Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Wall the Wizard

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Washington 115, Atlanta 99 (Wizards advance to Round 2)

 

John Wall erupted for a postseason career-high 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting during Friday’s series-clinching Game 6 win over the Hawks, adding one 3-pointer, one rebound, eight assists, four steals, two blocks and seven turnovers through 44 minutes of floor time. Wall also knocked down nine of his 10 free throw attempts, giving him an impressive 71.4 true shooting percentage on the evening to accompany his 37.9 usage rate, and his 42 points set a Wizards’ record for the most points scored in a closeout game in franchise history.

 

Bradley Beal didn’t have much trouble getting his shot to drop, going 11-of-17 from the field and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe for a 75.5 true shooting percentage on his way to 31 points, two triples, three boards, three assists, three steals, one block and three turnovers in 34 minutes. Wall and Beal combined for 73 points, which was the most amount of points the backcourt duo had ever combined for in a single game throughout their careers, and they also became the first Washington duo with at least 30 points in a playoff game in franchise history.

 

Markieff Morris busted out of his funk, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting (1-of-3 from the stripe) to go with eight boards, two treys, one assist, one steal, three blocks and one turnover in 40 minutes. Morris basically only had two solid outings throughout Washington’s first-round series, but hopefully, with this series ending on a positive note, Morris will be able to keep his momentum going into Sunday’s Game 1 matchup with the Celtics.

 

Paul Millsap did all he could to try and keep Atlanta in the series, but ultimately his 31 points, 10 boards, seven dimes, one 3-pointer, four steals and one block was not enough for the Hawks. Millsap was able to hit career-highs in points (18.1) and assists (3.7) this season, but the drop-off in steals (1.3), blocks (0.9), boards (7.7) and field goal percentage (44.2) resulted in him producing just top-45 value on the season. Still, he’s set himself up for a nice payday should he elect to opt out of his contract this summer in order to become an unrestricted free agent, and it’ll be interesting to see where he winds up should that be the path he decides to pursue.

 

Dennis Schroder double-doubled in Friday’s loss with 26 points (8-of-18 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs), 10 assists, one rebound, three triples, two steals and two turnovers in 40 minutes. Schroder was okay in his first full season as Atlanta’s starting point guard, compiling averages of 17.9 points, 6.4 assists, 1.3 triples, 0.9 steals and 3.2 turnovers per game on 45.1 percent shooting, which was good enough for ninth-round value in standard 9-cat leagues. He is just 23 years old, so it’s reasonable to expect some improvement as he enters his fifth NBA season, but he still won’t be worth much more than a late-round selection on draft day.

 

Dwight Howard was unimpressive in the Game 6 loss, registering just nine points, seven boards, one assist, two steals and an unfortunate five turnovers in just 23 minutes of action. D12 didn’t have a great series, but he was solid during the regular season, making it through 74 games and contributing averages of 13.5 points, 12.7 boards, 1.4 dimes, 1.2 blocks and 2.3 turnovers per contest on 63.2 percent shooting from the field and 53.3 percent from the line. When punting away the free throw category, Howard emerges as a top-22 stud in standard 9-cat leagues, although when taking into account all the bricks from the stripe his value dips to late-round status. He’s nearing the end of his career, but at 31 years old, he still has at least a few years left of being relevant in fantasy hoops.

 

Boston 105, Chicago 83 (Celtics advance to Round 2)

 

Avery Bradley helped the Celtics advance past the first round for the first time during the Brad Stevens era on Friday, scoring a team-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting (2-of-4 from the stripe) to go with three triples, three assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers in 31 minutes. Gerald Green continued to provide a nice scoring punch to Boston’s first unit, scoring 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go with three 3-pointers, two boards, three assists and two turnovers in 27 minutes; and Al Horford was nearly perfect during his 27 minutes of floor times, scoring 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting (1-of-2 from the line) to go with six boards, seven dimes, one trey and zero turnovers. Boston did a beautiful job of sharing the rock during their first-round series, averaging 27.2 assists per game, which has them ranked second in assists through the postseason thus far (just 0.1 dimes away from the No. 1 spot currently held by Golden State).

 

Isaiah Thomas is headed back to Seattle to attend to his younger sisters funeral, and Brad Stevens gave IT4 some leeway as to when he'll be required to rejoin the team, saying that if the funeral is too much that he's fine with his star point guard sitting out Sunday's Game 1. I can't imagine the kind of pain that Thomas is feeling, but he's been quoted as saying that this sometimes silly game is the only thing keeping him sane, so I do feel like he'll suit up (as he has been) for Game 1.

 

Jimmy Butler tweaked his back early on in the game, but fought through the pain and finished with 23 points (9-of-17 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), seven boards, three steals, three turnovers and zero assists in 31 minutes. Jimmy Buckets had a career-year during his age-27 season with the Bulls, pumping out averages of 23.9 points, 5.5 dimes, 6.2 boards, 1.2 triples, 1.9 steals and just 2.1 turnovers per contest on 45.5 percent shooting which was good enough for top-10 value in standard 9-cat leagues; and he was a top-5 stud after the break when he nearly single-handedly powered Chicago to a postseason berth. Butler should be able to keep the upward statistical trend going next season, particularly if Dwyane Wade decides to leave Chicago, so he’ll make for a fine first-round selection in next year’s drafts.

