Basketball Daily Dose

Devin Booker outduels DeMar DeRozan, Mitchell Robinson feasts in loss

by Brad Stonebraker
Updated On: February 8, 2022, 10:29 am ET

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It’s trade deadline week! Teams are allowed to make trades until Thursday, February 10 at 3pm EST, and while it was a Monday on the slower side, prepare for chaos. Teams are going to blow it up, while others do absolutely nothing, but with Caris LeVert already heading to the Cavaliers, it seems like anything is fair game. Mondays are usually pretty busy game-wise, but it was a pretty short five-game slate, which is the fewest Monday games we’ll see until the very last week of the season.

Raptors 116, Hornets 101

Same old, same old for the Raptors, as they have around 5.5 guys who are absolute fantasy beasts while Nick Nurse continues to play his favorites very heavy minutes. O.G. Anunoby has been even better than usual and went for 20 points (8-of-18 FGs), nine rebounds, two assists, three steals, two 3-pointers and two turnovers in 38 minutes, and this marks his 12th straight game with at least one steal, and even though he went block-less on Monday, he’s also swatted a shot in 10 of his last 13 games. Pascal Siakam was a pair of dimes away from another triple-double with his 24/11/8 line with one block, two treys and four turnovers, and while his 10-of-15 mark from the field was great, his 2-of-5 mark from the line was not. The freebies have been a bit of an issue, as have the turnovers (3.5 per game over his last six), but everything else is clicking for Spicy P. Scottie Barnes played 31 minutes for 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and two turnovers in 31 minutes, while FVV tallied an efficient 20/5/5/1/1 line with six triples with the only issue being his five giveaways. Gary Trent Jr. matched FVV in the sense that he had at least one of everything within his 24/3/2/2/1 line with four treys and three turnovers, and you can continue to start all of Toronto’s starting five with confidence. Chris Boucher is almost in starting territory again and had his third straight decent game with eight points, six boards, one steal and two blocks, but if he plays less than 20 minutes (19 in this one), he won’t be more than a late-round guy but is good enough on a per-minute to justify rostering.

Gordon Hayward took a very unlucky tumble after getting caught in the air on a Gary Trent Jr. drive to the hoop, and Trent landed on Hayward’s left ankle and it was immediately diagnosed as a sprain. Hayward scored three points with a board in his six minutes before being ruled out for the evening, and there was not much time between the injury and the consensus that he wouldn’t play again on Monday evening, which isn’t the best sign. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but he was clearly in discomfort, and it’s nearly a sure thing that he’ll miss time and that’s a big blow if you started him in a weekly league. Kelly Oubre stands to get a boost, and he looked good on Monday with his 17/6/2/1/1 line, and this would have looked even better if he made any of his eight attempts from downtown. Now All-Star reserve LaMelo Ball (he and Dejounte Murray replaced Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, respectively) had a horrid shooting night with his 5-of-19 mark from the field and also turned it over seven times, but his 15 points, four rebounds, nine assists, four steals and one triple look just fine. Miles Bridges scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting and also chipped in six boards, five assists, three steals, one block, two 3-pointers and three turnovers in 42 minutes, and he’s been so good that he easily could’ve been an All-Star as well. Terry Rozier shot 8-of-19 and posted a 20/5/6 line with four more triples, and while he didn’t tally a defensive stat, he only coughed up the ball a single time in his 41 minutes. P.J. Washington recorded a 15/9/2/1/1 line in 38 reserve minutes, and he can be frustrating but looks much better than he did in mid-January and may also see some extra run with Hayward inevitably sidelined for a bit.

Heat 121, Wizards 100

The Heat won their third straight tonight and they didn’t have much of a problem against a Wizards team that has lost eight of their last nine and has looked like one of the worst teams in the league lately after a fantastic start. Jimmy Butler (toe) was questionable coming in but suited up and played 30 minutes for 19 points (7-of-13 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), three rebounds, four assists, one steal and four turnovers, and this wasn’t an amazing evening for Butler by any means but as long as he’s playing, he’ll be effective. Bam Adebayo was the one that led the team with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting (7-of-8 free throws) to go with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and three turnovers in just 24 minutes of action, and while he didn’t tally a block on this occasion, he’s averaging one swat per game over his last six which would be pretty nice to see more of (just 0.7 per game on the season). Kyle Lowry was fine with a 11/4/5 line with a steal and three treys, Duncan Robinson scored 12 on four threes but nothing else except a board and three turnovers and P.J. Tucker has finally cooled off and scored just two points but at least had seven rebounds with a pair of dimes and a steal in 23 minutes. Finally, guys like Cody Martin (15 points, three assists, three triples) and especially Gabe Vincent (16/4/8 with four threes and two steals, with 11 of his points coming in his first four minutes) both looked better than usual since Tyler Herro (right knee soreness) wasn’t active. 

The Wizards have not had many bright spots in their ugly losing streak, but they got a new one tonight in rookie Corey Kispert, who played 26 minutes off the bench for 20 points (9-of-15 FGs), six rebounds, one assist, one steal and, most surprisingly, just one 3-pointer. I think he’ll have a role at some point, and if Washington keeps losing, they’ll have no reason not to play him, so feel free to toss him on your watch list. Kyle Kuzma was subpar for his second straight game with 12 points and little else in 27 minutes, while Montrezl Harrell scored a very similarly empty 13 points in just 18 minutes off the bench. Other centers Thomas Bryant (eight points, five boards, 22 minutes) and Daniel Gafford (DNP-CD) weren’t great either, and we’re still lacking clarity on what in the world is going on with their center situation, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until the trade deadline on Thursday if we want any answers. Aaron Holiday scored in double figures again with a 14/4/4 line with three steals, but I don’t expect him to keep this up, and Spencer Dinwiddie was downright awful with a 4/5/6 line with two steals and has officially forgotten how to thrive with Bradley Beal (wrist) not back in action yet.

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Warriors 110, Thunder 98

All quarters except the second one were decided by a margin of one or three points, but a 36-23 second quarter in favor of the Warriors got Golden State their ninth straight win. Steve Kerr told media Monday morning that Klay Thompson’s minute restriction will be bumped up to 30 minutes, and he played a season-high 29 of them in the win for a team-high 21 points (6-of-15 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs), two rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, three 3-pointers and zero turnovers. The minutes could creep into the 30s in no time which would be great for fantasy purposes, but they’ll still be ultra-cautious with their star shooting guard and rightfully so. Fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry hit half of his 12 shots for a very near triple-double including 18 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, four 3-pointers and four turnovers in 37 minutes, and the crucial thing is that Steph has now hit at least half of his shots in four of his last five games amidst a season where he’s really struggled shooting. Jordan Poole also almost triple-doubled off the bench with a 11/8/8 line with two steals, one triple and three turnovers in 30 minutes, and he’s proving to still have some value even with Klay active, but it doesn’t bode super well for Poole that Klay’s restriction was lifted. Jonathan Kuminga was fantastic with a 16/4/4 line with a swat, and he’s officially resurfaced as a trustworthy option over his last three games and may have value (again) with Draymond (back) still out another three or four weeks. Otherwise, Otto Porter Jr. (back) returned and started but scored just two points in 15 minutes, Kevon Looney had a fine 8/7/1/2/1 showing, Andrew Wiggins’ 15 points just had five rebounds, one steal and three triples attached to them and Andre Iguodala returned but played just six minutes before hurting his back again.

Lu Dort is on an absolute mission right now. We thought it would be Josh Giddey seeing the biggest bump with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) out at least until the All-Star break, and while that’s not at all false, Dort has been insane. He scored a game-high 26 points (9-of-21 FGs, 5-of-7 FTs) with four rebounds, one assist, three steals and five turnovers in 38 minutes, and while his efficiency may continue to be a problem, he looks like a different player out there and is poised for a big finish to the season (plus, he’s available in more than a quarter of Yahoo! leagues as I type this). The aforementioned Giddey was great again with the exception of his 6-of-16 shooting and four turnovers (both pretty expected) as he posted a 16/11/7 line with a steal in 30 minutes. The only “negative” for Giddey is that Mark Daigneault said that the 30 minutes were a result of of the condensed schedule, and that he wants to keep him in that range at this point in the season. Darius Bazley looked awesome and is finally finding his stride as he notched a season-high tying 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, one steal and two treys in 37 minutes. He’s looked better and is playing enough minutes (36+ in each of his last three games) to be worth calling must-roster in most leagues. Tre Mann (11/3/4 with two steals and three triples) and Kenrich Williams (12/6/5/1/1) both tallied nice lines, but I’d say Mann is the preference by a bit since he’s playing minutes in the 30s as opposed to Williams’ minutes in the 20s (Williams did play 31 tonight and has a better all-around game than Mann, for what it’s worth, so keep an eye on him too). 

Suns 127, Bulls 124

Phoenix had this game in the bag and were up 127-112 with 1:41 left, and the fact that Chicago made it a game by scoring 12 points in a bit over 90 seconds is pretty incredible. Luckily for Monty Williams and his Suns, a win is a win, and they wouldn’t have gotten there without Devin Booker. D-Book went off for 38 points (14-of-23 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), four rebounds, five assists, one steal, five 3-pointers and only one turnover across 38 minutes. He scored just 11 points in an easy win over the Wizards on Saturday and there’s no way his scoring total was going to be that low this time out. In fact, he’s been scoring at such will that if you exclude that Wizards game and an 11-point effort against the Pacers on January 22, he’s scored at least 28 points in 10 straight contests, which is simply wild. Chris Paul’s very efficient 19/3/11 line with a steal and four turnovers doesn’t even stand out in any way because his managers are so used to his elite playing on a nightly basis, and I’d argue that both he and Booker should be getting at least a little bit of MVP love right now. Deandre Ayton scored 13 points with nine boards, an assist and a block in 23 minutes before fouling out, and his foul trouble allowed JaVale McGee to play an identical 23 minutes off the bench for 16 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and… wait for it… one 3-pointer. That’s right, McGee hit the 12th triple of his career at a time when the Suns were dominating, and the Suns bench went nuts. Mikal Bridges continues to basically be a perfect fantasy player as he showed out with a 15/4/3/1/1 line on 50% shooting with two triples and no turnovers in 36 minutes and Jae Crowder recorded a random 10/10/6 line with a steal and a triple, and he’s not the worst but it’s getting to that point in the season where there are likely better fantasy options.

Again, give the Bulls credit for almost making this a miraculous comeback. It was the DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine show in Chicago, and DeRozan continued his insane play with 38 points on 16-of-27 shooting, also adding five rebounds, four assists, two steals and three turnovers in 36 minutes. He has scored 83 points over his last two games and a total of 171 points in his five February games so far, and his MVP chances just keep looking better. LaVine was likewise awesome with a 32/6/8 line while shooting 9-of-20 from the field and hitting all 10 of his free throws, and this was especially refreshing given he missed his last two contests with back spasms, and he quickly proved he’s doing just fine. Nikola Vucevic had a 13/12 double-double with two steals and just simply wasn’t as involved on the offense with the two All-Stars faring so well, and Coby White scored 13 points in his 26 minutes but added just one board, one assist and two triples to his portion of the box score. Ayo Dosunmu (two points, two rebounds) and Javonte Green (4/8/3 with a block) weren’t all that great but they’re both better than this most nights, with Green actually looking roster-able lately with Monday’s effort ending a five-game streak of double-digit scoring. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Malcolm Hill, and most people probably don’t even know who that is, but he hit two triples and another bucket from inside the arc right as time expired to give him eight points in the 1:41 he was in the game in what was supposed to be garbage time but almost resulted in an insane comeback. To put this into perspective, had Hill played 36 minutes, he was on pace for 171.1 points, 42.8 rebounds and 42.8 triples. This means nothing at all, but just some fun numbers on a slower night. 

Jazz 113, Knicks 104

The Jazz have now won three straight games after dropping the five before that, and it’s no secret that Donovan Mitchell is a crucial component to this team’s success. He spent eight games stuck in concussion protocols but has looked fantastic in his two since returning, as he bested his 27/3/6 performance on Friday with a game-high 32 points (13-of-26 FGs), seven rebounds, six assists, four steals, one block, two 3-pointers and four turnovers across 36 minutes of Monday evening’s victory. This is the Spida we know and love and he didn’t need a single game to shake off any rust, and this line was particularly loaded and therefore encouraging. Bojan Bogdanovic was the other 20-point scorer on Utah with exactly 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting (6-of-6 FTs), but he only added four rebounds, one assist and two treys (but at least didn’t turn the ball over). He looked to re-injure his left finger that kept him out just one game on January 24, and he was seen holding it for a good chunk of the possession following a wide open transition dunk, but we’ll see if he reappears on the injury report. Jordan Clarkson (knee) returned after two games in street clothes and scored 16 points with little else but at least hit half of his shots, and Mike Conley shot just 5-of-17 for his 18/3/7 line with two triples and a block (it’d be more believable if Conley and Clarkson switched shooting percentages). Udoka Azubuike had a career night by grabbing 14 rebounds, while also adding seven points and three swats in 28 minutes of a start, and I have no idea why coach Quin Snyder isn’t starting Hassan Whiteside (three points, eight boards, 20 minutes), but the Jazz coach looks smart for not doing so. Azubuike posted career highs in minutes, rebounds and blocks and could have a very, very small window of value for as long as Rudy Gobert (calf) is out, but I’m not too interested.

The Knicks were up four heading into the fourth quarter but forgot how to run their half-court offense in the final frame, and as a result, they lost the quarter by a score of 31-18 and ultimately lost the game. Mitchell Robinson had one of the best games of his career with a season-high tying 19 points (8-of-11 FGs, 3-of-6 FTs), a career-high tying 21 rebounds, one assist, two steals, three blocks and zero turnovers in 36 minutes. Ten of his rebounds came of the offensive variety which marked a new career high in that particular department, and the minutes mark the most he’s played in any game this season. It’s showings like these that justify many thinking Robinson has early-round upside, and it’s hard to argue after this, but some consistency would be wonderful. Julius Randle followed up his big 32/16/7 game against the Lakers on Saturday with 30 more points in Monday’s defeat, going 10-of-20 from the field and 8-of-12 from the line for 30 points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal, two triples and five turnovers in 38 minutes. Sure, he looks a lot better, but he also has just five total stocks over his past six games and has turned it over 24 times in those six, but he just is who he is at this point. RJ Barrett recorded a 23/7/6 line which looks good until you see his 8-of-25 mark from the field with no defensive stats, but hey, he only turned it over once (I’m trying my best to be positive even though it’s the Knicks). Evan Fournier was the fourth double-digit scorer in New York and he tallied 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting with four rebounds, one assist, two steals and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes, and he’s been more efficient lately and is hitting so many threes that I’d call him worthy of a roster spot nearly everywhere until he cools off. On a night when Kemba Walker was resting, Alec Burks started but scored just five points in 31 minutes, new Knick Cam Reddish scored six points in 15 minutes and I think Tom Thibodeau hates him and Immanuel Quickley posted a 5/5/4 line in 24 minutes. Burks is clinging on to value and could be worth holding onto at least until Derrick Rose (right ankle) is back, but go ahead and ignore the other two. 

Brad Stonebraker

Brad has a finance degree and works in Business Management. He has been playing fantasy basketball since 2012 and specifically enjoys sports statistics and crunching numbers. You can find Brad on Twitter @bradbraker97.