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Basketball Daily Dose

Dose: Giannis the Giant

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

In a seven-game night, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went off, as usual, the Cavs got a win, and Giannis Antetokounmpo messed around again. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!


Cavaliers 100, Pacers 96 – The Cavs had lost three of their previous four games and caught a huge break when a Paul George 3-pointer was changed to a two late in the game. LeBron James racked up 33 points on 14-of-22 shooting, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and six assists, and hit 11-of-11 free throws, and Kevin Love was quietly effective with 13 points, eight boards, six dimes, a block and a 3-pointer. Timofey Mozgov started over Tristan Thompson and had one point and eight boards, while Thompson double-doubled off the bench with 14 points and 11 boards on 6-of-7 shooting. Obviously, Thompson is still the guy you want to own here, despite the demotion. As for J.R. Smith, he had 11 points and three 3-pointers, but hit just 4-of-14 shots. He actually came into this game shooting it very well, and he’s at 46 percent over his last five games. But even with the nice shooting, he’s not exactly blowing up stat sheet, averaging 11.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five. Maybe you can’t do better off the waiver wire, but then again, maybe you can.


Paul George went off for the Pacers, racking up 23 points, eight boards, six dimes, two steals and four 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough. Monta Ellis is cooking right now. He had 28 points last night and is averaging 20 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and a 3-pointer per game over his last three. George Hill was pretty quiet against a team giving it up to point guards lately with just 11 points and five assists, while big men Ian Mahinmi and Myles Turner combined for just 10 points and 11 rebounds in a disappointing effort. Chase Budinger had 11 off the bench, but played just 15 minutes. Forget about him.  Look for Hill, Mahinmi and Turner to bounce back in the next one.


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Wizards 116, Sixers 108 – When Markieff Morris was announced as the starter yesterday I loaded up on him in DFS, as the Sixers have been getting crushed by opposing power forwards lately. He got hot early and cooled off late, but still finished with 16 points, 13 boards, five assists, two steals and a block. I don’t trust him every night, but as long as he’s starting, he has the chance to play like this any time the matchup works in his favor. John Wall went off for 37 points and a very full stat line, and Marcin Gortat had an 18 & 20 double-double. The Sixers always give it up to opposing centers, and they should be in your DFS lineups on the daily. Otto Porter had 10 points, six boards and two 3-pointers, but I was hoping for more. At least he was better than he has been and there is a glimmer of hope for the future. Bradley Beal had 16 points, but hit just 7-of-20 shots and didn’t do anything else. I would like to see him back in the starting unit, but they’re using caution with him and his stanky leg.


Jahlil Okafor was out with a shin injury so Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant started for the Sixers. Isaiah Canaan also started over Nik Stauskas last night and had 13 points, three assists and three 3-pointers. Keep an eye on him if he continues to start. Noel wasn’t spectacular, but still had 11 points, six boards, two steals and a block, and Grant had 14 points, six boards, four dimes and two blocks. If Okafor continues to sit, Noel and Grant should be solid plays. Robert Covington struggled with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting, but Ish Smith came through with 25 points, seven assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Stauskas still played 32 minutes off the bench, but finished with just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. If you own Stauskas, the minutes are at least promising. As for Covington, every time he gets our hopes up he lets us down, but he’s still worth owning in most formats. He’s just not very reliable.


Celtics 100, Jazz 95Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas all played well in the starting lineup, while Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson kind of flopped. I expected it from Johnson, but Sully’s eight points, nine boards and a block were a little disappointing. I still like the idea of holding Sullinger. Center Tyler Zeller had 10 points, six boards and two blocks off the bench, but is only worth consideration in very deep leagues. Marcus Smart is officially cold and had just five points, five rebounds, four assists and a 3-pointer off the bench. He’s scored five or fewer points in two of his last three games, but the minutes are there and the production should follow. Evan Turner played 28 minutes off the bench and had eight points, six boards, four assists, two steals and a block. He’s better than this on most nights.


Derrick Favors double-doubled with 11 points, 16 boards, a steal and three blocks, Rudy Gobert double-doubled with 12 points and 12 boards (zero blocks) and Shelvin Mack led the starters with 18 points and two 3-pointers. He added just one assist and two steals, but played 30 minutes and is now a must-own player. Rodney Hood somehow had seven assists to go along with 11 points, but hit just 4-of-17 shots in 35 minutes. He’ll get hot again in a minute. Trey Lyles hit 8-of-18 shots for 18 points, 10 rebounds, a 3-pointer and a block in 24 minutes. He had played five or fewer minutes in three of his previous four games, so don’t get too excited about last night’s mini explosion. Trey Burke didn’t even play last night and Raul Neto saw just 18 minutes, which are two more reasons you should own Mack. Gordon Hayward had 16 points, six assists and two 3-pointers, and is always a solid fantasy option in any format.


Bucks 128, Rockets 121Giannis Antetokounmpo went crazy with 18 points, 17 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals and two blocks on 7-of-12 shooting. Talk about efficiency! That’s his second triple-double in four games and he’s averaging 17.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.2 blocks over his last five, while hitting 52 percent of his shots. The Alphabet has arrived! The Rockets are terrible against power forwards and Jabari Parker torched them for a career-high 36 points, four boards, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. He’s been a blast to own over the past few weeks and is showing no signs of slowing down. Khris Middleton was also fun last night with 30 points, four assists, five steals and a 3-pointer. He also hit 7-of-11 shots and 15-of-15 free throws to cap off an impressive night by the Bucks. O.J. Mayo started, but didn’t score, and Jerryd Bayless had 18 points, four assists, a steal and five 3-pointers off the bench. Michael Carter-Williams was out with a sore left knee, which means Bayless should be a hot pickup right now. I’m good with dropping MCW or Mayo for Bayless. Greg Monroe played just 20 minutes off the bench and had 10 points and six rebounds, while starting center Miles Plumlee had nine points, eight boards and a block. Monroe is still the only center you want to mess with in Milwaukee, but his bench role is very, very annoying.


All five Rockets starters scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard’s 30 points and 13 boards. James Harden scored 26 with three 3-pointers and a full stat line, Trevor Ariza had 20 points, a career-high 11 assists, two steals and four 3-pointers, while Josh Smith and Patrick Beverley were serviceable in fantasy terms. The bench was quiet last night and Clint Capela was out again with a foot injury, and has missed three straight games. Smith is intriguing, but not worth it, while Ariza has been playing very well on a regular basis. The bottom line is that you should be starting forwards and shooting guards when they play the Rockets. 


Grizzlies 103, Nuggets 96Zach Randolph had 22 points and six assists, and Chris Andersen started at center for the Grizzlies. Andersen had just seven points and four boards in 22 minutes, while JaMychal Green played just 12 minutes off the bench. Ignore all center options in Memphis, especially with Brandan Wright out with a knee injury. Matt Barnes came through with 16 points, five boards, five assists and two steals, P.J. Hairston stayed relevant with 14 points, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and Mike Conley was disappointing with seven points and nine assists on 2-of-9 shooting. Conley had been playing well and will bounce back. Hairston is worth a look with Tony Allen hurting, and is averaging 11.6 points and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games. He can hurt you though, and had just four points on 1-of-5 shooting on Saturday against the Suns. Lance Stephenson is hot right now with Allen hurt, and had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench. Mario Chalmers had 15 points, a couple steals and a 3-pointer, but Stephenson looks like a better bet. Stephenson’s averaging 13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists over his last three games. But he should take a hit once Allen is healthy again. Barnes should be owned in most leagues right now.


Kenneth Faried double-doubled and Gary Harris scored 15 points with three 3-pointers in the loss. Harris is worth a look in all leagues with Danilo Gallinari out with an ankle injury. He could miss a month, meaning Harris and Will Barton should be owned. Barton struggled on 3-of-9 shooting, but still had nine points, six boards and four assists in the loss. Nikola Jokic had 10 points, six boards, a steal and a block, and is the only center you should care about in Denver right now. Emmanuel Mudiay had eight points, five rebounds, seven assists and two blocks on 3-of-9 shooting. He played 33 minutes and it seems like for every thing he does well, he counteracts it with mistakes. JaKarr Sampson started at shooting guard and played 33 minutes, but Harris and Barton are the guys you need to think about owning.


Thunder 131, Kings 116Russell Westbrook racked up a 20-13-15 triple-double and Kevin Durant added 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers in the win. Wow. Serge Ibaka was quiet, as he deferred to the aforementioned studs, and when Westbrook and Durant are rolling like this, they’re the only two trustworthy members of the Thunder. Steven Adams was awful last night, while Enes Kanter went off for 23 points and four rebounds. He hit 11-of-11 shots and is averaging 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 steals over his last five, so make sure he’s not available in your league if you need a center. Dion Waiters scored all 22 of his points in the second half and hit 8-of-11 shots off the bench. He scored eight or fewer points in three of his previous four games, so forget about last night’s big game.


Rudy Gay (shoulder) sat this one out so James Anderson started. He had just three points in 18 minutes, while Quincy Acy had 10 points and three steals in another start. Ignore both of them. DeMarcus Cousins went nuts with 35 points, 12 boards and four steals, and played through a left ankle sprain. He also picked up a technical and sits just two away from a one-game suspension. Rajon Rondo was initially reported as not playing last night, but that changed and he was in the starting lineup. He nearly triple-doubled with 11 points, nine boards and 12 assists, and he’s been day-to-day forever. I went with Darren Collison when it appeared that Rondo wouldn’t play and Collison still came through with 12 points, four assists and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He’s playing a lot of shooting guard, as Ben McLemore has fallen completely out of favor in Sacramento. Willie Cauley-Stein played just 16 minutes and can be dropped for a hot free agent.


Clippers 105, Nets 95Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 dimes, J.J. Redick had 19 points and three 3-pointers, and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points, 10 boards and a block in the win. Luc Mbah a Moute and Paul Pierce started, but combined for just 10 points. Jeff Green is the small forward you want to own in L.A. right now. Green hit just 3-of-9 shots and a 3-pointer for seven points and seven boards, and it was disappointing not seeing him in the starting unit. But he played starters’ minutes, so just hang in there with him. Jamal Crawford went off for 26 points and three 3-pointers, but he’s hard to trust with Redick starting and playing well.


For the Nets, Brook Lopez fired up 25 points, 10 boards, a steal and two blocks and all five starters played well. Thaddeus Young hit just 4-of-12 shots for nine points, but also had 11 rebounds, four assists and a steal. Donald Sloan stayed quite relevant with 10 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, but hit just 2-of-8 shots. Sloan should be owned in most leagues, despite playing just 24 minutes last night. Bojan Bogdanovic is the big winner in the departure of Joe Johnson and had 19 points, six boards and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Pick him up. Wayne Ellington had 13 points and three 3-pointers and is averaging 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s worth a deep-league look if you need threes, but Bogdanovic is the pickup here. Markel Brown came off the bench and had eight points, five assists and a 3-pointer, and I like him much better as a sleeper if he’s starting for the Nets. Brown has scored eight or fewer points in three of his last four games. Point guard Shane Larkin played 24 minutes and had six points and six assists, but Sloan is still the clear favorite for fantasy success on a nightly basis.

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.