After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a quick look at a few players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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Kemba Walker put on an epic performance Saturday night in Charlotte. He exploded for a career-high 60 points, which is the most scored in a game this season and the most ever by a player in the Hornets franchise history. Walker finished 21 of 34 from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. He tacked on seven rebounds, four assists and six treys for good measure. Walker joins Allen Iverson as the only two players in NBA history listed 6'1" or shorter with a 60-point game on their resume. The only thing missing from Walker’s magical night was a victory, but Jimmy Butler blocked Kemba's final FG attempt and then hit a game-winner on the other end of the floor. Still, on the season, Kemba’s scoring average jumped up to 28.7, and he now ranks inside the top-five in nine-category fantasy formats.
Ben Simmons was everywhere for the Sixers on Saturday and stuffed the stat sheet in Philly’s win. He scored a season-high 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out nine assists and notched two steals. And not only was Big Ben 7-of-13 from the floor, but he was also 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. The nine makes and 11 takes both represent season-highs for Simmons.
Anthony Davis’ monster night may get lost in the shuffle a bit due to Kemba’s incredible performance, but AD had another magnificent outing for New Orleans on Saturday. Davis detonated for 40 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, one block and no turnovers in 38 minutes to carry the Pelicans to victory. (According to Basketball-Reference, the only player in league history with at least 40/8/8 in a game without committing a single turnover was Larry Bird.) This after Davis tallied 43 points, 17 boards and five assists in a comeback win on Friday. Yes, that means he averaged 41.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.0 turnovers in these two New Orleans victories. The best fantasy player on the planet is elbowing his way into the “best all-around player in the NBA” conversation this season.
Jarrett Allen had arguably the best game of his young career on Saturday, as he converted 8-of-13 from the field and 8-of-9 from the stripe en route to a career-high 24 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, two assists, one block and one turnover in 28 minutes. It was Allen’s first-ever 20/10 game and his fifth double-double. He recorded only four double-doubles in 72 games as a rookie last season.
Nikola Jokic just missed another triple-double on Saturday, finishing with 25 points, ten rebounds, eight assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Jokic appeared to slightly injure his right leg in the first half, and had thigh wrapped while sitting on the bench. However, he quickly re-entered the fray, and his production obviously didn’t suffer. He should be good to go for the Nuggets next outing.
Nikola Vucevic poured in a season-high 36 points during an impressive win over the Lakers on Saturday. Vooch also tacked on 13 rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Vucevic is averaging career-highs in points (19.9), field goal percentage (54.9%), 3-pointers (1.1) and 3-point percentage (43.6%). Add it all up and you have a player that is ranked 12th overall in nine-cat leagues this season.
Paul George continued to beast on Saturday, stuffing the stat sheet to the tune of 32 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, three triples, three steals and three blocks. That’s three straight games with at least 32 points for PG-13, while shooting over 52 percent from the floor. After a bit of a slow start to the season, George has been phenomenal of late.
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On the Radar:
D'Angelo Russell scored 23 points and dished out a season-high ten assists against the Clippers on Saturday. He also chipped three rebounds, two steals, one block and five 3-pointers in 35 minutes, and only committed one turnover. This is the second straight game with 23 points for DAR, who has seen his minutes and production surge since Caris LeVert (foot) went down… Joe Harris scored 19 points with one rebound, four assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Harris isn’t flashy, but he’s remarkably consistent, and a provides a steady supply of treys.
Tobias Harris notched a season-high 27 points on Saturday to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. At 10-5, the Clippers are off to a great start and the underrated Harris is a major reason why… Danilo Gallinari has also been a critical cog in the Clippers attack. Gallo scored 28 points (on 9-of-14 shooting) with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 33 minutes. The question coming into the season was whether or not Gallinari would be able to stay healthy. Well, he has. Owners that gambled on Gallo have been richly rewarded thus far. He ranks inside the top-30 overall in nine-category leagues… Montrezl Harrell chipped in 16 points and ten boards in 27 minutes off the bench. He was huge in the fourth quarter.
Julius Randle has had some sporadic clunkers this season, but he’s now working on back-to-back double-doubles, after totaling 21 points, ten rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block in 27 minutes on Saturday… Unsurprisingly, Nikola Mirotic had another double-double himself. Niko finished with 20 points, ten boards, two assists, three treys and three blocks… Jrue Holiday tallied 19 points, three rebounds, eight dimes, three steals and a block.
