Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Doctor Trey

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


It was a quiet night on the National Basketball Association slate with just five games on tap. Just because two-thirds of the league was off does not mean it wasn't an important evening. In fact, one of the most exciting games in recent memory took place between the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets of all teams. A high-scoring overtime battle provided a fantasy fiesta to open the new week. The Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers also combined to provide fantasy owners with heroics, and an average score of 220 points per game meant there were plenty of points for those in standard and DFS play. Let's get started!

 

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Monday's Fantasy Five

 

Trey Burke entered Monday's game in Charlotte with 19 or fewer points in each of his first 12 games in the month of March. His previous career high for points was 32 set back on the final day of the 2013-14 season on April 16 in Minnesota. Needless to say his 42-point explosion on 19-of-31 shooting was quite the surprise and very few saw it coming. He also chipped in with 12 assists, a steal, a rebound and just two turnovers to more than exceed his DFS salary expectations. He was shouldering a bigger load with Emmanuel Mudiay green in the gills and Jarrett Jack taking on the role of a spectator as the team evaluates its younger players. Frank Ntilikina played well off the bench, scoring 12 points over 18 minutes, but he is expected to be a reserve with Burke likely carving out quite a large role for himself, especially after Monday's shocking performance.

 

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Lonzo Ball entered the season with tremendous expectations, magnified by his dad's ludicrous comments and sideshow. But all of that extra nonsense wasn't why he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. This kid has talent, and he is showing it on a nightly basis under a hot, hot spotlight in a huge market. He rolled up 16 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds while adding two steals on Monday in Detroit, flirting with a triple-double for the second consecutive outing. Over the past three games he is averaging 11.0 points, 10.0 assists and 9.3 rebounds with 1.3 steals per outing. Ball has also hit at least one 3-pointer in 27 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 7 in Philadelphia. He faces a very favorable schedule with games against the defensively-challenged Bucks (106.2 points per game allowed), Kings (106.8 points) and Mavericks (105.3 points), so expect the good times to continue to roll.

 

Andre Drummond managed 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting across 39 minutes, which wasn't a very good performance. However, he hit 5-of-6 from the free-throw line to manage 15 points. However, it was his 18 boards, most of any player on Monday's slate, landing him on the Fantasy Five. He has 18 or more rebounds in three straight outings, and he has racked up 16 or more boards in six of the past seven. Drum is averaging a league-best 15.9 RPG overall this season, so it isn't terribly impressive. Only DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers is in the same neighborhood, averaging 15.4 boards per game. No one else in the Eastern Conference is within 3.5 rebounds per outing of Drummond. He is certainly not a one-trick pony, however, as he is working on a seven-game streak with at least one blocked shot, averaging 2.7 swats per outing during the impressive stretch. If you're still alive in your fantasy league, Drummond is likely helping you to a championship.

 

The Memphis Grizzlies are supposedly tanking and mailing it in. However, someone forgot to inform Marc Gasol. Memphis secured just its 20th victory of the season in their 74th game, thanks in large part to the heroics of Gasol. He posted 20 points with 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots, two steals and just one turnover while he hit four 3-pointers. The Minnesota Timberwolves do not have a ton of room for error, up just 1.5 games on the Denver Nuggets, and two games on the Los Angeles Clippers, for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. There has been no quit in Gasol, as is averaging 16.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in the month of March.

 

Joel Embiid posted 20 points with 13 rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and a steal for the playoff-bound 76ers, and he was joined by another young piece. It was his first double-double in four games, and he had perhaps his most impressive dunk of the season on a one-handed posterization of unwilling participant Paul Millsap. Perhaps he was playing with a little extra oomph since the team welcomed back teenager Markelle Fultz (shoulder) back for the first time since October. The good news is that the 76ers have just two back-to-back situations down the stretch, April 3-4 and April 10-11. So fantasy owners should have 'The Process' for the long haul, as they jockey for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

We mentioned the exploits of Burke, but he wasn't the only one doing big things for the Knickerbockers. Michael Beasley rolled up 27 points with eight rebounds, an assist and a steal over 35 minutes, hitting 12-of-22 from the field with 1-of-4 from behind the 3-point line. The former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 12.9 points per game with 5.7 rebounds per outing. The point total is his best average since the 2010-11 season when he posted a career-best 19.2 points per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the rebound total is his best since he pulled down 6.4 rebounds per outing during the 2009-10, his second NBA season with the Miami Heat. Tim Hardaway Jr. was good for 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while adding five rebounds, two assists and a steal with just one turnover. THJ has scored 10 or more points in six straight, and 16 of the past 17 outings. Enes Kanter was in a bit of foul trouble, but he still managed to rack up 15 points with 13 rebounds and two assists over 33 minutes. It was a disappointing night for Isaiah Hicks, as he was scoreless with a minus-11 rating over eight minutes off the bench. Luke Kornet continues to play big minutes, scoring eight points with five rebounds and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes. He has emerged as useful in deeper fantasy formats for the remainder of the season.

 

Kemba Walker continues to pick up big number on a nightly basis, win or lose, and no one in the NBA has more 3-pointers since the All-Star break than he does. He scored 31 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-12 from behind the arc, and he was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Walker also added seven assists with two rebounds and just three turnovers. That's 24 or more points in five straight outings, and a total of 64 triples in the past 19 games since the break. He is averaging six 3-pointers per game over the past three contests. Dwight Howard was up to his usual tricks, going for 23 points with 13 rebounds and a team-best plus-15 rating. He might have done more if not for four personal fouls, and he did turn it over six times to hurt those in categories-based formats. Willy Hernangomez showed out against his old mates, going for 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting while adding five rebounds and a blocked shot. His production and playing time has been rather inconsistent lately, but he is worth a look in deeper leagues if you need help in the middle. Jeremy Lamb had a decent out, too, going for 12 points, six assists and six rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. The team also welcomed Nicolas Batum (Achilles') back from a week-long absence, and he was good for nine points, four assists, three rebounds and a blocked shot in 24 minutes as a starter.

 

Quick Hits: Brooks Lopez was good for 14 points, three rebounds and five blocked shots over 32 minutes. That's all well and good, but the biggest surprise was his career-high nine assists. … Kyle Kuzma went for 20 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and two 3-pointers over 41 minutes, tying a season-high streak with four straight 20-point games. He is averaging 23.5 points with 8.5 rebounds and 4.3 3-pointers per contest over the past four. … Julius Randle is a superstar in the making, and it will be interesting to see how much he improves heading into next season. The Lakers appear to have struck gold with him, and he is just scratching the surface. He went for 23 points with 11 rebounds over 32 minutes in Monday's loss in Motown. … Will Barton was the only Nuggets player to put up big numbers in a loss in the City of Brotherly Love. He posted 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while adding three assists and five 3-pointers. … Millsap went for 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a steal, bouncing back nicely for an ugly two-point effort on Friday in D.C. … Fultz had been sidelined indefinitely due to soreness and a scapular muscle imbalance in the shoulder. He looked a little rusty, shooting 5-of-13 from the field in his return, but 10 points, eight assists and four rebounds with just one turnover across 14 minutes is a nice showing considering the long layoff. … Ben Simmons picked up 11 more assists, passing Allen Iverson for assists by a rookie in franchise history. … In the surprising win by Memphis, Wayne Selden helped fantasy owners with 23 points, four assists and three steals, going 9-of-14 from the field with 4-of-6 from behind the arc. … Al Horford ended up with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a blocked shot to help his fantasy owners get a big start to the week. … Tyler Ulis was good for 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting with eight assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot over 30 minutes.

 




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