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Basketball Daily Dose

Dose: Simmons is Special

by Tommy Beer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

It was entertaining Saturday in the Association, highlighted by another triple-dozen from Ben Simmons, Aaron Gordon nearly registering his first career trip-dub, and Clint Capela stuffing the stat sheet. We also received updated injury news on some of the league's more prominent players.

After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.

Find me on Twitter: @TommyBeer

Nightly Notables:
Ben Simmons strengthened his case for Rookie of the Year on Saturday night by recording yet another triple-double in an impressive win over the Wolves. Big Ben scored 15 points, grabbed 12 boards and dished out 13 dimes. It was the 10th trip-dub on the season for Simmons, the second most ever by a rookie, trailing only Oscar Robertson. It's also the second-most in one season in Sixers franchise history, trailing only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, who had 31 back in 1967-68. Saturday’s effort was also Ben’s third triple-dozen (at least 12 points, 12 boards and 12 assists). LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are the only players with more such games this season.

 

Clint Capela tends to fly under the radar because he plays alongside future Hall-of-Famers James Harden and Chris Paul, but Capela has been integral to Houston's remarkable success this season. CC was back at again on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and a career-high tying six blocks in the Rockets victory over New Orleans. He is the first Houston player to post those numbers across the board since Hakeem Olajuwon. Capela is also on pace to become just the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 14 points and ten boards, while shooting over 65 percent from the floor for an entire season.

 

Andre Drummond was dominant on both ends of the floor once again on Saturday, posting a monster all-around stat line. Drummond finished with 15 points, four assists, and game-highs rebounds (20), steals (four) and blocks (four). He also didn’t commit a single turnover. Per Basketball-Reference, it’s the 11th time this season he’s had at least 15 points and 20 rebounds in a single contest. No other player has more than seven such games. It’s also the 50th time in his career that Drummond has notched 20-plus rebounds. That’s third most among all active players. Dre has been one of fantasy basketball’s most pleasant surprises in 2017-18. Many teams that take home a championship next month will have Drummond on their roster.

 

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Aaron Gordon just missed his first career triple-double on Saturday, finishing with 29 points, 11 rebounds, a career-high eight assists, three steals, one block and three 3-pointers. Over the last four games he’s played, Gordon is averaging 20.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 treys and 1.5 steals… D.J. Augustin was extremely close to notching triple-double as well. Augustin had 15 points, ten assists and nine rebounds in 37 minutes. He was 5-of-7 from the floor and knocked down all four of his free throws.

Dwight Howard, who posted an extremely rare 30-point/30-rebound gem in his previous game, ripped down 23 boards and poured in 18 points in Saturday’s win over the Mavs. Per the Elias Sports Bureau: No other player totaled 50 or more rebounds over a two-game span in the last 20 seasons. The most recent player before Howard to achieve that feat was Dennis Rodman, who grabbed 56 rebounds over two games in December of 1997.

On the Radar:
Joel Embiid tallied 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes on Saturday. It was the third straight game he’s played fewer than 25 minutes. His totals have dipped a bit due to the reduced playing time, but the upside is that he hasn’t been forced to miss games due to rest. The 76ers plays four times next week, without any back-to-backs, which should give Embiid has an opportunity to post terrific numbers… Dario Saric only logged 21 minutes himself in the blowout win, but still managed to score 18 points with three rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers… Robert Covington had a vintage RoCo performance: 11 points, six boards, two assists, three triples, four steals and two blocks.

Karl-Anthony Towns struggled from the floor on Saturday, converting just three of his 15 field goal attempts. However, he did finish with 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. KAT has an NBA-high 61 double-doubles this season… Nemanja Bjelica struggled again on Saturday. He shot just 2-of-9 from the field for five points with four rebounds and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. He has a relatively high floor due the minutes he’s getting with Jimmy Butler (knee) still sidelined, but his production has been a bit disappointing… Gorgui Dieng had one of his better games of the season, finishing with 15 points, 11 boards, one assist, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. However, don’t read to much into this one, as much of it came in garbage time.

Blake Griffin was relatively quiet on Saturday night. He finished with 10 points, nine assists, four rebounds and four turnovers. Griffin has seen his rebounding numbers dip a bit since the trade to Detroit, which isn’t shocking considering he’s playing alongside the league’s leading rebounder in Andre DrummondAnthony Tolliver surprisingly scored a season-high 25 points with six rebounds, one assist and six 3-pointers in 26 minutes on Saturday… Luke Kennard continued his solid play, tallying 13 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. He started the second half after Stanley Johnson (glute) was ruled out of the contest. Kennard has now scored in double-figures in five straight games and his ownership rate is rising.

Denzel Valentine scored a team-high 18 points for the Bulls on Saturday and added three rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers… David Nwaba scored 13 points with seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes… Cameron Payne drew another start in place of Kris Dunn and finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes.

Nikola Vucevic was solid in Orlando’s victory over the Suns on Saturday (which could end up costing the Magic a top-three pick in June’s draft). Vooch scored 24 points and added 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes… Mario Hezonja has struggled of late, scoring 11 or fewer points in nine straight games. However, he snapped out of his slump in this one, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes.

Alex Len was again productive for the Suns on Saturday, scoring 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals 27 minutes. Over Phoenix’s last three contests, Len is averaging 16.3 points, 8.3 boards, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks, while shooting 73.1 percent from the floor… Elfrid Payton, playing against Orlando for the first time since they traded him to the Valley of the Sun, scored 14 points with five rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one block in 34 minutes… After a monster game on Friday, Marquese Chriss came back down to earth in this one. He registered 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes.

James Harden racked up 27 points, six rebounds and eight assists on Saturday. However, he shot just 11-of-24 from the floor and committed nine turnovers… Eric Gordon had 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, four triples and two steals in 28 minutes.

Anthony Davis didn’t quite live up to his own lofty standards on Saturday, finishing with 25 points (on 10-of-22 shooting), eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and four blocks. It’s the first time since March 7th that he didn’t have either double-digit rebounds or 30-plus points in a game… Jrue Holiday had a rare dud in the New Orleans defeat. He was shot just 5-of-17 from the floor and ended up with 10 points, four rebounds, four dimes, two steals and six turnovers.

Kyle Kuzma cracked the 20-point plateau for the third consecutive contest, scoring 25 points, to go along with ten rebounds, three assists, four treys, a steal and a block in 41 minutes. Over the Lakers last three games, Kuz is averaging 24.7 points, 7.8 boards and 3.7 triples in 40.3 minutes. He’s been a true difference make this past week. However, his minutes will likely dip once Brandon Ingram (groin) returns to the lineup… Lonzo Ball just missed a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, and ten assists. However, he shot 5-of-13 from the floor, including 1-of-6 from downtown, and 1-of-4 from the charity stripe. Over L.A.’s last eight games, Lonzo has made just eight of his 54 3-point attempts (14.6 percent) and four of his 13 free-throw attempts (30.8 percent). He had been shooting 46.4 percent from 3-point territory in his eight previous contests.

Andrew Harrison (wrist) returned to action on Saturday and scored a game-high 20 points and chipped in nine assists, four rebounds, and a trey… JaMychal Green had another terrific individual night in another Grizzlies loss, finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds, three triples and two blocked shots in 36 minutes. He was 7-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from deep… Marc Gasol had 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) returned after a two-game absence and looked good. He finished with 21 points, five rebounds, six assists and two turnovers in 33 minutes… Nerlens Noel had 10 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot across 27 minutes, while Salah Mejri was a DNP-CD. Noel is productive on a per-minute basis, but his inconsistent playing time makes him difficult to trust.

Injury Tracker:
Kyrie Irving (knee) underwent a minimally-invasive procedure on Saturday to remove a tension wire in his left knee. Per the Celtics press release: “The wire was originally placed as part of the surgical repair of a fractured patella sustained during the 2015 NBA Finals. While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound. Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks.” Terry Rozier is locked in as the team starting point guard and will log all the minutes he can handle.

It was announced on Saturday that Stephen Curry (knee) suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. He will be reevaluated in three weeks. His regular season is over. It’s possible that Curry could return for the first round of the playoffs, but the start of the second round is probably a more realistic target. Quinn Cook will almost assuredly now be signed for the rest of the season (the Warriors will have to waive a player currently on their 15-man roster - most likely Omri Casspi), and Cook should see plenty of playing time and scoring opportunities over the final ten games of the year.

Both Kris Dunn (toe) and Zach LaVine (knee) missed Saturday’s game, as they are not traveling with the team. Dunn needs to get in full-contact practices before nearing a return. LaVine also seems to be a ways away. The Bulls announced on Wednesday that he would be re-evaluated early next week.

Lauri Markkanen (lower back spasms) was rested on Saturday. He returned to the lineup on Friday, scoring nine points on 3-of-7 shots with six rebounds and one triple in 22 minutes, but Chicago did not want him playing in both ends of a back-to-back. Noah Vonleh started on Saturday and finished with 12 points, five boards, one assist, three steals and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes.

Derrick Rose (ankle) missed his second straight game on Saturday. He initially sprained his right ankle in the first half of Tuesday's victory over the Clippers and was unable to return. Given Rose’s injury history and poor production, he belongs on waiver wires.

Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) did not play Saturday and is likely to miss Sunday’s game vs. Atlanta as well.

Jonathan Isaac (foot) and Jonathon Simmons (right wrist contusion) were ruled out of Saturday's festivities. Isaac has shown promise as a rookie, but has dealt with multiple foot/ankle injuries that have limited him to just 25 games in his debut campaign. Coach Frank Vogel said he was told by team medical staff that Simmons would likely be out another week. If you had been holding out hope, Simmons should be sent to the waiver wire.

T.J. Warren (knee) did suit up on Saturday. It was his third straight game on the sidelines.

Devin Booker (hand) also sat out Saturday’s contest. It was his fourth consecutive missed contest. It seems Booker is making only incremental progress. The Suns next game is Monday at home vs. the Celtics.

