Wednesday night offered 14 games, 28 teams and roughly 390 players in action. That’s a lot of stuff to cram in a Daily Dose, but I’m going to do my best to hit all the highs and lows. Time and space are at a premium here, so don’t expect lengthy and detailed breakdowns.
Chandler Parsons – Recovering from knee surgery, no viable replacement.
Jabari Parker – Recovering from knee surgery, targeting November.
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Game of the Night - C.J. McCollum goes bonkers in 112-94 win over Pelicans
C.J. McCollum, possibly the most hyped player on Rotoworld this year, went nuts in his opener, hitting 14-of-22 shots and six 3-pointers for a career-high 37 points, six rebounds, one assist, a steal and no turnovers. Wow! If you drafted him, it looks like the hype is real, although it’s unrealistic to expect this every night. Or is it? Damian Lillard hit just 8-of-21 shots and a 3-pointer for 21 points, 11 dimes and two steals. Mason Plumlee (seven points, six assists, six rebounds in 19 minutes) and Meyers Leonard (12 points, eight rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers) started for the Blazers and also fared well against the Pelicans. Big man Ed Davis also chipped in with 12 points, 11 boards and a steal in 29 minutes off the bench. All three bigs are worth a look right now.
The Pels got 25 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks from Anthony Davis, but perhaps the most exciting part of his line were his three 3-pointers. He’s about ready to take off. Eric Gordon played a whopping 41 minutes and had 20 points and three 3-pointers, while Ryan Anderson came through off the bench with 21 points, nine boards and three triples. Starter Dante Cunningham disappeared, missing all three of his shots for six boards in 31 minutes. He should be better than this on most nights. Jrue Holiday played 21 minutes in the start, but hit just 5-of-14 shots for 12 points and three assists. He’s going to be a slow roll for the next month. Ish Smith hit just 3-of-14 shots, but still had seven points, four boards, eight assists, two steals and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes, and looks like the PG to own in New Orleans right now. Nate Robinson had another massive dud, failing to score in four minutes. Cut him and pick up Ish.
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Studs and Duds
Wolves beat Lakers - Ricky Rubio had a career-high 28 points, 14 assists and two 3-pointers on 10-of-17 shooting in a thrilling 112-111 win over the Lakers. Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Kevin Martin scored 22 points (zero 3-pointers) off the bench. Rubio was emotional speaking about deceased coach Flip Saunders after the game, adding special meaning to the win for Minnesota. Gorgui Dieng was a bust, hitting 1-of-4 shots in 20 minutes. Hang in there with him.
Kobe Bryant hit just 8-of-24 shots and 3-of-13 3-pointers, but still finished with 24 points, four boards, one assist and two steals. Enjoy it while it lasts. Kobe is playing in his 20th season for the Lakers, an NBA record. Roy Hibbert had 12 points, 10 boards and two blocks (I’m buying it), Julius Randle went for 15 points and 11 boards, and Lou Williams got hot off the bench for 21 points and two 3-pointers.
Wiz top Magic - Bradley Beal had 24 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers for the Wizards, while teammate John Wall added 22 points, seven boards, six dimes and two 3-pointers. They were the only stars for the Wizards. Otto Porter was disappointing with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, but played 37 minutes and added eight boards, five assists and two steals, which is much more promising than Nene’s one point in 12 minutes.
Elfrid Payton flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but hit just 5-of-15 shots for the Magic. Typical. Victor Oladipo had 17 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a 3-pointer, and Aaron Gordon racked up 12 points, seven boards and a block in just 17 minutes for the Magic. Rookie Mario Hezonja played 25 minutes and finished with 11 points, three boards, two assists and three 3-pointers, making him radar worthy in most leagues.
Celtics down Sixers - Philly rookie Jahlil Okafor announced his presence in a 112-95 loss to the Celtics with 26 points, seven boards, a steal and a block, but also had eight turnovers. He’s the early favorite for Rookie of the Year and his 26 points were the most in a Sixers debut since Allen Iverson. Nerlens Noel double-doubled with 14 points, 12 boards, three steals and two blocks, living up to the hype, and Isaiah Canaan added 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and four 3-pointers. Yeah, he’s not a real point guard, but he’s going to get plenty of early run in Philly. JaKarr Sampson started for injured Robert Covington and had 13 points and four rebounds. Eh.
The Celtics were led (easily) by Isaiah Thomas off the bench with 27 points, seven dimes, three steals and a 3-pointer on 10-of-19 shooting. Amir Johnson had 15 points, seven boards and two blocks, showing some promise, and Jae Crowder had 14 points, six boards, two steals and two 3-pointers in the win. The Celtics starters were pretty awful and their rotation is a mess. As we knew coming in, Thomas is the only truly reliable fantasy Celtic. David Lee was quiet in a start with eight points, five boards and five assists on 2-of-8 shooting. I’m not sad I don’t own him.
