Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- LeBron James took this potential championship preview seriously, playing 38 minutes and attempting 25 field goals. He was spectacular, posting a 34-6-8 line and connecting on six of his 10 treys. LeBron is hoisting more threes than he ever has in his career, and is flirting with career-best accuracy from deep as well. He’s shooting just a hair under 40 percent on 6.6 triple tries per game. His 2.6 3PTM adds another elite category to make up a little bit for his declining FG% (currently his lowest since 2007) and defensive stats.
- Speaking of hot three-point shooting, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope nailed seven of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc to raise his season-long 3PT% to 56.8. That blistering pace is absolutely unsustainable, but he is a good outside shooter so pick him up while the hot streak lasts. He’s hovering around the top-100, and yet is just 16 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
- Alex Caruso is somehow also shooting 57 percent from long distance after making all (one) of his three-point attempts for the third time in his last four games. On a light night like Thursday, he’s worth a streaming spot even in limited minutes for some threes, assists, and steals (of which he produced three against Milwaukee).
- Business as usual for Milwaukee. You know what you’re getting from their starters and there isn’t much value beyond that. Unfortunately what you got from Giannis Antetokounmpo last night was nine turnovers to mar his otherwise solid outing. Luckily he only went to the charity stripe four times, mitigating his 50 percent conversion rate.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz
- Zion Williamson went for 25+ points for the sixth time in his last seven contests (and made his first trey of the season!), but was totally shut out of the defensive boards. After beginning the campaign with three straight double-doubles, he has added just two more over his past 10 games. I think Zion’s market value is overinflated. I’d investigate selling high.
- Time to drop Nickeil Alexander-Walker after his playing time slid under 20 minutes on Thursday.
- The window to buy low on Donovan Mitchell is officially closed after an electric 36-point national TV performance. Mitchell had a rough start to the season but over his past seven games, he’s averaging 27.9 PPG and 4.1 3PTM on 51 percent from the field, 52 percent from deep, and 91 percent from the line. He’s been a top-20 guy over the past 14 days.
- Love seeing Mike Conley bounce back to being his usual top-50 self after another efficient 20-point outing. He added six assists and three steals to round out a vintage Conley line.
New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors
- R.J. Barrett has been so Jekyll-and-Hyde this season. He flashed on Thursday to the tune of a career-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, a pair of triples, and five dimes. His inconsistency is maddening, but he’s put together a string of good games. He’s one point off of five consecutive 20-point outings and his shooting has gotten a lot steadier, especially from the foul line (86.7 percent on six attempts per game over his last five) which is great to see.
- Alec Burks went right back to playing over 30 minutes. The owners who kept the faith and held him weren’t rewarded with a great game in his return (11 points on 2-for-7 shooting with one assist and one trey), but he looks like a safe bet to retain value moving forward.
- After crossing the 25-minute threshold just once in his first 10 appearances, James Wiseman has done so four of the last five times out. Steve Kerr is trusting his rookie center more, and now his fantasy owners can trust in him for steady production (15 points and eight boards on Thursday). Trade for him now before it’s too late.
- Disappointing that Eric Paschall only played 19 minutes in a game in which Draymond Green was ejected before halftime. He’s been a solid streaming option and still posted an efficient 12 points in limited action.