Dan Dobish

Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Raptor Rapture

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope that as we flip the calendar from 2017 to 2018 that you're humming right along in your fantasy leagues or at least on an upward ascent. There were just four games on the National Basketball Association hardwood on Monday night, as the league takes a backseat to college football on New Year's Day. However, there were still some huge performances, including Toronto's DeMar DeRozan dropping 52 points in a head-to-head matchup with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in a potential playoff preview. Let's get started!

 

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Monday's Fantasy Five

 

They must not get Dick Clark's Rockin' Christmas Eve on CBC in Toronto, so DeMar DeRozan went to bed early instead of ringing in the new year watching Neil Diamond shaking in the frigid conditions in Times Square and Mariah Carey complaining about the lack of hot tea. The extra rest did him well, as he finished with 52 points on 17-of-29 shooting, including 5-of-9 from behind the 3-point line. He also added eight assists, five rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot while going a perfect 13-of-13 from the free-throw line. After struggling with his shot over the final three games of 2017, hitting just 34.0 percent (17-of-50) of his field-goal attempts.

 

Bismack Biyombo went for 13 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in Monday's game at Brooklyn, as he continues to start in place of Nikola Vucevic (hand). He has three straight double-doubles, averaging 11.8 PPG, 13.3 RPG and 2.7 BPG over his past three games. While the stat line was great for fantasy owners, temper expectations a little bit. He was working against the Nets, a team allowing 109.6 points per game, which is second-most in the Eastern Conference, and 26th in the NBA. We'll get a much better idea of what Biyombo can do when he works against Clint Capela and the Rockets on Wednesday and Kevin Love, LeBron James and company when the Cavaliers visit O-Town on Saturday.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo flirted with a triple-double in the overtime loss in Toronto, going for 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists with a 3-pointer across 42 minutes. To be honest, the numbers were slightly below his overall seasonal numbers, but it was still pretty impressive with just four games on tap. Antetokounmpo also failed to record a defensive stat for just the fifth time this season, but it shouldn't be terribly worrisome. He didn't post any turnovers, either. The Greek Freak continues to roll up plenty of points, going for 20 or more in 25 consecutive games since he was limited to just 14 points on Nov. 1 in Charlotte.

 

For a light night, the drama was pretty intense on Monday. Two of the four games went to overtime, including the Portland-Chicago contest. C.J. McCollum rolled up a game-high 32 points with eight assists, six rebounds and just two turnovers across 45 minutes, hitting 11-of-30 from the field, including 5-of-11 from behind the 3-point line. He also racked up a plus-17 rating, best in the game. It was his 23rd game this season knocking down at least two 3-pointers in a game, as he continues to delight his fantasy owners with nice perimeter work. Better yet, for as much as he handles the ball he has managed to limit his miscues. He has three or fewer turnovers in 11 consecutive outings, and 26 of his past 28 contests.

 

The Timberwolves were winners in the only lopsided contest of the evening, as Minnesota pushed aside the Lakers 114-96 in their return to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Jimmy Butler was a major reason the home fans went home with smiles on their faces, as he dropped 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-1 from behind the arc while adding 11-of-11 from the charity stripe. He also chipped in with nine assists, three steals and three blocked shots over 37 minutes. That's eight straight games for Butler with 20 or more points, and he is averaging 28.8 points, 5.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals per outing during the impressive span. He is posting more than seven points higher than his average during the hot streak.

 

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

 

The game between the Trail Blazers and the Bulls was the only contest on the four-game slate to feature all five starters on both sides posting at least 10 points. In fact, there were six double-digit scorers for Portland, and seven players with 10 or more points on Chicago. We mentioned McCollum above, dropping 32 points with five triples. He bagged the game-winning bucket with 56.5 seconds left in overtime in the Windy City. Al-Farouq Aminu dumped in a season-high 24 points with seven rebounds, an assist and a steal, hitting a very efficient 9-of-17 from the field with five 3-pointers. Evan Turner was also good for his season best of 22 points, as he his 10-of-14 from the field, while dishing out six assists. Even Pat Connaughton got into the act off the bench, hitting 5-of-9 from the floor to finish with 16 points. Oh yeah, and don't forget Jusuf Nurkic, who was good for 11 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocked shots over 38 minutes.

 

On the losing side, Lauri Markkanen continues to show well. He was good for 19 points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot across 34 minutes while hitting four 3-pointers. The Finnish 7-footer is averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds over the past four outings to delight his fantasy owners. He is also working on a string of seven straight games with at least one 3-pointer, including two or more triples in each of the past four. Kris Dunn turned the ball over eight times. That's the bad news. The good news is that he posted a team-high 22 points with seven rebounds, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot over 35 minutes. Denzel Valentine also turned in a sharp stat line with 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals over 34 minutes. Nikola Mirotic posted another double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assist and a steal over 19 minutes. His buddy, Bobby Portis, hit for 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists while blocking a shot in 17 minutes off the pine.

 

Quick Hits: Thon Maker came alive in the 131-127 overtime loss in Toronto, posting a season-high 16 points with three 3-pointers, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot. The big man had a total of 28 points over his past nine games (3.2 PPG), so temper expectations until this kind of stat line becomes the norm. … Eric Bledsoe dropped in five triples in the OT loss, finishing with a team-best 29 points. He also chipped in with four steals, giving him 10 thefts over the past three outings. … Matthew Dellavedova dished out 10 assists across 29 minutes off the bench, and he has 19 dimes over the past two games. … Serge Ibaka had a rough night from the floor, hitting just 5-of-19, but he ended up with 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots to make fantasy owners happy. … Kyle Lowry dumped in 26 points, including five 3-pointers. … Aaron Gordon finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds over 41 minutes. Since returning from a five-game absence he is averaging 24.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 1.0 BPG over his past three contests, hitting a total of nine 3-pointers during the stretch. … DeMarre Carroll posted 14 points and 10 rebounds for just his second double-double over the past 18 contests. … Caris LeVert finished with 15 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals over 27 minutes off the bench. He is on a season-high nine-game streak with 12 or more points. He is averaging 15.7 PPG during the impressive span, nearly two buckets better than his season average. … Jordan Clarkson finished with 20 points off the bench in Minnesota, hitting 7-of-15 from the field, including 2-of-6 from behind the arc. He leads the NBA with baskets off the bench. … Karl-Anthony Towns posted 16 points with 13 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

 




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