Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: They call me ROY

Saturday, December 2, 2017


They call me ROY

 

Donovan Mitchell made sure he wouldn’t be excluded from the Rookie of the Year conversation as he helped lead the Jazz to a 114-108 win over the Pelicans on Friday night, busting loose for a career-high 41 points (Utah rookie record) on 13-of-25 shooting (9-of-11 from the stripe) to go with six triples, four boards, four assists and three turnovers in 37 minutes. He nailed three 3-pointers through the first quarter of action, and never really took his foot off the gas pedal after that, putting anyone in front of him on skates while working with a Russell Westbrook-like 41.1 usage rate. This was the first 40-point-plus performance by a rookie since Blake Griffin did it back in 2011, and he’s simply been too good to keep off the floor this season, earning minutes ahead of both Ricky Rubio and Rodney Hood (ankle). The Jazz closed out the game with a Mitchell-Alec Burks-Joe Ingles-Jonas Jerebko-Derrick Favors lineup and that group posted a ridiculous 73.1 net rating, which is great news for the rookie, but a rather ominous sign for the struggling Ricky Rubio.

 

Rubio watched from the bench during crunch time, finishing Friday’s win with just seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal over 25 scoreless minutes. He’s struggled to adjust in Utah this year and has really been trending in the wrong direction over the past few weeks with averages of just 10.0 points, 4.1 assists, 1.3 triples, 1.3 steals and 2.1 turnovers per contest while earning a measly 23.8 minutes a night. With Mitchell excelling at point guard, he’s been siphoning away minutes from Rubio, and unfortunately, it’s starting to look like Rubio’s playing time could be in the mid-20s on most nights moving forward as opposed to the mid-30s. I’d be cautious about buying low here, as I’m not all that certain it’ll get better soon.

 

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Anthony “Glassman” Davis

 

Anthony Davis went down with a left groin injury during Friday’s loss and did not return, ending his evening with 19 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and one turnover in 32 minutes. Davis was writhing around in pain on the floor for roughly two minutes after suffering the non-contact injury and couldn’t put any weight at all on his left leg at all as he was helped off the floor, so, not good at all. He'll get an MRI in Portland tomorrow but I seriously doubt he’ll be able to play, and wouldn’t be surprised if this injury forces him into a lengthy absence, as groin injuries tend to be tricky. It’s going to be a team effort to replace Davis’ 25.6 PPG and 26.9 usage, but DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday will be first in line followed by E’Twaun Moore, and Rajon Rondo could have the ball in his hands a bit more often. There will be more minutes available for guys like Darius Miller, Dante Cunningham, Omer Asik and Cheick Diallo, but there’s not really an obvious pickup here.

 

Cousins finished Friday’s loss with 23 points (8-of-21 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), 13 rebounds, four assists, two 3-pointers, one block and one turnover in 39 minutes, and with Anthony Davis off the floor for the fourth quarter, he saw his usage spike to 34.5. He’ll assuredly be posting some monster stat lines moving forward.

 

Kehinde Babatunde: That’s My Real Name

 

Victor Oladipo continued his stellar play on Friday, popping off for 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting (5-of-7 from the stripe) to go with seven rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers, three steals, three blocks and three turnovers in 39 minutes. He’s been on quite the tear over the past two weeks, pumping out averages of 24.3 points, 5.0 boards, 4.8 assists, 2.0 triples and a ridiculous 3.3 steals and 2.2 swats per contest on 52.4 percent shooting which has him ranking in the top-2 in fantasy hoops. Obviously, he won’t be averaging such gaudy defensive numbers for the entire season, but first-round value does seem like a reasonable expectation.

 

Myles Turner also had a nice night, tallying 17 points (7-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), six rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist and one block in 34 minutes. He should continue to trend up as the year goes on, so get in your buy-low offers while you still can as there’s top-10 upside here.

