Around the Association: 10 Fantasy Takeaways From the Weekend in the NBA

Around the Association: 10 Fantasy Takeaways From the Weekend in the NBA

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.

It was another busy weekend – here is all you need to know:

Suns extend their streak

  • The Suns keep winning, but I still feel like no one is talking about how good this team is. Phoenix picked up two more wins over the weekend to extend its win streak to 12 games and improve their overall record to 13-3.
    • The Suns did catch a little bit of a break this weekend as they faced both the Mavericks without Luka Doncic (ankle) and the Nuggets without Nikola Jokic (wrist). Regardless, Phoenix still looked great over the weekend and won both of its contests by an average margin of 18.5 points.
      • Devin Booker led the way, averaging 18.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game during the two victories. Chris Paul also continues to extend his legacy of being one of the best playmakers ever. CP3 averaged 13.5 points, 12.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds over the weekend. Paul leads the league with 10.7 dimes per game.
    • This was also a strong weekend for Cameron Johnson. The third-year sharpshooting wing came into the weekend averaging just 7.1 points per game on the season. However, Johnson put up 17.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game over his two appearances. The UNC product capped off his strong string of performances with a career-high 22 points (9-15 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 0-1 FT), one rebound, two assists and one steal outing in 23 minutes against Denver.

Luke Walton (finally) gets the boot

  • Kings fans can finally rejoice. After weekend losses to the Raptors and Jazz, Coach Luke Walton was relieved of his duties after two-plus seasons at the helm. It has been yet another poor start to a season by Sacramento, as their 6-11 record ranks 12th in the Western Conference. However, my favorite stat of the weekend does come from Walton's firing. For how bad of a coach Walton was with the Kings, he actually has their highest winning percentage out of their past 10 head coaches over a 15-year span. Alvin Gentry has already been tabbed as the Kings' interim head coach for the season.
    • Hopefully, Gentry can get De'Aaron Fox back on the right track. The speedy guard has severely underperformed for much of the season and this weekend was no different. Fox averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game while shooting 25.0 percent from deep across his two showings.

Bulls sweep the weekend

  • I don't think there's any denying it at this point the Chicago Bulls are legit. They sit tied atop the Eastern Conference standings with Brooklyn with a 12-5 record after going 2-0 over the weekend. Chicago started its weekend with 114-108 victory in Denver. The Nuggets put up a fight without Jokic (wrist), but ultimately Zach LaVine was just too much for them. The All-Star guard dropped ​​ a season-high 36 points (14-24 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 4-4 FT) to go with five rebounds, four assists and one steal over 37 minutes.
    • Derrick Jones looked good for the Bulls during their win over the Nuggets. The high-flying forward recorded 16 points (7-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds and one block over 24 minutes and put in this incredible jam.
  • The Bulls then matched up against the Knicks on Sunday night and ending up winning by a margin of 109-103. This time it was DeMar DeRozan's time to score 30 or more as the first-year Bull ended the showing with 31 points (10-20 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 9-9 FT), six rebounds, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes. This marked DeRozan's sixth game scoring 30 or more points this season.
  • Sunday's win over New York also easily marked Coby White's best performance of the season. The UNC product had scored just two total points during his first three appearances back from his shoulder injury, but White finished Sunday's contest with 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT) and two assists in 21 minutes. This was an encouraging performance from the guard as he continues to work his way back into coach Billy Donovan's rotation.

LeBron returns to a wild weekend

  • LeBron James missed eight straight games for the Lakers due to an abdomen issue, but the four-time champion was able to make his return to the court this weekend. Los Angeles first matched up against Boston on Friday night, but ultimately fell 130-108 after the Celtics pulled away in the second half. James recorded 23 points (10-16 FG, 3-7 3PT, 0-1 FT), six rebounds, two assists and two steals across 32 minutes in his first game back in action.
  • Anthony Davis also played really well in Los Angeles' defeat. The defending big ended with 31 points (12-21 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 7-9 FT). six rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 36 minutes of action.
  • The game against Boston was exciting, but Los Angeles' contest against Detroit on Sunday was some must-see TV. The Pistons held a 12-point lead over the Lakers in the third quarter before James elbowed Isaiah Stewart in the face. The young big man did not take that bang too lightly as he attempted to come after James in a wild scene that ended with both Stewart and James being ejected.
    • However, the Lakers were then able to rally and win the game 121-116. Davis was once again incredible, finishing with 30 points (11-19 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-10 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals in 39 minutes while coming up clutch with this two-way effort
  • Veterans Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony were key for LA during the comeback win. Westbrook was one rebound away from finishing with a triple-double, going for 26 points (10-21 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 5-8 FT), 10 assists, nine rebounds, and two steals in 34 minutes.
    • Anthony continued his scorching hot three-point shooting and ended the game with 18 points (5-8 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 3-3 FT), two rebounds and two blocks across 30 minutes of play. The forward's 46.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc ranks tied for eighth-best amongst all eligible players.

Timberwolves steamroll the Grizzlies

  • One of the more surprising outcomes of the weekend occurred during Minnesota's complete beatdown over the Grizzlies. The Timberwolves ended up winning by a score of 138-95 to improve their record to 7-9. D'Angelo Russell led the way during the victory, finishing with 28 points (9-15 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 6-9 FT), four rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes. Anthony Edwards was on fire as well, recording 23 points (8-10 FG, 5-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and two assists across 26 minutes of play.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns was not going to be left out of the scoring party during the win. The All-Star center ended with 21 points (8-15 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 24 minutes. KAT has scored at least 20 points in five out of his last six showings.
    • The only player with a pulse offensively for the Grizzlies during the blowout loss happened to be Desmond Bane. The second-year sharpshooter ended the game with 21 points (6-13 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT) and five rebounds across 25 minutes. This was just Bane's second time all season crossing the 20 point mark.
    • This was one of Ja Morant's worst showings of the season. The third-year guard tied a season-low with 11 points (3-9 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 5-6 FT) to go with five assists and one steal across 27 minutes.

