On Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Hooper packed up the car, coaxed our puppy Buckets into the backseat, and left the Mecca of American basketball (Milwaukee) in our rearview mirror to pay a post-holiday visit to Mama and Papa Hooper in Ohio. Though it runs counter to who I eventually ended up becoming, there actually isn’t any basketball in this particular household, so this Tuesday night recap is coming to you more or less blind. I’ve scoured Twitter and box scores as best I can, and we’re on track to be back home for next Tuesday’s action, but because I didn’t watch any hoops last night, I’m foregoing nominating a lede player here and just getting straight into it.

It was a busy night Tuesday night across the league. Here’s what jumped out to me here in the hinterlands of hoops…

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Giannis Antetokounmpo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 6 6 0 1 1 10/19 7/10 2

Khris Middleton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 2 3 1 0 2 8/14 3/5 4

Jrue Holiday

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 4 10 1 0 1 8/13 1/2 2

The Bucks are the reigning world champs and almost never lose when these three are on playing together. Looking through box scores like these one, I think you can see why.

Bobby Portis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 7 1 0 1 5 7/9 0/0 2

Item of the Game Bobby! Bobby Portis Jr Milwaukee Bucks T-Shirt | Bucks Pro Shop

I see these around town semi-regularly. Given how well Crazy Eyes has played (a top-50 contributor) in BroLo’s stead, the legend of Bobby Buckets will only continue to grow, both in the Good Land and beyond.

Franz Wagner

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
38 7 3 1 1 4 12/20 10/10 2

My goodness. Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley have taken the NBA (and fantasy hoops) by storm as rookies, but Franz should not be forgotten. The freshman is shooting 41% and is top-100 guy on the season. There will be bumps in the road, but in the few leagues where I was able to swoop him up after a couple of duds, I’m holding firm. There’s no reason why the Magic shouldn’t give him every opportunity to eat.

Wendell Carter Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 10 1 3 0 2 6/14 5/6 2

I totally missed the boat on WCJ. I’m not sure if that’s because he plays in an NBA backwater or I was mislead about when Jonathan Isaac would be back or what. Regardless, Carter has been more valuable than my beloved Richaun Holmes, Draymond Green and Julius Randle. Rebounding has been particularly strong, which is poetic given the career revival that’s taken place for him in Orlando.

Gary Harris

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 2 4 0 0 2 4/10 3/4 0

It’s not one of his better games during this recent run of games, but this is the ninth-consecutive time that Harris has logged 30 or more minutes of playing time. With that many opportunities, the stats are sure to follow. For the month, Gary has been good for top-90 value and is a good bet to continue to be productive until Orlando starts getting healthier.

Kyle Kuzma

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 7 3 0 0 2 8/19 4/4 2

It’s been an erratic month for Kuz, as he’s thrown up five December games where he failed to score in double figures while also double-doubling in consecutive outings. That streak ended here, but it was another solid line. The Lakers luster and outsized style make him more known to the common fan, but poor percentages and light defensive stats keep him right on the cusp of the top-150.

Daniel Gafford

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 11 3 1 0 0 7/7 2/2 3

Subconsciously I must not think much of Gafford, as I drafted Thomas Bryant all over the place despite knowing that he would miss a lot of time in the early portion of the year. Gafford and Montrezl Harrell are the 106th and 107th most valuable players on the season, so figuring out where exactly TB fits into this is very much an open question. Gafford is the only one of the group to have another year on his deal. If I had to choose, I’d give him the edge going forward.

Spencer Dinwiddie

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 7 11 0 0 4 8/16 4/5 3

This makes three good games in a row for Spencer, so maybe things are finally starting to click a bit. The production has been erratic, but the PT is trending in the right direction.

Davis Bertans

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 2 2 0 0 5 7/12 0/0 1

Honestly forgot this guy was still out here. The Latvian Laser has got another two years of $16M+ coming to him in Washington, so there’s plenty of time for me to forget about him, remember him, look at his contract on Spotrac, and then forget him again.

True Detective Time GIF

Jimmy Butler

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 8 15 2 2 0 8/16 9/9 4

The 15 helpers were a career-high and the stocks were vintage Jimmy. The scoring and boards definitely play too. If you’re sensing a “but” coming, you are, unfortunately, correct. Butler turned an ankle late in this one, so managers who were excited about their early-round pick’s return to action will have to worry once again.

Tyler Herro

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 6 3 0 0 5 9/19 9/10 2

Except for the game that he was tossed from, Herro has been hot. If Jimmy misses time, we could be looking at a Spider Man situation.

