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Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Ingram Injured

Thursday, December 6, 2018


It was a busy 10-game night in the NBA, so here are the injury and pickup highlights in case you weren’t able to keep up with the action live. Khris Middleton was a surprise DNP, Brandon Ingram got hurt, and Russell Westbrook, Paul George, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Karl-Anthony Towns all went off. Follow me on Twitter here!

 

Lakers 121, Spurs 113 – Brandon Ingram lasted just five minutes before leaving with a sprained left ankle and Josh Hart started the second half in his place, but Hart was dogged by foul trouble and only played 13 minutes. If Ingram is going to miss time, I’d rank his backups as Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson in terms of pickup order. LeBron James went crazy with 42 points (20 in the fourth quarter) as the Lakers possibly handed the reeling Spurs a knockout punch. James quote that “I can care less” about what other players said about playing with him in a recent feature article brought out the grammar police in me, which rarely happens. But for the record, people, it’s “I could not (or cannot) care less.”

 

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The 11-14 Spurs are a mess, losing four of their last five games, getting blown out in three of them, and giving up at least 120 points in each of their last five losses. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan both played well, and Rudy Gay shocked us with a season-high 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting. Outside of those three, I have no interest in messing with Spurs in any fantasy league. And I’d prefer to not have to deal with Gay, who’s been a headache for much of the season. And while it doesn’t matter, Dante Cunningham started over Davis Bertans, as Gregg Popovich continues to tweak in an effort to fix his broke team. The three-headed point guard of Bryn Forbes, Derrick White and Patty Mills were a combined 4-of-20 shooting for 10 points and nine assists. Gross.

 

Wizards 131, Hawks 117John Wall was out due to the birth of his first child and Jeff Green was out with a sore back, allowing Bradley Beal (36 points) and Otto Porter Jr. (20-11-5) to go off. Austin Rivers was disappointing in a start with 3-of-12 shooting, but finished with a 9-7-7 line, and new starter Tomas Satoransky had a 14-4-7-2-1 line with two 3-pointers. He’s starting over Kelly Oubre and is officially worth a look in both standard leagues and DFS. Oubre came through with 19 points, three steals and a couple 3-pointers, while Markieff Morris cooled off with 12 points in just 23 minutes. He was in foul trouble and the score was lopsided until the end of the game. Morris should be fine.

 

For the Hawks, John Collins is starting to really come on and had 26 points, 14 rebounds and two 3-pointers on 12-of-17 shooting. Nice job if you hung onto him through a rough (injury riddled) start of the season. Kent Bazemore started in place of Taurean Prince (ankle, three weeks) and had a nice 22-2-6-4-1 line with two 3-pointers before fouling out, and should be owned across the board now. DeAndre’ Bembry played 27 minutes and hit 4-of-11 shots for eight points, three boards, six assists and four steals, and is another player I like with Prince out. Trae Young had 14 points, five assists, two steals, six turnovers and hit 4-of-13 shots in 33 minutes. He also hit just 5-of-9 free throws. If you want to drop him, I’m not going to stop you.

 

Bucks 115, Pistons 92Khris Middleton was a late scratch after sitting out the fourth quarter and overtime on Saturday. I don’t know what’s going on, but the whole thing is pretty suspicious. Eric Bledsoe scored 27 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a modest 15-8-7 line, but the Bucks had no trouble with the Pistons. Assuming Middleton is fine and will be back soon, there’s not any real pickup news in Milwaukee, other than the fact that Malcolm Brogdon (14-6-2) should be owned in most leagues by now. Tony Snell started in Middleton’s place and was a bit surprising with 11 points and seven boards. Ersan Ilyasova was out with a concussion.

 

Ish Smith left with a groin injury and will have an MRI, and that’s good news if you own Reggie Jackson, who had a 15-7-5-1 line last night. Blake Griffin had 31 points and seven turnovers, Andre Drummond was disappointing with 10 points, eight boards and zero blocks against Brook Lopez, and no other Pistons scored more than eight points last night.

 

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Nuggets 124, Magic 118Gary Harris is out with a hip injury, so it wasn’t a surprise to see Jamal Murray get loose for 31 points and eight assists. Torrey Craig started for Harris, but had just five points and can be ignored. Nikola Jokic nearly triple-doubled, Juancho Hernangomez (who I like as a pickup) had 14 points, four boards, two assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, while Trey Lyles, Mason Plumlee and Monte Morris all stepped up off the bench in the absence of Harris, and Morris is the one to keep an eye on, just as he’s been all season.

 

Evan Fournier scored 26 points before being ejected and may be facing a fine for yelling at the refs, Nikola Vucevic kept his All-Star dreams alive with 24 & 15, and Aaron Gordon had another nice night. Jonathan Isaac played 25 minutes and had 11 points and a solid stat line, and it would have looked a whole lot better had he hit more than 4-of-11 shots. It’s starting to feel like it’s finally happening for Isaac. And Terrence Ross stayed steady with 17 points and three 3-pointes. He should be owned everywhere by now.

 


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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.
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