Let’s get to work and see who did the Best Work and who were the Biggest Jerks from an action-packed Saturday hoop docket.
Mavericks 134, Warriors 132
Best Work, DAL: Luka Doncic
Now THIS is the Luka we all expect to see, not his bricklaying doppelganger who’s plagued us with his presence too many times this season. It was a proper shootout in Texas last night, with Luka emerging the victor. He’s still only the 22nd-ranked player in fantasy despite projections, but shooting like this should catapult him back into the top-10 if he can keep it up.
Biggest Jerk, DAL: Tim Hardaway, Jr.
Timmy II has us convinced he’s a legit fantasy contributor one night, and then he craps the bed like this the next. He’s the 122nd-ranked player but is still 69-percent rostered, and is largely just a scorer off the bench with a 17.0/3.6/1.8 line. Be valuable or suck, make up your mind, guy.
Best Work, GSW: Stephen Curry
Welp, the Dubs’ loss certainly wasn’t on Steph, who exploded yet again but fell short of his season-high of 62 points. He’s the 6th overall player in Yahoo! this year and shows no signs of slowing down as he teaches a master-class in hooping yet again.
Biggest Jerk, GSW: Kelly Oubre, Jr.
Can’t Shoot Kelly was back on his 2021 bullshit after exploding for 40/8/2 on Thursday, shooting 14-for-21 from the field and 7-for-10 from deep. Did you manage to flip him after that big night? You’re a genius and I’m jealous. He’s posting 13.3/5.5/1.3 on the year, but shooting an abysmal .394/.275/.739 even after Thursday’s outlier, and hope for him to get back to his career marks of .428/.324/.776 slip farther from view with each bed-shitting.
Spurs 111, Rockets 106
Best Work, SAS: DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan’s a model of consistency and he even hit a trey for your team while shooting over 50 percent from the field. He’s the 36th-overall player this year, good for 20.5/5.1/6.6
Biggest Jerk, SAS: Jakob Poeltl
Did you also think that Poeltl was worth grabbing once LaMarcus Aldridge went down with a right hip flexor issue that will keep him out for a bit? Did you also think that the 19/8 he hung in 33 minutes on Wednesday solidified your status as Hoop Genius? I’m not saying I went THAT far with it but I grabbed him in all three of my 12-teamers and then he does this. He’s still up to 35-percent rostered after a 16-percent bump since yesterday, despite the paltry shooting.
Best Work, HOU: John Wall
Though he’s missed a few games with an injury, Wall has been tremendous when he’s on the court, averaging 18.8/3.7/6.0 in his first year in Houston. He’s been maligned by back issues as of late, which is never good but he certainly shook it off last night.
Biggest Jerk, HOU: Victor Oladipo
This was easily Dipo’s worst effort as a Rocket that we all hope to soon forget. He’s still posting 19.7/5.2/4.7 this season.
Notes: Eric Gordon played admirably with 26/7/2 in 36 minutes off the bench. DeMarcus Cousins had 12/11/2 with a steal and 2 swats in 30 minutes, and should see extended time with Christian Wood out indefinitely, who is being reevaluated weekly with a sprained right ankle; at 69 percent owned (yeah, you’re saying it), Boogie on over (I know, we were cool and then I ruined it) to your waiver wire and see if someone dropped him after Wood’s last return.
Sixers 124, Nets 108
Best Work, PHI: Joel Embiid
Embiid’s in it for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is awarded to the regular-season MVP and I totally thought was called something cooler until I just checked. Irregahhdless, Embiid’s playing at another level this year and is the 4th-overall player per Yahoo! this campaign.
Biggest Jerk, PHI: Ben Simmons
Everyone from Philly played well, so it was hard to find a target to malign until I remembered I can always find a way to rail on Ben Simmons. JUST LEARN TO SHOOT! YOUR JOB IS TO PLAY BASKETBALL, YOU CAN DEFINITELY ACCESS THE RESOURCES NECESSARY TO LEARN TO SHOOT! Jerk. I pity whatever backboard he grew up with in Australia, as it probably looks like shrapnel struck it.
Notes: Tobias Harris went for 21/12/6 with 2 swipes and a block, Seth Curry still started and looked more like himself as he recovers from The ‘Rona, with 11/2/4 with a steal and rejection over 27 minutes, and Shake Milton put up 15/4/3 in 27 minutes off the bench himself.
Best Work, BKN: James Harden
It was a solid effort for the Nets from Harden, who were without their full complement of weapons (see notes below), but compared to his body of work, it wasn’t a particularly noteworthy night for The Beard.
Biggest Jerk, BKN: Joe Harris
Yes, Joe Harris, you are very good at the one thing but could you perhaps just get in the way of one passing lane or missed shot to make owning you slightly more fulfilling? He’s been good for 15.0/3.6/2.0, averaging 52 percent from the field and making 3-plus treys per game, good for 78th in Yahoo!, and is certainly good for mitigating the bricks you must endure with the Trae Young-types.