Bulls over Nets - The Bulls beat the Nets 115-100, led by Nikola Mirotic’s 18 points, nine boards, two steals, a block and four more 3-pointers. Tuesday night wasn’t a fluke and Mirotic is going to flirt with leading the league in 3-pointers made. Pau Gasol bounced back with 16 points, nine boards and a block, Derrick Rose added 15 points and three assists, and Jimmy Butler had 24 points and a full stat line on 9-of-11 shooting. You drafted him correctly. Tony Snell started and had 10 points, five boards and two 3-pointers, making him worth a deep-league look as long as he’s starting for the Bulls. Sorry if you drafted Joakim Noah, who was 0-for-3 for zero points and six boards in just 18 minutes. At least he played through his knee injury.
Brook Lopez had 26 points, seven boards and a block for the Nets, Joe Johnson double-doubled with 10 points and 10 boards, and Andrea Bargnani somehow came up with 17 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and zero threes. He’s worth a flier if you’re holding dead weight, but I really don’t trust him. Shane Larkin is starting at PG while Jarrett Jack is out (hamstring) and had six points, eight assists, three steals and a block, despite hitting 3-of-8 shots in just 23 minutes.
Pistons pound Jazz - Derrick Favors went off for 26 points, six boards, a steal and a block on 10-of-15 shooting in Utah’s loss to the Pistons, while Alec Burks came off the bench for 18 points six rebounds and zero 3-pointers. Rodney Hood drew a start and could stick there, finishing with 12 points, four rebounds and six dimes, although he was 0-for-7 from downtown. He’s still worth a pickup in most leagues. Rudy Gobert was quiet offensively with just six points, but added 12 boards, a steal and three blocks, so don’t worry. Trey Burke came off the bench behind Raul Neto and missed both his shots in just 16 minutes. Neto wasn’t great either, so try to ignore both of these guys for now.
Andre Drummond had another double-double with 18 points, 10 boards, a steal and two blocks, while starters Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all hit double digits in scoring for Detroit. Ersan Ilyasova was quiet with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, but I’m going to hang with him as long as he’s healthy.
Heat fire Hornets - Kemba Walker had 19 points, four boards and four assists in a Hornets loss to the Heat, Al Jefferson had an uninspiring 17 points, five rebounds and zero blocks, and Marvin Williams started and had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte (I’m not racing to pick Marvin up). Jeremy Lin was nice off the bench with 17 points, two assists and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes. Go get him. Nicolas Batum was disappointing with nine points, six boards, three assists and two 3-pointers, hitting just 3-of-12 shots, but at least the minutes were there.
The Heat got 21 points, 10 rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers from Chris Bosh in his emotional return from a serious blood clot. Welcome back! Dwyane Wade had 20 points, three boards, five assists and a block, so enjoy that while he’s still walking. Gerald Green came off the Heat bench and exploded for 19 points and five 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He’s up and down like a J.R. Smith, but is worth a flier after this one. Hassan Whiteside was a bust with four points, six boards and two blocks in 20 minutes. Hopefully this wasn’t a sign of things to come. Goran Dragic wasn’t much better with eight points and six dimes in 31 minutes.
Raps top Pacers - Paul George went off for the Pacers in a loss to Toronto with 17 points, 12 boards, eight assists and three steals, but he hit just 4-of-17 shots and was 0-for-4 from downtown. Take the good with the bad, I guess. George Hill hit five triples for 19 points, but had just two assists, C.J. Miles started and had 18 points, three steals and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He looked very good, but he’s still C.J. Miles, and I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall. Rodney Stuckey had 16 points in 24 minutes off the bench and Ian Mahinmi came through with 10 points, eight boards, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 25 minutes and a start. If you need a center, grab him. Especially since rookie Myles Turner didn’t even get off the bench.
Luis Scola started for the Raps, but didn’t attempt a shot or score in just 17 minutes, although he had eight rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas, on the other hand, went off for 21 points, 15 rebounds and a block, making his owners feel very smart in the process. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan both had big games, helping the Raps win.
Nuggets beat Rockets - My man Kenneth Faried came through with 18 points, nine rebounds, a steal and three blocks in Denver’s win over Houston. He’s gotten off to really slow starts the last couple seasons, so this was great to see under his new coach. Danilo Gallinari lived up to the hype with 23 points, eight boards, a steal, three blocks and three 3-pointers, so just plan on riding him until he breaks (Yes, he will break at some point). Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay had 17 points, five rebounds, nine dimes and three 3-pointers, but also committed 11 turnovers. He probably won’t be this good, or this bad, on most nights. Joffrey Lauvergne had 11 points, seven boards and a block in a start, and is worth owning right now while Jusuf Nurkic is out.
Terrence Jones was outplayed by Faried and had 15 points, six rebounds, a steal and a block, while Clint Capela added nine points, seven boards, two steals and three blocks while filling in for Dwight Howard (suspended). James Harden struggled, hitting just 6-of-21 shots and 2-of-12 3-pointers, but still had 22 points, six boards, six assists, two steals and two blocks. If you were playing against him this week, this is as easy as it will get this season.
Cavs crush Grizz - Kevin Love looks great early and had 17 points, 13 boards and two more 3-pointers in a blowout over Memphis, while LeBron James looked tired, hitting just 4-of-13 shots and 4-of-8 free throws for 12 points, seven boards, five assists and three steals in 31 minutes. Yes, you should be nervous about him missing random games if you own him. Mo Williams fell back to earth with nine points and five assists, and J.R. Smith hit 4-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for nine points, seven boards and seven assists. Just keep treading water with him and wait for the explosion that’s eventually coming.
The Grizzlies got just 12 points, five boards and zero blocks from Marc Gasol (fluke), and Zach Randolph added a quiet 12 points and eight rebounds. Mike Conley was off, hitting just 2-of-8 shots for eight points, four boards and six assists. Look for the Memphis stars to bounce back sooner than later.
Knicks shock Bucks - Kristaps Porzingis hit just 3-of-11 shots in his Knicks’ debut (a win over the Bucks), but had 16 points, five boards, a steal, block and 3-pointer, and Carmelo Anthony was a huge disappointment with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Ugh. Jose Calderon played just 18 minutes and hit 1-of-5 shots, and is being pushed by Jerian Grant. Derrick Williams came off the bench and exploded for 24 points, seven boards, a block and a 3-pointer, making him worth a flier off waiver wires. Kyle O’Quinn had eight points, 11 boards, a steal and two blocks off the bench, and is another guy worth a look if you need a center.
The Bucks got 22 points, 14 boards, two steals and two blocks from Greg Monroe, and Michael Carter-Williams came through with 20 points, five boards, four assists and a steal. The bad news is he also had six TOs and hit just 6-of-17 shots, but you knew that’s what he would do when you drafted him. Greivis Vasquez played well off the bench (15 points, 7 boards, 5 assists) and is worth keeping an eye on. Khris Middleton was a bust with 11 points and three 3-pointers on 4-of-15 shooting. Maybe he’ll get it figured out soon. Giannis Antetokounmpo was suspended for this one and O.J. Mayo was out with a hamstring injury.
Thunder downs Spurs - The Thunder beat the Spurs 112-106 and got 33 points, 10 assists, two steals and three 3-pointers from Russell Westbrook. He is eyeing the MVP Award. Kevin Durant scored 22 points, but didn’t have an assist, steal or block, but looked pretty good on his shaky foot. Serge Ibaka was quiet with 10 points, five boards and two blocks, and Enes Kanter was solid off the bench with 15 points and 16 boards, but no blocks, as usual.
The Spurs got just eight points and six boards from Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge struggled in his debut with 11 points, five boards and a block, and Danny Green was a bust with four points and eight boards on 2-of-9 shooting (0-for-5 from deep). Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, was a monster, with a career-high 32 points, eight boards, three steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 13-of-22 shooting. Aren’t you glad you drafted him early?
Mavs top Suns - Raymond Felton was the best Maverick in a 111-95 win over the Suns with 18 points, four rebounds, six assists and two 3-pointers, and he gets a boost after Deron Williams left the game with a knee injury. Dirk Nowitzki was quiet with 11 points and nine boards, Zaza Pachulia started at center and had 10 points and 10 boards, and Wesley Matthews looked decent off of Achilles surgery with nine points and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. If you thought John Jenkins might do something with Matthews hurting and his big preseason, think again.
Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris were simply awful for the Suns, Alex Len played just 14 minutes, and Eric Bledsoe made just 4-of-12 shots for 13 points, four boards and four assists. Yuck, but don’t panic. Brandon Knight played fairly well, but committed six turnovers, and Jon Leuer came off the bench for 14 points, seven boards, a block and a 3-pointer in 20 minutes. Keep in mind Chandler was terrible and Markieff was in foul trouble all night. T.J. Warren came off the bench and played 20 minutes, but keep an eye on him, as he managed to get off 13 shots, but hit just four of them.
Clippers beat Kings - And finally, Blake Griffin torched the Kings in a 111-104 win with 33 points, eight boards and four assists, Chris Paul added a 18 & 11 double-double, and DeAndre Jordan had eight points, 12 boards and four blocks in the win. J.J. Redick scored 15 with two 3-pointers, and Lance Stephenson managed just seven points and a 3-pointer despite getting a start. He played just 19 minutes, and I still don’t trust him.
Rudy Gay played after the birth of his child and scored 16, Kosta Koufos started at center and had 10 points, seven boards, a steal and two blocks. He’s another C you can look at if you’re thin in a two-center league. DeMarcus Cousins, of course, went off with 32 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and a block, but also committed eight turnovers. He helped offset that though, by somehow hitting four 3-pointers for the Kings before fouling out. Rajon Rondo hit just 2-of-8 shots for four points, seven boards, four assists and a steal, and I still don’t like him. Keep an eye on Marco Belinelli, who played 32 minutes (3-of-12 shooting), and handcuff Darren Collison to Rondo if you can. Collison had 13 points, six dimes and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes off the bench. Willie Cauley Stein was one of the night’s bigger disappointments, playing just eight minutes. Just keep him stashed until he starts getting more run.