If your fantasy team had the misfortune of facing James Harden this week, my condolences. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and you family. You ran into the buzzsaw. I would know, I was one of them. Last night Harden went 8-48-8-6-4-1-6 on 14-of-30 shooting and 12-of-15 from the line in his worst scoring performance of the week. In three games this past week, he went 19-163-27-14-7-3-15. To be fair, there were two overtime games so his numbers got a slight boost, but this is probably the greatest three-game scoring performance in recent memory. RIP to my fantasy team. On a lighter note, here’s what else went down in the NBA last night:
Kyle Kuzma– 4-32-8-3-2-0-3 on 12-of-19 shooting and 4-for-5 from the line. Kuzma Daddy! His scoring numbers have taken a nice leap in his sophomore season (16.1 last year on 45% FG to 19.3 this year on 47% FG.)
Brandon Ingram– 1-21-5-4-0-0-6 on 7-of-12 shooting and 6-of-8 from the line. This is such an Ingram line. Nice scoring output, with nothing else and too many turnovers. I’ll take a hard pass on him.
Lonzo Ball– 8-3-11-1-1-1 on 4-of-7 shooting. He was helped into the locker room after only 22 minutes of action. He is most likely going to miss a few games, but X-rays came back negative so it doesn’t look to be that serious.
JaVale McGee– 12-14-1-1-1-1 on 6-of-8 shooting and 0-for-2 from the line in just 16 minutes off the bench. He had a rough four-game stretch, but he remains a hold for me just for the blocks alone. His minutes have dipped over that span averaging just 15.6 MPG in that span.
Eric Gordon– 5-30-5-4-0-0-2 on 7-of-16 shooting and 11-of-12 FTs. He’s in the midst of his worst shooting year percentage-wise of his career. If he can string together more games like this he could be right back to his career average 42.8 FG%
Paul George– 4-31-6-5-3-0-1 on 8-of-20 shooting and a pristine 11-for-11 from the line. Damn he’s having a good year. He’s providing mid-first round value for a guy you probably got towards the end of the first or early second round.
Jerami Grant– 10-9-1-2-2 on 2-of-6 shooting and 6-for-6 from the line. He’s enjoying his best season as a pro, and is reaping the benefits of starting for OKC, who run a pretty tight rotation.
Terrence Ferguson– 3-11-3-2-1-0-0 on 4-of-8 shooting. Whenever I see T. Ferguson in the box score I think of the old SNL Celebrity Jeopardy sketches where Norm Macdonald plays Burt Reynolds and he changes his name to Turd Ferguson. “It’s a funny name.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB7AxXTCnPg
Wilson Chandler– 1-4-6-0-1-2-1 on 1-of-4 shooting and 1-of-2 FTs. Started and played 34 minutes. Hey, Mr. Willllsonnnn! Just getting the mention because he’s averaging close to 30 MPG over his last four. The numbers aren’t great, but if he can get into a rhythm, I could see him being a viable option.
Joel Embiid– 1-31-8-6-0-1-3 on 11-of-19 shooting and 8-of-12 from the line. I doubt he’ll slip out of the first round in the next few years. He’s just putting up silly numbers.
Ben Simmons– 20-15-9-0-1-6 on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-8 FTs. Just missed the triple-double, but you’re not complaining with a line like this. The scoring and rebounds have improved from his rookie year, but I’m sure his owners and the 76ers would like to see the FTs improve.
Jimmy Butler– 1-18-3-4-2-2-1 on 5-of-18 shooting and 7-of-8 FTs. His numbers have taken a slight dip on the Sixers, but he’s probably complaining about it more than his fantasy owners.
JJ Redick– 4-22-2-1-1-0-2 on 6-of-13 shooting and 6-of-7 FTs. I almost just wrote 4 threes/22 points, but I didn’t want to rob you of the knowledge of his one steal and solid percentages.
