Saturday's action-packed, eight-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including monster triple-doubles from Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo. However, unfortunately, it also included too many dang injuries.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, I'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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Pascal Siakam was a stud on Saturday, doing all for Toronto in their win over Brooklyn. Siakam scored 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers. Last season's Most Improved Player continues to chug along at an incredible clip. After a putrid start to the season, Marc Gasol has finally shown some signs of life of late. On Saturday, he had his best game of 2019-20, registering season-highs in points (17) and rebounds (15) along with a steal, two blocks and three treys. Gasol may have been dumped in moderate-sized leagues. He's worth scooping up if he's on the wire.
After seven straight games as a reserve, in which he averaged 7.0 points (on 36.5% shooting) in under 22 minutes a night, Dejounte Murray was back in the starting lineup against the Suns on Saturday. Looking energized, he tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in 31 minutes. If he was dropped in your league, head to the waiver wire and scoop him up. He has potential top-75 overall value if he starts and sees consistent minutes.
Ricky Rubio poured in a season-high 25 points and dished out 13 assists vs. the Spurs on Saturday. He also tacked on three rebounds, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Rubio has been remarkably productive of late, averaging 17.2 points, 12.6 dimes and 4.0 boards over the Suns' last five games. Dario Saric also stuffed the stat sheet on Saturday, racking up 19 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointer in 38 minutes. Frank Kaminsky had 22/7/4. All three Suns had extra opportunities with Devin Booker (arm) not in the lineup.
The Wizards got blown out by the Grizz on Saturday, but Bradley Beal did his thing, finishing with 29 points, ten rebounds, four assists, four steals, five triples and six turnovers in 34 minutes. The only blemish on the night for Beal was his inefficiency on the offensive end, as he converted just eight of his 23 FG attempts.
Earlier this week, Bam Adebayo became the youngest player in the history of the Heat franchise to record a triple-double. On Saturday, he did it again. Bam was a beast in Dallas, racking up 18 points, 11 rebounds and ten assists in an overtime victory, while tacking on two steals and two blocks. Incredibly, over Miami's last five games, he is averaging a whopping 21.0 points (on 63.6% shooting), 12.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists. He's been an absolute stud all season and may very well earn his way onto the All-Star squad.
With Kawhi Leonard (knee/rest), Lou Williams (calf), Pat Beverley (concussion) and JaMychal Green (bruised tailbone) all sidelined on Saturday, Paul George and Montrezl Harrell were asked to carry the Clippers on Saturday. Paul George responded with 27 points (9-of-20 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs) four rebounds, six assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and six turnovers in 31 minutes. 'Trez tallied 30 points (on 9-of-24 shooting), seven rebounds, two steals and three blocks in 33 minutes. No one else on LA attempted more than six shots.
For those of us heavily invested in Nikola Jokic, the resurgence of The Joker has been a beautiful thing to watch. After a depressingly slow start to the season, Jokic is finally building some very positive momentum, and that ship picked up some more steam Saturday night. Jokic posted another triple-double vs. the Thunder on Saturday, scoring 28 points (11-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs) with 14 rebounds, 12 assists, along with one steal and three 3-pointers. Over Denver's last five games, Jokic is averaging 23.4 points, 10.6 boards, 7.8 dimes and 1.8 treys. That's the Joker we signed up for on draft day.
James Harden launched 33 shots, converting 14 and was 7-of-8 from the foul line on Saturday, en route to 39 points, six rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes. That actually dropped his averages; that's how ridiculously well Harden has been playing this season. Clint Capela scored 13 points, pulled down 19 boards and blocked three shots.
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On the Radar:
Patty Mills pumped in 26 points with five rebounds, one assist, two steals and six 3-pointers in 32 minutes on Saturday. His final bucket was a foul-line jumper with 0.3 seconds remaining, which proved to be the winning basket in the Spurs' thrilling 121-119 overtime victory. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18/7/1 and blocked three shots. DeMar DeRozan had 18/6/3 but was just 4-of-7 from the stripe. Lonnie Walker was playing well again before suffering what appeared to be a non-contact injury leg injury in the fourth quarter. He did not return, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes.
