Saturday’s seven-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including a trio of brilliant all-around performances from Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Karl-Anthony Towns, Otto Porter scoring a season-high 29 points, and Julius Randle racking up 29/15/7 for the AD-less Pels.
After recapping the essential storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a quick look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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James Harden poured in 40 points (including five treys), dished out 13 assists and grabbed four rebounds in Saturday’s disappointing loss to the Cavs. On the negative side of the ledger, Harden committed nine turnovers and he also shot just 14-of-30 from the floor and 7-of-12 from the charity stripe (he was called for back-to-back lane violations, negating made free-throws in the third quarter). Still, fantasy owners can’t complain about a 40/13/4 stat line. This was somewhat expected with Chris Paul (rest) out of action, as Harden’s usage rate spikes when CP3 isn’t on the floor. The 30 FG attempts by The Beard were a season-high.
Tristan Thompson inhaled a career-high 22 boards against the Rockets on Saturday and chipped in 16 points, two assists and four steals in 39 minutes. Thompson has been on fire this week. Over the Cavs past three games, he is averaging 16.0 points, 16.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 34.8 minutes… Collin Sexton was the other key contributor in the Cavs surprising victory over Houston. Sexton scored a career-high 29 points (on 14-of-21 shooting) to go along with four rebounds, two assists, three turnovers and one 3-pointer. Sexton has scored at least 12 points in eight straight games and, over his last five, is averaging 21.1 points while shooting 53.7 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from downtown and 81.3 percent from the stripe. However, I believe his percentages will eventually come back down to earth, which means he'll have trouble sustaining his fantasy value if he doesn’t improve his assist and steal rate.
Otto Porter had, by far, his best game of the 2018-19 campaign on Saturday. He scored a season-high 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Remarkably, it’s the first time he’s topped the 20-point plateau this season. The 15 FG attempts were also a season-high. Even with his frustratingly slow start this season, Porter still ranks inside the top-50 overall in nine-category formats. Send out some offers ASAP if you are interested in trading for him because the buy-low window will soon slam shut.
Julius Randle exploded for 29 points, 15 boards, seven assists, one steal and one 3-pointer on Saturday. With Anthony Davis (hip) sidelined, Randle was a focal point of the Pelicans offense and he delivered a monster all-around effort. Should Davis miss another game, Randle will again be relied upon to shoulder plenty of the offensive load.
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Jabari Parker stayed hot on Saturday, finishing with 27 points (on 11-of-18 shooting) seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Parker has now scored 20-plus points in four of the Bulls last five games. Over this current five-game span, he is averaging 20.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor and 40 percent from downtown. Yet, I’m skeptical Parker can keep up this level of production, especially once Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis return to the lineup.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ full powers were on display as he dominated both ends of the floor in the Wolves victory over the Bulls on Saturday. He scored 35 points (13-of-23 FGs, 8-of-10 FTs) pulled down a season-high 22 rebounds, and tacked on six assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer. KAT has now scored over 20 points and shot at least 50 percent from the floor in three straight games… Dario Saric came to life on Saturday, posting his best game of the year. He notched season-highs in both points (19) and boards (14) in 25 minutes. Saric owners have been very antsy/frustrated, and Saric was even dropped in many leagues. He showed why he worth hanging onto in this one.
Russell Westbrook missed 17 of his 23 field goal attempts on Saturday but did record a triple-double: 16 points 10 rebounds, 12 assists. Surprisingly, it’s just his second trip-dub of the season. Also, his inefficiency on the offensive end if the primary reason why he ranks outside the top-45 overall in nine-cat formats in 2018-19… Paul George scored 24 points with 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers. PG-13 continues to stuff the stat sheet on a nightly basis. He now has three games this season with at least two steals and three blocks. Anthony Davis is the only player with more such games in 2018-19.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was absolutely everywhere in the Bucks thrilling come-from-behind win over the Spurs on Saturday, finishing the night with 34 points, 18 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, a block and three turnovers. He shot 9-of-16 shooting from the floor and 16-of-20 from the free-throw line. Per Basketball-Reference, Giannis became just the third player this century (joining Tim Duncan and David Lee) to tally at least 34/18/8 and shot over 50 percent from the floor. It was the Greek Freak’s third straight contest with more than 30 points and double-digit boards. During this stretch, he’s averaging 34.0 points, 14.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.0 steals, while shooting a mind-boggling 69.2 percent from the field. Giannis should be illegal because he’s just not fair.
DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high tying 34 points and racked up four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one 3-pointer on Saturday. DeRozan has been balling since arriving in San Antonio, averaging career-highs in both boards and dimes, and currently sits just outside the top-25 overall in nine-cat fantasy leagues.
Kevin Durant was spectacular on Saturday night, scoring a season-high 44 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, dishing out seven assists and blocking two shots en route to a victory over the Kings. He was 13-of-26 from the field and 16-of-17 from the stripe. The only negative was a season-high seven turnovers. After four straight defeats, KD has carried the Dubs to two consecutive wins.
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On The Radar:
Eric Gordon replaced Chris Paul (rest) in the starting lineup and scored a season-high 28 points (on 8-fo-16 shooting) on Saturday. He also added two rebounds, three steals and five 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Gordon had been struggling mightily with his shot coming into this contest, and badly needed a confidence booster… Clint Capela tallied 12 points, ten rebounds, three assists and four blocks in 40 minutes. As of Friday morning, Capela had never before played more than 38 minutes in an NBA game. However, he logged a career-high 43 minutes on Friday and backed it up with 40 more minutes Saturday night. This is excellent news for his spiking fantasy value.
John Wall scored 22 points and added seven rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes in a much-needed win on Saturday. However, Wall was icing his left ankle in the locker room afterward. The Wizards’ next game is Monday, and we’ll receive an update on Wall status by Sunday afternoon… Bradley Beal had 18/6/8 and three bocks in a game-high 45 minutes… Austin Rivers tied his season-high with 18 points off the bench. He also added two rebounds, two assists, two blocks, two steals and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes.
Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points with nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and five 3-pointers in 40 minutes against the Wizards on Saturday. The solid, steady Mirotic was 7-of-12 from the floor… Jrue Holiday hit just seven of his 18 FG attempts, but finished with 16 points, nine assists and five boards… E'Twaun Moore bounced back from a dud on Friday to tally 19 points (on 8-of-14 shooting), five rebounds, two assists and a whopping six steals.
Zach LaVine scored 28 points (9-of-17 FGs, 10-of-12 FTs) with eight rebounds and four assists. However, he didn’t record a steal or block and committed four turnovers… Justin Holiday shot just 5-of-18 from the field but tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one block, one steal, and four 3-pointers in 40 minutes… Ryan Arcidiacono missed all five of his field goal attempts and was held scoreless.
Andrew Wiggins was awful on Saturday. Incredibly, he didn’t score a single point and missed all 12 of his field goal attempts in 29 minutes. He also had just one rebound and one assist… Derrick Rose’s remarkable resurgence continues. He scored 22 points (9-of-13 FGs,) with two rebounds, four assists, one block, and two more 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Remarkably, D Rose is now 27-of-46 (58.6 percent) from 3-point territory dating back to his 50-point game on Halloween.
Jamal Murray totaled 22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two 3-pointers on Saturday. The only negative was his inefficient offense, as he shot 9-of-23 from the field. Nonetheless, the Blue Arrow is pointed up and his buy-low window is narrowing… Nikola Jokic was 6-of-20 from the floor and finished with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, one block and four turnovers… Juancho Hernangomez had 15 points, eight rebounds, one block, two steals and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes.
Luka Doncic got the start at point guard with Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) out and dished out a career-high eight assists in the Mavericks win over the Celtics. Luka also added 15 points (5-of-11 FGs), three steals, one block, and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. I still find it hard to believe that two teams decided not to draft Doncic, and a third team traded him away… Wes Matthews (left hamstring strain) returned to action and tallied 15 points, two rebounds, one assist, one block, and three 3-pointers. He’s been a bit more than just a 3-point specialist this season… Harrison Barnes had 20/3/3 and his five triples... DeAndre Jordan posted another double-double (14 points and 13 rebounds) and added three assists and a steal… J.J. Barea scored 20 points (9-of-16 FGs) with three rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes off the bench.
Kyrie Irving needed 24 shots to score 19 points in a loss to Dallas on Saturday. Kyrie, who was 9-of-24 from the field, ended up with five rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block in 35 minutes… Jayson Tatum scored 21 points (9-of-14 FGs) with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and three treys… Al Horford (knee) struggled in his return to the lineup. He scored eight points (3-of-11 FGs) with eight rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Stay patient… Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) was questionable on Saturday but did end up playing. Unfortunately, he continued to stink up the joint, finishing with four points (on 1-of-6 shooting), one rebound and three assists in 17 minutes… Marcus Smart scored a season-high 19 points to go along with two rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers.