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Basketball Daily Dose

Dose: Rule or Exception?

by Jared Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

4 Games: CHI, CLE, DEN, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, NOP, ORL, TOR, UTA

 

3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, DAL, DET, LAC, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, SAS, WAS

 

2 Games: MIN

 

The Double Comeback

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo helped bring the Bucks back from the brink, not once, but twice during Sunday’s impressive 118-110 win over Philly, spurring Milwaukee to erase a 20-point deficit during the first quarter of action, and then again powering the Bucks past a 19-point deficit after halftime on his way to 35 points (14-of-23 FGs, 6-of-10 FTs), nine rebounds, seven assists, one 3-pointer, two steals, one block and four turnovers through 42 minutes of floor time. The 76ers had precisely zero answers for The Greek Freak, nor were they willing to dap him up after an impressive And-1 towards the close of the third quarter (Jerryd Bayless thought it was funny though).

 

This is how you know Giannis Antetokounmpo is turning into a killer. He's making plays & seeking dap from the 76ers bench pic.twitter.com/laxrow8jFj

Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 5, 2018

 

Jabari Parker was also crucial in the Milwaukee win, scoring 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with seven boards, three triples, two assists, two steals and one turnover in 21 minutes off the bench. I wasn’t very high at all on Parker this season given that he was coming off his second ACL tear over a three-year span, but he’s been thoroughly impressive since making his season debut, and he’s come out of the All-Star break with averages of 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 triples, 1.5 dimes, 0.7 steals and 1.5 turnovers per game on 47.5% shooting. As his minutes limit is eased, he should only continue to get better, so congrats if you stashed him early on.

 

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He’s No All-Star, But…

 

Tobias Harris had another phenomenal game during Sunday’s 123-120 win over Brooklyn, scoring 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting (2-of-2 from the stripe) to go with eight boards, two triples, two dimes, three steals, three swats and two turnovers through 38 minutes of action. He’s seen fairly large spikes in the boards, dimes and steals department since landing in Los Angeles, pumping out top-25 value in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 19.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 triples, 1.6 steals and just 1.8 turnovers per game on 48.3% shooting, so while he may not have been an All-Star this season (or ever) he’s certainly been putting up All-Star numbers in fantasy hoops ever since February’s blockbuster deal. As a side note, since the trade that jettisoned Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Avery Bradley to LA in exchange for Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson and Willie Reed, the Clippers have gone 8-3 while the Pistons have gone 6-8.

 

Here Comes RoCo?

 

Robert Covington wasn’t terrible on Sunday, scoring nine points on 3-of-7 shooting to go with three treys, two boards, one assist, two steals, two swats and two turnovers in 28 minutes. While the shooting remains an issue, Covington has been better since the break with averages of 9.9 points, 2.1 triples, 4.4 boards, 1.9 dimes, 1.7 steals and 1.0 turnover per game on 35.9% shooting, which has been good enough for late-round value in standard leagues. Covington was absolutely brutal to roster from Christmas until just recently, but he’s at least worth owning when he’s giving you around two triples and over 1.5 steals per game. He has been a strong second-half finisher for three years running, so maybe he can start to turn things around after a disastrous two-month cold streak.

 

The Len Dilemma

 

Tyson Chandler (neck) was back in the starting lineup on Sunday following a six-game stint on the sidelines, finishing with six points, five boards, two assists, two steals and one block in 26 minutes. With Chandler back in action and Marquese Chriss having one of his best games of the season, Alex Len nearly fell out of the rotation entirely, getting into the game for a short two-minute stint during the second quarter and ending his evening with a mere two points and no other statistics. It also wasn’t a great matchup for Len, with Atlanta rolling with a lot of small-ball lineups, but there’s no denying that Len’s role is significantly more volatile when Chandler is on the active roster. Alan Williams (knee surgery) could also be back at some point, which will only make the center spot in Phoenix that much more complicated. I get that Len is capable of producing when given the minutes, but whether it’s his bum ankles, foul trouble or a crowded rotation, he just never seems to consistently be able to put it all together. Maybe he’ll have a better stat line on Monday in Miami, but I imagine there should be more attractive options floating around on the waiver wire in standard leagues.

 

On the Radar

 

Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings to victory over the Knicks on Sunday, scoring 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting (5-of-5 from the line) to go with three triples, one rebound, seven assists, one steal and zero turnovers in 27 minutes. He’s been rolling over the past six games, flirting with top 35 value in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 17.7 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 triples, 1.0 steal and just 1.0 turnover per game on 48.1% shooting from the field and he’s yet to miss from the charity stripe over that six-game span. He’s clearly established himself as Sacramento’s best player, and the Kings have every reason to turn him loose over this second half of the season, so why he’s owned in under 50% of Yahoo! Leagues is simply beyond me. If he’s somehow sitting on your waiver wire, go change that immediately.

 

Skal Labissiere was back in the starting lineup on Sunday, scoring 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting (3-of-3 from the line) to go with six rebounds, one 3-pointer, three assists, three blocks and zero turnovers through 34 minutes of floor time. Skal is about as hit-or-miss as they come, but he should continue to see some increased opportunity for however long Willie Cauley-Stein is out, putting him on the radar in deep leagues.

 

Marquese Chriss went 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-6 from the charity stripe on his way to a season-high 17 points, four 3-pointers (career-high), five rebounds, one assist, one steal, four blocks and one turnover in 18 minutes off the bench. Chriss seemed determined to make an impact once he stepped foot on the court with his energy on the defensive end, and he also did a nice job of serving as a floor spacer with Phoenix struggling from beyond the arc for most of the game. While this was certainly an impressive outing for the second-year forward, we’ve seen him do this multiple times throughout the year only to follow up a gem with a series of duds, so I’d like to see a repeat performance against a non-terrible team before recommending him as an add in most places. Additionally, Chriss appeared to tweak his right wrist while stuffing John Collins at the rim, so that will be something to look out for ahead of Monday’s game in Miami.

 

Taurean Prince drained a career-high six 3-pointers in Sunday's win over Phoenix, on his way to 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block and three turnovers in 31 minutes. Prince went 8-of-16 from the field and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, which was the first time he had hit at least 50% of his shots since February 8, and he put a bow on his big-time performance by drilling a tough, off-balance 3-pointer for the win. The Suns essentially let him fire away from long-range all game long, which was an understandable strategy as Prince had been connecting on just 31.2% in the 27 games prior to Sunday’s explosion, but he was simply on another level in the one-point win. As good as he was, the efficient outing does come with a bit of an asterisk as he did it the worst team in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, so I’ll need to see him do it again before I’m willing to say he busted out of his shooting funk. In category-based leagues, Prince is just a lukewarm add due to the turnover and efficiency issues, but he’s basically must-own in points formats.

 

Cheick Diallo saw some increased opportunity on Sunday with Emeka Okafor (ankle) unavailable, producing a 13-point, 15-board double-double to go with one assist, three steals and two turnovers in 23 minutes off the bench. It’s unclear exactly how long Okafor will be in the sidelines, but Diallo will have a chance to be a larger part of the rotation while he’s out, so he could be someone to think about streaming in deep leagues.

 

Nerlens Noel continued to make blips on the deep league radar, scoring four points on 2-of-4 shooting to go with eight rebounds and one steal in 18 minutes off the bench. He’s slowly earning more minutes in the rotation, and if he could consistently get time in the mid-20s, he could be a nice source of hustle stats in deep leagues. For now, he’s nothing more than a luxury stash, but if you’re sitting pretty in the standings and looking for a low-end big with upside, there’s nothing wrong with letting Noel occupy a roster spot until the playoffs begin.

 

Joe Harris had another productive outing off the Brooklyn bench, netting 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-of-4 from the stripe) to go with three 3-pointers, five rebounds, one assist and one turnover in 26 minutes. He’s been flirting with late-round value for a month now with averages of 12.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.1 triples and 1.6 turnovers per game on 47.2% shooting, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing.

 

Caris LeVert exploded for a career-high 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting in Sunday’s three-point loss to the Clippers, adding five boards, five trey-bombs, five dimes, two steals, one block and two turnovers in 29 minutes off the bench. He was certainly impressive, but the robust stat line feels pretty fluky as he was earning minutes ahead of D’Angelo Russell (six points, five boards, three dimes, one triple and two turnovers in 20 minutes), and generally speaking, he’s been fairly hit-or-miss this season. In the previous three games, he has scored six, 18 and six points, so I’ll need to see another couple plus-outings before getting behind him as a pickup.

 

Trey Burke scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go with two rebounds, six assists, one steal, two swats and two turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench. He’s been a sneaky top-55 option coming out of the All-Star break with averages of 18.6 points, 5.4 assists, 1.4 triples and 1.4 turnovers per contest on 51.9% shooting. I’m extremely skeptical that he’ll be able to sustain this sort of production, but at the very least, he’s played well enough to warrant a speculative grab in deep leagues.

