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This eight-game Sunday featured a lot of incredible performances from plenty of the bright, young stars that the league has to offer. Starting with Trae Young early and ending with Karl-Anthony Towns late, this day was filled with dominance. Let’s get into it!
Hawks 129, Lakers 121
The Atlanta Hawks got their 7th straight win, with the play of Trae Young being a huge reason why. Trae had a dominant 36/5/12 line and has averaged a line of 28.4/4.7/9.1 with 1.4 steals and 4.1 threes during their win streak. They’ll go as far as he takes them, and when he’s playing like this, that’s a good sign for the team and fantasy managers alike. John Collins has been excellent the last two games after three games where he didn’t produce a ton. The past two games, he’s averaged 20.5 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and 1.5 steals. The three games before that, he averaged 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. He’s really been stepping up lately. Onyeka Okongwu has been an underrated part of the Hawks’ recent success. Okongwu had 18 points and five rebounds off the bench, including 12 points and four dunks in the fourth quarter. This poster dunk helped the Hawks seal the win late. He believes he can get to a point where he’s playing like Bam Adebayo or Draymond Green. If he gets anywhere close, he’ll make for an elite dynasty asset. Clint Capela has resumed his role as a starter and the emergence of Okongwu has allowed Capela to play less minutes. This is actually a good thing, since conditioning was an issue for him earlier in the season. He’s been able to produce at a higher level in less minutes, which should help keep him on the court. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been coming off the bench since he returned from a knee injury, but it’s turned out to be a great fit. He’s excelled as a backup playmaker so the offense doesn’t fall into shambles whenever Trae is off the floor. He didn’t have his best shooting performance today, but he’s been a key part of the second unit that has fueled the win streak. Trae was the only Hawk to play over 30 minutes in this game, which should help them as they play against Toronto on a back-to-back on Monday night.
It was the Malik Monk show for the Lakers in this one. Monk finished with season-highs in points (33), rebounds (10), and 3-pointers (8). He’s been the epitome of “When he’s on, he’s on. When he’s off, he’s off” this season in a way that would make J.R. Smith proud. This makes his value hard to gauge, especially since he doesn’t get to play against the Hawks again this year. In their first matchup, Monk had 29 points with seven 3-pointers. Anthony Davis returned from a one-game absence and was pretty unstoppable on the offensive end. He didn’t rebound as well as fantasy GMs are used to, but it’s hard for anyone to grab a ton of rebounds when both teams shoot over 50% from the floor. Russell Westbrook has been efficient shooting the ball the last five games. Yes, you read that correctly. Russ has shot over 50% from the floor in each of the past five games. His turnover numbers aren’t great, but they’re about what you’d expect from a ball dominant point guard. If he can keep this production up, it’ll ease the bleeding of playing without LeBron James. Frank Vogel said that LeBron won’t play as long as there’s swelling in his knee. That’s not a very specific amount of time, so the Lakers will continue to roll with Stanley Johnson in the starting lineup. Johnson hasn’t been a great fantasy asset, but he can be a nice streaming option if you’re desperate. Carmelo Anthony added 11 points and four rebounds. He scores a decent amount, but that’s about it from a fantasy perspective.
Clippers 115, Hornets 90
Marcus Morris got the start in his return while Nicolas Batum was sidelined with lower back soreness. Morris finished with 16 points and three rebounds in the blowout win. No Clipper played more than 27 minutes, which really limits everyone’s fantasy output. Reggie Jackson finished with a line of 19/4/5, as he turned in a solid performance for the first time in a week. Hopefully he can build off of this. Ivica Zubac finished with seven points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. This is the first game he’s recorded double-digit rebounds in a week. Brandon Boston Jr. helped lead the bench unit that ended up basically winning the game for the Clippers. Boston Jr. was a team-best +31, with three other bench players recording a +20 or better. Boston Jr. had a 19/5/2 line in 22 minutes. Luke Kennard had a 14/10/4 line in 27 minutes off the bench. That marks a season-high in rebounds, and he’s now hit at least two 3-pointers in six consecutive games. Justise Winslow recorded a season-high three blocks as a part of his 13/8/1/3/1 line off the bench.
