Aaron Bruski

The Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Big Wednesday

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Culture Change


The Grizzlies are in full-on implosion mode and it’s probably because Robert Pera has come in with John Hollinger and changed everything but the plastic forks in the media room.  Lionel Hollins is openly irked right now with the Rudy Gay trade, and with all of that in mind we’re still in the one-week cooling off time frame I discussed yesterday.  If the Grizz are still struggling after that, then maybe the issue won’t go away. 


Tayshaun Prince scored six points on 3-of-9 shooting with two rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes, and one more of those will be the confirmation that the leopard didn’t get new spots.  Jerryd Bayless is clearly taking over some of Gay’s offensive responsibilities and he had another good night, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with four rebounds, five assists, and a three.  I was down on Bayless a week or so ago, mainly because I figured he’d have to share with guys like Darrell Arthur (two points, 15 minutes) and Ed Davis (two points, six boards, nine minutes).  To date neither of them has taken food off of Bayless’ plate, and his value proposition will be fully expressed once those guys are fully integrated and Quincy Pondexter returns. 


Attack of Teague


Anthony Tolliver got a start for matchup purposes and scored eight points with seven rebounds, a block, and two threes in 28 minutes.  If he keeps it up we’ll let you know, but for now he’s only worth a look in very deep leagues.  Josh Smith scored 19 points with 11 rebounds, six assists, a steal, a three, and three blocks on 7-of-13 shooting, and Jeff Teague kept his foot heavy on the gas with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds and two threes.  It’s going to be fun watching Teague have the backcourt all to himself. 




James Harden is absolutely on fire right now, and last night he hit 10-of-16 shots for 36 points with four treys, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals while single-handedly keeping the Rockets in the game against Miami before losing.  He has averaged 24 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games, while shooting a nasty 53 percent from the floor, 50 percent from downtown and 80 percent from the line over that stretch. 


Kevin Martin is a nice player and Thunder management are scared to tell Kendrick Perkins to stop shooting the ball let alone amnesty the guy, but man I feel like we’re getting robbed of what could have been a special team there if Harden was in play.  One look at the Houston box score will let you know that there were no surprises tonight, but Patrick Patterson posted an empty 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting with three rebounds, a three and nothing else, and that probably irked owners recently making an add.  I wish I could tell you that the inconsistency was going to stop, as it probably won’t. 


Addition by Subtraction


Chris Bosh was a later scratch due to illness last night and that left LeBron James (32 points, full line) and Dwyane Wade (31 points, full line) free to destroy fantasy leagues.  Wade is slowly climbing back onto his perch with second round value over the past two weeks and that would fit the ‘old guy takes first half of the season off narrative’ pretty nicely.  Ray Allen has been really struggling lately and hit just 1-of-8 shots last night for five points, one three, and not much else.  I have no problem dropping him but it wouldn’t be surprising if he rebounds from the low point on his graph. 


Reggie Evans Scores 10 Points. No, Really.


Reggie Evans put up a surprising 10 points to go with his not-so-surprising 14 rebounds and one block in 30 minutes, and no, I’m not running to go pick him up.  Gerald Wallace scored 14 points with three rebounds, one assist, and two threes in 27 minutes, which means in the one place I added him I’m cautiously optimistic that I earned a late-round value in the Nets’ current roster configuration.   


Tailbone’s Connected to Bench, Usually


The Free Andre Drummond train took a small hit when he had to leave last night’s return-game halfway through.  He said the issue was his tailbone and not his back, and owners will want to watch this situation closely but in general I’m not panicking at this early stage.  Jose Calderon scored eight points with nine assists and two threes as he gets acclimated to his new team, Brandon Knight started putting up his old shooting guard numbers with 12 points, two rebounds, four assists, and two steals on 4-of-10 shooting in 26 minutes, and Rodney Stuckey came off the bench with four points and three rebounds in 23 minutes.  Cut Stuckey in 12-14 team formats if you want, and look at Will Bynum (13 points, four rebounds, seven assists, two steals) as an alternative to Knight and/or in general but keep in mind that four’s a crowd in Detroit.


Act Like You’ve Been There Before


Andrew Bogut (ankle) did not play due to the back-to-back, which was expected, and Jarrett Jack (shoulder) did not play, which wasn’t expected.  We’re calling him questionable for Friday’s game until we get clarification on the abruptly reported injury.  Now that that’s out of the way, I figured it would be a blowout loss for the Dubs in yesterday’s Dose, and it was, and last night’s outing had some added bad taste when Kevin Martin called out GSW’s bench after the game.  I’m paraphrasing, but he said the younger guys that haven’t proven anything shouldn’t be talking trash the way they did and he also alluded to a dirty play.  This isn’t the first time the Warriors’ bench has been caught acting like they haven’t been there before, as the Lakers were cracking up watching the bench’s reaction to a Blake Griffin 3-pointer that clanked off the side of the backboard.  All of it just makes me wonder where the leadership is, as the wrong guys are talking trash and the entire team is complaining about having the score run up on them in a professional game. 


At least Klay Thompson got back on track with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting and three treys, and Stephen Curry had 14 points, eight boards, and 11 assists even if he hit just 5-of-20 shots against a motivated Russell WestbrookHarrison Barnes hit 7-of-9 shots for 19 points but just one steal to his stat line, and that’s enough to make me write the outing off as a harbinger of things to come with guys out.  David Lee put up a typically big line and got worked over inside again.  Rinse, lather, repeat. 




The Thunder slugged it out with the Clippers and had to turn around and play in Golden State the next day earlier in the year.  The Warriors treated the game like a Super Bowl and the Thunder came out flat in a loss, so it made sense that they’d want revenge at home.  Serge Ibaka walked over the Warriors’ interior with 15 points, nine boards, four assists, a three, and six blocks, Kevin Durant scored 25 points with a full line, Kevin Martin scored 21 points with three treys, four assists, and two steals, and Russell Westbrook ate up Stephen Curry on both ends and finished with 22 points and a full line. 


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Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
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