After a quick breather it was back to the grind last night and there were about a million storylines. I’ll cover most of them in detail in the Bruski Breakdown, but first let’s get to the highlights in the Dose and I’ll be back around mid-day with full analysis of Big Wednesday.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Anthony Davis||29||0||8||1||3||4||3||61.1%||9-cat leader, moving in on Harden for 8-cat.|
|Andre Drummond||26||0||17||1||4||3||5||71.4%||Jennings gonna get Drummond's FG% going?|
|Klay Thompson||27||3||3||5||4||0||0||47.6%||Won the battle of shooting guards again.|
|James Harden||33||3||4||6||2||1||2||44.4%||As mentioned before, I take Klay over Harden.|
|Nicolas Batum||27||6||10||5||0||1||2||60.0%||LMA's absence forcing him out of comfort zone.|
|Kyrie Irving||18||2||3||4||5||0||0||61.5%||Steady second round value all year long.|
|Brook Lopez||22||0||6||3||1||6||3||53.3%||The Kings were really bad but still a solid line.|
|Rudy Gay||25||1||8||6||1||1||1||52.6%||Post All Star issues to be covered in Breakdown.|
|John Wall||18||2||6||13||4||0||3||35.3%||Lost a tough one, Westbrook was a handful.|
|DeMarre Carroll||17||3||2||4||4||0||1||63.6%||Back on track, don't panic during slumps.|
|Isaiah Thomas||27||3||3||4||0||0||0||68.8%||The Suns look pretty darn happy to me.|
|Greg Monroe||24||0||10||4||0||1||2||68.8%||Showing up regularly in the winner's column.|
|Andrew Bogut||9||0||10||1||1||5||2||66.7%||Bogut & Co. talking mad trash last night to HOU|
|Marc Gasol||26||0||7||5||0||2||2||56.3%||He and Pau see-sawing in early second round.|
|Michael Carter-Williams||27||0||6||7||5||0||3||38.5%||U don't have to be lonely, at Punter's Only.com|
|Kevin Durant||34||4||7||3||0||1||3||43.5%||Durant killed a man. His name was Marcin.|
|Kevin Love||19||1||13||2||1||2||2||46.7%||Buy low before the All Star break of rest.|
|Chandler Parsons||22||4||2||2||0||1||1||69.2%||Sell for any solid mid-round asset.|
|Ryan Anderson||6||1||4||1||0||1||2||28.6%||Don't drop him, especially with Jrue hurting.|
|Bradley Beal||14||2||8||2||1||0||3||23.8%||Top 60-65 when on the floor so far.|
|Rajon Rondo||9||1||1||3||0||0||2||40.0%||Struggling so far in Dallas. 23.5% FTs. Yowza.|
|Roy Hibbert||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||25.0%||Just a day in the life of owning Hibbert.|
|Monta Ellis||7||0||0||3||3||0||1||25.0%||Ellis bad, Parsons good? Body switch comedy!|
|Mason Plumlee||6||0||0||2||1||0||2||100.0%||Got the Boogie treatment so disregard.|
|Kyle Lowry||20||2||8||3||2||1||3||30.4%||High-volume FG% problems can kill value.|
|Jeff Green||6||0||2||1||0||1||1||33.3%||Starting isn't always better. More later in BB.|
|Gorgui Dieng||6||0||7||1||0||0||1||50.0%||Buy low and laugh all the way to the bank.|
LaMarcus Aldridge is getting a second MRI today and that’s never a good sign, as hand injuries continue to be devastating for players. See 'The Middle' for the beneficiaries.
Deron Williams will not play on the current road trip, but USA Today’s Sam Amick said that a return on Monday was likely so mark your calendars. Jarrett Jack banged a knee but stayed in last night’s unwatchable win over the Kings, finishing with 16 points, eight assists and a full line in the win. Walk Jack all the way to the edge and then some until Williams proves he can kill his value.
Ricky Rubio (ankle) had a bone bruise and his ankle injury was more serious than the Wolves let on, but he’s still nearing a return and teammate Kevin Martin (wrist) will be back sooner than him. This is going to be a real test for Andrew Wiggins’ value, and I think he should be held but with an eye on the last third of the season. When the Wolves reconvene at full strength, it could be a late-round or worse return for a few weeks. Owners need to simply plan around that.
Like other small markets, the Pelicans were able to get away with not revealing the severity of Jrue Holiday’s leg injury for the last week. It was finally announced that he’ll miss the next 2-4 weeks with a stress reaction in the leg that ruined last season, and because the Pelicans have a history of letting injury timelines run wild – owners have to be on red alert. This means Tyreke Evans (19 points, four rebounds, four assists) should be given a round or two bump during that span since he'll hold the car keys, and Eric Gordon (17 points, five boards, 10 assists) should be owned across the board.
Joakim Noah (ankle) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game and that makes Taj Gibson a must-play guy, and though Nikola Mirotic has been very quiet lately he’s a nice gamble on a quiet Thursday night.
George Hill (groin) practiced on Tuesday and was questionable for last night but he did not play. That’s coming soon enough and it’s going to put all of the low-end, fringe guys in Indy on notice.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Anthony Davis returned from his toe injury and hit 11-of-18 shots for 29 points, eight rebounds, three steals and four blocks. It will be interesting to see how Tyreke Evans at point guard full-time affects his touches, but it didn’t hurt him tonight.
