The Miami Heat took home the nervy, 113-107 victory, but the Lakers nearly caught them slipping. In a game the Heat led almost the entire way and by as many as 26 points, the Lakers put together a fierce fourth quarter and nearly stole the victory. For three quarters, however, the Heat played the basketball version of “the beautiful game.” Offensive production was spread across the lineup and they were flowing into good looks. Jimmy Butler led the charge in Kyle Lowry’s absence (personal reasons) and he finished the game with a triple-double: 20 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals, and one block. Butler’s 10th triple-double moved him into the first place on the Heat’s all-time list, surpassing LeBron James. Duncan Robinson was hot early and even scored some important points in the fourth quarter; he finished the game with 25 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Bam Adebayo had a decent, but uneven game. He was stifled a fair amount by LeBron’s defense, as he was LeBron’s primary cover when the Lakers went small. Adebayo finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block. Gabe Vincent filled in admirably, once again, for Lowry and finished the game with 11 points, one rebound, six assists, and two steals. Caleb Martin also notched eleven points and further cemented his “best two-way player in the league status”—a dubious honor, he’d no doubt like to be rid of as soon as possible.

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A late Happy New Year to everyone taking the time to read this article. Welcome to 2022 NBA basketball where 10-day contracts bear 30-point performances, the league is finally getting healthy and every armchair general manager swears that every team should just blow it up. The more things change the more they stay the same eh? Well with 11 games and 22 teams playing last night let’s get right into it. 

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So my pops was born and raised in Korea. He grew up during the Korean War and life was tough, as his homeland was the battleground for a proxy war between superpowers. As a result, every male Korean citizen had to do their duty and serve in the armed forces, which is still a staple of Korean society since the peninsula is technically still at war. For him, that’s fighting for freedom. We were having a discussion the other night about people who choose not to get vaccinated. Although I don’t agree with their stances, I do understand some of their perspectives. My pops? He scoffed and chuckled when the perspective of “It’s my right to not get vaxxed. Don’t infringe upon my freedoms” got mentioned. In his words, “Those are the same people who would try and skirt a military draft if their freedom was at stake! Bunch of ” I love when pops keeps it real. Anyways, Joel Embiid is not one of those people. He not only fights for freedom but looks forward to the battles with Freedom, as in Enes Freedom. Prior to last night, they faced each other 17 times. Embiid has averaged 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks. Last night, Embiid eradicated Freedom once again in 40 minutes:

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Five!  By now you may feel like your waiver wire has been picked clean and you have nowhere to turn.  I’m here to tell you that there is hope, so stop telling yourself those lies.  In this post, I’ll provide streaming recommendations for the rest of this week to help you win your head-to-head matchup.  The goal is to identify the players with favorable fantasy profiles and solid schedules.

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It’s easy to understand why, all those weeks ago, the good folks at TNT selected last night’s Bucks/Sixers game to be the NBA showcase game on a night with precious little professional basketball. They could bill it as the reigning champs versus the dramatic and talented challengers, right? Giannis and his gold medal running mates against The Process and Ben Simmons in a battle at the top of the Eastern Conference. The potential for an early-season statement was easy enough to see at the time, but then life happened.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Three!  The goal of this post is to provide you with streaming suggestions for the final days of your head-to-head matchups.  As we approach the ten-game mark, there’s less and less guesswork in determining who’s fantasy relevant.  We’re also gaining more clarity on who’s going to significantly underperform their pre-draft ranking.  If you’re like me and you took a conservative approach to adding and dropping players in the first two weeks, I believe we’ve seen enough to begin cutting players who are consistently performing as your squad’s weak link – especially if you don’t currently have a streaming spot.  Ideally, this post will help you objectively evaluate how you can upgrade your team.

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I really didn’t want to write a 76ers preview before the inevitable Ben Simmons trade, but alas, the season is almost upon us and BS is still on the roster.  I don’t practice santeria … I ain’t got no crystal ball, but there are some safe assumptions I can make for Philly as they part ways with Simmons.  The most obvious is that Joel Embiid is the undisputed focal point of the team.  He is hungry for a deep postseason run and perhaps some individual hardware after finishing second in MVP voting and being upset by the Hawks in the conference semifinals.  Aside from his continued dominance and Tobias Harris’s reliability, there are few guarantees on this roster heading into the 2021-22 season.  Notwithstanding the unknowns, here are the things to consider when looking at the 76ers for your fantasy draft and beyond.

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I’m the big, fat loser this year in our 9-cat league’s championship game. Am I happy I made it this far in a totally insane season? Yep. Am I upset I lost? It always stings, but one week can make or break you and I don’t feel bad losing to a team I lost to the only time I faced them in the regular season. It feels like the right team won.

All that said, this season was completely wackadoodle and probably the most benefit you’ll get from reading these words is this introduction where I’m going to attempt to break down my thinking on the season and how we all got here.

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Beef Stew is running away with the starting 5 job in Detroit as the season winds down. Casey has been resting his vets in Plumlee and Ellington and as a result, Stewart has been feasting. 8 blocks in his last four games alone, to go with an average of 14.25 boards in those four outings. He’s going to make a huge difference in fantasy playoffs for those who foresaw the downfall of Plumlee.

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Carmelo Anthony has been a reliable source of points and treys on good efficiency, and stayed on brand Thursday night with 20 points and four triples, while hitting all four of his freebies and turning the ball over just once. Adding Norman Powell to the mix shouldn’t have too much of an impact on Melo, who should continue to get minutes in the mid-20s and put up enough shots to retain value.

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There are some players who left their mark in the NBA more with their personality rather than with their game. This is not meant as disrespect for their game but more of praise of their personality and a major example of this has to be Brian Scalabrine. The original “White Mamba” played five seasons for the Boston Celtics and was one of the most beloved players. His unorthodox style and physique made him stand out but his lack of athleticism always had casual fans go “I could easily beat this guy one-on-one”, “why is this guy even in the NBA?”, and other similar comments. Well, a high schooler actually challenged the 43-year-old Scalabrine to a one-on-one game, and the man, the myth, the legend agreed.

The total annihilation that followed really puts in perspective how much of a difference the level of these players are to an everyday or above-average player. I will wrap this introduction with a quote from Mr. Scalabrine that said, “I’m closer to Lebron than you are to me” to a casual heckler.

Regarding last week’s “Buy” suggestions, Kenyon Martin Jr. has been mediocre, Moses Brown has been must own with Al Horford being a strong trade candidate and getting more and more rest days, while Danny Green proved an awesome suggestion with some of his best performances of the season coming this past week. On the “Sell” front, Kevin Love has yet to play and I highly doubt he will ever this season if he remains in Cleveland, while Kendrick Nunn has predictably lost some of the usage he enjoyed with the Heat injuries.

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