Hey y’all. We’re back again, like we never left, with another Saturday Special. Today we’re kicking it off with none other than the Tall Baller From the G himself, Dirk Nowitzki. Also, a shoutout to our own Joel for the title inspiration! The pun was too good to not use with Dirk as well. Nowitzki had a nice little vintage performance, as he led the Mavericks to a win over the Thunder, going for 19/5/4/2 on 7-for-10 shooting with four threes. Dirk’s no longer a fantasy stud, but it’s nice to be able to show love to one of the greats when they deserve it. Dirk might get sporadic rest days as the season goes on, but he’ll generally be given free reign to do as he pleases while the Mavericks happily tank for a pick. Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:
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Dennis Smith Jr: 15/2/4/1 on 6-for-14 shooting with three threes as he held his own against Russell Westbrook. The threes are a good sign that he’s getting more confident out there. It’s possible that he improves on his efficiency struggles as the season goes on and he gets more accustomed to the league.
Harrison Barnes: 12/12/3/1 on 5-for-12 shooting and 2-for-2 FT. Looked quick out there on a few plays and the rebounds are a nice surprise.
Salah Mejri: 6/6/1/2/4 as he nearly rainbows on 3-for-4 shooting in 23 minutes. He also attempted (and missed) a three. Nerlens Noel is completely buried on this team and needs a trade or a miracle to salvage even a little fantasy value. Mejri is pretty tough to rely on day-to-day and at best still just feels like a blocks stream.
Russell Westbrook: A typical 28/12/9/1 performance in the loss to the Mavericks. Was 9-for-19 from the field, 4-for-8 from three, and 6-for-9 from FT. It wasn’t a terrible night efficiency-wise, but his percentages are down across the board for the season. I would expect improvement as the season goes on and the Thunder’s three-headed monster continues to grow. Remember, the Heat struggled for a long while out of the gate after Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade. They eventually figured it out.
Paul George: Two points on 1-for-12 shooting. Uhh, his shot was definitely off tonight, but he kinda made up for it with six rebounds, 10 assists, and four steals. He’s leading the league in steals by a mile, and might be a dark horse DPOY candidate with Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gobert out for extended periods.
Carmelo Anthony: 16/3/0/1 on 6-for-12 shooting with four threes. Also four turnovers and a pretty empty showing from Me7o.
Jerami Grant: Nine points and a rebound, as he shot 2-for-6. It’s worth mentioning him because he was 4-for-4 from FT and was literally the only Thunder player besides Westbrook to attempt a FT. The Mavericks did a good job containing these guys tonight.
Joel Embiid: 18/14/6 as the Sixers beat up on the lowly Magic. Remember when the Magic were good like two weeks ago? Ha! Embiid only shot 7-for-17, had five turnovers and had nary a block, but he’s been dealing with a cold so he gets a pass tonight.
TJ McConnell: 15/7/13/3/1 on 7-for-12 shooting with a three as TJ was the real star of the show. He got more ball-handling opportunities with Ben Simmons out with an elbow thingy, and he made the most of it. On most nights, TJ is mostly just an efficient swipes-n-dimes guy, but he has great chemistry with the rest of his team and probably worth rostering in 12 teamers.
Robert Covington: 14/8/2/1 on 5-for-7 shooting and two threes. He’s been great all year. Lord Covington, baby!
Dario Saric: 21/7/4 on 8-for-13 shooting as he bounces back from a few recent duds.
JJ Redick: 29/5/1 on 10-for-18 shooting and EIGHT threes! I may have buried the lede here with these Sixers guys. He was hot tonight and he’s been great for this team.
Aaron Gordon: 16/9/2/1/2 on 4-for-10 shooting with two threes and 6-for-6 FT. No turnovers either. Great production across the board even though his Magic got slapped.
Elfrid Payton: 22/8/9/1 on 9-for-17 shooting and three threes. He’s prone to having these scoring outbursts from time to time, but I wouldn’t trust him without seeing it consistently.
Bismack Biyombo: 3/3/1/0/2. Not a good game, but he could be useful as a blocks specialist maybe. Anyway, I mention him because the Magic are free falling after their hot start, and maybe this year the Magic decide to unload Nikola Vucevic (14/14/3 tonight) and start fresh. You can’t rely on trades happening, but if it were to happen then Bis would definitely become valuable similar to how John Henson became relevant again after Greg Monroe left. It’s worth keeping an eye on anyway.
Kyle Anderson: 14/5/3/5 on 6-for-8 shooting. He’s been great for the Spurs, though I’m not sure how he factors into the equation when (if?) Kawhi Leonard returns from injury. With the way he’s been playing, it certainly looks like he’s carved a role.