Even on his heater, Herro is still just a top-90 guy. The scoring turns heads, but it’s a seller’s market.

Duncan Robinson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 1 1 1 0 8 9/17 0/0 0

If he’s hitting threes, these kinds of lines can happen. If he’s not, well, he’s the 162nd best player for a reason.

Omer Yurtseven

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
10 14 1 3 0 0 4/12 2/2 0

Of course this guy plays for the Heat. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but Yurtseven! Can’t say I love the shooting figures, but for those of us who drafted Bam, snatched up and then ditched Dewayne Dedmon, and have now on to Yurtseven, the double-double will play. Omer drew 32 minutes of action tonight, and as the last man standing, he should be getting plenty of burn for now.

Joel Embiid

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
36 11 4 0 1 2 11/16 12/14 2

Chris Boucher, who you will see later in the post, was overmatched and without reinforcements. Predictably, Embiid absolutely bullied the slight center and continued his rampage through the league. Joel is a force and a top-10 player when he’s on the floor, and nights like this will push him closer to the top-5.

Tobias Harris

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 12 10 2 1 0 3/12 13/14 4

What a manic line. Triple-double: yay! No threes: boo! Three stocks: hell yeah! Three made field goals: oh no! How do you like 13/14 free throws? I like them very much. What about four turnovers? Not so much. Are we sure that just one guy did all of this?

Georges Niang

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 3 2 0 0 5 7/10 0/0 0

Niang gang!

Pascal Siakam

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 6 8 1 1 0 11/21 6/6 3

In a whopping 42 minutes! Nick Nurse doesn’t have a ton of other levers to pull at the moment, so if there’s ever a time for Pascal to jumpstart the season and get back into the top-50, it’s now.

Gary Trent Jr. 

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 1 7 2 0 4 6/24 3/5 3

Remember what I said about a lack of levers to pull? Trent was brutal with the shot against Philly and still hoisted 24 of them in 41 minutes. Expect the volume to stay elevated, both now and into the future.

Chris Boucher

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 19 0 1 2 5 10/14 3/4 0

It’s been a long season for managers holding the bag with Boucher, but the Covid outbreak north of the border has undoubtedly helped his cause. December has been a good month for the Water Boy, as he’s turned in top-100-ish value and top-50 value over the last two weeks. It’s hard to say with much certainty that he’ll be a productive player once Scottie Barnes and others come out of H&S protocols, but at least he’s getting busy while he’s got the chance.

LeBron James

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 11 11 1 2 3 11/19 7/9 3

How much does rest matter? Coming off one of the longer off-seasons of his career, James is turning in a top-3 fantasy season on a per-game basis, which blows his last three campaigns (34th, 16th, and 24th) out of the water. This isn’t news, I know, but LeBron James is a fantastic basketball player.

Russell Westbrook

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 12 10 2 0 2 10/17 2/6 7

Carmelo Anthony

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 9 0 1 2 4 9/15 2/2 0

Malik Monk

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 2 2 1 2 3 7/14 8/8 0

Finally, some efficient help for the King. Russ going for a triple-double is no surprise, but getting three stocks out of Melo and Monk definitely caught my eye. The Lakers are below .500 after 35 games, so more nights like this are definitely needed.

Jalen Green

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 2 4 2 0 4 8/16 4/5 2

Speaking of unexpected efficiency, Green has now shot 50% from the field in consecutive games. Given what we know about rookie guards in general and Green in particular, I wouldn’t bet on it continuing. He’s available on the wire in some leagues I play in, and unless you’re punting FG% or playing in a dynasty format, I would rather watch from afar rather than invest this year.

Kevin Porter Jr. 

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 5 9 1 1 5 8/17 1/2 4

Highlight the Jalen Green blurb, command+C, command+V

Christian Wood

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 6 3 3 1 3 8/12 3/6 3

Is it still the season? Evidently so.

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 15 2 0 1 1 5/20 2/3 4

Must. Not. Comment. On. Three point. Shooting. I…can’t! He’s down to 33% on year. If he falls much further, we’d be approaching Laker-era Randle. It’s not good, guys.

Mitchell Robinson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 18 0 2 1 0 7/8 0/2 1

Really, seriously, sincerely hope you didn’t listen to me when I said you could bail after MRob was benched for Nerlens Noel.

Evan Fournier

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 2 2 0 0 3 5/14 0/0 1

Kemba Walker (10/4/2 on 3 for 11 shooting in 33 minutes) and Quentin Grimes (11/2/2 in 31 minutes) have both moved past Don’t Google with regards to playing time, though neither were especially impressive. There was a good game in there recently, but the arrow is still pointed down.

