Ryan Knaus

Basketball Daily Dose

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Victory Oladipo: Game 7 Sunday

Saturday, April 28, 2018

There were three potential elimination games on Friday, and the Pacers were the only team to survive for a decisive Game 7. The Raptors advanced to face the winner of the Cleveland/Indiana series, the Jazz advanced to play Houston in the second round, Ricky Rubio aggravated his left hamstring injury, Russell Westbrook launched a record-breaking amount of 3-pointers, and DFS owners were thrilled to play Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Pascal Siakam and Markieff Morris. It's time to Dose.


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Raptors beat Wizards, 102-92


The Raptors advanced to the second round with a 102-92 road win during Game 6 on Friday, led by Kyle Lowry's 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. The All-Star point guard shot 9-of-15 from the field with three 3-pointers, one steal and just two turnovers in 32 minutes, helping to compensate for an off-night from DeMar DeRozan (16 points on 6-of-18 shooting).


Fred VanVleet was huge in his postseason debut, coming off the bench for five points, four rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointers in 19 minutes. His impact was bigger than the boxscore shows and his return prompted coach Dwane Casey to play a true 10-man lineup -- Jakob Poeltl's 17 minutes were the fewest for Toronto, while nobody played more than DeRozan's 33 minutes. That's a continuation of a regular-season trend and it's great for Toronto in reality, but makes it trickier to rely on the Raptors for DFS value. One player who thrived in that regard was Pascal Siakam, who shot 5-of-6 from the field for 11 points, eight boards, two blocks, one steal and zero turnovers in 22 minutes. That's a ridiculous 8.5x value based on his rock-bottom DFS price, which was the best mark of any player tonight.


Jonas Valanciunas was excellent with 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, going 6-of-13 from the field with six offensive boards in 31 minutes. Dwane Casey continues to trust him with critical fourth-quarter minutes and JV rewarded the faith in this series, which bodes well for his DFS profile against the Cavs or Pacers in the second round. His strong play was particularly noticeable since his frontcourt partner, Serge Ibaka, had another rough game -- he shot 3-of-10 with three rebounds, one assist and one block, and just didn't look comfortable offensively despite getting plenty of open looks. The Raptors get at least three days off before Game 1 of the second round, so maybe Ibaka can hit the 'reset' button -- in Games 2-6 he averaged 6.0 points on 33.3% shooting, with more turnovers (1.6) than assists (1.2).


Markieff Morris had a strong Game 6 in a losing effort, making 5-of-9 field goals and 2-of-3 free throws for 12 points, 15 rebounds, one assist and one block in 38 minutes. Kieff hauled in seven boards on the offensive glass, but Washington was crushed inside overall with 32 points in the paint vs. 56 for the Raptors. John Wall had 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Bradley Beal dropped 32 points (10-of-22 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) with six 3-pointers, three rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Wall and Beal combined for 10 turnovers, however, while Toronto as a team committed just six turnovers, and that was a key difference in the Wizards' season-ending loss.


Kelly Oubre was promoted to the starting lineup in place of Otto Porter on Friday, because Porter recently had a surgical procedure to alleviate "a buildup of blood" around the contusion in his left leg. The surgery was considered "minor" and this shouldn't be a lasting issue, but it helps explain Porter's quiet play in the postseason. “You could tell when O.P.’s been healthy and when he’s not,” John Wall said before the game. “When he’s not slashing and cutting to the basket, you can tell he’s dealing with something." His absence was keenly felt in Game 6 and Oubre didn't fare well as a starter, shooting just 1-of-7 from the field for three points and three points in 26 foul-plagued minutes.


Looking ahead, most of the Wizards' roster is under contract next season, with some exceptions -- Ty Lawson, Tim Frazier and Mike Scott will be unrestricted free agents this summer, while Jodie Meeks and Jason Smith will be restricted.



Jazz beat Thunder, 96-91


Russell Westbrook scored 46 points during OKC's season-ending loss on Friday, adding 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals in an eventual 96-91 defeat. He played 44 minutes to help keep OKC in the game until the final buzzer, and his usage rate was absurd -- he shot 18-of-43 from the field and 7-of-19 from deep for 48.8% usage. He's attempted 43+ shots once before in the postseason, but the only other players to do so are Rick Barry (twice), Michael Jordan (twice) and Jerry West. And according to Basketball-Reference, no player in at least 30 years has launched as many 3-point attempts in a playoff game as Westbrook did tonight.


OKC fought their way back from a big deficit to get within one point with 90 seconds remaining but couldn't convert on a wild sequence of missed shots and offensive boards -- with less than a minute remaining, the Thunder missed six shots without yielding possession of the ball. Steven Adams was solid with 19 points, 16 boards, three assists, one steal and one block, but OKC got nothing from Carmelo Anthony (seven points, three rebounds) and Paul George (five points on 2-of-16 shooting). That's a particularly galling line from George, who dubbed himself 'Playoff P' prior to the series...it's the latest reminder that nicknames should be earned, especially in the postseason.


Ricky Rubio exited early on Friday due to left hamstring soreness, and he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game. This is a recurrence of an issue that initially kept him out of a game on Mar. 30 -- it's been an on-again, off-again issue since then, but the fact that he didn't return in a critical playoff game is obviously concerning. We should have multiple updates prior to Game 1 of the second round, but if Rubio misses time it looks like Royce O'Neale will draw the start. Alec Burks and Dante Exum would also be busy, with Joe Ingles picking up more ball-handling duties, but hopefully that will be a moot point.


