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Basketball Daily Dose

Clips storm back from down 35, Anthony Edwards scores 40 points in win

by Brad Stonebraker
Updated On: January 28, 2022, 1:23 pm ET

Usually Mondays are busy and Tuesdays are on the lighter side, but this week is quite the opposite. We’ll be seeing a lot of varying slates in the last 10 weeks of the season, so be sure to keep up and check those lineups. We’ll be more than 60% of the way through the season once this week is over, so the time is now to make one last push to stay competitive in your fantasy league. If the Clippers can do what they did on Tuesday night, you can do anything.

Clippers storm back from 35 down to win

Where do I even start with this one? The Clippers were losing by 30 points to the Wizards at halftime, and if you turned off the game, you shouldn’t have. Coach Lue opted to start Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Hartenstein and hero Luke Kennard to begin the second half in favor of Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac (who combined to play 36 minutes total, with Batum’s eight being due to back spasms that kept him out of the second half), and this move paid off very well. The Clips were down 35 points at one point tonight and came out on top 116-115 to complete the biggest comeback in the history of the team, but this isn’t really unfamiliar territory. They also became the first team to pull off three 24-point comebacks in a season, and they did it all in two weeks. Moral of the story, if you have money on the Clippers and they’re down big, don’t sweat it. Luke Kennard went off for a 25/8/6 line with a steal, including a four-point play with 1.9 seconds remaining which was preceded by a very deep triple to give him seven points in a 10-second span to seal the fate of the Wizards. Marcus Morris (personal) was out which means Kennard gets a boost even if he still comes off the bench, and he was the final touch on the seemingly unthinkable on Tuesday night. Amir Coffey was hero number two as he went nuts for a career-high 29 points (10-of-21 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) along with five rebounds, one assist, two steals one block, three 3-pointers and just one turnover in 37 minutes. If Coffey was dropped after his two-point dud on Sunday, please go get him, especially given the report that Paul George is considering surgery on his right elbow. Terance Mann (16/5/3 with three steals) and Hartenstein (16/5/6/1/1) both had nice lines but keep in mind that Ty Lue ran with whoever was keeping them afloat and we can’t expect this nightly from either guy.

The Wizards really choked this one away and that’s putting it lightly, but I'll try to be kind. Bradley Beal led the way with a 23/9/6 effort in 40 minutes, shooting a nice 8-of-15 mark from the field with a steal but sadly five turnovers, and hopefully he can at the very least be a top-50 guy when all is said and done considering how high he was drafted. Kyle Kuzma posted a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double with other goodies like three assists, one steal, one block, one triple and four turnovers, and he’s become human again lately but is at worst a points/boards guy. The three-headed center monster including Daniel Gafford (12/3/1 with two blocks in 12 minutes of a start), Montrezl Harrell (12/8/2 with two blocks in 20 minutes) and Thomas Bryant (11 points, four boards, one block in 15 minutes) is a huge mess, and while Trez is probably the move here, Gafford’s per minute upside is hard to ignore, so I don’t have any clear-cut advice until the rotation gets more settled (which it might not). Bryant has been the worst of the trio but he hasn’t even looked bad, but I don’t think he’s a guy you can trust if he’s playing minutes in the teens. Deni Avdija (11/3/2) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12/3/1) both scored in double figures, and I would not want to be within a square mile of coach Wes Unseld Jr. after this atrocity. 