Notes: Kevin Durant was out on ‘Rona Protocol after a bizarre Friday night game of red-light, green-light; he can return this coming Friday against the Warriors if he passes his subsequent ‘Rona tests. Kyrie Irving was out as well with a right index finger sprain. No, I’m not joking. No, I don’t know if this is code. Yes, it would be hilarious if it was code and the injury was a middle-finger sprain. No, I do not trust Kyrie to literally or physically show up for games and don’t understand why anyone would, but he’s magical when he does grace us pawns with his manifestation.
Bucks 124, Cavaliers 99
Best Work, MIL: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Mike Budenholzer just shouldn’t let him shoot 3s or meander around the perimeter, but Giannis is still largely unstoppable. He’s having a disappointing fantasy campaign, currently ranked 45th overall despite being a consensus first-round pick, but is still good for 27.1/11.2/5.8 with 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks.
Biggest Jerk, MIL: Donte DiVincenzo
How is Donnie D still rostered in 58 percent of Yahoo! leagues? Villanova isn’t a SMALL school but it can’t have THAT many alumni clinging to him; he’s 124th overall, averaging 25 MPG, slashing 9.5/4.3/2.7 with 1.2 steals per. What’s the appeal?
Best Work, CLE: Andre Drummond
Drummond’s posting 18.6/14.2/2.7 WITH 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per, yet doesn’t seem to garner any trade interest from other teams despite being in the last season of his max pact (albeit making $28m for it) and few outside those who roster him seem to care about his incredible production. I don’t get it, I wish I had some Drummond shares myself.
Biggest Jerk, CLE: Collin Sexton
We all know that Sexton is a scorer first, a friend second, and at some point, he cares about accumulating ancillary stats, but when you have one job and you F it up 12 of 18 times and don’t make up for it by nailing all your freebies, you’re a jerk. He’s averaging 23.6/2.5/4.1 and should be closer to his .487/.431/.811 ways next time out.
Kings 119, Nuggets 114
Best Work, SAC: Harrison Barnes
The past year-and-a-half has been as wild a time as humans have endured, and yet, the sentence, “Harrison Barnes is indispensable in fantasy hoops this year” is still one that, if you heard it two years ago, would make your jaw drop before you started demanding answers. 17.7/6.2/3.6 is a pretty nice slash line from a guy who went undrafted in most leagues but is now 81-percent rostered.
Biggest Jerk, SAC: Buddy Hield
Buddy got that money and checked out like many predicted. He’s the 90th-ranked player in Yahoo!, putting up 15.6/4.6/3.0, and it’s unfair to say he’s checked out after he scored in double-figures in 8 straight before this mishap, but like virtually everyone else on the Kings, he’s inconsistent.
Notes: Richaun Holmes had 21/10/1 with 2 blocks over 30 minutes, while fellow big Marvin Bagley III had 3/2/1 with a steal in 18 minutes despite the start and no foul trouble. Tyrese Haliburton poured in 23 points with 6 boards, 4 dimes, 2 steals, and a block on 8-for-12 shooting in his continuing bid for Rookie of the Year honors.
Best Work, DEN: Nikola Jokic
Serbian Thanos destroys half of all life virtually every time he steps on the court; he collects rent from anyone who sets foot in the paint on either end, as the rightful owner. He’s still the no. 1 overall player in Yahoo! leagues and he makes me think, “Why am I wasting nights sleeping when I should be watching recorded Nugs games?”
Biggest Jerk, DEN: Michael Porter, Jr.
It seems like every time I hear about MPJ, it’s because he’s complaining about run and touches, then he does this over 34 minutes last night, making us collectively groan. When you consider he’s shooting .511/.425/.830 this year, you’re inclined to think he has a point, but the 3rd year stretch forward has to be more consistent if he’s ever going to approach his high ceiling.
Notes: Jamal Murray was out resting a sore left knee, nothing reported about any extended time. Will Barton went for 11/5/9 over 35 minutes, while Paul Millsap got another start and put up 14/5/1 including 3-for-4 from deep in 22 minutes of run.
Knicks 110, Blazers 99
Best Work, NYK: Julius Randle
The Big Orange is simply a force this season, averaging a double-double with 22.6/10.9/5.9, shooting .474/.400/.803 and you’re still pleased with yourself if you drafted him in the 4th round of your league or later, as many did.
Biggest Jerk, NYK: Elfrid Payton
Elfrid’s a jerk because he’s killing the dreams Knicks fans rightfully cling to that Immanuel Quickley will be the next great New York point guard, and he’s another player who’s making fantasy owners wonder if they need to cut another floundering player or intriguing hold for him. He put up 20/8/4 on Wednesday night against the Bulls, too, after failing to score in double figures for 5 out of 6. An 8-point boost overnight has him up to 43-percent rostered in Yahoo! Will Tommy Thibodeau just figure out which point guard he wants to play an irresponsibly high amount of minutes, as is his way?
