Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Big Queasy

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


It was a full night on the National Basketball Association hardwood, and it was also a night with plenty of big fantasy performances, some notable returns from injury, another major star leaving the arena on crutches, and two others who made like they were combatants from the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers rather than basketball players. If you're a big fan of the NBA, Monday was one of those rare nights which seemed more like March or April with playoff-like intensity rather than a weeknight in December. Let's go!

 

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Monday's Fantasy Five

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo brought his 'A' game to the arena in a marquee matchup with Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics. While his team came up short in a potential Eastern Conference postseason matchup, don't blame the 'Greek Freak'. He was good for 40 points, nine rebounds and four assists while hitting 14-of-24 from the field. The only thing fantasy owners could possibly moan about would be the fact he did not hit a 3-pointer, he failed to block a shot and he turned the ball over four times, but that's really quibbling and no one wants to hear it. Ha. He continues to deliver more than FedEx or UPS during the holiday season.

 

DeMarcus Cousins was a man on a mission, picking up the slack with Anthony Davis (pelvis) sidelined for a marquee matchup against the Golden State Warriors in the Crescent City. Boogie posted a huge stat line with 19 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocked shots while knocking down three triples. That was the good news, and his stat line might have been even better if he and Kevin Durant didn't decide to mix it up. Both players were ejected after a verbal interaction, and both KD and Cousins needed to be separated. Cousins frequently gets under people's skin, but this time it appeared Durant was the instigator.

 

Cousins wasn't the only Pelicans player delivering for fantasy owners, although his teammate E'Twaun Moore was a much bigger surprise. The former Purdue Boilermakers standout dropped in a career-high 27 points with six rebounds, two assists and a steal across 38 minutes, hitting 11-of-18 from the floor while banging home 5-of-6 from behind the arc. The Pels need secondary and tertiary scoring options with 'The Brow' on the shelf, and Moore certainly answered the bell against the Dubs. So did Jrue Holiday, who would be part of the Fantasy Five if this wasn't Moore's season high. While Holiday has staying power in standard fantasy formats, Moore is more of a short-term addition. However, Moore is a tremendous low-priced DFS option in the next couple of games, although his salary could start to creep up after this big outing.

 

The Phoenix Suns showed up with guns blazing on the south side of Philadelphia, and it was Devin Booker leading the charge. He knocked down 17-of-32 field-goal attempts, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc, to finish with 46 points, eight rebounds, two steals, an assist and a blocked shot across 39 minutes. His game didn't appear to be headed for memorable status, as he sat with 14 points at halftime. He exploded for 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the second half, and even Joel Embiid admitted that he and his young teammates took the Suns lightly and it cost them dearly. T.J. Warren also stepped up his game with 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals with 12-of-19 field-goal attempts made to earn Fantasy Five honorable mention.

 

Ever since David Fizdale was shown the door in Memphis, Evans has stepped up his game for interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. He dropped in a season-high 31 points in Saturday's loss in Cleveland, and he posted 16 points, nine assists, five rebounds, three blocked shots and a steal while hitting a pair of 3-pointers in a three-point win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving Bickerstaff his first victory as head man in Grind City. Whether he is in the starting five or coming off the bench as the team's sixth man, he contributes with top-50 value with no signs of pumping the brakes.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

Let's go back to the Big Easy, as the Warriors-Pelicans battle had the biggest news item of the night. Superstar Steph Curry rolled his right ankle rather severely, as he was on crutches leaving the arena in NOLA. The good news is that X-rays came back negative, and his injury came late in the game so fantasy owners at least received some production before he went down. Steph hit 9-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-11 on 3-pointers, posting 31 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and a steal with just two turnovers across 34 minutes. It's hard to envision Curry bouncing back to play in Wednesday's game in Charlotte, although that's obviously just speculation, but he could be back for Friday's nationally televised game in Detroit. The team has just those two games before returning home against Portland next Monday, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him return home early and re-join the team after their final two games on the road trip, either. If Curry is forced to the shelf it would be Andre Iguodala (knee), was just returned from a two-game injury, seeing a short-term bump in fantasy appeal. And he certainly will be a popular choice in DFS as a mid-tier play in Charlotte on Wednesday if Curry is out. Shaun Livingston will also be back from a one-game suspension on Wednesday, and he started one of the previous two games Curry missed, with Patrick McCaw stepping into the starting five in the other outing.

 

It was weird seeing Durant flapping his gums at Cousins, as that's normally something you would see Draymond Green doing. He was too busy stuffing the stat sheet instead. The enigmatic Green was delighting his fantasy owners with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocked shots while dropping in three triples across 38 minutes. He, Klay Thompson and KD could be forced to step up more on the offensive end in the coming days depending on how long Curry is forced to miss. The Pelicans know all about making due with one of their big guns out of the lineup. Cousins, Moore and Holiday stepped up their games in the marquee matchup, and Dante Cunningham remaining the starting five and made a difference again. He was good for 11 points with nine rebounds across 32 minutes, making him a nice short-term fantasy option and a salary saver in DFS circles.

 

Quick Hits: Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade were each good for 24 points in Monday's rout in the Windy City, with Kevlar also pulling down 13 boards with three 3-pointers. Wade also stepped up against his former team, posting six rebounds with two assists in a revenge game. … On the other side, Bobby Portis was the only player of note for the Bulls, posting 10 points with nine rebounds over 27 minutes. He continues to be a nice option in deeper leagues. … Fantasy owners and Knicks fans have been clamoring to see more of Willy Hernangomez, and he got his chance at some extra run with a blowout in Indianapolis. The Spaniard big dumped in 14 points with 10 rebounds, three assists and no personal fouls while hitting 7-of-10 from the floor in 17 minutes. Beware that he was seeing more run because of the lopsided nature of the game, but his playing time has picked up lately and this kind of performance will only strengthen his case for more burn. … Domantas Sabonis recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds across just 24 minutes, while Thaddeus Young dropped in 20 points with six rebounds and two steals, shooting a very efficient 9-of-11 from the floor. T.Y. is averaging 18.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.0 APG over the past three outings. … Kemba Walker was back from injury, and he certainly looked good. He dropped in 29 points with seven assists and three assists over 34 minutes and he showed no ill-effects from the shoulder injury which forced him out for two games. He also played with no apparent restrictions. With Kemba back, Michael Carter-Williams spent a majority of his evening on the pine, as his short-lived fantasy appeal has come to an end. Nicolas Batum shined, too, posting 11 points with 11 rebounds and five assists across 37 minutes. Frank Kaminsky also stepped up with 14 points and nine boards in 24 minutes off the bench. … Spencer Dinwiddie shined with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds while hitting three triples. He has not only re-emerged as a fantasy option, he is putting up top-50 value. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) was back in the starting five and he was good for 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot across 29 minutes in a rout of Atlanta. Caris LeVert also shined with 17 points, six assists and a pair of steals. … Kelly Oubre posted a dismal minus-42 rating in an ugly blowout in Utah, and Jodie Meeks and Tomas Satoransky were also minus-32 or worse. Ouch. It was a 47-point loss, which helped the Jazz ease Rudy Gobert (knee) back into action. He was good for four points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots across 21 minutes, and with a blowout the team was able to rest him for a huge chunk of the second half. Don't be worried about his minutes being curtailed or the team restricting his play, as his bench time in the second half has strictly due to the lopsided score. Alec Burks took advantage of the extra run, posting 27 points with five rebounds, three assists and a steal off the bench. He has been hot lately, averaging 26.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG and 1.7 SPG over his past three outings, but look at him as a sell-high guy right now. This kind of production will not continue.

 




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