Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- With LeBron James resting last night, Malik Monk had to pick up some of the slack as a distributor. That led to a healthy five assists in 31 minutes, but without King James generating clean looks for him, Monk struggled to put the ball in the basket. He shot just 3-of-13 from the floor and 1-for-6 from distance to score 11 points, with four boards and two steals to round out his evening. Monk has been very effective of late, coming in as a borderline top-40 player over the past 30 days. He should be rostered in more than 53 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
- On the other hand, Talen Horton-Tucker has been headed the other direction. You’d think he would play a prominent role in shot creation with James out, but he garnered fewer minutes than Austin Reaves. THT shot just 2-for-8 from the field with seven points, a couple of assists, and no rebounds. He’s struggled to get to the 20-minute plateau recently, and it’s a particularly dire sign that he didn’t reach that in a game LA was short on playmaking. Over his past four games he’s averaging just 3.5 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 0.5 3PTM. Maybe all the trade rumors are getting to him. Leave THT on the wire (12 percent rostered).
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- Furkan Korkmaz has gotten an opportunity to start lately, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to do a lot with it. Last night was another dud, as he amassed just six points, one rebound, three assists, no treys, and no D in 32 minutes. He’s been in single digits in scoring in six of his last eight, and is averaging less than one made three-pointer per game—a travesty for a shooting specialist. He’s been added in a smattering of leagues lately (up to 20 percent rostered), but outside of a special circumstance like a two-game Thursday streamer, there are probably better options available.
- Back from a shoulder injury, defensive ace Matisse Thybulle is in the starting lineup and continues to rack up the swipes and swats. He had four thefts and two rejections in 29 minutes, while also converting four of his six field goal attempts. If you need some defensive stats, he’s your man (40 percent rostered).
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors
- Jaylen Nowell has passed Malik Beasley on the T’Wolves’ depth chart, and it was he upon whom the team called when D’Angelo Russell left with injury. Nowell didn’t shoot very well, going just 5-of-16 from the field and clanking all five of his triple tries, but he got up 16 looks in just 29 minutes, and also contributed three steals. Nowell has scored in double figures in seven of his past nine regular appearances, and if Russell misses any time, he could be in for some nice short-term value (five percent rostered).
- Jaden McDaniels has been starting recently, and his upside always makes him a person of interest. Last night he mustered 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, with three treys, a steal, and a block. McDaniels has alternated solid games with putrid ones, but he has the potential to be a valuable 1/1/1 type of player. In fact, he’s averaging a 1/1/1 over his past six outings. McDaniels isn’t a must-add, but he’s on the streaming radar (33 percent rostered).
- Otto Porter Jr. has commandeered the starting power forward spot for the Dubs in recent games. On Thursday he managed to output 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, with four rebounds and a pair of swipes. He’s gone over 10 points in four straight, while also averaging better than six boards, nearly two triples, and a 1.5 steals in that stretch. He’s a great guy to round out your roster with, as long as he continues to get the minutes (44 percent rostered).
- Kevon Looney has got to be the quietest everyday starter in the Association. He does yeoman’s work on the glass—where he pulled down six rebounds last night in 24 foul-plagued minutes—and recently had a run of five consecutive double-digit rebound games. He doesn’t shoot very much, but when he does it usually goes in, and though he’s not a consistent producer in the defensive cats, he has a four-steal and a four-block game to his name in the past two weeks. Over that stretch he’s been a borderline top-100 player too. You know he’s entrenched in his role, so if you really need some boards, he’s not a terrible option (33 percent rostered).