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Dose: Wall's Season Is Over

Sunday, December 30, 2018


Saturday’s nine-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including James Harden extending an incredible streak, Jamal Murray marauding in Phoenix, Giannis Antetokounmpo recording another triple-double, and Kemba Walker nearly notching 50.


After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


However, before we recap Saturday’s on-court action, let’s first tackle the big news out of Washington, D.C., one involving a different type of Wall. The Wizards announced that point guard John Wall will undergo a "debridement and repair of a Haglund’s deformity and a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel." The procedure will be performed next week and Wall is expected to be sidelined for approximately six to eight months, ending his 2018-19 season. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall has been bothered by the issue for more than a year, and doctors determined the surgery was necessary. Wall was trying to play through the injury, but it was getting worse. The procedure was determined to be the best course of action to relieve pain and inflammation.


The clear beneficiary here is obviously Tomas Satoransky. Sato stepped in for Wall last season when he was injured and performed admirably. Satoransky started a total of 30 games in 2017-18 and averaged 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 30.7 minutes in those 30 starts, while shooting a stellar 53.2 percent from the floor, 50.8 percent from downtown and 90.4 percent from the free-throw line. He now has a decent chance to post top-100 fantasy value over the remainder of this season. Satoransky tallied 20 points, four rebounds, six assists and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes in a Saturday’s victory over the Hornets. He should be owned in all leagues.


As discussed below, Thomas Bryant, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter also see their fantasy value spike with Wall on the shelf.

 

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Saturday’s Standouts:
Giannis Antetokounmpo was in beast mode once again on Saturday, posting his 12th career triple-double in a blowout victory over the Nets. The Greek Freak scored 31 points, grabbed ten rebounds and dished out ten assists, and still found time to tack on three steals, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Giannis has now scored at least 30 points in four the Bucks last five games.


James Harden refuses to cool off. He poured in 41 more points on Saturday, to go along with nine rebounds, six assists, three steals, two blocks, seven turnovers and seven 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Incredibly, The Beard has now registered at least 35 points, five dimes and five treys in six straight games, which is the longest such streak in NBA history. In fact, Stephen Curry is the only other player with more than two consecutive games of 35/5 and five triples. Over his last 11 games (not a tiny sample size!), Harden is averaging whopping 39.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 5.5 treys. Incredible.


Kemba Walker did all he could to keep the Hornets close on Saturday, scoring 24 of his 47 points in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Wizards. Kemba finished with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and six 3-pointers to go along with those 47 points. After being mired in a shooting slump over the first half of the month, Kemba has now shot 50% or better in five straight games. During this current stretch, he’s averaging 30.8 points and 4.2 assists, while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor and 51.1 percent from downtown. That buy-low window has slammed shut.


Kyrie Irving tallied 26 points with four rebounds, 13 assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes on Saturday. Down 19 at one point, Irving put Boston on his back and scored 22 in the second half alone. For the game, Kyrie was 8-of-16 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the stripe.


Larry Nance had an incredible all-around performance on Saturday night in Atlanta. He finished the game with 18 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), 15 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block in 36 minutes. He joins Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons as just the third player this season with at least 18/15/7/4 in a game. The only other player in Cavs history to match or exceed those numbers across the board is LeBron James. The looming return of Tristan Thompson and (eventually) Kevin Love is concerning, but one would think Nance has played well enough to secure plenty of playing time going forward.


Rudy Gobert logged only 25 minutes in Utah’s dismantling of the Knicks on Saturday, but he packed plenty of goodness into his limited playing time. The Stifle Tower matched his season-high with 25 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked a shot. He was 10-of-12 from the field. Gobert is now averaging 20 points per game over Utah’s last four contests, while shooting over 65 percent from the floor… Dante Exum, filling in for an injured Ricky Rubio, looked excellent in his first start this season. He carved up the Knicks perimeter defense, penetrating into the paint at will. He handed out a career-high 13 assists to go along with 13 points and one turnover in 26 minutes.


Deandre Ayton exploded for a career-high 33 points to go along with 14 rebounds, one assist, and four steals in 39 minutes on Saturday. Ayton, who poured in 24 points in the second quarter alone, was remarkably efficient, shooting 16-of-20 from the field. Ayton is the real deal. The only rookie with 33 and 14 in a game this decade was Blake Griffin. Per Basketball-Reference, the only other rookies with 33/14 and four steals over the last 40 years are Derrick Coleman, David Robinson and some guy named Michael Jordan.


Jamal Murray tweaked his right ankle on Friday, but it didn’t slow him down at all on Saturday night, as he pumped in 46 points (16-of-24 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) with six rebounds, eight assists, one block, and a career-high nine triples in 40 minutes against the Suns. The Blue Arrow is now averaging better than 25/5/6 over the Nuggets last five contests. Fantasy owners can’t ask for much more than that… Nikola Jokic messed around and just missed a triple-double: 23 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals and one block, while shooting 8-of-11 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the stripe.


Damian Lillard reached the 40-point plateau the fifth time in 2018-19, as he finished with 40 points (14-of-23 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), five assists, two rebounds, one steal and six 3-pointers in a loss to the Warriors on Saturday… Jusuf Nurkic posted a terrific all-around line for the second straight game, tallying 21 points (8-of-14 FGs, 5-of-7 FTs) with ten rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one blocked shot in 32 minutes.


LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots Saturday night. LA is averaging 29.7 points on 59.4 percent shooting over the Blazers last three games… DeMar DeRozan stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 25 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals and one blocked shot in the victory over the Clippers.

 

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On The Radar:
Khris Middleton stayed hot on Saturday, pouring on 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go along with four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Middleton was in a nasty slump for most of December and actually shot below 47% from the floor in 12 straight games. However, he’s 21-of-32 over his last two contests. Hopefully, he can keep that positive momentum going forward… Eric Bledsoe is in the midst of a frustrating slump of his own. He was 2-of-7 from the field for six points with three rebounds, four assists, one steal and four turnovers in 24 minutes on Saturday. Over Milwaukee's last three games, he’s averaging just 8.3 points and 3.7 assists in 27.7 minutes. Yes, the presence of George Hill is worrisome, but there’s no need to panic and sell-low on Bledsoe… Brook Lopez bullied his former team on Saturday by tallying 24 points, two rebounds, one block, one steal and seven treys in 29 minutes in an easy win over the Nets.


Rodions Kurucs had another dud on Saturday. He scored just two points (and missed all five of his field goal attempts) with one rebound, two assists, three turnovers and two fouls in 22 minutes. This after scoring only five points in 20 minutes on Friday. The young rookie has officially crashed back down to earth… Spencer Dinwiddie started in place of D'Angelo Russell (rest) but played just 21 minutes in a blowout loss, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal, two turnovers and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes… Shabazz Napier tied a career-high 32 points with four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 32 minutes off the bench.


Anthony Davis had a relatively pedestrian performance on Saturday, finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, three steals, one block, one turnover and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Incredibly, it’s just the second game this season he hasn’t scored at least 25 points or grabbed 12-plus rebounds… Julius Randle recorded another strong double-double: 23 points, 11 rebounds, three rebounds, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes. We thought Randle would put up big numbers with Nikola Mirotic (ankle) sidelined and that’s precisely what he’s done this month… The supremely consistent and effective Jrue Holiday tallied 20 points, six rebounds, nine assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 42 minutes.


Danuel House had 15 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes on Saturday… Austin Rivers scored 10 points with five rebounds, seven assists and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes… Clint Capela (six points, seven rebounds) was unusually quiet.


Thomas Bryant continues to exceed expectations. He balled out again on Saturday, finishing with 21 points, ten rebounds, three assists and one block in 36 minutes. Over his last five games, Bryant is averaging 16.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists, while shooting a scorching 75 percent from the floor and 88.2 percent from the charity stripe. He’s a must-own in fantasy leagues right now… Bradley Beal recorded a career-high six steals to go along with 19 points, four rebounds, five assists, and three turnovers. Beal will be the focal point of the Wizards offense with John Wall out for the year… Trevor Ariza flirted with a triple-double, scoring 24 points with seven rebounds, nine assists and four 3-pointers in 41 minutes. He gets a boost in value with Wall sidelined as well.


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