Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Tower Power

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Hey, every night can't be a winner on the National Basketball Association hardwood. We had seven total games, and four of the games were decided by 14 or more points. However, if you're just a fan of good basketball, then Monday wasn't your night, but if you're a fan of fantasy it doesn't really matter if the games are nail-biters, blowouts or otherwise. And there were plenty of nice fantasy performances, win or lose, while Pau Gasol was also lost to a shoulder injury which we'll keep an eye on for you. His brother Marc Gasol had one of many double-doubles. Let's get started!

 

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Monday's Fantasy Five

 

In a 94-80 game, you wouldn't expect very many big fantasy stat lines, but Rudy Gobert was thinking differently. He was good for 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field, while adding 17 rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal over 37 minutes. About the only thing fantasy owners could complain about would be a 3-of-6 showing at the free-throw line. The Stifle Tower was also good for a game-best plus-22 rating, too. It was a game for the big men, as Orlando's Nikola Vucevic also did a pretty solid job with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three 3-pointers, three assists and a blocked shot for the losing side. Gobert is enjoying an outstanding March, averaging 21.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocked shots and 1.7 steals per game in three outings, all well above his season averages.

 

LeBron James has been waiting ever so impatiently for a secondary scoring option to step up and fill the void since Kevin Love (hand) went down to injury. While Love is making his way back sometime in March, LeBron needs help now. Relative newcomer and burgeoning fan favorite Larry Nance Jr. stepped up with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting while snagging 15 rebounds, two steal and an assist across 32 minutes. It was just his second double-double since coming over from the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline, and easily his best game since donning the wine and gold. He is shooting a robust 64.9 percent (24-of-37) across the past four outings, averaging 14.8 PPG with 10.0 RPG over the past four outings.

 

JaMychal Green went for 14 points with 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots while hitting 6-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-2 from behind the 3-point line. He has quickly gone from a waiver wire option to a must-start in a good chunk of leagues in less than a few weeks. He is getting an opportunity to shine in Grind City and making the most of his chance with the regular playing time. That's six consecutive double-doubles for Green, as he is averaging 13.7 PPG with 12.0 RPG during the impressive span. He has even picked it up in the blocked shots department, swatting a pair of shots in each of his past three contests. The buy-low window has slammed shut and you're going to have to pay through the nose if he keeps going at this rate.

 

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Jusuf Nurkic had an absolutely brutal game on Saturday night against Oklahoma City, spending a good chunk of the night in foul trouble. When he was on the court, he wasn't firing on all cylinders, playing tentatively and missing frequently from the field. Ed Davis and Zach Collins were summoned from the bench to make up for the shortcomings of Nurk and Al-Farouq Aminu. On Monday, that wasn't the case, at least in Nurkic's case, as he erupted for 16 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and a 6-of-13 shooting performance. The boards were his most since he snared 20 on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 30. He has double-double potential every night if he can just avoid the referee's whistle.

 

Hassan Whiteside was a huge part of his team's 125-103 victory against the visiting Phoenix Suns. He went for 24 points, 14 rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals and two assists for a strong all-around fantasy night. Those in roto leagues were very pleased with his 10-of-13 shooting performance, too. Whiteside's fantasy owners have been wringing their hands, not because of his rebounding, but his offense. He entered the game with just 14 total points on 3-of-14 shooting across the past two games. That was obviously not a problem in this one, as he had his most points since dropped 25 in Dallas on Jan. 29, and the total was his highest in front of the home crowd since going for 30 points on Feb. 4, 2017.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns combined for a total of 228 points, by far the biggest total on the board, so it's no surprise that there were a bunch of big fantasy performers on both sides of the floor. The visitors were led by Devin Booker, who always seems to show out on Monday nights. He dumped in 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting, including 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point line, while adding five assists and two rebounds. The only poor part of his stat line was a 3-of-6 performance from the free-throw line. He is averaging 29.6 PPG with 4.7 RPG and 4.3 APG in seven outings on Mondays, and his shooting percentage of 47.4 is his second-highest of the week behind his 50.0 percent shooting on Saturdays. T.J. Warren was the only other Phoenix starter to show up, as he went for 19 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal on 9-of-15 shooting over 33 minutes. He has scored 19 or more points in six consecutive games, averaging 24.3 PPG in three March outings. Marquese Chriss also stepped up his game with 12 points, six rebounds and a pair of 3-pointers off the bench against Miami, while chipping in with a blocked shot. The performances weren't all great, as Elfrid Payton managed just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting.

 

Can you feel the Heat down in your soul? Fantasy owners were certainly feeling good about their Heat players, who couldn't be beat on Monday. Beside Whiteside, Goran Dragic stepped up his game against his former employer. He dumped in 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-4 from behind the arc, and he added five assists with a plus-13 rating. Josh Richardson probably could have done a little more, but his 4-of-6 shooting night was promising, and he ended up with a solid 12 points, four rebounds and two assists with a team-best plus-19 rating. Kelly Olynyk shined for his fantasy owners in deeper leagues and anyone who rolled the dice on him in DFS. He dropped 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting while dishing out eight assists with four rebounds and two steals. He also contributed a plus-17 rating, second-best on the team. Justise Winslow continues to play well, too, going for 12 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals across 31 minutes. He has a season-high three straight games in double digits, averaging 14.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 2.7 SPG with 1.7 3-pointers per outing in March.

 

Quick Hits: Blake Griffin ended up with a team-best 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting, and he grabbed eight rebounds with five assists and a steal in his 29 minutes at Cleveland. … Andre Drummond spent most of the evening in foul trouble, but he was still able to manage 15 points with nine rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. He was 5-of-5 from the field, but he picked up five personal fouls over 30 minutes in the blowout loss, which led to more Anthony Tolliver and Eric Moreland than Pistons fans care to see. … Speaking of LeBron, he went for 31-7-7 in the blowout victory, and he dumped in five triples in the win. … Jabari Parker hit 7-of-10 from the field, going for 15 points with five rebounds and just one turnover in 24 minutes off the bench. He is starting to knock off the rust after his long layoff, tying a season best with three straight double-digit performances. He is averaging 13.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 1.7 3-pointers per outing in three March contests. … Giannis Antetokounmpo was doing his regular thing, posting 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots for just another night at the office for the Greek Freak. … Bojan Bogdanovic erupted for 29 pints on 9-of-13 from the field, adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals while popping in five triples. He has posted 20 or more points in three of his past four outings, including 13 3-pointers during the span. … It was a rare off night for Victor Oladipo, as he was just 5-of-19 from the field while committing 10 turnovers. … Jaylen Brown picked up the slack with Kyrie Irving (knee) sidelined. Head coach Brad Stevens acknowledged that Irving might be out for the entire week, so that could be great news for Brown. He finished with 21 points on 9-of-13 from the field, including four boards and three assists. He also finished with a game-best plus-29 rating. … Denzel Valentine posted 20 points off the bench, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from behind the arc. … It seemed like old times for the Spurs, as Tony Parker was leading the charge on Monday. He went for 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting in 26 minutes off the bench. … Xavier Rathan-Mayes made his NBA debut, posting eight points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals over 26 minutes.

 




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