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Steve Alexander

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Dose: Rubio down, Neto up

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


It was a relatively injury-free night, but there was one big one – Ricky Rubio went down with a hamstring injury and will have an MRI. Hello, Raul Neto? Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden all did their thing, while the Nuggets started off their five-game week with some good lines and some duds. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

Bucks 114, Jazz 102Giannis Antetokounmpo had a 30-10-2-1-2 line, Malcolm Brogdon had 21 points, five boards, five assists and a 3-pointer, Brook Lopez had 15 points, eight boards, three blocks and three 3-pointers, and Khris Middleton added a 14-7-5-1 line with two triples in the win. Eric Bledsoe was disappointing with six points, six assists, three steals and six turnovers on 3-of-11 shooting in this one, but all five Bucks starters are generally worth owning in fantasy. Thon Maker had a season-high 15 points, five boards, two steals and two 3-pointers, but played just 18 minutes, making him impossible to trust.

 

The Jazz got a nice game from Donovan Mitchell (26 points, six 3-pointers), Rudy Gobert came through with 14 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and a block, and Derrick Favors added 12 points, seven rebounds, a steal and three blocks in the loss. Joe Ingles hit 1-of-6 shots for two points (with four rebounds, six assists, a steal and two blocks), and Ricky Rubio went down early with a hamstring injury, and will have an MRI. Uh oh. Dante Exum (ankle) is out for a couple weeks, so that puts Raul Neto into play. Neto had 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes, and is a speculative pickup if Rubio’s going to miss time. And based on the fact it’s a hamstring and the pending MRI, it’s a good bet that Rubio is going to miss multiple games. Sadly, Rubio was off to a hot start (4-of-5, 9 points) before leaving, or it could have been a big night. Jae Crowder had 12 points, five boards, three assists and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes, and the timeshare between him and Favors is nothing short of annoying. Jingles has been all over the place lately, but had played pretty well in his previous couple games. He should be fine.

 

Spurs 119, Pistons 107DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge led the way and DeRozan flirted with another triple-double (26-7-9), while Derrick White and Bryn Forbes also came through for the Spurs. This was their fifth straight win and Gregg Popovich is now tied with Jerry Sloan for third place on the win list with 1,221. He now only trails Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens. Rudy Gay sat this one out with a wrist injury, putting Jakob Poeltl into the starting five, where he had just seven points, six rebounds and a block. White kept it rolling with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, and Forbes added 15 points, four rebounds, a steal and three 3-pointers in the win. White should be owned everywhere, in my opinion, and Forbes is also worth a look in most leagues. Gay has already been ruled out for Wednesday with his wrist injury, but I don’t trust any of his fill-ins to come through in that one.

 

Blake Griffin had 35 points and eight assists, as he continues to roll and defy the odds this season, and Andre Drummond double-doubled with 19 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and a block. But the rest of the Pistons didn’t light the world on fire. Reggie Jackson (one assist), Reggie Bullock (3-of-12 3-pointers), Jon Leuer and Luke Kennard all hit double digits, but outside of Griffin and Drummond, the Pistons were a bit of a fantasy black hole last night.

 

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Celtics 116, Nets 95 – The Celtics got Kyrie Irving (eyes) back from a two-game absence and he led the way with 17 points, six dimes and three steals, as all five Celtics starters scored in double figures. Marcus Morris was back from a sore neck and had 12 points, a couple steals and three 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum had a solid 16-4-4-2 line with a couple 3-pointers, Al Horford had a 12-9-5-1-1 line, and Marcus Smart came through with 12 points, four boards, seven assists, two steals and four 3-pointers. Smart had 17 points, four boards, three assists, a steal and five 3-pointers on Friday, and appears to be trending up. He’s also probably available in your league. Daniel Theis, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown were all decent in this one, but Hayward cooled off for 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and two 3-pointers after a couple huge games. I’m still luke-warm on him, at best.

 

The Nets are banged up and were missing Joe Harris (ankle), Allen Crabbe (knee) DeMarre Carroll (knee) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (adductor) last night. Rodions Kurucs took advantage of the opportunity and went off for 24 points and five triples, but didn’t do much else in the start. Kurucs came in cold to this game and the Nets should get healthier on Wednesday, so he’ll be tough to trust going forward. Shabazz Napier started and hit 4-of-12 shots and 2-of-9 3-pointers for 10 points, five boards, six assists, a steal and two blocks in 33 minutes. Napier’s been playing well of late, but the likely return of Harris and Carroll won’t do him any favors on Wednesday, either. D’Angelo Russell came in red-hot, but hit just 2-of-6 shots for five points, five assists and six turnovers, getting his three-game week off to a terrible start. I almost started Alec Burks over him in a weekly league, and now I wish I would have. But DAR should bounce back in the next one. Ed Davis came through with 11 points, nine boards and two steals off the bench, and Kenneth Faried had 13 points, 12 boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes. Faried was the big injury winner here. Again, Carroll is due back on Wednesday, and Faried had three straight DNPs prior to this explosion. No thanks.

 

Rockets 125, Nuggets 113James Harden hit 7-of-18 shots for a 32-5-14-1-1 line, hitting six triples with six turnovers. Clint Capela had a career-high 31 points, nine boards and two steals, and P.J. Tucker got loose for a season-high 21 points, a career-high seven 3-pointers and four steals. This came out of nowhere, as he hadn’t scored more than five points in his previous five games, despite getting heavy minutes. Maybe he’s ready to start rolling, but I need to see him do it again before getting excited. Danuel House and Austin Rivers both started, but were both disappointing, but Gerald Green got loose for 21 points, five boards and six 3-pointers off the bench, continuing to flourish in the absence of Chris Paul (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (knee). Green, Tucker, Rivers and House should all continue to play a big role as long as those two guards are out for Houston.

 

The Nuggets play four more times this week and Nikola Jokic (24-13-4-2-1-1) came through, but also had eight turnovers, Gary Harris scored 14 with a couple 3-pointers in a return to the starting lineup, and Jamal Murray had 13 points and four assists. Make sure Harris isn’t floating around on your waiver wire. Starters Paul Millsap and Torrey Craig were disappointing. Monte Morris, who was really fading, went off for 21 points, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 9-of-13 shooting, so props to you if you rolled him out there this week. Maybe he can keep it going, but I have my doubts with Harris healthy. Malik Beasley also stayed relevant with 14 points, a steal and a couple 3-pointers, while Juancho Hernangomez, Mason Plumlee and Trey Lyles were all disappointing in Game 1 of the week. I put a lot of stock into Plumlee, but his move to the bench for Millsap hurt. Hopefully, it’s not permanent. If you want to pick up Morris and Beasley (or any other Nuggets), it makes sense, but I only feel like Jokic, Murray and Harris are truly reliable. The Nuggets had their five-game winning streak snapped.

 


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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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