Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Dose: And then there were 4!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


The Celtics, once again, held home court with a 115-105 win over the Wizards in Game 7 and will now face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals starting Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. Reserve center Kelly Olynyk picked a fine time to have the game of his life and lit up the Wizards for a playoff career-high 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers off the bench, knocking down 10-of-14 shots along the way. Maybe he was all fired up because Zaza Pachulia took the spotlight off the “Olynyk is a dirty player” chatter over the last 48 hours. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter and outscored Washington’s bench 26-5 all by himself. Olynyk became the first player in more than 30 years to score at least 25 points and grab five boards off the bench in a Game 7 and it was tough to see this coming. He had scored in single digits in four of his previous five games and the Celtics are going to need as much as they can get from Olynyk, and everyone else, in what should be a dogfight against the Cavs, although the Celtics will have homecourt advantage once again. If you weren’t buying Brad Stevens as the best young coach in the game before now, it’s time to think about jumping on the bandwagon.

 

Isaiah Thomas had a great night as well, hitting some clutch 3-pointers and finishing with 29 points, 12 dimes and three triples in 40 minutes. Al Horford had 15 points, six boards, five assists, a steal and two 3-pointers on 6-of-10 shooting, Jae Crowder added 14 points and five boards, and Marcus Smart had 13 points, six boards, four assists, two 3-pointers and two blocks in 30 minutes off the bench. He also came through with a huge 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter that helped cap off a 13-3 run that Boston then turned into a 22-5 run in the fourth quarter to go from a 76-72 deficit to a 94-81 lead they’d never relinquish. The Boston bench outscored the Wizards’ bench 48-5. Avery Bradley was the big disappointment in fantasyland, finishing with just nine points, two rebounds, one assist, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on 3-of-9 shooting in 37 minutes. And if that’s not enough good news for Boston fans, the Celtics have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery.

 

For the Wizards, Bradley Beal came through with a big line of 38 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and five 3-pointers on 12-of-22 shooting. Beal had a big season and finished as a Top 30 fantasy player, and is still just 23 years old. Beal scored just 11 points in Game 3 and 16 points in Game 5, but had 29 points in Game 4, 33 points in Game 6 and 38 points in last night’s Game 7. John Wall hit just 8-of-23 points and 1-of-8 3-pointers for 18 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists in 44 minutes. He ran out of gas late, missing 11 straight shots and failing to score in the last 19 minutes of the game. Wall was one of the playoff’s most entertaining players this season, but didn’t come through when it mattered most. Otto Porter was solid with 20 points, 10 boards, two steals and a block on 6-of-10 shooting, Markieff Morris had 18 points, nine boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers, and Marcin Gortat added six points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block in 33 minutes. Bojan Bogdanovic was the only Wizard to score off the bench and hit a 3-pointer and a couple free throws for five points.

 

Editor’s Note: Introducing FanDuel Mixup, the newest way to play FanDuel Baseball. Smaller lineups, so you can draft your team on the go, plus fun themes every week! Play now.

 

Tuesday night will give us Game 2 in the West, with the Warriors hosting the Spurs at 9 p.m. after Sunday’s epic comeback win. Kawhi Leonard is doubtful with his ankle injury and you have to wonder if we’ll see him again in this series. And if he’s out for Games 2, 3 and 4, it’s very possible the Warriors will sweep their way to the Finals. They’re pretty close to doing so, having yet to lose a game in the postseason. And even if Kawhi is able to show up and play, it’s hard to envision the Spurs winning this series. If Leonard sits tonight, as expected, he’ll have until Saturday to prepare and get therapy for Game 3. An MRI showed no structural damage on his ankle, so there’s a glimmer of hope that he’ll be able to play on Saturday.

 

The Celtics are the No. 1 seed in the East and will therefore have homecourt advantage against the Cavaliers when the series kicks off on Wednesday night at 8:30 in Boston. I still think the Cavaliers, who seem to be able to turn it on and off at will, are going to overcome the homecourt problem and beat the Celtics, but it will likely depend on the ability of guys like Olynyk, Smart and Bradley to step up, play stellar defense and also come through with offense for Boston. If nothing else, it should be an entertaining series that I can see getting chippy. Smart and Bradley are two of the best defensive guards in the league and should at least be able to annoy Kyrie Irving and LeBron James on a nightly basis.

 

The NBA Draft Lottery takes place tonight and it should feature some high drama, especially for teams like the Knicks, Lakers, Sixers, Celtics and Suns. The lottery takes place tonight at 8 p.m., so get your popcorn ready.  



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.
Email :Steve Alexander



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Jesse: NFL Must Haves

    Jesse: NFL Must Haves
  •  
    Hribar: All About Balance

    Hribar: All About Balance
  •  
    Norris: Avoid Handcuffs

    Norris: Avoid Handcuffs
  •  
    Hribar: NFL Must Haves

    Hribar: NFL Must Haves
  •  
    Summerlin: Draft Strategy

    Summerlin: Draft Strategy
  •  
    Norris: NFL Must Haves

    Norris: NFL Must Haves
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Boyer: Hot Hitters

    Boyer: Hot Hitters