After recapping Saturday’s action, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a number of players facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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Kyrie Irving helped carry the Celtics to their 15th consecutive victory on Saturday night. Irving poured in a game-high 30 points and did so in incredibly efficient fashion. He was 10-of-12 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from downtown, and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. After failing to shoot above 40.0 percent from the floor over his first two games since returning from his facial injuries, Kyrie couldn’t miss on Saturday. His 104.2 percent effective field goal percentage was the highest he's ever had in a regular season game. He also added five assists, four rebounds and a block. Irving’s first month as a Celtic has been remarkable. With Boston sporting a league-best 15-2 record, Kyrie is in the early-season MVP conversation.
Ben Simmons stuffed the stat sheet once again on Saturday, finishing with 23 points (on 11-of-15 shooting), eight rebounds and 12 assists. The Sixers jumped out to a massive lead against Golden State, scoring 47 first-quarter points and taking a 22-point lead into halftime before the Warriors exacted revenge in the second half. Simmons rare combination of size, speed and athleticism is a nightmare for opponents. He has a legitimate chance to become the first rookie since Oscar Robertson to average at least 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists per game during his debut season.
Stephen Curry finished with 35 points, five rebounds, five assists, one block and four 3-pointers in Saturday's win over the Sixers. With the Dubs down 22 points at the break, Curry took over in the third quarter, pouring in 20 of his 35 points. This was the 19th game with at least 35 points, five boards and five dimes for Curry since the start of the 2015-16 season. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the only two players with more 35/5/5 games.
Derrick Favors was spectacular on Saturday. He hit 10 of his 12 field goal attempts and all five of his free throws on his way to a season-high 25 points. Favors also added 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 25 minutes. It was the first time Favors had scored more than 25 points since March of 2016, and the first time in his career he scored more than 25 points in fewer than 26 minutes. With Rudy Gobert (knee) out of action, Favors will continue to be a focal point of the Utah offense. His fantasy stock is spiking.
James Harden scored a game-high 29 points to go along with seven assists, five rebounds, six treys and three steals on Saturday. We’ve become so accustomed to Harden’s prolific production that we expect this type of performance from The Beard on a nightly basis. Remarkably, Harden has scored at least 20 points and dished out at least seven assists in every one of the Rockets 16 games this season. He’s the first player in more than 50 years to start a season with such a streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and ripped down a career-high 17 rebounds on Saturday. Antetokounmpo also added three steals, two assists and one 3-pointer. Unfortunately, Giannis struggled with his shot tonight. He was just 7-of-20 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. Of course, fantasy owners won’t hold that against him, considering all he’s brought to the table this season.
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On the Radar:
Kemba Walker, who poured in a season-high 47 points on Friday, was listed as questionable early on Saturday due to a sore left wrist. However, Walker was able to play and seemed unaffected by the minor injury. Kemba carried the Hornets to a much-needed win, finishing with 26 points, six assists and two rebounds and six 3-pointers… Dwight Howard chipped in 16 points (on 7-of-10 shooting) and 16 rebounds.
Rodney Hood caught fire off the Utah bench Saturday night, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds, two assists and seven 3-pointers across just 26 minutes in a blowout victory over Orlando. At one stretch, which spanned the end of the third quarter through the first few minutes of the fourth, Hood scored 19 straight points for the Jazz. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hood’s streak of 19 consecutive points for Utah was the longest by any NBA player this season, and the longest by a member of the Jazz since Karl Malone delivered 19 in a row at Golden State on April 7, 1998. Over his last five games, Hood is averaging 22.6 points and 4.6 treys.
Aaron Gordon tallied 18 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one turnover in 30 minutes on Saturday. Gordon was the Orlando player with anything resembling a solid stat line. No other member of the Magic scored more than 12 points in a game Orlando lost by 40.
Jaylen Brown poured in a career-high 27 points on Saturday, shooting a scorching 10-of-13 from the floor. He also had four rebounds, four 3-pointers and one steal, while only committing one turnover. This is on the heels of Brown’s 22-point, seven-rebound gem on Thursday in Boston’s win over the Warriors. He’s now scored in double-figures in 10 of his last 11 games. Despite turning 21 years old last month, this kid is already making a significant impact. His only flaw is his free-throw shooting, which has dipped below 61.0 percent this season… Boston’s other young gun, Jayson Tatum, finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes.
Joel Embiid had 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one block, five turnovers and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes on Saturday. It was a bit of a letdown after his epic 46/15/7/7 explosion in L.A. on Wednesday, but continue to trust the process and expect Embiid to bounce back on Monday vs. the Gobert-less Jazz… In his first game since inking a lucrative contract extension, Robert Covington scored 20 points with six rebounds, two steals, and five 3-pointers. It looked like Covington was on pace for a career night, as he nailed the first five 3-pointers he attempted. However, RoCo would go on to miss his final six trey attempts… Dario Saric posted a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds, as well as four assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer.
