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Basketball Daily Dose

Dose: Down Goes Kyrie Irving

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

Games Played Week 11




2 Games: MIA, TOR


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $200,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.


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Dallas 109, Cleveland 90


Dallas won this one easily despite the fact that no player scored more than 20 points (Monta Ellis), and five other players scored between 11 and 15 points. It’s becoming pretty clear that the Mavs are somewhat of a fantasy dead zone, except on nights when Rajon Rondo is angry and Monta Ellis goes into beast mode. Rondo had four points, four rebounds and eight assists last night, which was disappointing considering his 29-point explosion on Friday against the Celtics. The starting five (Dirk Nowitzki, Rondo, Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler) are all worth starting in fantasy, but the bench is pretty useless. Charlie Villanueva crashed back to earth with three points in just three minutes, and J.J. Barea had 14 points and four assists, but had to hit 6-of-7 shots off the bench to make it happen.


The Cavs are a mess without LeBron James and things got even messier last night when Kyrie Irving left with tightness in his back. He’s already been ruled out for Monday night and I’m thinking he could miss a week or so with the injury. Matthew Dellavedova is the direct recipient of increased minutes with Irving out, while Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters should go off for the depleted Cavs. Nothing is going right in Cleveland right now, but GM David Griffin did go on record Sunday and say that coach David Blatt’s job is still safe. In case you’ve been in a holiday stupor for the last several days, LeBron is expected to miss a couple weeks due to strains in his back and knee.


Detroit 114, Sacramento 95


I rarely use Brandon Jennings in daily leagues, but when I do, he tends to go nuts. And that was the case on Sunday when he exploded for 35 points, seven assists, two steals, five 3-pointers and just two turnovers. After a terrible five-point game on Tuesday, Jennings has played inspired ball and scored 29 and 35 points in his last two games. Andre Drummond was solid with 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks, Greg Monroe also double-doubled, and Jodie Meeks added 13 points and a 3-pointer off the bench in the win.


The Kings got a balanced attack with Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Derrick Williams and Ray McCallum all scoring in double figures. Jason Thompson was back in the starting lineup and Williams came off the bench, but D-Will is still a player I’d think about adding right now. Boogie Cousins was ice cold, hitting just 5-of-17 shots and committing six turnovers, and it’s pretty plain to see that he’s still not over the firing of coach Mike Malone. Hopefully he can hold it together the rest of the way.


Miami 88, Brooklyn 84


Dwyane Wade had 25 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals last night, and has missed just eight games thus far. Maybe he’s going to make it through the whole season, but I still don’t think the odds of that happening are very good. Yes, it’s time for you to start shopping D-Wade before the wheels fall off. Luol Deng was invisible last night and just can’t seem to get into a consistent rhythm, while Mario Chalmers bottomed out with three points on 1-of-5 shooting. I’m going to forget about him as long as Wade is in uniform each night. Chris Bosh is back in a big way and had 26 points, five rebounds and three 3-pointers, and Danny Granger didn’t do much with his 31 minutes of playing time. He scored three points on 1-of-7 shooting, and if Erik Spoelstra continues to give Granger that kind of run, he’s probably going to end up on the operating table before the season ends. Hassan Whiteside came off the bench for 11 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, and he now deserves your full attention going forward. He’s not a must-own player, by any means, but if he continues to get minutes and you need big-man help, keep a close eye on him.


The Nets were led by Joe Johnson’s 19 points, but the news is that Jarrett Jack and Mason Plumlee got another start, even though Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are somewhat healthy. D-Will had 13 points, six rebounds and eight assists, and Bro-Lo had 16 points, seven boards and a block, and they both could be back in the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the Mavericks. However, Williams suffered an injury to his side on Sunday, but it appears to be more like a cramp than an actual injury. My guess is he’ll play on Monday, but could come off the bench after the setback. Plumlee played pretty well, but Jack struggled, hitting 2-of-9 shots for four points, but he also had two steals and three blocks to salvage his line. Mirza Teletovic played 30 minutes off the bench and hit 5-of-15 shots and four 3-pointers for 14 points, four rebounds, a steal and a block. He’s way too inconsistent to trust, but is always worth keeping a close eye on in case he heats up. And I don’t know how he did it, but Alan Anderson played 24 minutes and failed to score. So there’s that.


