NBA Basketball Column: The Daily Dose
Dose: Bass, Celtics Play 5
It was a busy weekend and I’ll recap all the headlines, as well as take a look at the injury report heading into Week 3. But first, here’s a look at the games-played schedule for the week. The weekly schedule grid and a column breaking down each team’s schedule for the year are included in the NBA Season Pass.
Late Breaking News: It was announced around 3 a.m. that Mike D'Antoni, and not Phil Jackson, will coach the Lakers this season after signing a four-year deal. This is great news for both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
Games Played for Week 3
5 games - Celtics
4 games – Bulls, Mavericks, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Heat, Knicks, Thunder, Sixers, Suns, Blazers, Raptors, Jazz.
3 games – Hawks, Nets, Bobcats, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Bucks, Hornets, Magic, Spurs, Kings, Wizards.
2 games – Clippers
A.J. Price had a double-double and two 3-pointers for the Wizards, Bradley Beal had 17 points and a solid stat line, and Emeka Okafor had 17 points, eight rebounds and a block, making him look like a possible add at center. Kevin Seraphin disappeared for the second straight game, playing just 15 minutes for Randy Wittman. You can’t use him right now, but chances are he’ll bounce back sooner than later. For the Pacers, Lance Stephenson started at SG and scored 12, Roy Hibbert struggled with his shooting again, and Gerald Green finally came through with 15 points and eight rebounds. With four games this week, Hibbert is a must-start, while the other two are decent deep-league options in most leagues.
Vince Carter had 19 points, five boards, three steals, a block and five 3-pointers for the Mavs and might be a strong option until Shawn Marion is back from his injury. The Bobcats got 26 points and a great line out of Kemba Walker, who appears to be taking the next step this season. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist bucked the odds with 25 points, 12 rebounds, a block and a steal on 8-of-12 shooting and I should probably have included him in Waiver Wired. Byron Mullens still hasn’t been able to play with any consistency, but I’m still holding him.
Andrei Kirilenko posted another fat stat line for the Wolves and remains a must-start player until further notice, while Alexey Shved will see a bump in minutes with news that Chase Budinger will have knee surgery. Kirk Hinrich suffered a hip injury for the Bulls and while he might play this week, I’d rather roll with Nate Robinson, who scored 18 points after starting the second half for Hinrich.
Brandon Knight had 16 points, seven dimes and two 3-pointers for the Pistons, leaving owners feeling good heading into a four-game week, while Andre Drummond backed up Friday’s monstrosity with just seven points and seven boards in 20 minutes. If you have room to stash him, do it, as he could be in line for a starting job for the winless Pistons. Patrick Patterson was quiet again for the Rockets, but I still think he’s getting ready to come on for the Rockets. If you’re tired of Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino canceling each other out, you might want to try to get used to it.
Jason Terry has now played well in three straight games and is a nice add for the upcoming five-game week, but isn’t doing much besides scoring points and hitting treys. Along with the other starters, including Brandon Bass, the Celtics are going to be popular pick-and-plays with five games this week. Just know that Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green may not be better in five games than some of your players who go just three times this week. Brandon Jennings was 1-of-11 for four points on Saturday, but should bounce back soon. The Bucks play just three games this week, but Larry Sanders, who had 10 points, 12 boards and a block off the bench on Saturday, looks like a great pick up. And while I’m concerned about Ersan Ilyasova’s slow start, as long as Scott Skiles hasn’t killed his confidence, EI is going to breakout soon.
Jared Dudley finally came to life on Saturday for the Suns with 16 points, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting and might make for a decent gamble with four games this week. Luis Scola is having a great season and had 21 points and 11 boards on Saturday, but didn’t block a shot. Michael Beasley is up and down like a yo-yo, but I’m not ready to give up on him yet. In fact, I'm thinking about starting him over Josh Smith with the extra game, as Smith has struggled. And as long as Dudley is playing well, Shannon Brown is going to be a true crapshoot. Jamaal Tinsley had 14 assists and zero points for the Jazz while filling in for Mo Williams (groin), while Al Jefferson is finally starting to look like Al Jefferson. If Derrick Favors was dropped in your league I’d recommend picking him up.
Gary Neal went off for 27 points, seven rebounds, one assist and two 3-pointers on 11-of-16 shooting. He’s going to show up as a nice scorer on waiver wires, but is too risky based on the fact Tony Parker was out for this one. Meanwhile, Gregg Popovich is up to his old tricks, making Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green tough to start, and in some cases, own. Nicolas Batum went crazy on Saturday and the entire Blazers’ starting five played well in a tough loss. J.J. Hickson doused the fuse on Meyers Leonard with 13 points and 14 boards, while the Blazers got just four points off their bench.