LaMarcus Aldridge: 17/7/4/0/2 on 6-for-13 shooting. Solid game in the big man’s mini-bounceback season.
Pau Gasol: 17/7/3/0/2 on 5-for-14 shooting in a similarly solid game. The poor FG is partly because he was 2-for-7 from three.
Kemba Walker: 18/3/5 on 8-for-12 shooting. He was pretty much the only Hornet to show up, as they got handled with relative ease by the Spurs.
Dwight Howard: 10/11/0/1 on 3-for-10 shooting. At least he was only 4-for-7 from FT, so he didn’t totally murder you there. But not a good game for Da-wight.
Nicolas Batum: 5/3/2 on 1-for-7 shooting (0-for-5 from three) in 22 minutes. He missed a game after bumping his surgically repaired elbow, but got the start tonight. He’s a bad FG% guy anyway, but he’ll generally be better. The Hornets are off until Wednesday so he should have ample time to rest up.
Damien Lillard & CJ McCollum: It was a two-man show once again, with Dame going for 29/6/6 on 9-for-17 shooting and CJ going for 26/4/3 on 11-for-20 shooting. They each had five turnovers, but it’s hard to complain about that.
Jusuf Nurkic: 17/5/4/0/3 on 7-for-17 shooting. A bit of a drop-off from his last game where he exploded, but still a solid effort. If he can continue nights like these, owners will be happy.
Tim Frazier: Started in place of an injured John Wall and was serviceable, going for 11/3/2/2 on 4-for-9 shooting. The Wizards backup PG spot has historically been pretty yucky, but Tim is definitely still worth a pickup while Wall is shelved.
Bradley Beal: 26/1/7/2/2 on 10-for-24 shooting as he tried to pick up the slack with Wall out. Too bad he couldn’t pick up another rebound for the rainbow though…
Otto Porter: 24/10/2/3/1 on 9-for-15 shooting with a three and 5-for-5 FT. And no turnovers, as Otto never turns it over. It’s crazy. It’s like somebody crafted this guy in a laboratory to be the perfect rotisserie fantasy basketball player.
Kyle Lowry: The Raptors shot the Hawks out of the sky as they easily won by 34 points. Lowry had 15/13/6/1 on 4-for-9 shooting (4-for-7 from three). The 13 boards were easily a game high which is pretty funny.
DeMar DeRozan: It was definitely a team effort, as the Raptors had seven guys score between 11 and 17 points. Unfortunately, DeMar was not one of them. He had 2/2/8/1 on 1-for-5 shooting tonight. Ticker tease!
Norman Powell: Actually led the way for the Raps going for 17/2/1/3 on 7-for-13 off the bench. He has his duds, but this is now three straight worthwhile fantasy lines for him. Worth an add if you need scoring.
Dennis Schroder: The only Hawk to score more than 10 points, as he had 14/4/1/1 on 4-for-11 shooting and four turnovers. He did go perfect on his six FT attempts though. Silver lining?
Marco Belinelli: Pretty much every Hawk had a miserable game, but Marco went for 10/1/2/2 with two threes off the bench. THRAGNOF!
Michael Beasley: 30/8/2/0/1 on 14-for-23 shooting. Also 2-for-5 FT and six turnovers. Uh, okay. This was in 36 minutes. He had less than four minutes in his last game. I mean, Beez could definitely put up numbers if he gets 36 minutes a night, but until then, I’d leave him be(asley).
Jarrett Jack: 10/5/8/1 on 5-for-10 shooting. He had 14 assists in his last game. If you need assists, Jack is actually a decent add, as he’s averaging a little over six per game on the season.
Courtney Lee: 17/2/4/1 on 6-for-11 shooting. Interesting lines from the Knicks’ band of misfits tonight.
James Harden: 37/2/10/3 on 12-for-27 shooting and five threes. He’s on a mission to finish runner-up for MVP again! He might even make an all-NBA team! He’s having a bonkers season (again), though his rebounds are way down this year. Whatever.
Ryan Anderson: 17/7 on 6-for-11 shooting and four threes. Out of position THRAGNOF!
Clint Capela: 12/15/3/0/3 on 4-for-7 shooting and 4-for-6 FT. Juicy.
Chris Paul: 6/2/13/2 and only one turnover on 2-for-12 shooting. He has roughly a 10-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Truly the Point God.
Steph Curry: 27/4/6/1 on only 9-for-25 shooting as the Warriors survive an early scare to handily put away the Pelicans in a game where Kevin Durant didn’t play. People who think the Pelicans have a shot against the Warriors in the playoffs are delusional.
