Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: What's Up with RoCo?

Monday, February 26, 2018


Week 20 Schedule: Games Played

 

5 Games: SAC

 

4 Games: ALT, BKN, CHA, DAL, DET, IND, LAC, MEM, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, TOR, WAS

 

3 Games: BOS, CHI, CLE, DEN, GSW, HOU, LAL, MIA, MIN, NOR, NYK, POR, UTA

 

2 Games: SAS

 

And Your 2018 Kia MVP…

 

James Harden could not be stopped during Sunday’s 119-114 win over the Nuggets, scoring 41 points on 11-of-20 shooting to go with eight rebounds, seven assists, six 3-pointers, one steal and five turnovers in 37 minutes of floor time. He also went 13-of-16 from the charity stripe to give him an elite 75.8 true shooting percentage on the evening, and while the decision probably won’t be unanimous, I just don’t see anyone else out there more deserving of the MVP trophy this season. Sure, LeBron James has been great, but Harden has simply been on another level this season, and there’s no way the Rockets own the best record in the league without The Beard.

 

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What’s Eating RoCo?

 

Robert Covington’s shooting woes continued on Sunday as he went 2-of-7 from the field (4-of-4 from the line) on his way to nine points, two rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, two steals and zero turnovers through 30 minutes of floor time. Yes, we’ve seen Covington go through prolonged cold streaks before, but this year the cold streak has been like more of an ice age as he essentially hasn’t been worth owning since the calendar switched to 2018. So what’s happening?

 

Well, No. 1 would be that with the improved talent around him this season, he’s just not seeing the same opportunity that he has in seasons past, which is tough luck for a volume shooter.

 

No. 2, he’s just looked overly passive for a while now, as he doesn’t appear to have much confidence in his jumper, which can happen when a guy connects on just 36.9% of his shots over a 22-game span. Here’s a deeper look at his shooting numbers since January (top) compared to his numbers from last season (bottom):

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

As you can see, not only has he been less effective on “open” looks, but his percentages are also way down on tightly contested looks.

 

Yet another negative for Covington would be that his minutes have dipped since the arrival of Marco Belinelli, and that might get even worse once Ersan Ilyasova is added to the equation. Sure, this is the same player who was pumping out top-25 value through the first 30 games of the season, but he’s also been downright awful for almost an equal amount of time, and that’s a tough sample size to ignore. The only positive spin I could put on the RoCo equation is that he’s consistently been a strong finisher over the past two seasons, but to make such a statement would also ignore the significant roster changes that have occurred since the 2014-15 season. I hope he turns it around, but if I were a Covington owner, I’d be looking to move him; selling him under the narrative that the upside is still there.

 

Don’t Call it a Comeback

 

Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis helped New Orleans overcome a 17-point halftime deficit during Sunday’s thrilling 123-121 overtime victory, with Holiday finishing with 36 points, nine boards, six assists, two triples, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 42 minutes; and Anthony Davis tallying 27 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, two steals, two swats and three turnovers across 43 minutes. The Pelicans have remained relevant in the playoff hunt despite losing DeMarcus Cousins, largely due to the play of these two individuals with Anthony Davis holding down the No. 1 spot over that 11-game span and Holiday flirting with top-30 value. Holiday is finally healthy and hitting career-highs in points (18.8), boards (4.4) and FG% (49.0), and there’s no reason to expect a sudden drop off in production.

 

On the Radar

 

Ish Smith scored 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting (0-of-2 from the line) Sunday, to go with one 3-pointer, one rebound, eight assists, two steals and two turnovers in 28 minutes. He’s a terror under the basket over the past three, connecting on 90.9% of his shots at the rim, while hitting a ridiculous 65.7% of his attempts overall to go with averages of 18.3 points, 7.7 assists, 1.3 steals and just 1.7 turnovers per game. Reggie Jackson will likely be eased back into things slowly once he gets back to the court in a few weeks, so while Smith’s value does have a shelf life, it’s not like he’ll fall off a cliff once R-Jax is back out there.

 

Frank Kaminsky scored 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting Sunday, to go with three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one turnover in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s been en fuego from beyond the arc over the past two, hitting 64.3% of his long-range bombs to go with averages of 18.0 points, 4.5 triples, 5.5 boards, 2.5 dimes, 1.0 block and just 0.5 turnovers per game, so he's on the radar in deep leagues. He won’t be this good for long, though.

 

John Henson scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting (2-of-3 from the line) Sunday, to go with seven rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes. This is pretty much what he does, so if you need a big, give him a look.

 

Dejounte Murray had another solid outing on Sunday, scoring 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting (3-of-4 from the line) to go with nine rebounds, five assists, four steals, three swats and zero turnovers across 34 minutes. He’s been in a nice groove over the past four, pumping out averages of 12.3 points, 5.8 boards, 4.0 dimes, 1.8 steals, 1.8 blocks and 2.0 turnovers per game on 48.9% shooting from the field and 83.3% from the stripe. The scoring comes and goes, and he’s obviously not going to average 1.8 blocks per game to close out the season, but his ability to rack up the defensive stats and pile up the boards from the guard position makes him an alluring asset in most leagues.

 

Kyle Anderson matched his season-high in swats with three on his way to 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 30 minutes. Kawhi Leonard (quad) doesn’t seem like he’ll be back this year, so Anderson should continue his sneaky goodness to close out the year.

 

Tomas Satoransky was nearly perfect on Sunday, going 2-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the stripe on his way to seven points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and two turnovers in 32 minutes. He’s been a steady top-30 stud for a straight month now with averages of 11.5 points, 6.1 assists, 1.4 triples, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.4 turnovers per game on 56.8% shooting, so it’s a mystery to me why he’s still owned in just 36% of Yahoo! Leagues. John Wall (knee) will remain on the sidelines for at least another 2-4 weeks, so Satoransky’s minutes aren’t going anywhere.

 


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A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the Rotoworld team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJ831, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.
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