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Basketball Daily Dose

Dose: Break Time!!

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

It was a quiet night in the NBA with just two games as we head into the All-Star break. Here’s what went down and you can follow me on Twitter by clicking here. I also preview All-Star Weekend after the News & Notes.

 

Ingrid Williams, the 44-year-old wife of Thunder assistant Monty Williams, died in a car accident on Tuesday night that also killed the driver of the car that crossed the median and hit her head on in Oklahoma City. My condolences to Williams and the Thunder, in what is a devastating loss.

 

Thunder 121, Pelicans 95

 

Russell Westbrook just missed a triple-double with 23 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and two 3-pointers on a very efficient 8-of-14 shooting, and Kevin Durant added 23 points, six assists and three treys on 10-of-17 shooting. Serge Ibaka also came through with 18 points, seven rebounds, a steal and three blocks, while backup center Enes Kanter double-doubled with 11 points, 12 rebounds and a block in 27 minutes. Steven Adams (8-6-2) and Dion Waiters (6 points) were pretty quiet on Thursday, and Anthony Morrow had 10 points and a couple 3-pointers off the bench. Waiters is intriguing, but unreliable, while Adams is still worth a deep-league look if you need a center. Kanter has quietly scored in double figures in seven straight games and has hit double digits in rebounds in four of those, making him a hot (and cheap) play right now.

 

The Pelicans got 23 points from Anthony Davis, but just three rebounds, two steals and no blocks, and Jrue Holiday had 23 points, four boards, six assists, five steals and a 3-pointer in 32 minutes off the bench. Norris Cole came through with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists and a 3-pointer on 5-of-13 shooting in another start, and looks must-own to me. Starters Dante Cunningham, Alonzo Gee and Omer Asik all played heavy minutes, but collectively scored just 12 points. Ryan Anderson was a disaster, hitting just 2-of-12 shots for four points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. That makes two straight really bad games for Anderson and he’s simply in a shooting slump right now. In his last four games he’s hit just 2-of-12, 3-of-10, 9-of-17 and 2-of-11 shots, good (or bad) for 32 percent. Hopefully his shot comes back over the break. As it stands, Davis, Holiday, Cole and Anderson are the only Pelicans you want to mess with in fantasy these days.

 

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Bucks 99, Wizards 92

 

The Bucks brought Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams off the bench again and won their second straight game. Khris Middleton was a monster, finishing with 27 points, six rebounds, nine assists, five steals and a 3-pointer, hitting 9-of-17 shots in the win. Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo both scored 17 and combined for 22 rebounds, and Monroe had 12 points and nine boards in 33 minutes off the bench. MCW was pretty bad with five points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal and four turnovers on 1-of-5 shooting in 20 minutes, while Jerryd Bayless had seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, a block and a 3-pointer on 3-of-10 shooting in 21 minutes. The timeshare is on, but both of them are currently better plays than new starter O.J. Mayo, who hit 1-of-4 shots for two points and one assist. Miles Plumlee started over Monroe at center and had four points, six rebounds and a block, but unlike the point guards, Monroe is still the man in the middle for the Bucks, whether starting or coming off the bench.

 

The Wizards got a balanced attack from Bradley Beal (19 points, 5 assists, 2 threes), John Wall (15 points, 10 assists, three 3-pointers, 5-of-19 shooting), and Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat (10 rebounds) and Nene, who all scored 14 points. Jared Dudley started and played 39 minutes, but hit just 3-of-8 shots for six points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He’d scored in double figures in each of his previous three games, but didn’t have it last night. Garrett Temple played just 16 minutes and Ramon Sessions played 11 minutes, and both of them have taken a big hit now that Porter and Beal are healthy again. Nene was nice with six boards to go along with the 14 points, but he might be hurt again before you even pick him up.

 

Update: Wall reportedly suffered a knee injury during the game, received some extra treatment and was in some pain. I'm guessing he plays in the All-Star Game and the injury isn't serious, but it's something to keep an eye on. 

 

Editor's Note: No NBA? No problem. Keep your FanDuel games rolling over the All Star Break by giving DFS NHL a try. This RotoGrinders article on "An Introduction to Daily Fantasy Hockey" will help you get started. Check it out.