Joel Embiid records sixth 40-point game of the season

No one has figured out how to stop Joel Embiid in quite some time, as he recorded his sixth 40-point game of the season in a 117-107 win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. Embiid finalized his stat line with 42 points (12-of-24 FGs, 18-of-20 FTs), 14 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three turnovers in 33 minutes, and he’s now also scored at least 30 points in 14 of his last 15 games. He’s just been insane and is the third favorite to win the MVP award at +375 (odds via PointsBet), ahead of even Nikola Jokic -- I’ve seen far worse ways to spend money. Tobias Harris would have been the player of the night if Embiid ever returned to Earth, as Harris went for a new season high of 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting, also adding 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks, three 3-pointers and three turnovers in 39 minutes, and he’s looked really solid in four games since a seven-point no-show against the Wizards last Monday. With these two having huge nights, guys like Tyrese Maxey (10/3/5 with two treys) and Furkan Korkmaz (13/3/2 with two triples, one block) took backseats but were still solid, and Matisse Thybulle (shoulder) returned from a five-game absence and started with a very Matisse-like 3/4/3/2/1 line in 33 minutes. 

The Pelicans were without Brandon Ingram, Devonte’ Graham and Josh Hart due to injuries and decided to rest Jonas Valanciunas against Embiid, which makes total sense. However, fill-in starting center Willy Hernangomez held his own on the offensive side of the ball with a career-high 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting (6-of-7 FTs), adding 10 rebounds, one assist, one block, one triple and two turnovers in 30 minutes. He’s not a pick up given he hasn’t even played in the past nine games and JV should be back for Friday’s matchup with the Nuggets, but just a note if he gets any more starts down the line. Nickeil-Alexander Walker was also incredible with 31 points, four rebounds, five assists, one block and five 3-pointers in 37 minutes, and he was finally (and I really mean finally) efficient in extended opportunity. NAW shot 11-of-22 from the field and turned it over just once, but the only other time he made at least half of his shots in a game this month was in a January 11 win over Minnesota, and that one was a measly 3-of-5 clip. He hasn’t been usable given his percentages but might be in streaming territory if a couple of the guys mentioned to start the paragraph miss again on Friday. Herb Jones was the only usual starter that played and he filled it up with a 12/6/4/1/2 effort with one triple, as did Jose Alvarado with a similar 11/3/5/2/2 line with a triple and no turnovers in 33 minutes. Jones should be rostered everywhere by now, and Alvarado should at least have your attention if you’re looking for some steals (2.2 per game over his last six). Jaxson Hayes was pretty good with 15 points, five boards and a steal off the bench, but Hernangomez is the play when Valanciunas is out. 

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Point guard Pascal falls just short of second triple-double

With Fred VanVleet (knee soreness) and Scottie Barnes (wrist swelling, late scratch) both kept out of Tuesday’s 125-113 win over the Hornets, Nick Nurse opted to start Pascal Siakam at the point guard spot. Spicy P was well on pace at halftime but ended just a single rebound short of his second career triple-double, ending the victory with 24 points (9-of-16 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), nine rebounds, a career-high tying 12 assists, one block, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in his 39 minutes. If FVV needs to miss more time, Siakam clearly knows what he’s doing in this spot and he looked quite comfortable doing it and will be even more of a triple-double threat than usual. Most of the damage on Toronto’s side was done by Siakam, O.G. Anunoby (24/7/2/2/1 with three triples) and Gary Trent Jr. (32 points with five triples on 11-of-21 shooting), which makes sense given how much work is left to do offensively with VanVleet inactive. Chris Boucher gets a mention as well as he only took six shots for 12 points, but added a full line of seven rebounds, one assist, and two each in the steals/blocks/triples departments, while Malachi Flynn (11/2/3) and Dalano Banton (10 points, three dimes, three blocks) were fine off the bench but aren’t the best fantasy assets going forward.

