NBA Basketball Column: The Daily Dose
Dose: Durant's Triple-double
Games Played Week 4
4 Games: Hawks, Nets, Bobcats, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Hornets, Knicks, Magic, Sixers, Spurs, Raptors
3 Games: Celtics, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Thunder, Suns, Blazers, Kings, Jazz, Wizards
2 Games: Bulls, Grizzlies, Heat
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Kevin Durant had a career-high 10 assists for his first triple-double on Sunday, finishing with 25 points and 13 rebounds in an easy win over the Warriors. But more importantly, he’s now drained seven 3-pointers in his last two games after hitting just eight of them in his first nine games. Durant isn’t quite as dominant as LeBron James right now and it’s a little surprising that this was his first triple-double, as LeBron flirts with them nightly. Nonetheless, he’s having a great season, it got even better on Sunday and the Thunder play three times this week, while LeBron’s Heat go just twice.
Kobe Bryant also triple-doubled with 22 points, 11 boards and 11 assists, but to much less fanfare, as this was the 18th of his career. He’s going to get along just fine with Mike D’Antoni, who is with the team but not yet coaching off the bench.
Brandon Roy will have more surgery on his right knee this week and will miss at least a week. We’ve been down this road before, as Roy has not only had six knee surgeries already, but famously returned very quickly after his last arthroscopic procedure, and then later retired from the game. Maybe this isn’t that big a deal and he’ll bounce back to finish the season, but given his history, you have to think his career is once again in jeopardy. If Alexey Shved is still available in your league after my Waiver Wired column hit on Sunday, go get him.
Andray Blatche had 22 points on 11-of-12 shooting in just 19 minutes on Sunday for the Nets. He added just two boards and while Blatche is showing signs of life, he’ll obviously need more minutes to be worth owning in most fantasy leagues. And as long as Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace are healthy, Blatche is going to continue to see less than 20 minutes a night. As for Wallace, he finally returned to the court on Sunday and had four points in 25 minutes. I’d bench him until he gets back to 100 percent if you have options. Deron Williams dinged his elbow in this one, but played through it and I’m guessing he’ll be fine.
The Kings broke out a new starting lineup against the Nets, “featuring” Aaron Brooks at point guard instead of Isaiah Thomas, and John Salmons at small forward instead of James Johnson. I took the bait and grabbed Brooks “just in case,” but have already moved on in most leagues after he posted four points and zero assists in a pathetic 18 minutes. Of course, Thomas was even worse with one point on 0-of-3 shooting in 14 minutes, while Jimmer Fredette had three points in 10 minutes. The Kings’ backcourt is an absolute mess and at this point, I’m going to try to avoid them all until Keith Smart figures it out or loses his job. And for the record, he says he’s sticking with the new lineup. Whatever.
Roy Hibbert was atrocious for the Pacers again on Sunday and I don’t recall my former hometown team looking worse than they have lately. Roy hit just 3-of-10 shots for six points, eight rebounds and two blocks, as well as committed six turnovers. He’ll get it worked out. He has to. But as for when it will happen, I have no idea. Two words – Buy (very) Low.
J.J. Redick was out with the flu Sunday making him iffy for Monday’s game, and the start of a promising four-game week. Hopefully we’ll find out his status before your lineup is due. E’Twaun Moore had 16 points, four assists and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench, but those minutes and numbers are on their way down now that Jameer Nelson is healthy and once Redick is back. I have dropped him in several leagues.
Jose Calderon wrapped up a fantastic week for the Raptors without Kyle Lowry, averaging 13 points, 13 assists, 2.5 3-pointers over his last five games. Make sure he’s in your lineup, as it doesn’t sound likely that Lowry will play this week. Linas Kleiza has hit double figures in four straight games, making him a sneaky pick-and-play with Landry Fields and Alan Anderson out indefinitely.
Sixers Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, and Cavaliers Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson (two straight double-doubles) all had big lines on Sunday and are worth a look on your waiver wire this morning. Dorell Wright disappeared again and played just 12 minutes, and I’m moving on for now.
Klay Thompson was awful again on Sunday, hitting just 2-of-8 shots for four points. I joked on Twitter that I am anxiously awaiting for fed up owners to start dropping him so I can scoop him up, but I don’t think you want to be the guy that drops him (yet).
Jared Sullinger played 27 minutes for 16 points and five rebounds Sunday for the Celtics, while Brandon Bass was quiet in 17 minutes. I think the changing of the guard is officially underway and I dropped Bass across the board after his five-game week ended.
If there’s a more fun starting five in fantasy than the Trail Blazers, let me know. All five guys are laying it down every night, and all five of them (Wesley Matthews, Damian Lillard, J.J. Hickson, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum) are usually posting dynamic stats.
Joakim Noah nearly joined Durant and Kobe with a triple-double, but finished up with 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes of a loss to Portland. And as you probably already guessed, Carlos Boozer was invisible, which happens when Noah is hot. Boozer got his on Saturday though, with 22 points and 12 rebounds, when Noah had four points and seven boards in that one.
Houston’s Chandler Parsons stayed hot and had 24 points and four 3-pointers, and is must-own/start in all leagues right now.
Kevin Love practiced on Sunday (5-on-0) and while no one is saying it, my guess is he’ll play before December gets here. Nikola Pekovic (ankle) went through an actual practice and I’m guessing he plays on Wednesday.
Dwyane Wade was out for the Heat, missing his second straight game with a foot injury. With two games this week, it’s probably best to just bench him in weekly leagues, unless we get a good report Monday afternoon. They don’t play until Wednesday, so I doubt we know much on his status today.
Andrew Bynum confirmed that he did the latest damage to his knee while bowling, and while I’m sure there’s a great joke about gutters here, it’s not funny. Just like his hair. If I owned him, I’m pretty sure I’d either trade him for a six-pack of Natty Light, or just move on. He may not play until January. Cut him at your own risk.
Kyrie Irving somehow had 26 points, zero rebounds and zero assists in a loss to Dallas, which probably says more about the dudes he’s passing it to than himself.
Jordan Crawford replaced Bradley Beal in the Wizards’ starting lineup and had 20 points and eight assists. As was documented in Waiver Wired, he is worth a pick up in all leagues right now. I didn’t mention Trevor Ariza in WW, but he had 16 points and nine boards, and is playing better again, while Kevin Seraphin is simply too unreliable at this point.
Derrick Favors and Randy Foye started for the Jazz, sending Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams to the bench, but it’s hard to say how long it will last. Favors and Hayward should still be owned in all leagues.
Byron Mullens had 18 points, nine boards and two 3-pointers for the Bobcats and I’m ready to run him out into weekly lineups with four games. Kemba Walker’s another must-start for Charlotte, while Ramon Sessions also looks like a safe play. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was good MKG on Saturday, but has been up and down.
DeJuan Blair started and finally produced, going off for 19 points, eight boards, two steals and a block in a Spurs win against Denver, but I need to see him do that a few more times before taking the bait.
I don’t have room to breakdown the Injury Report here today, so click on this link to check out the entire list before finalizing your lineup.
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