Dallas Mavericks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- Boban Marjanovic! Not just a cameo but a start! He finished with 12 rebounds but shot just 3-for-11 from the field for seven points. This was just a spot start for the Joel Embiid matchup. You can safely leave Boban on the wire.
- Jalen Brunson has been one of the steadiest backup PGs in the league. He wasn’t exceptional on Thursday, but he was effective with 11 points on just five shots, with five boards, a pair of treys, and a steal. Over the past 14 days, Brunson (28 percent owned in Yahoo!) has been a top-100 player. He can get you points while actually helping your percentages, with some threes and assists kicked in as well.
- Danny Green (26 percent owned in Yahoo!) is a good streaming option for threes and steals. He had two of each against Dallas.
- Dwight Howard made the most of his mop-up duty. In just 16 minutes he racked up 14 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks while making all six of his two-pointers and both of his freebies. As long as Embiid is healthy, Howard (12 percent owned in Yahoo!) doesn’t have much value, unless you’re desperate for boards.
Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets
- It was a perfect night for James Ennis III, who made all five of his shots, including three triples, and both of his free-throws for 15 points in just 26 minutes. Ennis (two percent owned in Yahoo!) was playing quite well (and quite a lot) before picking up an injury a couple of weeks ago. Though he’s returned to the starting lineup, the minutes have not been there, and neither had the production until last night. Hopefully, that game gets him going and earns him some more run moving forward.
- Michael Carter-Williams has been the starting point guard for Orlando the past seven games. He’s not a great offensive player, but if you need some help in assists and defensive cats, MCW (16 percent owned in Yahoo!) is worth a look while he’s got the job. He had 11 points and five dimes against the Nets.
- Bruce Brown has been the Nets wing to produce the most in Kevin Durant’s absence. He followed up his career night with 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field, with a couple of steals. That’s three straight games scoring in double figures. Brown (15 percent owned in Yahoo!) doesn’t hit threes but does get you rebounds and defensive stats. He’s worth a pickup while he stays in the starting lineup.
- The Nets really need help at the center position, and they may get it from within with youngster Nic Claxton returning from injury. In just his second game back, Claxton stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, four steals, and two blocks. You don’t need to run out and grab him right now, but he’s someone to monitor as the Nets could give him a bigger role if he proves worthy.
- Who is Tyler Cook???
Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks
- I love Tyrese Haliburton. No fantasy analysis here, just hearts in my eyes.
- Looks like Nemanja Bjelica is back to cooling his heels on the sidelines. Even Norvel Pelle got in the game ahead of him, and Pelle’s Basketball-Reference page doesn’t even have him on the Kings yet! Someone save Belly, please!!
- Blocks alone have Nerlens Noel hovering near top-100 status for the season, but now that he’s starting in place of Mitchell Robinson, and has potential for even more. He had a modest game on Thursday with eight points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, but should be universally owned (57 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Big night for Alec Burks, who scored 24 points and canned five of his eight triple tries. Burks was actually the Knicks’ best player at the very beginning of the season before going down with an injury. The roster dynamics have shifted since he came back and I still don’t think he needs to be rostered currently.
- Immanuel Quickley continues to impress. The rookie went for a team-high 25 points, sinking all 12 of his foul shots while dishing three assists and picking up a couple of steals. Though Quickley (23 percent owned in Yahoo!) has a ton of potential, I don’t think he helps a team enough right now to merit holding on to. He’s a points streamer for me.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Rough night for the Clips, who got housed on the front end of their back-to-back set in Memphis. Nothing to take away from this performance.
- After a couple of really tough shooting nights to mark his long-awaited return, Justise Winslow looked a little better out there last night, scoring nine points and grabbing six boards while hitting half of his shots. The biggest point in his favor is that he’s stepped right into a regular rotation role, topping 20 minutes in each of his three appearances. Winslow (11 percent owned in Yahoo!) has a versatile skill set that can help a fantasy roster. I wouldn’t mind speculating a little early on him to see if he can hit his stride soon.
- The big loser in Winslow’s return appears to be De’Anthony Melton, whose minutes have gone from 27 to 16 to 3. He’s got a really fantasy-friendly game, so sad to see him relegated to the end of the bench in Memphis.
- Another steady backup PG is Tyus Jones, who busted out for his first career 20-point game on 9-of-11 from the field. However, Jones is only fantasy relevant if Ja Morant is out.
Washington Wizards vs. Denver Nuggets
- Mo Wagner has been starting lately for the resurgent Wiz. While he’s been inconsistent (he followed up his 21-point performance on Tuesday with just six last night), he can help a fantasy squad on nights where he gets some more burn. I think Scotty Brooks will give Wagner (nine percent owned in Yahoo!) a longer leash in the future, and I’d speculate on him now in deeper leagues.
- With Ish Smith out, Raul Neto has gotten a lot of opportunity as the first guard off the bench in Washington, playing 20-plus minutes in each of his past seven games, and putting up good numbers in that stretch. He was particularly good on Thursday, scoring 15 points, recording four assists, and piling up five steals. Neto (12 percent owned in Yahoo!) is firmly on the streaming radar.
- Jamal Murray has been on fire lately, and last night was no exception, as he notched 34 points, six rebounds, six assists, six long balls, and even two blocks. That was the fourth time in his past five outings he’s gone for at least 30, and he’s averaging over five 3PTM over that span as well. We haven’t seen Murray like this since the bubble, but as good as he’s been, I still am not completely sold on him as a consistent star. I’d try to sell high and get a top-25 player in return.
- I know Will Barton (two points on 1-for-7 shooting, with three turnovers) starts and plays a ton of minutes for a good offensive team, but color me unimpressed. I’d rather stream players during the week than burn a roster spot holding on to Barton (42 percent owned in Yahoo!).
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- The Pelicans shortened their rotation down to eight guys against Milwaukee. The biggest beneficiary was JJ Redick, who saw 26 minutes of action—far more than he has gotten in any other game this month. Redick (seven percent owned in Yahoo!) had a so-so night with nine points, seven rebounds, and three assists, but he’s worth an add as a three-point specialist if the Pels stick to this rotation.
- With the tighter rotation, I’m not sure why Josh Hart played just 22 minutes. Hart had been on a roll and his ownership percentage reflected that (up 16 percent in the last day to 46 percent owned in Yahoo!). If someone drops him after his six-point dud, I’d scoop him up with confidence.
- Milwaukee went big with Bobby Portis entering the starting lineup. In his 31 minutes, Portis was solid, with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting, with 8 boards, and a pair of threes and blocks. He won’t play this much when the Bucks get some of their absent guards back, but he’s worth keeping around anyway. He’s been a top-100 player on the season in just 21 MPG.
- Donte DiVincenzo was the nominal point guard for Milwaukee, and he responded with his best game of the season. The Villanova product went off for 24 points, seven boards, nine dimes, four triples, two steals, and a block in 35 minutes. I wish he got this kind of high usage more often because he’s got the skills to be very productive when given the opportunity.