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Matt Stroup

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Markkanen Time

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


With five games on the slate Tuesday evening, we saw another big scoring performance from Damian Lillard (33-8-8 — the only player to top 30 points on Tuesday), while Lauri Markkanen gave us another hint of his monster upside. Here’s the full rundown on Tuesday’s action:

Pacers 96, Bulls 90

IND: Good times continued for Myles Turner fantasy owners, as the big man tied his season-high with points (18) while picking up 11 boards — his third double-double in his last four games. Turner added three assists, a steal and five blocks, and is averaging 14.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg and 3.2 bpg in his last five games. Indy also got a season-high 23 points (with eight boards, three assists and three treys) from Darren Collison. His last five games: 12.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 8.2 apg, 3.0 spg and 1.2 3s. With both guys it’s hard to ignore the fact that this renaissance is happening sans Victor Oladipo, but for now we’ll take what we get and cross the Oladipo bridge when we get there.

CHI: Lauri Markkanen sighting: confirmed. Markkanen shot poorly (8-of-24), but he added 10 boards, two steals, a block and five treys in 32 minutes. Oh, and those 24 shot attempts on Tuesday? That would be a career-high. Markkanen is poised for a beastly second season, and he’s already wasting no time making up for lost time.

Also for Chicago: Jabari Parker had a hollow 12 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench, Wendell Carter Jr. posted a nice 12-13-4 line and Zach LaVine scored 13 while continuing his excellent assist work of late with nine dimes. LaVine’s last eight games: 6.8 apg.

And a quick note on Chicago injuries: A report on the NBC Sports Chicago TV broadcast said that Kris Dunn (knee) and Bobby Portis (knee) both scrimmaged with the Bulls G-League squad on Tuesday, so chances are that their returns are getting pretty close (which it feels like we've been saying for a while).

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Magic 105, Heat 90

ORL: The Magic got a big game from Aaron Gordon (20-13-5 with a steal, a block and three 3s) as well as 19-10-3 from Nikola Vucevic, but the headline performers here in some ways were two guys off the Orlando bench: Jonathan Isaac and Terrence Ross. Isaac had 12 points with six boards, two steals and a block in 31 minutes — his third double-digit scoring effort in his last four. During that stretch, he has averaged 11.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.3 3s. As for Ross, his hot streak continued with 19 points and two triples. He’s averaging 18.7 ppg and 2.7 3s over his last six.

MIA: This was an ugly night all around for Miami, with Josh Richardson posting a very rare dud — his six points (on 2-of-14 shooting) were a season-low, and just his second game all season failing to hit double digits. Wayne Ellington took a big step back with six points in just 18 minutes, and is now 8-of-27 in his last three games. This was also the first game back for Tyler Johnson (hamstring) after a six-game absence. Johnson had four points in 13 minutes and could trend back up before long, though Miami’s rotation is somewhat of a headache right now.

Also for the Heat: James Johnson scored a season-high 11 points (with a steal and a trey) in 20 minutes, while Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and Justise Winslow all salvaged some value on a night Miami only scored 90 points. Adebayo had six points, seven boards and three blocks, while Olynyk posted 13 points, six boards, a steal a block and four 3s (and is averaging 12.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 spg and 3.0 3s over his last five). As for Winslow, he’s not the most thrilling option to consider throwing into your lineup, but over his last six, he’s at 10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.8 spg, 0.7 bpg and 1.2 3s, so he might have some deeper league appeal.

Mavericks 111, Blazers 102

DAL: Luka Doncic (hip) returned from a one-game absence and scored 21, while Dennis Smith Jr. (root canal) put up 12 points and a season-high nine assists, with a steal, a block and a triple. DSJ also went 3-of-5 from the free throw line, but he’s been fairly decent lately with 11.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.0 bpg and 1.0 3s in his last four, so you might have a small window here to try to trade him. Wesley Matthews (17 points, three treys) has hit double digits in five straight games since returning from a hamstring injury.

POR: Not a lot of big fantasy developments to report from the Blazers side, though Damian Lillard continued his obscene hot streak with 33 points, eight boards and eight dimes. He has now hit for 30 or more in five of his last nine games, a stretch that has seen him average an even 30.0 ppg. The Blazers have lost six of those nine, but for fantasy purposes that is no sweat whatsoever. Also hot for Portland at the moment: Al-Farouq Aminu, whose 12-point, 13-board double-double gave him averages of 17.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.0 spg and 2.3 3s his last three games. A run like this can be over for Aminu before you even get him into your lineup, but it’s worth a shot at the moment.

Kings 122, Suns 105

SAC: We conclude the evening with a couple of big-time blowouts. Phoenix was down 36-9 after the first quarter and did fight back to keep this from being just absurdly embarrassing, but this was a true garbage time special. Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox were aggressive enough early for the Kings (20 points in 18 minutes for Hield; 16 points and seven dimes for Fox) to avoid the vortex of this lopsided game. Add to that list Bogdan Bogdanovic (14 points, a steal, a block and two 3s in 21 minutes), and remove from the list Nemanja Bjelica (two points in 21 minutes). For the most part, we can sum up this game as far as the Kings are concerned with the fact that Ben McLemore got some run for just the second time in over a month.

One injury note for Sacramento: The Kings were without Marvin Bagley, who had a precautionary MRI that came back clean. He’s considered day-to-day.

PHX: Leading the way for Phoenix? That would be second-round pick De’Anthony Melton scoring an out-of-nowhere career-high 21 points. There’s at least a small chance that this is the start of something for Melton. I’m not adding him anywhere, but we should at least keep an eye on him. Of course, the Suns didn’t have Devin Booker (hamstring) or T.J. Warren (ankle), so it’s no surprise that this was ugly from the start. The good news for fantasy owners of Suns is that several players still maintained value in this one. Trevor Ariza had 14 points, three steals and three triples, Josh Jackson overcame an ugly start to finish with 14-4-3 and two 3s, and Mikal Bridges pulled out three steals and two blocks on an otherwise ugly shooting night (3-of-12, 0-of-7 on 3s). Also playing well: Richaun Holmes, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Holmes didn’t get a block in this one, but is averaging 10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg in his last nine. Meanwhile, Elie Okobo struggled in a start (six points in 26 minutes), and is more of a bench stash than starting option right now.

As for the aforementioned Trevor Ariza, he is reportedly (and not surprisingly) likely to be available in trades after Dec. 15. 

Jazz 139, Spurs 105

SAS: The Spurs dropped to 4-9 on the road with this hideous loss, and while LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan both managed 16 points, there’s not a ton else to talk about for San Antonio. Derrick White at least didn’t completely disappear (10 points in 21 minutes) after his recent encouraging run, though Rudy Gay was in fact invisible with zero points in 19 minutes. Rudy has become pretty tough to trust at the moment with less than 20 minutes in three of his last five games — though two of those games were blowout losses. One other footnote: Jakob Poeltl managed a career-high 20 points in 19 minutes, but remains way off the radar outside of deeper leagues.

UTA: All five Jazz starters scored 12 or more points, led by Donovan Mitchell with 20. Donnie also shot 7-of-13, and has hit 46.5 percent of his shots his last eight games (and is now up to 42.9 percent on the season). Kyle Korver hit for 15 points in 15 minutes off the bench, which is nice to see in real life, but not nearly enough playing time for fantasy value outside of extremely deep formats.

Quick injury note for the Jazz: Ricky Rubio sprained his right index finger, but was able to return and finished with a strong all-around game (12-5-7 with three steals and two 3s).

In other news…

*Gary Harris reportedly has a groin injury, not a hip injury, is already being listed as out for Wednesday and is/was headed for an MRI. And if this quote from Michael Malone means anything, Harris could be a while: “The one thing I feel awful about is Gary Harris. Definitely keep Gary in our thoughts.” Yikes. Torrey Craig and Malik Beasley stand to benefit, but neither can do what Harris does. Hopefully things aren’t as bad as Malone made them sound when he made that comment.

*Taurean Prince (ankle) is expected to miss at least the next three weeks, and let’s be honest — with the Hawks tanking, it could very easily be more. In fact, Prince is expected to be reevaluated in three weeks, so it looks pretty much guaranteed that it will be more. The main beneficiary here should be Kent Bazemore, who’s expected to return to the starting five and could certainly use the boost after playing just 19 minutes on Monday. Also potentially benefitting is DeAndre Bembry, though Prince getting hurt probably isn’t enough to fix his inconsistency.

*Markelle Fultz has been diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, “severely limiting” his ability to shoot a basketball (according to his agent). Fultz is out indefinitely, and really has no clear path to fantasy value this year once he’s back.

*Rajon Rondo (hand) has been cleared for “contact progression,” whatever that entails. He also more or less went through a full practice on Tuesday, so it sounds like he could be back fairly soon.

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Injury Quick Hits: *Trey Burke has a “mild” MCL sprain and is expected to be reevaluated over the weekend. I’m not exactly what the mild part of that means, but Kris Dunn has been out over six weeks with an MCL sprain, so it’s possible we won’t see Burke for a while. … Nikola Mirotic (illness) is questionable for Wednesday. … Reggie Bullock (ankle) is not expected to play Wednesday. … Wilson Chandler (quad) is expected to play on Wednesday. … Cody Zeller (rib) practiced on Tuesday, which seems to bode well for his chances of returning on Wednesday. … Ersan Ilyasova (concussion) is doubtful for Wednesday. … Jaylen Brown (tailbone) is planning to play on Thursday. 

Other General Notes: Joakim Noah signed with the Grizzlies on Tuesday. I feel obligated to write this, even though for fantasy purposes it truly means nothing.



Matt Stroup has covered basketball for Rotoworld since 2008. You can find him on Twitter here .
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