Wizards outlast Heat

  • One of the best games of the weekend came when the Miami Heat traveled to DC to take on the Wizards on Saturday. The game was tightly contested throughout, but ended with the Wizards winning by a margin of 103-100. Bradley Beal struggled from deep but set a new season-high in assists, finishing with 30 points (11-18 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, five assists and one steal across 36 minutes of play.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie was clutch in the victory for the Wizards, recording 16 points (6-11 FG, 4-7 3Pt), four assists and one rebound in 30 minutes of action.
  • Despite the losing effort, Jimmy Butler continued to ball out for the Heat. The All-Star wing recorded 29 points (11-19 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 7-9 FT), five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Since coming back from an ankle injury, Butler has averaged 30.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.0 rebounds over three appearances and currently ranks as the No. 3 overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis.
  • Tyler Herro returned from missing one game due to a wrist injury and picked right back up where he left off. The Kentucky product recorded 20 points (8-16 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 1-1 FT), five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 30 minutes.

Tatum finds his groove

  • After a really rocky start to the season, it is starting to seem like Jayson Tatum is back balling out for the Celtics. The Celtics went 2-0 over the weekend, with wins over both the Lakers and Thunder. Tatum was deep in his bag, averaging 35.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Duke product went off for a season-high 37 points (13-25 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 7-7 FT) to go with 11 rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block in 33 minutes during their win over the Lakers. Over the past week of play, Tatum ranks as the third-best nine-category fantasy player on a per-game basis.
    • The Dennis Schroder revenge tour is starting to pick up into full swing after another solid string of performances by the point guard over the weekend. The first-year Celtic averaged 25.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game over the weekend. Schroder recorded 21 points (8-14 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), six rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes against LA.
    • The Celtics will get Jaylen Brown (hamstring) back Monday night.

KP keeps balling out, Mavs go 0-2

  • Luka Doncic missed the entire weekend due to an ankle injury and, in turn, the Mavericks dropped both of their contests. If there is any silver lining for the Mavericks it is definitely the play coming out of Kristaps Porzingis. This is the best that the European big man has looked in a while. Porzingis averaged 24.0 points, 10 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game during his two showings this weekend. The 26-year-old has dropped 21 or more points in six straight showings while he ranks as the fourth-best nine-category fantasy player on a per-game basis over the past week.
  • Jalen Brunson also continues to really shine without Doncic in the lineup. The Villanova product continues to start for Doncic and has averaged 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in 34.7 minutes of action. Brunson is playing some of the best ball in his career in Year 4. I would not be surprised if the 25-year-old remains in Dallas' starting lineup even when Doncic returns.

Poole and Wiggins keep Dubs hot 

  • Jordan Poole is simply on another level this season for the Warriors as Golden State just keeps on winning games. The team swept yet another weekend after wins over the Pistons and Raptors and sit at a league-best 15-2. The 22-year-old averaged 32.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game over the weekend. In fact, Poole's 32.5 points per game mark ranks second out of all players who were active over this weekend. The Michigan product is making it pretty clear that his name most certainly belongs in the most improved player-of-the-year conversations.
  • The second-most-impressive player for the Warriors this weekend did not happen to be Stephen Curry or Draymond Green, but instead it was Andrew Wiggins. The 26-year-old ended the weekend averaging 29.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game across 34.6 minutes of action. Wiggins was on fire from deep during Sunday's win over the Raptors, drilling a season-high six triples on just eight attempts.

Rough weekend for Denver

  • The Nuggets were without their reigning MVP in Nikola Jokic this weekend and fell to both the Bulls and the Suns. Aaron Gordon has his best showing of the season during Denver's 114-108 loss to the Bulls. The uber-athletic forward recorded a season-high 28 points (10-12 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 7-9 FT) to go with nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks over 37 minutes of play. Overall the forward averaged 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game over the weekend. Regardless, the Nuggets' two losses dropped their record down to 9-8 to begin the year.
  • To make matters worse for Denver, reports came out late Sunday night that Michael Porter may be in line to miss the rest of the season due to a nerve issue in his back. This is obviously devastating news for the Nuggets as they just gave Porter a max contract and are already without Jamal Murray (knee) currently. If Porter is in fact out for the remainder of the season, Will Barton and Aaron Gordon would see their season-long fantasy values boosted.

Weekend Awards

  • Stud of the Weekend: Jayson Tatum –  35.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 turnovers in 33.6 minutes per game
  • Dud of the Weekend: Talen Horton-Tucker – 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.5 turnovers in 29.8 minutes per game
  • Rookie of the Weekend: Jalen Suggs – 17.5 points,5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.5 turnovers in 28.8 minutes per game.
  • Quote of the Weekend: Russell Westbrook finding out he received a technical during Sunday's skirmish

A Look Ahead to Monday Night

  • Can the Bulls stay hot when the Pacers head into town?
  • The Suns look for 13 straight wins against the Spurs.
  • How do the Kings look in their first game post-Luke Walton?
  • We have a nice Eastern Conference battle on our hands when the Hornets travel to Washington to face the Wizards.

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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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