Five game slate on a rainy Tuesday evening.  Well, might not have been raining in your neck of the woods.  I hate ice storms more than I hate this year’s Bulls squad and watching LeBron James complain about every game mattering, the refs screwing us, and then resting the next game so he can break a scoring record later on TNT.

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While we normally focus on game performances in the lede, it’s open to any big news story that’s trending the day before. Plus, when a pun like this is available, you don’t ever hesitate grabbing that low hanging fruit. Literally every mission objective by any content creator, spoiler alert! Indeed, this also is what you call a double whammy, in that anything Los Angeles sports soothes that SEO soul… but enough about internet metrics and writer’s fruit. Let’s talk about the bromance between the Lakers and Wizards front office that started with the Russell Westbrook trade last season and then culminated into a Kendrick Nunn and three second-rounders for the enigmatic Rui Hachimura.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, I hope you followed the Desmond Bane one, as he shot the ball incredibly this week so the buy low window is shut. Meanwhile, Royce O’Neale had two good and one awful game but he remains an add until Kevin Durant returns, while Patrick Williams unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on DeMar DeRozan’s absence properly. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Jordan Clarkson continues to take advantage of absences in Utah and thus continues to be a good sell high target.

No Sell portion this week as it is a week with a tight schedule and lots of good streaming candidates to add.

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The legend grows. 

With the Jazz hanging on to a 1-point lead with seconds left on the clock, Collin Sexton stepped to the line and choked away two free throws in a row. But our hero, Walker Kessler, Utah Ranger – who kicks posterior not just for a living, but for America – bullied his way to an offensive rebound and was fouled. 

There, he faced his most challenging nemesis of all: the free throw line. What’s he do? But, of course, he steps up and drains back-to-back; turns, and flashes a look to the camera that says, “Even I can’t believe how much of a badass I can be.”

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 13!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If you saw last week’s post, I hope you benefitted from investing in the Marshall Plan – Naji Marshall, that is.  He was a far better investment than Patrick Beverley, who promptly ceased to produce after I thought it was safe to promote him again.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Kelly Olynyk unfortunately suffered an injury that will sideline him for the coming weeks, while Jalen Williams continued impressing and I hope you already picked him up. Jalen McDaniels has also been productive and is a standard league player as long as Gordon Hayward is out. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Gary Trent Jr. continues his hot streak and thus his sell high window continues to be open for savvy fantasy managers.

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My first and only allegiance will always be to the Brooklyn Nets, but Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies are my second-favorite team in the game today. I personally felt they played the NBA champion Golden State Warriors better than anybody else in last year’s playoffs – and don’t forget that Morant went down and missed time. This team has everything you want from a modern NBA roster – a true, showstopping superstar (Morant), a dominant defender who also contributes offensively (Jaren Jackson Jr.), a confident, lights-out shooter (Desmond Bane) and multiple other quality pieces (Adams, Brooks, Jones, Aldama and Clarke, just to name some).

But this is exactly what we don’t want from a fantasy perspective. We don’t want Bane and Jackson returning from injuries and eating into Morant’s usage as a top-tier fantasy producer. We don’t want these young, deep, talented Grizzlies to be so good that they are blowing people out and limiting our fantasy minutes. Let’s take a look at how this situation played out on Wednesday night in The League.

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On this day a year ago, DeMar DeRozan knocked down a clutch buzzer-beater to steal the victory over the Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, this time around, he was not so lucky. Despite finishing with 21 points, DeRozan fell just short of yet another heroic moment as he missed the go-ahead turnaround fadeaway jumper that would’ve stolen the victory.

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So after last night’s win over a strong Cavaliers team, I’d confidently say now that the Nets are around the Bucks and Celtics tier and a real contender… which means Kevin Durant (36 MIN, 10-18 FG, 5-8 3PT, 7-8 FT, 9 REB, 5 AST, 4 TO, +10, 32 PTS.) is a legit MVP candidate as well. That being said though, Nets fans can be a tad bit ridiculous. Seeing a lot non-ironic content throwing Steve Nash under the bus and sneakily laying shade on “distractions” no longer affecting the team and all the hate the team has been receiving over these “distractions”. My homies in Brooklyn, y’all ridiculous. Isn’t Steve Nash the type of player-soft coach that KD and Kyrie wanted and forced on the team? Then you have KD’s fragility from being rightly called a bus rider… and of course the anti-semetic and anti-vaccine stuff from Kyrie, as if that wasn’t the most egregious out of all of this… so yeah, Nets are a great team and are playing well and have triumphed over some adversity. And yes, Kyrie Irving is playing well too! (40 MIN, 11-19 FG, 7-11 3PT, 3-4 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 TO, +16, 32 PTS. Finished 7-out-of-11 from beyond the arc. Happy Hanukkah to him! But it was their own adversity that they so eagerly created by being emotional and/or hateful idiots, so do they really deserve a cookie? No. I want the cookies. It’s the holiday season and I’m in the camp that says Jews don’t have space lasers, so yeah, that deserves cookies I think. Here’s what else I saw during last night’s short slate of games:

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Christmas Day is among the most hyped lineup of games during the NBA season. But Friday, Dec. 23, was a Festivus celebration for the rest of us. After all, the Association exemplifies feats of strength and airing of grievances this time of year, as the slow-starting teams begin to gripe in the locker room, trade chatter reaches new highs, and the established powers of the season start showing more muscle in impressive wins. 

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It was a “double win” kind of night for sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu on Wednesday, as he sent the Atlanta Hawks home crying in dramatic fashion, while simultaneously earning more playing time in the immediate future. A teammate never likes to see a fellow soldier go down, but Alex Caruso is now in concussion protocol, opening the door to a possible resurgence for Dosunmu who had recently faded into fantasy basketball anonymity. Let’s dig a little deeper into this game, as well as the rest of Wednesday’s fast-paced action in the NBA.

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Tuesday night’s five-game slate presents me with my first opportunity to bring you a game recap!  Normally, I’m the guy who writes up borderline players and streamers on Thursday afternoon, so it’s a nice change to profile some of the league’s studs.  It’s kind of like hate watching Hallmark Christmas movies (Mingle All the Way, among others) for the first few weeks of December before switching gears and watching It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story.

Disclaimers: Because I was too busy watching Santa Switch last night, and the fact that I’m on Greenwich Mean Time, I haven’t had a chance to watch the games.  As a result, all of my observations are through a strictly fantasy lens and don’t necessarily account for every nuance.  Additionally, all of my ranking references are based on category-league values as a default.

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