November 1, 2016, 5:14 am
With four games on tap we had our first eventful Monday night of basketball this season. Jimmy Butler annihilated the Nets, Will Barton injured his ankle and Willie Cauley-Stein continued his disappearing act. With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.
Bulls 118, Nets 88
The Bulls dominated behind impressive play from “The Three Alphas” (is it too late to collectively veto that nickname?) and a barrage of threes from Nikola Mirotic. The third-year forward drained four from downtown to total 16 points with three blocks, three assists and ten boards. He looks ready to put his brutal preseason behind him.
Dwyane Wade posted another well rounded line and continues to hit from downtown. Despite the positive counting statistics tonight he shot the ball poorly, making just five of his 13 attempts from the floor. His propensity for injury and crowded situation make him a sell high. Conversely, Jimmy Butler was brutally efficient on his way to 22 points on 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the line. He’s a stud.
For Brooklyn, Jeremy Lin and Bojan Bogdanovic continued their solid play while the rest of the team floundered. It seems that Bogdanovic’s role in the offense is fairly safe, but he doesn’t offer fantasy owners much outside of points and treys. Elsewhere, popular preseason sleeper Rondae Hollis-Jefferson shot a putrid 1-of-7 from the floor. He still totaled 30 minutes, making him more of a hold at this early juncture.
Raptors 105, Nuggets 102
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for 62 points against the Nuggets, carrying the Raptors to a victory at home. Both stars lived at the rim, scoring efficiently and drawing numerous fouls. I remain bearish on Lowry in season long formats, but he’s hot enough to warrant his DFS price tag in plus matchups like this one.
The Nuggets spread the scoring around more than the Raps, but ultimately couldn’t come through in the clutch. Jusuf Nurkic continued his torrid start, scoring 13 points with 18 rebounds and five blocks. Michael Malone is committed to starting him alongside Nikola Jokic, and as long as Nurkic is healthy he’s going to be a monster.
X-rays on Will Barton’s sprained left ankle came back negative, but the injury was severe enough that he had to be helped to the locker room. The severity of the injury is unclear at this point, but Barton might miss some time. Jamal Murray will make for a popular pickup if that’s the case, but he’s yet to earn major minutes and Gary Harris could return soon.
Hawks 106, Kings 95
All of Atlanta’s starters finished in double figures, with Dwight Howard (18 points), Kyle Korver (17) and Dennis Schroder (17) leading the way. Despite posting a double-double Howard torpedoed his value by missing 12 free throws (surprise, surprise). Schroder had issues with efficiency too, though he struggled from the floor rather than the stripe, and his inconsistent jumper remains a lingering question during a potential breakout campaign.
Rudy Gay was the lone bright spot for the Kings, scoring 22 points with three boards, five assists, two steals and one 3-pointer. He remains an underrated fantasy option at the moment, but the threat of a trade limits his season long appeal. DeMarcus Cousins looked unstoppable on the boards again but struggled to score against Howard down low, making just 6-of-16 from the field for 14 points.
The breakout remains on hold for Willie Cauley-Stein. Projections that had him playing minutes in the high twenties look to be way off at this point, and he was on the floor for just 12 tonight. He has all the defensive upside in the world, but he might be hard to keep on your bench in shallower leagues.
Clippers 116, Suns 98
There weren’t too many surprises in Monday’s final game, as the Clippers pulled away from the Suns behind their stars. Chris Paul scored 24 points with 8 assists and five boards, while Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both pulled in double digit boards to go along with 21 and 19 points, respectively. When they’re firing on all cylinders the Clippers look positively frightening (sorry).
The Suns, on the other hand, looked like a complete mess without Devin Booker, who missed the game with a lingering toe injury. Brandon Knight gave owners and empty 18 points in his stead, while Eric Bledsoe chipped in 12 points with eight assists and five boards. Finally, it might be time to cut bait on Alex Len. The upside is tantalizing but he’s now shooting 35% from the field as a 7-footer. Yeesh. Only a trade can save his value.
That’ll do it for this Tuesday’s dish. Follow @HoopBallTweets for up to the minute updates or hit me up on Twitter (@AbyssAlsoGazes) if you have any questions. See you all next week.