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Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Welcome back, McCollum!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


The Hornets beat the Hawks, the Mavericks kept the Wizards at bay, the Nets trounced the Suns, and the Blazers took out the Bucks in a 3-point shooting bonanza on Tuesday. 

 

Hornets 113, Hawks 102 – The Hornets took advantage of the Hawks starting a rag-tag bunch and Marvin Williams took out some revenge on his former team by scoring a season-high 20 points with eight rebounds and three 3-pointers. Kemba Walker, as usual, was a beast and had 29 points, three boards, seven assists, three steals, a block and four 3-pointers. For your waiver-wire purposes, Malik Monk had 13 points, six assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 21 minutes, while Tony Parker had six points and three assists in 21 minutes. I haven’t even considered picking up Parker, but he had scored in double figures in his previous three games, one of which was a double-double with 11 assists. I just don’t see how he can be consistent enough to rely on. As for Monk, He’s right on the borderline for ownership in 12-team leagues. And while Nicolas Batum, who had 10 points, five boards, four assists and two 3-pointers, might be floating on waivers in some 10-team leagues, if you’re in a 12-teamer, he should be owned. And I’m not touching Marvin, until he plays the Hawks again in DFS.

 

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With John Collins and Taurean Prince both nursing ankle injuries, and the Hawks finally coming to the realization that it makes no sense to start 41-year-old Vince Carter, the Hawks rolled out a classic D-League lineup tonight, along with Trae Young and Kent Bazemore. Omari Spellman started at PF, Alex Len started at C, and Kevin Huerter got his first NBA start at SF. The most intriguing young, unowned Hawk, at least to me, is DeAndre Bembry, who’s averaging 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.6 3-pointers and 0.4 blocks over his last five games. But realistically, only Alex Len should be on your radar for a pickup, and he has to deal with Dewayne Dedmon, which is not ideal. Bazemore, and obviously Young, should be owned everywhere at this point, along with Prince.

 

Collins is interesting, as he’s on waivers in a bunch of leagues that don’t offer flexibility to carry injured players. He’s been cleared for “modified” on-court drills, but we still don’t have any idea when he’ll play. It could be three games from now, or three weeks from now. But if you have room to carry him and someone to drop, now’s the time to think about grabbing him. My guess is he’ll be gone by the time Monday morning gets here. Jeremy Lin is having a good week, averaging 13.2 points, 3.0 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer on 55 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s going to do good things on nights the Hawks are getting blown out, which could be most of them, but I’m still not taking the bait. He’s more of a DFS flier than an actual fantasy flier.

 

As for Young, yes, he’s doing some good things, like scoring, hitting 3-pointers and handing out assists, and he had his third straight double-double of the season on Tuesday, and fourth overall. But his field goal percentage is brutal, as are his turnovers, and I’m afraid the good games may be canceled out by the bad ones in fantasy, as they have ben up to this point. Young is returning just 13th-round fantasy value, according to Basketballmonster.com, and if you own Young, you’re just going to have to accept that, as his field goal percentage and turnovers are going to be an issue all year. But people love him, he’s fun to watch and he’s got a big name, so you can probably move him for a nice prize if you find the right guy to trade with. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll be better once the Hawks are starting a lineup of Young, Bazemore, Prince, Collins and Len or Dedmon.

 

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Mavericks 119, Wizards 100 – Another rookie, forever linked to Young, is Luka Doncic, who played through a sore ankle and had 23 points, two 3-pointers, six boards, three assists and a steal in a win over the Wizards last night. Over his last five, he’s averaging 20 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting. He’s also returning seventh-round value on Basketballmonster.com, surrounded by guys like Andrew Wiggins, Jayson Tatum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyle Kuzma. If he’s not the favorite for Rookie of the Year, he’s pretty close.

 

Harrison Barnes had his best game of the season with 19 points, 13 boards, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, and should be owned everywhere. Dennis Smith Jr., who doesn’t get a lot of love from the ranking sites due to his shooting percentages and turnovers, was the difference maker on Tuesday and had 19 points, seven assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, not too mention a bunch of big hustle plays that paid off down the stretch. He’s coming on a bit, and if you can live with the percentages and turnovers, you can live with DSJ. His fantasy similarity to Young is striking, as they both suffer from the same afflictions. Wesley Matthews had 22 points and five 3-pointers, and while he’s ping-ponging up and down over his last four games, he’s worth owning as long as he’s getting more than 30 minutes a night, which he is.

 

For the Wizards, Markieff Morris was in foul trouble and had just four points, one rebound, three assists and five fouls on 2-of-8 shooting. The Wizards are just 2-8 on the season and Morris had a strong line in his previous game, and they’re going to need him to play well if they’re going to get this thing turned around. Otto Porter missed his last game with a toe injury, but bounced back big time on Tuesday with his best game of the season. He hit 7-of-12 shots and five triples for 19 points, six boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Finally! He also had zero turnovers, and if he was dropped in your league, run, don’t walk, to get him off the wire. John Wall had his first double-double of the season and Bradley Beal had 19 points and a decent line, but the Wizards lost another game they shouldn’t have. Kelly Oubre hit just 3-of-10 shots for six points, two rebounds and one assist, and has been pretty quiet in three of his last five games. You can probably find a more reliable hot free agent on the wire. Dorian Finney-Smith has played well in two straight games, but I’m only interested in him in deeper leagues, as he’s very inconsistent.

 

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Nets 104, Suns 82Jarrett Allen had 10 points, nine rebounds, a season-high five assists, a steal and a block, and might be getting ready to take off. D’Angelo Russell had 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, and should be owned everywhere despite his slow start. And my man, Caris LeVert, had 26 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers, hitting 10-of-16 shots. He has scored 20 points in a career-high seven of his 11 games, and has been one of the steals in fantasy hoops thus far. Sell high if you want, but I’m in with LeVert for the long haul.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie has scored in double figures in 10 of his 11 games this season, and is averaging 15.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five. He’s worth owning in a lot of leagues right now, despite coming off the bench. Ed Davis had nine points, 12 boards and a steal, but also hit just 1-of-5 free throws. The 12 boards were a season high for both Davis and the Nets, but he’s averaging just 6.6 points over his last five, can’t shoot free throws, and doesn’t block shots. You can do better. I’m not really sure why Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played just 13 minutes, but his 1-of-6 shooting and two turnovers might have had something to do with it. It was quite disappointing after his 21-point game on Sunday, but he’s scored eight or fewer points in three of his last four games. I still think he’s worth owning, but am starting to have some doubts. And Joe Harris had an empty 11-point line, but hit another 3-pointer late, keeping his streak alive at 26 straight games with at least one 3-pointer.

 

For the Suns, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Isaiah Canaan played reasonably well, and Canaan is worth a look off your wire as long as he’s starting for the Suns. He’s averaging 15 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 3-pointers over his last three games. My man, Elie Okobo, is getting about 15 minutes a night now that Canaan is healthy again, which is no bueno.

 

T.J. Warren was back from his sore back, but missed all five of his shots and failed to score in 13 minutes. He was hot early, and could get hot again, but last night was rough. The surprise of the night for Phoenix was a Richaun Holmes sighting off the bench with 13 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and two blocks on 6-of-7 shooting in 18 minutes. Ryan Anderson started, but missed his only shot and failed to score in 22 minutes, and I’d be a huge fan of burying him on the bench and letting Holmes play. But I’m not the guy running the Suns. Trevor Ariza was quiet, but is a hold, as is Warren, for now. But Josh Jackson is having trouble showing signs of life, and while I still think he’ll get hot at some point this season. But he’s not worth holding onto while we wait for it to happen.

 

Blazers 118, Bucks 103C.J. McCollum finally blew up for that game all of his owners have been waiting for, knocking down 17-of-26 shots and five 3-pointers for a season-high 40 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals with just two turnovers in 36 minutes and the win. The buy-low window is officially closed on CJM. Al-Farouq Aminu had eight points, seven boards and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes, and remains a borderline player to own in 12-team leagues. Zach Collins and Meyers Leonard were both intriguing, but still not ready for prime-time spots on fantasy teams, and Evan Turner caught fire for 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, logging season highs in points, boards and minutes (32). He’s coming on a bit, averaging 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.6 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games. As the blurb says, you could do worse than Turner at the end of your fantasy bench. This was a huge win for the Blazers, who are now 8-3, while the Bucks sit at 8-2.

 

For the Bucks, Brook Lopez went nuts with six 3-pointers and 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but also had just four rebounds and one block. He’s not your everyday center, and if you’re OK with having 3-pointers over rebounds (his season high in boards is just five) from your center, he might be your guy. But he’s not for everyone. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were both solid, but the rest of the Bucks didn’t get it done last night. Malcolm Brogdon came in hot, but had just four points, three boards and four assists on 2-of-8 shooting. He’s still averaging 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting in 28 minutes over his last five games. If he’s available in your league, he’s probably worth owning in most of them. The Blazers and Bucks combined to make 33-of-85 3-pointers on the night.

 

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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.
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