Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Races tightening up

Thursday, April 5, 2018


It was a wacky NBA Wednesday with only six games, but there was still a lot to learn as the regular season mercifully and quickly winds to a close. The Mavs may be in shutdown mode, E’Twaun Moore went beast mode and Anthony Davis took care of business, helping the Pelicans get a big win against Memphis. Additionally, the Raptors got a step closer to locking up the No. 1 seed in the East by taking down Boston, the Sixers won their 12th straight and eliminated the Pistons, and the Lakers stunned the Spurs in overtime.

 

News & Notes

 

Tyronn Lue will return from his health issue and coach the Cavs on Thursday. Welcome back, coach.

 

Damian Lillard is doubtful for Thursday’s game and will probably be day-to-day for the rest of the regular season with a sprained left ankle. Shabazz Napier is on deck to finish up strong for the Blazers.

 

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Jimmy Butler is doubtful for the Wolves in Thursday’s monster matchup with the Nuggets due to his knee surgery. He’s getting close, but isn’t yet ready. Jeff Teague (knee) is iffy for Thursday and Tyus Jones should be a decent stream if Teague’s out.

 

Danilo Gallinari won’t play for the Clippers on Thursday due to his lingering hand injury and might be done for the season.

 

Gary Harris (knee) won’t play for the Nuggets on Thursday, meaning more goodies are coming from Will Barton.

 

Ryan Anderson (ankle) has been ruled out for the Rockets on Thursday and might be done for the regular season.

 

DeMarre Carroll (hip) will not play on Thursday against the Bucks and we may not see him again this year for the Nets. Joe Harris, Quincy Acy, Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert and Jahlil Okafor could all see a boost.

 

Kevon Looney is probable for the Warriors on Thursday despite an illness, and Andre Iguodala is doubtful with a sore knee. I didn't hear anything about Draymond Green's ankle on Wednesday, so he should be good to go. 

 

Pelicans 123, Grizzlies 95 – Ian Clark left with a right ankle injury and didn’t return, leaving his status in doubt going forward. Anthony Davis also left with a lower left leg injury, but was able to power through it and finished with 28 points, 12 boards and another monster stat line. His owners have to thank their lucky stars the Pelicans are in a playoff fight, or Davis might have been shut down a week ago. Or maybe a month ago, who knows? E’Twaun Moore went crazy and hit a career-high seven 3-pointers on his way to 30 points and three steals in the win, spurred on by Clark’s injury that limited him to 11 minutes. Nikola Mirotic started over Emeka Okafor and came through with 25 points, seven boards, a block and three 3-pointers on 10-of-12 shooting. Hopefully the Pelicans stick with that plan the rest of the way! Rajon Rondo had two points, seven boards and 13 dimes and should also see a boost with Clark now iffy going forward. The Pelicans are now the No 8 seed, tied with the No. 7 Timberwolves, and just 0.5 games behind both the No. 5 Spurs and No. 6 Thunder, and 1.0 games behind the No. 4 Jazz. They’re also just 1.0 games up on the No. 9 Nuggets, who will try to sneak into the playoffs with a huge game against the Timberwolves tonight (TNT 10:30 – Let’s Go!). It’s about to get nuts. And the No. 10 Clippers are just 2.0 games behind the Pels and Wolves.

 

Jarell Martin left with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return for the Grizzlies on Wednesday, meaning his season could also be over. Marc Gasol managed to not score a point in 20 minutes, while MarShon Brooks went off again for 25 points, four boards, seven assists, two steals and five 3-pointers. Brooks sat out on Sunday, but has scored at least 21 points in all three of his games this season. He shouldn’t be available in your league at this point. Ivan Rabb (who?) had 16 points and seven boards in 27 minutes and might be the next man up with Martin and JaMychal Green both injured for the Grizzlies.

 

Raptors 96, Celtics 78 – The Raptors fell behind the Celtics early in a battle for the top spot in the East, but put it together and bounced back for an easy 96-78 win. None of the Raptors starters were particularly great, Jonas Valanciunas played just 13 minutes, and Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright were heroes off the Raptors’ deep bench in the win. FVV had 15 points, four assists and three 3-pointers and Wright just missed a triple-double with eight points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocks in 27 minutes. They’re both worth grabbing right now, as the Raptors might be ready to go into cruise control with a full 3.0 game lead on Boston.

 

Shane Larkin was out for the Celtics due to an illness and Terry Rozier (ankle) came in questionable, but was in the starting lineup. Maybe he shouldn’t have been as he hit just 1-of-9 shots for two points, but also had nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Marcus Morris was the best Celtic with 21 points off the bench and Greg Monroe had 17 points and eight boards off the bench. Now that the Celtics are nearly assured the No. 2 seed in the East, don’t be surprised to see a bunch of regulars get a day off in the near future, as they’re a full 3.0 games behind the Raptors with four to play.

 


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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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