Mike Gallagher

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Hail to the Victor

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Oh how quickly a headline can change. The Pacers looked like they had a huge comeback win thanks to a Victor Oladipo eruption in the fourth, but that all changed when Bojan Bogdanovic made one of the biggest no-no moves in basketball when he lobbed a pass to Oladipo. That pass was picked off by Terry Rozier and led to a game-winning dunk with two seconds left. Here’s the video in case you missed it as it led to a thrilling 112-111 win for the first-place Celtics.

 

Thanks to 30 points in the second half, Oladipo finished with 38 points, five rebounds, one assist, three steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. There’s really nothing else to say about VO and you have to buy him as a possible first-round player going forward. In case you missed it last week, I went in depth on ‘Dipo so bang it here if you want to know why you should buy him.

 

The other big story for the Pacers was Myles Turner flopping with two points, four rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes. He didn’t play in the final 10 minutes and maybe his thigh injury was why — he was questionable to play. Turner was starting to heat up over his previous 10 games with averages of 16.1 points, 6.5 boards, 2.1 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.0 treys on 51.7 percent from the field. Maybe he’ll heal up before Wednesday against the Hawks and his owners shouldn’t worry too much about the league’s leading shot blocker.

 

On the flip side of Turner was Domantas Sabonis, playing 29 minutes with 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and four turnovers. Over the last 10 games, Sabonis has played just 54 minutes next to Turner, but they do have a +7.4 net rating. He’s holding up just fine as a backup.

 

As per usual, Kyrie Irving was outstanding, finishing with 30 points, one rebound, four assists and five 3-pointers. He scored eight points in the final three minutes in clutch time, including two huge treys in the last minute. That’s no surprise because Kyrie has been stupid good in the last three minutes of clutch time this season. With less than three minutes left and a game within five, Irving has a 68.2 true shooting percentage (TS%) and a 58.9 usage rate. Yes, that’s high. Simply put, he’s an MVP candidate and he should continue to flirt with first-round value. To be clear, James Harden should be MVP to this point.

 

Jayson Tatum was ridiculous on efficiency again, making 6-of-8 from the field and all three from the line for 16 points with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer. Not only is he on pace to be one of the most efficient higher-volume rookies of all time, he’s one of the best scorers in the NBA with his 1.17 points per possession coming in at 95th percentile. Here’s what his Synergy play types look like:

 

He could be the most un-rookie rookie of all time and his owners can pencil him in for early-round value the rest of the way.

 

Marcus Smart was also very good with efficiency, making 5-of-6 from the field for 15 points with four rebounds, five assists, one steal and four 3-pointers. Although, his seven turnovers were a career high. Smart is what he is as he’s been able to rack up the stats while he’s still one of the worst players for field goal percentage. Al Horford just missed a triple-double with 14 points, 10 boards, nine dimes, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers. He’s been wonderful all year and he’s been remarkably consistent as an early-round value.

 

Hawks 110, Heat 104 

 

The Heat were extremely shorthanded today as coach Erik Spoelstra basically went with a seven-man rotation. Goran Dragic injured his elbow in the last minute on Saturday and tried to warmup for this one, but he couldn’t give it a go. Despite the 110-104 loss to the NBA’s worst team, Josh Richardson went off yet again with 26 points, four rebounds, three dimes, three steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers. He just had a career-high 28 on Saturday and he has just been special over his last 11, averaging 16.7 points, 3.3 boards, 1.7 dimes, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 treys on 54.8 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the line. He’s been a top-30 player per game over that 11-game span and his patient fantasy owners have to be loving J-Rich these days.

 

Tyler Johnson also had to start and fared well stats wise, scoring 19 points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and four turnovers in 40 minutes. He’ll get a slight bump while the Dragon recovers and the same goes for Dion Waiters with his 23 points and five dimes in 36 minutes.

 

As for the frontcourt, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo started with Olynyk struggling with his line of seven points, five boards, five dimes and two steals on 1-of-8 from the field. Bam was a little better with 11 points, 10 boards, one dime, one steal and two blocks. Both guys should have some value this week with four games. Jordan Mickey was also productive with nine points, 10 rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes. As long as Hassan Whiteside (knee) and Justise Winslow (knee) are out, this trio should have a good chance to produce.