Milwaukee 95, New York 82


Don’t look now, but the Bucks are the No. 6 seed in the East right now, and picked off the pathetic Knicks last night. Zaza Pachulia started at center again and had a season-high 16 points, 14 rebounds and two steals, and should be picked up while Larry Sanders continues to sit in street clothes. Giannis Antetokounmpo came through with 16 points, 12 rebounds, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer, and hit 6-of-9 shots. If he starts shooting the ball well, look out. John Henson was a dud with four points in just 11 minutes, while it was Kendall Marshall’s turn to light it up with 15 points in 21 minutes. I don’t trust any Bucks players off the bench. O.J. Mayo fought through an illness and played 25 minutes, but hit just 2-of-9 shots for four points. Jared Dudley’s hot run is officially kaput, as he had just two points in 21 minutes, and the only Bucks I’d throw into a weekly lineup right now are Pachulia, Brandon Knight and the Greek Freak.


The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony (knee) again and you have to wonder if he’s played his last game of the season. He’ll travel with the Knicks for their upcoming two-game road trip, but it’s unknown if he’ll actually play. They’re now 5-31 and 3-15 at home, and this season is a lost cause. If you can still trade Melo for anything, do it. Amare Stoudemire was out again with a sore knee, but Iman Shumpert appears to be nearing a return to action from his shoulder injury. I think stashing Shumpert is a good idea with Melo on the brink. Cole Aldrich stayed relevant with 12 points and seven boards, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points, four assists and three 3-pointers, and J.R. Smith started and had 15 points, seven boards, four assists and three 3-pointers. Aldrich, Jose Calderon (struggled last night), J.R. Smith, Hardaway and Jason Smith are the only Knicks you want to think about playing these days. However, you should also keep an eye on Quincy Acy (9 points, 7 boards), Cleanthony Early (5 points, 3 rebounds) and Stoudemire going forward.


Phoenix 125, Toronto 109


The Suns waxed the Raptors, pushing the Hawks into first place in the East by 1.5 games. Eric Bledsoe led the way again with 20 points and eight assists, while Goran Dragic added 18 points, and Isaiah Thomas got hot off the bench for 18 points, five steals and three 3-pointers. He could be ready to go on a hot streak again, now that he’s finally over his ankle injury. Markieff Morris was quiet with six points in 29 minutes, which means he should have a good game against the Bucks on Tuesday. Alex Len had 10 points and four rebounds, but played just 15 minutes, and none of the Suns centers are worth starting in fantasy right now.


The Raps got 21 points and 10 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas, and Kyle Lowry was on point again with 19 points, seven assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in the loss. James Johnson was nice off the bench with 17 points, seven rebounds and a full stat line, but the end is near, as DeMar DeRozan should be back in action later this week. Terrence Ross had 12 points, six boards and two 3-pointers, and Lou Williams hit all seven of his free throws for 17 points and two 3-pointers. Greivis Vasquez, who went off for 25 points and seven assists on Friday, missed all six of his shots and failed to score in 22 minutes off the bench. His inconsistency is enough to leave him on the wire in most leagues.


LA Lakers 88, Indiana 87


Kobe Bryant hit the game-winning shot against the Pacers last night and finished with 20 points, six boards, six dimes, three steals and two 3-pointers. The bad news is that he’ll take Monday off in order to rest. He’s going to be in and out of the lineup the rest of the way, so he might as well play for Gregg Popovich. The Lakers have four games this week, and my guess is Kobe will play in three of them, meaning you can probably plug him into your weekly lineup. Just know that he won’t play tonight against the Blazers. Wes Johnson suffered a strained right hip flexor and is now questionable for the week. Nick Young and Wayne Ellington will see a boost for the Lakers as a result. Ed Davis had 11 points and six rebounds, but starters Jordan Hill and Ronnie Price didn’t do much of anything last night. Young had 22 points, two 3-pointers and hit 12-of-12 free throws off the bench, and could be in line for a big week if Johnson is on the shelf.


The Pacers got a near triple-double from Donald Sloan and he finished with 16 points, seven boards and nine assists. He’s free money in daily leagues as long as C.J. Watson and George Hill are out with their injuries. Hill will miss a few more games due to a strained groin and Watson is day-to-day with a foot injury. As long as Sloan is starting, he can be used in all formats. All five Pacers starters scored in double figures and Roy Hibbert even graced us with a double-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds and a block. C.J. Miles stayed hot off the bench with 19 points and three more 3-pointers, and should be picked up in all leagues in which he’s available. Rodney Stuckey had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists, and while he’s inconsistent, the starting job and the minutes warrant a pick up for him, as well. 

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.