Basketball Daily Dose

Two superstars went down and DeRozan & Giddey make history Wednesday!

by Aaron Robinson
Updated On: February 17, 2022, 9:19 am ET

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Last night was the final NBA Wednesday before the all-star break, and there was plenty of action including historic collapses, some injuries that could have some fantasy implications, and of course some huge performances. The Knicks became the first team in the last 25 seasons to blow three 20-point leads in a calendar month after the Nets erased a 28-point lead to beat the Knicks 111-106 at The Garden. Before February, the Knicks were 9-0 when leading by 20 points or more. They are now tied with the Pacers for the most blown leads this season with three apiece. 

That was the tip of the iceberg for Wednesday’s drama, but from a fantasy perspective, there were far more intriguing things that happened, so let’s get into the ten biggest storylines from the night.

Anthony Davis gets hurt again in win over Jazz

Anthony Davis’ injury history is well documented, and it looks like he could be right back on the sidelines after injuring his ankle in Wednesday’s win over the Jazz. Davis was playing exceptionally on Wednesday, before landing on Rudy Gobert’s foot while going for a rebound, which sent the big fella tumbling to the floor in pain. The injury did not look pretty, and Davis had to be helped off the floor by his teammates, so brace yourselves for potentially another lengthy absence.

X-rays came back negative on the ankle, so Davis is dealing with a sprain. There is no timetable for his return at the moment, and he will be re-evaluated after the all-star break, the team announced. Davis scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 17 minutes on Wednesday, to go with two rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal. While he is out, expect Dwight Howard to get some run at center, and we could even see the Lakers go back to lineups with LeBron James at the five. James finished with 33 points on 14-of-23 shooting and added eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals in 40 minutes. This marked James 23rd consecutive game scoring 25 or more points, tying Joel Embiid for the longest such streak this season. He also tied Elgin Baylor for the longest single-season streak of 25-point games by a Laker. 

Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points in the loss to go with five assists, three rebounds, and four steals. This marked his second straight 30-point game and his third in the last five games for the Jazz, who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday.

CP3 injures thumb in loss to Rockets

Davis wasn’t the only superstar to suffer an injury on Wednesday though, but thankfully this one didn’t look as severe. Chris Paul jammed his thumb on Jae’Sean Tate’s forearm while throwing a pass during the third quarter on Wednesday. He was then ejected after he received back-to-back technical fouls, the first for jawing at the ref, and the second for making contact with an official. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Paul will get an MRI on Thursday morning to assess the damage in his hand. 

CP3 finished with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting (5-of-5 free throws) to go with six assists, two steals, and three turnovers in 19 minutes before being tossed. With Cameron Payne (wrist) on the sidelines, the Suns will likely turn to Aaron Holiday at the point if Paul has to miss time. Holiday played 20 minutes on Wednesday and scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting to go with six assists, three rebounds, one steal, and one triple. Until we get the MRI results back from Paul on Thursday, there is no need to do anything drastic, but keep an eye on Holiday in case The Point God has to miss some time.

Alperen Sengun Ball’s out in start 

Lost amongst the CP3 drama was the fact that Alperen Sengun had a huge night on Wednesday for the Rockets. Houston was without Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. due to an illness, so Sengun slid into the starting lineup as did Dennis Schroder, who was initially questionable due to some Achilles soreness. Sengun came through in a big way, scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (3-of-4 3-pointers) and grabbing 14 rebounds with three assists, two steals, and one block. The Rockets play the second night of a back-to-back against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Thursday, and if Wood is out again, Sengun could be in for another big night.

Schroeder also had a good night on Wednesday, scoring 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting (2-of-7 3-pointers) to go with nine assists, six rebounds, one steal, and one block. The only damper on his line was that he had six turnovers, but given the volume in the other categories, it is something you can live with. If KPJ is out again on Thursday, then Schroder should get another start, and could put up some decent numbers again, but if Porter Jr. plays, it puts a huge dent in Schroder’s value.

Josh Giddey posts third-straight triple-double

The Thunder took a 114-106 loss to the Spurs on Wednesday, but they have Josh Giddey, which is a win in the long run. This rookie class has been exceptional, and Giddey has been just as good as any of the others in his class, and he continued to make history against the Spurs on Wednesday. The rookie out of Australia tallied his third consecutive triple-double with 17 points on 8-of-18 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, and one triple in 33 minutes. He now joins Oscar Robertson as the only rookies in NBA history to ever record three-straight triple-doubles. Giddey is still only 19 years old, and he won’t turn 20 until October. He is now the only teenager to ever record three straight triple-doubles and after tallying the fourth of his career, he ties Luke Doncic for the most by a teenager in NBA history. The Thunder don’t play again until after the all-star break, and they should get Luguentz Dort (shoulder) back. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) could also return, but there has been no word about a target return date, so if he remains on the sideline, Giddey could be in line for some more huge nights going forward.

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Kyle Kuzma goes off, Wizards lose again

Another player who you should be able to pencil in for a bunch of big nights going forward is Kyle Kuzma. The Wizards will be without Bradley Beal (wrist) for the remainder of the season, and Kristaps Porzingis could make his Wizards debut after the all-star break, but who knows with him. In any event, Kuzma is the key cog in the nation's capital, and managers who have him should prepare for a fun finish to the regular season.

On Wednesday, Kuzma scored 26 points on 9-of-27 shooting (6-of-12 3-pointers) to go with 15 rebounds, six assists, and one steal in the Wizards’ 113-108 loss to the Pacers. The 27 shot attempts were a career-high for Kuz, who has now scored at least 20 in three straight games. The Wizards also got 27 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shot 9-of-18 from the floor (5-of-8 3-pointers) to go with three rebounds, three steals, one dime, and just one turnover. The Wizards play the Nets on Thursday in Brooklyn in a makeup game from December 21st. Expect Kuz to get up a ton of shots against the Nets, and for the remainder of the season, especially as long as Porzingis is out of the lineup.  

Andre Drummond grabs 19 rebounds in historic win

One of the biggest winners of the trade deadline has to be Andre Drummond, who went from a backup center in Philadelphia to someone who should be a starting center and be a huge factor in Brooklyn. Drummond fills a need for Brooklyn, who lacked toughness and physicality down low. Nicolas Claxton (hamstring) has been on the sidelines for nearly two weeks, and we likely won’t see him until after the all-star break, but even then Drummond might be the better option upfront. 

On Wednesday, the big fella grabbed 19 rebounds to go with 11 points, two assists, and one block. Drummond shot 5-of-11 from the floor, and just 1-of-5 from the foul line, so his line could have been a lot better had he knocked down a few more at the stripe. In two games in Brooklyn, Drummond is averaging 11 points and 14 rebounds with three assists, one block, and one steal. It will be tough to keep those numbers up, especially when Brooklyn gets back to full strength but for the time being, the big fella should be in for some great nights. 

Coby White & DeMar DeRozan go 30 for 30 on Sacramento

The Bulls got some good news on Wednesday, as Zach LaVine’s visit with a knee specialist reportedly went “very well.” The specialist stated that LaVine is not in any danger of doing further damage to the knee by continuing to play, so the Bulls expect him to be available after the all-star break. The Bulls celebrated the news by beating the Kings 125-118 behind huge nights from Coby White and DeMar DeRozan

White scored a season-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting (6-of-11 3-pointers) to go with six assists, five rebounds, one steal, and just one turnover in 40 minutes. This comes on the heels of a great performance on Monday against the Spurs where he poured in 24 points to go with six assists and five rebounds. With LaVine scheduled to be back after the all-star break, White could head back to the second unit, which would be better than him remaining in the starting lineup from a fantasy standpoint. Either way, his numbers should take a dip, but he should still be rostered everywhere.

