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Basketball Daily Dose

Well hello, DeMar DeRozan!

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Rotoworld Facebook Live Video Chats

 

Before we hop into the recap, I did my first ever “Facebook Live Video Chat” on Tuesday afternoon. It’s a very interesting thing, as I basically broadcasted a one-man television show from my home via my phone. I talked about Stephen Curry’s unanimous MVP selection, his huge Game 4, the rest of the playoffs, and gave some shoutouts to some live viewers. I was admittedly nervous and unsure of what I was doing, but calmed down halfway through it and might have found a bit of a groove. If you’re watching live you can send questions and comments, and it’s a really cool way for us to interact in real time. And with Rotoworld guys from all the sports starting to post these videos, it’s also a great reason for you to like the Rotoworld Facebook page. We found a new toy and we like it. I’m going to continue to do the live video chats and I’m guessing they should be pretty fun and more polished in the future. So stay tuned and check out the archived video at the Rotoworld Facebook page, if you’re so inclined. And yes, I’m aware I have a face made for radio. And please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

 

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Raptors take 3-2 lead behind DeRozan & Lowry

 

The Raptors finally got good things from both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and held on late for a 99-91 win over the Heat in Toronto to take a 3-2 lead over the Miami. Lowry and DeRozan have been under fire for their poor play, and especially poor shooting, but they both came through in this one. Lowry’s shooting line was far from perfect, but he did make 9-of-25 shots and four 3-pointers to finish with 25 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block in 41 minutes in the win. He fouled out in Game 4, but only had two fouls in Game 5. DeRozan was the man of the hour shortly before Stephen Curry raised his MVP trophy in Oracle Arena. Rumors of DeRozan’s sore hand affecting his play will likely be put to rest, as DeRozan hit 11-of-22 shots and more importantly, 11-of-11 free throws and a 3-pointer for 34 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. DeRozan’s poor free throw shooting was almost as big a story as the duo’s struggles, but he turned it all around on Wednesday night. But he also aggravated the right thumb injury late in this one, so you can probably add him to the injury report for Game 6. If it’s not broken, he’s going to play. And I doubt that it’s broken.

 

Patrick Patterson certainly had his chances for a monster game, but hit just 3-of-12 shots, missed all four of his 3-pointers and finished with eight points, six rebounds, one assist and one block in 40 minutes. Again, the minutes are usually there, but he just hasn’t been able to bust loose for a big line. DeMarre Carroll also struggled, hitting just 1-of-7 shots and a 3-pointer for six points, six rebounds, one assist and nothing else before leaving with a wrist injury that could be serious (did not return). Obviously, the strong play of the Raptors’ guards saved Toronto last night. Bismack Biyombo was a monster in the first half, racking up 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and four blocks before the break. But he disappeared in the second half and finished with the same numbers you see above, except for one extra rebound. DFS owners were licking their chops after the first half, but the Thunder’s Enes Kanter, who was a much cheaper option, ended up outscoring Biyombo by a couple points in most formats. Biyombo is still going to be a fairly cheap value play at center in DFS, but was a victim of small-ball in the second half. Cory Joseph was the only noteworthy bench player for the Raptors as he finished with nine points, five dimes and two steals in 25 minutes, while Norman Powell’s fade continued with just three minutes played.

 

The Heat got 20 points, seven boards, four assists, a block and a 3-pointer from Dwyane Wade (who, not surprisingly, looked tired), Goran Dragic had 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a 3-pointer, but came up limping at the end of the game. He’s probably OK for Game 6 in Miami, but you’ll want to check Rotoworld for news updates prior to that one. Joe Johnson scored 11 points with eight rebounds and a 3-pointer, and Luol Deng fell off a cliff, missing all eight of his shots and finishing with just four points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Like Carroll, Deng also left with a wrist injury and didn’t return. X-rays were ominously inconclusive. Johnson had missed 14 straight 3-pointers before finally connecting last night. Amare Stoudemire started, but played just three minutes in the loss.

 

The bench played pretty well for Miami, led by Josh Richardson’s 13 points, three 3-pointers, a steal and a block in just 22 minutes. Justise Winslow had eight points and seven boards in 33 minutes, while Tyler Johnson, Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem all scored six points. Gerald Green played just 10 minutes and scored four points to round out the Miami scoring.

