Jonas Nader

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Mudiay lights up OKC

Friday, November 10, 2017


I was helping Mike Gallagher with the blurbs tonight (he killed it as always), so for this Daily Dose I'll just take a quick look at some of Thursday's headlines. For NBA news and fantasy advice, you can find me on Twitter here!


Lonzo Ball can't buy a bucket 

 

Ball flirted with a triple-double on Thursday vs. the Wizards with 10 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, two steals and one triple, but his shooting line and efficiency was laughable as he finished 3-of-12 from the field, 1-of-7 from deep and 3-of-7 from the line with four turnovers. This has been an issue all season, but I don’t think people realize how bad it really is — he was shooting 29.5 percent from the field prior to Thursday which would be the second lowest field goal percentage (minimum of 100 FGAs) over a player's first 11 career games in the shot-clock era (h/t ESPN Stats & Info).

 

"It's in my head to be honest," Ball said to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. "I know I can shoot the ball." I’ve made it clear that I’m not a Ball guy, but it would be foolish of me to write him off after 12 games. He may have more pressure on his shoulders than any other rookie, and starting at PG for the Lakers puts him under a magnifying glass every game. “Every time you turn on any sports show, all they talk about is his shot,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’s already playing for the Lakers so he’s got a lot more pressure on him than anyone has in a long time that has come out in college.” He’ll eventually figure things out and is only 20 years old, but I don’t want Ball anywhere near my fantasy teams. 

 

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Julius Randle’s future with Lakers in doubt?

 

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Julius Randle is “very unlikely to continue with the Lakers” beyond this season, but I thought this was obvious for many reasons. The Lakers had no interest in a contract extension for Randle this offseason, so he’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Lakers are hoping to land two maximum contract players in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George on top of their list, leaving very little cap space to match competitive offers for Randle. Based on how coach Luke Walton has used him sparingly this season, I would expect the Lakers to shop him aggressively before the trade deadline so they don’t risk losing him for nothing. The Lakers don’t own their 2018 1st rounder, so maybe they can fetch one in return to speed up their rebuild. If you own him in fantasy, you should definitely be rooting for a trade since Walton has no interest in playing him big minutes. 

 

 

Emmanuel Mudiay runs circles around Jamal Murray

 

Mudiay led the Nuggets to an unlikely 102-94 win over the Thunder, scoring 21 points with seven rebounds, five assists and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He made his first eight shots of the night and didn’t miss until the final two minutes! He’s been hit-or-miss this season, but even if you include his two-point dud on Tuesday, Mudiay is averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 triples on 47.1 percent shooting over his last five games. “I told the team tonight, Emmanuel was phenomenal tonight, I am proud of him,” Coach Mike Malone said. “Emmanuel put in a lot of work in this summer, give all of the credit to Emmanuel.” 

 

His efficiency is trending up and he’s officially worth a look for PG-needy owners, but the problem here is that the PG rotation in Denver is an absolute mess, so I’m avoiding it wherever I can. 

 

As for Murray, he played just 18 minutes with nine points, three boards, two assists, two steals and one triple, and he’s now averaging 6.3 points over his last four games. I dropped him over a week ago and I’ve been sleeping better ever since, but he’ll eventually heat up. Coach Malone said he just needs to “relax” and added that he wants him to show more consistency. Fantasy owners would love that as well...

 

Joel Embiid looks dominant, but rolls ankle

 

The Process was unstoppable vs. the Kings with 22 points, a career-high 15 boards, two assists, three blocks, five turnovers and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes. Coming off a maintenance day, this was also a career-high in minutes for Embiid. He did appear to roll his right ankle during the third quarter and he fell awkwardly, but he was able to see this game through. This isn’t the same ankle that bothered him before the season, but his owners should be on the lookout for an update on Friday. Richaun Holmes only played nine minutes and probably won’t have any standalone value as long as Amir Johnson keeps playing (I have no idea why Brett Brown likes Johnson so much), but if you own Embiid, Holmes should absolutely be on your roster for some insurance. 

 

 

Justin Jackson, Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox shine for Kings

 

Fox wasn’t efficient in Thursday’s game vs. the 76ers, but he hit the game-winner and played 30 minutes compared to 19 for George Hill. The rookie PG finished with 11 points, four rebounds, seven assists and one turnover in 30 minutes, and his rest-of-season outlook couldn't be any more promising. It won’t be long before he’s the full-time starter in Sacramento, so go get him while he’s still cheap. As for Hill, I have no idea why the Kings gave him a $57 million deal right after taking Fox at No. 5 overall. 

 

Justin Jackson had his second impressive game in a row, scoring a career-high 19 points with one rebound, two assists and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. The SF position is up for grabs in Sacramento and Jackson has the talent to run away with the job. If he has another solid showing on Saturday vs. the Knicks, fantasy owners should consider taking a flier on him.

 

Willie Cauley-Stein has been one of the most frustrating big men to own in fantasy this season, but it’s mostly because coach Dave Joerger has no idea how to handle his young roster. WCS scored 15 points with four rebounds, one assist, two blocks and no turnovers in 24 minutes while playing some admiral defense on Embiid, so hopefully Joerger wakes up and lets the big man do his thing going forward. There’s absolutely no reason for the Kings to play Kosta Koufos more than a handful of minutes, unless of course Joerger is doubling as his agent. 

 

As for Skal Labissiere, he played just 11 minutes compared to 29 for Zach Randolph. To be fair to Z-Bo, he had 20 points and looked great, but he’s 36 and the wheels are eventually going to fall off. I think Skal is going to have a terrific finish to the season, but he’s nothing but a stash in deeper leagues right now. 

 

 

Markieff Morris tweaks knee in win

 

Morris had a little bit of tightness in his knee on Thursday and made a brief trip to the locker room, and when he wasn’t playing he was riding on a stationary bike to keep warm. He was able to finish the game and had 16 points in 17 minutes, but the injuries are piling up. The groin injury that sidelined him for the start of the season appears to be behind him, but he said the ankle injury that he picked up in the playoffs vs. Boston several months ago is still bothering him.

 

“Not where I want to be at. It’s a little frustrating when you’re so used to being a certain way,” Morris said (h/t Washington Post). “We just got to work back toward it but it’s one day at a time. I’m just trying to get in great shape. I’m trying to get my body moving back normal.” While his fantasy owners shouldn’t panic, don’t be surprised if the Wizards continue to bring him along very slowly. 

 

Steven Adams leaves game with calf injury

 

Adams is well on pace for a career year, so it would be a huge blow to the Thunder if he’s forced to miss any time. He was seen hobbling quite a bit in Thursday’s loss and eventually left the game with what the Thunder are calling a left calf contusion. He won’t be re-evaluated until Friday afternoon, meaning his status for Friday’s game vs. DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers is up in the air. The Thunder don’t have great depth up front, and it’s unclear if they would call upon Dakari Johnson or even Nick Collison. My guess is that we’d see a lot of small ball if Adams can’t go, with Jerami Grant getting a significant bump in minutes. 

 

Grant scored 11 points with five rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 20 minutes on Thursday, and he’s played well over his last five with averages of 11.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks. He’d be a worthy punt in DFS if we get bad news regarding Adams, especially since he's capable of blocking several shots on any given night.  


Jeff Green goes bonkers

Green had easily the best game of his season on Thursday, scoring 27 points with five rebounds, two assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. This was the ideal matchup for Green, but he's always been a boom-or-bust fantasy option. He had a combined 20 points in his previous three games, but maybe he can carve out some low-end value until Tristan Thompson (calf) comes back. 



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