Juancho Hernangomez stayed hot on Saturday. After a season-high 25 points on Thursday, Juancho scored 20 points with 11 rebounds, two assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes on Saturday. That’s 30+ minutes in four straight games for Hernangomez and he’s definitely worth a flier if you have room on your roster… Gary Harris scored 24 points with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and six 3-pointers in 39 minutes. He’s quietly settling in around the top-50 overall in nine-cat leagues, just as we hoped/expected… Jamal Murray has gotten off to a slow start this season and struggled on again on Saturday. He was 4-of-14 from the field for 11 points with two rebounds, six assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes. Stay patient.
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John Collins (ankle) finally made his season debut on Saturday. He was on a minutes limit, so he only logged 12 minutes, but still scored 12 points with two rebounds and one block. He should be owned in all leagues, as he’ll be a focal point of the up-tempo Hawks offense once he is healthy… Trae Young's struggles continued on Saturday. He was just 2-of-11 from the floor and missed all five of his 3-point attempts, finishing with six points and five assists in 27 minutes. He also turned the ball over five times. Young leads the NBA in TO’s this month and, over his last five games, he is shooting 31.9 percent from the floor and 18.5 percent from downtown. We suspected coming into the season that Young would struggle with poor FG% and TO’s, and thus far it has been the reality. As a result, he’s weighing teams down in nine-cat leagues. I’d wait for him to have a big scoring game, and they try to move him… Dewayne Dedmon (personal) returned to the lineup and delivered 12 points and seven boards in 23 minutes off the bench.
Aaron Gordon (ankle) was a game-time decision on Saturday, but ended up suiting up. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes… D.J. Augustin slashed through the Lakers defense at will in the second half. He finished with a season-high 22 points (on 7-of-9 shooting) with one rebound, six assists, two turnovers and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes. He’s averaging over 27 minutes per game this season and ranks right around 115th overall… Jonathan Isaac flashed that exciting upside that had folks reaching for him on draft day. Big Jon blocked a career-high five shots and added seven points, five rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer in 17 minutes. His minutes limit should be lifted soon, if he can stay healthy.
LeBron James totaled 22 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one block, three turnovers and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes on Saturday. It’s quite rare that LeBron is not one of the “Saturday Standouts,” but he just didn’t have it in this one. The good news is that Luke Walton has done a decent job of limiting his minutes when possible. He’s played 36 or fewer minutes in six of his last seven… Brandon Ingram had a surprisingly solid all-around game, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds, a season-high seven assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes… Lonzo Ball had a dud: zero points (on 0-of-5 shooting) five rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in 28 minutes.
Jeremy Lamb posted his second double-double of the season on Saturday. He scored 20 points (6-of-18 FG, 7-of-7 FT) with ten rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes. Ranking inside the top-60 overall thus far, Lamb’s been one of the more pleasant surprises of the season in 2018-19… Nicolas Batum, on the other hand, has been disappointing. He had his worst game of the season on Saturday, as he failed to score a single point in 19 minutes. He got booed in the third quarter after an air-ball and only played two minutes in the second half. Still, stay patient.
Joel Embiid tallied 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes on Saturday. He was money from the free-throw stripe (13-of-14), but again struggled from the floor, making just 9-of-23 attempts… Jimmy Butler scored 15 points with three rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks, and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes. Butler was incredibly clutch in the final 15 seconds of overtime for the Sixers. First, he blocked and saved Kemba Walker’s shot on one end, then came down the floor and drilled the game-winning dagger 3-pointer.
Donovan Mitchell (who had zero assists despite 35 FG attempts on Friday) bounced back from a disappointing loss and helped deliver a much-needed, impressive win over the Celtics in Boston on Saturday. Mitchell scored 28 points (on 10-of-21 shooting) to go along with three rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block, three turnovers and five 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Hopefully, D Mitch can build some positive momentum off this strong showing… Ricky Rubio entered the weekend shooting just 34.2 percent from the floor, but made 6-of-13 from the field for 20 points with four rebounds, two assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes on Saturday… Rudy Gobert (12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals) was relatively quiet.