Devin Booker– 2-32-2-11-0-0-0 on 10-of-23 shooting and 10-of-12 FTs. The 11 assists with no turnovers is Chris Paul-esque. He’s only averaging one steal per game in nearly 35 minutes, which is kind of ridiculous. Just stick your arms out once in a while!
DeAndre Ayton– 10-2-0-1-1-0 on 4-of-7 shooting and 2-of-2 FTs. He sprained his ankle in this one and only played 22 minutes. Him and Lonzo are each others spirit-animals.
Kelly Oubre Jr.- 4-24-3-1-1-2-2 on 9-of-15 shooting and 2-for-3 FTs. I thought his numbers would get a nice boost in Phoenix, but he’s still only getting 26 minutes per game.
De’Anthony Melton– 1-3-1-2-0-1-1 on 1-of-1 shooting. Started and played only 13 minutes. I still love him for his D stats, but if he isn’t getting 20+ minutes, I could definitely see cutting him. Luckily, the Suns are one of the few teams that play today so you can give him one last look.
Nicolas Batum– 2-15-3-6-1-0-3 on 4-of-6 shooting and 5-of-5 FTs. Sadly, this is about where his ceiling is. If you can stomach the quiet nights, his output in steals and 3’s are enough to warrant ownership.
Bismack Biyombo– 11-13-3-0-5-1 on 5-of-7 shooting and 1-for-1 from the line. Started and played 27 minutes. Bismack with the Special Sauce! I really wish Borrego would give him consistent minutes. Like, what do you have to lose? You’re the freaking Hornets… He’s clearly their best rim-protector. Anyway, Cody Zeller should be back in a few games so this mini-run he is on should come to an end.
Willy Hernangomez– 9-13-0-0-0-2 on 4-of-6 shooting. Came off the bench and played 17 minutes. He didn’t really stuff the stat sheet, but I could see him as a rebounds streamer if he keeps getting close to 20 minutes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo– 1-25-13-5-2-0-5 on 10-of-17 shooting and 4-of-6 FTs. I’ll give him the obligatory mention, but this is really par for the course for G.
Eric Bledsoe– 2-30-7-2-0-0-0 on 12-of-14 shooting and 4-of-5 FTs. Eric the Bled is exploring third-round value thanks to being 20th in the league in total steals.
DJ Augustin– 3-14-2-7-0-0-1 on 5-of-8 shooting and 1-of-2 FTs. He’s a solid source of assists and a trickle of 3’s, but not much else. After double-checking, he’s enjoying a career-high 46.9 FG%. Also, kind of crazy how many teams he’s played for. Eight in ten years, and he’s one of the few remaining players who have played for the Bobcats, along with…Bismack Biyombo! All the strings are connecting!
Nikola Vucevic– 2-27-6-4-0-2-0 on 11-of-24 shooting and 3-for-3 from the line. Keeps chugging along posting top-12 value.
Jayson Tatum– 19-5-2-1-3-1 on 7-of-13 shooting and 5-for-5 from the line. Always solid, will never blow you away. If that’s your cup of tea, Tatum is your guy.
Kyrie Irving– 5-32-3-5-1-0-5 on 11-of-19 shooting and 5-for-5 FTs. He recently apologized to LeBron, but he doesn’t have to apologize to his fantasy owners, as he’s posting near 1st-round value on the season.
Kevin Huerter– 4-18-4-7-3-0-2 on 7-of-18 shooting. Four 3’s per game over his last four, and that’s really what floats his value. Definitely worth an add in 12-ers.
Alex Len– 1-15-6-2-1-1-2 on 7-of-10 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench. If he could do this every night, or even come close, he could easily be ownable, but the big Ukrainian disappears from time to time.
Wesley Matthews– 3-17-3-2-0-0-4 on 6-of-12 shooting and made both FTs. He has just never been able to recreate what he had in Portland, when Wes was more.
Darren Collison– 2-16-3-3-2-1-2 on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-of-5 FTs. He’s kind of boring to own, but he’s a nice source of steals and assists.