LaMelo Ball’s shot has not looked great lately, including a 35.9% clip over the past two weeks that barely has him as a top-75 asset in that span. He finally shot it well despite the loss on Tuesday and made at least half of his shots for the first time since December 29, going 8-of-16 from the floor for a team-high 25 points with three rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one triple and four turnovers in 32 minutes. He’s fallen out of first-round conversation on the season and is in mid-second status, but he’s still beating out his ADP and will be a first-round pick next season. Miles Bridges was right behind Ball with a 22/4/3 line but no defensive stats to go with his three triples and three turnovers, but the efficiency from the field (6-of-10) and free throw line (8-of-8) were both great. Bridges also scored at least 20 points for the 25th time this season, which means he now has more of such games than in his first three season combined (24), so he’s legit and could be incredible for many years to come. P.J. Washington got ejected very early due to an altercation with Justin Champagnie and made just one triple in his four minutes, which led to a decent 12-point, nine-rebound night from Mason Plumlee, but he’s usually just good for some boards and sometimes he doesn’t even get you those. Terry Rozier was pretty quiet with a 12/3/6/2/1 line but Cody Martin was even quieter with four points and eight boards in a start, while rookie James Bouknight scored 18 points in 29 bench minutes but that isn’t something to expect going forward. 

Nikola Jokic goes nuts again, makes history

The Pistons get credit for fighting back and keeping this game close, but you can only do so much when you’re up against Nikola Jokic. The Joker was just two points and a dime shy of a 30/20/10 evening as he finished the 110-105 win with 28 points, 21 rebounds, nine assists, one steal and three turnovers in 34 minutes, and he became the first player in NBA history to reach 5,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists within his first 500 career games. He shot 9-of-20 from the field and made all seven of his freebies, and the fact that he’s better than last year is pretty mind-blowing, but these video game numbers have not started to subside yet by any means. Jeff Green was good with 20 points but otherwise had just four boards and an assist to show for them, and he’s just a deep-league guy for scoring if he gets minutes close to 30 (29 in this one). Aaron Gordon has been better and had a well-rounded line (which is generally unlike him) consisting of 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in 34 minutes, and I’m just hoping his recent steals increase is sustainable as it would do wonders for his unsexy fantasy game. Monte Morris scored 12 points with eight boards, three assists and a steal while Austin Rivers scored 10 points with a pair of threes and a steal, and besides Zeke Nnaji’s nine points with five boards and two threes, the bench wasn’t very exciting.

Cade Cunningham went for yet another career high in scoring in the loss to Denver, hitting 14 of his 26 shots for 34 points, also pouring in eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, four blocks, six 3-pointers and four turnovers in 40 minutes of action. That’s good for 69.6 fantasy points if you deployed him in DFS on this occasion, and he was absolutely everywhere in an attempt to keep his team in the game, which he did. He made a further case for his consideration for the Rookie of the Year award, and while Evan Mobley is probably the front runner, a few more big nights like this could make it very close. Besides Saddiq Bey’s 21/2/3 line with two steals on 8-of-17 shooting, there wasn’t a ton else going on, but Hamidou Diallo (14/5/1 with two swipes) and Trey Lyles (10/6/2 with two steals) both posted serviceable lines. Frank Jackson hit double digits with 11 points in 14 minutes but added just two boards otherwise, and Isaiah Stewart didn’t even score in a start and added just four rebounds, an assist and a steal in 25 minutes, all of which during he got Jokic’d. He’s coming off of a 18-point game against the same team on Sunday though, and the upside is great, but we’re more than halfway through the season and he’s not doing anything right consistently, with his clumsy fouling not helping his case. I’d only hold onto him if you can afford to do so.

LeBron James overshadows AD’s return to action

After missing 17 games with a left MCL sprain, Anthony Davis returned to the starting lineup in a 106-96 win against the Nets, playing 25 minutes on his way to eight points (3-of-8 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks and one turnover. He opened the game on a one-hand alley-oop dunk on a lob from LeBron James, and while he wasn’t all too dominant on offense, his defense didn’t skip a beat. The Lakers will likely be cautious with their franchise big man, mostly when they have back-to-backs, but AD’s return went very well all in all. However, this was barely the storyline as LeBron James continues to do unthinkable things in his 19th season, as he shot 14-of-21 from the field and made all of his free throws for a pretty perfect 33/7/6/3/2 gem with two triples and not a single turnover in 34 minutes. Bron had two straight steals in the fourth quarter that led to breakaway dunks and he went 12-of-13 on two-pointers. He’s unbelievable and maybe, just maybe, he won’t have to go off every night if Davis can start being as effective as we’ve seen him in the past. Malik Monk was feeling it off the bench with 22 points, six treys, five boards, two assists and a steal in 28 minutes, while Russell Westbrook’s 7-of-14 shooting effort was the most impressive part of his 15/6/4 evening with a steal and five turnovers in 33 minutes.