Donovan Mitchell was the headliner. He caught fire after halftime, finishing Utah's series-clinching victory with 38 points on 14-of-26 shooting, five 3-pointers, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. He began the third quarter 8-of-8 from the floor and is producing at a level we haven't seen from a rookie in the playoffs since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It's fantastic to see him thriving in the national spotlight, and he deserves all the recognition he can get even if Ben Simmons is ultimately named Rookie of the Year.


Mitchell's monster performance and Rubio's injury overshadowed the action for Utah, but multiple players had noteworthy games. Derrick Favors was a brutal 1-of-7 from the line but he hit 6-of-9 field goals for 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist. Joe ingles added 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Rudy Gobert double-doubled with 12 points, 13 boards, three blocks and two steals. Alec Burks stepped up in Rubio's absence with 11 points in 17 minutes, and Jae Crowder cooled off with five points, two boards and two assists in 31 minutes of action.



Pacers beat Cavs, 121-87


Victor Oladipo was sensational with 28 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals on Friday, keeping Indiana's season alive with a 121-87 win vs. the Cavs. He shot 11-of-19 from the field overall, with six 3-pointers, and was the DFS play of the night with 68.6 fantasy points -- good for 7.6x value based on his FanDuel price. He was furious that his late layup in Game 5 was ruled a block from LeBron James, rather than goaltending, and looked determined to put this game beyond the reach of the ref's whistles. The result was a true superstar game from the frontrunner for Most Improved Player honors.


The rest of the starting lineup played well without spectacular stats -- Darren Collison shot 6-of-9 from the field for 15 points, three triples, five assists and two boards in 26 minutes, Thaddeus Young chipped in 10 points, five boards, two steals and one assist, and Myles Turner had 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and one block. Turner has been plagued by foul trouble in this series, but he committed just two fouls and he was limited to 28 minutes because of the score and the stellar play of Indiana's bench -- Oladipo was the only starter to log more than 30 minutes tonight.


The Pacers' bench effort was tremendous in Game 6, powered by Cory Joseph, Lance Stephenson and Domantas Sabonis. Even though he contributed zero assists or defensive stats, Sabonis still hit 5x value for DFS thanks to extreme efficiency -- he scored 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and the Cavs have had no answer for him in this series. Over the past three games, Sabonis is averaging 20.0 points on combined 26-of-35 shooting (74.3%) and should be a very popular play for Game 7 on Sunday, especially since the Pacers are using some two-center lineups to keep him on the court.


For Cleveland, this was an embarrassing loss that exposed the defensive issues which haunted them during the regular season. They gave up a ridiculous 35 fastbreak points and were incapable of stopping Indy after turnovers -- the Cavs' 15 turnovers resulted in 29 points for Indiana. LeBron James suffered a cut above his left eye after getting hit by Thaddeus Young, finishing with a relatively modest 22 points, seven assists, five boards, three 3-pointers, two blocks and one steal in 31 minutes. LeBron has never lost a first-round playoff series in his career and he's impossible to fade for Game 7 on Sunday.


Nobody else played more than 28 minutes for Cleveland, with coach Ty Lue throwing in the towel midway through the fourth quarter. The only other players to hit double-digit scoring were Rodney Hood (12 points, three boards, one assist) and Jeff Green, who had 13 points, three triples, two boards and one assist. Meanwhile, Kevin Love suffered through another poor game with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and zero assists, steals or blocks. He briefly exited after getting elbowed in the face by Turner, and also landed hard on his left arm, but he did return and should be fine for Game 7. The left thumb injury he sustained earlier in the series could be a culprit for Love's disappearing act, but either way he'll need to give LeBron more help advancing to the second round.


We’ll conclude today’s Dose with a list of DFS values for Friday, since that’s really the only fantasy game in town during the postseason. Ricky Rubio’s injury was the cause of his brutal night, but guys like Paul George, DeMar DeRozan and Carmelo Anthony don’t have the same excuse. Even LeBron James had a disappointing 3.5x value in Game 6 – almost any other player would be great at 43.5 fantasy points, but expectations are different for LBJ (and his $12.3k pricetag). Without further ado…




DFS Price

Fantasy Points

DFS Price/Points Ratio

Pascal Siakam




Victor Oladipo




Steven Adams




Lance Stephenson




Markieff Morris




Russell Westbrook




Jonas Valanciunas




Derrick Favors




Domantas Sabonis




Cory Joseph




Rudy Gobert




Delon Wright




Donovan Mitchell




Jerami Grant




Kyle Lowry




Jeff Green




Bradley Beal




Joe Ingles




Mike Scott




Jakob Poeltl




Alec Burks




Rodney Hood




Myles Turner




Raymond Felton




Darren Collison




Fred VanVleet




John Wall




Larry Nance




Alex Abrines




Ty Lawson




Royce O'Neale




LeBron James




Thaddeus Young




Jordan Clarkson




Bojan Bogdanovic




Marcin Gortat




J.R. Smith




DeMar DeRozan




Serge Ibaka




C.J. Miles




OG Anunoby




Trevor Booker




Paul George




Jae Crowder




Kevin Love




Carmelo Anthony




Jose Calderon




Kelly Oubre




Kyle Korver




Corey Brewer




Josh Huestis




Ian Mahinmi




Tomas Satoransky




Ricky Rubio




Dante Exum









Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.
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