I have no internet access at my house. Therefore, this Dose was produced at McDonald’s where I hand wrote box score notes and news, and then wrote it at home overnight and went back to McDonald’s at 4 a.m. to post it. Good times. Here’s to hoping I didn’t miss anything big, as these things tend to be tough to write without the benefit of the World Wide Web.
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20 Things We Learned On a 10-Game Night
Stephen Curry is better at basketball than Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and everyone else – Curry was all-world again, going for 31 points, five boards, four assists, a steal, seven 3-pointers and ZERO turnovers. Yes, it’s mind boggling how good he is. All five Warriors’ starters hit double figures in one of the best games of the night, a 112-108 win over the Clips.
The Clippers are good, but not as good as the Warriors – Chris Paul had 24 points and nine dimes, Blake Griffin added 23 points, 10 boards and six assists, and DeAndre Jordan came through with 11 points, 13 boards and two more blocks in the win. J.J. Redick had 13 points and three 3-pointers, while Jamal Crawford struggled to the tune of 4-of-15 shooting, zero 3-pointers and just eight points.
The Nets just aren’t very good – They sit at 0-5 on the season and Joe Johnson was 1-of-10 in Wednesday’s loss to the Hawks, and Jarrett Jack was 3-of-10. Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez both played well and double-doubled, but this team’s a mess.
The Hawks might be better than we think –Just like last season, the Hawks are rolling early at 5-1, and Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Jeff Teague all played very well on Wednesday. Kyle Korver was out with a tender ankle so Dennis Schroder got the start, just after he was cut in most leagues. He, of course, blew up for 20 points, three 3-pointers and a full stat line in 28 minutes, but this is what Schroder does. One big line every couple weeks. Don’t be too sad if you cut him, as he’ll come back to earth again soon. That is, as long as the Hawks don’t decide to bench Korver and start Schroder permanently. If that happens, it’s a different story.
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Isaiah Thomas is all you need to know about Boston’s offense – Isaiah Thomas went off (again) for 27 points, seven assists and four 3-pointers, as I’ve said continuously, is the only Celtic that can be trusted. Avery Bradley started with Marcus Smart out with a toe injury, and blew up for 21 points, five boards, three assists, a steal and three 3-pointers. Congratulations if you started him, and he could be on the verge of becoming relevant for the Celtics. Especially if Smart is slow to heal.
Myles Turner hasn’t won the trust of the Frank Vogel – Ian Mahinmi (back) and C.J. Miles (ankle) were both out for Indy and Jordan Hill started at center and had 16 points, 10 boards and two blocks, which wasn’t too surprising. What was surprising is that Myles Turner played just 18 minutes again, which seems to be the Pacers’ thing for now. Paul George shot it better and rewarded his owners with 26 points, 10 boards, three assists, two steals and five 3-pointers on 8-of-18 shooting. Rodney Stuckey fell back to earth after a big game against Detroit for a nearly invisible line.
Otto Porter broke through on Wednesday, sort of – Porter hit 8-of-10 shots and scored 19 points for the Wizards, but only added two rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointer and one block. I’d much rather own a guy like Evan Fournier right now. Bradley Beal was nice with 25 and a full stat line in the unlikely win over the Spurs.
It’s all Kawhi, all the time in San Antonio – He’s playing massive minutes, taking a ton of shots and is one of the best players in fantasy hoops, despite playing for Gregg Popovich. He had 23 points, nine boards, a steal and a 3-pointer on 10-of-22 shooting Wednesday, which is actually an off night for him right now. Danny Green is still slumping and hit just 3-of-10 shots (all 3-pointers) for 12 points and a block. Hang in there with him, as he has to get on track soon.
Cavs are good and Knicks are bad – The Cavaliers pulled away from the Knicks late as Kevin Love double-doubled, Mo Williams scored 22 with six boards, four assists and two 3-pointers, and LeBron James did LeBron things. If you rolled with Matthew Dellavedova in a daily league, I’m sorry. He cooled off with just five points and seven dimes on 2-of-7 shooting. J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving are still out, so Delly and Mo-Will should remain relevant, at least in the short term.