 

Game 6 is set for Friday night in Miami and we’ll likely see a Game 7 in this one, assuming the Heat can bounce back and protect the home court. And I’m feeling Charles Barkley, who thinks the Raptors will crumble under the pressure of having to win a Game 7 at home. It should be interesting and injuries are going to be a factor. The injuries to keep an eye on heading into Friday’s Game 6 include DeRozan (thumb – he’s fine), Carroll (wrist – didn’t look good), Deng (wrist – didn’t look good) and Dragic (ankle – should be OK). Deng’s X-ray was inconclusive and he’ll have an MRI on Thursday, so it’s very possible he could miss Game 6, which would mean more Richardson, Winslow and Green. If Carroll is out, look for Terrence Ross and James Johnson to step up.

 

Warriors close out Blazers 4-1 with tough 125-121 win

 

The Warriors squeezed out a tough win over the Blazers on Wednesday, the same night that Stephen Curry was presented with his second straight MVP Award – this time by an unprecedented unanimous vote. I really thought the Warriors would run the Blazers out of the gym in this one, but that was not the case. Klay Thompson hit 13-of-17 shots and 6-of-9 3-pointers on his way to 33 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block. More goodies would have been nice, but it’s hard to complain about how well he shot the ball and how clutch he was all night. His block on Damian Lillard late was huge and he had 16 in the third quarter when the Warriors took the lead.

 

Curry was no slouch either, hitting 10-of-20 shots and five 3-pointers for 29 points, five boards, 11 assists and a steal in 37 minutes. Curry looked more human tonight, but his dagger 3-pointer to put the Dubs up five points with 24.9 seconds left sealed the deal. And I’ll take a break from a Twitter fest to write about another subject. The fact Andre Iguodala was able to win the Finals MVP last year on a team with Curry, Klay and Draymond Green still freaks me out. I get why Iguodala got it, but I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it actually happened. It would be like Danny Green (Spurs) or Steven Adams (Thunder) winning the Finals MVP this year. It’s crazy. OK, back to the game.

 

Green hit just 2-of-7 shots and a 3-pointer, but he also hit 8-of-10 free throws and finished with 13 points, 11 boards, six assists, two steals and a block. He blocked a ton of shots in this series and it’s still hard to believe that he was a second-round NBA pick. Green tweaked his ankle, got it re-taped and played through it. He has plenty of time to recover as the Warriors await the outcome of the Thunder-Spurs slugfest (I had the Thunder pre-playoffs – squirrels/nuts?). Harrison Barnes had eight points and seven boards, but didn’t hit a 3-pointer, and Andrew Bogut played just nine minutes before leaving with an adductor injury. That’s a fancy word for a thigh injury and Bogut is now questionable for Game 1 against OKC or the Spurs. If he’s out, Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights and Anderson Varejao will all be called into action, with Ezeli likely getting the starting job.

 

The Warriors bench was effective with Shaun Livingston scoring 10, Leandro Barbosa and Ezeli scoring eight, and Speights and Finals MVP Iguodala going for five a piece.

 

And now to the Blazers. This is a team that lost four of five starters from last year. This is a team that wasn’t supposed to flirt with the playoffs. This is a team that relied on guys like Allen Crabbe, Mason Plumlee, Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu and Gerald Henderson, and got the most out of them that they could. Many people feel that Terry Stotts should have been Coach of the Year, and it’s a very valid argument. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, behind Westbrook/Durant, Curry/Klay, LeBron/Kyrie, is one of the most dangerous tandems in the league. Mad props to the Blazers and their phenomenal season. Thanks for showing the other 29 teams the proper way to rebuild.

 

Lillard had 28 points, seven boards, seven assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, but hit just 7-of-24 shots and had five turnovers. C.J. McCollum had 27 points, eight boards, five dimes, a steal and three 3-pointers, and props to Rotoworld’s Mike Gallagher for making me jump on CJM’s bandwagon before the season started. He was the Rotoworld Sleeper Poster Child, came through in a big way and had 16 in the fourth quarter last night.

 

Aminu had 16 points, nine boards, two steals and three 3-pointers, Harkless had 13 points, two steals and three 3-pointers, and Plumlee calmed down in this one, finishing with five points, six boards and a block in 24 minutes. The bench was basically Allen Crabbe, who hit 7-of-9 shots and five 3-pointers for a career playoff high of 20 points with two steals.

 

Warriors injuries to keep an eye on include Bogut (adductor), Green (ankle) and Leandro Barbosa (thumb).

 

Congratulations, PDX, on a great season!

 

The Rest of the Week

 

Thursday: Spurs @ Thunder – Game 6 at 8:30 on ESPN

 

Friday: Raptors @ Heat – Game 6 at 8:00 on ESPN

 

Sunday: Thunder @ Spurs – Game 7 if necessary, Heat @ Raptors – Game 7 if necessary

 

And lastly, congratulations to TNT’s Inside the NBA on being inducted into the Broadcast Cable Hall of Fame. Very cool!

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.