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The dense foliage of the jungle provided cover from the rays of the sun, yet the heat was unbearable; as if I was trapped in a Russian banya with someone lashing my body with reeds and water constantly pouring over the heated rocks in the stove to produce endless amounts of steam. After weeks of traversing the jungles of Peru to find Paititi, the Lost City of Gold, my mind and body were definitely not one. I needed a break, yet I trudged on. One step with the right foot. One step with the left foot. One st…………….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! My mind harkened back to the days of riding roller coasters at Six Flags until….BAM! BOOM! OUCH! My head banged into something. My body rolled over and over and over again until……nothing but searing pain reverberating throughout my entire body. I curled into a ball, cursing at the gods when…..I saw it. The gold glistened from the rays of sun darting through the small crevices in the ceiling. That mishap of falling into the hole was a blessing in disguise, as I wouldn’t have found Paititi without it. Which is exactly how the season has gone for Paul Millsap, without all the theatrics and drama.

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211623222/58/133/6

Millsap struggled for much of the season. He scored 20 or more points just five times and was held under 10 points 14 times. He also missed eight games due to injury. But then, Millsap sat three games due to an ankle injury before playing in two games before the All-Star break. He played 20 minutes then 31 minutes, which happened to be his best game of the season (25/13/2/1/3). After the break, Millsap logged 32 minutes and put up a 17/13/2/1/3 line. So, that’s three great games in a row, which has been good for top 10 value. Small sample size for sure, but he looks healthy and it’s the first time he’s dub-dubbed in three straight games. The trek has been arduous for Millsap owners, but it looks like you will be reaping the rewards of being loyal. Or stubborn. Or lazy. Regardless, the end result is all the same.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Aaron Gordon

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7760020/42/113/4

Imagine you’re a kid seeing a commercial for Sesame Street on the tv. “On Saturday at 8 am, we are going to bring in your favorite celebrities to help us go from A to Z!” Woo hoo! You can’t sleep on Friday night trying to imagine what the roster is going to look like. Will it be him? Or her? This is going to be sooooo awesome! Come Saturday, Anderson Cooper represents A while George Stephanopoulos is the G. To make matters worse, there’s no B C D E or F. That’s Aaron Gordon in a fantasy nutshell. So much potential, but disappointing and lacking in substance. Outside of the top 100 for the season.

Jonathan Isaac

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16600213/65/113/4

We always knew about the defense, but what got us most excited over the summer was the aggressiveness on offense. Injuries derailed his season early on, but he’s been living up to the hype lately. Over the past few weeks, the usage rate has jumped from 15 to 19.8 and the shot attempts have gone from 8 to 11 per game. Top 80 player.

Nikola Vucevic

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231242103/410/170

The only negative thing I can say about Vucevic is that he only plays 9 games during the fantasy playoffs.

Terrence Ross

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28910023/89/217/7

In 30 minutes off the bench. I once met a girl many moons ago who said, “I’m not looking to clean, cook, or start a family. I just want to <BLEEEEEP. BLEEP. BLEEEEEEP> Ok, then. Ross isn’t going to dish out dimes or provide D stats. He’s going to shoot, then shoot, then shoot some more. He has a usage rate in the 29-30 range over the past few weeks.

Pascal Siakam

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101130202/43/102/2

Just one of them days, as the Raptors lost at home to the Magic, 98-113. Granted, Kawhi Leonard did not play but the Raptors were 13-3 without him prior to yesterday’s game. Anyways, for the season, Siakam has had a field goal percentage under 40% only eight times. He has developed into quite the all-around player. Over the past four games, he averaged 34.4 minutes, 23.3 points, 2 tres, 7 boards, 3.8 dimes, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 53% from the field and 79% from the line.

Marc Gasol

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16550011/17/131/2

Got the start and played 24 minutes. Nurse likely started Gasol to match up with Vucevic.

Serge Ibaka

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14500020/17/140

Played 24 minutes. So, the center minutes were split right down the middle, which is how I see it playing out the rest of the season.

Kyle Lowry

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194104052/66/135/5

Over the past four games, Lowry has been a top 20 player, primarily on the heels of 45% shooting from the field. There was a stretch where he was shooting sub-40%. The tres, boards, dimes, and steals are a constant. It’s all about the efficiency for Lowry, as he is not a high usage player and doesn’t jack up a ton of shots.

Jodie Meeks

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10200002/54/90

Played 17 minutes. The Raptors signed Meeks to a 10-day contract. Fred VanVleet is out for at least a month, while Delon Wright and C. J. Miles are no longer with the team, so there’s an opportunity for Meeks here. He’s a career 37% shooter from downtown.

Jeremy Lin

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6150010/22/82/4

Played 18 minutes. I just want Linsanity over and over and over and over and over again. With that said, if we do get Linsanity again, then something has gone terribly wrong.

Nikola Jokic

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221633160/29/164/6

Almost an identical line to Millsap’s. Is he that good? If so, what a Jokic!

Isaiah Thomas

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10140140/53/114/4

Played 24 minutes off the bench. He’s the Uncle Ben’s instant rice for the Nuggets. Points and dimes can be expected but not much else. With the Nuggets getting healthy, there are too many players for too little minutes. They will all neuter each other.

Gary Harris

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14221012/44/84/6

Played 22 minutes. He should be returning to the starting lineup soon, which will push Malik Beasley back to a reserve role, but it doesn’t sound like Malone is going to rush Harris back.

Only three Clippers scored in double figures during the 96-123 beatdown at the hands of the Nuggets.

Danilo Gallinari

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19411020/36/137/7

Only played 25 minutes due to the blowout. Since returning from injury six games ago, Gallinari has played over 30 minutes just once. It’s only a matter of time before he starts playing over 30 minutes. Or it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to injury. That’s going to be a tight race.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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1142140/30/91/2

Impressively bad. Continues to start and played 30 minutes. Shai is barely a top 300 player, as he only provides some dimes and steals with horrendous efficiency from the field. With that said, he’s a rookie and one that the club will likely want to continue developing and getting experience.

Lou Williams

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24221031/56/1511/11

Top 30 player over the past four games. Lou is sporting a 38.3 usage rate over that span!! Sweet!

DeMar DeRozan

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3294110012/228/10

Forrest Gump would not be a fan of DeRozan because he would know what he’s going to get. 22 points, 6 boards, 6 dimes, 1 steal, 0.5 blocks on 17 shot attempts. Oh yeah, and no tres. Top 40-50 production.

LaMarcus Aldridge

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183102207/124/4

Only played 21 minutes due to early foul trouble. The Spurs lost 118-130 to the Knicks. LMAO!!!

Kevin Knox

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191020121/68/182/3

The rebounds have ticked up, which is good to see, but the D stats are lacking and the efficiency continues to be awful. At least we know he’s mentally tough. Or maybe he has a poor memory. Or maybe he’s clueless. Whatever the case may be, he shoots and it doesn’t bother him if he misses or not.

Dennis Smith Jr.

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196132001/18/172/3

I’m still holding out hope for Steve Francis 2.0. We see flashes but can he put it all together? The dimes and steals have been plentiful, but the tres are light and he’s shooting only 60% from the free throw line. No bueno.

Damyean Dotson

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27521008/139/171/2

Played a team-high 37 minutes and…..Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecolas!!!! That felt good. It’s been a long time. When he plays, Dotson provides points, tres, boards, and dimes. The issue is that we have no idea what Fizdale is going to do. Dotson can start and get 37 minutes or he can come off the bench and play 19 minutes. Good times.

Emmanuel Mudiay

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19010033/58/100

Played 19 minutes after playing 26 minutes in his return from a 12-game absence. DSJ is the man now in New York, but things can change in a heartbeat.

Mitchell Robinson

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1514105105/75/7

Played 30 minutes off the bench. DeAndre Jordan was out due to an ankle injury, yet Fizdale decided to start Noah Vonleh and Lance Thomas. Shrug emoji. Robinson has tantalizing upside, especially in the blocks department, but he’s prone to fouling and the minutes may not be consistent. With that said, he’s among the league leaders in blocks and has been a top 30 player over the past five games despite averaging only 23 minutes per game. Just play him!!!