• Lines of the Night

    Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans – 31 points, nine rebounds, five assists and one steal (10-for-17 FGs, 11-for-14 FTs)

    This was easily his best game as a pro. Zion was an absolute beast on both ends of the floor and ended the game with only 28 minuets played and the highest plus/minus on his team with plus-25. He threw down an efficient scoring night from both the field and at the line. His free throw shooting won’t always be this lights out, but it wasn’t near the awful percentages it was before so this is more of a regression to the mean game. The Pelicans were without Brandon Ingram and Zion won’t play in back-to-backs, but this is a taste of what he brings to the table in fantasy hoops. Think Giannis Antetokounmpo level statlines.

    Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, – 41 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and eight 3-pointers (15-for-21 FG, 3-for-4 FTs, 8-for-11 3PT)

    LaVine was scorching from deep and did everything in his power to will the Bulls to a win, but Bradley Beal was just too much down the stretch. The Bulls are lacking talent with injuries to Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen, which means LaVine should continue to shoulder most of the burden on offense. He can put up huge numbers in a hurry and the matchup against the Wizards was just icing on the cake.

    Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards – 30 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and three 3-pointers (12-for-23 FG, 3-for-4 FTs)

    This is the 11th consecutive game of at least 25+ points for Beal and fantasy guys are well aware of his propensity for these insane hot streaks. With Damian Lillard and James Harden both going on scoring binges this year, Beal’s hasn’t been talked about as much as you’d think. It doesn’t help that the Wizards are a bad team and barely on the cusp of a playoff spot, but they’re only in the picture because of Beal’s superhuman efforts. We always caution owners of him being worn down, but he only logged 34 minutes and has proven he can stay on the floor.

    James Harden, Houston Rockets – 42 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block and seven triples (9-for-19 FG, 17-for-18 FTs)

    Harden is back to being a regular here.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Danuel House Jr., Houston Rockets – 17 points, nine rebounds, one assist and three triples (5-of-11 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs)

    No Eric Gordon tonight, but House is back. The Rockets small-ball move has helped him cement himself in standard leagues once again.

    Drop Zone

    Alec Burks, Philadelphia 76ers – two points and two rebounds (1-for-4 FG, 0-for-2 3PT)

    Burks is now a bench player and the minutes and shots just aren’t there. Feel free to cut him loose.

    Injuries

    Mike Conley (illness) is questionable for Wednesday.

    Luka Doncic (ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s game.

    Dario Saric (left ankle sprain) and Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) are both listed as out vs. the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Mitchell Robinson (illness), Maurice Harkless (illness), Damyean Dotson (illness) and Allonzo Trier (illness) have all been upgraded to probable for Wednesday’s game against the Wizards.

    Kevon Looney (left hip soreness) is being listed as questionable to play in Wednesday’s game against the Suns.

    Jabari Parker (right shoulder strain) is being listed as questionable to play against the Mavs on Wednesday

    Delon Wright (right ankle sprain) is being listed as probable for Wednesday’s game against the Kings.

    Michael Porter Jr. (right ankle sprain) is being listed as out ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.

    Will Barton (right knee inflammation) is being listed as out ahead of Wednesday’s matchup with the Lakers.

    Derrick Rose (adductor strain) is being listed as probable to return to action for Wednesday’s game against the Magic.

    Kevin Love (right Achilles soreness) is being listed as questionable to play against the Hawks on Wednesday.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo is being listed as out for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers for the birth of his son.

    George Hill (left hamstring strain) is being listed as out for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers.

    De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain) is being listed as probable to play against the Cavs on Wednesday.

    Kyrie Irving (knee) is being ruled out ahead of Wednesday’s matchup with the Raptors.

    Rundown

    POR 117 @ NOP 138

    This game was well in line with everything the Blazers have done this year, besides Damian Lillard not scoring 40+ points, but he’s cooled off a bit now that C.J. McCollum is back in the mix. Carmelo Anthony was prone for a cold streak from deep, going 0-for-5 tonight and it’s saying a lot when you see Hassan Whiteside drop 17 & 14 with a block and think, “Hmm, he could do better.”

    Lonzo Ball’s game was tailor made for fantasy leagues. He’s killing it over the past two weeks, averaging 12.8 points, 7.8 boards, 7.4 dimes, 1.6 swipes, 0.8 blocks and 2.8 3s. He’s hitting .522 of his shots and that number is sure to go down, but during that span he’s the No. 25 player in fantasy hoops. I think as long as he gets minutes, his floor is a top-75 guy with the ceiling being what you’re seeing right now. He’s always been a decent defender and the numbers are showing it. He averaged 0.8 blocks in the 2017-2018 season so that number is definitely sustainable. Jrue Holiday might still be able to be bought low, as he only scored 16 points, but the five cash counters and 10 dimes might make owners think twice. Zion Williamson is here. He needed 28 minutes to pulverize the Blazers and Derrick Favors is slowly slipping through the cracks, only logging 21 minutes tonight.

    CHI 114 @ WAS 126

    Tomas Satoransky has put together a season where he hovers just around top-100 in value and he should continue to do so. He’s the best point guard on the Bulls and it’s not really close. Thaddeus Young is reliably mediocre and besides Zach LaVine, who is bound to go supernova while the Bulls are shorthanded, I don’t trust anyone else on this team. Nope.

    Rui Hachimura is a guy I’m still not sold on. He got it done across the board here, but I’m not believing that he’s suddenly become a defensive stopper just because he did this against the Bulls. Ian Mahinmi had a nice night, but I still like Shabazz Napier as the waiver wire guy to own here. Bradley Beal is an absolute stud and I’ll go to the grave thinking he got robbed of an All-Star nod.

    LAC 103 @ PHI 110

    Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had a rare game where they both played together and while George didn’t shoot well, he got the boards and dimes to make up for it. Leonard has been a machine lately so I’m never worried about him, but George’s cold streaks are always annoying. He’ll turn it around with a hot streak soon. Marcus Morris started, but his value decreases greatly in L.A. and Lou Williams owners should have sold high back when George was hurt.

    All of the starters played well for the Sixers, but man is it good to see Josh Richardson get back into the swing of things. They added some shooting at the deadline and Al Horford got demoted to the bench, but he was still able to give you two blocks and a triple. His value is quickly sinking and I’m officially worried about his long-term outlook. Especially since he and Joel Embiid both played only 28 minutes. That’s the main thing I’ll be looking at for Sixers games, whether or not Horford can produce with his diminished role and if the Sixers can maximize their best players.

    SAS 114 @ OKC 106 

    Dejounte Murray continued his hot streak but this time Derrick White also played well, which meant both guys would log identical minutes. I will always be upset that Coach Pop won’t play both guys together. Trey Lyles cooled off as expected and I don’t like anyone here, except myabe Lonnie Walker IV as a streamer with DeMar DeRozan sidelined. LaMarcus Aldridge always pops off against the Thunder as if he has a vendetta against them and it’s a bit amusing.

    The Thunder didn’t get much help from their usual guys tonight and Steven Adams has been a tough own all year. The defensive numbers came in tonight, but overall he’s trending way down. I would definitely be looking to sell-high. Chris Paul has been torching teams and after a slow first few weeks, he’s figured out how to integrate himself with this lineup. He’s only missed one game all season and it looks like the vegan diet he switched to has been working. All he needs to do is stay on the floor for a few more weeks and he’ll easily return value past his ADP.

    BOS 105 @ HOU 116 

    The usual suspects played well here, Jaylen Brown has stepped up his game recently and although they don’t look sexy, Marcus Smart’s lines are still valuable. Don’t get fooled. Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker both struggled tonight, but the Rockets have been playing much better defense lately so we’ll give them a pass.

    Russell Westbrook is unleashed. I’ve said this in the Weekly Report, but my shameless Twitter plug of @HB_Nate has some details on why I think Westbrook finishes the year inside the top-25. He’s hitting free throws again and is now playing in some insane space with downhill speed. This is all because of James Harden’s brilliance on offense, displayed again tonight by his 19 straight points in the third quarter. Westbrook then carried the Rockets home.

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