There’s an argument to made for LaVine or Giannis being the lede tonight (spoiler alert: 40 burgers ahead), but I’m going a different direction in my first ever recap. Karl-Anthony Towns returned to an NBA court last night against the Clippers following his bout with Covid. It’s just the fifth game he’s played this season, and while the line is hardly a stunner by KAT standards, it’s just really good to see this dude back on the floor. The impact that the pandemic has had on his family is well documented, so on a human level, it’s wonderful news that he’s back on his feet. Fantasy players will be rejoicing too, as replacing the sheer volume of goodies KAT provides has been a tall order.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 10 3 1 0 3 2 8/15 0/0

He played 31 minutes tonight, which should quiet some concerns about conditioning. Whatever. He’s here. Welcome back, KAT!

Here’s what else I saw from last night’s action…

Kyle Lowry

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
21 4 5 2 1 1 5 8/14 0/0

Coming off an early exit against Memphis on Monday, Nurse turned Lowry loose for 32 MP against the woeful Wizards. Fingers crossed that the heavy workload doesn’t backfire over the course of the season.

Norman Powell

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
28 6 4 1 0 2 3 10/18 5/5

Norm has been on one since the end of January, averaging 23.4 PPG on 50.7/47.5/87.2 shooting across nine starts. Nurse is throwing heavy minutes his way (35 MPG) during this stretch, too, as Anunoby has been slowed by a sore calf. He led all scorers tonight and we’ve seen Powell get hot like this before. Just keep riding this wave until OG gets back. We’ll see what happens then.

Pascal Siakam

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
27 5 2 2 1 1 3 9/18 5/7

Another hot Raptor, Spicy P was able to score more or less at will against a thoroughly overmatched Wizards team. Dude has been playing at a top-10 level for the last two weeks.

Chris Boucher

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
17 16 1 0 2 1 1 5/10 6/7

Was rolling with the starters to close until the lead became comfortable. Aron Baynes is still holding down the starting spot and Boucher’s slight build could limit him against some of the ogres of the league, but the argument for sending the water boy out there more often is only growing more compelling. Top-50 player on the season.

Bradley Beal

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
24 4 5 2 0 2 1 8/20 7/7

That’s all? Beal has spoiled us all with such huge scoring output this year that anything under a 30 piece feels ho-hum. The single three-pointer is a bit of a drag. Without looking it up, it sure feels like the production for deep has been a touch down this year. [Looks it up] Oh, his 34% from 3 is down this year. The career mark is 37.8% and he’s never shot worse than 35%

Russell Westbrook

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
23 6 7 2 0 5 3 9/20 2/2

The three triples from Russ is a bonus, especially since he only needed eight hoists to get them. The stats are as voluminous as the warts are obvious. I still haven’t gotten over the gem that Kostas dropped in his buy/sell. Read, friends, so you too can see the light.

Rui Hachimura

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
15 7 3 1 0 2 1 6/14 2/2

For better or worse, Rui is the third-best option in DC. The scoring floor seems solid enough, though the lack of stocks does feel a bit disappointing given his size and PT.

John Collins

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
33 8 1 1 1 1 1 13/18 6/6

Earlier this season I was dealing with some serious buyer’s remorse on Collins, but his value has done nothing but slowly creep up as the campaign has gone on. Capela has eaten into his rebounds and swats, but JC is connecting on 40% of his long balls, 61% of his 2-pointers, and 84% of his free throws. Consider me baptized.

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
25 7 15 1 1 3 4 8/22 5/6

The bad: a lot of misses and ending up on his back during the final possession of a one point game, leaving Gallo to fling up the last shot. The good: a near triple-double, limited TOs, and the swat. He’s now got three rejections in two nights.

Kevin Huerter

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
23 8 3 1 0 0 4 9/15 1/2

Meanwhile, Cam Reddish struggled again. With De’Andre Hunter sidelined for months not weeks, Gallinari leaving everything short, and Rondo banged up, Huerter’s production is going to be critical if Atlanta is serious about making a run at the postseason. There’s decent balance to his game too.