 

Dwyane Wade couldn’t buy a bucket during the Game 6 loss, going just 1-of-10 from the field (0-of-2 from beyond the arc) on his way to two points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 19 minutes. It’s unclear if Wade will opt out of his contract this offseason, but he certainly played well enough during the 2016-17 campaign to earn himself another big money deal this summer. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him take his talents elsewhere considering how rocky his first year in Chicago went, and his questionable fit alongside Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo. Where Wade winds up will ultimately dictate his fantasy ceiling, but I won’t really be looking to draft him next year considering he’ll be 36 years old and coming off another season in which he only made it through 60 games.

 

It’s crazy that Rajon Rondo going down with a fractured thumb was essentially a series-altering injury for Chicago, but that’s pretty much what happened, thus making his case to Chicago management to keep him around for at least one more go around. Rondo basically had two different seasons with the Bulls this year, with his pre-break statistics only being good enough for late-round value, and his post-break numbers of 10.3 points, 7.1 dimes, 5.2 boards, 1.8 steals, 1.1 triples and 2.4 turnovers per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and 70.6 percent from the stripe being good enough for fifth-round value in 9-cat leagues. Rondo is on the books for $13.8 million with the Bulls next season, which isn’t the most attractive contract out there, so I imagine he’ll begin next year in Chicago. He seemed to start to figure things out when Wade hit the sidelines, so Rondo’s value will be dictated by what happens with Wade’s free agency. If Wade does indeed leave after just one year with his hometown team, then Rondo could be someone to consider with a late-round selection on draft day, but I won’t be very interested in grabbing him if the Bulls bring back The Three Alphas.

 

The Bad Nikola Mirotic came to play on Friday, as he attempted just four shots through 20 minutes as a starter, finishing with a measly five points, two boards, one assist and one 3-pointer. It was yet another up-and-down season for Mirotic, who ended his year with averages of 10.6 points, 5.5 boards, 1.8 triples and 1.1 turnovers per game on 41.3 percent shooting. He was so awful for certain stretches that he likely hit the waiver wire in plenty of leagues at some point this year, although he did finish strong with top-40 value after the All-Star break. Still, Mirotic’s maddening inconsistency is simply too much for me to handle, so I don’t have much interest in burning a draft pick on him next season.

 

Robin Lopez was quiet in the loss, scoring 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go with five boards, one block and three turnovers in 24 minutes. RoLo suited up for 81 games for the Bulls this season, but only managed to put forth averages of 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game on 49.3 percent shooting from the field and 72.1 percent from the stripe. He’s just not very exciting to own.

 

Los Angeles 98, Utah 93 (Series tied at 3-3)

 

Chris Paul powered the Clippers to a Game 6 win over the Jazz, scoring 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting to go with eight assists, three rebounds, two 3-pointers, two steals and four turnovers in 38 minutes. CP3 also went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe for a sterling true shooting percentage of 67.4, and he was simply incredible from start to finish, leading Los Angeles to victory with his nearly perfect play while posting a usage rate of 30.8 and a ridiculous assist percentage of 60.0. DeAndre Jordan put up a big double-double in his 38 minutes of floor time with 13 points, 18 boards, one assist and an unfortunate seven turnovers, and these two guys will be absolutely crucial to the Clippers plans of coming out on top in Game 7 at home in Los Angeles on Sunday.

 

Austin Rivers replaced Marreese Speights in the starting five and served the role of X-factor, scoring 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go with four boards, three trey-bombs, one assist, one block and one turnover in 35 minutes. He played some excellent defense against Gordon Hayward, and considering the Clippers pulled out a win in this one, I imagine that Rivers will remain in the starting five for Game 7.

 

Gordon Hayward struggled to get his shot to drop, going 9-of-20 from the field, but he still got his points by draining 10 of his 11 freebies, ending his evening with 31 points, seven boards, three triples, four assists, two steals and two turnovers in 42 minutes. Hayward started very slow in this one, but he took over during the second half of action, posting a usage rate of 37.7 while scoring 25 of his 31 points. If the Jazz hope to have any chance of pulling off a Game 7 win in Los Angeles, they’ll need a much more efficient effort from their No. 1 stud, and the role players will need to be much better than they were on Friday.

 

Rudy Gobert appeared to tweak his left ankle late in the Game 6 loss, finishing with 15 points, nine boards, two assists, two steals, three blocks and one turnover in 33 minutes. While Gobert played through the injury, he looked noticeably hobbled, and with Game 7 on Sunday he doesn’t have much time to get himself 100 percent. I don’t expect this to be an injury that forces him to the sidelines, but it certainly could be something that negatively affects his play in Sunday’s final game of the 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



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