If you’ve been reading my NBA articles throughout the season – or at any point during the past 20 years or so – then you already know I’m a diehard Brooklyn Nets fan. So, as you can probably imagine, these past few weeks have been particularly difficult for me. I mean seriously, have you ever heard of a team winning 12 games in a row, being the No. 2 seed in the conference… and then dismantling that very same team before the all-star break of the same season? I’ve never, ever heard of such a thing, but I guess Kyrie Irving forced our hand on this one. Once one domino fell, the rest followed suit.

Finally – after losing Kyrie and Kevin Durant, losing games in which 21-year-old Cam Thomas was breaking NBA records, blowing a nine-point lead late to the 76ers and getting blown out by the crosstown rival Knicks – Wednesday brought some good news for my favorite squad: Newly-acquired Mikal Bridges went HAM in a critical victory over the conference rival Heat. Let’s dive in and take a closer look from a fantasy perspective.

“Bridge” of Spies – Mikal blows his cover vs. Miami 

You might say that Mikal Bridges was lying in the weeds in his new uniform – after a decent start to his Nets’ tenure against the Sixers, he bombed out with one of the worst games of his NBA career at the Knicks on Monday: Seven points on just two-of-eight shooting, to go along with three turnovers, poor free throw shooting and a plus/minus of -9. So if he was in deep cover, waiting for his moment to strike – well that moment was certainly in Wednesday’s 116-105 win over the Heat, one where Bridges popped off for 45 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Even if just for one night, Bridges looked like a 26-year-old Durant, dominating the game end to end despite the defensive presence of big names like Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and a defensive-minded head coach in Erik Spoelstra. It didn’t matter what the Heat threw at Bridges defensively, there simply were no good answers. Bridges was able to slash to the rim, make good on his midrange game and hit four-of-six from deep. It was a jaw-dropping, three-level attack from Bridges, but is this type of fantasy production sustainable in his new digs?

Well, this type of performance is extreme, but there is a scenario where Bridges continues to be Brooklyn’s most dominant fantasy performer. When arguing with a Knicks fan about Bridges’ talent and ability the other day, I dropped the useful nugget that he was the No. 25 overall player in fantasy basketball on the season – and I guess that may get even better with my Nets, right? Spencer Dinwiddie (nine points, five assists and four rebounds) is the team’s veteran leader and floor general, but there isn’t much long-term value in him being the Nets’ go-to guy. Cam Thomas (19 points and four assists) – who looked like the best fantasy option in the league a little over a week ago – has been relegated to a microwave scorer bench role, so this really does look like Bridges’ team right now. His teammate no matter where he goes, Cam Johnson, chipped in 18 points of his own in Brooklyn’s critical win over Miami.

Move the “Ball” and good things happen

After a short injury hiatus following a play that looked worse than it actually was, the Charlotte Hornets’ franchise player LaMelo Ball has been puttin’ on a show in recent outings. Wednesday night was no different, as he dropped an impressive triple-double – 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists – on the young San Antonio Spurs’ D that was one step behind every chess move Ball made. He was in complete control of the game – it sort of reminded me of those veteran performances when LeBron James, Chris Paul or Damian Lillard use their veteran savvy to manipulate every movement on the floor – which led to seven Hornets in double figures (including himself).

Power forward P.J. Washington was the next man up (22 and 10), followed by 16 and five for Gordon Hayward and 12 and 10 for young center Mark Williams. The latter is the one to watch in fantasy these days, as the Hornets’ rather surprising trade of Jalen McDaniels (still just 25 years young) has opened up more minutes for Williams, Bryce McGowens (25 minutes, 11 points) and Svi Mykhailiuk (24 points, 12 points). I don’t think Williams is a world-beater in a vacuum, but in the end we know that a lot of fantasy basketball production comes down to minutes, opportunities and touches. Ball and Washington will continue to lead the way at the top of the Hornets’ food chain, but Williams and Mykhailiuk could be sneaky DFS plays in the right matchups as we progress through the season.

Jokic vs. Doncic – the Dallas Mavs continue their slide 

After acquiring the aforementioned Kyrie Irving… well, the Dallas Mavs have gotten what they deserved, right? Why bring such a cancerous player into your locker room? This is a team that made it to the NBA’s version of the Final Four last season on grit, toughness, heart and some pretty impressive defense at times. You take away Dorian Finney-Smith – now another promising young member of my Nets – and you lose chemistry, effort and top-tier defensive versatility. “DFS” – not daily fantasy sports – has the uncanny ability to guard all five positions when called upon, but now in his absence, the Mavs are giving up 118 points to the Nuggets and looking totally disjointed on both ends of the floor.

In Wednesday’s 118-109 loss to the conference rival Nuggets, Luka Doncic – not surprisingly – led the way for Jason Kidd’s stumbling and tumbling Mavs. Luka went for 37 points, nine assists, four rebounds and four steals, and I just have to be honest with you – it gets boring to write about him after awhile. His stat sheet dominance is impressive, but creatively redundant to say the least. On the flip side of the coin, another triple-double on Wednesday’s fantasy slate: 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the great Nikola Jokic.

The Usual Suspects did their thing, while veteran Jeff Green was the surprise star of the game: 24 points off the Denver bench in just 25 minutes of action. To me, he ended up being the true difference maker in this game.

Strong fantasy performances around the league 

Zach LaVine: 35 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a brutal 117-113 loss to the young-and-hungry Indiana Pacers. The Bulls were DeMar DeRozan’s team last year, but I feel like LaVine has been the more dominant of the two when healthy this season.

Jalen Brunson: If the voters had any balls or creativity, they’d pick this kid as their Most Valuable Player this season. One of the showstopping stories of the season, it was more of the same from Brunson Wednesday night: 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a convincing 122-101 victory for the Knicks over the unimpressive Atlanta Hawks.

Jayson Tatum: 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a cakewalk 127-109 win over the young-and-inexperienced Detroit Pistons. Obviously, Tatum continues to dominate in every possible facet in the absence of his Robin, Jaylen Brown.

Donovan Mitchell: 33 points, five rebounds and five assists in a tough 118-112 loss to the conference rival 76ers. Philly had nice distribution with six different players in double figures, and they’ve been lookin’ pretty damn good of late.

I’ll see ya right back here next week!

John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NBA for 19 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy basketball and football.