Saturday’s eight-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including an unprecedented performance from Hawks rookie Trae Young, a game-winner courtesy of Victor Oladipo, and Joel Embiid dominating Detroit’s Andre Drummond.
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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Joel Embiid was absolutely dominant in the first half of the Sixers victory over Pistons on Saturday afternoon. He made 8-of-9 field goal attempts and 15 of his 17 his free-throws, scoring 32 points. Embiid finished the game with 39 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one 3-pointer. And, apparently, some additional space inside the dome of Andre Drummond. After his extraordinary performance, Embiid tweeted: “I own a lot of real estate in @andredrummondd head and I’m on my way to build more #Bum #TheProcess” - accompanied by a picture of Joel hauling bricks in a wheelbarrow. These two bitter rivals next square off in a back-to-back starting on December 7th. Circle your calendar and get your popcorn ready.
Blake Griffin stayed hot on Saturday and posted another monster line, scoring 38 points with 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals, seven turnovers and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Griffin has had at least 24 points and eight boards in seven of the Pistons eight games this season. His 3-point percentage will eventually come back down to earth, but he’s actually shooting below his career level from inside the arc, so that number should rise. He has a legit chance to post top-25 overall value this season.
Victor Oladipo (illness) was battling Boston and bronchitis all evening but nailed a game-winner from downtown in the closing seconds to seal the deal for the Pacers. ‘Dipo tallied 24 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals, five turnovers and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Remarkably, he’s scored between 20 and 25 points in each of the Pacers last nine games. He’s also done a great job on the boards this season, averaging a career-high 7.3 rebounds. Coming into 2018-19, his previous best was 5.2 boards per game.
Trae Young dished out a career-high 15 assists on Saturday, to go along with 24 points (9-of-19 FGs, 2-of-8 3PTs, 4-of-5 FTs), five rebounds, one block, two 3-pointers, and five turnovers in 31 minutes. According to Basketball-Reference, Young is just the seventh rookie in NBA history with at least 24/15/5 in a single game. The other six are Oscar Robertson, Lenny Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Tim Hardaway, Jeff Teague and Stephen Curry. Furthermore, Young is the first player ever with 20+ points, 15+ dimes and 5+ boards in one of his first ten career games.
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James Harden (hamstring) was back in action on Saturday and helped lead the Rockets to their second straight victory. The Beard scored 25 points and chipped in one rebound, seven assists, four steals, eight turnovers and five 3-pointers in 33 minutes. He had missed three straight contests due to the hammy strain but looked healthy in Chicago. Most importantly, he appears to have avoided aggravating the injury.
Wendell Carter Jr. had another terrific all-around fantasy line in the Bulls loss to the Rockets on Saturday. WCJ stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 14 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, two steals and four blocks. It’s his second career double-double. Over Chicago’s last five games, Carter Jr. is averaging a robust 15.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.0 blocks in 29.4 minutes. For some reason, he’s still available in 20 percent of Yahoo! Leagues; make sure he’s not still floating around on your waiver wire.
Anthony Davis (elbow) returned to the court on Saturday and just scored 17 points but racked up eight rebounds, three assists, two steals, and five blocks in 40 minutes. AD was only 5-of-13 from the floor, so it’s possible that his elbow is still bothering him a bit. However, it’s awfully encouraging to see him log 40 minutes… Nikola Mirotic scored 22 points (9-of-16 FGs) and hauled in 16 rebounds. The 16 boards were a season-high and tied a career-high… Jrue Holiday had a season-high 29 points to go along with four rebounds and eight assists in 39 minutes.
Nikola Jokic dished out a season-high 16 assists in the Nuggets victory over the Jazz. He added seven points, ten boards, and a steal. Jokic is the very rare big man that doesn’t need to put up points to keep fantasy GM’s happy. He’s scored just 11 points over Denver’s past two games but has found other ways to contribute. Jokic had a 17-assist game last season and is one of only three centers in NBA history with more than 15 dimes in a single contest. Per Basketball-Reference, Clemon Johnson had one for the Pacers in 1982, Jokic now has two such games, and Wilt Chamberlain had five 15+ assist games in his career.
LeBron James did what LeBron James does on Saturday, registering 28 points, five boards, seven dimes, two blocks and three turnovers in the Lakers win over the Blazers… JaVale McGee once again was able to dominate the interior on both ends of the floor. He finished with 12 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and six blocks. The league-leader in rejections has 18 swats over L.A.’s last four games… Surprisingly, Rajon Rondo led the Lakers in rebounds (10) and steals (3) on Saturday. He also scored 17 points (on 8-of-10 shooting) and dished out six assists.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum both scored 30 points vs. the Lakers. Dame, who also had four rebounds, four assists and three steals, was 10-of-23 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the line. McCollum was 13-of-24 from the field and 2-of-2 from the stripe. He added five boards and four dimes.
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On the Radar:
Ben Simmons only took four shots in 29 minutes on Saturday but managed to stuff the stat sheet, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. It was the fourth 4x5 game of Big Ben’s career… Markelle Fultz had a dud. He shot just 1-of-6 from the field for four points with three rebounds, three assists, one block, two steals and one turnover in 23 minutes. He’s played 25 minutes or less in five straight games… Dario Saric was unable to bust out of his slump on Saturday. He shot 2-of-6 from the field for five points with four rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes. Mike Muscala again ate into his playing time. Over the Sixers last five games, Saric is averaging just 6.6 points, 5.4 boards and 1.6 assists, while shooting a putrid 26.8 percent from the floor.
Andre Drummond had his weekend ruined by Joel Embiid. In the Pistons loss to the Sixers, Drummond was in foul trouble early and often, shot only 3-of-8 from the field and ended up with eight points, nine rebounds, one assist and one block in 21 minutes. Afterward, Dre was mocked on multiple social media platforms by Embiid.
J.R. Smith had a team-high in points (14), treys (four) and tied for the team-lead in assists (four) and steals (three) on Saturday night. The 1-8 Cavs are brutally bad and it’s become difficult to trust any of their players on a nightly basis. (Is it possible to retroactively go back and award LeBron the 2017-18 MVP?)... Larry Nance scored nine points with four rebounds and three turnovers in 16 minutes… George Hill scored three points with one rebound, four assists and three turnovers in 28 minutes.
Kemba Walker produced 18 points (on 6-of-12 shooting), five rebounds, four assists, and four treys on Saturday. After averaging 31.7 points over the first seven games of the season, Kemba is averaging 19.5 over his past three contests... Jeremy Lamb scored a season-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and two turnovers in 24 minutes in the Hornets blowout victory over Cleveland… Willy Hernangomez had 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 20 minutes. It’s just the second time all season Willy has scored in double figures and the three dimes are a season high… Malik Monk had16 points, one rebound, five assists and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes.
Tyreke Evans had scored more than 15 points just once over the Pacers first nine games this season, but put up 17 with three assists, one block, one steal and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes on Saturday. Evans has been a major disappointment this year, as he currently ranks outside the top-150 in nine-cat leagues… Domantas Sabonis had another strong game off the Indiana bench, finishing with 12 points (on 5-of-8 shooting), nine rebounds, five assists and one turnover in 27 minutes… Myles Turner scored 12 points with six rebounds and one block in 28 minutes.
Kyrie Irving was very quiet through the first three quarters on Saturday, but nailed four treys in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one block in 27 minutes. Kyrie has scored 18 or fewer in five of his nine games this season… Gordon Hayward was just 2-of-10 from the field for four points with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and one turnover in 26 minutes. Like Tyreke Evans, Hayward has been supremely disappointing for fantasy owners this season. He ranks 170th overall in nine-category, and coach Brad Stevens said Hayward would remain restricted to fewer than 30 minutes per game for the foreseeable future… Marcus Morris, on the other hand, has dramatically exceeded expectations in 2018-19. He was at again on Saturday, pouring in a season-high 23 points and chipping in six rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes. He is returning mid-round value through the first three weeks of the season and continues to contribute consistently… Jaylen Brown (sore right foot) logged 31 minutes and had 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Taurean Prince was limited to just 22 minutes due to foul trouble, but scored 15 points (5-of-11 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs) with four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers… Omari Spellman, making his first career start on Saturday, scored seven points (3-of-4 FGs) with four rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes… Kevin Huerter was a game-time decision due to an ankle issue but was healthy enough to notch 12 points (5-of-9 FGs), one rebound, three assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes.