Nikola Mirotic (right hip flexor) did not play Saturday. Niko is mired in a nasty shooting slump, as he has converted just 29.2 percent of his field goal attempts over the Pelicans last six games. It’s possible that this hip injury is partly to blame. However, coach Alvin Gentry downplayed the seriousness of the issue. We should have an update on Mirotic’s status moving forward by early next week. The Pels' next game is Tuesday vs. Portland… Cheick Diallo finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 25 minutes on Saturday and would see his rising value increase even more if Mirotic misses additional time.

Nicolas Batum (Achilles) was ruled out of Saturday’s action. It was his fourth straight game and the shelf and there is reason to believe the Hornets will choose to shut him down sooner or later.

Cody Zeller (knee) missed another game. He has not played since March 8th.

Julius Randle rolled his left ankle in Saturday’s victory over Memphis. However, the Lakers said he did not need X-rays afterward. Randle finished his night with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes.

Isaiah Thomas (hip) did not play Saturday, and he will also miss Monday’s game at Detroit. Thomas missed the first three months of the season due to the debilitating labrum tear in his right hip, but this is the first time he has been sidelined by a hip issue since returning to game action in January. For those in fantasy playoffs, feel free cutting Thomas loose to pick up a free agent that is healthy and contribute immediately.

Brandon Ingram (groin) did not play Saturday vs. Memphis, but is inching closer to a return. Ingram was able to participate in shootaround on Saturday morning and “hopes” he will be able to return Monday vs. Detroit. Ingram did 1-on-1 work with assistant coaches on the court on Friday and felt good Saturday morning. Ingram will likely be on a minutes limit once he returns, but his upside is undeniable. He’s still floating around the waiver wire in plenty of deeper leagues, but he’ll start getting snatched up once he’s upgraded to probable, or even questionable.

Chandler Parsons (knee soreness) did not play Saturday. Shocking, I know.

Chris Paul (hamstring) didn't suit up against the Pelicans on Saturday. It was his second straight game on the sideline. Coach Mike D’Antoni said that CP3 was “progressing well” but his status for Sunday’s game was uncertain. However, the Rockets are playing the lowly Hawks on Sunday and Houston has all but wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference. Thus, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if the Rox decided to err on the side of caution and held out Paul for at least one more game.

Rajon Rondo (right wrist sprain) was scratched from Saturday’s game vs. Houston. Rondo played through a right wrist injury last April, but this is the first time he's dealt with a wrist issue this season.

Tyreke Evans was not with the Grizzlies on Saturday night. It was an excused absence for Evans, who is dealing with a family illness.

Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) will be a game-time call against the Spurs on Sunday. The Greek Freak went through a light practice on Saturday and then a full speed one-on-one workout with an assistant coach. "It feels good," Antetokounmpo told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It feels great just going out there, just playing, testing it, doing full speed. I've just got to evaluate it [Sunday] and then make a decision." Shabazz Muhammad and Jabari Parker would benefit if Giannis can’t go.

Ryan Anderson (rest) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. Atlanta. Nene will play and will soak up additional minutes.

Kyle Korver (personal) has been ruled out of Sunday's game vs. the Nets. Korver is away from the team as he spends time with his family following the heartbreaking death of his brother earlier this week.

C.J. Miles (illness) is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Clippers. However, he practiced on Saturday and coach Dwane Casey said that Miles was feeling better. It appears he is on track to return after missing two straight contests.

John Wall (knee) will not play Sunday vs. the Knicks, but there was some encouraging news regarding his rehab. Coach Scott Brooks told reporters that Wall was able to practice fully, without restrictions, on Saturday. Brooks said that the team is not going to put a timetable on Wall's return and that the decision on when he would return would be made by all parties - coaches, doctors, and Wall himself. Since the aim is to have Wall as close to 100 percent healthy as possible for a postseason run, the Wizards appear to be in no rush to bring him back.

Omri Casspi (ankle) was unable to practice on Saturday and is questionable to play against the Jazz on Sunday.

Hassan Whiteside (hip) will not play Sunday vs. Indiana. Whiteside hasn’t played since March 8th, and continues to get ruled out 24 hours prior to each contest. Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson and Bam Adebayo will continue to eat.

Shabazz Napier (toe) is questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Thunder. Napier was unable to play Friday in Portland’s loss to the Celtics.

Jusuf Nurkic (low back soreness), Ed Davis (right foot strain) and Evan Turner (low back soreness) are all listed as probable for Sunday vs. OKC. Nurk logged 27 minutes and scored 11 points on Friday, while Davis had four points and five boards. Turner was listed as probable for Friday as well, and finished with six points and two assists in 22 minutes.

Garrett Temple (ankle) will not play on Sunday against the Celtics. This will be the second straight game missed for Temple, and his absence will likely extend into next week. Frank Mason should benefit.

Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) is officially listed as probable for Sunday against the Jazz, but he is fully expected to play and start. With Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all out of action, Green will be asked to shoulder more of the offensive load than usual going forward. Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney will see their playing time reduced with Green back in the mix.

Nick Young (knee), Patrick McCaw (back) and Shaun Livingston (groin) are all listed as probable for Sunday. Young tweaked his knee on Friday night, but still managed to score 24 points in 26 minutes. McCaw started on Friday, but had just five points and two boards in 22 minutes.