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
28 10 10 1 2 5 2 9/18 8/10

Man, I feel like a kid looking through the window of a candy shop in one of those old-timey movies where every character is white and named Jimmy, Timmy, or Tommy. I’ve never had a chance to roster Luka, so the best I can do send him heart eye emojis from afar.

Jalen Brunson

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
21 4 5 0 0 1 2 9/18 1/1

Had two looks that could have sealed it for the Mavs, but all’s well that ends well. The Brunson Burner logged 30 MP in this one, trailing only Luka and Finney-Smith for PT. The minutes have been kind of all over the place, but he scores efficiently when he’s out there and the assists are solid.

Kristaps Porzingis

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
15 4 0 1 0 0 1 6/14 2/2

Foul trouble had KP nailed to the bench. He didn’t even break the 20 minute mark. Not one to remember.

Domantas Sabonis

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 9 4 2 1 2 2 7/20 2/4

The stocks are just about the only good news for Domas and the Pacers in Brooklyn. Indy scored 30 points in the first half. Against the Nets. Without KD. On the second night of a back-to-back. We’ve spent too much time discussing this already.

James Harden

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
19 11 5 0 0 5 1 4/13 10/10

Perfection from the line salvaged a night full of misfires for Harden. The Pacers must be contagious. Or…

Kyrie Irving

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
35 4 8 1 2 2 2 8/17 17/17

…not. Speaking of perfection from the line! The dimes are delicious and two swats are icing on top. Kai is sending back 0.8 shots a game this season. If he’s able to maintain this rate, it would be a serious improvement on the career 0.4 mark. There were grumbles about his finger still bothering him, but it seems fine by looking at the box score. If Irving is on the floor he’s money in the bank.

DeAndre Jordan

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
12 13 1 0 3 1 0 5/8 2/4

Joe Harris was the only other Net who broke double figures in what was a downright pedestrian night in Brooklyn. As for Jordan, the DJ had me falling in love again with the swats. The last time he was blocking this many shots (1.3 BLK) was five years ago during his lone All-Star season in LA (1.7).

Terry Rozier

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
34 3 3 1 0 1 6 12/17 4/4

Boo! Scary Terry got em shook. Unfortunately he didn’t do anything but gun and his team lost by 16. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

LaMelo Ball

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
17 2 5 3 1 3 1 8/15 0/0

The Hornets and James Borrego deserve a ton of credit for bringing Ball along slowly and keeping a manageable amount on his plate. Melo drew the start tonight and posted a well-rounded line. Over 50% from the floor and a manageable TO number from a teenager? Lavar must be in very good spirits these days.

Miles Bridges

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
15 10 2 1 1 4 2 5/9 3/4

Three straight double-doubles for the other Bridges. He’ll need to start pushing those defensive numbers up consistently before we start on another pilgrimage, but I’ve got my walking shoes on and my hand is reaching for the door.

Kyle Anderson

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
27 2 3 0 1 3 6 10/14 1/2

Dillon Brooks

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
20 2 4 1 0 3 4 8/13 0/0

Grayson Allen

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 3 3 1 0 2 5 5/13 3/4

Desmond Bane

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 1 2 2 0 2 4 6/11 2/2

As a team, Memphis shot 23/49 (46.9%) from three. Brooks, Bane, Anderson, and Allen accounted for 19 of those. There wasn’t a whole lot else going on for this group other than scoring from distance, but it’s hard to be too upset with 4+ 3PM.

Jonas Valanciunas

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
12 15 3 2 0 2 0 6/13 0/0

This performance marked the lowest scoring output for JV since returning from the Covid-induced absence. He’s now gone 23/7, 27/20, and 12/15 in his return, with a sprinkling of dimes and stocks. The news remains very quiet on the JJJ front and Brandon Clarke is now on ice too. Valanciunas will just keep eating in the meantime.

Kawhi Leonard

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
36 8 5 2 1 5 5 13/25 5/7

Beep boop beep. The basketball machine kicked out a lot of fives tonight. And points. And boards. And dimes. And, well, you get the picture.

Lou Williams

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
27 5 4 2 0 3 2 10/15 5/5

Vintage Lou Williams as he looked unstoppable while scoring from all three levels despite seemingly never getting all the way square to the basket. We don’t get nights like this as often as we used to, but it’s still a pleasure to watch Sweet Lou work.