Jusuf Nurkic had 14/13/2 and two blocks in 30 minutes in Saturday’s loss to the Lakers… Al-Farouq Aminu scored only four points, but grabbed 13 boards and tacked on two dimes, two blocks and two steals.
Josh Richardson scored a career-high 32 points on 10-of-18 shooting and added one rebound, three assists, two steals, one block, and six 3-pointers in 38 minutes. J-Rich poured in 31 earlier this week but topped that on Saturday. He is averaging 22.0 points and 3.4 triples over the Heat’s last five games… Justise Winslow was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Goran Dragic and responded with one of the best all-around games of his career. He scored a season-high 15 points (5-of-11 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs) and chipped in 10 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes… Wayne Ellington made his debut on Saturday, scoring eight points with one rebound, one assist, and one 3-pointer in eight minutes… Hassan Whiteside logged just 16 minutes on Saturday, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block, and one 3-pointer. Afterward, coach Erik Spoelstra said Whiteside’s limited minutes were due to his big man banging his knee. However, Whiteside told reporters that although he respected Spo’s decision, he felt he could have played more and could've helped protect the rim.
Chris Paul missed eight of his 11 FG attempts for seven points, but added six rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 35 minutes… Clint Capela had another double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and tacked on one assist, two blocks and one steal in 35 minutes… Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points with seven rebounds and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes against the Bulls on Saturday. Melo is starting to find his groove in H-Town. He’s averaging 19.8 points and 3.2 triples over the Rockets last five games.
LaMarcus Aldridge registered 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists across 40 minutes against the Pelicans on Saturday. Compared to 2017-18, LMA’s numbers have been down this season, but his floor is still encouragingly high… DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and added three rebounds, four assists, and two turnovers in 38 minutes. DeRozan has scored at least 25 points in seven of the Spurs first eight games. He’s just the second player in franchise history to do so.
Donovan Mitchell gave Jazz fans and fantasy GM’s a scare late Saturday night when he had to be helped to the locker room after injuring his left ankle. However, he returned to the game a few minutes later after having his ankle re-taped. He finished with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and five steals in 32 minutes… Joe Ingles was surprisingly quiet offensively. He had just four points on 1-of-5 shooting, but did add four rebounds, six assists, two steals and one turnover to salvage his night… Rudy Gobert double-doubled (12 points and 12 boards) but missed six of his eight free throws… Jae Crowder had another good game: 21/5/1 with three blocks and a steal. He’s scored at least 15 points in four straight contests.
Goran Dragic (toe) did not play Saturday vs. the Hawks. We don’t yet have exact details on the nature of Dragic’s toe/foot injury, but he was unable to practice late in the week and received a cortisone shot to help with pain. Fortunately, the team said that surgery is "not on [the] table." Per Miami reporter Ira Winderman, there is "still hope" that Dragic will be cleared to play on Monday when the Heat travels to Detroit. Backup Tyler Johnson scored a season-high 17 points (6-of-11 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs) with four rebounds, four assists, and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes on Saturday.
Reggie Bullock (left ankle) was ruled out of Saturday's game vs. the Sixers. Bullock injured his ankle Wednesday vs. the Nets and was unable to play in the second half. Thus, it’s not surprising he couldn't suit up Saturday afternoon. Pistons rookie Bruce Brown started in place of Bullock on Saturday but was held scoreless in 12 minutes.
Wilson Chandler (left hamstring strained), who missed the first nine games of the year, made his Sixers debut but went scoreless with four rebounds in 10 minutes. He will be on a minutes limit as he works his way back into game shape, but may eventually cut into Robert Covington’s playing time. RoCo is currently averaging a career-high 34.5 minutes per contest.
Tony Parker said he is dealing with an elbow sprain but played Saturday vs. the Cavs. TP finished with 12 points, four boards and four assists in 18 minutes.
Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:
Kawhi Leonard (rest) will continue to sit out back-to-back sets, including either Sunday’s matchup in Los Angeles against the Lakers or Monday’s game in Utah against the Jazz. "The plan is for a little while here to not let him play [both halves of] the back-to-backs," said head coach Nick Nurse. "I don't think we've decided how long that's gonna be yet. We're going game by game." The good news is that Nurse said Leonard isn't dealing with any lingering issues from tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Kawhi jammed his foot on Friday night, but both but Nurse and Leonard downplayed the severity of the injury. Encouragingly, he was able to participate in parts of practice on Saturday and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday. They haven't decided if Kawhi will sit out Sunday or Monday yet. "We'll see how it goes," Leonard said. "We'll talk and try to figure it out."
Jonathon Simmons (wrist) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Spurs. Simmons sat out Friday's blowout loss to the Clippers due to the wrist issue; however, according to the team, the injury is not related to his previous wrist surgery. With Jonathan Isaac (right ankle sprain) also questionable, the Magic could be thin on the wing Sunday. Terrence Ross, Wesley Iwundu and Isaiah Briscoe would likely soak up extended minutes.
Jonathan Isaac (right ankle sprain) is listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday's game in San Antonio. Isaac stepped on Boban Marjanovic's foot in Friday's game vs. the Clippers and quickly was ruled out. Speaking with reporters afterward, Isaac admitted he was in pain and was not sure as to when he would be cleared to return. This is worrisome news because this is the same ankle that sidelined Isaac for the majority of the 2017-18 season. Fortunately, the X-rays came back negative, but Isaac may have to undergo an MRI. On the season, Isaac is averaging just 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 treys, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks in 22.0 minutes, while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor, 26.3 percent from downtown and 72.7 percent on free throws. He ranks 173rd overall in nine-cate leagues. Yes, the upside is immense, but I am comfortable dropping him in shallow leagues.
Timofey Mozgov (knee) has been ruled out of Sunday's game vs. Spurs. Mozgov is not a part of the Magic's rotation even when fully healthy and has no fantasy value.
Tyson Chandler will reportedly be bought out by the Suns on Sunday. Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, Phoenix and Chandler have had a mutual agreement on a buyout on his $13M-plus expiring deal for some time now, but Chandler needed a landing spot. Chandler found it with Lakers, who need some depth behind JaVale McGee. With Chandler out of the mix in Phoenix, Richaun Holmes will see an uptick in minutes backing up Deandre Ayton.
Shaun Livingston (sore right foot) said that he expects to miss "a couple more games." Livingston has missed each of the Warriors past four games, including Friday's win over the Wolves, and apparently won't be available on Monday when the Warriors play the Grizzlies. Livingston belongs on waivers in all standard fantasy formats.
T.J. Warren (low back spasms) is questionable vs. Memphis on Sunday. Warren, who dealt with nagging back issues last season, was limited to just 23 minutes on Friday night. If he is unable to play Sunday, Ryan Anderson, Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson will likely divvy up the abandoned minutes.
Jeff Teague (knee) has been ruled Sunday’s game against the Blazers. This will be Teague's fourth straight contest on the sidelines. Tyus Jones started in place of Teague on Friday night and finished with eight points, nine assists, and five rebounds in 41 minutes. Jones will be a popular DFS option on Sunday, especially if D Rose doesn’t play.
Derrick Rose (left ankle soreness) is questionable Sunday vs. Portland. After his 50-point explosion on Thursday night, Rose was limited to just five minutes of action on Friday after tweaking his ankle. Even if he does suit up, he may only see limited minutes off the bench.
Otto Porter Jr. (left big toe contusion) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Knicks. Porter was sidelined for a significant portion of the first half on Friday due to the toe injury but was able to play the second half. Kelly Oubre will likely slide into the starting lineup if Otto is ruled out.
Shelvin Mack (sore left thumb) and Omri Casspi (thigh) are listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Suns. Casspi injured his thigh vs. the Jazz on Friday and did not return to the contest, but it appears it was only a minor issue. Mack looked perfectly healthy on Friday, tallying a season-high 19 points (7-of-11 FGs, 1-of-1 FTs) with six rebounds, three assists, and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes.