Tommy Beer

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Dose: Oladipo Does It Again

Sunday, December 24, 2017


It was an entertaining evening in the Association on Saturday, with 26 teams in action and 13 games on the slate. The highlights included another dominant performance courtesy of Victor Oladipo, another triple-double from Russell Westbrook, and a new career-high from Austin Rivers.


We’ll also check in on players that were rested and/or dealing with injuries on Saturday. Unfortunately, there are a bunch.


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Nightly Notables:
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points and added five rebounds, two assists, one steal and four 3-pointers on Saturday. DeRozan has been on fire this week, averaging 34.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 4.3 treys, while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 65.0 percent from downtown. The 3-point sniping is the most important takeaway from this recent run, as his fantasy value would increase significantly if he can keep it up.


Elfrid Payton was superb on Saturday. He scored a career-high 30 points and added five rebounds, 10 assists, four steals and one block in 36 minutes. With the Magic decimated by injuries (see below), Payton will be asked to shoulder far more of the offensive load than expected. He should see his usage rate spike and his fantasy value increase accordingly.


Dwight Howard was questionable coming into Saturday night after dislocating his left ring finger on Friday. However, Howard played, and played well, finishing with 21 points (on 7-of-11 shooting), a game-high 16 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. It was Howard’s fifth game this season with at least 20 points and 15 boards.


Victor Oladipo continued his magical season on Saturday, finishing with 38 points, four boards, six assists, one steal, one block, two triples and zero turnovers. ‘Dipo was 13-of-23 from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Per Basketball-Reference, it had been five years since a Pacer player scored more than 35 points without committing a single turnover in the same game. Amazingly, this is Oladipo’s second game this week with 38 points and zero turnovers. We keep waiting for Oladipo to slow down slightly, but the man continues to crush it on a nightly basis.


Myles Turner turned in a second consecutive strong game, registering 23 points, nine rebounds, three 3-pointers and a season-high six blocks. Turner was also efficient, knocking down 8-of-10 shots from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. He joined DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant as the third player this season to blocked at least six shots and make three 3-pointers in the same game.


DeMarre Carroll posted an impressive double-double on Saturday, delivering 20 points, a career-high 13 boards, four assists, four 3-pointers and one turnover in 37 minutes. Carroll is averaging career highs across the board and has been one the more pleasant surprises in fantasy hoops this season… Spencer Dinwiddie has also been pleasantly surprising since stepping into the starting lineup. Dinwiddie matched his career-high with 26 points on Saturday and chipped in one rebound, eight assists, and five 3-pointers.


Dennis Schroder (ankle) was unable to play on Friday and was considered questionable for Saturday, but suited up and played exceptionally well in Atlanta’s win over the Mavs. He matched his career-high with 33 points and added four 3-pointers, seven assists, three rebounds, one steal and one turnover.


Russell Westbrook did Russell Westbrook things on Saturday, recording his 11th triple-double of the season. Russ finished with a 27 points, ten rebounds and ten assists, adding two 3-pointers, one steal and a block. Westbrook was just 11-of-24 from the floor in this one, but had shot 50.0 percent or better in four straight games coming into this contest, which was tied for the longest such streak of his career. Russ has also taken better care of the basketball recently. He committed just two turnovers on Saturday and has three or less in four straight games.


Donovan Mitchell (bruised toe) had missed two straight games but returned in grand fashion on Saturday night. The notable neophyte finished with a game-high 29 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He made 12 of his 16 field goal attempts and knocked down all four of his free throws.


Tyreke Evans stuffed the stat sheet once again on Saturday, finishing with 30 points (on 10-of-20 shooting), seven rebounds, 11 assists, six 3-pointers and three steals. Those fantasy GM’s that rolled the dice on Evans back on draft day continue to be richly rewarded… Marc Gasol (hip) was considered doubtful prior to the game, but suited up and played very well. Gasol finished with 17 points, a season-high 15 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in 35 minutes.


Austin Rivers scored a career-high 36 points on Friday, but apparently wasn’t satisfied. Rivers poured in a new career-high 38 points in the Clippers win over the Grizzlies on Saturday. Congrats to the folks that started Rivers in weekly leagues. Over the Clips last three games, Rivers is averaging 31.7 points (on 54.1 percent shooting), 5.0 assists, and 4.7 treys.


Pau Gasol turned back to the clock to record his 10th career triple-double on Saturday, tallying 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 37-year-old Gasol became the oldest NBA player to produce a triple-double since Tim Duncan did so on Dec. 5, 2014. Besides Duncan and Gasol, the only other players to record a trip-dub after their 37th birthdays are Elvin Hayes (age 38), Karl Malone (age 40), and Jason Kidd (age 37)... LaMarcus Aldridge registered 29 points with 10 rebounds, two assists and two triples across 39 minutes on Saturday.

 

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On the Radar:
Joel Embiid returned on Saturday to tally 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three blocks, five turnovers and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes. Embiid had missed three straight and five of Philly's last seven games due to the nagging back injury. He was clearly less than 100 percent. "It wasn't feeling the best but I really wanted to play tonight," Embiid said afterward. The Sixers are expected to limit his minutes going forward, and he is highly unlikely to play in both ends of a back-to-back anytime soon.


Khris Middleton was a focal point of the Bucks offense on Saturday due to the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness). Middleton finished with 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and four triples across 40 minutes… Eric Bledsoe contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.


Kemba Walker (head) was listed as questionable on Saturday after taking a shot to the head on Friday night, but was cleared to play. Walker finished with 19 points (on 5-of-15 shooting), eight assists and three treys in 33 minutes… Nicolas Batum tallied 12 points, six assists and five boards in 35 minutes.


The Wizards scored a whopping 130 points (their most in a regulation home game since November 11, 2005), but no individual player scored more than 18 points. John Wall scored just 10, but did dish out a game-high 13 assists to go along with three boards, and two treys. On the negative side of the ledger, Wall was just 3-of-10 from the floor and committed six turnovers… Bradley Beal had 17 points, three rebounds, three dimes and three triples… Mike Scott was, once again, incredibly efficient. He was 7-of-8 from the floor for 18 points.


Mario Hezonja scored 16 points with four rebounds, one assist, three steals, one block and two 3-pointers on Saturday. With Orlando shorthanded, Super Mario saw increased opportunities and responded with one the more productive weeks of his NBA career. Over Orlando’s last four games, Hezonja is averaging 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 treys and 2.0 steals in 27.9 minutes, while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor and 52.2 percent from downtown.


All five Celtics starters scored in double-figures in their blowout win over the Bulls on Saturday. Kyrie Irving paced the C’s with 25 points (on 9-of-15 shooting) and added three rebounds, seven assists, two steals, five 3-pointers and just one turnover… Jayson Tatum contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes… Jaylen Brown (Achilles) returned from a one-game absence and showed no signs of rust. He had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal, and four 3-pointers… Daniel Theis had 10 points, a career-high 15 boards and two steals in 24 minutes.


The league-leader in thefts was back at on Saturday. Paul George finished with 26 points (on 10-of-17 shooting) five rebounds, one assist, two blocks and a season-high six steals.


J.J. Barea scored 15 points and handed out a season-high 12 assists on Saturday. He also chipped in two 3-pointers, two rebounds and three steals… Dirk Nowitzki tallied 18 points (on 7-of-11 shooting) six rebounds, four assists, three 3-pointers and one block in 27 minutes… Dennis Smith Jr. struggled again on Saturday, finishing with just six points (on 2-of-8 shooting), three assists, one rebound and one steal in 22 minutes.


Ersan Ilyasova was solid on Saturday, contributing 21 points, seven rebounds, two 3-pointers, two assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes… Taurean Prince had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer; but committed six turnovers.


Goran Dragic (elbow) returned on Saturday but was clearly playing at far less than 100 percent. Dragic, who was wearing a shooting sleeve and flexing his arm throughout the night, was 5-of-15 from the field for 13 points with four rebounds, two assists and one block in 30 minutes… James Johnson (right ankle) returned the lineup on Saturday but last only eight minutes before exiting to the locker room and never returned to the game. It appears Johnson may have rushed back a bit too soon. We should have an update on his status by the end of the weekend.


Lou Williams had 36 points, five triples, two boards and two assists for the Clippers… DeAndre Jordan had four points and a game-high 18 rebounds.


The Pelicans beat the Heat 109-94 on Saturday, but no New Orleans player cracked the 20-point plateau. Ian Clark led the way with a season-high 19 points. He also added two rebounds, one assist and five 3-pointers in 23 minutes… It was an unusually quiet night for both Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins (at least by their lofty standards). AD finished with 17 points, six boards, three assists and four blocks. Boogie had 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, three blocks and five turnovers.


Jimmy Butler stayed hot on Saturday night, tallying 32 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block in the Wolves win over the Suns… Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points but was just 8-of-17 from the floor, and didn’t bring much else to the table (four rebounds, zero assists and one steal)… Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points, 14 boards and two swats.


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