 

The Return of Buckets

 

Jimmy Butler did a little bit of everything, registering 22 points, seven assists, three rebounds, one 3-pointer, three steals, two blocks and three turnovers in 41 minutes. After a slow start to the season, Butler has been finding his groove as of late, flirting with top-20 value over the past eight games with averages of 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.5 triples and 2.0 turnovers per game on 49.2 percent shooting from the field and 75.0 percent from the stripe. He's been working with a 24.2 usage rate over that eight-game span, which is all he needs to provide elite fantasy value, and I'd expect his numbers to continue to trend in this positive direction as we advance through the season. Top-15 for Jimmy Buckets seems like a reasonable expectation, so congrats if you bought low.

 

On the Radar

 

Josh Richardson seemingly couldn’t miss during Friday’s 105-100 win over Charlotte, netting a season-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting (2-of-3 from the stripe) to go with three trey-bombs, two boards, one assist, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 35 minutes. J-Rich has come alive over the past three games, flirting with top-55 value behind averages of 18.3 points, 2.7 triples, 1.3 dimes, 1.7 steals and 0.7 swats per contest while working with a 21.2 usage rate, so make sure he’s not floating around on your waiver wire. Yes, he’s must-own.

 

Bam Adebayo got another start sans Hassan Whiteside (knee), ripping away four steals to go with two blocks, five rebounds, three turnovers and one point in 18 minutes. He could be a nice low-end source of hustle stats in deep leagues over the next few weeks with Whiteside on the sidelines.

 

Jordan Bell scored a career-high 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in Friday’s win over the Magic, adding four rebounds, one steal and three swats in 16 minutes off the bench. Steve Kerr has been hinting that Bell will be earning more minutes in the rotation moving forward, and he was able to play alongside both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant in this one, so he’s on the radar as a potential shot blocking specialist in deep leagues.

 

Ben McLemore played well in another start on Friday, registering 14 points (5-of-8 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two 3-pointers, two rebounds, two steals, one block and two turnovers in 20 minutes. He’s starting to round into form and could remain a starter under interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, so he’s someone to consider swooping up in deep leagues if you need some help at the guard spot.

 

Alec Burks had another productive outing on Friday, going 10-of-17 from the field and 3-of-3 from the stripe on his way to 24 points, three rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, two steals and one block in 31 minutes off the bench. This was his third straight game hitting double-figures in the scoring department and the second game in a row in which he eclipsed the 20-point plateau, but keep in mind that Rodney Hood (ankle) has been out over the past two games. I’m not confident that Burks will be able to keep this up once Hood (ankle) and Joe Johnson (wrist) are healthy, and his injury history is concerning, but he’s played well enough as of late to warrant some attention in deep leagues; just don’t cut anyone with too much upside.

 

Jonathon Simmons scored 18 points on 6-of-18 shooting (6-of-7 from the line) Friday, to go with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and three turnovers through 39 minutes as a starter. He’s locked into heavy minutes as a starter with Terrence Ross (knee) out indefinitely, so he should be owned in most leagues.

 

Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double during Friday’s loss to the Jazz, tallying 13 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, one 3-pointer and just two turnovers in 29 minutes. He hasn’t been much more than a deep league, dimes-specialist to this point, but if Anthony Davis (groin) needs to miss time, he could take on a slightly more proactive role on offense. His steals numbers should also start trending up towards his career average of 1.8, so he’s a low-end guy to consider if you need some help at the point guard spot.

 

Tim Frazier posted six points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and one turnover through 24 minutes as a starter on Friday. John Wall (knee) will miss at least another week, so Frazier could be someone to think about if you need some help in assists. Tomas Satoransky netted a career-high 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting (5-of-5 from the stripe) to go with two triples, four boards, four dimes and one steal in 23 minutes. He too will be looking at increased minutes with Wall out, and could be worth a look in deep leagues. Just don’t expect him to hit 83.3% of his shots on most nights.

 


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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.
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