Nic Batum

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
8 10 2 2 1 0 2 2/6 2/2

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that rostering Batum is a thrill. It isn’t. But he gives you steals, triples, excellent percentages, and steady boards. Only he and Leonard played more than 30 minutes as PG continued to sit.

Naz Reid

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
23 3 0 1 2 0 2 9/13 3/4

Naz is squeezing the very last drops of value out of his playing time now that KAT is back. The minutes dipped below 20 and probably will stay that way. Twas good while it lasted.

Jaden McDaniels

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
10 3 3 0 4 1 2 4/7 0/0

You block four shots in a half, you get a blurb. That’s the rule that I’ve just made up. McDaniels might be one to watch, as finding production from the forwards in Minnesota has been a challenge all year. Remember Juancho? And Layman? And Vanderbilt? The minutes and production for McDaniels doesn’t require immediate action, but it’s not like there’s anyone who has slapped a padlock on the job.

Zion Williamson

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
29 4 2 1 0 2 0 12/18 5/6

LOL. Look at this shot chart. I guess if they’ll let you get that close then you might as well feast in there. It sure would be nice to get something else along with those points. At least the percentages were solid.

Lonzo Ball

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
21 5 7 2 0 1 4 6/13 5/5

I’m definitely curious to see what happens with Ball at the deadline. New Orleans will be selling and taking calls, and Chicago seems to be the destination de jour. If tonight was an audition, it’s hard not to like what you see.

Kira Lewis Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
14 2 4 2 0 0 2 5/7 2/4

Should the Pels move off Ball, Lewis would become a compelling option. He soaked up 23 minutes tonight. Keep an eye on this.

Zach LaVine

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
46 7 4 0 1 5 9 17/25 3/3

Could have been the lede because a 40-burger is a 40-burger, but what else is there to add? By now you know the drill. LaVine has been on a tear since [begins scrolling through game logs…continues scrolling…still scrolling]. The boards are up, the dimes are up, the scoring is through the roof. Turnovers and very few swats are your only gripe, but no one is trying to hear that.

Coby White

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
30 2 7 0 0 2 8 10/20 2/2

I literally gasped when I saw this line. It’s been tough sledding for those of us who roster White (I shudder to think about those who reached for him), as his game logs are the bizarro version of LaVine. Not exactly sold on this being the light at the end of the tunnel — 8 triples help any line — but maybe there’s hope yet.

Jarrett Allen

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 10 2 0 1 2 0 7/11 4/5

The Cavs got smacked by damn-near 40, so let’s not linger here too long. Allen drew his second start next to Andre Drummond with Nance and Love out. It feels like it’s been years in the making for Allen to be given the chance and it might just be happening.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
12 6 12 2 0 2 0 5/7 2/2

Battery-saver mode.

Michael Porter Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
19 5 2 2 2 0 4 6/10 3/4

The window is closing…

Paul Millsap

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
22 4 3 2 1 1 2 7/8 6/7

Not to be too Millsappy, but tonight was almost perfect.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
47 11 5 1 0 2 0 15/23 17/21

Bottle up this kind of free-throw shooting and bring it to the playoffs. I didn’t catch any of this game, did anyone see if he finally caved and shot them underhanded? No? Shooting 63% from the stripe is one of the few blemishes on the reigning, defending, two-time MVP. Shooting performances like this are like stealing glances at the Ark of the Covenant. The glory is simply too much.

Star Park GIF

Bryn Forbes

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
17 0 0 0 0 2 5 6/9 0/0

Drew the start and played 30+ minutes but still only contributed to two cats. Jrue Holiday he is not.

Khris Middleton

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
18 5 11 1 0 3 3 7/17 1/3

The dimes take some of the sting out of this one, as the shooting percentages were below what we’ve come to expect from Khash. Middleton is sitting on back to back games of 10 or more assists. I’d expect the uptick to continue for as long as Holiday is sidelined. Only Mids and Giannis had more than three helpers.

Devin Booker

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
30 6 3 0 0 3 1 11/21 7/9

Chris Paul

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
28 3 7 2 1 1 4 10/20 4/7

Not much to see here, as the excellent Suns backcourt was excellent. I only mention them to give context for what you’re about to see.

