Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Blake is Back

Saturday, December 30, 2017


The Return of Griffin

 

Blake Griffin (knee) didn’t skip a beat in his return from a month-long layoff on Friday, helping the Clippers to a 121-106 blowout win over the Lakers with 24 points (6-of-15 FGs, 11-of-12 FTs), six rebounds, six assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and four turnovers in 32 minutes. So much for easing him back into things. Griffin was his usual bouncy-self, and the knee wasn’t an issue at all, so he should be fine for Sunday’s game against the Hornets and it looks like he won’t be dealing with any sort of minutes limits. The Clippers also don’t have a back-to-back set until January 10, so that might not be an issue for him, particularly with Los Angeles fighting for a playoff spot. The Clippers surprisingly managed to keep themselves postseason-relevant despite suffering a string of brutal injuries, and after Friday’s win, they sit just three games out of the No. 8 spot. As long as the Clippers are fighting to make the playoffs, owners won’t need to concern themselves with shutdown talk; although given Griffin’s injury history he’s someone I would certainly consider selling high on after a nice few games.

 

That’s More Like It

 

Dennis Smith Jr. registered his first career triple-double during Friday’s 128-120 win over the Pelicans, tallying 21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, five 3-pointers, one steal and seven turnovers in 31 minutes. He seemingly couldn’t miss in this one, going 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc for an elite 87.5 EFG%, so hopefully, this is a sign that he’s ready to start rolling. Jr. hadn’t seen his minutes crack 30 since he got back from the hip injury as Dallas eased him back into things, but it looks as though the easing is over.

 

Editor’s Note: Nobody hit FanDuel’s Golden 5 jackpot this season, meaning the prize has grown to a massive $340,000. And this week, regardless of whether or not someone hits a perfect lineup, they’re giving away that $340K to whoever wins this week’s final contest. Play FREE for your shot at $340,000!

 

What About The Tank?

 

Lauri Markkanen needed just 28 minutes to net a career-high 32 points during Friday’s 119-107 win over the Pacers, adding five 3-pointers, seven rebounds, one assist and one turnover. Markkanen got his points with remarkable efficiency, going 11-of-17 from the field and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe for a ridiculous 83.3 true shooting percentage to accompany his 32.6 usage rate, and he’s now put together two solid games in a row following Tuesday’s three-point disaster. Nikola Mirotic was also solid in his 28 minutes off the bench, finishing with 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting to go with eight 3-pointers, four boards, four assists, one steal and three turnovers. While the Chicago players were probably happy that they were able to tally off their third straight win despite missing Kris Dunn (knee), Chicago management probably hasn’t been much a fan of Mirotic upsetting the tank. Mirotic can’t be moved until January 15, but his value is probably at an all-time high right now, so I’d be pretty surprised if he finished the year in Chicago. Once he’s moved, Markkanen would return to averaging 30+ minutes a night and Bobby Portis would see his playing time in the 20s more often.

 

On the Radar

 

Kelly Oubre scored 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with four rebounds, three 3-pointers, one assist, three steals and one turnover in 26 minutes off the bench on Friday. He’s flirting with top-100 value on the year behind averages of 11.8 points, 5.1 boards, 1.5 triples, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.1 turnovers per game on 42.4% shooting from the field and 81.9% from the stripe, so he’s worth owning in most leagues.

 

Lance Stephenson played well in another start sans Victor Oladipo (knee), netting 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go with nine rebounds, three assists, two treys and two turnovers in 35 minutes. He’s seen his usage rate spike to 24.3 over the past two games with Oladipo unavailable, and has responded with averages of 17.0 points, 12.0 boards, 4.0 assists, 2.0 trey-bombs, 1.0 steal and 3.5 turnovers per contest on 48.4% shooting, so he’ll be someone to think about streaming on Sunday if Dipo is again forced to spend another game on the sidelines.

