Iiiiitttt waaaas k-k-kiiiinnnd-uhhhv a slooooow F-f-frrrriiiiidayyyy niiiite innn thaaaa Ennn-Beeee-Aaaaa, wiithh-th ooonnnleeeee fiiiiiive gammmmess ooon the d-d-dooockkkkett …

It is difficult to write in slow motion. It’s got to be even harder to play a professional sport in slow motion. But the man they call Slo Mo [still wondering why his nickname isn’t The Sloth, since he even resembles the lovable creature], Kyle Anderson, is the enigma [another nickname possibility!] of the modern day game where stinging athleticism makes headlines. 

Over his last eight games, Anderson has averaged 10.6 points (56% shooting), 6.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.5 blocks and 1.8 turnovers. That qualifies for mid-4th round value, and he now sits at No. 79 on the season in 9-cat per game value. On occasion, he hibernates through a game, with a couple handfuls of fantasy duds on his season box lines. But when he’s on and the Timberwolves are properly using him, that mid-4th round value he’s currently playing at sounds about right. 

Word out of Minneso-oooo-tah is that KAT remains without a timetable to return. The setbacks in his recovery mean that Anderson could be a major role in fantasy league playoff runs coming up. 

On Friday night, Slo Mo had 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting, hitting 4 threes (his most in over two years), and added 3 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block to help lead the Wolves over the Grizzlies, 111-100. And there was this play, making one of the most freak athletes the league looks like a stumbling fool:

For Memphis, the Train to Brandon Clarke-sville kept chugging along. Clarke posted 15-7-3 with 3 steals and is obviously an everyday play as long as Steven Adams is sidelined. Difficult to say what will happen with Aquaman resurfaces. Jaren Jackson Jr. had a nice 14-7-0-2-2 stat line, but shot woefully (5-17 FG, 0-5 FT), and is slowly slipping out of that elite fantasy level. [Also, if you haven’t seen the chit-chatter on Twitter about his home/away defensive stat splits; go do it. NBA conspiracy theories are the best!] Ja Morant had a triple-double with 27-10-11.

The title to today’s report was almost The Butler Did It, where I recap just how predictable Jimmy Butler’s fantasy seasons have been … as are those murder mysteries where the butler is the killer in the end. The lede itself, however, was just too predictable, so I scrapped it. … In his previous four seasons, Jimmy Buckets has played between 52 and 58 games, and is right on pace to hit that mark again. Two seasons ago: 21.5 ppg. Last season: 21.4 ppg. This season: 21.8 ppg. 

He had 29-6-6 with 2 steals Friday night to lead Miami over Orlando, 110-105. Bam Adebayo added 20-6-7-1-1. With Miami finally back to full strength, trying to determine who outside of those two are reliable fantasy assets from game-to-game is far above my pay grade. 

Cole Anthony (19-7-1 with 4 threes) continues to slightly outplay his fellow Magic point guard Markelle Fultz (10-3-6 with 2 blocks). Over the last two weeks, they have ranked 83 and 141, respectively; and those two rankings will probably flip-flop in the coming weeks. Sadly, I think it’s time to all admit Bol Bol (2 points, 5 boards in 20 minutes) was fun, but won’t be relevant the rest of the season, unless some players get shut down in the final quarter of the season. 

Pat Connaughton contributed 14 points, 8 boards, an assist and 3 steals to the Bucks’ 141-131 win over the Pacers, getting 33 minutes as a starter. “Con-uh-ton” has been nearly a Top 50 player in his last seven games thanks to some 50% shooting and his newfound love to clean-up on the glass (averaging 7.6 rebounds). He’s got that crafty veteran thing where he’s able to opportunistically pick up counting stats for fantasy owners despite a low usage rate. He’s good to run with while Khris Middleton slowly ramps back (Khris looked good mighty fine in 15 minutes off the bench (17-4-4 with 2 steals), and very likely could remain the starter over Grayson Allen (13-2-4 with 3 threes) when Khris is a full go. 

Speaking of shooting guards grabbing boards, Bennedict Mathurin (21 points, 8 boards) has added that to his repertoire as of late, now averaging 5+ per game. Still not much in the other counting stats, but nice to see the rook do something other than score. T.J. McConnell contributed 19-6-9 with 3 steals, and I wish I could go back two weeks and scream out “McConnell is the CLEAR Haliburton fill-in.” Alas. Andrew Nembhard (9 points, 4 assists in 20 minutes off the bench) remains stuck in a deep shooting slump, but keep an eye on him. I expect his standard league play to return eventually. Chris Duarte had another soli outing with 17-4-6 with a steal and 2 threes.

Donte DiVincenzo isn’t just for streamers? No. 99 in 9-cat per game rankings over the last two weeks, Double D dished out a season-high 11 assists along with 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3pt), 3 boards, 2 steals and just 1 giveaway, as the Golden State Illegal Screeners took down the Raptors 129-117. DiVincenzo has settled nicely into his bench facilitator role, with about 30 minutes of run per game. His value drops when GSW are at full strength, but since that rarely occurs he’s definitely worth a bench spot if you have it. 

OG Anunoby exited with a wrist injury, and Precious Achiuwa received the extra run (36 minutes; started the second half), finishing with 17 points, 11 boards, 2 assists and a steal. That’s his third 11-rebound game in the last four efforts. 

The JALEN and JAYLIN show was part of another impressive Thunder win, 112-100 over the Cavs. Jaylin Williams played 19 minutes in a starting role, contributing 8-6-2 and hit both of his 3-point attempts. [“You’re just going to keep writing about him as an attempt to speak more minutes into existence, aren’t you?” Yes. Yes I am.] Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a stud, of course, posting 35-5-8-2-1 (and ZERO turnovers!) on 12-of-21 shooting and 10-of-11 from the line.  

Darius Garland has been hot hot HOT in the 2023. He had 31 points (10-23 FG, 3-8 3pt, 8-10 FT), 2 boards, 13 assists and 4 steals, and is ranked No. 13 over the last two weeks. Of course, Donovan Mitchell missing games has had a little to do with that. But hopefully Garland is in a nice-enough groove to keep it up alongside Mitchell going forward. 

By the way, that headline is so Juvenile. [Get outta here already!]. Best of luck to all and to all a good fantasy night!