Around the Association: Bulls Storm Back, Franz Wagner Shows Out, OG's Career Night

Around the Association: Bulls Storm Back, Franz Wagner Shows Out, OG's Career Night

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Welcome to Around the Association!  Five days per week (Monday through Friday), this article will serve as a comprehensive recap of the previous night's NBA action, taking you through all of the biggest performances, notable box scores, injury updates and any other fantasy-relevant headlines from around the league.

Monday night brought us a busy, nine-game slate. Here is everything you need to know:

Nightly Notables

Bulls storm back

  • The Bulls entered the fourth quarter trailing by 14 points to Boston, but Chicago ended up outscoring the Celtics 39-11 in the final frame en route to a 128-114 victory. DeMar DeRozan once again put on a show, finishing with 37 points (15-20 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and a turnover in 33 minutes.
    • Despite some unusually bad three-point shooting, Zach LaVine was also incredible and came up clutch late in the game as he scored 26 of his own points (9-20 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 7-7 FT) to go with seven assists. The Bulls sit atop the Eastern Conference at 6-1.
  • Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown did their thing in the loss. Brown was efficient from deep, scoring 28 points (10-18 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT) to go with seven assists and three rebounds. Tatum finished with 20 points (8-22 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one turnover in 36 minutes.
  • OG and the Raptors steal one in NYC
    • OG Anunoby had the best performance of his career Monday at Madison Square Garden. The rising forward finished with a career-high 36 points (13-27 FG, 4-12 3Pt, 6-7 FT) to go with six rebounds, two assists and one steal in 42 minutes. Anunoby was getting it done in multiple ways and was aggressive throughout.
      • Gary Trent also had his best game of the year, scoring 26 points (10-22 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while swiping away four steals as well in 42 minutes.
      • Pascal Siakam (shoulder) should be back soon and it will be interesting to see how his return affects Toronto's rotation.
    • On the other side of the court, RJ Barrett built off of his 35-point outburst Saturday, with 27 points (9-13 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 4-6 FT), six rebounds, one steal and four turnovers showing in the loss. The third-year pro is playing with serious confidence and is shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Shorthanded Philly gets it done

  • The 76ers were without Ben Simmons (personal), Joel Embiid (rest), and Tobias Harris (COVID-19 protocols) but still ended up beating Portland 113-103. Seth Curry led the way for Philadelphia, scoring 23 points (10-17 FG, 3-10 3Pt) to go with six rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes. Andre Drummond had his best game of the season, recording 14 points (5-11 FG, 4-4 FT), 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and one block. He is an incredible handcuff to have for fantasy managers rostering Embiid.
    • It remains to be seen how much time Harris will miss, but the Sixers are bracing for him to miss "several games."
  • Damian Lillard may have stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points (7-20 FG, 2-9 3Pt, 4-5 FT), 10 assists and seven rebounds, but the All-Star guard's struggles from deep continued as he is shooting 23.1 percent from long range. Norman Powell had his best game of the season, finishing with a team-high 22 points (8-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-5 FT) and one rebound.

PG and SGA battle in LA

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers both came into Monday's contest with one win, but the Clippers were able to defeat the Thunder 99-94 to earn win No. 2. OKC was up throughout much of the game before getting outscored 33-20 in the fourth quarter. Paul George was phenomenal late in the game, finishing with 32 points (11-24 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT), nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals, one block and four turnovers in 40 minutes. Without Kawhi Leonard (knee), George is averaging 28.3 points per game this season – good for third in the league as of Tuesday.
  • Despite the loss, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was flat-out awesome. The young guard put on a shot-creating display, hitting step back after step back en route to a 28 points (11-23 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), seven rebounds, two assists and two steals outing. SGA has scored 27 or more points in three out of his last four showings

Ja and Memphis outlast Jokic

  • Ja Morant's wonderful start to the year continued as he led Memphis to a 107-97 win over Denver on Monday. The third-year guard finished with 26 points (11-22 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), eight assists, seven rebounds, one steal and four turnovers in 35 minutes. Memphis sits at 4-3 to start the season as Morant ranks as the 12th-best player on a per-game basis in nine-category leagues.
  • Despite the loss, Nikola Jokic was unstoppable Monday night. The reigning MVP scored 23 points (9-15 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT) to go with seven rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three turnovers in 33 minutes. It was an incredibly impressive effort during the defeat.

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Stud of the Night: DeMar DeRozan – 37 points (15-20 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and a turnover in 33 minutes
  • Dud of the Night: Gordon Hayward – Xix points (2-7 FG, 2-6 3Pt), three rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and two turnovers in 28 minutes
  • Rookie of the Night: Franz Wagner – 28 points (10-18 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-5 FT), four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 30 minutes.

Quick Hitters

  • Jarrett Allen was dominant in Cleveland's 113-110 win over Charlotte. The big man finished with a team-high 24 points (9-13 FG, 6-9 FT) to go with 16 rebounds and three blocks. He dunked everything in sight and was by far Cleveland's best player.
    • The Cavs lost Kevin Love to COVID-19 protocols Monday, and it remains to be seen how many games he'll miss
  • LaMelo Ball put on a show despite the loss to the Cavaliers. The second-year-pro finished with 30 points (11-22 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 1-1 FT), seven rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and two turnovers in 34 minutes.
  • It is nice to see Terry Rozier back and looking sharp for the Hornets. The Louisville product scored 23 points (9-22 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 1-2 FT) while racking up six rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and three turnovers in 33 minutes.
  • Caris LeVert was awesome in the Pacers' 131-118 win over the Spurs. In just 23 minutes, the 27-year-old recorded 16 points (6-19 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven assists, two rebounds and three turnovers during the victory. LeVert adds a completely new dynamic to this Pacers' roster as they snapped a four-game losing streak. Indiana is a much better team than its 2-6 record indicates, and I think they are about to go on a bit of a run with LeVert back in the lineup
  • Domantas Sabonis stuffed the stat sheet once again in the Pacers' win. The forward finished with 24 points (11-15 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, six assists, one steal and on turnover in 35 minutes. Sabonis ranks as the 14th-best player per game in nine-category league to start the season
  • I just want to give T.J. McConnell a bit of a shoutout. With Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) still out, McConnell finished with 10 points (5-7 FG), 10 assists, three steals, three rebounds and a block in 26 minutes. The 29-year-old was a huge key in the Pacers' win and has averaged 8.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.3 minutes per game over his last three contests with Brogdon sidelined.
  • Trae Young helped lead Atlanta to a 118-111 win over Washington, dropping in a game-high 26 points (7-16 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 11-11 FT) to go with six assists, four steals, a steal and six turnovers. Young's 11 free-throw attempts were by far a season-high.
  • I have been really impressed by Cam Reddish to start the season. The Duke product put in 15 points (4-10 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench. Reddish has scored 15 or more points in six out of seven of his appearances this season and is averaging what would be a career-high 16.0 points per game.
  • Daniel Gafford made his return to the Wizards' lineup after missing two games due to a quad injury. The third-year-pro started, but only saw 15 minutes of action while putting up four points (2-6 FG), five rebounds and three blocks during the team's loss to Atlanta. Gafford's low minutes can be attributed to both the Wizards exercising caution with their young big but he was also dealing with foul trouble.
    • Montrezl Harrell still saw 33 minutes en route to 13 points (3-7 FG, 7-7 FT) and eight rebounds. The two players' minutes should be something to monitor as Gafford makes his full return to the lineup
  • Despite the loss, Spencer Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal looked strong once again. Dinwiddie finished with 14 points (5-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), a season-high 10 assists, five rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes. Beal recorded 24 points (10-21 FG, 3-11 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three assists, two rebounds, two steals, and four turnovers in 34 minutes. The All-Star guard has dropped 24 or more in three straight showings, but is still shooting just 37.9 percent from the floor and 22.9 percent from deep.
  • So Cole Anthony may really be legit. The second-year guard recorded 31 points (8-17 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 9-11 FT), nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and four turnovers in 38 minutes of action during Orlando's 115-97 win in Minnesota. Anthony has scored 24 or more points in three out of four contests and has grabbed at least five rebounds in all but one showing this season.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns did his thing despite the surprising loss to Orlando. KAT finished with 24 points (10-22 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 2-4 FT), six rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action.
  • Al Horford continued his surprising start to the season, finishing with 20 points (8-15 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 32 minutes. The veteran big has averaged 14.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his return back to the Celtics. Believe it or not, on a per-game basis, the veteran big ranks as the fifth-best fantasy player in nine-category leagues to start the season.
  • Georges Niang really impressed last night without the 76ers' three stars. The Iowa State product recorded 21 points (7-16 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal in 31 minutes of action. Niang's 31 minutes off the bench actually marked the second most out of any Sixers player. The 28-year-old could be a solid short-term pickup if Tobias Harris is forced to continue to sit due to COVID protocols
  • Anfernee Simons continues to show that his making strides in Portland's loss to Philadelphia. The 22-year-old scored 17 points (7-12 FG, 3-7 3Pt) to go with three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 29 minutes. Simons continues to impress me with his smooth three-point shot and is nearly doubling his scoring average of last year with 14.4 points per game on the season.
  • Danny Green went down with a hamstring injury and only saw 19 minutes of action during the team's win over Portland. The veteran wing was still able to drop 11 points (4-5 FG, 3-4 3Pt) and print away from deep in his short amount of playing time. It is unclear how severe the injury is at the moment.
  • Nikola Vucevic stuffed the stat sheet with a near triple-double in the win. The center finished with 11 points (5-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt), 10 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and two turnovers in 34 minutes of action.

Rookie Report

  • Evan Mobley: 15 points (7-15 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block and four turnovers in 40 minutes
    • The No. 3 overall pick of the draft saw a new season-high 40 minutes while grabbing his third double-double of the season. Mobley has had a terrific start to his career and looks like the legit two-way threat that he was labeled as. He is also capable of throwing down awkwardly athletic dunks like these:
  • Scottie Barnes: DNP (right thumb sprain)
    • The rookie out of Florida State missed his first career game due to injury with a thumb sprain. This is an injury to monitor as Barnes has been awesome out of the gate, averaging 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds in 34.9 minutes thus far.
      • Svi Mykhailiuk started in Barnes' spot and finished with 15 points (5-7 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, five assists and two steals in a season-high 34 minutes.
  • Jalen Suggs: 15 points (5-14 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds, one assist, one block and five turnovers in 32 minutes
    • Suggs was able to score in double figures yet again, but the rookie's struggles from deep continued Monday. The No. 5 overall pick is shooting just 23.9 percent from deep to start his career and also ranks tied for 14th overall in the league with 3.5 turnovers per game. It has been a bit of a rocky start for Suggs.
  • Josh Giddey: 15 points (6-15 FG,1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven assists, five rebounds and three turnovers in 34 minutes.
    • The Australian rookie continues to impress early on. Giddey's control of the game really stands out to me as he was able to rack up another seven assists in the loss. The No. 6 overall pick has gone for six or more assists in four out his last five games
  • Franz Wagner: 28 points (10-18 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-5 FT), four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 30 minutes.
    • If you were to tell me that Wagner would look like the better player out of the gate than Suggs, I would have called you crazy, but here we are. The Michigan product has been flat-out awesome to being his career, scoring over 10 points in each game this season. Wagner's 15.6 points per game rank third out of all rookies. Oh, and he is also not just a shooter:
  • Ziaire Williams: Five points (2-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt), two rebounds and one block in 16 minutes.
    • The rookie out of Stanford continues to struggle with his shot. Williams is shooting just 27.5 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from deep to start his career. The forward does not belong in fantasy lineups for the time being.
  • Corey Kispert: Five points (2-3 FG, 1-2 3Pt), two rebounds and one steal in 11 minutes.
    • I really think that Kispert needs to be used more to start this season. The rookie out of Gonzaga was drafted as a win-now player but is only seeing 8.5 minutes per game and is attempting less than one three per game. I want to see more out of the sharpshooting forward as the season goes on.
  • Bones Hyland: Eight points (3-10 FG, 2-6 3Pt), one rebound, one assist and two steals in 16 minutes
    • Interestingly enough, Hyland saw 16 minutes throughout the game and even was playing in the fourth quarter with the starters. After riding the bench early on, Hyland has seen an average of 17.0 minutes per game over his last two as he is starting to crack coach Michael Malone's rotation.
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: Three points (1-3 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes.
    • JRE earned another start for the Thunder but only saw 23 minutes of action. Regardless, the second-round pick is certainly a player to keep an eye out of due to his early position in the Thunder rotation.
  • Ayo Dosunmu: 14 points (6-6 FG, 2-2 3Pt), four rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 21 minutes.
    • The second-rounder out of Illinois had his best performance of his career Monday. Dosunmu did not miss a single shot and has now seen over 20 minutes in each of his showing post-Patrick Williams' injury. He is a sneaky add in deep leagues.

Looking ahead to Tuesday night

  • Cade Cunningham makes his second career appearance against Giannis and the Bucks.
    • Milwaukee will be without Khris Middleton (COVID-19) for an undetermined period of time
  • The scorching hot Miami Heat, owners of the NBA's best NET rating, head to Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavs.
  • The Kings and Jazz will battle it out in a conference matchup.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Spero
Michael writes in the NBA and NCAAF departments for RotoWire. He is a big-time fan of both the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael spends his time playing pick-up or anxiously rooting for his fantasy teams.
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