Apparently according to post-game reports the injury isn’t serious, and the Lakers looked pretty normal with low-end lines for Jeremy Lin (seven points, three assists, four steals, one block, one three), Nick Young (nine points, two threes, one steal), Ed Davis (seven points, eight boards, one steal, one block), and Wesley Johnson (eight points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals). Whenever Operation Shutdown Kobe occurs, everybody gets a lot more breathing room, but in the meantime I like Lin and Young as must-own player in 12-team formats and Johnson and Davis are both worth consideration.
Nikola Pekovic (ankles) returned to action after traveling for weeks with a group of covert mercenary fisherman hailing from the Arctic Circle. He hit 5-of-11 shots for 14 points and four rebounds in 23 minutes in the loss to Dallas, grumbling the whole time about lost progress in the war on shrimp. Gorgui Dieng got the Tyson Chandler treatment and finished with six points, seven rebounds and no steals or blocks in 25 minutes, in a situation I also like to call ‘send his owner an offer right now.’ Dieng may hit a small speed bump but he’ll get the lion’s share of the minutes measuring from now until the end of the season.
Tobias Harris (ankle) returned and yet again the Orlando media had no clue until it was going to happen, which isn’t necessarily a function of their ability but rather the lack of demand for the news and most importantly the tight lips being employed by the team. He got off a little bit with the game already decided, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and one three to reward owners that gambled on a shaky three-game week. He looked fine though and immediately cut into Channing Frye’s production. I’ll cover the Magic in detail in the Bruski Breakdown, but Frye isn’t a must-own player because of his lower upside.
Kemba Walker made his absence due to a knee injury a short one, but managed to hit just 4-of-17 shots for 15 points, two rebounds and one assist in 34 minutes. He’s a gamer and though he could struggle, he should remain in all lineups for now.
Nene is making all sorts of noise now and it’s possible he’s getting his conditioning back, though by the looks of him he still seems a bit heavy. He scored a season-high 24 points with four rebounds, three assists, 6-of-9 hits from the foul line and no steals or blocks. He has been a top 80-100 play over the last eight games, averaging 13.9 points with 6.5 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks and 54.5 percent shooting from the field in 27 mpg. We all know his injury history but if you need a big man those numbers will do until you can hopefully find a more permanent situation.
Timofey Mozgov had another solid game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and two blocks, and the connection with David Blatt along with the fact his game is pretty static appear to have won out. He should go back to being a dependable late-round option at center as long as there is no severe face-plant.
Enes Kanter isn’t going to be great as long as Rudy Gobert is around, but as the 24 & 17 he put up last night shows, he has a role for these Jazz and like I’ve mentioned a few times it’s complementary to what Gobert and Derrick Favors are doing. I think he’ll hang around the lower ends of late-round value in standard leagues, but that’s good enough for a pickup in standard formats. As for Gobert, if you part with him you’re crazy unless it’s a ridiculous offer that you’re probably not going to get. The Frenchman has been a top 11-22 play over the last 13 games in just 27.4 mpg and that’s probably the playing time he gets between now and the end of the year, with numbers that will look a lot like what he’s putting up right now.
Dorell Wright turned back the clock to finish with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting, three rebounds, five assists, two steals and three treys in a start for LaMarcus Aldridge (thumb). The game against the Suns was choppy and somewhat garbage-time filled, but beyond that the Blazers have never really had a great beneficiary when LMA goes down.
Given the huge disparities in personnel that could theoretically fill-in (Wright, Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard), it gives Terry Stotts a pretty easy call to play the matchups, but if you have dead weight and want to take a flier on Wright it could make some sense. If he hits the Aldridge injury doesn’t sound great and it could end up looking pretty smart.
C.J. Miles just won’t go away and he put up another quality line of 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and two threes in last night’s loss to the Hawks. Ride him until the wheels fall off, which will happen when George Hill returns soon.
Langston Galloway has tanking asset written all over him, scoring 11 points with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes against the Sixers. The only thing keeping him out of a heavier recommendation is the 10-day contract thing, and it does seem like he’ll be re-signed but 10-day guys are notorious for exceeding their typical usage rates. Putting the full weight of a must-add or strong-add recommendation is iffy for a guy with six games under his belt – three good and three bad. He has top 80-90 upside without going full Linsanity and owners might not want to go Linsane in the Membrane when measuring the risk/reward of a speculative add.
Jerami Grant is another guy like Galloway who has looked pretty darn good and playing for the Sixers he has all the opportunity in the world. Grant blocked a fluky eight shots but had just four points, two rebounds and one assist in his 25 minutes. He’s averaging a combined 4.0 steals, blocks and treys, aided by the outlier of last night, but still impressive nonetheless. Add water to this plant and he could grow into a nice asset, but he’s a flier at best right now in 12-team formats.
I think I wrote three weeks ago that if Donatas Motiejunas was able to fend off Josh Smith and be valuable for a few weeks until Terrence Jones returned I could live with passing him up. Motiejunas indeed proved to be valuable, but he has his work cut out for him and last night’s four points, three boards and two assists is more than enough for me to recommend an all-out cut in standard formats.
Louis Williams (21 points, two threes, 7-of-7 FTS) was the only one of the Raptors’ displaced-wing crew to survive last night’s loss to the Grizzlies. DeMar DeRozan’s return puts Williams’ value in a late-round ceiling, and everybody else can be dropped in 12-14 team formats. That includes Greivis Vasquez (three points, 1-of-8 FGs, three assists, two steals, 22 minutes), James Johnson (eight minutes) and Terrence Ross (18 minutes, zero points).
Lance Stephenson is going to be much better than the four points, three rebounds and four assists he put up in 22 minutes last night. But he’s not going to be a mid-round player wherever he plays, and this is way too much trouble for owners to deal with.