Langston Galloway might be more relevant than Jerian Grant – It’s pretty clear that the end is near for Jose Calderon and I was all about Jerian Grant a couple days ago. But Grant missed all five of his shots for six points and two dimes in just 17 minutes, while Langston Galloway played 29 minutes and had 12 points, four boards, two steals and two 3-pointers. I still like Grant here, but Gallo deserves a look. Carmelo Anthony double-doubled in the loss and Kristaps Porzingis played through a neck injury for 13 points, four boards and a 3-pointer in the loss.
Dwight Howard can still play – Dwight hit 10-of-10 shots for 23 points, 14 rebounds and zero blocks in the overtime win over the Magic. James Harden’s early-season shooting woes continued, as he was just 6-of-22 from the floor and 2-of-11 from downtown. Of course, he still scored 28, thanks to 14-of-17 free throws, but also had seven turnovers. He’s off to a curious start, but should only get better from here. Terrence Jones is still out with an eye injury, so Marcus Thornton got another start and had 18 points, three boards, three assists, a steal and three 3-pointers. He was a nice daily play last night. All five starters were in double figures for Houston, while the bench did nothing. Patrick Beverley also left the game with an illness and never returned.
Scott Skiles loves him some Evan Fournier, Vucevic hurt – Fournier stayed red hot last night, playing 46 minutes and hitting 11-of-21 shots and three 3-pointers for 29 points, six boards, four assists and a steal. He’s been doing that for several games now and as we’ve seen in the past, if you’re a Skiles guy, you’re going to play. He should be owned in all leagues. Nikola Vucevic left with a right knee sprain and will have an MRI, leaving him day-to-day. Dwayne Dedmon should get his minutes, although it may not be coincidence that Aaron Gordon was finally set free, scoring a career-high 19 points with eight boards and a block on 7-of-11 shooting in 32 minutes. Finally. Hopefully this will become the norm instead of a news item going forward. Dedmon played 26 minutes and had four points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks, a far cry from a “Vuc line.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo has improved his offensive game – Giannis had 17 points and a full stat line, and it looks like we are witnessing the breakout we’ve all been waiting for. Greg Monroe had 18 & 8, Khris Middleton scored a season-high 21 points, and Jabari Parker made his debut, but hit just 1-of-6 shots in 16 minutes. I’m glad I don’t own him anywhere, at least for now. With Michael Carter-Williams out with an injury, Jerryd Bayless started and played 30 minutes. He killed me in daily leagues, hitting just 2-of-6 shots and a 3-pointer for five points, four boards and three dimes, but he should be better than this going forward if MCW continues to sit. Greivis Vasquez came off the bench, but wasn’t much better, hitting just 4-of-12 shots for 11 points, five assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 22 minutes.
Nik Stauskas has a green light – big time – Stauskas shot it 19 times and 14 of those attempts were 3-pointers. Unfortunately, he hit just five of them (three 3-pointers) and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The fact the Sixers are going to let him gun means he should be owned in all leagues until we see what happens. Nerlens Noel double-doubled with a steal and a block, Jerami Grant started for Robert Covington (knee) and had eight points, seven boards, three assists and four blocks, making him worth a short-term look. Jahlil Okafor scored 21 points with six boards and two blocks, and T.J. McConnell started at point guard, sending Isaiah Canaan to the bench. TJM had seven points, nine boards, 12 assists and a 3-pointer in 35 minutes, while Canaan missed all four of his shots and played 15 minutes. If you’re sitting on Canaan, drop him for TJM immediately.
The Thunder aren’t invincible, as shown by the Raptors – Jonas Valanciunas had 17 & 11 and DeMar DeRozan scored 28 with a full stat line to help the Raps beat OKC 103-98. DeRozan also hit 14-of-15 free throws, which was nice, and is off to a fine offensive start. Luis Scola, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds out of nowhere in his previous game, had just two points and five boards last night, making him another daily assassin.
Russell Westbrook is good at basketball – Westbrook had a mixed bag with 22 points, an NBA high 16 assists, but also added eight turnovers. Kevin Durant looked like the Durant of old with 27 points, seven boards, four assists, two steals, three blocks and two 3-pointers, and Serge Ibaka chipped in with 10 points, six boards and three blocks. Not stellar, but not terrible, either. Enes Kanter added 15 points and six boards off the bench in just 17 minutes for the Thunder.
Eric Bledsoe is who we thought he was – Bledsoe went off for 19 points, six rebounds, eight assists, four steals, a block and two 3-pointers in an easy win over the Cousin-less Kings. I reached for him in several leagues and don’t feel bad about it. Brandon Knight came through with 17 points, seven assists, three 3-pointers, a steal and a block, most of which came after halftime, and Alex Len came out of nowhere for 16 points, seven boards and zero blocks on the day I cut him. Tyson Chandler started and had seven points and 11 boards in 26 minutes, so I’m not yet regretting the loss of Len, who had done nothing up to this point. T.J. Warren played 27 minutes and hit 6-of-9 shots and a 3-pointer for 13 points, four boards and two assists, and is worth keeping a close eye on in case he unseats P.J. Tucker at some point.
Willie Cauley-Stein is still a roll of the dice – WCS didn’t take a shot and played just 16 minutes, but I didn’t see any reports of an injury. He’s young and still learning, so just hang onto him. The Kings went small and brought Kosta Koufos off the bench and he answered with 16 points, seven boards and two blocks on 8-of-11 shooting. As long as Cousins is out, he’s worth a look, but Boogie says he’s planning to play on Friday against the Rockets. Darren Collison drew the start in the small lineup and had 13 points and six dimes, but is still in a timeshare with Rajon Rondo for all intents and purposes, while Marco Belinelli came off the bench to hit a couple 3-pointers and score 15 points. He’s worth a deep-league look. James Anderson also started with Ben McLemore officially benched (for now) and had 15 points, four 3-pointers and two steals on 5-of-15 shooting. If he sticks in the starting lineup going forward, keep a close eye on him, and feel free to dump McLemore at this point.
Mason Plumlee might be good in Portland – Plumlee went off for 12 points, a career-high 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks, so make sure he’s not available in your league. Damian Lillard, as usual, really went off, dropping 35 points and five 3-pointers in a win over the Jazz, but had just three assists and six turnovers. Who cares? C.J. McCollum was off to the races again, hitting 10-of-13 shots and three 3-pointers for 27 points and four dimes. Love Him. Moe Harkless came off the bench for 15 points, 10 boards and three blocks, and officially belongs on your radar, especially since Meyers Leonard left with a right ankle injury and is day-to-day.
Burke boys off Jazz bench might work – Trey Burke and Alec Burks both played well off the Jazz bench last night, with Burke going for 17 points and zero assists in 26 minutes, while Burks played 32 minutes and had 21 points, four boards and a steal on 5-of-13 shooting. I’m fine with Burks, but if Burke can do all that and not hand out an assist, I have obvious concerns. Rudy Gobert was quietly effective again with eight points, nine boards and four blocks, and I’m just hoping he starts scoring a little more. Derrick Favors was iffy with the flu, but powered through it with six points, 10 boards, four steals and two blocks in 25 minutes. He hit just 2-of-7 shots, or his line would have looked a lot better. At least he played, right? If you rolled the dice on Trevor Booker in hopes that Favors would sit, you lost. He was 0-for-6 with zero points in just 13 minutes.
Griffin was limping at times in the fourth quarter last night, so make sure he doesn’t pop up on the injury report with a sore knee.
Chris Paul strained his groin last night, as well. Both guys should be OK, but owners will want to keep an eye out for news.
Kevin Martin’s been away from the Wolves for personal reasons, but is expected to play on Thursday night.