The Washington Wizards picked up a much-needed win here against a lesser Detroit side who saw Jerami Grant go to the locker room early thanks to an injury. 

For the Pistons, Isaiah Stewart flirted with a double-double as he scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds with a block and a steal on 55.6% efficiency. Wayne Ellington also scored 15 points on the back of five triples while Mason Plumlee had an 11/81/1 game. 

Russell Westbrook put up another triple-double, 19/19/10 while Bradley Beal scored 17 and dished out six assists in a limited 29 minutes. Deni Avdija got the start scoring five points, grabbing five rebounds, and stealing the ball twice. Rui Hachimura scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds while being 54.5% from the field to contribute to this win. 

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The NBA Trade Deadline is officially in the books and we all know what that means. New faces in new places. Teams are tanking. Contenders are making their final push for the playoffs. And most of all, the lights get brighter as every game means more than the last.

But no matter what time it is in the NBA season, we all know that nothing shines brighter than the Friday Night Lights! So, to kick off Post-Trade Deadline weekend in the NBA, here are some of the top performers from Friday night’s great slate of games.

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How about some love for the underdog?

These daily recaps, especially on nights with a lot of games, often demand focusing on one of two players per team that had good nights. Most of the time we’re looking at star players doing what they do. It’s tough for a role player to get a write-up, and it’s even tougher for those end of the bench guys to get any ink.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to…

Alize Johnson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 15 3 2 0 0 11/15 1/1 1

Johnson signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn on Sunday and had himself a debut on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. A G-League monster who averaged 16 points and 13 boards in this season’s bubble, Johnson stepped up for a Nets squad that was without Durant, Irving, and Harden while playing the second night of a back-to-back against the best team in the West. If you watched the highlights, you noticed that this game was O-V-E-R pretty much from the jump. Johnson was doing major mop up work and will be facing an uphill battle for PT going forward. He’s not an add by any stretch, but I’ve got no problem highlighting him to celebrate his big night. Raise a glass to my man. He earned it.

Here’s what else caught my eye on a busy night of basketball…

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Rundown of tonight’s dynamic slate of 10 Games with five Triple-Doubles on this Hump Day.

RAPTORS -VS- (W) PISTONS
Fred Van Vleet: Blessings to my dude for battling Covid-19 this month and making a full recovery.
First game back and understandably rusty.  The three steals and the 7-of-8 from the charity make it much more palatable.  Yum.  
FVV is actually 3rd on the planet in steals rate at 1.7 SPG.

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It’s been many thousands of years since Moses climbed Mr. Sinai, received the Ten Commandments, then delivered them to the people below. It must’ve been an exhausting one for Moses because we hadn’t heard from him since. Last night, though, Moses Brown delivered the fantasy goodies to the believers who rostered him for DFS or season-long leagues, making all lift their heads to the sky and yell, Hallelujah! 

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
20 16 0 0 5 1 0 9/16 2/3

Brown received the start and played 30 minutes. He’s now started the last two games. Now, both Al Horford and Darius Bazley were out so this may not be the New World Order. With that said, OKC is going to play and develop their young cats and Horford could be traded by the deadline. Moses has been a top 55 player over the last four games, providing 12.5 points, 10.3 boards, and two blocks while shooting 60% from the field and 80% from the free-throw line. Like manna from the heavens.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Yep, I’m going to subject you all to my friends and family league yet again. We’re at the midway point of our regular season after today, so I wanted to go back and see where my predictions from the preseason were right and wrong, and which fantasy players are performing better or worse than their average draft position (ADP).

What I hope you can take from this is how to better formulate your strategy in your own leagues, and what seems to work best for people in a relatively average league. Our league is listed as a “silver” league on Yahoo!, which isn’t really scientific but indicates our team levels combined are slightly below the average of “gold.” We have two platinum, one gold, four silver, and five bronze managers. It’s a top-heavy league, which is the case in most scenarios as the people who run the league seem to be far more invested.

Anyways, the below records and rankings are based on if the scores stay the same as they are at the writing of this article. Those are subject to change, but not by much.

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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.

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In Brooklyn, the veterans always preferred DeAndre Jordan over him, even though he was better. Now in Cleveland, he’s forced into a timeshare with Andre Drummond and Larry Nance Jr. When will Allen get his due? According to leading armchair psychologists, it was all that pent-up frustration that led to this outburst. In contention for the line of the year so far.

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You can come to Ohio, Kid Cudi says, and you can see how it feels. That’s an old reference, as Dat New New is now more than 10 years old (old), but when Cleveland’s favorite rapper released Man on the Moon III in the waning days of 2020, it sent me down an Ohio-shaped rabbit hole that ultimately led me to his suggestion. Come to Ohio. Feel it. 

So I did. Last week I fired up Man on the Moon I and caught three Cavs games to get a sense of what basketball on the banks of Lake Erie feels like these days. (I freely admit that being able to catch a double-dip of the Brooklyn Nets while doing this definitely helped make the medicine go down.) Having paid a virtual visit, I can say that the prevailing texture of Ohio basketball is this: Oldschool. Slow. More than a little grimy. 

Still want more? Well crank the Cudi and crack a Christmas Ale, friends. It’s time for some Buckeye state basketball. 

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