• A poor third quarter was enough to sink the Kings at home on Saturday night, falling to the Lakers 113-108 behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s season-high 34 points. Tonight’s loss marked Sacramento’s third straight, however, they remain in 13th place in the Western Conference thanks to the struggling Mavericks and Suns.

    Three straight losses are one thing, but the Kings have now lost eight of their last nine games at home; a concerning streak considering the number of home games remaining for Sacramento. Six of the team’s next seven games will be at home.

    The Kings were somewhat in control after the first half, leading 58-50 at halftime. However, Caldwell-Pope scored 17 of his 34 points in the third quarter alone, including an incredible five 3-pointers over a five-minute span. The eight 3-pointers he hit tonight tied a career-high, and his explosion was a big reason why the Lakers were able to hold on for a victory on the road.

    Former King Isaiah Thomas, playing in just his fifth game for the Lakers since being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, scored 17 points off the bench with three 3-pointers. He only shot 4-of-11 from the field, but he managed to control the pace of the game for Los Angeles which helped give them an edge as the game progressed.

    The Kings managed to keep themselves within striking distance in the final seconds of the game, getting as close as 109-108, but they just couldn’t pull through falling in another close game.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic turned in a solid performance tonight, posting 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from three. Bogdanovic figures to be a focal point on offense through the remainder of the season and rightfully so. He’s a natural-born scorer and has a great grasp on the pace of the game, so you can expect to see more plays run for him moving forward.

    Buddy Hield added 21 points off the bench with eight rebounds, shooting 8-of-17 from the field and 5-of-10 from three. Hield’s minutes have proven to be inconsistent over recent games, but he played 31 minutes tonight which was second highest on the team. He’s a guy that needs consistent minutes on a regular basis to really be effective and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the case over the final 20 or so games of the season.

    Willie Cauley-Stein reeled in a season-high 15 rebounds tonight. He also had 18 points, one assist, two steals and two blocks on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Cauley-Stein played a team-high 37 minutes while reserve center Kosta Koufos only played 14 minutes, so maybe it’s a sign of things to come as far as the center rotation is concerned. The more minutes Cauley-Stein gets the better at this point in the season.

    The miserable third quarter was the only real difference in this one as most team stats were fairly even across the board. The Kings shot a superior 52.0 percent from three compared to the Lakers’ 44.7 percent, but Los Angeles managed to hit four more 3-pointers which can be a difference maker.

    Sacramento just couldn’t tighten the screws when the needed to on defense. If they had of turned in a respectable third quarter then this was their game to win. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be and now the team will prepare for a duel with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, a Wolves squad missing All-Star Jimmy Butler who has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Despite his absence, the Wolves will be no easy beat and they have plenty to play for, currently sitting third in the Western Conference.

Fantasy News

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    In his return to the NBA with the Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo averaged 2.5 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 18 contests and 5.2 minutes per game, good for 454/464 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Thanasis was brought in by Milwaukee as simple courtesy to his brother Giannis and he can’t be trusted in any fantasy formats. He did start a couple games where his numbers were interesting but he is buried deep in the Bucks rotation and he is not expected to have a more prominent role going forward.

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler averaged 20.2 points, 0.5 3s, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks on .454 shooting in 54 games for 24/13 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Butler had some owners scared as he missed the beginning of the season due to the birth of his child, but it wouldn't mean much in the long run. He's a proven early-round asset and the 13th value was around where we had him. The 3-pointers went away, but he made up for it in defense and efficiency.

  • Bam Adebayo
    C, Miami Heat

    Bam Adebayo averaged 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks on .567 shooting in 65 games for 31/40 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Adebayo blossomed into the All-Star we pegged him as here at Hoop Ball.. The double-double machine was efficient from all areas of the floor and ran point for the Heat the majority of the time, especially on his own defensive rebounds as shown by his 5.1 dimes per-game. Adebayo's only 22 years old and posted top-40 value during his first year as a starter. The ceiling is the heavens.

  • Derrick Jones Jr.
    SF, Miami Heat

    Derrick Jones averaged 8.9 points, 0.7 3s, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks on .514 shooting in 51 games for 155/114 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Jones' amazing leaping ability was what made him a household name as he was always astounding in the dunk contests, but he was able to translate the athleticism into some juicy fantasy value this year. He wasn't able to consistently provide value, which is something many Heat forwards struggle to do, but the defensive numbers gave him some nice upside as a flier/waiver wire pick.

  • Kendrick Nunn
    PG, Miami Heat

    Kendrick Nunn averaged 29.8 minutes, 15.6 points, 2.1 3s, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.2 blocks on .448 shooting in 62 games for 127/132 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Nunn came out of no where this year and took over the reins as the Heat's primary scorer when Jimmy Butler missed the first few games due to the birth of his child. There wasn't any draft hype around Nunn in 2018 due to him pleading guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery while in college, but the Heat signed him a year later to give him a shot. It would pay off on the basketball court as he was able to make a name for himself. Everything broke right for Nunn this season for him to crack top-130 value so it's hard to love the idea of him repeating his 2019-2020 breakout season.

  • Kelly Olynyk
    C, Miami Heat

    Kelly Olynyk averaged 7.7 points, 1.4 3s, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks on .476 shooting for 192/188 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Olynyk was stuck in another up-and-down season with the carousel of forwards the Heat were playing. There was fatigue at the beginning of the year due to playing in the FIBA World Cup and he was slow to recover from the tiredness and some injuries. He also had to compete with even more bodies this season and the emergence of Bam Adebayo meant even less minutes for Olynyk. His stat set and skills are there, but the opportunity wasn't,

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Miami Heat

    Andre Iguodala averaged 4.4 points, 0.6 3s, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.1 blocks on .490 shooting in 14 games for 237/257 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Iguodala's holdout on the Grizzlies caused some controversy, but it worked out for him in the end as Pat Riley saved his season by trading for him and getting him on a contending team. His fantasy value was fringe on the Warriors so it was unlikely he would hold any on the Heat, but his real life impact was the big headline on the day he was traded. Expect to see Iggy play some real playoff minutes guarding the opposing team's best scorers as he can still defend with the best of them.

  • Solomon Hill
    SF, Miami Heat

    Solomon Hill averaged 5.4 points, 1.1 3s, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.2 blocks on .403 shooting for 289/284 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Hill only played in six out of the 11 games for the Heat since being traded in a package with Jae Crowder and was an afterthought in the rotation. The Heat traded for Crowder and Hill was thrown in so it makes sense to see his playing time dip.

  • Kz Okpala
    F, Miami Heat

    Kz Okpala averaged 1.4 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks on .600 shooting in five games for 438/428 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Okpala spent most of his season in the G-league to develop his skills as the second round pick only played in five games this year.

  • Gabe Vincent
    PG, Miami Heat

    Gabe Vincent averaged 2.0 points, 0.7 3s, 0.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.2 steals on .211 shooting in six games for 484/474 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Vincent was signed for his sharpshooting skills and although the averages don't show it, he has the ability to hit the deep ball which is why he remains on the Heat roster. He won't get any real minutes unless those ahead of him in the rotation sit or get hurt.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x