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Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: MVP showcase showdown

Thursday, January 10, 2019


The Usual NBA Suspects - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and James Harden – all went off, Kyle Kuzma joined some rare air, and welcome back Marc Gasol

 

Bucks 116, Rockets 109 – In the MVP Showcase and game of the night, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points, a career-high 21 rebounds, five assists and a steal leading the Bucks to the win. Malcolm Brogdon hit 9-of-12 shots for 24 points, five boards, three assists and a steal, and Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both had solid fantasy lines. Brook Lopez was quiet and in foul trouble, while Ersan Ilyasova and Sterling Brown both played well off the bench. Outside of the greatness of Giannis and the strong season from Brogdon, there’s not much else to talk about here.

 

James Harden, of course, had 42 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals, a block, six 3-pointers and nine turnovers. It’s hard to be too mad at a guy who’s scored at least 30 points in 14 straight games for the ridiculous turnovers, but they are annoying. Clint Capela’s been alternating really good games and great games, and had another double-double tonight with 18 points and 13 boards, and is averaging 22 points, 15.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five. P.J. Tucker calmed down for this one after Monday’s explosion, but still stuffed the stat sheet, while Austin Rivers and Gerald Green were both solid. All three players are worth a look (over Danuel House) while Chris Paul and Eric Gordon are out.  

 

Pelicans 140, Cavaliers 124Anthony Davis went off, as usual, with a 38-13-7-2-4 line with a 3-pointer, hitting 11-of-17 shots and 15-of-16 free throws. Julius Randle stayed relevant with 17 points, eight boards and two blocks, despite the return of Nikola Mirotic (ankle), who had 17 points, four boards and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench. Miro will probably eventually slow down Randle, and should be grabbed if he is somehow available in your league. Frank Jackson had a career-high 19 points and four 3-pointers after scoring 17 on Monday, and he’s stepping up with E’Twaun Moore (leg) out. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but Jackson’s worth a look right now. The Pels have won three straight (Cavs, Grizz, Cavs), but their next five are on the road and mostly against better teams.

 

Cavs starters Alec Burks (17 points), Collin Sexton (2-of-12), Tristan Thompson (6-10-5) and Cedi Osman (10 points, 2 threes) are all worth a look right now, while Jordan Clarkson looks like a hot pickup off the Cavs bench, scoring at least 21 in three straight. Cameron Payne, Ante Zizic and Matt Dellavedova played well last night, but I’m not interested right now. I think Thompson, who played through a foot injury, is a must-own player with Larry Nance out for a while. The Cavs have lost 11 straight and blew a 16-point lead.

 

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Lakers 113, Pistons 100Kyle Kuzma had a career-high 41 points and five triples on 16-of-24 shooting, and didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. He also didn’t do much more, but he’s clearly the Lakers best offensive weapon not named LeBron. He joined James Harden, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as this season’s 40-point scorers in three quarters. Kuzma’s back was wrapped on the bench in the fourth, so make sure he’s good to go for the next one. Brandon Ingram had six dimes for the second straight game, Lonzo Ball had 11 assists, and Josh Hart disappeared, hitting just 1-of-3 shots. I’m still going to ride Hart until LeBron James (groin) is back. Michael Beasley somehow had 19 points in 19 minutes on 9-of-13 shooting, but I’m not taking the bait, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came through with a 15-6-4 line with a 3-pointer, and Ivica Zubac had 11 points, nine boards and a steal. I really don’t see any automatic pickups here, but KCP might be ready to get hot again.

 

For the Pistons, Blake Griffin (16 points & 6 assists, with zero rebounds for the first time in his career), Andre Drummond (2-of-12, 17 boards), Reggie Jackson (15 & 5) and Reggie Bullock 13 points, 2 3-pointers) all put up some numbers, while Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard hit double figures off the bench. Bullock’s scored at least 13 in four straight, making him worth a look.

 

Wizards 123, Sixers 106 – The Wizards overcame some big stat lines from the Philly stars to get an unlikely win, led by Bradley Beal’s 34 points and full stat line, including six triples. Trevor Ariza had 17 points, five boards and two steals, Tomas Satoransky had five rebounds, 11 assists and three steals on a 1-of-6 shooting night, and Otto Porter Jr. played through his hand injury and scored 23 off the bench. Thomas Bryant started again, but lasted just 14 minutes to finish with nine points and six rebounds. I don’t know why they’re giving up on Bryant, but his minutes have taken a nosedive. Ian Mahinmi played 25 minutes and had six points, eight rebounds and five steals, and has outplayed Bryant for three straight games. If you want to pick up Mahinmi, go for it, but my hope is Bryant’s minutes will be back soon. Jeff Green had an 8-5-3 line with a block and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes, and is still worth holding.

 

For the Sixers, Wilson Chandler did nothing, as usual, while Joel Embiid (35-14-2-1-3), Ben Simmons (15-10-8-2) and Jimmy Butler (23-9-2-2) all put up big numbers. Furkan Korkmaz got another start for J.J. Redick (back) and had 16 points, five boards, two assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He’ll take a hit once Redick is back, but has played really well in four straight games. The Sixers bench was invisible in this one and Tuesday’s hero, Landry Shamet, hit 2-of-7 shots for five points after hitting eight 3-pointers and scoring 29 in his previous game. Korkmaz is probably worth picking up, but I’m worried about what will happen when Redick’s back.

 

Jazz 106, Magic 93Rudy Gobert double-doubled, Joe Ingles bounced back with 16 points, seven assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers, and Donovan Mitchell went off for 33 points, four boards, seven dimes and four 3-pointers. Raul Neto, starting for Ricky Rubio (hamstring) missed all five of his 3-pointers for 10 points, three boards, three assists and a steal, and is worth using as long as Rubio’s out, despite the rough night. He played 31 minutes and is the only healthy PG in Utah. Jae Crowder played 34 minutes for nine points and not much else, and he’s looked pretty rough over his last three games. I’m glad I don’t own him, actually.

 

For the Magic, Aaron Gordon had his first double-double of 2019, but didn’t have a steal or a block. If you want to move him, now might be your chance. Nikola Vucevic and D.J. Augustin both had big games, and I was glad to see DJA come through, breaking out of a funk. And speaking of funks, Evan Fournier was 0-for-8 for one point in 37 minutes after scoring in double figures in each of his previous four games. Jonathan Isaac was quiet again and, like I said in my YouTube video, I’m fine with dropping him if you want to, while Terrence Ross had 13 points, five boards, a steal and three 3-pointers off the bench. He’s playing well again and is worth a look. The Magic blew a 21-point lead in this one and Mo Bamba was out with a sore foot.  

 


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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.
Email :Steve Alexander



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