Malik Beasley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 1 1 0 4 8/23 0/0 0

Jaden McDaniels

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 6 0 1 5 1 7/11 3/3 1

No KAT, no Ant, and no DLo adds up to eight-point home loss to the Knicks where the Wolves scored fewer 90-points. Jalen Nowell cracked double figures, but he was the only other player to do so. It seems impossible for Beasley to score efficiently, and the five rejections from McDaniels is certainly an outlier, though Jaden has been turning in some decent numbers over the last two weeks.

Ricky Rubio

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 13 9 2 2 3 10/25 4/4 1

Cherish this line if you’re rostering Rubio or you’re a Cavs fan, as Ricky had to be helped off the floor near the end of this one with an extremely concerning knee injury. One of the best feel-good stories of the season, all we can do now is hope that the medical reports aren’t as grisly as it looked.

Evan Mobley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 7 0 0 0 1 9/12 3/3 1

Kevin Love

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 4 3 1 0 7 7/14 3/4 1

With Darius Garland caught in H&S protocols and Ricky Rubio going down with a scary-looking leg injury, KLove hopped in the wayback machine and played 32 minutes of quality ball. You know the Love story — he’s productive until he’s hurt — so I’d make the add now and keep an eye on things. Not a “set it and forget it” situation, but there’s a ton of usage on the sidelines in Cleveland these days.

Herb Jones

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 7 3 0 3 2 10/18 4/4 0

No longer a secret blend, Herb has been a top-90 player for the last month and a top-50 contributor over the last week. His roster rate is sub-30%, so if you’re in need of swats that won’t kill your FT% (1.0 and 79.6% on the season), Jones is an attractive add.

Jonas Valanciunas

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 10 2 0 1 1 4/11 6/8 4

In this day and age, I always have twinges of doubt whenever I see that someone is out with a non-Covid illness. Is it even possible to be sick and not have Covid? This seems to be the case with JV, who only missed two games before returning against Cleveland. The top-30 production of the early season has dropped off a bit — points, boards, and steals are down, while turnovers are up — but he’s still outproducing his ADP.

Garrett Temple

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 3 3 1 0 5 6/7 0/2 3

rock on GIF

Will Barton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 4 4 1 1 4 7/15 3/3 3

Barton had been on a slide until a 17-point Boxing Day win against the Clippers, so it’s definitely encouraging to see him build on that performance with another good game in San Francisco. At his best, Billy Barton is a top-100 guy who provides decent value in threes, with some minor points, steals and dimes too. The Nugs need his help IRL and more nights like this would be appreciated.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 18 5 4 1 0 8/19 6/8 8

In a clash between the top two players in fantasy hoops, Joker got the best of Curry and led his team to the W. The turnovers are a bit bloated, even in a year when give aways have been an issue, and dimes have dried up slightly. The result is Jokic sliding a bit over the last few weeks. Maybe this will get him right.

Steph Curry

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 4 4 0 0 5 6/16 6/7 6

Even Superman has to take off his cape and bring it to dry cleaners every now and then.

Aaron Wiggins

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 5 0 1 1 1 5/8 3/4 0

It’s really hard to get too excited about any Thunder player who isn’t SGA. Between the roster volatility in the time of Covid and the tanking project, you just never know who is going to see enough time to warrant a roster spot in standard leagues. Congrats if you were able to stream the other Wiggins tonight. As for a long term viability? Well, that’s what crystal balls are for.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
33 5 5 0 0 1 9/24 14/17 1

Ah, yes, SGA, the only Thunder player worth getting excited about. The [scrolls…scrolls…continues to scroll] 57th most valuable player on a per game basis!

De’Aaron Fox

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
12 5 8 1 1 0 4/17 4/7 3

Swipa returned to the lineup on Boxing Day with signs of rust, and Tuesday night’s tilt showed that there’s still plenty more to knock off. Fox is shooting 31% from the field over his last two, but at least the turnovers (he coughed it up seven times against the Grizzlies) and coming down and the stocks are moving up.

Tyrese Haliburton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 2 10 1 2 5 9/14 1/1 2

Having his backcourt partner return hasn’t taken any of the shine off of Hali’s game. A top-25 player on the season, Tyrese had been producing at even higher level of late. Son has taught us to covet 1/1/1 players, and over the last week Haliburton has been chipping in 2.5 triples, 2.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks. The swats will come down, but dude is an incredible fantasy asset.

Buddy Hield

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 2 0 0 1 3 7/14 4/4 1

Honestly, I’m a little stunned that he made more two-pointers than threes. Buddy is a bomber from deep, so he must have walked into a couple of layups or something.