Holy Giannis! Antetokounmpo scores 50 points

Steve Alexander
Rotoworld

It was a busy 11-game night in the Association and Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Buddy Hield, Trae Young and Jarrett Allen all made headlines. Follow me on Twitter here!

Bucks 122, Jazz 118 – Giannis Antetokounmpo went nuts with a season-high 50 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers on 17-of-31 shooting. He hit just 13-of-19 free throws, but at this point owners have to plan on punting free throws. This was the second 50-point game of his career and there are more coming. Wesley Matthews got hot and hit five 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 19 points, but I’m not feeling him. But it is worth noting the Bucks play three more times this week and then have four-game weeks in two of their next three. George Hill sat this one out with a sore back. 

For the Jazz, Tony Bradley started at center for Rudy Gobert (left ankle) and had eight points, 11 boards, two assists and three blocks in 23 minutes. He had 14 points, nine boards and a block on Saturday and if Gobert is going to miss time, Bradley’s a fun DFS punt play right now. We got another dose of bad Mike Conley last night with 2-of-10 shooting and six points, but he at least had nine assists to go along with nothing else. He’s still a buy-low option after this dud. Joe Ingles showed signs of life with three 3-pointers, 15 points, five boards, four assists and a steal with zero turnovers. If he was dropped in your league, he’s worth a look.

Lakers 114, Spurs 104 – LeBron James had 33 points, 14 assists and four 3-pointers and continues to play at an MVP level and Anthony Davis added 19 points, 12 boards, six dimes, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer in the win. Rajon Rondo came off the bench for 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal, and also hit 3-of-3 3-pointers in the win. He’s worth a pickup right now. Dwight Howard had a goose egg and he probably needs an injury to either JaVale McGee or Davis to be worth holding.  

The Spurs snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win over the lowly Knicks on Saturday but started a new one with last night’s loss. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and DeMar DeRozan added 24 points, and they’re the only two reliable Spurs at the moment. Dejounte Murray came off the bench again and had five points, eight rebound, three assists and a 3-pointer. I’m hanging in there with him, but it’s a rough, scary ride. Keep an eye on Derrick White (11 points) and Bryn Forbes (13) if they continue to start for the 6-12 Spurs. 

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Celtics 103, Kings 102 – Kemba Walker (neck) was out again but is expected to practice on Tuesday, which is a good sign. I bet he plays on Wednesday. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter all played well in his absence but outside of Kanter and Smart, there aren’t many pickup options in Boston. Kanter still isn’t a must-own player and got a boost because Daniel Theis (illness) sat this one out. 

The Kings got a monster line from Buddy Hield (career-high 41 points with five boards, 11 3-pointers and a block) and this is your sell-high moment if you want to cash in. Harrison Barnes had 20 points and three 3-pointers and Bogdan Bogdanovic hit just 5-of-20 shots and 2-of-13 3-pointers for 13 points and eight assists. He also played on Sunday and I’m just glad he’s out there and playing through his hamstring injury. He’ll bounce back soon. Nemanja Bjelica, Richaun Holmes and Cory Joseph all struggled in the starting lineup, but all three are worth holding until Marvin Bagley (thumb) is ready to play. Once Bags is back, Bjelica is the cut, but I’m rolling with him until Bags returns. 

Wolves 125, Hawks 113 – Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins had big nights and Jarrett Culver started at point guard, despite the fact that Jeff Teague was healthy. Culver had 14 points, five boards, three assists and two steals, while Teague had eight points and eight assists off the bench. It looks like Teague is now the second unit’s point guard, making Culver a pickup and Teague a hold in most situations. Keita Bates-Diop had 13 points, five boards, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes and might be worth a look as long as Jake Layman (toe) is out. He had 22 points on Saturday. Robert Covington returned from a personal absence and hit 1-of-8 shots for five points. His shot constantly runs hot and cold and it was a little cool in State Farm Arena on Monday night. 

For the Hawks, Trae Young led the way with a 37-6-9 line with five 3-pointers and seven turnovers, but he hit just 11-of-28 shots on the night. De’Andre Hunter cooled off with just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, but he’ll bounce back soon enough. Just hang onto him, as he was on fire coming into this game. Cam Reddish returned from his wrist injury but hit just 2-of-10 shots on the night. 

Nets 108, Cavs 106 – DeAndre Jordan sat out with a sore left ankle and Jarrett Allen went nuts, racking up a festive 22 points, 21 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks on 9-of-10 shooting for the Nets. Wow. This might happen every night if DAJ wasn’t in Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie was filling in for Kyrie Irving (shoulder) again and hit the game-winning shot on his way to 23 points, nine dimes, three blocks and a 3-pointer, and Joe Harris came through with 19 points, six boards, two steals and three 3-pointers. Harris has been hit-or-miss all year and is not a must-own player, but props to you if you used him in this one. Irving’s out for at least one more game and Dinwiddie has become a must-own player and should remain so even when Irving is back. Taurean Prince came through with 18 points, six boards, four assists, a steal and four 3-pointers and is worth a look if he was dropped in your league. 

I pulled the trigger on dropping Larry Nance Jr. too soon and he had another nice game with 20 points, 13 boards, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers. Grab him if he was dropped but beware that part of the reason he’s playing so well is that Kevin Love has been out with a lower back contusion. Cedi Osman, Tristan Thompson, Colin Sexton and Darius Garland were all serviceable last night, but Sexton and Garland’s shooting has not been awe-inspiring. Jordan Clarkson stayed hot, hitting 8-of-17 shots and five triples for 23 points to lead the team. He’s scored in double figures in all but two games this season and is officially hot after scoring 28 with six triples on Saturday. 

Pacers 126, Grizzlies 114 – Malcolm Brogdon was back and had a 14-6-8-1 line with two 3-pointers and looks good to go. Yeah, he might take a small hit when Victor Oladipo (knee surgery) is back, but I’m not worried about him. The Pacers’ starters all played well and T.J. McConnell and Aaron Holiday each hit double digits in scoring off the bench, but both players should take a hit once Oladipo is back. I don’t own Holiday anywhere and I’m not terribly sad about it even though he’s been playing well. He was starting with Brogdon hurt, but should take a step backwards now that he’s back and healthy. 

Jonas Nader’s version of my Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr., went off again with 28 points, five rebounds and six 3-pointers, but didn’t have a steal or a block. The buy-low window has essentially closed on JJJ after he scored at least 20 points in five of his last eight games. Jae Crowder and Dillon Brooks combined to hit just 7-of-23 shots in the starting lineup, but I still like both players and they have three more games this week to right the ship. Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant both double-doubled as starters and Brandon Clarke came through with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Fire them all up for the rest of the week. Ja Morant (back) had an injury scare after a collision with a cameraman but seemed to come out of it just fine. 

Heat 117, Hornets 100 – Bam Adebayo went off for 21 points, 13 boards, five assists and a block and Kendrick Nunn stayed relevant with 19 points, two boards, four assists, a steal and five 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting. Starters Duncan Robinson and Meyers Leonard were quiet on Monday, but Tyler Herro racked up 18 points and two 3-pointers and Kelly Olynyk exploded for 15 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and four 3-pointers. Olynyk has been making a little bit of noise off the bench, but Monday was easily his best game of the season. He’s not a must-own player but could build off of Monday’s performance. I’d rather own him than Leonard. The Heat have won six of their last seven games. I’d also rather own Herro than Robinson. Justise Winslow is nearing a return from his concussion which will hurt guys like Nunn and Robinson. 

For the Hornets, Devonte’ Graham (16 points, 8 assists) and Terry Rozier (19-9-5 and three 3-pointers) were solid but Cody Zeller, P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, Marvin Williams, Malik Monk and Nicolas Batum didn’t blow anyone’s socks off. But they’re all still worth a look in most leagues as the Hornets play four games every week for the next month. However, Zeller left the game with a hip injury, leading to more minutes for Bismack Biyombo, who had 11 points and five boards in 22 minutes off the bench. 

Raptors 101, Sixers 96 – Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet both put up fun stat lines while OG Anunoby, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell rounded out the starting five. Anunoby quietly filled the stat sheet and is worth a pickup if he’s available in your league, while Gasol hit just 1-of-8 shots for three points, but also had six rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and a 3-pointer. He’s doing just enough to remain relevant in 12-team leagues. Powell struggled to the tune of 3-of-11 shooting but also had 10 points, five boards, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers. He’s worth holding until Kyle Lowry is back from his thumb injury in about a week. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson somehow double-doubled and has been playing well in the absence of Serge Ibaka (ankle). Once Ibaka is back, which will be soon, RHJ is a drop candidate. 

Joel Embiid had one of his worst nights ever, missing all 11 of his shots and finishing with zero points, 13 rebounds and almost nothing else. Looking back on it, this would have been the night for the Sixers to give him a maintenance day off. Now is the time to make an offer for Embiid if you’re interested in him. Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson all picked up Embiid’s slack in the starting lineup. 

