Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Big game, James!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


There is so much happening in the NBA right now my head is spinning. Blake Griffin is a Piston, John Wall (knee surgery) and Kevin Love (broken left hand) are out for 6-8 weeks, and there were nine games on Tuesday that featured more injury news, several breakouts, and an historic 60-10-11 performance from James Harden. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

Big game, James!

 

While I like to focus on things fantasy owners can actually benefit from and use, it’s impossible to ignore what Houston’s James Harden did to Elfrid Payton and the Magic last night. Harden had 60 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals and a block, and hit 19-of-30 shots, 5-of-14 3-pointers and 17-of-18 free throws. Can you imagine what would have happened had he been hot from downtown early? The 60 points set his career high and broke the Rockets’ franchise record of 57 points, scored by Calvin Murphy in 1978. Murphy was on hand broadcasting the game and applauding Harden. He became the first player in NBA history to have a 60-point triple-double, scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, played a season-high 46 minutes and 26 seconds, and racked up his third triple-double and fourth 50-point game of the season. Chris Paul (groin) and Trevor Ariza (hamstring) were both out, and Eric Gordon lasted just 10 minutes before leaving with back stiffness. Maybe Gerald Green or P.J. Tucker will step up on Thursday against the Spurs, but Harden should do nothing but build on the historic week he’s already having over his next two games (Thursday and Saturday).

 

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Down and Out – A long look at a long injury report. For the entire Rotoworld Injury Report, click here

 

Kevin Love – broken left hand – out 6-8 weeks – I guess the pickup options range between Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder and Jeff Green, although only Thompson looks reliable. This should assure the Cavs try to make a trade, but in the meantime, I’d rank the pickups as I have them listed above. I wish they’d give Jeff Green a shot, but Tuesday’s 12 minutes didn’t indicate that happening. Frye was solid with 20 points, six boards and four 3-pointers in just 21 minutes, and might be the guy for the Cavs.

 

John Wall – knee surgery – out 6-8 weeks – There has been some debate on Twitter whether Tomas Satoransky or Tim Frazier is the Wiz point guard to grab here. I’ve been telling folks to go with Sato, despite the fact Frazier had 14 dimes against the Hawks Saturday. Neither player was amazing last night, but Sato doubled Frazier’s minutes and had a much preferable line, so I’m sticking with Sato at this point.

 

Chris Paul (groin), Trevor Ariza (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (back) – We don’t really know how long these guys are going to be out for the Rockets, but we do know that Luc Mbah a Moute started for Ariza on Tuesday and did absolutely nothing despite playing 39 minutes. If these three are out again on Thursday, Harden will be the big winner, but Gerald Green, and then P.J. Tucker are next in line. I like Green as a stream if they’re all out Thursday.

 

Lauri Markkanen – personal – out Wednesday – Nikola Mirotic is traveling with the Bulls, but is dealing with a leg injury and was nearly traded yesterday, so there are no guarantees he’ll even still be with the team tonight. And with Markkanen out, it’s Bobby Portis time, baby. Portis hasn’t been killing it, but he has been playing fairly well and had 14 points, seven boards and a block in his last game. Don’t be afraid to fire him up tonight, especially if Mirotic is also out. Additionally, Kris Dunn is out again with his concussion, making Jerian Grant an interesting punt play.

 

Mason Plumlee – calf – out Tuesday, “out for a while” – Plumlee’s going to miss a few games for Denver so Nikola Jokic is the winner here, but Trey Lyles also gets a boost, although he didn’t do much on Tuesday. Lyles should be held until further notice.

 

Aaron Gordon – hip – Doubtful for Wednesday – Mario Hezonja started and had 17 points and three 3-pointers, while Marreese Speights stepped up for his best game of the season with 17 points, five boards, two assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers. I don’t trust him and he hadn’t done anything recently, but he got minutes last night. Maybe he’ll get them again tonight. And while we’re talking about the Magic, Elfrid Payton played just 18 minutes and got torched by Harden. Frank Vogel said he went with the hot hands of D.J. Augustin and Shelvin Mack, who both played well, but we’ll have to see if Payton is in the doghouse after this one. I doubt he is, but you never know.

 

Willie Cauley-Stein (ankle) & Skal Labissiere (shoulder) – neither likely for Friday - Kosta Koufos went crazy with 17 points and a career-high 17 rebounds last night, while Zach Randolph blew up for 26 points, 12 rebounds and three 3-pointers. I don’t trust either guy, but if they’re starting (or playing), they’re worth a look if WCS and Skal remain out for the Kings Friday.

 

Rodney Hood – leg – day-to-day – He was out last night and Joe Ingles went off for Utah, hitting a season-high six treys for 20 points. Ingles is hot, averaging 14.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals on 56 percent shooting over his last five. He’ll take a hit once Hood is back, but he’s playing well enough to be picked up, with or without Hood.

 

Marvin Williams – ankle – out Wednesday – No revenge against ATL for Marvin tonight, but I think Frank Kaminsky is a sneaky play for the Hornets tonight.

 

Lonzo Ball – knee – out Wednesday – We still don’t know when, but he’s getting closer. Jordan Clarkson is the guy for the Lakers until he’s back.

 

Wilson Chandler – illness – day-to-day – He sat out again and Denver coach Mike Malone said it was to give Torrey Craig some run before his 45 days are up and he goes back to the G-League. Ignore Craig and expect to see Chandler back soon. Will Barton had a season-high five steals last night, and Nikola Jokic shook off an ankle tweak and played through it. Owners might want to check in on him for the next day.

 

The Memphis Grizzlies – All of them – Mario Chalmers, Deyonta Davis, Dillon Brooks, Ben McLemore, JaMychal Green, James Ennis, Chandler Parsons and Mike Conley are all on the injury report. That means Tyreke Evans and Marc Gasol (must-starts) and Jarell Martin, Wayne Selden and Andrew Harrison are all relevant right now. And shockingly, Martin, Selden and Harrison all played very well against the Suns on Monday. I’m cool with streaming any of them tonight against the Pacers, but listed them in the order I like them. And you’ll want to watch the injury updates all Grizzlies prior to buying in on any of them.

 

Eric Bledsoe – ankle – He played just three minutes for the Bucks on Monday and is iffy for Thursday. I bet he plays, but if he doesn’t, Tony Snell is your likely starter. Also, Jabari Parker is targeting Friday for his debut.

 

Dante Cunningham – back – day-to-day – You know DeMarcus Cousins is out for the season and his replacement got hurt last night. No Pelican really stepped up in his place, but Darius Miller is probably your best bet if desperate. He had 10 points and two more 3-pointers on Tuesday. Anthony Davis was a beast with a fat line including six blocks, while Rajon Rondo didn’t do much of anything and hasn’t done much of anything for a couple weeks. There are a ton of free agents I’d rather own. And keep an eye on Ian Clark, who hit 9-pf-10 shots and scored 20 points in 30 minutes last night.

 


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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