Jonas Nader

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Jaylen Brown's Heroics

Friday, November 17, 2017


Celtics 92, Warriors 88


Jaylen Brown wasn’t even supposed to play on Thursday following the death of his best friend and former teammate Trevin Steede, but somehow mustered the strength to lead Boston to an epic 92-88 comeback win over the Warriors. He scored 22 points with seven rebounds, two blocks, two steals and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes, prompting Kyrie Irving to give him the game ball. "I wasn't in any shape to come out, Brown said. “I didn't want to leave my room. But they inspired me to come out and play. And I came out and played in his spirit today. My teammates held me up and we pulled it out.” Kevin Durant said Brown was “the difference tonight” and this will go down as one of the most inspiring performances of his career. 

 

Kyrie Irving looked uncomfortable early in this one, but shed his face mask at halftime and finished strong with 16 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. He had 25 points in his previous outing, so as uncomfortable/painful as his face fracture may be, he’s still going to be a monster in fantasy. Al Horford scored 18 points with 11 rebounds, two assists and five turnovers, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line with a team-best +/- rating of +15. He’s been a top-30 player in standard fantasy leagues and is a big reason why the Celtics have the best defensive rating (95.4) in the NBA. 

 

Jayson Tatum had a quiet game by his standards with 12 points, four rebounds and one steal on just five shots, but he hit some big free throws and has looked like one of the most polished rookies this season. Marcus Morris added 12 points, four rebounds and a full line in another start, but Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier combined for just six points. Smart missed all seven of his shots from the field and is now shooting a laughable 26.8 percent from the field this season, but his defense hasn’t been a joke - he has an outstanding 93.5 defensive rating this season and was all over the place tonight with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. If he ever gets a shot, Smart will be incredible. 

 

The Celtics are for real and have won 14 straight games, their longest winning streak since 2010. It’s no wonder that Stephen Curry said it’s “very, very likely” that the Warriors will meet the Celtics in the NBA finals. Your thoughts, LeBron James?

 

As for the Warriors, they blew two double-digit leads tonight and let this game slip away. Kevin Durant was their best player and scored a game-high 24 points with three rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes, but did miss a key mid-range shot at the end. The Warriors haven’t been held below 90 points since Mar. 11 of 2016 against the Spurs, so Durant will make sure to get his team back on track against the 76ers on Friday. He’ll likely be competing with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the No. 1 overall spot in fantasy all year. 

 

Draymond Green scored 11 points with eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, three blocks and one 3-pointer for the Warriors and Klay Thompson notched 13 points with seven rebounds, three assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes, but Golden State’s fourth superstar in Stephen Curry had a night to forget. Returning from a one-game absence due to a bruised quad, he shot just 3-of-14 from the field for a season-low nine points with six rebounds, five assists, four steals, four turnovers and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He didn’t look injured and Steve Kerr basically implied that Curry was rested last game, so let’s just chalk this up as a bad game and move on. 

 

Andre Iguodala added eight points with four rebounds, one assist and one block in 30 minutes and Nick Young took Patrick McCaw’s backup SG role, finishing with seven points in 10 minutes. 

 

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Rockets 142, Suns 116

 

No, I promise I didn’t make this score up. The Rockets absolutely lit up the Suns “defense” on their home court, scoring 90 points alone in the first half — that’s tied for the second most points in a half in NBA history… James Harden had all the NBA 2k18 sliders turned up to 99 in the win, dropping 48 points with two rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block, five turnovers and six 3-pointers on 12-of-22 shooting. He was 18-of-18 from the free throw line after hitting 19-of-19 in his previous outing, so he’s now hit 43 consecutive free throws. Even with Chris Paul (knee) back, Harden should still be a top-5 fantasy asset. 

 

Speaking of Paul, he didn’t miss a beat in his return to action, scoring 11 points with four rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes. Coach D’Antoni wants to keep his minutes around 20 in the next game as well, but he said after the game that his knee felt great and he was even doing some additional cardio. It won’t be long before he’s a top-5 fantasy PG again and the Rockets plan to stagger Paul and Harden's minutes so that they always have one future Hall of Famer running the offense. 

 

Eric Gordon is probably the biggest loser with Paul back and I’m not talking about the weight loss show. He scored 13 points with two rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes, but was averaging 22.1 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 3.7 triples prior to Thursday. I wrote about him being a sell-high target in my NBA Roundtable column, but that window could close even quicker than I thought.  

 

Ryan Anderson scored a season-high 24 points with four rebounds, one block and six 3-pointers, but anyone (including Lonzo Ball) can score against the Suns so this game doesn’t move the needle for him. He’s strictly a 3-point specialist that can ruin your team’s field goal percentage with one off night. P.J. Tucker added eight points with nine rebounds and three steals off the pine, while Clint Capela continues to look like one of the best young bigs in the NBA, posting an 11-point, 10-board double-double with two blocks in 21 minutes. 

 

Tyson Chandler missed Thursday’s game with an “illness,” (this is what tanking teams do) so Greg Monroe made his Suns debut and had 20 points and 11 rebounds with one assist, two steals and one block in 26 minutes. The counting stats were nice, but Monroe was toasted on the defensive end and the Rockets exposed him every chance they got. The Suns are merely showcasing him for a trade, but once they inevitably fail to move him, a contender will likely snatch him up when he’s bought out. Give him a look if you need short-term help, but avoiding the Suns at all costs is probably a good idea. 

 

Tyler Ulis (eight points, four assists) and Mike James (three points on 1-of-13 shooting) were both pathetic on Thursday, so it’s hard to trust either PG outside of deeper leagues for the time being. Neither player has run away with the job and I still think the Suns will try and acquire another PG sooner rather than later. Devin Booker hit 7-of-16 shots for 18 points, 10 assists, two triples and five turnovers, and he’s been forced to run the offense more these days due to the ineffectiveness of his PGs. He will feast the rest of the season, but efficiency will be a problem. 

 

Troy Daniels had a nice “revenge game” with 23 points and seven triples, but this was his first blip on the radar all season. Maybe Daniels gets more run if the Suns want to use Booker at PG, but just watch him from the wire for now. Alex Len scored nine points with 13 rebounds in 21 minutes, and while I think he’ll be the clear center to own later in the season, his immediate outlook is tricky with both Greg Monroe and Tyson Chandler around. I have no idea what the Suns will do with their center rotation and they probably don’t either. 

 

Marquese Chriss was in foul trouble yet again to the dismay of his fantasy owners, but did salvage his line with three blocks and some garbage-time stats. He looked like he clocked out before this game started and has shown a lack of maturity, but his upside is too good to dump to the wire. Be patient if you can, but I understand if you’ve seen enough and want to move on. 

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this and be sure to follow me on Twitter (link) for any fantasy basketball questions. Have a great weekend!




Email :Jonas Nader



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