Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Knee Cola

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


The holidays are in the rear-view mirror, as is college football, and suddenly teams are reaching the halfway point of the National Basketball Association's regular season. Man, time certainly does fly when you're having fun. There is very good news for Georgia sports fans when it comes to the NBA, too. They needn't worry about the Hawks blowing a huge lead in a playoff series in the spring. There were some huge performances on Monday night in the NBA, so hopefully you didn't spend your entire evening watching that game with the oblong brown ball. Let's get started!

 

For NBA news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!

 

 

Monday's Fantasy Five

 

Nikola Jokic saw his team on the losing end of a 124-114 game against the Golden State Warriors, but the good news is he won the night in terms of fantasy production. The Serbian-born big man was good for 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists with three steals across 36 minutes for his first triple-double of the season. He was also able to add a blocked shot. He was a solid 9-of-16 from the field while going 3-of-3 from the free-throw line and hitting his only 3-pointer attempt. Perhaps he doesn't get as free near the rim if Kevin Durant (calf) is healthy enough to play, but Jokic's fantasy owners are certainly not complaining.

 

Another big man was doing his thing in California on Monday night. DeAndre Jordan rolled up 25 points with 18 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot, hitting 10-of-13 from the field while going a respectable 5-of-8 from the charity stripe. He and Lou Williams, who finished with 34 points on 12-of-29 shooting, were instrumental against the lowly Hawks. It was C.J. Williams banging home a game-winning triple to lift the Clips, but they wouldn't have been in the position to win if not for Jordan's heroics. He is averaging 19.5 points with 13.8 rebounds in four games so far during January, hitting 71.7 percent from the field (29-of-41). Perhaps the biggest turnaround in D.J.'s game is his work at the free-throw line, which has historically been terrible. He is 78.8 percent (26-of-33) over the past five contests from the charity stripe, pleasing his fantasy owners to no end.

 

Serge Ibaka nearly 'surged' to the top of the fantasy five with his performance in Monday's overtime victory in Brooklyn. He finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds while adding a pair of steals over 39 minutes, and that was nice. But his six blocked shots are what really set him apart from the rest of the players in fantasy. It was a nice bounce-back game after he came up empty in the category on Friday night in Milwaukee. Since flipping the calendar from 2017 to 2017, Ibaka is averaging 14.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.3 blocked shots and 1.3 steals per game in four outings.

 

All of the fantasy studs cannot be big men. The enigmatic Rondo was good for the Pelicans in their narrow win against the Pistons. The Pels needed a secondary and tertiary scorer behind DeMarcus Cousins once Anthony Davis left the game with a sprained right ankle. Rondo certainly responded, stepping up with 12 points and 15 assists, including a pair of transition layups in the final 81 seconds to propel his team to victory. After eight straight single-digit point totals to finish off December, Rondo has 10 or more points in three January outings, averaging 11.3 points. This was by far his best assist total of 2018, as he had just six total dimes in his first two outings since the ball dropped.

 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson didn't have the greatest of shooting nights, hitting just 5-of-13 from the field to finish with 14 points. However, he was cleaning that glass with aplomb, snagging 17 boards while dishing out five assists and picked up a pair of steals across 36 minutes. He and Spencer Dinwiddie, who posted a career-high 31 points, nearly helped the hometown team pull a big upset against the contending Raptors. Brooklyn is just not able to get over the hump lately, however, playing in a franchise-record five straight games decided by three or fewer points.

 

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.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

On the surface, the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls game looked to be a mismatch. But the fact the Rockets were without James Harden (hamstring), it likely made this game quite closer than it might normally have been. Eric Gordon did his best 'Beard' imitation, throwing up 24 points with nine assists and six rebounds while hitting four 3-pointers, and Chris Paul was good for 24 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and a pair of steals while drilling three triples. That's great, but who else would pick up the slack? Well, Clint Capela answered the bell on the defensive end with 16 rebounds and two blocked shots while adding 15 points and three assists on a brisk 5-of-7 shooting night. Gerald Green was the big-ticket producer off the bench, posting 22 points one 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point line. Green has been giant over the past four outings, averaging 23.3 points over his four games in the month of January while dumping in four triples in each game. Outside of scoring and his solid triple totals, he still doesn't contribute much else to the bottom line for fantasy owners.

 

For the home team it was Denzel Valentine looking like the kid who starred for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, rather than the erratic pro who has looked lost at times. He bagged 19 points with eight rebounds, five assists and a steal over 36 minutes. It was a fabulous shooting night, as he went 7-of-12 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Kris Dunn also stepped up his game with 19 points, although he was much less efficient from the field with 9-of-20 shooting. Lauri Markkanen continues to do his thing, going for 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Normally Finland is a hot bed for fantasy hockey players, but not really known for hoops. Markkanen is changing all of that. Bobby Portis dumped in 22 points off the bench, and David Nwaba was one of six Bulls with at least 10 points, hitting 3-of-6 from the field with 4-of-5 from the line over 17 minutes.

 

Quick Hits: The Cavaliers were embarrassed 127-99 in the Twin Cities by the Timberwolves. Cleveland's starting five was bad. Really bad. That includes LeBron James, who managed 10 points across 27 minutes while finishing with a dismal minus-39 rating. It was just one of those nights. Kevin Love was punked by his old team, too, as he finished with just three points on 1-of-7 shooting 21 minutes. The only good thing to come out of this game is that Kyle Korver received extended minutes and finally re-gained his stroke, posting 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Jeff Green also stepped up with 22 points, but it was too little, too late. … On the other side, Taj Gibson was pounding the Cavs for 16 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot on 8-of-13 shooting, and Jimmy Butler was good for 21 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and three steals. With Jeff Teague (knee) on the shelf again, Tyus Jones made another start. He was good for six points, eight assists and two steals and has some fantasy staying power while Teague is on the shelf. … Domantas Sabonis was hot off the bench for Indiana, hitting a team-high 17 points with 10 rebounds and three assists on 8-of-12 shooting. He was one of seven Indiana players to go for 10 or more points, including all five starters. Myles Turner was the best of the lot in the starting five, picking up 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting while grabbing six rebounds, blocking three shots and recording two steals. … The Raps found plenty of room to operate against the defensively-challenged Nets, as DeMar DeRozan was good for 35 points. Delon Wright posted seven points and five rebounds off the bench, as he continues to be a decent low-end fantasy asset. Jonas Valanciunas felt the heat with Lucas Nogueira and Jakob Poeltl breathing down his neck, so he has stepped up his game. He was strong again, hitting for 21 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot. … Another big man, Andre Drummond, had a strong showing. He hit for 16 points, 14rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. … If A.D. is forced to the shelf due to his ankle injury, Dante Cunningham could have some usefulness in the short term. He scored five points in 28 minutes off the bench, and might see a starting role if Davis needs time to mend. … Fantasy owners expect LaMarcus Aldridge to do big things, and he did. He was good for 31 points, 12 rebounds and a blocked shot on 13-of-20 shooting. Fantasy owners do not really depend on Davis Bertans, though, and he shocked everyone with a career-high 28 points. It was the boost the Spurs needed with Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) out indefinitely with a partially torn shoulder. Jawun Evans posted 13 points with eight rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot Monday, and the rook didn't turn it over one time across 39 minutes. He has short-term fantasy appeal with Austin Rivers (heel) and Milos Teodosic (foot) on the shelf. … Trey Lyles dumped in 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting while posting five boards, three assists and three steals over 26 minutes. He continues to play with confidence, and head coach Mike Malone credited his pre-game shooting routines as key.

 




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