Saturday’s six-game slate was highlighted by a pair of young Hawks flying high, LeBron registering yet another triple-double (although the Lakers lost another game and two starters for the season), Bradley Beal just missing a trip-dub of his own, and Karl-Anthony Towns scoring 40 points and grabbed 16 boards before limping to the locker room.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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De'Aaron Fox snapped out of a mini-slump in glorious fashion Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden during a 102-94. Fox scored 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting and tacked on five rebounds, eight assists, two triples one steal and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Fox was unstoppable at times in the matinee at MSG. It was noteworthy, as this was the first time Fox has shot above 50 percent from the field since before the All-Star break.
The Hawks bright future was on full display Saturday night in Atlanta. Trae Young registered the first triple-double of his NBA career, tallying 23 points, ten rebounds, 11 assists in just 29 minutes. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Young is the first Hawks rookie with a triple-double since Bob Pettit in 1954. Trae’s field goal percentage is still an issue (he was 4-fo-14 on Saturday), but the kid is averaging 27.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 3.2 treys in the nine games the Hawks have played since the All-Star break.
Not to be outdone, John Collins poured in 33 points, ripped down a career-high 20 rebounds and tacked on one assist, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 30 minutes. Per Basketball-Reference, he’s just the third player in the last 50 years to tally at least 30 points and 20 boards in 30 minutes or less.
Bradley Beal was at it again on Saturday. He flirted with a triple-double, finishing with a monster line of 36 points, ten rebounds, nine assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers. Beal drilled a 3-pointer at the fourth-quarter buzzer to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough to push the Wizards past the Wolves. It was his 20th game this season with at least 30 points. You’ll likely have to use a first-round pick in next October’s draft if you want Beal on your squad next season.
So, we’ll start with the good news. Karl-Anthony Towns was a beast on Saturday night in the Wolves win. He hung 40 points on the Wizards, grabbed 16 boards and tacked on two dimes, four treys, two steals, one block and just one turnover in 37 minutes. However, he appeared to injure his right knee in the closing seconds of regulation. It was a non-contact injury nearly midcourt and he limped to the bench and then covered his head in a towel. When the game went into overtime, he headed back to the locker room. Fortunately, when he was speaking with reporters after the game, coach Ryan Saunders said KAT was walking around and that Saunders had "not heard concern" of a serious injury with Towns, who will undergo further testing. Wolves fans and KAT owners will have to nervously await the results of those tests (presumably and MRI) and hope they don’t get Woj-bombed with bad news. Taj Gibson, Dario Saric, and Gorgui Dieng would divvy up Towns’ minutes if he misses time.
LeBron James needed only 28 minutes to register yet another triple-double, totaling 30 points (13-of-23 FGs) 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a loss to the Celtics. The Lakers will limit his minutes going forward, but he’s still incredibly effective. Over L.A.’s last seven games, King James is averaging 29.0 points, (on 50.7 percent shooting), 8.4 rebounds, 10.3 assists and 2.1 triples.
Kyrie Irving (left thigh contusion), returning from a one-game absence, looked sharp on Saturday. He scored 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals and five 3-pointers in 35 minutes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 26 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, one block, five turnovers and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes in Saturday’s easy victory over the Hornets. The Greek Freak was efficient as usual, converting 7-of-11 from the field and making all ten of his free throws. Remarkably, it was Giannis’ league-leading 25th game this season with at least 25 points, ten boards and five dimes. No other player in the NBA has even half as many 25/10/5 games.
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On The Radar:
Mitchell Robinson remains ridiculously effective and efficient. He tallied eight points (2-of-4 FGs and 4-of-4 FTs), nine rebounds, one steal, three blocks and one turnover in 22 minutes on Saturday. Over the Knicks last seven games Robinson averaging 16.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per-36 minutes, while also shooting over 70% from the floor and 80% from the free-throw line. I mean that is just mind-boggling efficiency. Mitch Rob has also blocked at least two shots in 14 straight games. (The only rookies in NBA history to swat at least two shots in 15+ consecutive contests are Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Manute Bol, Alonzo Mourning, and David Robison.)
DeAndre Jordan had 14 points, 15 boards, one assist, one block and one turnover in 26 minutes. Dennis Smith Jr. finished with 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and just one turnover but was 7-of-19 from the floor. Kevin Knox shot 3-of-12 from the floor and for his seven points, four rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 23 minutes. Over the Knicks last 15 games, Knox is shooting a frigid 31.1 percent from the floor and below 30 percent from downtown.
Jarrett Allen has been scuffling a bit coming into the weekend, but he bounced back with a solid double-double on Saturday. He shot 5-of-6 from the field and 10-of-16 from the line en route to 20 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie stuffed the stat sheet to the tune 23 points with six rebounds, seven assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes off the bench. Rodions Kurucs had 16 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers in 21 minutes. It looks like he'll stick in the starting lineup. D'Angelo Russell was just 6-of-23 from the floor, but did put up 18 points, six dimes, three boards and three treys.
Bobby Portis stayed hot, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds, one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes against on Saturday. Over his last four games, BP is averaging 20.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 trifectas. He has a chance to be a real difference-maker during the fantasy playoffs. Tomas Satoransky had 9 points, three boards and 11 dimes. Trevor Ariza scored 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added three rebounds, four assists, one steal and seven 3-pointers in 41 minutes.
Derrick Rose finished with 29 points (13-of-23 FGs) three rebounds, three assists, one steal and two turnovers. Rose logged 30 minutes in the Wolves overtime victory. It’s the first time D Rose has played 30-plus minutes since late January, so we’ll see if that extra playing time has any lingering effects. After the game, he said would like to play Sunday, but it all depends on how he feels in the morning. Dario Saric saw only 19 minutes of action but scored 13 points with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and three 3-pointers. Taj Gibson has 15 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
Moe Wagner started on Saturday and scored a season-high 22 points (7-of-13 FGs, 7-of-7 FTs) with six rebounds, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. JaVale McGee played just 16 minutes while Mike Muscala picked up a DNP-CD, so the Lakers are clearly shifting their focus over the final month of the season. Wagner's fantasy stock is definitely rising, and he will be flying off waiver wires today, in advance of the Lakers four-game week. Johnathan Williams will also see plenty of playing time going forward. Williams busted out for 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting with ten rebounds, one assist and one block in 29 minutes on Saturday. In choosing between the two, I’d definitely prefer Wagner, but Williams is worth a flier in deeper leagues if you have roster space.
Nikola Mirotic had been in a funk in March but bounced back on Saturday with 18 points (6-of-10 FGs), six rebounds, three assists, two steals and five 3-pointers in 25 minutes. Brook Lopez has been super solid all year long and kept it up in the Bucks win over the Hornets, finishing with 25 points (7-of-11 FGs and 10-of-10 FTs), eight boards, two dimes and two thefts. Malcolm Brogdon had 18/3/4 in 27 minutes.