The Hornets are one of the streakiest teams in the NBA. Against the Hawks last Sunday, they couldn’t buy a bucket. Against the Pacers this past Wednesday, they couldn’t miss. And now against the Clippers, they were back to missing everything. They shot 32.7% as a team from the field and 23.5% from deep. Mason Plumlee was the only player on the team to hit over half of their shots, as he finished with a 10/10/4 line on 5-of-8 shooting. However, he did miss all four of his free throws. LaMelo Ball turned in a decent performance with a 23/6/10 line. He’s scored at least 20 points in four straight games. Cody Martin got another start with both Gordon Hayward (protocols) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (ankle) sidelined. Martin didn’t turn in a great performance with eight points and four rebounds, but he’s guaranteed to get minutes when those guys are out and should make for a nice DFS play more often than not. Miles Bridges finished with a line of 18/9/2/1/2, but didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor. That was the running theme for the Hornets in this game. They should be fine moving forward. Unfortunately, these random games where nobody can hit a shot aren’t very predictable.
Bulls 130, Trail Blazers 116
DeMar DeRozan has just been so good all season long. His numbers weren’t eye-popping (23/10/4), but he did that while shooting 9/13 from the floor. He’s now scored at least 20 points while making over half of his shots in six straight games. He’s such an efficient star. The only thing really limiting him in fantasy is his lack of three point shooting, but if you’re punting those, he’s a first round guy. Nikola Vucevic put up a line of 24/13/3/1/1, which gives him six double-doubles in his last seven games. Vooch has also been hyper efficient lately, hitting 11-of-15 from the floor in this game and over 50% of his shots in four consecutive games. Zach LaVine still isn’t 100% healthy, which has affected his shot. He’s scored at least 20 points in all four games since he returned from injury, but he’s hit only 9-of-34 from deep in those games. He should be fine with time, but it’s something to keep an eye on over the next week. Javonte Green recorded a season-high in points as a part of his 16/3/1/1/1 line. Ayo Dosunmu is already considered to be a must-add, but he just recorded a career-best 11 assists. He’s provided 5th round value over the past two weeks. Coby White scored 18 points in his second straight game. Tony Bradley scored a season-high 10 points off the bench while adding six rebounds and three steals.
C.J. McCollum has been excellent since returning from injury. He’s averaged a line of 20.6/4.3/4.4 with 3.6 threes per game, which has had him playing at 5th round value. He had his highest scoring output since returning from injury with 29 points in this game. His return has put a slight dent in the Anfernee Simons hype train. Simons has still been great, but he hasn’t gotten the volume of shots he was seeing before. Still, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.6 deep balls per game this month, which translates directly to him producing at 2nd round value. Norman Powell played through a left knee contusion and scored 22 points and 7-for-10 shooting (5-of-6 from deep). Robert Covington wasn’t the stock king in this game, but he did still swipe two steals. He’s averaging two steals and 1.5 blocks per game this month, which speaks to just how productive he’s been from a fantasy perspective. Trent Watford recorded a career-high three blocks off the bench to go along with 10 points.
Pistons 115, Cavaliers 105
Cade Cunningham is that guy. He shot atrociously again, but he recorded his second career triple-double with a line of 19/10/10/3/1 with only one turnover. He is the first rookie in Pistons’ history to record multiple triple-doubles. He’s hitting clutch shots like this. He’s dropping dimes like this. Shooting percentages are the only thing holding Cade back from utter dominance, but he should be doing this in Detroit for years to come. He led the comeback attempt against the playoff-bound Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons may have just found their savior. Saddiq Bey had 31 points, but didn’t add much else from a fantasy perspective. He’s been inconsistent, but when he’s on, he’s on. Isaiah Stewart had his first double-double in nearly two weeks with a 14/12 line. Frank Jackson has been the definition of instant offense. He scores a lot, but that’s about it. After not playing for a month, he’s scored in double figures in all three games since he came back, including 19 in this game. Trey Lyles had a complete line with 15/7/2/1/2. He’s been a decent piece off the bench for the Pistons, averaging 14.1 points and 5.9 rebounds this month.
