Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Kevin Durant Goes Down!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Kevin Durant went down, Marcus Morris and Julius Randle went crazy, Nikola Jokic got back on track with a triple-double and Russell Westbrook did it again on a six-game Tuesday night. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

Wizards 112, Warriors 108 – The Wizards got a big win last night, fueled by a Kevin Durant knee injury, but more on that in a minute. John Wall hit just 6-of-20 shots, but still had 12 points, six rebounds and tied a season high with 19 assists. Wall’s shooting is still super shaky, but he’s having a great season. Bradley Beal added 25 points and a fun stat line, Markieff Morris stayed red hot with 22 points, six boards, two steals, four blocks and two 3-pointers, while Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat both played well. Perhaps the fantasy news here is that newcomer Bojan Bogdanovic played 24 minutes and had 16 points and three 3-pointers. I still don’t think he’s going to be all that reliable in Washington, but he’s played well in two straight games. Meanwhile, Morris has been one of the best success stories of the entire season.

 

On to Golden State and the news of the night: Durant lasted just two minutes before going down with a potentially serious left knee injury after Zaza Pachulia awkwardly fell into him. I’d post the video here for you, but I really don’t care to see it again and am just hoping that KD’s season isn’t over. We won’t know details until later today, so stay tuned for that one. But the fact that the Warriors are in the process of signing Matt Barnes as I write this is just another reason to be extremely concerned.

 

Draymond Green went off for 14 points, eight boards, 14 assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers, which was his second straight big game, busting him out of a slump. I was all about you guys selling high on Dray after a couple games like these, but if Durant’s going to be out, that line of thinking can be thrown out the window. Stephen Curry had 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting and Klay Thompson hit just 5-of-20 shots and 3-of-13 3-pointers for 16 points. Neither of those were great lines, but if KD is in street clothes, Green, Curry and Thompson are all going to get a huge boost in usage and production. Don’t trade any of them until we get the news on KD. Patrick McCaw started the second half for KD, but had just eight points in 24 minutes, and Shaun Livingston had 14 points, a steal and two blocks in 24 minutes off the bench last night, but the only guy I’d think about picking up if KD is out is Andre Iguodala. He played 31 minutes and had a quiet stat line of four points, three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block, but I really think the main beneficiaries of a KD injury will be the other starters. Cross your fingers if you own him.

 

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Thunder 109, Jazz 106 – Russell Westbrook picked up the 30th triple-double of his season on Tuesday with 43 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, six 3-pointers and eight turnovers on 13-of-28 shooting in a 109-106 win over the Jazz. He scored 12 of his 43 points in the final 2:05 of the game to will his team to the win and picked up the 67th triple-double of his storied career. It's hard to see anyone other than Westbrook winning the MVP this season, despite his turnovers This was also his fourth straight triple-double and the Thunder have won all four of those games, and currently sit as the No. 7 seed in the West. However, they hold an eight-game lead over the No. 8 Nuggets, so it looks like they are nearly a lock to make the playoffs. Westbrook's season is likely to go down in history as one of the greatest ever, so just sit back and enjoy the show. Lastly, the Thunder hit their first 12 3-pointers tonight, the longest streak since the SuperSonics did it in 1998. Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott played well off the bench, while Taj Gibson struggled for seven points, three rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes, also off the bench. Kanter should be fine and will stay on the bench in order to back up both the PF and C positions, Gibson should be starting over Domantas Sabonis sooner than later, and McDermott could steal a bunch of minutes from offensively-challenged Andre Roberson. Just keep an eye on McDermott and continue to hold on to Kanter and Gibson. Steven Adams was very quiet in this one, but I blame it on strong defense by Rudy Gobert, so I wouldn’t worry about Adams at this point. Lastly, Alex Abrines started for Victor Oladipo (back) and hit 4-of-4 shots for 11 points and three 3-pointers, but did nothing else. Abrines has been hot though, and I would be into using him if Dipo misses any more time.

 

The Jazz’s stat line is about as boring as they come. Derrick Favors had eight points and four boards, Gordon Hayward scored 19, Rudy Gobert had a 13 & 10 double-double with three blocks, George Hill had 15 points and eight dimes, and Rodney Hood had 18 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers. Hill has been playing well, so hopefully he’ll keep going, while Hood is a hot pickup if he was dropped in your league. As for Favors, just see the latest Rotoworld blurb on him to get my thoughts. Hint: I’m not trying to own him, ever.

 

Pistons 120, Blazers 113 OT – Marcus Morris hit 13-of-23 shots and three 3-pointers for a career-high 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but didn’t have a steal or a block. He scored a (previous) career-high 36 points on Feb. 3 and is having a solid season and had a fantastic February. Stanley Johnson is coming on and played 28 minutes tonight, but Morris is still the man. Andre Drummond had 19 points and 15 boards, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points, three steals and a 3-pointer in the win. Jon Leuer was awful, missing all eight of his shots and failing to score in 20 minutes. Maybe he’ll take a hit with Johnson coming on, but Leuer was playing well before last night’s dud. I think Leuer will bounce back and that Johnson is simply worth keeping an eye on for now. Reggie Jackson was bad, hitting just 4-of-12 shots for 10 points and four assists, while Ish Smith hit 5-of-13 shots for 12 points, seven assists and seven steals in 29 minutes. Smith is really pushing Jackson for his job right now, but Jackson is still worth owning as long as he’s starting. But if I own Jackson, I’m stashing Smith just in case he ends up taking his job. Tobias Harris played just 23 minutes and was not in foul trouble. Maybe he’ll take the Stan Johnson hit, but for now, I’m standing pat with Leuer and Harris unless this starts to become a trend.

 

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were fun and Lillard just missed a triple-double with a 34-11-9 line, while new starting center Jusuf Nurkic stayed hot with 19 points, seven boards, five assists and a block in 35 minutes. Hopefully you held onto the Nurk Alert through the dark days. Moe Harkless started and had eight points, 10 boards and a block, but I don’t feel like he’s a must-own player right now, while Al-Farouq Aminu missed all five of his shots for two points, six boards, a steal and a block in 24 minutes off the bench. Aminu’s only been back from his knee injury for a couple games, so give him a couple more to get back into a groove and the starting lineup. And Allen Crabbe played 35 minutes off the bench for 13 points and two 3-pointers on 5-of-7 shooting, so just keep an eye on him.  

 

Nuggets 125, Bulls 107 – Nikola Jokic awoke from his mini slumber with a 19-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist triple-double, so if you were worried about him after a couple bad games last week, you can rest easy now. Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Jameer Nelson, Gary Harris and Will Barton all played well, and all are worth rolling out there in any format right now. Jamal Murray had 14 points and two 3-pointers in just 18 minutes, so keep an eye on him, while Mason Plumlee had six points, six rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes. I’m just glad Jokic has righted the ship, which is not great news for Plumlee. But Plumlee is still worth holding for now. Nelson wasn’t great, but played 30 minutes and hit 5-of-6 shots for 12 points and one assist. I don’t like him as a DFS play right now, but am fine with holding him in season-longs. And while Murray’s playing well, I still don’t trust him as long as Harris and Barton are healthy.

 

Jimmy Butler was a disaster in his second-worst game of the season, finishing with just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting in 35 minutes. He’ll tell you the trade talk didn’t affect him, but I’ll tell you it did. Dwyane Wade was solid with 19 points, four boards, six dimes and two 3-pointers, while starter Bobby Portis had 12 points, six boards, three steals and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes. He’s worth holding in all leagues right now. The surprise of the night was Rajon Rondo breaking out with 19 points, four boards, five assists, three steals and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes. Starter Jerian Grant played just 12 minutes, so maybe we’re about to get another full dose of Rondo again, but I’m not really interested. Denzel Valentine played 27 minutes and had seven points and seven boards, but he’s impossible to trust right now. 

 


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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.
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