make the most of his opportunity with Tony Parker on the shelf. That's 13.3 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 4.7 APG through three games, as he picks up huge slack with T.P. and Kawhi Leonard missing in action. Anyone who nabbed Murray in the middle rounds is smiling ear to ear with the early returns. … Jordan Bell rankled the Mavericks with some hot dogging late in Monday's blowout win. He was already making a name for himself by going 3-of-3 from the field with six points, four rebounds, two assists and a block. … Otto Porter Jr. went for 17 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a blocked shot in 32 minutes in a win at Denver while hitting three triples. OPJ's averages have improved in each of his first NBA seasons, and he has become a tremendous fantasy option. … Nikola Jokic finally got on track after a dismal start, posting 29 points with nine rebounds and five assists. He rebounded after going scoreless in 30 minutes against the Kings on Saturday. He entered with just seven points over his first two games, but he is still averaging 10.0 RPG and 6.7 APG through the first three outings.

 




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