After recording double-digit assists in five consecutive games, it’s now been two straight games with less than 10 assists for Darius Garland. He still turned in a decent output with a 24/4/7 line with five 3-pointers. Evan Mobley put up a line of 18/9/2 with three blocks. That’s nice, but his 4-of-9 shooting from the free throw line wasn’t quite as pretty. Jarrett Allen had a similar line of 15/9/3 with two blocks. He shot 4-of-11 from the line, which is well below his season mark of 68.9% shooting from the floor. Dean Wade is still in the starting lineup with Lauri Markkanen sidelined. Wade has scored in double figures in three straight games, including 14 points in this game, while maintaining a high field goal percentage. Cedi Osman added some offense off the bench with 13 points and two 3-pointers.
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Nuggets 136, Bucks 100
Every single Denver Nugget had a positive +/-. Nikola Jokic only needed to take nine shots. This was a straight up thrashing in every sense of the word. Add it to Joker’s MVP resume. He had a line of 18/9/15/3/1 while shooting 7-of-9 from the field in 28 minutes. He did that without the second and third best players on this team. And it was against a Bucks team that had their big three healthy. Jokic always has a unique statline, and this just extends the list of different ways that he gets it done. Aaron Gordon had 24 points, seven rebounds, a steal, a block, and four 3-pointers. He’s been producing at a 6th round value over the past two weeks. Will Barton had a 15/3/5 line while only missing one shot in 27 minutes. Monte Morris had an 18/2/7 line while also only missing one shot. The Nuggets shot over 60% as a team, which generally leads to excellent production, but limited minutes. That was the case for the Denver starters, who were held back by how big their lead was. Bones Hyland added a 13/5/6 line off the bench. Bryn Forbes also added 14 points off the bench.
Despite the bad loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo still did his thing. He put up a 29/9/2/1/1 line, which is a below average game for him. That, of course, speaks to just how dominant this guy is. His 9-of-19 shooting isn’t as good as what he normally does, but he still managed to extend his streak of 25-point games to 16. Khris Middleton had a pretty quiet day with a line of 9/5/7 with two steals. He only took eight shots, which isn’t normal for him. In the next game that’s closer, he should bounce back. Aside from the five turnovers, Jrue Holiday turned in a solid performance with a line of 14/5/8/1/1. Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen each chipped in 11 points, but this was really just a difficult game for everyone in Milwaukee.
Magic 110, Mavericks 108
The Magic held on to win using a full team effort. Seven guys scored in double figures, but nobody scored over 20 points. They’ve now won three of their last four, including wins over the Mavs and Bulls. Franz Wagner led the starters with an 18-point performance. Wendell Carter Jr. had a 14/14 double-double, which is his first double-double since returning from a hamstring injury that kept him out seven games. Mo Bamba chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds in just 24 minutes as the starter. Cole Anthony struggled with his deep shot (0-for-6 on 3-pointers), but he still managed a 16/4/6 line. Off the bench, Chuma Okeke tallied a season-high 19 points to go with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Okeke has now scored in double figures in consecutive games, while it’s also the first time the Magic have won consecutive games this season. Moritz Wagner added 14 points in only 15 minutes, while Gary Harris scored 10. It was a true team effort to win the game, however nobody really had a dominant performance from a fantasy perspective.
Luka Doncic did all he could, recording his 7th triple double of the season. His 34/12/11 line feels almost average for this guy, which is incredible for someone as young as he is. The two categories that hold Luka back as a fantasy asset are his turnovers and free throw percentage, which held true in this game (4-of-6 FTs, six turnovers). His style of play likely won’t allow him to cut back on turnovers too much, but the free throws are definitely something he could fix. Dwight Powell got the start with Kristaps Porzingis out. He really didn’t do much against Orlando’s bigs, finishing with eight points and three rebounds in 22 minutes. The bench was vital for Dallas keeping it close. Marquese Chriss had a stellar line of 14/4/1/4/2 in 19 minutes. The steals were a season-high for him, but so were the minutes. While Powell and Maxi Kleber were supposed to be the ones benefiting from Porzingis being on the sidelines, it seems as though Chriss has seized the opportunity. Reggie Bullock added in 10 points, six rebounds, and three steals, while Josh Green scored 11, giving him back-to-back double digit performances.
Suns 115, Spurs 110
What a month it’s been for the Suns. They only lost one game, which incredibly enough makes it their second best month of the season. They’ve won 10 straight and kept the NBA baton for a 6th straight game. And Chris Paul finished it off with a season-high 19 assists. The guy has aged like fine wine. He finished with a line of 20/8/19/1/1, which means he finished the month with eight blocks. Devin Booker finished with 28 points, four rebounds, and four 3-pointers. Book has struggled from deep for the majority of January, but finished off strong by shooting 8-of-19 from outside over the past two games. Hopefully that’s something he can build off of. Bismack Biyombo got another start with Deandre Ayton still sidelined. Biyombo recorded his 5th double-double of the season, and it was his 5th straight game scoring in double figures. Biyombo is the guy to stream as long as Ayton is out, though JaVale McGee did return to the lineup. He had five points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes. Mikal Bridges scored a season-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds. While he got a block, he didn’t record a steal in this game. He still finished January averaging 1.1 steals per game over the course of the month. Ishmail Wainright ended up having a larger role than he expected, as he helped close out the game. He finished with a line of 10/2/1/1/2. The points and blocks were both career-highs for him. The Suns have rolled with hot hands this season (i.e. Biyombo, Jalen Smith), so Wainwright has a chance of being a nice streaming option.
The Spurs played this game without three of their top four scorers. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Jakob Poeltl were all sidelined. Their number two scorer, Keldon Johnson, did play this game and had a 16/8/4 line. Johnson has evolved as a three point shooter right before our eyes over the course of the season. Each month, he’s increased his 3-point attempts. In October/November, he was shooting less than three 3-pointers per game. In January, he shot 5.9 deep balls per game and made 2.5 of them. Doug McDermott finished with a team-high 24 points and six 3-pointers. Tre Jones got the spot start and scored 15 points while dropping nine dimes. Lonnie Walker IV had a 22/5/2 line off the bench with two steals. That’s the second most points he’s scored this season. The only time he scored more, he finished with 25 points as a spot start. When the Spurs are missing guys, Walker is an excellent option. Joshua Primo hasn’t really been getting many minutes in the NBA recently, but he took advantage of this game. He finished with 13 points, three rebounds, and two blocks in 28 minutes off the bench.
Timberwolves 126, Jazz 106
Karl-Anthony Towns recorded his first triple-double of the season, and the second of his career. The last time he had one was in December of 2016. They lost that game to a Nuggets team that had Jusuf Nurkic and Jameer Nelson. Yeah, that long ago. KAT made sure they didn’t lose this time, as they routed the Nuggets. He finished with a line of 31/11/10 with two steals. Anthony Edwards struggled in this game, finishing with 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting with five turnovers. With D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley still out, we were hoping to see point guard Ant-Man again. Instead, we saw Jordan McLaughlin turn in a solid performance. He had 12 points, four assists, and four steals while only missing one shot. The points and steals were both season-highs for him. Jarred Vanderbilt didn’t have a great shooting performance, but he was still the defensive stud we know him to be. He gathered nine rebounds, swiped two steals, and had two blocks. By the end of the season, he should be considered for an All-Defensive team. Hopefully, he’ll get the recognition he deserves. Jaden McDaniels was perfect from the floor, scoring a season-high 22 points on 9-of-9 shooting. He won’t always play this well, but props to him for this game.
The Jazz were already decimated with injuries as both Donovan Mitchell (concussion) and Rudy Gobert (calf) were out for this game. To make matters worse, Joe Ingles injured his left knee in this game. Based on this video, it doesn’t look good. To make up for these injuries, Bojan Bogdanovic has been the primary scorer for the team. Bogdanovic finished with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He had struggled with his shot the past two games, so it was nice to see him get back on track. Mike Conley added a 22/4/5 line with three steals. Utah may rely on him to score this much if Mitchell and Gobert miss more time. Hassan Whiteside got another start in place of Gobert, finishing with 12 rebounds and three blocks. Jordan Clarkson had 17 points and five assists. Clarkson’s offense just became that much more important for the Jazz with Ingles going down. If Mitchell misses another game, they’ll need Clarkson to shoot the ball. A lot.
Source: Yahoo Sports