Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Deja Brow: Davis down again

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Wednesday only featured seven NBA games, as the new NBA schedule continues to spread games out more evenly throughout the week, instead of going all in on every Wednesday and Friday. Anthony Davis went down, yet again, Dillon Brooks scored a career high 29, the Rockets won their 17th straight game, the Pelicans won their 10th straight, and the Nuggets destroyed the Pacers as they continue to climb their way into the playoffs in the West.

 

Injury News

 

There was plenty of injury news on Wednesday, starting with Anthony Davis, who landed on the foot of Kosta Koufos and sprained his left ankle pretty badly. He’ll likely have an MRI, but the only good news here is that the playoff race in the West is insane, and the Pelicans will need to keep winning games to make sure they stay in the game. But even though the Pelicans need AD out there, there’s a decent chance he could miss a couple games with this injury. And there simply isn’t anyone good enough to be considered an automatic pickup, although Emeka Okafor could be forced into heavy minutes if AD is going to miss time. Nikola Mirotic is the most likely candidate to step up his game with AD out.

 

Evan Fournier went down with a sprained left knee last night and didn’t return for the Magic. Mario Hezonja is probably the big winner if Fournier’s going to miss time, while Jonathan Isaac, who started, committed five fouls in 14 minutes and had another dud with two points, two rebounds and two steals. He’s playing solid defense, but Hezonja is the guy you want to grab in Fournier’s absence.

 

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Otto Porter didn’t practice for the Wizards on Wednesday due to his hip injury and is iffy, at best, for Friday and Saturday’s back-to-back set. If he’s out, Kelly Oubre and Markieff Morris should have big weekends.

 

De’Aaron Fox left early with a lower back injury and didn’t return to the game. Frank Mason, who matched his career high with 16 points, six dimes, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, should be the guy to own if Fox is going to miss time.

 

Pau Gasol has been ruled out for the Spurs on Thursday with a shoulder injury, while Rudy Gay is probable with an ear problem. Gasol’s injury doesn’t sound good and the Spurs will likely be ultra-cautious with him. Joffrey Lauvergne and Davis Bertans get a boost if Gasol’s going to miss time (he will), but both of them are tough to trust. LaMarcus Aldridge and Gay will be the guys to see the biggest boost in the absence of Gasol. And if you want to drop Gasol, you have my full blessing, not that you need it.

 

Delon Wright left Wednesday’s game with a toe injury and didn’t return. Norman Powell actually started this game over Malcolm Miller, and went off for 17 points, four boards, a block and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Powell, C.J. Miles and Fred VanVleet should see extra run if Wright’s going to miss time, but Powell’s the most intriguing one, especially if he sticks in the starting lineup.

 

Wayne Ellington is probable for Thursday after a thigh injury kept him out the last four games. Justise Winslow has been rolling in his absence, while Dwyane Wade has also been playing well. But given that Ellington’s been sitting and Winslow and Wade have been playing so well, I expect that trend to continue.

 

Stanley Johnson sat out with a sore back for the Pistons last night and Luke Kennard started in his place. Kennard played 31 minutes and had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers, while James Ennis came off the bench for 14 points, five boards, four assists and a block in 36 minutes. If you’re in a deep league, both are worth a look any time Johnson is out.

 

Andre Iguodala and David West are doubtful for Thursday in order to rest, not that it has any fantasy implications.

 

Jarell Martin was out again for the Grizzlies with his sprained ankle and remains day-to-day, but JaMychal Green (11 points, 8 rebounds) has been playing well enough to make Martin an afterthought, at least for now.

 

Surprising Performances

 

Dillon Brooks got loose to hit 10-of-18 shots and five 3-pointers for a career-high 29 points, one rebound, two assists and two steals in 28 minutes for the Grizzlies. Brooks had 21 on Monday, scored 21 in the fourth quarter last night, and has played at least 30 minutes in six straight games. His two-game explosion is a small sample size, but there’s a pretty decent chance he could continue to go off the rest of the way. I say pick him up. Kobi Simmons started again at point guard and had 11 points and three steals, while Ben McLemore made another start and had 17 points, seven boards, two assists, three steals and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes. BMac sat out on Monday but had 20 points on Saturday. The Grizzlies are banged up and it looks like McLemore is going to continue to get heavy minutes, so I like the idea of picking him up, as well.

 

Nikola Mirotic had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four 3-pointers on 10-of-12 shooting for the Pelicans on Wednesday night. That was his high as a Pelican and it was also his first double-double as a Pel. They’ll need a scoring boost if Anthony Davis is going to miss time, and Mirotic will likely step up in his absence. Make sure he’s not available in your league.

 

Justin Holiday started for the Bulls after sitting out three of his previous four games for the tankers, despite being healthy. He had 14 points, four boards and four 3-pointers, and should start again on Friday, but minutes are a problem. He played just 17 of them last night and is probably looking at a similar number on Friday. Leave him on waivers.

 

Norman Powell – see above under Delon Wright.

 

A whole slew of Kings - Justin Jackson hit 5-of-9 shots and two 3-pointers for 14 points, three boards and three assists in 30 minutes for the Kings. He had 12 points on Sunday and might finally be ready to start turning it on. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues. Bogdan Bogdanovic played 26 minutes, but missed all six of his shots and failed to score for the first time this season. He had 22 in his previous game and had scored in double figures in six straight, so he should bounce back on Friday against the Magic. Skal Labissiere hit 6-of-12 shots for 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and a block in 28 minutes, and has now scored in double figures in four straight games. Buddy Hield also stepped up with 20 points, and I’d rank the Kings pickups as: Bogdanovic, Labissiere, Hield, Frank Mason, Jackson. See the De’Aaron Fox take above for more information on Mason, who tied his career high with 16 points. And no, I don’t know when we’ll see Willie Cauley-Stein again, who has missed two straight games with a back injury. Kosta Koufos had six points, 10 boards and a block in a start in WCS’s place and is worth streaming for as long as WCS is out.

 

Brook Lopez matched his season high in minutes (35) and came through with 27 points, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. And yes, he managed to avoid a single rebound, despite being the biggest guy on the floor. And believe it or not, it wasn’t a season high for him. He shouldn’t be available in most leagues, but he might be in yours. He’s hit double figures in scoring in six straight games, but had three or fewer rebounds in five of them.

 

Sterling Brown came off the Bucks bench and had a career-high 15 points with five boards and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes. He’s had a few interesting lines this season, but isn’t a guy you’ll want to try to rely on in most leagues.

 


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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



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