Steve Alexander

The Daily Dose

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Dose: Down Goes Pau Gasol

Monday, March 24, 2014




The Suns got nice lines from several players last night. Goran Dragic had 18 points, six assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers and Eric Bledsoe had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. See guys, you can play together if you try! P.J. Tucker had 18 points, eight boards and two 3-pointers in another start, and Markieff Morris flew high off the bench with 25 points, eight boards, two blocks and three 3-pointers on 10-of-13 shooting. If we could just figure out on which nights PJT and Markieff were going to go off, we’d all be rich.


Jose Calderon Takes Elbow To The Face


Jose Calderon took an elbow to the nose early on Sunday and night and didn’t return to the game. He tweeted that it was “nothing to worry about” and said he’d have to see how it feels in the morning. If he ends up missing time, Devin Harris would be the guy to plug into your lineup, but I simply don’t trust that he can stay healthy. Harris hit 4-of-15 shots and three 3-pointers for 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes last night.


Aaron Brooks Still Playing Well


I don’t know how he’s doing it playing behind Ty Lawson, but Aaron Brooks had 13 points, seven assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes off the bench Sunday. He hit just 4-of-13 shots, and had just six points and two assists in his previous game. Lawson was out last Wednesday when Brooks went bonkers with 27 points and 17 assists, but it looks like he might still be a low-end, deep-league option if you’re hurting for dimes.


O.J. Mayo Did What?


O.J. Mayo came back to life on Sunday against the Kings, hitting 9-of-14 shots and two 3-pointers for 21 points and four assists off the Bucks bench. Mayo hadn’t even played in his previous six games and had amassed a total of seven minutes in his previous nine games, so he’s far from trustworthy. But the fact Larry Drew finally turned him loose in a blowout could be a sign that they’re going to free Mayo over the final few weeks of the season. If you want to take a flier on Mayo and put him on your bench until we see what happens, go for it.


Marcus Thornton Scores 20


Good Marcus Thornton showed up last night after the Nets got off to a terrible start, hitting 7-of-11 shots and four 3-pointers for 20 points and seven rebounds. His game log continues to be a ping-pong ball, as he’s scored 20, 9, 11, 8, 19, 5, 5, 27, 4, 20, 3 and 25 points in each of his March games. He has hit 12 3-pointers over his last five games, but as you can see by those numbers, he’s simply as hit-or-miss as they come. Start him at your own risk, whether it be nightly or weekly.


Victor Oladipo On A Roll


Jameer Nelson was out again with a knee injury, allowing Victor Oladipo to get loose for 21 points, five rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers. He is averaging 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, and it’s not a coincidence that Nelson has been out for the last three of them. Nelson could return at any time, which might hurt Oladipo, and he’s gone through droughts and hot streaks all season. But if you own Oladipo, I say you roll the dice and forget about Nelson’s possible return.


Andre Iguodala, Nikola Pekovic, Kyle Korver, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Ersan Ilyasova All In Limbo


Andre Iguodala – The Warriors have no plans on rushing Iguodala back from his knee injury and we simply have no idea when he’ll play again. He shouldn’t be in starting lineups right now, and can even be dropped in some cases. Harrison Barnes has been filling in for him, but has looked terrible doing so.


Nikola Pekovic – He was out again with his ankle injury on Sunday and while it sounds like there’s a chance he could play this week, I am not feeling him. Gorgui Dieng has been a nice fill-in, and I’d continue to roll with him until you see Pekovic on the court.


Kyle Korver – Korver has missed two straight games with a back injury and I have no idea on his status for the upcoming week. And therefore, he will be on my bench in weekly leagues. Shelvin Mack should be the primary beneficiary if Korver remains out.


Dwight Howard – Howard has missed three straight games with his ankle injury and the Rockets have actually won all three games. Howard practiced on Saturday and Sunday, but we still haven’t heard a firm target date on his return. Maybe he’ll play on Monday against the Bobcats and for what it’s worth, he’s in my weekly league lineup as of now. And man, do I need him to play.


Russell Westbrook – While Westbrook’s knee injury he suffered on Friday was a mild sprain, he did require an MRI, which is no joke. He practiced on Sunday and with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, he’s almost guaranteed to miss one, if not both, of those games. I own him in League Freak and simply don’t trust him enough to put him my lineup, despite the four-game week. The Thunder actually don’t have a back-to-back situation the following week, so Westbrook might be a safer play in that one. I’m benching him, but if you want to use him and hope for three games this week, it could pay off. Your call.


Dwyane Wade – Wade sat out on Saturday in order to rest and also took Tuesday off. This week, the Heat play on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It’s hard to imagine him playing in all four of those, and owners who start him in a weekly have to hope he plays in three of them. And given that the back-to-back on Friday and Saturday is at Detroit and at Milwaukee, it’s possible he could just take the whole weekend off. Good luck figuring things out with Wade. Update: He's already listed as doubtful for Monday, so if you were thinking about trying to use him, you better think again. 


Rajon Rondo – Rondo sat out last Monday and then played very well on Wednesday and Friday. The Celtics only play three times this week and none of them are back-to-back, meaning Rondo should play in all three games.


Ersan Ilyasova – Ilyasova played on Sunday night against the Kings and had 14 points in 24 minutes. The latest plan from the Bucks is to rest Ilyasova in back-to-back games, so the thought is that he will sit out on Monday at the Clippers. It’s not a guarantee that he’ll miss that one, but if you’re playing the odds, you have to assume he’s out. The Bucks only play three times this week, so you can probably find a safer option, as I’m guessing he’ll only play on Thursday (Lakers) and Saturday (Heat).


Good luck in Week 22!

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander

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