 

Another slow starter like J-Rich was Taurean Prince, but he busted out matching a career-high 24 points with seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes. His December is pretty close to what he had projections wise with 14.7 points, 6.0 boards, 2.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals and 2.1 treys on 49.5 percent from the field and 84.0 percent from the line. His percentages won’t be that good, but his defensive numbers should be better. He needs to be owned everywhere.

 

Besides Kent Bazemore missing a lot of shots this season, he’s been pretty solid in the counting stats. He put up one of his best lines of the year on Monday with 16 points, five rebounds, seven assists, five steals and two blocks. Baze was playing some power forward and he’s been every bit of a value pick, especially if you’re punting FG%. John Collins still has a minutes limit, scoring nine points with six rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes. He’ll probably be starting in the very near future, which means more stats are coming.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.

 

Bulls 117, 76ers 115

 

Just give Nikola Mirotic the MVP already. The Bulls won their sixth straight with Mirotic exploding for 22 points, 13 boards, two assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes. The Bulls had lost 10 straight before Mirotic debuted and now they’re 6-0 in one of the crazier plot twists of the season. It’s also worth a mention that he played next to Lauri Markkanen down the stretch as the PF-C combo, so it’s pretty clear these two can coexist. We’ll see if Mirotic gets traded, but he has to be owned. Also props to him for learning Greek, so now he’s fluent in Greek, Spanish, Serbian and English.

 

Bobby Portis also played really well with another double-double, scoring 12 points with 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes. Robin Lopez probably isn’t going to play 30 minutes per game all season and he dropped to just 22 on Monday with six points. Portis is still worth holding, but I’d bet he’ll have some consistency issues.

 

Justin Holiday has a neon green light and he was very good again with 20 points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and five 3-pointers He racks up the stats and he should continue to hold plenty of value. Plus, Zach LaVine is dealing with back spasms, so it’s probably going to be a while before he’s out there. That’s also good news for David Nwaba, who guarded Ben Simmons a lot and finished with 10 points, one rebound and two assists in 26 minutes. He’s said he likes to come off the bench, so don’t worry about him not leapfrogging Denzel Valentine. Nwaba should continue to close games and has some value in standard leagues. Kris Dunn has been great with another gem, scoring 22 points with four rebounds, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers.

 

Joel Embiid still isn’t cleared for back-to-back sets yet, so he did not play after playing 49 minutes against the Thunder on Friday. He’ll be ready to roll for Tuesday against the Kangz. It was Amir Johnson starting the game with his four-point, two-board game, but Richaun Holmes stated the second half and turned in a solid game with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in just 23 minutes. Holmes does get some PF minutes at times and he’s still one of the best handcuffs in fantasy.

 

Ben Simmons is not a jump shooter. In fact, you’d probably be surprised how many regular “jump shots” he’s made of his 405 attempts from the field this season. 20? Nope. 10? Almost. It’s seven! Seven jumpers on 54 attempts for just 13.0 percent, which is just crazy. Besides that massive hole in his game, Simmons just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and three turnovers. He also made just 1-of-5 from the line, which dropped him to 54.6 percent on the season. His fantasy owners can’t really complain as he just racks up the stats.

 

The Homie Dario Saric also went off with 27 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and three 3-pointers. His per-36 minutes without Embiid on the floor are pretty good at 17.5 points, 8.7 boards, 2.8 assists and 2.3 treys. Keep that in mind for DFS the next time The Process has to rest.

 

Wolves 108, Blazers 107

 

So much for a back injury on Jimmy Butler, who went off with 37 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. That slow start is way behind him as he’s shaping up to be a first-round player going forward.  Jamal Crawford was also busy, scoring a season-high 23 points. His minutes are expected to be closer to the teens, but props to him for helping the Wolves pull off a comeback thanks to their 32-22 win in the fourth.

 

Not much going on for the Blazers, but they didn’t shoot a free throw in the second half. Not good. Coach Terry Stotts continues to use Zach Collins as a backup four and he’s played next to Al-Farouq Aminu, as well. Collins doesn’t have much value right now, but he’d probably be a big winner if Aminu got hurt. Jusuf Nurkic saw his minutes limit get lifted with 20 points, seven boards, one assist and three blocks.

 


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Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.



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