Best Work, POR: Damian Lillard
Logo Lillard did everything he could for his squad, but some nights, nothing works. He’s the 8th-ranked player overall in Yahoo! this year with an absurd 29.1/4.5/7.3.
Biggest Jerk, POR: Robert Covington
Covington is a jerk for making beleaguered owners who drafted him think once more that he’s had an epiphany and cut the shit when none of us would be surprised if he shot 1-for-21 with negative blocks and steals within the next week. I’ve already dropped him and gotten him back off the wire in the lone 12-teamer in which I drafted him. He’s 77-percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues despite averaging 7.6/5.9/1.8 to date with several head-scratchers and head-pounders along the way.
Notes: Gary Trent put up 19 points with 6 boards in another start and Anfernee Simmons had 12/1/3 with a steal in 18 minutes in reserve.
Bulls 118, Magic 92
Best Work, CHI: Zach LaVine
LaVine is a man determined this year, slashing 27.0/5.3/5.3 in an effort worthy of an All-Pro accolade, never mind an All-Star Game nod.
Biggest Jerk, CHI: Patrick Williams
P-Dubs is a jerk because the rookie keeps showing flashes like this, only to regress back to an unrosterable mess. He’s on the upswing once more, notching his first career double-double in this contest after his first 20-point game on Friday night. He’s shooting 50 percent or better from the field in his last three games, all starts of 30-plus minutes, so, check your wire and your crystal ball and decide if he can sustain this for a stretch.
Best Work, ORL: Mo Bamba
I know, he doesn’t have any fantasy relevance, but it WAS the best work out of anyone on Orlando’s roster on a night void of many positives for the squad.
Biggest Jerk, ORL: Nikola Vucevic
The Vooch needs to hit a lot more 3’s for Orlando to ever have a chance at winning. Just a mundane blip from an unheralded hoop behemoth, no reason for concern.
Notes: Cole Anthony had 11/3/5 with 2 steals and 2 blocks despite shooting 5-for-16 on the night and Terrance Ross had 13/2/1 shooting 5-for-13 and 1-for-5 from deep in 20 minutes of reserve action.
Lakers 135, Pistons 129 (2 OT)
Best Work, LAL: LeBron James
Some day, I may finally be able to break out my “MehBron” nickname, but I might be eligible for Medicare by the time James is putting up the kind of meager numbers that would make anyone describe James’ play as “meh.”
Biggest Jerk, LAL: Montrezl Harrell
Harrell had scored in double figures in three straight before this disappointing effort in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s the 101st-overall player in Yahoo!, averaging 12.9/6.3/1.0 but we all had higher hopes for Harrell as he switched L.A. factions between seasons.
Notes: Anthony Davis beasted out with 30/5/3 with a steal and two blocks off 13-for-22 shooting himself, while Dennis Schroeder put up 22/4/8 on 7-for-9 from the field with no treys and 8-for-8 from the line.
Best Work, DET: Jerami Grant
After some pedestrian efforts last week, Grant was back to borderline All-Star form in this one. Much has been said about Grant’s elevated play in his first year in Detroit, most of it good, and he’s scored 20-plus points in 19 of Detroit’s last 22 contests.
Biggest Jerk, DET: Josh Jackson
Jackson’s a jerk because it’s starts like this that make us think he’s ready to be rostered until he burns us once more. Mercurial doesn’t even begin to describe Jackson, who’s currently 17-percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Notes: Mason Plumlee had 15/8/6 with two blocks and two steals with 6-for-7 shooting from the field, and Delon Wright had 22/2/10 shooting 8-for-10 from the field including 4-for-4 from deep. Detroit’s record remains abysmal at 5-18 but it plays good teams tough, with wins over Boston, Philly, Phoenix, and these very Lakers (107-92 on Jan. 28). Blake Griffin wasn’t listed on the pregame injury report but then was ruled out resting shortly before tipoff.
Pelicans 118, Grizzlies 109
Best Work, NOP: Zion Williamson
Zion is like the circus ringleader, lion tamer, best trapeze artist, and death-defying fire-juggler, all in one. None of them hit 3-pointers, either, so the comparison is clearly apt. Zion’s actually shooting .596/.364/.688 on the year with 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks. If I were selling you a Zion as a car, this would be the point where I tell you that he comes with 23.7 PPG and 7.2 RPG and you’d tell me to shut up and take your money. As fantasy owners, I don’t know of anyone who’s selling, unless you’re offering a car on the side, and your commissioner shouldn’t let that fly.