No Kyrie Irving (home game) and of course no Kevin Durant (left MCL sprain, who also stated who won’t be participating in the All-Star Game for the second straight year), so of course it was James Harden who went nuts for a 33/12/11 triple-double, and he added two steals, one block, two 3-pointers and six turnovers in the defeat. If he hasn’t made it clear, The Beard is going to be a beast with KD out a few weeks and Kyrie sporadically missing games. Patty Mills went 6-of-14 from the field for 15 points, two assists, one steal and three triples, and besides DeAndre’ Bembry’s 12 points and Day’Ron Sharpe’s eight rebounds, there really wasn’t anything else going on in Brooklyn. 

Anthony Edwards pours in 40 points with huge line in close win

Anthony Edwards went bonkers in a very fun 109-107 victory over the Trail Blazers, as he went for 40 points (14-of-27 FGs, 7-of-11 FTs), nine rebounds, three steals, three blocks, five 3-pointers and just one turnover across 39 minutes, and I’m not sure where they would have been without Ant-Man in this game. D’Angelo Russell was next up in scoring with his 22/2/4 showing with three treys, but like a couple other guys I’ve mentioned in this Dose, the shooting (7-of-16 FGs), turnovers (four) and lack of any defensive stats makes this line less serviceable than it appears, but it is D’Lo after all. The two starting bigs both posted big lines, as Karl-Anthony Towns (17/17/2 with three triples and four blocks) and Jarred Vanderbilt (13/13/6/2/1, underrated stud) each only needed seven field goal attempts to be highly affective. This is pretty on par for Vanderbilt, but Towns should be more aggressive than this nearly every other night, and Edwards also won’t be taking 27 shots most nights. Jaden McDaniels started for Patrick Beverley (ankle) but didn’t do much besides hit a triple and tally two steals, and somehow Taurean Prince failed to score despite playing 27 minutes (he’s not an option, of course).

Jusuf Nurkic failed to block a shot for the first time in his last five games, which is a trend that has noticeably improved. However, that's really the only bad part, as he recorded his sixth straight double-double, the longest such streak of his career, to the tune of 20 points (8-of-18 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs), 14 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one turnover in 32 minutes. He has looked like a different player since C.J. McCollum returned, and it’s no secret that opposing teams care a lot more about C.J. on the outside than they do about Nurkic on the inside, which is helping Nurkic immensely on his way to seventh-round value over the past two weeks (up about two rounds from his season status) with room to improve. Nassir Little was impressive as well with a very efficient 20 points along with eight boards, two assists and four triples and his strong play with McCollum back in the lineup proves he’s worth holding onto for now. Little did injure his shoulder late but he ended up returning to the game after a brief exit, so hopefully he’s fine, but I'd be shocked if he wasn't on Wednesday's injury report on the second half of a back-to-back. McCollum struggled with a 5-of-15 mark from the field with his 15/4/4 line, also adding one block and three triples, one of which tied a game that looked like it was going to overtime until Anfernee Simons (17/4/7 on 5-of-18 shooting, six turnovers, he’ll be fine) goal-tended a D’Lo layup with 2.9 seconds remaining in the game. Norman Powell (protocols/personal) returned from an eight-game absence and came off the bench for now for eight points on 2-of-6 shooting, five rebounds, two assists, one steal and two triples in 26 minutes, and it’ll be interesting to see how Little responds to the demotion to the bench assuming Powell is starting again pretty soon.

Blowouts

You have to expect at least a few lopsided scores on a nine-game slate, right?

Celtics 128, Kings 75

Boston won by 53 to give them their second largest margin of victory ever and the largest on their home court in franchise history. Jayson Tatum (36/4/6, he's finally making shots) and Jaylen Brown (30/10/3, fourth 30/10 game of his career) had nine less points than the whole Kings roster, and these two each scored 30 or more for the third time this season, trailing on Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in 1986-87 (four times). Robert Williams was a madman with a 13/17/4/3/2 line with no turnovers in just 27 minutes, and Aaron Nesmith (10 points, four boards) and Josh Richardson (14 points, eight boards, one block, two treys) reached double figures off the bench. Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorers with 11 (yes, eleven) points off the bench, and Tyrese Haliburton (7/5/7/1/1) was the only Kings to give worthwhile stats. Terence Davis suffered a hard fall on a drive and hit his head pretty hard, and he received stitches but was eventually ruled out of the game. He made it through just 10 minutes for seven points and he’s been great lately, so hopefully he’s alright. 

Spurs 134, Rockets 104 

For a 30-point win, both sides of the box score were very well balanced, with eight Spurs scoring between 12 and 19 points and six Rockets scoring between 13 and 16. Dejounte Murray led the way with an efficient 19/5/10 line with three steals and a triple (ho-hum) while Jakob Poeltl nearly double-doubled with his 18 points, nine boards and two blocks. Keldon Johnson’s two steals were the best part of his 16-point night, and the same can be said about Doug McDermott’s three triples amidst his 15-point night. Devin Vassell looks better lately as he recorded a 12/4/6 line with four triples and a block off the bench, and I still like his season-long appeal on a bad team. Of the guys that aren’t fantasy assets, Drew Eubanks nearly double-doubled with a 13/9/2 line, Tre Jones scored 14 with four dimes and a steal and even Thaddeus Young scored 12 points in as many minutes. For the Rockets, Alperen Sengun stood out as he tallied a 14/5/1/1/3 line in 24 minutes that included this nice dunk, but both his and Kevin Martin Jr.’s (13/8/2 with two steals) stat lines were thanks to the score. Jae’Sean Tate scored 14 with six boards and three steals, Christian Wood looked bad again with 15 points, seven boards and nothing else and Kevin Porter Jr. got the counting stats with a 16/5/9 line but shot 5-of-12 from the floor with four turnovers and no defensive stats, and that’s been his story.

Warriors 130, Mavericks 92

Jonathan Kuminga was probably dropped in a ton of leagues after three straight duds, but he made his past owners wonder why as he went for 22 points, five boards and four 3-pointers in just 18 minutes, missing just one of his nine shots along the way. This was a garbage time situation and he didn’t start, so this could easily have been a one-off productive game, so said managers shouldn't worry too much. Stephen Curry had a 18/9/7 line and he hit just two of his 10 threes, and he just isn’t the same from range that we’re used to lately, but maybe he’s saving it for the poor teams they face in the playoffs. Klay Thompson (knee) looked fine with an efficient 15/2/6 line with three treys, and Jordan Poole was still able to score 17 points with a pair of treys with Klay active due to the score. Nemanja Bjelica had a random 10/10 double-double with four dimes and two steals, but forget about him, and Otto Porter Jr. scored 12 points with six boards in a start. Even worse than their worst loss of the season, the Mavs lost Tim Hardaway Jr. early to a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. It looked like a non-contact injury but he will miss a good chunk of time by the looks of it, with guys like Jalen Brunson (11/4/5/1/1) and Dorian Finney-Smith (eight points, two steals) standing to benefit. Luka Doncic was fine with 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists but he didn’t get much help from anyone, including Kristaps Porzingis (9/7/1/1/2) who was ejected late because he forgot what sport he was playing (and was likely frustrated, just a guess).

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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.