Indiana Pacers vs. Golden State Warriors
- Goga Bitadze is a must-add with the Pacers’ front line decimated. He’s kind of the only act in town now, and he’s got some talent. Bitadze played 31 minutes against the Warriors before getting tossed, scoring 13 points, grabbing nine boards, dishing out five assists, hitting a three, and blocking a shot. He needs to be picked up everywhere for the tremendous opportunity he’s got in front of him (21 percent rostered).
- Justin Holiday had been ice cold to begin this season—not just shooting the ball, but also in the defensive cats he’s historically helped in—but he’s heating up. He buried a clutch three to send last night’s game to OT, one of four he sank on the night to score 16 points. Holiday has been in double figures in seven straight, and over that span he’s averaging 15.6 PPG, 3.9 3PTM, 1.1 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. He’s been a top-40 player over the past 14 days—time to pick him up (43 percent rostered).
- Jonathan Kuminga had his bubble burst against Indiana, scoring five points on all free-throws in just 15 minutes. The Warriors turned to veterans down the stretch of a tight game, limiting the rookie’s playing time, but he’s still got a ton of upside as his coach announced he would continue to start in Draymond Green’s absence. Over his previous four contests, Kuminga was averaging 17.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.5 3PTM. Even after last night’s dud he should be in high demand (44 percent rostered).
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Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Bismack Biyombo has become the center of choice for the Suns in Deandre Ayton’s absence. I would have thought JaVale McGee would have earned a longer leash with his solid play all season long, but it’s the newcomer getting the lion’s share of minutes the last couple of games. In 28 minutes of action on Thursday, Biyombo produced nine points, four rebounds, and two steals. It was a modest line, but the playing time speaks volumes, and he’s the Phoenix center you want to stream in the short term (17 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues).
- I wouldn’t be off of Cam Johnson yet. He was on fire prior to picking up an ankle injury and missing a few games recently, and a couple of duds after coming back won’t throw me off the scent. Against Dallas he scored just seven points while shooting 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, with seven boards and a steal. Even if his playing time settles in the low-20s, he’s good for low teens points, with a couple of threes and some all-around contributions. I’m holding (49 percent rostered).
- I’ve always liked Maxi Kleber‘s fantasy game. The powerful combo of blocks and treys made him sneaky valuable. So I was excited when Dallas inserted him into the starting lineup a couple of weeks ago. But he’s done nothing with the opportunity, scoring in double figures just once over his past nine outings. Last night he managed a pedestrian nine points, five rebounds, four assists, a three, and a block. Until he can produce consistently, there will be better options available in most leagues.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. New York Knicks
- Herb Jones continues to be a pleasant surprise offensively, scoring 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting against the Knicks, with four boards, four dimes, and three swipes to boot. Over his past 12 games, he’s scored in double figures 11 times, while shooting 50 percent or better in eight of those contests. His defense is always there, so adding the offensive component makes him a top-40 type player—which he’s been over the past 30 days.
- Jose Alvarado has quietly entrenched himself into the Pels’ rotation over the past couple of weeks. It hadn’t amounted to much fantasy-wise until last night, when he went for 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with four assists and four steals. He’s not a priority pickup by any means, but he’s a name to remember as he may be a steals maven down the stretch if New Orleans is out of contention. He’s committed 10 robberies over his past four outings (zero percent rostered).
- Immanuel Quickley took advantage of garbage time for a decent outing. He didn’t shoot very well (just 4-of-13), but racked up 14 points, five assists, three steals, and two triples. I’m not a fan of the low-efficiency gunnery, but if you can stomach the shooting, he can have a positive impact (14 percent rostered).
- Alec Burks continues to ride the roller coaster, bouncing back from an 0-fer to kick in 13 points, a couple of threes, and a clean 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. Burks has been all over the map lately, which is no doubt frustrating for his fantasy managers, but he strings together enough solid games for me to hang onto him for now (49 percent rostered).