Kevin Durant finished with 27 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer on Saturday. KD has been incredibly consistent all season. The points and stellar percentages are expected, but the blocks have been the cherry on the top of a wonderful fantasy sundae. Durant currently leads the league in blocked shots, with Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert rounding out the top-four… David West helped bury the Sixers in the second half. West had 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) seven rebounds, one assist and one turnover in just 13 minutes of action.
Chris Paul had 17 points, six assists, two steals, two rebounds and four triples in 24 minutes in Saturday's win. CP3 is slowly but surely rounding back into shape. Yes, James Harden is the lead horse in Houston, but there is plenty of fantasy gold to be mined in Mike D’Antoni’s prolific offense… Another night, another impressive double-double from Clint Capela, who finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. That’s four straight games with double-digit points and boards for Capela. He’s averaging 15.0 points and 12.8 boards over that stretch.
Chandler Parsons started for the first time this season on Saturday. He scored a team-high 17 points (on 7-of-9 shooting) and added two boards and one assist. Parsons is still difficult to trust but has now scored in double-figures in three of Memphis last four contests. He’s worth a flier if you have room on your roster and are willing to keep expectations in check… Marc Gasol finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. With Mike Conley (Achilles) out at least two more weeks, Gasol will remain the focal point of the Memphis offense.
Wes Matthews scored a season-high 22 points and dished out a season-high eight assists on Saturday. He also added two rebounds, two steals and six 3-pointers. Here are Matthews’ point totals in each of the Mavs last four games: one, 12, eight, 22. The ups-and-downs are frustrating, but he still contributes enough to rank inside the top-120 overall in nine-category leagues this season… Dwight Powell had eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds in 25 minutes… J.J Barea scored a season-high 20 points to go along with seven assists, three rebounds and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes.
John Collins was once again solid in limited minutes on Saturday. He registered 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in 25 minutes. He was nearly flawless from the floor, knocking down seven of his eight field goal attempts and all four of his free throws. The Hawks are attempting to bring him along slowly (he’s played more than 25 minutes just twice all season), but Collins is simply too talented to keep under wraps much longer. It’s safe to assume he’ll start earning larger and larger slices of the playing time pie as the season drags on… Dennis Schroder led the Hawks in scoring on Saturday, finishing with 23 points, nine assists and two steals.
C.J. McCollum scored 25 points to power Portland past the Kings on Saturday. C.J. also added three rebounds, four assists, two steals and four 3-pointers. McCollum's backcourt mate, Damian Lillard, chipped in 22 points, two rebounds and six dimes. Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points with seven rebounds, two assists and four blocks.
Willie Cauley-Stein had another solid outing on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, nine boards, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes. This marks two straight impressive performances for Cauley-Stein, who had 22 points and 10 boards in 31 minutes on Friday. Hopefully, WCS can carry this momentum into next week and maintain some consistency going forward.
Patrick Beverley (knee) did not play Saturday vs. Charlotte. However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that Beverley is planning to return against Knicks on Monday… Sindarius Thornwell got another start on Saturday but was ineffective (five points, zero rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes). Lou Williams was solid off the bench once again, finishing with a team-high 25 points, to go along with four dimes and two 3-pointers.
Danilo Gallinari (hip) also sat out Saturday. It was his sixth straight absence. Unlike Beverley, there haven’t been any encouraging updates recently. Wes Johnson, who was coming off a monster game on Friday (15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and four blocks in 43 minutes), had nine points, five rebounds and one assist on Saturday... The Clippers, as a whole, are a mess right now. The loss in Charlotte was their eighth straight defeat.
Ricky Rubio (Achilles soreness) returned to Utah lineup on Saturday after missing one game. Rubio had nine points, six rebounds and three assists in 16 minutes against the Magic. Jazz coach Quin Snyder wanted to keep Ricky under 25 minutes but didn’t need to play him at all late in the game, as the Jazz cruised to a 40-point victory. Rubio has struggled over the first month of the season; we’ll see if he can get back on track. Raul Neto played well this weekend (nine points and seven assists in 24 minutes on Saturday), but will see his limited reduced dramatically if Rubio can stay healthy.
Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) exited Saturday's game against the Clippers and was unable to return. Charlotte’s next game is Monday vs. the Timberwolves. We should have an update on Lamb by Monday morning. However, with Nicolas Batum back, Lamb belongs on waivers in standard-sized leagues. Surprisingly, Malik Monk was hit with a DNP-CD on Saturday. Monk’s minutes have been dwindling since Batum's return, but he’d back in the rotation if Lamb is sidelined.
Brandan Wright injured his right groin in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss to the Rockets and was unable to return. If Wright misses time, Deyonta Davis will see an uptick in minutes backing up starter Marc Gasol.
Matthew Dellavedova (left knee tendinitis) missed his second straight game Saturday. With Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon ahead of him in the rotation even when he's healthy, Dellavedova belongs on the waiver wire in nearly all fantasy formats.
Mirza Teletovic (left knee soreness) remained sidelined on Saturday. It was his fifth consecutive absence. We should receive a medical update on Teletovic early next week. The Bucks next game is Monday vs. the Wizards.
Jahlil Okafor (personal) was unavailable on Saturday. Okafor has appeared in just two games this entire season and has logged a total of three minutes over the last three weeks. Okafor is the fourth center on the depth chart behind Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes and Amir Johnson. Okafor, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft, needs to be traded out of Philly to hop back on the fantasy radar.
Jerryd Bayless (wrist) did not play Saturday vs. the Warriors. However, he is listed as questionable for Monday's game vs. Utah. The questionable designation for Monday is an encouraging development, as it confirms that Bayless is on track to return next week. Upon his return, Bayless will eat into the minutes of J.J. Redick, T.J. McConnell and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Buddy Hield (sprained right ankle) was unable to suit up Saturday vs. Portland. He rolled his ankle Friday night trying to make a drive to the basket. He had to be helped to the locker room as he was unable to put weight on it. Watching it live, it had the look of a multi-game absence, but we’ll wait until we get an update from team before jumping to conclusions. The Kings next game is Monday vs. Denver.
Vince Carter (illness) missed his sixth straight game on Saturday. Carter should be left on the wire.
Isaiah Taylor has been diagnosed with a retinal tear and will be sidelined for 1-2 weeks. Taylor initially sustained the injury when he got poked in the eye during Friday’s practice. Malcolm Delaney will handle the backup PG minutes behind Dennis Schroder while Taylor is sidelined. Taylor belongs on the waiver wire in all fantasy leagues.
Iman Shumpert will be out for 5-7 days while he undergoes treatment and rehabilitation for a left knee effusion. Shump experienced left knee soreness during the first half of Friday’s game vs. the Clippers. He was examined at halftime and did not return to play. Dwyane Wade, Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith should see a few more minutes a night.
Isaiah Thomas (hip) sounded optimistic about his return in a lengthy interview with USA Today. “Every week now, every week I'm getting better and better. I'm doing more and more. I'm getting closer to being back on the floor and being able to play, so the only thing that is the frustrating part is the time,” said Thomas. “And what I've had to do is let the body heal itself, and then work on - which is the rehab part, of getting the strength back in my hip in that leg, and that glute, and all that, and get that firing back like it used to.” The initial targeted return date was early January, but Thomas may be slightly ahead of schedule, with a return in late December now a seemingly a possibility. We should have a clearer picture of Thomas’ status by early next month.
Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:
John Wall (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Raptors. Wall had treatment done earlier this week and said that he is now dealing with a fluid buildup in his knee. The limited mobility resulted in a disappointing performance (eight points, three rebounds, eight assists in 35 minutes) on Friday. If Wall is unable to play Sunday, Tim Frazier would draw the start at point guard, and Bradley Beal would be asked to shoulder a more substantial portion of the Wizards offense.
Serge Ibaka (knee) is listed as questionable in the game notes for Sunday’s matchup with the Wizards. Ibaka did not play Friday due to swelling in his left knee. Pascal Siakam started for Serge in the win over the Knicks on Friday and scored 13 points with four rebounds, five assists, three blocks and one steal in 34 minutes. Siakam would be an intriguing DFS option on Sunday if Serge is sidelined. Siakam is averaging 14.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 26.8 minutes in the four games he has started this season.
Norman Powell (hip) is listed as doubtful to play against the Wizards on Sunday. OG Anunoby started at small forward on Friday and finished with 11 points, one rebound and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. C.J. Miles had 14 points, three boards and two treys in 24 minutes off the bench.
Delon Wright (shoulder) won’t play on Sunday. Wright is headed to New York to visit with specialists. Surgery appears to be the most likely outcome. In the meantime, Fred VanVleet will serve as Kyle Lowry’s primary backup at the point. VanVleet scored seven points with four rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in 17 minutes vs. the Knicks on Friday.
Tyson Chandler (illness) is listed as questionable in the game notes for the Suns matchup with the Bulls on Sunday. Chandler has missed each of Phoenix's last two contests. Greg Monroe has started both games. Monroe exploded for 20 points and 11 boards in his debut in the first game, but tallied just six points and one rebound in 16 minutes on Friday. Meanwhile, Alex Len had 17 points, a career-high 18 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 27 minutes in that contest.
David Nwaba (ankle) was unable to practice on Saturday and has been ruled out of Sunday's game vs. the Suns. Sunday will be the sixth straight game he’s missed. Nwaba had been making progress and was hoping to return this weekend, but was not cleared by team doctors. Chicago’s next game is Tuesday vs. the Lakers. Nwaba had started each of his final three games before injuring his ankle and should have a chance to reclaim a spot in the starting lineup once he's healthy enough to return.
Mason Plumlee (core strain) is listed as probable to play against the Lakers on Sunday. Plumlee logged 18 minutes against New Orleans on Friday. Coach Michael Malone said the injury would be a “pain management thing” for Plumlee. Even when fully healthy, Plumlee’s fantasy value is capped playing behind Nikola Jokic.