Frank Kaminsky

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
14 8 8 0 0 2 2 4/10 4/6

Wut. A near trip-dub from Frank Kaminsky? The Tank had been giving Phoenix spot starts with Crowder banged up, but he stuck around with the starters tonight even with Jae back in uniform. It’s been a nice week for Kaminsky, but I don’t see how you can trust his minutes.

Hamidou Diallo

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
15 13 5 0 2 1 0 5/13 5/7

SGA sat out with knee pain and Coach Daigneault only played eight players in a game that went to OT, adding heft to the counting stats of those who participated. As for Diallo, when there’s a clear path to minutes, he’s shown he can produce. Enjoy the wide open spaces for now.

Al Horford

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
25 8 8 4 1 2 1 11/18 2/2

In just under 34 minutes of action. When Horford is out there, he’s helping your fantasy team. Just a tick shy of being a 1/1/1 player on the year, Floorford is doing his thing despite being nicked up. The per game value remains steady even if GP (16) is not.

Kenrich Williams

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
24 6 2 3 0 5 2 11/14 2/3

We’ve seen Williams pop in the past when given the opportunity — I can recall him being a priority add in New Orleans in seasons past — but because the knee issue with Shai doesn’t appear to be too serious, you can leave him be for now.

LeBron James

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
25 6 7 2 0 5 3 9/20 4/4

Played 41 minutes without AD or Caruso. He’s good.

Dennis Schroder

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
19 7 5 1 0 2 1 5/11 8/8

Dennis has gone for 19/7/5/1 in back to back games. There are now extremely specific goals set for this weekend’s game against Memphis.

Kyle Kuzma

PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 3PT FG FT
15 9 1 1 0 0 1 7/14 0/0

Played 39 minutes while starting in place of Davis. Trez did his thing off the bench too, but it’s Markieff Morris that really cuts into Kuzma’s lane. KK got the better end of things tonight and is worth playing as long as Davis is out.

  1. Juan Canasta says:
    (link)

    Who do you like most ROS from: Diallo, Gallo, E.Gordon, Lamb, Nunn, Olynyk, and Richardson? Say, top 2 of that group. Full disclaimer, I have Lamb and liked him for his efficiency but he’s played under 30 minutes his past five games. My weakest cats are blocks and TOs, followed by FG% and boards, some of which can be explained by Wood and Vala being injured at different times.

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      This is a tough one, as Diallo and Nunn’s PT depends on the health of those around him. Gallo has looked really limited in Atlanta too, I’d move on from him. Olynyk is the only one of the group that will help with the blocks and he has the highest rebounding ceiling, so I think he’s in the group of 2.

      For the other spot, I suppose it depends on if you want upside or floor. You can see what Diallo is capable of with the recent PT, and he’d definitely help on the glass. He’s the upsidey guy, though I worry about Maledon cutting into his time, plus OKC hasn’t traded George Hill yet. As for floor, it think it’s a tossup between Lamb, Gordon and Richardson, though I think I’d give the slight lean to Lamb I’d expect him to shoot it at a higher rate the other two. I totally get the desire to move on from Lamb though. It feels like he’s always on the waiver carousel.

  2. J-Man Grizzle

    J-Man Grizz says:
    (link)

    Who do you prefer for 12 man redraft
    For the rest of this season

    Naz Reid or Tillman?

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      I think Tillman has more short term appeal, but even with KAT back, I’d take Reid ROS. It’s not like Minny is going anywhere, so maybe there’s some shielding of Towns and draft position tomfoolery down the stretch. Memphis, at least in theory, should have mouths to feed with Tillman, Clarke, and eventually JJJ.

  3. Jon says:
    (link)

    12 teams, h2h 11 cats – std 9 plus off reb and def reb, keep 5 by rounds

    I was offered Markkanen and his 7th for Wiseman and my 5th? Markk is a keeper in the 10th and Wiseman is a keeper in the 3rd.

    Do you trust Markk’s health? My only hesitation is that Wiseman could be an absolute monster on the glass, as Kerr gives him more minutes and trust. Thoughts? Thanks!

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