Biggest Jerk, NOP: Steven Adams
Are you taking a piss, mate? You start, you play 29 minutes, and this is the result? Adams missed a game with calf issues on Feb. 1 but had 11 and 13, then 12 and 12, on Wednesday and Friday respectively, before this flushable performance.
Notes: Lonzo Ball put up 16/7/7 with a swipe and a block, including 4-for-6 from long range, Brandon Ingram was his a luminary with 27/12/3 with 4 blocks and shot 5-for-8 from deep, and Eric Bledsoe had 21/5/4.
Best Work, MEM: Jonas Valanciunas
The Jonas Father logged 24 minutes off the bench in his return from ‘Rona Protocol that had kept him out since Jan. 16 and his minutes should only go up from here. Valanciunas easily won this battle of Scariest Looking Bastards in the League between him and Adams; fittingly, the trophy is a moose femur that the two swap, and whoever possesses it gets to gnaw on it menacingly after practices and wield as a weapon if anyone makes direct eye contact.
Biggest Jerk, MEM: Kyle Anderson
Anderson’s a jerk for forcing owners to avoid jettisoning him for at least another week, after tempting us by scoring just 6 and then 3 points in his last two games. He’s averaging 12.6/6.7/3.8 with 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks but is a living argument for statisticians who routinely contend that median is a much better gage than average, and the more I look at his face, the more it reminds me of Chrissy Teigen’s with the rounded cheeks and 5-head.
Notes: Ja Morant was relatively human with 16/3/9 on 5-for-14 from the field.
Hawks 132, Raptors 121
Best Work, ATL: Trae Young
Another classic line from Traeball, who had missed a game Thursday with a right calf contusion. He’s averaging 26.7/4.0/9.2 on the year and, besides the hair, there’s not much ill you can speak of him.
Biggest Jerk, ATL: Clint Capela
He scored just 6 points on Thursday night and then responded with this monster effort. Being inconsistent is for jerks, Clint, and while we’re all very impressed you’re leading the NBA in rebounding at 14.6 RPG, we’re gonna need you to flush a few lobs and notch a few put-backs each night. He’s averaging 13.7/14.6/1.1 with 2.4 blocks and 0.8 steals per game, so actually, I’m the jerk. Clint, you CAN miss a few bunnies every now and again.
Best Work, TOR: Norman Powell
While his backcourt counterparts floundered (see below), Powell continued his strong run of play despite recent right quad issues; he’s scored 20-plus in 6 of the Raps’ last 7 contests, bringing his average up to 15.1 PPG, but he does little else, which explains why he’s still out there for free in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Biggest Jerk, TOR: Kyle Lowry
The Raptors don’t have much of a chance in any contest when Lowry has off nights like this. You know something is wrong when this dirty shitass can’t even draw a shooting foul with his various shenanigans
Notes: Fred VanVleet had 25/6/10 with 2 steals, but like Lowry, also had a rough night, shooting 6-for-18 from the field. Pascal Siakam had 15/3/6 with 3 steals and 2 blocks, while Chris Boucher got back to work with 29/10/1 with 2 blocks thanks to 10-for-13 shooting from the field in 32 minutes off the bench.
Thunder 120, Timberwolves 118
Best Work, OKC: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SGA had missed Friday night’s tilt with a sprained left knee but looked like himself while pouring in 31 points to push the Thunder to a dub. He’s putting up 22.3/5.5/6.4 and, while knee issues are never good to hear about with your star player, it’s reportedly “nothing serious” per the team and a stat line like this advances that assertion.
Biggest Jerk, OKC: Luguentz Dort
Dort’s descent to ordinary NBA player has saddened many owners who thought they’d found a rising star this season. He’s down to being rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues after a 14-percent drop. He’s still averaging 11.7/3.3/1.3 but he’s dealing with left-knee soreness as well: Unless you’re cruising atop your league standings and know something the rest of us don’t, divest them Dort shares and swipe right on your next waiver-wire love.
Notes: Theo Maledon got another start and had 10/3/6 with a steal over 31 minutes, while Mike Muscala blew up off the bench with 22/4/1 and Hamidou Diallo had 15/6/3 with a steal and a block in 31 minutes off the pine himself.
Best Work, MIN: Naz Reid
Reid has continued to shine in his starting role while Karl-Anthony Towns deals with The ‘Rona and is now averaging 12.9/5.2/1.2 on the year, but yet is only owned in 33 percent of Yahoo! leagues, which is staggering considering he can get you everything but dimes and doesn’t cost you anything save a FAAB bid if your league uses them.
Biggest Jerk, MIN: Jarred Vanderbilt
Lots of fantasy managers were bullish on Vanderbilt after a string of games last week where he was scoring in double figures and shining glass, but he’s definitely returned from orbit. His ownership dropped 10 points after this dud to bring it to just 12 percent in Yahoo! leagues.