• Tuesday began with the Grizzlies taking down the Wizards and one interesting development was the career-high six triples that De’Anthony Melton hit in a team-high 26 minutes off the bench. The big question is whether this kind of production is sustainable after fantasy GMs have been teased by big performances in the past. The Hawks got revenge over the Heat as they won after falling to Miami on Sunday. It was Nate McMillan’s first time as the Hawks head coach after the team fired Lloyd Pierce on Monday and Bogdan Bogdanović made his long awaited return from a knee injury but played just 16 minutes off the bench as the team will slowly ramp up his minutes after two months off. One thing that likely benefited McMillan and the Hawks was the absence of Jimmy Butler as the Heat combined for just 15 assists and the leading scorers were Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragić with 14 points apiece.

    Kawhi Leonard was a late-scratch in the Clippers showdown with the Celtics and they ultimately lost the game, but not without a fight as Reggie Jackson got the spot-start and provided 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The Celtics were able to push above the .500 mark with the win on Tuesday as they now sit at 18-17 in the standings. Derrick Rose wasn’t able to suit up and his new team suffered mightily as the Knicks found themselves down by 19 points after three quarters. The Knicks committed 16 turnovers compared with just eight by San Antonio and the Spurs got a lot more production off the bench with positive performances by Keldon Johnson, Patty Mills and youngster Luka Šamanić.

    The two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were dismantled by a MVP candidate in Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets on Tuesday. The Joker was extremely dominant with a 37-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double and did it in an extremely efficient manner shooting 15-for-23 from the field with just two turnovers. Jamal Murray, Will Barton and P.J. Dozier were also impressive but Jokić definitely stole the show. Giannis and Khris Middleton scored 47 of the team’s 97 points and the rest of the squad shot a dismal 16-of-52 from the field. The Bucks have some serious flaws on the offensive end so far this season and they will need to make some philosophical changes or a roster shake-up in order to get to the next level after a couple disappointing playoff exits in recent years. The final contest of the night featured two of the top three teams in the Western Conference Playoff picture but technical fouls were aplenty in the third quarter and it culminated with Devin Booker getting tossed in the third quarter after he received two technicals in consecutive fashion. The Suns still got the best of the Lakers sans Anthony Davis with productive performances from Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, Dario Šarić and Abdel Nader. LeBron James just couldn’t do enough to get the Lakers past the red-hot Suns, who have now won 15 of their last 18 games.

    Add(s) of the Night

    De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG, Memphis Grizzlies – Currently Rostered in 14% of Yahoo! Leagues

    Melton has to be added in the hopes that the Grizzlies will continue to rely on him as the team’s lead guard off the bench. We have been teased before by really productive performances but he hasn’t been able to sustain any sort of fantasy success for an extended period of time. However, Melton’s fantasy stat set is just too tantalizing to pass up in category formats and you’ll end up kicking yourself if you don’t pounce while the iron is hot if this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. It is worth noting that Kyle Anderson and Grayson Allen were inactive for Tuesday’s game and there appears to be too many mouths to feed in Memphis when all of their guards are healthy.

    Drop Zone

    Bogdan Bogdanović, SG/SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks – Currently Rostered in 51% of Yahoo! Leauges

    This is more of a forewarning as Bogdanović has just made his return from a knee injury that had him sidelined for nearly two months. He has more name recognition in fantasy circles than he probably deserves as his best fantasy season came last season with the Kings when he finished just inside the top-100. There are just too many options in Atlanta for Bogdanović to have enough usage to produce standard league value. He is not a viable standard league add at this point in time as he was outside the top-130 in his first eight games of the year in both 8- and 9-cat formats. He is a watch-list candidate at best in 12-teamers while he can be speculatively added in deeper formats but he’s likely going to see a very slow ramp up to a full workload of minutes.

    Injury List

    Notable players who are OUT for Wednesday

    OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam & Fred VanVleet (health and safety protocols)

    David Nwaba (right wrist sprain)

    Devonte’ Graham (left knee patella femoral discomfort)

    Notable players who are DOUBTFUL for Wednesday

    Jeff Green (right shoulder contusion) & Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee soreness)

    Lauri Markkanen (right acromioclavicular sprain)

    Notable players who are QUESTIONABLE for Friday 

    Jerami Grant (left quad contusion)

    Taurean Prince (left ankle soreness)

    Jeremy Lamb (sore left knee) & Doug McDermott (broken tooth)

    Tobias Harris (right knee contusion)

    Eric Gordon (left knee soreness) & Danuel House (right knee contusion)

    Evan Fournier (left groin strain)

    Gordon Hayward (right hand contusion) & Cody Zeller (left hip contusion)

    Luka Dončić (lower back tightness) & Willie Cauley-Stein (right thumb sprain)

    Buddy Hield (right ankle sprain)

    #13 in Houston

    The Rockets will be retiring James Harden’s jersey in Houston after his decorated career there. During his eight full seasons with the Rockets, Harden earned himself an All-Star bid eight times, led the league in scoring three times (2017-20), led the league in assists during the 2016-17 campaign and won the league MVP in 2017-18. It is an absolute no-brainer that the Rockets won the trade that was made in 2012 and fans got to enjoy one of the best one-on-one players to ever play the game. In terms of fantasy success, there was no one better than Harden during his tenure in Texas. During his eight seasons, Harden’s worst finish in per game value came back in 2013-14 when he finished eighth in 9-cat leagues. There were players who had some amazing fantasy campaigns but no player was as consistent season over season than The Beard. He finished first in total value in 8-cat leagues four times (2014-15, 2016-17, 2018-19 & 2019-20) and did it twice in 9-cat formats (18-19 & 19-20). Things soured for Harden and the Rockets at the end of his tenure but he deserves to have his jersey retired in Houston as he will go down as one of the best players to ever play for the franchise.

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