Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Going to Towns

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


It was another busy night on the pro hardwood, with 18 of the 30 teams from the National Basketball Association in action. We learned quite a bit after Monday's action, too. The Orlando Magic are certainly not fluke, as they're playing well together. Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns is not only a beast inside and on the defensive end, but he can pop the corner three, too. That's not good for the rest of the league. And rumors of the reports of the death of the Golden State Warriors were greatly exaggerated. They came out and humbled the Los Angeles Clippers, with Stephen Curry doing his usual thing.

 

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Monday's Top Five

 

Karl-Anthony Towns was an efficient 7-of-11 from the field in Monday's 125-122 overtime victory at Miami, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. On the surface that doesn't look to be anything out of the ordinary. But KAT dropped in three 3-pointers, including a 23-foot triple from the corner to give the Wolves a six-point lead midway through overtime. The only thing that was shocking about Towns' line was the fact he took only 11 shots, as he had plenty of room to operate with Hassan Whiteside sitting out for a fifth straight game due to a bruised left knee. The fact Towns' team won made his performance more impressive than Anthony Davis and his season-best 39 points.

 

Kristaps Porzingis was playing like a man possessed, hitting 14-of-26 from the field to finish with 38 points. He stepped back and hit 4-of-7 from the perimeter while snaring seven rebounds with three blocked shots and two assists in 34 minutes. The Knickerbockers haven't gotten a lot right in the past few years, as far as personnel moves are concerned, but they certainly had the Kavorka when it came to the unorthodox pick of the Latvian. I wonder if ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith is still mad about this selection.

 

Ben Simmons turned in another strong line, proving he was worth the wait for the Sixers after missing the entire 2016-17 season. He went for a career-high 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds while hitting 10-of-15 from the floor. He has picked up at least seven rebounds in all seven of his games this season, and he has eight or more assists in each of the past five outings. The Australian, by way of Louisiana State, is proving he can do a little bit of everything, and is also displaying quick hands on defense. He has 10 steals through seven games, although he was held off the board in the category for just the second time this season on Monday.

 

Dion Waiters dumped in a career-high 33 points in the overtime loss against the Wolves, hitting 14-of-28 from the floor, while contributing five boards, four dimes and three steals. His day would have been even better had he been able to stick a 35-footer at the buzzer in overtime, but his shot clanged off the steel and bounded away allowing Minny to escape with the three-point victory. Bam Adebayo also stepped up with 13 points and 13 rebounds in place of Whiteside, as the career night wasn't limited to just Waiters.

 

Steph Curry was doing Steph Curry things, proving that anyone worried about the 4-3 start from the Warriors was wringing their hands about nothing. The Warriors are going to be just fine, and they creamed the Clippers who had won their first four games before a two-game losing streak. Curry hit 9-of-14 from the floor, including 7-of-11 from behind the arc, finishing with 31 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Worry no more.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

Ding-ding-ding. The winner of the Fantasy Game of the Night was the battle between the 76ers and Rockets, going to the visiting Sixers by a 115-107 count. There were fantasy studs everywhere across the board. We already touched on Simmons and his big night, but he wasn't the only Sixer doing work. Joel Embiid hit 9-of-12 to finish with 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a blocked shot, as he wasn't fazed by knocking down low with Clint Capela and Ryan Anderson. Dario Saric joined the party with 14 points and six rebounds, hitting 6-of-14 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. Even Amir Johnson stepped up off the bench, delighting fantasy owners with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes. The biggest disappointment might have been Robert Covington, who manager to hit just 2-of-8 from the floor, finishing with five points. However, he grabbed eight points, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot to salvage the stat line. Covington has 11 steals over the past four outings. Even T.J. McConnell and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot got into the act, as TLC dropped 17 and McConnell finished with 11 points.

 

On the Houston side of the ledger, James Harden did his usual thing with 29 points, while adding four steals. Eric Gordon also connected on five 3-pointers, ending up with 25 points in 37 minutes. Meanwhile, Capela was good for 12 points with 15 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 31 minutes. Capela has at least one rejection in each of his past five outings, while posting three double-doubles over the past four starts. Ryan Anderson's shot wasn't falling, as he managed just 11 points while hitting 2-of-9 from behind the arc, and Trevor Ariza struggled with seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ariza hasn't looked comfortable since returning from a two-game absence due to a foot ailment. Luc Mbah a Moute is starting to round into form after a tough start. He hit 4-of-7 from the floor, posting his second double-digit game over the past three outings.

 

Quick Hits: Marreese Speights caught fire from behind the 3-point line, hitting 6-of-10, as he finished with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes off the bench for the surprising Magic. … DeMarcus Cousins didn't have his best night, misfiring on 9-of-14 from the field, and he turned the ball over six times while committing five fouls in 39 minutes. He salvaged the stat line with 12 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, however. … Jonathon Simmons continues to show well, as the former Spurs reserve hit 7-of-12 to finish with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes off the bench. He seems to shine more on the road, as he is averaging 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals over his past three games away from home. … Nikola Jokic posted 28 points and eight rebounds, while Jamal Murray went for 20 points in the road loss in New York. After a slow start, Jokic is doing what was expected of him. … Brandon Paul had the hot hand off the bench for Gregg Popovich, so the coach kept rolling with him. Paul finished with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. He also grabbed five boards and had an assist, blocked shot and a steal. … Kyrie Irving was great as part of the band, but he isn't doing too bad as a solo act, either. He finished with 24 points, six assists and three steals while hitting three triples in the 108-94 win against the Spurs. … Jayson Tatum snared 11 rebounds while Al Horford was good for 13 boards. … Ed Davis was good for seven points, eight rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes, as he continues to take advantage of the struggles of Jusuf Nurkic. The starter posted eight points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal across 26 minutes, but he hit just 4-of-9 from the floor. … With Nurkic struggling, Damian Lillard picked up the pace with a season-best 36 points, hitting 12-of-23 from the floor. Dame has three or more triples in each of the past three, as he is heating up after a slow start by his standards. … Rudy Gobert was doing the five-thing on Monday, posting 17 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and six blocked shots in 33 minutes while rolling up a ridiculous plus-32 rating. … Thabo Sefolosha was sharp off the pine, hitting 5-of-9 field-goal attempts to finish with 11 points. … Jeff Teague finished with 23 points, 11 assists and six steals in the OT win in Miami. He has at least one steal in each of his seven outings, averaging 2.0 per game. He also has at least two triples in each of the past three contests.

 




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