Klay Thompson: 24/4/2/2/2. Klaynbow!
Andre Iguodala: 14/3/4/2 on 5-for-10 shooting as he took most of the opportunities opened up by Durant’s absence.
Anthony Davis: 30/15/2/0/2 on 12-for-22 shooting. Incredible game, but not even close to being enough to beat the Warriors.
DeMarcus Cousins: 15/7/4/1/5 on 5-for-11 shooting and two threes. 3-for-6 FT and six turnovers too. DMC gives you everything, good and bad.
Rajon Rondo: Yikes. 0/3/6 on 0-for-9 shooting. More like Rajon RonDON’T. Ha… ha. He’s also basically just a swipes-n-dimes specialist at this point, except he didn’t even get a swipe tonight. Blech. He’ll be better.
Jrue Holiday: 24/6/6 on 8-for-20 shooting as he’s at least playing his role admirably.
Donovan Mitchell: 24/4/4/2 on 9-for-16 shooting and six threes. He’s crushing it. I’m in love.
Rodney Hood: 21/2/2/2 on 8-for-15 shooting and three threes. He’s coexisting with Mitchell in a way I didn’t think they would. There may yet be hope for the Jazz if they can stay afloat while Rudy Gobert is out.
Ricky Rubio: 11/0/7 on 4-for-5 shooting. His dimes are easily at a career-low and his turnovers are at a career-high. His points are up a bit, but he’s not a scorer and his FG% is at around 39% this year after getting it over 40% for the first time last year. If you’re a Rubio owner, you’re definitely frustrated but you may as well ride it out.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The other Tall Baller from the other G had another great night, going for 27/13/5 on 10-for-18 shooting. Surprisingly no stocks though. Alas. He allegedly yelled “I will f*ck you up” at one of his assistant coaches, so be ready in case the team disciplines him for it.
Gary Payton II: Started, got 0 points on 0 shots in 7 minutes. Two rebounds and literally nothing else for a 0 usage rate. Why?
Malcolm Brogdon: 19/4/2 on 7-for-9 shooting with a block and four threes as he played well off the bench. Eric Bledsoe (18/2/7/2/1) is firmly the starter, but Brogdon should have a role off the bench. Regardless, I’d probably think about selling high after this one.
Tony Snell: 18/1 on 8-for-10 shooting with a block off the bench, though he did start the second half. He’s mostly just a deep league guy for scoring.
John Henson: A respectable 11/8 with a block on 4-for-6 shooting and 3-for-4 FT. He’s been putting up some nice lines with Monroe gone and is pretty much a must-own.
Wesley Johnson: The Clips are pretty depleted and Wesley’s starting now. He had 8/4/0/1/1 on 3-for-5 shooting with two threes. He doesn’t do a lot, but he’s great for stocks if you need them.
DeAndre Jordan: 5/16/0/1/1 on 2-for-4 shooting. Classic DJ!
Austin Rivers & Lou Williams: 14/1/7/1 (4 turnovers) and 18/3/8/4/1 (six turnovers) respectively, with each shooting 6-for-14 from the field. With Patrick Beverley out for the season and Milos Teodosic still out, these guys will be leaned on heavily.
Buddy Hield: 27/5/2 with a block on 10-for-18 shooting and seven threes. He’s an alright THRAGNOF for now.
Willie Cauley-Stein: Cooled off a bit, but still rainbowed, going for 9/6/3/2/3 on 4-for-10 shooting off the bench.
Zach Randolph: 17/7/3 with a block and a three on 7-for-14 shooting. Z-bo pretty much is what he is.
George Hill: 10/3/3 on 4-for-7 shooting. This guard tandem with De’Aaron Fox (4/4/3/2, 2-for-9 FG) is pretty blah for fantasy.
Kyrie Irving: 25/4/6/1 on 11-for-20 shooting and a disgustingly disrespectful move on Darren Collison.
Al Horford: 21/5/6/0/3 on 8-for-15 shooting and three threes. The real MVP!
Marcus Smart: 15/6/5/2 on 7-for-8 shooting. Wait, what? He’s shooting 29% from the field this year, but shot 7-for-8 on Saturday. Insane!
Myles Turner: 19/6 with a block on 7-for-9 shooting. Not bad considering Boston has the best defence in the NBA. Buy low before it’s too late.
Domantas Sabonis: 17/7/1/1 on 5-for-13 shooting as he continues to play well off the bench even with Myles back in the fold.
That’s about does it for this week’s edition of Any Given Saturday. As always, feel free to leave a comment or question down below. Stay tuned for next week when I reveal my top 40 dating tips!