Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Dose: Must Win? Check.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Celtics 104, Bulls 87

 

 

The Celtics played a beautiful team game during Friday’s Game 3 win over the Bulls in Chicago, with four of their five starters reaching double-figures in the scoring department (but no one eclipsing the 20-point plateau), and as a team, they dished out 34 assists. Al Horford led all scorers with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with eight boards, six dimes, four steals, two triples, one block and two turnovers in 33 minutes. Avery Bradley also turned in his best game of the series, registering 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting (1-of-2 from the stripe) to go with seven boards, seven assists, two steals, four 3-pointers and one turnover in 36 minutes, Isaiah Thomas handed out nine dimes on his way to 16 points, two boards, one steal, two treys and two turnovers in 31 minutes; and rounding out the double-digit scoring starters was Jae Crowder who finished with 16 points, six rebounds, two 3-pointers, three assists, one steal and one turnover in 33 minutes.

 

Brad Stevens also tweaked his starting five for Game 3, replacing Amir Johnson (two points and one assist in six minutes off the bench) with Gerald Green who went 3-of-8 from the field on his way to eight points, two triples, one board and nothing else in 20 minutes. Interestingly, this starting group of Thomas, Bradley, Green, Crowder and Horford had only shared the floor for a total of 16 minutes during the regular season, but considering this lineup posted an impressive net rating of 39.0, and the end result was a win for the Celtics, I imagine Green will again be in the starting five for Sunday’s Game 4. He won’t be worth utilizing in fantasy hoops, though.

 

On the other side of the floor, the Chicago offense seemed to fall apart in their first playoff game sans Rajon Rondo (thumb), and that Rondo injury could wind up swinging the series. Through the first two games of the series, the Bulls had averaged 20 uncontested shots per game off passes, but in the Game 3 loss with Jerian Grant as the starting point guard, the team only managed to see five uncontested shots off passes through 48 minutes of basketball. Jimmy Butler struggled for much of the game, going 7-of-21 from the field without recording a single free throw attempt on his way to 14 points, seven boards, one steal, one block, one turnover and zero assists in 39 minutes. Dwyane Wade had a nice first half, but Brad Stevens threw Marcus Smart at him for much of the second half of action and Smart did an excellent job of containing Wade who finished with 18 points (6-of-18 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs), one rebound, three assists, two blocks and one turnover in 33 minutes. Jerian Grant was ineffective through 15 minutes as a starter, tallying six points, one board, one steal, zero assists and four turnovers and Michael Carter-Williams didn’t do anything worth writing about in his 23 minutes off the bench. Grant should be starting for the remainder of the series, but it’s Butler and Wade who will need to step up the most while Rondo is on the sidelines for the next few weeks.

 

Thunder 115, Rockets 113

 

Russell Westbrook masterfully guided the Thunder to victory during what was essentially a must-win Game 3 for OKC, racking up 32 points (11-of-24 FGs, 10-of-14 FTs), 13 rebounds, 11 dimes, three steals and of course, five turnovers through 39 minutes of floor time. He made sure to make getting his teammates involved an early priority, posting a relatively modest (by Westbrook standards) 31.9 usage rate through the first half of action, and then went god-mode after halftime, posting a ludicrous 52.1 usage. Westbrook did an excellent job of dictating the pace of the game, and he also became the first player since Jason Kidd to record back-to-back triple-doubles in a playoff series.

 

Taj Gibson seemingly couldn’t miss during the Thunder win, going 10-of-13 from the field on his way to 20 points, two boards, one assist and an unfortunate five turnover in 29 minutes, and Victor Oladipo finally got his shot to drop, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go with six rebounds, two assists, two steals, two triples and one turnover in 35 minutes.

 

Andre Roberson reached double-figures in the scoring department for the third game in a row, putting up 12 points, six boards, two treys, four assists, two steals and three blocks in 38 minutes. He’s been scoring with surprising efficiency through the first three games of this MVP series, compiling averages of 14.0 points, 2.0 triples, 7.3 boards, 1.7 dimes, 2.0 steals, 3.0 blocks and just 0.7 turnovers per game on 60.0 percent shooting, so while it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to do this for much longer, he’s hot enough right now to consider deploying in DFS.

 

Ryan Anderson finally had an efficient scoring outing during Houston’s narrow Game 3 loss, producing 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with two 3-pointers, six rebounds, one steal and one turnover in 33 minutes; and Lou Williams was excellent in his 30 minutes off the bench, popping off for 22 points (9-of-15 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), four boards, three triples and one assist.