 

Marco Belinelli scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with two 3-pointers, three assists, one steal and one turnover in 27 minutes off the bench. He’s been a steady late-round guy this year with averages of 12.0 points, 1.9 triples, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.1 turnovers per game on 42.1% shooting from the field and 95.8% from the charity stripe, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing.

 

Joe Harris came through with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting (3-of-4 from the line) to go with seven rebounds, four triples and three turnovers in 29 minutes off the bench. He’s been really hit-or-miss this season, he’ll be battling Nik Stauskas for minutes, so while this was a nice line I’ll need to see him do it again before recommending him as a deep league add. He’s on the radar, though.

 

Caris LeVert posted a 12-point, 11-dime double-double on Friday, adding five rebounds, one steal and two turnovers in 23 minutes off the bench. He’s been a top-80 option over the past month with averages of 14.2 points, 5.3 assists, 1.6 triples, 1.2 steals and 2.7 turnovers a night on 49.6% shooting from the field and 80.4% from the line, and he should be able to sustain these numbers as long as D’Angelo Russell (knee) is out.

 

Jarrett Allen played well in 20 minutes off the bench, finishing Friday’s win with 12 points (5-of-10 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), nine boards, one block and one turnover. It’ll be interesting to see what his minutes look like once Jahlil Okafor gets incorporated into the rotation, but his upside in the shot blocking department makes him an intriguing deep league stash. If he could consistently see his minutes in the 25-range, he could be a top-75 player. Think John Henson, but better.

 

Speaking of John Henson, he finished Friday’s win over OKC with a season-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting (2-of-5 from the stripe) to go with six boards, two assists and four blocks in 29 minutes. If you’re punting free throws, Henson has been a top-80 option this year with averages of 8.5 points, 6.5 boards and 1.5 blocks per contest on 61.1% shooting, so he should be owned in way more than just 36% of Yahoo! Leagues.

 

Marquese Chriss played well in Friday’s 111-101 win over the Kings on Friday, finishing with 14 points (5-of-6 FGs, 1-of-4 FTs), seven rebounds, four assists, three 3-pointers, one steal, one block and one turnover through 28 minutes as a starter. He’s been on a bit of a mini-hot streak over the past three, posting averages of 10.7 points, 7.7 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.3 triples and 1.7 swats per contest on 64.7% shooting from the field and 42.9% from the stripe, which has been good enough for fourth-round value in 9-cat leagues when employing a free throw punting strategy. Obviously, this is a very small sample size, and Chriss has been so awful this season that I’ll need to see him do this at least a few more times before recommending him as an add in standard leagues; but he’s could be worth a speculative add in deeper formats if you’ve got someone to cut.

 

Isaiah Canaan handed out six dimes in 19 minutes off the bench adding nine points, one 3-pointer, one steal and zero turnovers. He’s been a top-60 guy in 9-cat leagues over the past two weeks with averages of 11.4 points, 5.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.3 triples and 1.7 turnovers per game on 41.2% shooting from the field and 96.7% from the stripe. He’s worth owning in most leagues while he’s this hot.

 

J.J. Barea had another productive game in 24 minutes off the bench on Friday, tallying 14 points (5-of-10 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), nine assists, three triples, two rebounds, one steal, one block and four turnovers. He’s been a ninth-round guy over the past month with averages of 12.1 points, 7.1 assists, 1.7 trey-bombs and 2.2 turnovers per game on 47.6% shooting, so he’s worth owning in most leagues at the moment.

 

Frank Kaminsky came off the bench for 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting (3-of-5 from the stripe) to go with six rebounds, three assists, one 3-pointer, two steals and one block in 25 minutes. He’s been trending up over the past few weeks with averages of 12.1 points, 4.3 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.3 triples, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks and just 0.3 turnovers per contest on 48.5% shooting from the field, and he should continue to see extended minutes with Cody Zeller (knee) out until at least late-January. Give him a look if you need a 3-point shooting big.

 


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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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