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Steve Alexander

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Dose: LaMarcus drives Route 56

Friday, January 11, 2019


LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White came to play against the Thunder, Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic had big triple-doubles, and Mason Plumlee finally came through if you used him for the five-game week on Thursday. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

Spurs 154, Thunder 147 2OT - As I sat here watching this game I was taking notes, so I could be sure to set up the outcome with all the proper takes, but once the game went to double overtime, it became clear that I could write an entire college term paper about what, and how, things went down. And since we’re limited on space here in Daily Dose-land, I’m just going to look at the numbers, and apply the game stuff when it works. First of all, this game was much closer than the final score, and DeMar DeRozan tried to keep the Thunder alive by fouling Paul George on a late 3-pointer, which he made, but it wasn’t enough.

 

For the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge went crazy, hitting 20-of-33 shots and 16-of-16 free throws for a career-high 56 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks in 49 minutes. This was his first 50-point game and the only other Spurs to score more in a game were David Robinson, who had 71 points in 1994 when he was trying to win a scoring title at the end of the season, and George Gervin, who went off for 63 points way back in 1978. Gervin was actually my favorite player in the seventies, and I remember writing a paper about him in grade school, talking about how fun it was watching him play for a terrible team and score all their points. I guess I was destined for a fantasy life from the start. In any case, like the boys on TNT said after the game, why can’t Aldridge play like this more often? I don’t know. Tony Parker scored 55 points in a game 10 years ago, but Aldridge left him in the dust.

 

And despite all of Aldridge’s heroics, this may be remembered as the ‘Derrick White game.’ The numbers weren’t mind blowing at a career-high 23 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 10-of-17 shooting, but both his 3-pointer and block were huge, and he simply played a tremendous game. He took an elbow to the head from Jerami Grant on his blocked shot and had to have the bleeding stopped, and probably took some stitches after the game, but he doesn’t appear to be in danger of missing any time. And White is finally who we thought he’d be after a slow start to the season. If he wasn’t owned in your league going into Thursday night, he will be (and should be) by Friday night. As the Rotoworld blurb says, he’s been Top 25 over his last 10 games, despite a dud on Wednesday night.

 

DeMar DeRozan had a rough night, hitting just 7-of-22 shots, committing a bad foul, and missing a game-winning shot, but still had 16 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, a steal and a block, and starter Bryn Forbes had 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 4-of-6 shooting. On a four-game week, I’m rolling Forbes out there, if available. Marco Belinelli came off the bench for 19 points and hit 5-of-5 3-pointers, Patty Mills hit 3-of-4 3-pointers for 14 points and six assists, and Davis Bertans hit 4-of-4 3-pointers for 12 points, four boards, two assists and a steal. I’m not messing with anyone on this team not named Aldridge, DeRozan, White, Forbes or Rudy Gay (out with a wrist injury), but this was a blast to watch. And the Spurs set an NBA record by hitting their first 14 3-pointers, and 16-of-19 on the night for 84 percent. Crazy, for a team that doesn’t love the 3-pointer.

 

For the Thunder, Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 24 assists, joining Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the three players with 20-point, 20-assist triple-doubles in NBA history. He also failed to hit a 3-pointer, had two steals, and hit 11-of-22 shots for the second straight game. Westbrook’s shooting was a major concern a few days ago, but maybe he’s righted the ship. And 24 assists, really? Jerami Grant had a career-high 25 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and a 3-pointer, Paul George had 30 points, eight boards, three steals (one crucial one down the stretch) and three 3-pointers, and Terrance Ferguson, of all people, hit a career-high 7-of-10 3-pointers for a season-high 21 points and a costly late turnover. There wasn’t a lot of bad news coming out of San Antonio tonight, as it was one of the most fantasy-friendly games of the year, but Steven Adams left to have his left ankle re-taped, and was hobbled upon his return. He finished with 19 points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks, but I have a feeling the ankle is going to swell and he could miss some time here. Then again, he’s one of the toughest dudes in the league, so I also wouldn’t be surprised if he plays through it. Jerami Grant, who should already be owned in your league, will see an even bigger role if Adams is out, while Patrick Patterson would possibly be on the deep-league radar if it happens. This game was one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a while, and I never thought I’d say that about a Spurs game. As for Ferguson’s heroics, this was very similar to what Landry Shamet did a few days ago for the Sixers, and then came back with almost nothing the next night out. I don’t think Ferguson’s worth picking up.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge when it comes to fantasy hoops? Our new NBA DFS Toolkit has a Lineup Optimizer, Customizable Projections, Next Man Up tool and more for FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo! And for season-long, the NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, Pickups of the Day and more.
 

Heat 115, Celtics 99 – Welcome back, Derrick Jones Jr.! As you probably know, I’ve been all-in on the kid and he got a DNP-CD from Erik Spoelstra on Tuesday. He came off the bench, but played 29 minutes, hit 6-of-9 shots, 2-of-3 3-pointers, and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. That’s all I need, really. So thanks, Spo. Justise Winslow had 13 points, seven rebounds, a career-high 11 assists and two 3-pointers, and I’m not sure why I’ve been getting so many ‘should I cut Justise?’ emails lately. I’m all in, at least until Goran Dragic is back. Josh Richardson made his owners happy too. He’s been in a slump (I blame Spo for all of it), but hit 7-of-13 shots, four 3-pointers and had 18 points, three boards and six assists. Thanks, Spo. James Johnson was decent with 12 points, five boards, three assists, a block and a 3-pointer (finally), but hit just 5-of-15 shots and I still have no interest in owning him right now. In fact, DJJ should be starting in his place, really.

 

Hassan Whiteside had nine points and 10 rebounds, but it’s pretty clear the Heat don’t like him, especially in the fourth quarter (thanks, Spo). And Kelly Olynyk only played five minutes (thanks, Spo), meaning it was Bam Adebayo time. Bam stepped up with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench, but he’s still tricky to own, sharing time with Whiteside. Tyler Johnson only saw 11 minutes (thanks, Spo), but hit three 3-pointers for 11 points. I really don’t understand the Heat’s rotation, and I doubt anyone does, but they won in a blowout tonight, so whatever. I still like TJ, but Spoelstra’s weird rotations are more of a headache than anything else, and Winslow is the starting point guard. Ty Johnson simply isn't a must-own player, but I'm still kind of into him. Dion Waiters returned to earth, hitting just 3-of-12 shots for eight points, four boards, three assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, and the old man, Dwyane Wade, had 19 points, three 3-pointers and not much else in his 23 minutes. The Heat blew the Celtics out 33-19 in the second quarter to win the game.

 

For the Celtics, Kyrie Irving bounced back with a 22-5-5 line, Marcus Morris was fun with a 17-6-1-1-2 line with three 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum had 17 points, a block and two 3-pointers, and Marcus Smart got hot with 18 points, two assists, a block and four 3-pointers. Al Horford was invisible with two points on 1-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes, but at least he’s not hurt, and Jaylen Brown hit just 1-of-5 shots in 14 minutes. Gordon Hayward also laid an egg, finishing with six points and four assists in 20 minutes. Smart and Brown have been hit-or-miss, and Hayward cooled off after a nice four-game run. Smart and Hayward are worth owning right now, while Brown’s a borderline player to own in 12-team leagues. Horford is a guy I’d look to trade after his next big game, as he’s not the best finisher historically. Lastly, Brown and Morris had to be separated on the bench at one point, but I doubt it’s anything to be concerned about.

 


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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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