Kenneth Faried had 18 points, 17 boards and three blocks and is a must-start in all leagues for Denver, while Danilo Gallinari finally put up a decent line despite more poor shooting. Carl Landry looks like a must-own for the Warriors as long as Andrew Bogut is out.
J.J. Redick started at SG for the Magic and still deserves to be held in all leagues. He had 10 point and nine assists, but was just 3-of-12 from the floor and didn’t hit a 3-pointer. Nikola Vucevic double-doubled and is worth grabbing if you need a C, while Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis had big games. Kris Humphries finally came to life on Sunday for the Nets with 14 points, 21 rebounds and a block. Keep in mind that Gerald Wallace was out again.
The Hawks looked terrible in a loss to the Clippers and play just three games again this week. Bench them if you want to. The Clippers didn’t blow anyone’s mind in the box score today and have just two games next week, leaving Chris Paul and Blake Griffin owners with a head-scratching decision.
Dwyane Wade was back in action but hit just 3-of-15 shots for eight points, while LeBron James flirted with yet another triple-double. The Heat were manhandled by the Grizzlies who got a monster line from Rudy Gay, another double-double from Zach Randolph, a nice game by Mike Conley, and a career-high 25 points (with seven 3-pointers) from Wayne Ellington. I need to see Ellington do something like this another time or two before taking the bait.
Dion Waiters played through a thigh injury and had eight points for the Cavs, but the good news is that he played. Alonzo Gee and Daniel Gibson played well in the loss, but I don’t trust Gibson. Russell Westbrook probably quieted his detractors with a monster line on Sunday, although it also included eight turnovers, just to keep us on our toes. Serge Ibaka blocked seven shots and is finally playing like a beast entering a four-game week.
DeMarcus Cousins was suspended for two games on Sunday, meaning he missed a game against the Lakers and will also sit on Tuesday, reducing him to just two games next week. Think carefully before benching or starting him this week. Jason Thompson came through with 15 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and a block, and should have another big game in Cousins’ absence against the Blazers. Jimmer Fredette came off the bench for 18 points and three 3-pointers in just 11 minutes, meaning he was ON FIRE while he was in the game. The Lakers got 23 points, 18 rebounds, two steals and three blocks from Dwight Howard, while Pau Gasol added 18 points, five rebounds and two blocks. It’s becoming clear that Howard is going to hurt Gasol, and now might be the time to try to move Marc’s brother. Metta World Peace had 18 points, five rebounds and two blocks, and is playing well enough that I’d consider adding him in most leagues.
MarShon Brooks ankle – Missed Sunday, but isn’t worth starting in most leagues.
Gerald Wallace ankle – Missed Sunday, iffy for Tuesday. Bench him for now.
Vince Carter hip – He was great on Saturday and might be a sneaky start this week.
Dirk Nowitzki knee – Still targeting December.
Wilson Chandler hip – In and out of lineup all year. Don’t trust him.
Steve Blake abdomen – Left Sunday’s game, but no other PGs worth a look in L.A.
Steve Nash leg – May not play at all this week so find another point guard.
Chase Budinger knee surgery – Was just starting to play well, now droppable.
Brandon Roy knee – Wasn’t doing much when he was “healthy.”
Kevin Love hand – Won’t play until December.
Ricky Rubio knee surgery – Also targeting December return.
Eric Gordon knee – Same old, same old.
Jameer Nelson groin – Should play sometime this week, but benching is safe play.
Hedo Turkoglu hand – Won’t be back until December.
Al Harrington knee – Ditto.
Andrew Bynum knee – Still no timetable, all we hear is crickets.
Tony Parker flu – Missed Saturday, but should be safe for this week.
DeJuan Blair knee – Missed Saturday, too inconsistent when healthy.
DeMarcus Cousins suspended – Will miss Tuesday, meaning 2-game week.
Alan Anderson ankle – On crutches, just as he was gaining steam. Bench him.
Landry Fields hand – Terrible thus far.
Kyle Lowry ankle – Missed Sunday, iffy for Monday. Start him at your own risk.
Mo Williams groin – Missed Saturday and iffy for upcoming week. Risky.
John Wall knee – Doubtful to play this week, could be out until December.
Nene foot – Who knows when we’ll see him again? Emeka Okafor playing well.
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