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Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Young Bulls

Saturday, January 5, 2019


The Future is Bright in Chi-Town

 

Zach LaVine drilled a clutch 3-pointer to force an overtime period on Friday, netting 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with five 3-pointers, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and four turnovers across 35 minutes. He nearly hit another ridiculous 3-point bomb with 0.3 seconds left in the overtime frame to force double OT, but the ball came off his fingers just slightly too late, and the end result was the Bulls tallying their 29th loss of the season. Still, it was a strong effort from this young Chicago team, and while the coaching has been a disaster, there’s a lot of promise on this roster.

 

 

 

Kris Dunn handed out a career-high 17 dimes to go with 16 points, five rebounds, two 3-pointers and two turnovers; and Lauri Markkanen registered 27 points, nine rebounds, four triples, two assists, one steal and six turnovers in 32 minutes.

 

One of the more intriguing aspects of the game was Wendell Carter Jr. logging a career-high 43 minutes after he was confined to just 13 minutes on Wednesday, and he finished with 15 points (6-of-9 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, one block and zero turnovers. He was nearly perfect in this one, playing excellent defense against Myles Turner and he didn’t pick up his first foul until late in the fourth quarter. Foul trouble has been a bit of an issue for the rookie, but the larger impediment to his value has been the extremely short leash from Jim Boylen, as he often doesn’t let the lottery pick play through mistakes despite this obviously being a tanking season for Chicago. WCJ has all the talent in the world, and has proven time and again that he’s capable of offering up solid stat lines when given the floor time, so he’s one of my favorite post-break, breakout candidates. Though an imperfect stat, his per-36 numbers of 15.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.6 dimes and 2.1 blocks per game give us a glimpse of his upside. Hopefully, management has a talk with Boylen about his questionable coaching techniques with a franchise building block.

 

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Game-Winner, Chicken Dinner

 

Victor Oladipo hit the game-winner right in Kris Dunn’s eyeball during Friday’s 119-116 overtime win in Chicago, finishing with 36 points (14-of-28 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), seven boards, four dimes, four triples, three steals, one block and just two turnovers in 37 minutes. This was easily his best game since coming back from the knee injury, and his 40.0 usage rate accounted for a season-high. Vic got off to a slow start this season, but hopefully, Friday’s explosion is a sign that he’s ready to start turning things around.

 

 

He’s Baaaacccckk

 

Jeff Teague (ankle) didn’t skip a beat in his return from a nine-game absence, scoring 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with 10 assists, three trey-bombs, two rebounds, one steal and two turnovers in 28 minutes. He seriously struggled while attempting to play through a bum left ankle last month, but he looked fresh on Friday, and now that he’s healthy, he should be able to flirt with early-round value. After all, he was a top-25 product after the All-Star break last season with averages of 17.3 points, 7.0 assists, 1.3 triples, 1.4 steals and just 2.1 turnovers per game on 47.4% shooting. Sure, Derrick Rose (ankle) wasn’t available for this one, but the two can share the floor, and it’s not like Rose has the best track record with staying healthy.

 

With Teague back in action, Tyus Jones returned to the second unit where he finished with five points, two rebounds, five assists and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes off the bench. He had a nice run while Rose and Teague were out, but with Teague back, he’s a cut-candidate in most settings.

 

Slow-Mo Triple-Double

 

Kyle Anderson posted a poor man’s triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, one block and two turnovers in 38 minutes during Friday’s 109-100 loss to the Nets. Anderson has been playing better as of late while logging massive minutes in Memphis, but I’m nervous about him losing floor time upon Justin Holiday’s arrival. For me, this would be an ideal time to try and sell-high on Slow-Mo.

 

On the Radar

 

Jae Crowder went 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from the stripe on his way to 16 points, five rebounds, three 3-pointers, two assists, one steal and zero turnovers in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s been trending up over the past month with averages of 12.5 points, 4.8 boards, 2.4 triples and just 1.0 turnover per game on 46% shooting from the field and 80% from the stripe. Give him a look if those numbers are appealing.

 

Alec Burks returned to the bench on Friday but still came through with 17 points (6-of-13 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs), three rebounds, two assists, three triples, one block and one turnover across 30 minutes. He tends to struggle with efficiency, but over the past few weeks, he’s churned out averages of 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 treys and 1.3 turnovers per game on 47.6% shooting. The field goal percentage isn’t sustainable, but he’ll continue to see quality minutes while in Cleveland, so he’s on the radar in deep leagues. He’s a much more attractive asset in points formats.

 

Marcus Smart drilled five 3-pointers on his way to 17 points (6-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one turnover through 32 minutes as a starter. The scoring comes and goes with Smart, but he’s been elite in the steals department this year with 1.9 a night, and that sort of production in a statistically rare category makes him worth owning in most leagues.

 

Jaylen Brown got the start with Marcus Morris (neck) unavailable and produced a team-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go with two 3-pointers, two rebounds, two assists, three steals and one turnover in 27 minutes. He’s been extremely hit-or-miss this season, but over the past three he’s come through with averages of 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 treys, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block and 2.0 turnovers per contest on 62.2% shooting. He should continue to see some increased opportunity while Morris is out, so he’s someone to think about scooping up in deep leagues while he’s this hot.

 

Terrence Ross scored 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go with three 3-pointers, two rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes off the bench. The lame shooting weighs his value down a bit in category-based settings, but he has some low-end value in deep leagues as a 3-point shooting specialist.

 

DeMarre Carroll scored 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting (3-of-3 from the line) to go with five 3-pointers, five rebounds, one assist and zero turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench. He got off to a sluggish start this season, but he’s seen some increased opportunity with Allen Crabbe (knee) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) on the sidelines and has been churning out late-round value over the past few weeks with averages of 14.0 points, 2.3 triples, 5.3 boards, 2.0 assists and just 0.7 turnovers per game on 49.1% shooting from the field and 75% from the stripe. He’s worth a look in most settings.

 

DeAndre Bembry scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting (3-of-3 from the stripe) to go with two 3-pointers, two rebounds, one steal and one turnover in 23 minutes off the bench. He’s been trending up over the past four games with averages of 11.3 points, 4.8 boards, 1.8 steals, 1.0 block and 1.3 turnovers per game on 43.9% shooting, and he should continue to see nothing but opportunity while Taurean Prince (ankle) and Kent Bazemore (ankle) are out. He should be owned in way more than just 7% of Yahoo! Leagues.

 

Mikal Bridges ripped away another three steals to go with 10 points, two 3-pointers, one rebound, three assists, one block and zero turnovers in 32 minutes. Since Trevor Ariza’s departure, Bridges has posted averages of 8.6 points, 4.2 boards, 2.5 dimes, 1.6 triples, 1.6 steals, 0.9 swats and just 0.6 turnovers per contest on 42% shooting, which has been good enough for top-60 value in 9-cat leagues. Bridges is officially a must-own guy.

 

Richaun Holmes put up 16 points (5-of-8 FGs, 6-of-8 FTs), four rebounds, two assists, three steals, three swats and two turnovers in 21 minutes off the bench. He won’t be that productive on most nights, but he has some value as a shot-blocking specialist in deep leagues.

 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope slid into the starting lineup with Kyle Kuzma (back) unavailable and produced 19 points (6-of-16 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), four triples, six boards, three assists and zero turnovers across 36 minutes. KCP was already trending up with LeBron James nursing a groin injury, and now he’s essentially must-own with Kuzma also out. Over the past four games, Caldwell-Pope has contributed averages of 21.0 points, 4.0 boards, 4.3 triples, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steal and just 0.8 turnovers per game on 42.4% shooting, which has been good enough for top-40 value in 9-cat leagues.

 

Moe Harkless again came through with the defensive statistics on Friday, registering three swats and one steal to go with eight rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist and five points on 2-of-9 shooting. He’s anything but consistent, but he’s been in a nice defensive groove over the past four games with averages of 8.5 points, 8.5 boards, 2.0 steals, 2.3 swats and just 0.5 turnovers per game on 40% shooting. He’s worth a look in most leagues.

 

Injury Tracker

 

Kyrie Irving (eyes) and Marcus Morris (neck) did not play Friday and they should be considered questionable for Monday’s game against the Nets. If they’re out again, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier will get another start with Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward seeing more opportunity on offense. Robert Williams (groin) also missed Friday’s game, but he’s a non-factor in fantasy hoops.

 

Tom Thibodeau announced on Friday that Robert Covington will miss an “extended period” due to a bone bruise in his right knee, but didn’t offer up a firm timetable. Ultimately, it will depend on just how bad the bone bruise is and how well RoCo responds to treatment, but it could be anywhere from a few weeks to a full month. Covington has far too much upside to consider cutting, so, unfortunately, owners will just need to tuck him away on their bench and hope for the best. Josh Okogie will move into the starting lineup while he’s out, but he’s really nothing more than a low-end steals specialist in deep leagues.

 

Derrick Rose (ankle) missed his fourth game in a row and should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game against the Lakers.

 

LeBron James (groin) will be re-evaluated in one-week, meaning the earliest he’d be able to return would be on next Friday in Utah, but I’d say next Sunday’s game against the Cavs is much more likely. Josh Hart will continue to start while he’s out, and basically, all the rotation players will be asked to do more on offense.

 

Kyle Kuzma (back) did not play Friday and he should be considered doubtful for Sunday’s game in Minnesota, with it being the first of a back-to-back set. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got the start in his absence, while Brandon Ingram saw an uptick in usage, and that will likely again be the case on Sunday.

 

Dwyane Wade (illness) returned from a one-game absence and produced 14 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench.

 

Jimmy Butler (illness) and Wilson Chandler (illness) were unable to practice on Friday and are questionable for Saturday’s game against the Mavericks. If they’re out again, Furkan Korkmaz and Jonah Bolden could get another start while Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will be tasked with the heavy lifting on offense.

 

Nikola Mirotic (ankle) will not play Saturday and should be considered questionable for Monday’s game vs. Memphis.

 

Kyle Lowry (back) is doubtful for Saturday’s game against the Bucks. If he’s out again, Fred VanVleet will get another start with Kawhi Leonard running the show on offense.

 

Eric Gordon (knee) will miss his third consecutive game on Saturday and he’s being listed as doubtful for Monday’s game against the Nuggets. Austin Rivers will be starting while he’s out, and there will be more opportunity for Danuel House.

 

Bobby Portis (ankle) did not play Friday, but he was able to get through a full practice on Thursday, so he has to be close at this point. He doesn’t offer much upside, but he could be worth stashing in deep leagues at this point. Robin Lopez could drop out of the rotation once he’s back.

 

Justin Holiday (trade) was not available for Friday’s game, but there’s a chance he'll be able to make his Memphis debut on Saturday in San Antonio. He’ll need to compete for minutes with Garrett Temple and Kyle Anderson in Memphis, but getting out of Jim Boylen’s system can be viewed as a positive.

 

Wayne Selden (trade) also did not take the court on Friday, but he could make his Chicago debut on Sunday against the Nets. This is a wait-and-see situation in most leagues.

 

Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) did not practice Friday and is doubtful to play Saturday against the Nuggets. If he’s out again, Devonte’ Graham should earn another start, and he’d be on the radar as a deep league streamer or DFS punt play.

 

Will Barton (hip) will remain on the sidelines for Saturday’s game and should be considered doubtful for Monday’s game in Houston with it being the first of a back-to-back set.

 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (adductor) did not play Friday and he should be considered doubtful for Saturday’s game in Chicago. Jared Dudley figures to continue to start in his absence, but it’s DeMarre Carroll who will be the primary beneficiary with both Allen Crabbe (knee) and RHJ on the sidelines.

 

Mitchell Robinson (ankle) did not play Friday, but given recent quotes from David Fizdale, it would seem there’s a chance he’ll be able to get back out there for either Monday’s game in Portland or Tuesday’s game in Golden State. He’s someone to consider stashing in deep leagues for those seeking a shot-blocking specialist.

 

Matthew Dellavedova (foot), Ante Zizic (knee) and David Nwaba (ankle) did not play Friday and they should be considered questionable for Saturday’s game against the Pelicans.

 

Marvin Bagley (knee) is questionable to play on Saturday against the Warriors.

 

Ersan Ilyasova (nose) was back in action following an eight-game absence and came through with 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal and three turnovers in 19 minutes off the bench. He saw some extra run with the game being a massive blowout, so I wouldn’t read too much into the random double-double.

 

Jonathon Simmons (ankle) registered six points, seven assists, six rebounds and one turnover in 21 minutes off the bench in his return from a two-game absence. He’s not worth owning in most leagues.

 

Frank Ntilikina exited Friday’s game in less than a minute with a left ankle strain and did not return, so he should be considered doubtful for Monday’s game in Portland.

 

Timofey Mozgov underwent right arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday and he’s out indefinitely.



A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the Rotoworld team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJ831, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.
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