Victor Oladipo– 1-12-8-6-3-0-1 on 4-of-15 shooting and 3-of-4 FTs. Numbers are way down from last year. Makes you think, was he really the most improved player last year, or did he just have one season that was way better than all his others?
De’Aaron Fox– 1-14-6-10-1-0-0 on 4-of-13 shooting ad 5-of-7 FTs. Speaking of which, he could be MIP this year.
Buddy Hield– 7-35-9-3-0-1-1 on 13-of-22 shooting and 2-for-2 from the stripe. He could be Most Valuable Fantasy Pick Based on Where he was Drafted. Or the MVFPBWD. It’s a very prestigious award.
Marvin Bagley III– 14-2-0-2-1-4 on 6-of-9 shooting and made both FTs. It looks like Joerger is giving him some decent run, and his numbers look a lot like Taj Gibson’s before Dario Saric came to Minnesota.
Blake Griffin– 1-38-6-3-3-0-5 on 12-of-23 shooting and 13-of-15 FTs. Inching his way closer to one steal per game. Still at 0.8 though in 36 minutes per.
Luke Kennard– 4-19-3-2-0-1-1 on 7-of-12 shooting and 1-of-2 FTs. He’s really just a desperation 3’s streamer, but he’s fairly hot right now.
Ivan Rabb– 13-11-1-0-1-3 on 5-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 FTs. Came off the bench and played 22 minutes. His name has floated around as a sneaky add if Marc Gasol gets traded. Gasol sat out with a sore back last night FYI, but I doubt it’s related.
Norman Powell– 2-14-1-4-3-0-0 on 6-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench. Stormin’ Norman Powell as he’s known, is actually putting together some low-end value as an all around guy, who doesn’t hurt your team in any way. It’s a quiet storm. Shout out to Lenny Green.
Josh Richardson– 4-26-3-2-0-0-0 on 10-of-15 shooting and 2-for-2 from the line. The D stats have really dried up, which were his bread and butter last year. He’s scoring way more, but at what cost?
Dion Waiters– 3-21-6-2-0-0-1 on 9-of-13 shooting and 0-for-1 from the line. The Heat just have too many C+ players, so one or two will have decent nights, while the others wait their turns. Not a great situation for fantasy.
Dwyane Wade– 2-14-10-7-0-0-4 on 5-of-11 shooting and 2-for-2 FTs. The percentages are really wonky, but he can have some value, on the right team builds. It’s gonna be an emotional night in Miami on his last game.
Lauri Markkanen– 4-20-9-0-2-1-2 on 7-of-19 shooting and 2-for-3 FTs. The Bulls seem to have all this young talent, but cannot buy a win. They’ll likely add more young talent next year too because they’re looking at a top 3 pick most likely. I could see Zion in a Bulls uniform.
Bobby Portis– 2-21-6-2-1-0-2 on 8-of-12 shooting and 3-for-3 from the line. Points and boards are Bobby’s World. These are some deep-cut references today.
Cedi Osman– 1-17-3-1-1-1-4 on 6-of-10 shooting and 4-for-5 FTs. He’s rounded into form over the last month or so, and he’s been scoring efficiently enough to warrant ownership in 12-ers.
Ante Zizic– 23-6-0-0-0-0 on 9-of-12 shooting and 5-of-6 FTs. Ante up! Just don’t expect this to last, but who knows? What do the Cavs have to lose?
Nikola Jokic– 3-19-11-12-1-0-1 on 8-of-12 shooting and 0-for-1 from the line. Another day, another trip-dub for Jokic.
Jamal Murray– 4-26-2-5-0-0-2 on 8-of-14 shooting and 6-for-6 FTs. He’s really rounding into form and the FT% is creeping back into elite territory, so hopefully you bought low or held onto him.
That’s it for today. It’s championship Sunday in the NFL, so there’s only three basketball games today that no one will be watching except the hardcore fantasy guys like me. So, enjoy the stupid football. I hope your team wins unless they are the Patriots.