 

 

News & Notes

 

Tyreke Evans had knee surgery and is out for the season (get Norris Cole).

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a torn labrum and could miss the rest of the season. Jeremy Lin looks like the pick up, with a dash of Jeremy Lamb thrown in.

 

Hassan Whiteside is suspended for next Friday in Atlanta for throwing an elbow at Boban Marjanovic on Tuesday. Amare Stoudemire should start in his place.

 

Kevin Love and Kelly Olynyk both avoided serious shoulder injuries on Tuesday and should be fine after the break.

 

Dwight Howard sounds likely to be traded against his wishes, as the Rockets don’t want to lose him to free agency this summer without getting anything in return. There is talk of the Hawks and Magic being big players in the trade game, while Markieff Morris is almost surely to be run out of Phoenix, especially after getting into it with Archie Goodwin on national TV on Wednesday night. For more Rotoworld trade talk, click here.

Check out Page 2 for an All-Star Weekend preview.

 

All-Star Weekend

 

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge takes place on Saturday at 8:30. Defending champ Patrick Beverley is out with a sore ankle and will be replaced by Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Here’s the list of participants:

 

Emmanuel Mudiay – Nuggets

DeMarcus Cousins – Kings

Draymond Green – Warriors

Anthony Davis – Pelicans

C.J. McCollum – Blazers

Karl-Anthony Towns – Wolves

Isaiah Thomas – Celtics

Jordan Clarkson – Lakers

 

My pick to click is Rotoworld favorite McCollum.

 

The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest will be the second even on Saturday night, following the Skills Challenge. Stephen Curry is the defending champ and will be a heavy favorite coming in. Here’s the list.

 

Stephen Curry – Warriors

James Harden – Rockets

Klay Thompson – Middleton

Kyle Lowry – Raptors

J.J. Redick – Clippers

Chris Bosh – Heat

Devin Booker – Suns

 

Of course I’m taking Curry, but if forced to pick a sleeper, I like young Booker’s chances. 

 

The Verizon Slam Dunk Contest takes place following the 3-point contest, as usual. Zach LaVine will be there to defend his title. He’s the favorite, according to me. The participants:

 

Zach LaVine – Wolves

Will Barton – Nuggets

Andre Drummond – Pistons

Aaron Gordon – Magic

 

Big men don’t win this and while I’d probably put money on LaVine if I were going to bet it, Barton is the perfect size and has the hops to win this event. And on a side note, I was at the 1985 contest when Dominique Wilkins won in Market Square Arena in Indy, and I’m not proud to say that was freaking 31 years ago. My brother, Gary, and I paid $5 each for our lower-level tickets. Ridiculous.

 

All-Star Game

 

The big game takes place on Sunday at 8:30 on TNT. Here are the rosters.

 

East Starters

 

Carmelo Anthony – Knicks

Paul George – Pacers

LeBron James – Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry – Raptors

Dwyane Wade – Heat

 

East Reserves

 

Pau Gasol – Bulls (replacing injured Jimmy Butler)

John Wall – Wizards

Andre Drummond – Pistons

Chris Bosh – Heat

DeMar DeRozan – Raptors

Paul Millsap – Hawks

Isaiah Thomas – Celtics

 

West Starters

 

Kobe Bryant – Lakers

Stephen Curry – Warriors

Kevin Durant – Thunder

Kawhi Leonard – Spurs

Russell Westbrook – Thunder

 

West Reserves

 

Draymond Green – Warriors

Klay Thompson – Warriors

Chris Paul – Clippers

James Harden – Rockets

DeMarcus Cousins – Kings

LaMarcus Aldridge – Spurs

Anthony Davis – Pelicans

 

MVP Prediction

 

Kobe Bryant, as my guess is both teams will try to let him go nuts late in his final All-Star Game.

 

NBA action will finally return on Thursday, Feb. 18. There are three games that night with the Jazz @ Wizards, Bulls @ Cleveland and Spurs @ Clippers. The latter two games are on TNT.

 

I hope you enjoy the All-Star break as much as I plan to!

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.