Blazers 117, Bulls 94 – The Blazers got a much-needed win as starters Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Rodney Hood all scored in double figures. Melo is worth a look if he’s still sitting out there after his 25 points, eight boards and four 3-pointers on 10-of-20 shooting. And Hood has hit double digits in three straight games, making him worth a look if you need 3-pointers and steals. Skal Labissiere stayed relevant with 12 points, eight boards and two blocks after struggling in his last game but I don’t really trust him. The Blazers snapped a four-game losing streak with the win. While Labissiere, Nassir Little, Kent Bazemore and Anfernee Simons are all worth a look right now, they all struggled last night. You can probably do better elsewhere. Hassan Whiteside returned from a hip injury and had 13 points, 12 boards, a steal and two blocks, so hopefully you rolled with him this week.

Zach LaVine led the way for Chicago with 18 points, five assists, two steals, one 3-pointer and six turnovers, while starters Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Shaq Harrison and Tomas Satoransky all barely hit double figures in scoring in the blowout loss. Markkanen’s a buy-low guy, Carter’s a hold, and Harrison and Sato probably belong on waivers. The Bulls’ bench was a disaster and Kris Dunn played just 11 minutes. I’d drop him for a hot free agent if you can find one. Thaddeus Young has scored in single digits in five of his last six games and isn’t exactly killing it, meaning you can probably drop him for a hot free agent. Coby White hit just 3-of-13 shots for eight points but also played 28 minutes. That means he’s worth a close look in most formats despite the struggles that come along with owning him. 

Thunder 100, Warriors 97 – Steven Adams came through with 10 points, 10 boards, five dimes and three blocks, so maybe his knee is feeling better. He’s been dropped in a lot of leagues and might be worth picking up, although I’m not a huge fan of doing so. Dennis Schroder led the way with 22 points off the bench with five assists and four 3-pointers, Chris Paul had 20 points, seven boards, five assists, a steal and four 3-pointers and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came through with 12 points, five boards, three assists, two steals and a block in 32 minutes. I still think SGA qualifies as a buy-low player right now. 

For the Warriors, Glenn Robinson led the way with 25 points, five assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers, and Ky Bowman had 24 points, five assists, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers in another start. Willie Cauley-Stein was quiet in this one and starter Alec Burks hit just 3-of-7 shots, but I bet both of them bounce back in the next one. Eric Paschall had 13 points, 10 rebounds and a block in another start and all of the aforementioned players are worth using in fantasy right now – especially as long as Draymond Green (heel) is out. He’s now missed three straight games and doesn’t appear to be eager to get back out there with his G-League teammates. Literally every Warrior is worth a look in all leagues right now, but I only really trust GRob, Paschall and Burks. Marquese Chriss stayed relevant with six points, five boards, seven assists, a steal and two blocks in 23 minutes, and is another player who at least belongs on your watch list. Draymond Green was out for the third straight night with a heel injury and has now already missed eight games. It’s going to be a very long season for his owners and his trade value is equivalent to that of a 30-pack of Naturdays. And it can be argued that enjoying some strawberry flavored cheap beers is a much more enjoyable experience than owning Green this year. If he does decide to ever play again for the sinking Warriors, Paschall would take a hit. 

Pistons 103, Magic 88 – Luke Kennard led the way with 20 points, four boards, seven assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers so congratulations if you had him in your lineup. His four-game week is off to a flying start despite a bad hip and he’s still providing value despite a recent cold streak. With three more games this week he’s worth a look if he was dropped in your league. Bruce Brown, Langston Galloway, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin were all serviceable last night and are all worth using right now for the Pistons’ three remaining games. Brown has been starting at point guard and Galloway’s starting and filling in for injured Tony Snell (hip), and while neither is a must-own player, they’ve both held some fantasy value over the last few weeks. 

The Magic are currently without both Nikola Vucevic (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (ankle) so guys like Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz have been stepping up. Isaac was a bit quiet on Monday but still had 10 points, six boards, a steal, four blocks and two 3-pointers while Fultz had one of his better outings with 16 points, four boards, three assists and three steals on 7-of-12 shooting. Like the Pistons, the Magic also have three more games this week making Fultz a viable add, while Isaac is obviously a must-own, must-start player. Khem Birch has been starting at center but hasn’t done much, but Mo Bamba stepped up with six points, 12 boards, two steals and three blocks off the bench last night. Deep leaguers should take notice if they need a big man. Evan Fournier had 17 points and a bad stat line while Terrence Ross hit three 3-pointers and scored 19 points. Ross is also a potential pickup for the rest of the week by those of you in need of points and threes. 

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