Injury Tracker

 

Mario Chalmers (hamstring), Tyreke Evans (ribs) and Andrew Harrison (wrist) won’t play on Monday in San Antonio, while Marc Gasol (ankle/quad) and Deyonta Davis (ankle) are questionable; Jarell Martin (knee) is probable. It’s a true dumpster fire in Memphis, and if both Gasol and Davis are forced to join their banged-up teammates on the sidelines, Martin will again be forced into heavy minutes at center with Kobi Simmons likely being forced into the starting five. Ben McLemore might be operating as the Grizzlies’ go-to-guy on offense on Monday night. Yeesh.

 

Kawhi Leonard (quad) remains without an official timetable to return. Word is that he’s shooting to get back to the court some time in March, but exactly when and to what degree remains a mystery. Kyle Anderson will continue to start in Leonard’s absence, and his ability to rack up the defensive stats makes him an attractive low-end option in deep leagues. There’s nothing wrong with stashing away Leonard if you’ve got an IR-spot, but with no official return date in sight and heavy restrictions to be expected upon his return, he’s more of a liability than an asset if he’s clogging up an active roster spot at this point in the fantasy season.

 

LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) is questionable for Monday’s game against the Grizzlies, but I’d expect him to sit given the opponent. If he can’t give it a go, Davis Bertans will draw another start and Pau Gasol will see more shots falling his way.

 

Tyler Johnson (quad) and Wayne Ellington (quad) are questionable to play Monday vs. the Suns. If they’re out again, their minutes will be divvied up between the likes of Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson and Dwyane Wade.

 

Kent Bazemore was rested on Sunday, which resulted in Tyler Dorsey drawing the start and he finished with 12 points five rebounds, three assists, two triples, one steal and one turnover in 32 minutes. Bazemore will be back in action on Tuesday in Toronto, which will make it tough for Dorsey to come through with a repeat performance.

 

OG Anunoby (ankle) spent his second straight game on the sidelines on Sunday and he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Hawks. Malcolm Miller got the start in his place but finished with just one rebound across 14 scoreless minutes. There isn’t really a guy in Toronto who will become fantasy-relevant in Anunoby’s absence.

 

Malcolm Delaney sprained his left ankle on Sunday and did not return, finished with 12 points, three triples, three assists, one rebound, two steals and one block in 15 minutes off the bench. He was spotted sporting a walking boot after the game, so he could be looking at a multi-game absence here, which will translate to more minutes for Isaiah Taylor.

 

Wesley Matthews (hip) sat out Sunday’s game, although head coach Rick Carlisle hinted that he might only miss one game with the hip issue. Yogi Ferrell got the start in his place, with Doug McDermott logging extended minutes with the second unit. It’ll be more of the same on Tuesday if Matthews is forced to miss another game.

 

Moe Harkless (knee) is questionable to play Monday against the Lakers. If he’s out, Evan Turner will be looking at another start and there will be more minutes available for Pat Connaughton and Shabazz Napier.

 

Emeka Okafor (ankle) did not play Sunday and should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Clippers. If he’s forced to sit again, Nikola Mirotic will be in line for another start with Cheick Diallo seeing some increased run with the second unit.

 

Kelly Oubre (foot) missed his first game of the year on Sunday with a foot issue that’s been bothering him “for several days,” and he’s expected to undergo further testing. It sounds like he could miss Tuesday’s game against the Heat as well, which would result in more minutes for Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott, with Scott offering a bit more upside.

 

Tristan Thompson will miss “multiple games” with a sprained ankle, which could prompt Larry Nance to enter the starting five. Thompson isn’t worth rostering through the injury, while Nance might be worth a speculative grab in deep leagues.

 

Willie Cauley-Stein (back) missed his second game in a row on Sunday and should be considered questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans.

 

Cody Zeller (knee) returned from a two-game stint on the sidelines, finishing with six points, seven rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s a non-option in most leagues. Dwayne Bacon (illness) did not play, but he’s irrelevant anyway.

 

Tony Snell (thigh) was back in the starting lineup following a two-game absence, finishing with seven points, one 3-pointer, one rebound, three assists, one steal and one block in 22 minutes. You’d have to be in a very deep league to consider Snell’s stat lines useful.

 

Tyler Zeller exited Sunday’s game with an apparent right hip injury and did not return, putting him in danger of missing Monday’s game against the Pacers. If he’s forced to the sidelines, Thon Maker will pick up the majority of his minutes.

 

Paul Zipser (foot) is doubtful to play Monday vs. the Celtics.

Jared Johnson

A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the NBC Sports Edge team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Jae_Tha_Truth, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.