 

James Harden nearly powered the Rockets to victory, but couldn’t get his potential game-winning shot to drop, ending his evening with 44 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go with four triples, six boards, six assists, one block and seven turnovers in 38 minutes. He also was a perfect 18-of-18 from the charity stripe, giving him an impressive 66.2 true shooting percentage to accompany his gaudy 41.1 usage rate, and he’s been living at the line in this series, getting there an average of 16.3 times a night and totaling 49 free throw attempts through the first three games of the series. Lastly, Harden became the first player to begin a postseason with three straight 35-plus-points scoring outings since Michael Jordan did it back in 1990.

 

Clippers 111, Jazz 106

 

Chris Paul could not be stopped during Friday’s Game 3 win over the Jazz, scoring 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting to go with seven rebounds, 10 dimes, two trey-bombs, two steals and just two turnovers through 36 minutes of floor time. Blake Griffin was forced out of the game during the second quarter with a bruised right toe, which was CP3’s queue to take over, as he scored 24 of his 34 points after the half while posting a Russell Westbrook-like usage rate of 48.0. He was also a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, giving him a sterling true shooting percentage of 66.6, and if Griffin is forced into an extended absence, Paul will be posting some gaudy stat lines as he attempts to single-handedly lift the Clippers out of the first-round.

 

Luc Mbah a Moute was the Clippers’ X-factor during the Game 3 win, registering 15 points, six boards, one assist, one triple, one steal and one block in 37 minutes, and he’s another guy who could benefit if Griffin is forced to miss time.

 

As for Utah, Gordon Hayward passed up Jazz legend Karl Malone for the most points ever scored in a single quarter during a postseason game by racking up 21 points through the first quarter of action, and he became just the fourth Utah player to score at least 40 points in the playoffs, joining the ranks of Malone, Adrian Dantley and Carlos Boozer. Hayward did all he possibly could to try and secure the win for Utah, but ultimately his 40 points, eight boards, four dimes, four trey-bombs and two blocks were not enough for the Jazz. George Hill was also solid with 26 points, four rebounds, three assists, four triples, one steal and zero turnovers; and Joe Johnson was okay with 15 points (6-of-13 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two boards, one assist and one turnover, but none of the other Utah players really stepped up. For Utah to come away with a Game 4 win, they’ll need more from guys like Derrick Favors (two points six boards, two dimes, one steal, one turnover) and Rodney Hood (six points, one triple, nothing else).

 

Injury Tracker

 

As previously stated, Blake Griffin exited Friday’s Game 3 win with a bruised right toe and was unable to return, finishing with 11 points, six boards, two assists, one 3-pointer and one steal in 18 minutes. The good news is that X-rays came back negative, but the bad news is that with a rather quick turnaround, there are no guarantees he’ll be able to play in Game 4 on Sunday. Marreese Speights started the second half sans Griffin and finished with eight points, two boards, one 3-pointer, one steal and one block in 19 minutes, and he’ll need to step up in a big way if Griffin can’t play in Game 4.

 

Rajon Rondon is dealing with a fractured thumb and said he expects to miss the next couple weeks of action. Jerian Grant will be starting the rest of the way, and Michael Carter-Williams will see some increased minutes with the second unit.

 

Kevin Durant (calf) practiced on Friday, said he is feeling better and is hopeful to play in Saturday's Game 3 against the Trail Blazers. If he does get out there, Patrick McCaw will return to the bench and his minutes likely head back to the teens.

 

Shaun Livingston (hand) and Matt Barnes (ankle) are questionable for Saturday’s game and Kevon Looney (hip) is out.

 

Jusuf Nurkic (leg) is doubtful for Game 3.

 

Austin Rivers sat out Friday's Game 3 win and he should be considered questionable for Game 4 on Sunday.

 

Ian Mahinmi (calf) will miss at least another two games for the Wizards. He’s irrelevant.

 

Tony Allen (calf) has shed his walking boot and progressed to conditioning on a stationary bike, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to get back at any point during Memphis’ first-round series.

 



A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the Rotoworld team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJ831, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.
Email :Jared Johnson



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Silva: Week 3 Matchups

    Silva: Week 3 Matchups
  •  
    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers

    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers
  •  
    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants

    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants
  •  
    Draftsville: Episode 2

    Draftsville: Episode 2
  •  
    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football

    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Whoops! Silva Can

    Whoops! Silva Can't Find Gronk
  •  
    NFL Must Haves

    NFL Must Haves