Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Rockets are Reeling

Friday, November 9, 2018


The Rockets are struggling, and I blame Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving and the Celtics pulled off a huge comeback for the win, and T.J. Warren is a hot pickup after starting and going off for 29 points in a start for the Suns. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

Thunder 98, Rockets 80 – All five Thunder starters scored in double figures and Paul George and Steven Adams posted double-doubles, as Russell Westbrook sat out again with his sprained ankle. We still have no idea when Westbrook will be back, but it does not appear that he will miss a whole month, as I originally predicted after seeing his injury on TV. Jerami Grant added 11 points, six boards and a 3-pointer, George went nuts with 20 points, 11 boards, six assists, six steals and three 3-pointers, and Dennis Schroder added 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and a steal in 34 minutes. Grant’s worth owning in deep leagues and Schroder’s a must-start as long as Westbrook is out. Terrance Ferguson added 14 points, four rebounds and four 3-pointers, but I don’t trust him - at all. The OKC bench was a dead zone, although Raymond Felton scored 10 and Nerlens Noel added two points, five rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes. If Adams is sitting out, Noel’s a must-start. Outside of that scenario, he’s just Nerlens Noel.

 

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Has anyone noticed that the Rockets are just 4-6 and don’t look like a championship contender? Hmmm. What could be different this season? Let me think… Carmelo Anthony! Right? He’s a dream killer. My son always asks me why I don’t like Melo, and I always ask him why he does. He’s a ball stopper and Mike D’Antoni, who dealt with him in New York, cannot be happy he’s with him in Houston now. And he was 0-for-11 from the floor tonight, although the box score says he was 1-of-11. It was a goal tend. Melo never saw the ball go through the hoop, and he’s clogging up the Houston offense, whether starting or coming off the bench. I don’t like him as a real basketball player, and especially don’t like him in fantasy. If you’re a Melo fan, I’m sorry. And the Rockets managed an NBA season-low 80 points last night.

 

Chris Paul struggled, hitting just 4-of-11 shots for just 10 points, two rebounds, five assists and six steals, and the steals saved his fantasy night, although his five turnovers, hurt it. James Harden was also quiet with 19 points, eight boards, five assists, three steals, a block, four 3-pointers and five turnovers, and the bench did nothing at all. P.J. Tucker had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers in 33 minutes, and James Ennis had six points and three rebounds, but I just can’t get excited about either one of them. Even with Eric Gordon out with his right adductor strain, the Rockets looked like a big ol’ mess. And I blame Melo. CP3 has been awful since his 32-point explosion on Friday, scoring 7, 9 and 10 in his last three games, and hitting just 11-of-34 shots over his last three games. The Rockets get the Spurs on Saturday, and my guess is Paul gets back on track in that one. The buy-low window is wide open, although his shaky knees always worry me. A lot of fantasy folks are digging Tucker, but there are other players I’d rather deal with.

 

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Celtics 116, Suns 109 OT – The Celtics fell down by 22 early, but never said die and hit 13-of-25 shots in the fourth quarter, while the Suns hit just 5-of-16 shots, and the Celtics won the quarter 35-20. They also won the boards game 17-7 in the final frame to tie the game and send it to overtime. Marcus Morris hit the game-tying 3-pointer that sent it to overtime, and Kyrie Irving hit 13-of-28 shots and was 7-of-7 from 3-point land for a season-high 39 points, seven boards, six assists, three steals, a block and just three turnovers. Irving, despite throwing Jamal Murray’s career-high ball in the stands, a move I didn’t love, is on fire, averaging 29.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 4.8 3-pointers over his last five games, while shooting a ridiculous 63 percent from the floor. Maybe he’s a sell-high player, but I think someone woke a sleeping giant and he wants to get Boston to the Finals this year. Kyrie was the only Celtics starter to score in the first half. Seriously. The last time that happened was in 2003, when Larry Hughes was the only starter to score for the Wizards. Crazy. Morris, who tied Jaylen Brown as the second leading scorer with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers, hit the shot of the game, but the Celtics were basically a fantasy lost cause tonight, despite the win. There’s no real fantasy news here, but don’t cut Jayson Tatum, and don’t run out and grab Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. Jaylen Brown is a borderline guy to me, but I’d rather own a player like T.J. Warren.

