Jonas Nader

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Porzingis Tweaks Knee

Friday, December 15, 2017


Another day, another injury. This time it was Kristaps Porzingis going down with what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury, so that’s where we will start in tonight’s daily dose. If you guys have any questions or need fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!

 

Kristaps Porzingis leaves game after knee scare

 

Knicks franchise player Kristaps Porzingis left Thursday’s game vs. the Nets with 9:25 left in the third quarter and never returned, finishing with 13 points, four assists, two rebounds, one steal and one triple. As you can see here (link), Porzingis appears to come up lame after contesting a layup. It looked like a non-contact injury and Porzingis was spotted holding his left knee while talking to the trainers. 

 

The Knicks ruled him out for good about 10 minutes later and called it a “sore left knee,” but we won’t know the official diagnosis until they run some tests on him Friday morning. Speaking to reporters after the game, he said that he's not in "significant pain” and was uncertain about his status for Saturday’s game vs. the Thunder. "I felt my knee buckle a little bit and I felt a little pain there. So it's more about being cautious," Porzingis said (h/t ESPN’s Ian Begley). "I had a little shock pain there and that's it. I honestly don't have any information about what's going on there, but hopefully it's not too serious.” The Knicks usually play it safe with Porzingis, so don’t be surprised if he misses some time even if this turns out to be a minor issue. 

 

If we do get bad news regarding Porzingis’ knee on Friday, fantasy owners should seriously consider picking up Michael Beasley. His usage rate climbs from 20.2 to 28.8 with Porzingis off the court and he could lead the Knicks in shot attempts with Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg) still out. On Thursday, Beasley stepped up in relief of KP6 and dropped 15 points with four boards, one assist, one steal and three turnovers in just 20 minutes. Courtney Lee (27 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and three triples) and Enes Kanter (13 points, nine rebounds and two assists) would also see their roles on offense grow, but they aren’t available in competitive fantasy leagues. 

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting their Super Duel for a Difference contest this Sunday, where you can win tickets to the Big Game in Minneapolis! Support a good cause and compete for an unforgettable grand prize.

 

 

Tim Hardaway Jr. discusses leg injury

 

When asked about the stress injury in his left leg on Thursday, Tim Hardaway Jr. made it sound like he could be out a while longer. “This is serious,” he said. “I’m going to take everything slow. This is a serious injury.” Hardaway wouldn’t provide a timetable and deflected a question when asked if he would return before the new year. He also wouldn’t reveal if he was dealing with a stress reaction or stress fracture, and while the fracture is obviously much more serious, both take several weeks to heal. He’s worth stashing if you have an I.R. spot, but be prepared to wait a long time for his return.

 

 

Jahlil Okafor still not playing

 

Okafor was on the active list for the second straight game on Thursday, but coach Kenny Atkinson didn’t look his way even though the Nets were getting bullied on the boards. Atkinson used all three of Tyler Zeller, Jarrett Allen and Timofey Mozgov again, but it’s just a matter of time before they dust Okafor off and give him a look. Eventually, I think this becomes a timeshare between Allen and Okafor down the stretch. 

 

 

Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson go off

 

Both Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson went bonkers on Thursday, solidifying their status as must-start players in all fantasy formats. Dinwiddie had a career-high 26 points with seven assists, seven rebounds, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes, while Hollis-Jefferson also set a career-high with 25 points to go with an incredible line of seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks. A lot of people tell me they are worried about Dinwiddie when D’Angelo Russell comes back, but they shouldn’t be because Russell is even better off the ball and they could easily coexist in the backcourt together. As for RHJ, he’s played 35+ minutes in three out of his last four and is enjoying a nice bump in playing time with Trevor Booker in Philly. Both Dinwiddie and RHJ could have legitimate mid-round value the rest of the way. 

 

 

John Collins is back!

 

Collins has been one of the best rookies in real life and in fantasy, so it was great to see him back on the floor Thursday after a six-game absence. He didn’t look rusty at all en route to 15 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block on 7-of-10 shots, and he did all of his damage in just 20 minutes. “It felt great to be back on the court [and] test my body out, see if I’m feeling back to 100 percent,” Collins said. “I felt like I was. [The shoulder] is probably going to be a little sore (Friday) from banging and hitting for the first time in a couple weeks.” Collins did hit just 1-of-3 free throws, but he was shooting 76.6 percent from the line prior to Thursday. His minutes are only going to ramp up going forward and there’s no reason for him to be on any waiver wires at this point. 

 

 

Detroit gets back on track

 

The Pistons snapped a seven game-losing streak with a 105-91 win over Atlanta, so it sounds like Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson got the message after coach Stan Van Gundy bashed them earlier in the week. Bradley snapped out of his funk with 18 points and a pair of triples, but Drummond stole the show with 12 points, 19 rebounds, a career-high nine assists, two steals and two blocks. He also hit all four of his free throws and had the best quote of the night about his career-high in dimes. "I'm Santa Dre and I'm handing out gifts.” 

 

 

De’Aaron Fox leaves game with quad injury

 

De’Aaron Fox lasted just seven minutes on Thursday before he was ruled out with a left quad contusion. It looked like he was going to try and play through the issue because he was getting stretched out on the sidelines, but the Kings ultimately decided to hold him out. Fox hasn’t been playing well enough for fantasy owners in 12-team leagues, but if he does need to miss additional time that would open up things for George Hill and Frank Mason

 

Hill had 16 points, two rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes against the Wolves, while Mason had 12 points with five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. Hill is the safer add in standard leagues, but Mason may have a better long-term outlook and could be sneaky down the stretch when the Kings start unleashing their younger players. They use a lot of two-PG lineups, so both Hill and Mason could have some nice value if Fox misses time.


Jonathan Isaac (ankle) returns to practice

 

As many of you know, Isaac is one of my favorite stashes in fantasy basketball, so I was thrilled to hear that he was able to return to practice on Thursday. He’s been out since Nov. 11 and isn’t a lock to play on Friday vs. Portland (he’s considered questionable), but he should be back in action at some point this weekend. The Magic are incredibly thin on the wings with Terrence Ross (knee) out indefinitely and Evan Fournier still nursing an ankle injury, so Isaac could carve out a nice role once he gets his legs under him. 

 

Isaac can play the 3 and 4, and if you’re worried about Aaron Gordon blocking his minutes you shouldn’t be, as the Isaac-Gordon lineup combo worked really well early in the season. Orlando has lost three games in a row and are 11-18, so they will eventually unleash him anyways in what is becoming a lost season. With per-36 minute averages of 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.3 blocks and 0.8 triples, you won’t find many players his age with that kind of upside. 

 

 

Hassan Whiteside (knee) still without a timetable

 

The Heat gave Whiteside a 1-2 week timetable back on Nov. 30, but like me and Mike Gallagher predicted a couple weeks ago in the Rotoworld podcasts, it’s been two weeks and there’s no return date in site. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra did say that Whiteside is “doing a lot better,” but the Heat have already ruled him out for Friday’s game and he’s not even traveling. While not a sexy fantasy option, Kelly Olynyk will continue to have some short-term value and has averaged 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.1 triples in his last seven games without Whiteside. Bam Adebayo had a rough stretch in early December, but he’s also relevant after two strong games in a row (13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals). 

 

 

Aaron Gordon (concussion) on track to return Friday

 

Aaron Gordon (concussion) returned to full practice on Thursday, presumably the final hurdle of the concussion protocol. He said back on Monday that he’s showing “no symptoms” of the concussion, and if that’s still the case at Friday’s morning shootaround then he should be cleared to play. 

 

 

Fantasy pickups from Thursday

 

*Note- This doesn’t include players already mentioned or players owned in too many leagues

 

Caris LeVert- He just had his fifth strong game in a row on Thursday and is averaging 16.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 triples in that span. He’s breaking out before our eyes and is thriving in his role as a combo guard off the bench. He should be owned in 12-team leagues. 

 

Frank Ntilikina- He’s closing a lot more games these days at the expense of Jarrett Jack and his minutes continue to trend up. He’s now played 20+ minutes in six straight games, averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 triples. He’s only going to get better and just needs to improve his efficiency and ball security. 

 

Jordan Bell- He made another start with Draymond Green (shoulder) and Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) out and didn’t disappoint, scoring eight points with eight assists, six boards and two steals on 4-5 shots in 24 minutes. He’s seriously the second coming of Draymond Green and it’s going to be hard for Steve Kerr to keep him off the floor if he keeps this up. He’s still more of a stash until he gets consistent burn while the Warriors are healthy, but he’s on all on my rosters in case he’s unleashed. Just start him already!

 

Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea- They continued their fine play on Thursday, combining for 27 points and seven dimes. The Mavs are being super cautious with Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) because that’s what tanking teams do, so they still have a window to keep churning out decent fantasy value.




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