DeRozan continued his historic tear by pouring in 38 points on 16-of-27 shooting to go with six rebounds, six assists, one steal, one triple, and four turnovers in 41 minutes. He is now the first player in NBA history with 35 points and 50% shooting in seven straight games. DeRozan is having an outstanding year, and he certainly deserves some consideration for the league’s MVP award.

Ant Simons & Jusuf Nurkic outduel Ja Morant & Desmond Bane Wednesday

By some miracle, the Blazers have suddenly tied their longest win streak of the season at four games. Who needs Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum when you’ve got Anfernee Simons am I right? It seems the case right now after the Blazers went to Memphis and beat the Grizzlies despite Ja Morant and Desmond Bane combining for 74 points, 12 assists, and ten rebounds. Morant scored 44 on 11-of-20 shooting but went 21-of-25 from the foul line to go with 11 assists, five rebounds, one block, and just two turnovers. Morant now owns the franchise record for most free throws made and free throws attempted in a game. He also scored 20 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter, marking the highest-scoring quarter of his career. Desmond Bane poured in 30 points on 9-of-19 shooting (7-of-12 3-pointers) to go with five rebounds, one assist, and one steals in 36 minutes. The seven made triples was a new career-high for Bane, who is in the midst of a breakout season in Memphis.

But now for the winning team! The Blazers were led by Jusuf Nurkic, who scored 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting (7-of-10 free throws) to go with eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, and one triple in 34 minutes. The 32 points was a season-high and it was one off of the career-high 33 that he scored against the Nuggets in 2017. Portland also got 31 points out of Anfernee Simons, who has now scored at least 30 in three straight games. Simons shot 11-of-18 from the floor and 5-of-10 from three to go with six assists, three rebounds, and one steal in 34 minutes. Simons is on an absolute tear right now and the Blazers are playing arguably their best basketball of the year. They currently occupy the 10th seed in the western conference and have a 1.5-game lead over the Pelicans for the final play-in spot in the west.

Nikola Jokic & Bryn Forbes lead Nuggets to win over Warriors

Another day, another huge line, and a win for the Joker. He won MVP last season with averages of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.3 steals. This season, he is averaging 26.0 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.3 steals, and it seems like people have just glossed over the ridiculousness that has been occurring in the Mile High City. On Wednesday, Jokic added to the insanity by scoring 35 points on 13-of-24 shooting (3-of-5 3-pointers) to go with 17 rebounds, eight assists, one block, and five turnovers as the Nuggets beat the Warriors 117-116. This marks The Joker's twelfth straight double-double, and his fourth straight game with at least 20 points with 15 rebounds. He also tallied the game-winning assist to Monte Morris, who canned a triple to give the Nuggets a one-point win.

Denver also got a huge night off the bench from Bryn Forbes. The former Spur went for 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting (4-of-7 3-pointers) with one steal. Forbes had been in a slump, but he has played well over his last two games and is averaging 19 points with 3.5 triples in the stretch.  

Jaden McDaniels posts solid line in loss

The Raptors beat the Timberwolves 103-91 on Wednesday as they got 30 points from Gary Trent Jr. who shot 10-of-24 from the floor (5-of-12 3-pointers) with four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 39 minutes. For Minnesota, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell shot a combined 2-of-19 from the floor (2-of-13 3-pointers) for 14 points, and when that happens they aren’t going to beat anyone. They did get 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting (2-of-3 3-pointers) from Karl-Anthony Towns, to go with 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two turnovers.

The best thing that came out of that game for Minnesota was Jaden McDaniels, who scored 18 points off the bench, and shot 6-of-13 from the floor (1-of-7 3-pointers) to go with seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block in 30 minutes. This was the second-straight game that McDaniels has scored 18 points and his third straight in double-figures. McDaniels is only rostered in 37% of Yahoo! Leagues, and it looks like he will be getting the bulk of the minutes at power forward, for the time being, so he is worth a look as a streamer at the moment.

Aaron Robinson

Aaron Robinson is a sports journalist who played Division 1 basketball at Quinnipiac and Coppin State University and is a native of Takoma Park, MD. You can follow Aaron on Twitter @AceRobinson_