 

For the Suns, T.J. Warren moved into the starting lineup and had a season-high 29 points, seven rebounds, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers. He was coming off a back injury and played just 13 minutes in his previous game, but was put in the starting lineup over Ryan Anderson tonight, and went off. I have no idea why Anderson was ever starting over TJW in the first place, but this is your sign to pick him up. Deandre Ayton double-doubled, Devin Booker scored 38, and Trevor Ariza was solid with a 11-9-6 line with a block and three 3-pointers. Isaiah Canaan was OK with seven points, five boards, six assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, and I still don’t know when the Suns are going to hire a real point guard. The bench was useless, but I’m keeping an eye on Richaun Holmes, who had two points and three boards in 15 minutes.

 

Blazers 116, Clippers 105Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were both solid, but not mind blowing, Jusuf Nurkic had a 16-9-3 line, and Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points, eight boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers as the Blazers beat the Clippers on Thursday. I’m so confused by Zach Collins and Meyers Leonard. Zach had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Leonard had seven points, five rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer on Thursday. I love both of them in a five-game week, can tolerate them in a four-game week, and have no use for them in a three-game week. Evan Turner, who I’ve kind of been into, played 29 minutes and had seven points, seven assists, a steal and a block. He’s been playing better than this recently, but as long as the minutes are there, I’m into it.

 

For the losing Clippers, Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams led the way with 20 points, and Tobias Harris, who I took out of DFS lineups due to his illness, played and had 15 points, 11 boards, a block and a 3-pointer. I wish I’d have played him, or I might not have lost 247.2 to 247.1 in my daily three-man league. Patrick Beverley was very quiet, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went off for 19 points, two 3-pointers, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 35 minutes, with just one turnover. As long as he’s starting for the Clippers, he’s going to start for my fantasy team. Go get him! Boban Marjanovic started and played 12 minutes, with four points, four boards and two blocks. I’m still not taking the bait. Montrezl Harrell, who has been dropped in a lot of leagues, had 19 points, six boards, a steal and a block, and hit 8-of-9 shots in 25 minutes. I’m comfortable holding him over Boban.

 

Bucks 134, Warriors 111Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton all played well in a blowout, while Brook Lopez backed up his 22-point game on Tuesday, with just two points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and no 3-pointers in 22 minutes. This is why he might be sitting on your waiver wire. Malcolm Brogdon blew up for 20 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals and two 3-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting on 9-of-14 shooting. He’s averaging 14 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. It’s time to add Brogdon. Everyone on the Bucks’ bench contributed in the blowout, but I don’t want to own anyone outside of Giannis, Middleton, Bro-Lo, Bledsoe and Brogdon.

 

For the Warriors, Stephen Curry left with a left adductor strain and never returned to the game. That’s all we know at this point, and it’s hard to put a target date on his return. My guess is he won’t be out long, but Curry owners may have to come to terms with benching him next week, based on what we here this weekend. Jordan Bell started at PF in place of Draymond Green (foot), but had just four points, five boards, three assists, a steal and a block in 22 minutes. Kevin Durant was quiet in the blowout, Klay Thompson scored 24 with a couple 3-pointers and a full stat line, and Quinn Cook hit 6-of-9 shots for 15 points, five assists and three 3-pointers in just 19 minutes. With Shaun Livingston already hurting and Curry’s status up in the air, Cook could be a sneaky DFS play in the near future. Kevon Looney had eight points, five boards and a block in 21 minutes with Draymond in street clothes, but I’d only trust him (or Cook, or Bell) in a cheap DFS situation. 



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.
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