After an 0-for-8 dud on Wednesday, Serge Ibaka bounced back with a solid double-double on Saturday, finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 20 minutes.
Spencer Dinwiddie did what he does with Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out of the picture tallying 24 points and eight assists on Saturday. Taurean Prince had a solid double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) with a steal, a block and four 3-pointers. DeAndre Jordan had seven points and 13 boards in 20 minutes off the bench.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who as questionable for Saturday's game due to right quad tendon soreness, logged 24 minutes and registered 29 points (12-of-20 FGs, 3-of-7 FTs) with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers. Khris Middleton had 24 points (8-of-12 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), two rebounds, six assists, three treys and one steal in 23 minutes.
Troy Brown Jr. scored 16 points with five assists, two rebounds, one steal and two turnovers in 31 minutes for the Wiz. Davis Bertans finally came crashing back down to earth, finishing with just nine points (on 2-of-9 shooting), two boards, two dimes and one triple. As teams start to gameplan for Bertans, he will have a tougher time getting good looks.
After sitting out the previous game, Ja Morant (rest) returned to action on Saturday and recorded 18 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals, one block, one triple and three turnovers in 28 minutes. A night after he exploded for 44 points, foul trouble helped limit Jaren Jackson Jr. to 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and two triples in 24 minutes on Saturday. However, Memphis' other young, promising big picked up the slack, as Brandon Clarke (rest) scored a career-high 25 points (11-of-14 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with four boards and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes. Dillion Brooks cashed in a team-high 27 points with two boards, three dimes, two treys and three steals.
Zach LaVine led a balanced effort for the Bulls in a surprising win over the Clippers on Saturday. He scored a team-high 31 points (11-of-21 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and four 3-pointers. Thad Young did damage off the bench, tying his season-high with 17 points (7-of-12 FGs) to go along with four rebounds, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. Lauri Markkanen scored just 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting but ripped down 17 rebounds, dished four assists and made three 3-pointers. Kris Dunn racked up nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes. Denzel Valentine came out of nowhere to put up 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes.
With Luka Doncic sidelined by a right ankle sprain (see below for details), Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis were forced to pick up the slack for Dallas on Saturday. Hardaway scored 28 points with six triples, five rebounds and three assists in a team-high 41 minutes. Porzingis chipped in 22 points, 14 rebounds, one steal, two blocks and three trifectas in 39 minutes. The issue for KP was that he shot 7-for-21 from the floor. His scoring will increase, but poor FG% will continue to be an issue if Doncic is sidelined next week. Jalen Brunson started the second half in place of Luka and tallied a season-high 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a season-high 34 minutes. He'll be a popular add this weekend due to uncertainty surrounding Doncic. Delon Wright (groin), who returned on Saturday with a minutes restriction, would see an uptick in playing time as well.
Jimmy Butler was 8-of-22 from the floor but racked up 27 points, four boards, seven dimes, a steal and a triple for Miami in an overtime win. Tyler Herro logged and scored 19 points with six rebounds and three triples. Kelly Olynyk chipped 17 points, eight rebounds, a steal and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes off the pine.
Despite playing without Andre Drummond (eye) and then losing Blake Griffin (left knee soreness) in the first half, Detroit still managed to somehow knock off the Rockets on Saturday night. Luke Kennard was actually listed as questionable earlier in the day due to knee soreness but logged 34 minutes and recorded 22 points (6-of-13 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) seven rebounds, three assists, one block and four 3-pointers. Derrick Rose racked up 20 points (10-of-21 FGs), 12 assists and four rebounds in 27 minutes. Bruce Brown was everywhere in hs played 31 minutes, totaling 16 points (6-of-9 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs), ten rebounds, six assists, four steals and one blocked shot.
Steven Adams continued his strong play of late, scoring 18 points (9-of-15 FGs, 0-of-2 FTs) and ripping down 14 rebounds with two blocks in his 31 minutes. Over OKC's last seven contests, he's averaging 15.1 points, 11.0 boards, 2.7 dimes and 2.3 blocks in 29.8 minutes. Chris Paul had 15 points (5-of-8 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), ten assists, four rebounds and four steals in 34 minutes. Dennis Schroder scored a team-high 22 points with five rebounds, four assists and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes.