Tommy Beer

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Dose: Westbrook Does It Again

Sunday, March 11, 2018


It was another entertaining Saturday evening in the Association, highlighted by yet another triple-double from Russell Westbrook and a terrific all-around performance from Nicolas Batum.


After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll take a long look at a number of players facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


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Nightly Notables:
Nicolas Batum busted out of a slump in a big way in Saturday’s win over Phoenix. Coming into this contest, Batum was averaging just 10.2 points on 40.0 percent shooting in the nine games Charlotte had played since the All-Star break. He voiced his displeasure after the Hornets most recent loss, stating that the team needed to play better and bring more energy going forward. Batum delivered in this one, finishing with 29 points (on 11-of-18 shooting), 12 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes.


Dwight Howard also played a big role in Charlotte's victory on Saturday. D12 tallied 30 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four blocks in 37 minutes. He was 10-of-15 from the floor and 10-of-15 from the charity stripe as well. Over the Hornets last three games, Howard is averaging 26.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks, while shooting 67.5 percent from the floor and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line.


Russell Westbrook rang up yet another triple-double on Saturday, powering the Thunder past the Spurs. Russ scored 21 points, grabbed 12 boards and dished out ten dimes. The only negatives on the ledger for Westbrook were the five turnovers and his free-throw shooting (7-of-11). It was the 19th trip-dub of the season for Russ, and the 98th of his career. Only three players in NBA history have more triple-doubles: Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Jason Kidd.


DeAndre Jordan once again dominated the glass in the Clippers win over Orlando. Jordan hauled in 18 rebounds, to go along with nine points and an assist. As an added bonus, he was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Jordan has been a beast on the boards of late, grabbing at least 15 rebounds in six straight contests. Over the Clippers last five games, Jordan is averaging 15.0 points and a whopping 19.2 boards. He has 96 total rebounds over that five-game stretch. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other player in the last two seasons to pull down at least that many rebounds over five games is Andre Drummond, whose highest five-game total over that period is 101.


On the Radar:
Kemba Walker was quiet on Saturday, finishing with just 11 points, two rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. He converted only four of his 11 field goal attempts… Frank Kaminsky had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 20 minutes.


The Suns were in desperate need of offense with Devin Booker (triceps), T.J. Warren (back) and Josh Jackson (knee) all sidelined on Saturday. Troy Daniels stepped into the starting line up and scored a team-high 17 points. He also added four rebounds, three assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 36 minutes… Shaquille Harrison made his first NBA start on Saturday and scored a career-high 14 points to go along with two rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes… Elfrid Payton had 14 points (on 7-of-13 shooting) with three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 27 minutes… Davon Reed scored a career-high 16 points and added six rebounds, two assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes.


The Wizards were down 27 points at the end of the third quarter on Saturday night and raised the white flag, emptying their bench for the entire fourth. On a related note, it was an ugly night for the Washington starters. Bradley Beal had 14 points, three rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. Otto Porter Jr. finished with 10 points, five boards and two assists in 26 minutes… Jodie Meeks led the Wiz in scoring, putting up 23 points with four rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes.


Coming into Saturday night, James Johnson had been ice cold since the All-Star break, averaging just 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists over Miami’s previous eight games. However, he played well in Heat’s blowout win over the Wizards, tallying 20 points (on 8-of-9 shooting), two rebounds, five assists and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes… Josh Richardson was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor and finished with 13 points, four assists, two steals and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes… Kelly Olynyk posted a strong double-double off the bench. He scored 13 points, grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, and chipped in two assists, one steal, and two blocks… Wayne Ellington contributed 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes.


The Grizzlies-Mavs game was also a blowout, with Dallas destroying Memphis, 114-80. Harrison Barnes was still able to post 25 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes. He was 7-of-13 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line… Dwight Powell finished with 15 points, ten rebounds and four boards... Doug McDermott poured in 20 points and grabbed seven boards in 25 minutes off the bench.


JaMychal Green double-doubled for the Grizzlies, who lost their 17th straight game. Yes, 17. They’ve yet to win a road game in 2018. Green had 14 points, ten rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer. He’s arguably the one reliable Memphis fantasy contributor at the moment… Dillon Brooks led the Grizz he scoring on Saturday. He had 17 points and added six boards in 30 minutes.


Paul George struggled with his shot on Saturday night, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting, including 1-of-8 from downtown. However, he salvaged his fantasy night by adding 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks… Jerami Grant was solid off the OKC bench, finishing with 15 points (on 5-of-5 shooting) and eight boards in 20 minutes… Carmelo Anthony endured another putrid shooting night. He was just 1-of-8 from the floor, and 0-of-3 from downtown. Melo finished with two points, seven rebounds, two assists and two turnovers. Remarkably, it was the 19th consecutive game in which Anthony has shot below 48 percent from the field. That’s the longest such streak in the NBA this season.


LaMarcus Aldridge was disappointingly quiet in a loss to OKC on Saturday. He scored 11 points with seven rebounds, an assist and a steal across 26 minutes… Pau Gasol started but finished with just eight points, seven rebounds and three assists… Rudy Gay and Davis Bertans each chipped in 14 points apiece off the bench.


Tobias Harris stayed hot on Saturday, tallying 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Harris is averaging 24.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 treys over the Clippers last four contests… Lou Williams scored a game-high 25 points and chipped in two triples and two boards.


After pouring in 25 points on Friday night, Jonathon Simmons backed it up with 24 points, two rebounds, seven assists and two treys on Saturday… Nikola Vucevic tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot over 30 minutes… Jonathan Isaac had a promising all-around game, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, four steals, an assist and a blocked shot across 25 minutes. He’s had at least two steals in four straight contests.


Injury Tracker:
Kawhi Leonard (quad) did not play Saturday, but it was reported that he might return as early as Thursday's game against New Orleans. ESPN's Lisa Salters broke the news on Saturday evening, and Adrian Wojnarowski later confirmed it. Woj tweeted that, "barring a setback, Thursday vs. the Pelicans is indeed the targeted return of Leonard to the lineup." We will keep you updated on this story as it develops. It’s safe to assume Leonard will be on a minutes restriction and will likely be rested somewhat frequently, but Kawhi should definitely not be left on the waiver wire if he was dropped last month.


Marc Gasol (rest) did not play Saturday vs. the Mavs. Gasol logged 32 minutes in Friday’s loss to the Jazz, and Memphis plans to avoid playing Gasol in both ends of back-to-backs for the rest of this season. Jarell Martin joined the starting five on Saturday and finished with 13 points, three rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes.


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