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Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Simmons is Special

Sunday, March 25, 2018


It was entertaining Saturday in the Association, highlighted by another triple-dozen from Ben Simmons, Aaron Gordon nearly registering his first career trip-dub, and Clint Capela stuffing the stat sheet. We also received updated injury news on some of the league's more prominent players.


After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


Find me on Twitter: @TommyBeer


Nightly Notables:
Ben Simmons strengthened his case for Rookie of the Year on Saturday night by recording yet another triple-double in an impressive win over the Wolves. Big Ben scored 15 points, grabbed 12 boards and dished out 13 dimes. It was the 10th trip-dub on the season for Simmons, the second most ever by a rookie, trailing only Oscar Robertson. It's also the second-most in one season in Sixers franchise history, trailing only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, who had 31 back in 1967-68. Saturday’s effort was also Ben’s third triple-dozen (at least 12 points, 12 boards and 12 assists). LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are the only players with more such games this season.

 

Clint Capela tends to fly under the radar because he plays alongside future Hall-of-Famers James Harden and Chris Paul, but Capela has been integral to Houston's remarkable success this season. CC was back at again on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and a career-high tying six blocks in the Rockets victory over New Orleans. He is the first Houston player to post those numbers across the board since Hakeem Olajuwon. Capela is also on pace to become just the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 14 points and ten boards, while shooting over 65 percent from the floor for an entire season.

 

Andre Drummond was dominant on both ends of the floor once again on Saturday, posting a monster all-around stat line. Drummond finished with 15 points, four assists, and game-highs rebounds (20), steals (four) and blocks (four). He also didn’t commit a single turnover. Per Basketball-Reference, it’s the 11th time this season he’s had at least 15 points and 20 rebounds in a single contest. No other player has more than seven such games. It’s also the 50th time in his career that Drummond has notched 20-plus rebounds. That’s third most among all active players. Dre has been one of fantasy basketball’s most pleasant surprises in 2017-18. Many teams that take home a championship next month will have Drummond on their roster.

 

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Aaron Gordon just missed his first career triple-double on Saturday, finishing with 29 points, 11 rebounds, a career-high eight assists, three steals, one block and three 3-pointers. Over the last four games he’s played, Gordon is averaging 20.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 treys and 1.5 steals… D.J. Augustin was extremely close to notching triple-double as well. Augustin had 15 points, ten assists and nine rebounds in 37 minutes. He was 5-of-7 from the floor and knocked down all four of his free throws.


Dwight Howard, who posted an extremely rare 30-point/30-rebound gem in his previous game, ripped down 23 boards and poured in 18 points in Saturday’s win over the Mavs. Per the Elias Sports Bureau: No other player totaled 50 or more rebounds over a two-game span in the last 20 seasons. The most recent player before Howard to achieve that feat was Dennis Rodman, who grabbed 56 rebounds over two games in December of 1997.


On the Radar:
Joel Embiid tallied 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes on Saturday. It was the third straight game he’s played fewer than 25 minutes. His totals have dipped a bit due to the reduced playing time, but the upside is that he hasn’t been forced to miss games due to rest. The 76ers plays four times next week, without any back-to-backs, which should give Embiid has an opportunity to post terrific numbers… Dario Saric only logged 21 minutes himself in the blowout win, but still managed to score 18 points with three rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers… Robert Covington had a vintage RoCo performance: 11 points, six boards, two assists, three triples, four steals and two blocks.


Karl-Anthony Towns struggled from the floor on Saturday, converting just three of his 15 field goal attempts. However, he did finish with 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. KAT has an NBA-high 61 double-doubles this season… Nemanja Bjelica struggled again on Saturday. He shot just 2-of-9 from the field for five points with four rebounds and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. He has a relatively high floor due the minutes he’s getting with Jimmy Butler (knee) still sidelined, but his production has been a bit disappointing… Gorgui Dieng had one of his better games of the season, finishing with 15 points, 11 boards, one assist, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. However, don’t read to much into this one, as much of it came in garbage time.


Blake Griffin was relatively quiet on Saturday night. He finished with 10 points, nine assists, four rebounds and four turnovers. Griffin has seen his rebounding numbers dip a bit since the trade to Detroit, which isn’t shocking considering he’s playing alongside the league’s leading rebounder in Andre DrummondAnthony Tolliver surprisingly scored a season-high 25 points with six rebounds, one assist and six 3-pointers in 26 minutes on Saturday… Luke Kennard continued his solid play, tallying 13 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. He started the second half after Stanley Johnson (glute) was ruled out of the contest. Kennard has now scored in double-figures in five straight games and his ownership rate is rising.


Denzel Valentine scored a team-high 18 points for the Bulls on Saturday and added three rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers… David Nwaba scored 13 points with seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes… Cameron Payne drew another start in place of Kris Dunn and finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes.


Nikola Vucevic was solid in Orlando’s victory over the Suns on Saturday (which could end up costing the Magic a top-three pick in June’s draft). Vooch scored 24 points and added 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes… Mario Hezonja has struggled of late, scoring 11 or fewer points in nine straight games. However, he snapped out of his slump in this one, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes.


Alex Len was again productive for the Suns on Saturday, scoring 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals 27 minutes. Over Phoenix’s last three contests, Len is averaging 16.3 points, 8.3 boards, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks, while shooting 73.1 percent from the floor… Elfrid Payton, playing against Orlando for the first time since they traded him to the Valley of the Sun, scored 14 points with five rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one block in 34 minutes… After a monster game on Friday, Marquese Chriss came back down to earth in this one. He registered 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes.


James Harden racked up 27 points, six rebounds and eight assists on Saturday. However, he shot just 11-of-24 from the floor and committed nine turnovers… Eric Gordon had 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, four triples and two steals in 28 minutes.


Anthony Davis didn’t quite live up to his own lofty standards on Saturday, finishing with 25 points (on 10-of-22 shooting), eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and four blocks. It’s the first time since March 7th that he didn’t have either double-digit rebounds or 30-plus points in a game… Jrue Holiday had a rare dud in the New Orleans defeat. He was shot just 5-of-17 from the floor and ended up with 10 points, four rebounds, four dimes, two steals and six turnovers.


Kyle Kuzma cracked the 20-point plateau for the third consecutive contest, scoring 25 points, to go along with ten rebounds, three assists, four treys, a steal and a block in 41 minutes. Over the Lakers last three games, Kuz is averaging 24.7 points, 7.8 boards and 3.7 triples in 40.3 minutes. He’s been a true difference make this past week. However, his minutes will likely dip once Brandon Ingram (groin) returns to the lineup… Lonzo Ball just missed a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, and ten assists. However, he shot 5-of-13 from the floor, including 1-of-6 from downtown, and 1-of-4 from the charity stripe. Over L.A.’s last eight games, Lonzo has made just eight of his 54 3-point attempts (14.6 percent) and four of his 13 free-throw attempts (30.8 percent). He had been shooting 46.4 percent from 3-point territory in his eight previous contests.


Andrew Harrison (wrist) returned to action on Saturday and scored a game-high 20 points and chipped in nine assists, four rebounds, and a trey… JaMychal Green had another terrific individual night in another Grizzlies loss, finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds, three triples and two blocked shots in 36 minutes. He was 7-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from deep… Marc Gasol had 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.


Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) returned after a two-game absence and looked good. He finished with 21 points, five rebounds, six assists and two turnovers in 33 minutes… Nerlens Noel had 10 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot across 27 minutes, while Salah Mejri was a DNP-CD. Noel is productive on a per-minute basis, but his inconsistent playing time makes him difficult to trust.


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