Four game slate, let’s get to it! I’m paying homage to a favorite song, It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. Just a great jam.
I Wanna Rock Right Now: Bucks over the Raptors
With the Bucks down two key starters, including one MVP who’s name is hard to spell, I debated if this was worth the time, and boy am I glad I watched it on TNT last night. Great action, up and down the court, and role players got a chance to shine in the Bucks win.
Of course, starting with 37 points, 6 boards, and 7 assists for Jrue Holiday right? Defense, offense, Jrue was the best player on the court. Keep running him out with confidence and hope the health continues to hold. Joe Ingles, or Jingles, got some run and had 15 points, 6 boards, 8 assists and looked like he really helped their offense run smoothly. I would think about an add until they get healthy then hold and see what happens. He really seems like a glue guy for them the rest of the year. Brook Lopez was scoring, 19, with nothing else. Unless snatching headbands off of opponents is a stat:
Brook Lopez got ejected for taking Gary Trent Jr.’s headband 😅 pic.twitter.com/a57IJRBfvj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 18, 2023
Grayson Allen caught fire from 3 in the third quarter, hitting four of them in that frame. In a deep league, he’s very helpful. Everywhere else, he’s kinda not. One note on Grayson, I think he’s the last actual Duke villain. As a Duke fan, that makes me sad. Jon Scheyer is a likeable guy! And their players are too!
Top Duke Villains since I moved to NC and became a fan in 1999:
On the Toronto side, the Raptors took a loss in a game they really needed and probably now need to be watched for making trades. So my recap will deal with what I think might happen here. Their contracts are going to become bad ones really soon.
Pascal Siakam: 23-9-4. He’s coming up for a max contract. Will he become overpaid, kinda like Zach LaVine? I’m wondering if they trade him now to get off that obligation. Wouldn’t affect his value if traded.
OG Anunoby: 2-13 shooting, 5 points, pretty bad game: At $19 million, he’s already close to overpaid but might be able to get a haul back for a team that needs a versatile defender. Value might drop if he’s traded to a spot where he won’t get to miss 11 shots. He’s a real life player who’s game doesn’t always translate to fantasy
Fred VanVleet: Contract up at the end of the year. I could see Toronto moving off of him for defensive reasons, and another large contract that would be too high as soon as it’s signed. He did have 39-9-7 last night, but those games have been few and far between. I would be looking to deal him to a true believer, and if he gets shipped to like Miami or another team looking for a point his numbers could drop.
Gary Trent Jr.: Every time I see Trent Jr., he has a new tattoo. Dude has to be running out of skin at some point. The ink has not affected his ability to shoot, however, as he popped for 28 with 4 treys. Trent also showed some versatility in scoring with a variety of midrange moves and drives. I would love to see my Bulls get him and add some toughness to the squad. Trent is another guy who’s coming up on a free agent payday and might get moved to a situation where he doesn’t get as many shots.
If a big gets moved, watch for Precious Achiuwa to produce in his minutes and terrify his coach in the process. If a guard is dealt, I don’t see a guy except for Scottie Barnes who would benefit.
I’m (Insert Nugget name here) and I came to get down:
Nikola Jokic is a historic basketball player and might be top 10 all time when it’s done. 36-12-10. Just amazing and a number one pick for years to come.
Aaron Gordon has found his place in the NBA. Slashing, finishing, and defense. Forget that 3-pointer nonsense. 11-7 with 8 assists. It’s been a pleasure to see him just enjoy his role and look for this fun times to continue.
Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray continue to get the lion’s share of the shots, and will continue to do so. The rest of the roster is a bunch of hyenas, fighting for the scraps like they do on that great National Geographic show, Savage Kingdom. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes not.
The Nuggets now to me are the Lions and Hyenas team.
The lion is Murray roaring at Bones Hyland and Bruce Brown to stop shooting. That’s his job!
Portland had Damian Lillard doing his thing with 44 points and 10 assists. Keep running him out. Of course, I would deal his aging self for a younger, safer version, but I do that with cars so do with that what you will. When he gets going like this, nobody else gets much to eat, so I’m moving on.
I’m not Internationally Known
Ladies and Gents, your San Antonio Spurs. The no name crew took down the mighty Nets! I’m gonna highlight them as they don’t get a ton of attention in most places.
Kelden Johnson shot 11-26, showing he’s a complementary player but not necessarily cast appropriately in this role, but we’ll take the production.
Jeremy Sochan is going to be a great role player for 15 years. That energy is infectious (stupid auto correct made it infections. What am I doing here?). He’s what everyone wants in an energy guy.
Tre Jones runs a great floor game and plays good defense. He had 5 assists, but he’s more of a make-the-correct-pass point guard than a hunt-for-assist point guard. Another guy who’s going to be around forever. His value will always depend on his role and the minutes he carves out.
Not a Jakob Poetl game with minutes in the mid 20s, but he was productive. The Nets play super small so was always going to be tough for him to cover small guys on the perimeter. Stay with him, this was a matchup issue.
For the Nets, Kyrie Irving was out, along with Kevin Durant, so this was the Ben Simmons show, right? He did have a triple-double, but only took 10 shots in a prime setting. I like him for boards and assists at point guard, but I don’t enjoy owning or watching him.
Poor Patty Mills only hit five minutes. Probably done, dontcha think?
I guess if you trust TJ Warren you can pick him up. He’s doing some scoring, rebounds, but the minutes will be limited and of course injuries.
I Get Stupid I mean Outrageous
Joel Embiid with 41 points and nobody is even excited? That is stupid! I mean, outrageous! Stay away from him if you’re contagious.
I’ve also been impressed with actual basketball play of James Harden. He’s doing more passing, less isolation, and the Sixers are better and more fun as a result. Of course, as a fantasy owner you want more than six shots like he had last night, but I don’t care. I never own Harden so just hoping to see the team grow.
Tyrese Maxey is coming off of the bench, but don’t adjust his value too much as a result. Doc Rivers is trying some things. Maxey still had 22 points in 27 minutes so he’s just fine. Keep rolling, rolling, rolling like Limp Bizkit in the early 90s with Tyrese (who was also a singer but really didn’t do much except show his abs).
De’Anthony Melton looks to have carved out a consistent role, so he can continue doing whatever you have been counting on him for.
As always, thanks for the honor of reading my stuff and of course ask away in the comments!
What do you think is Jalen Duren’s value ROS, and as a keeper? How would you compare it to that of Jalen Williams? I have them both, but will likely only be able to keep one after this year. Also debating whether any of these guys would hold more value either ROS or as a similarly priced (11th rd) keeper: B.Simmons, Jal.McDaniels, or K.Hayes. Making things tricky is I’m weakest at dimes, then boards.
Ben Simmons is really good for dimes and board at a weird position for them. He’s probably the top value there.
I like Duren as a guy like Capela long term