Around the Association: 10 Fantasy Takeaways From the Weekend

Around the Association: 10 Fantasy Takeaways From the Weekend

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 a busy weekend in the NBA – here is all you need to know:

1. Grizzlies lose Ja

  • The worst moment of the weekend came on Friday when the Grizzlies lost Ja Morant due to a knee injury during their 132-100 loss to the Hawks. There is at least some "good" news as Morant will not be out of the season, but there is no timeline set for the young star's return just yet. Morant was having an All-Star season, averaging 24.1 points, 6.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds to begin the year.
  • The Grizzlies responded to their star guard going down with a 128-101 beat-down of the Kings. In their first-game post-injury, despite some rough outside shooting Dillon Brooks helped lead the team to victory with 21 points (8-17 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), six rebounds, one assist and two steals in 21 minutes. The Oregon product may emerge as Memphis' top option on offense with no Morant for the time being
    • Tyus Jones got the start at point guard and finished with six points (2-8 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), eight assists and three rebounds over 23 minutes. De'Anthony Melton saw 18 minutes off of the bench en route to 14 points (4-9 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five rebounds and four assists. How Memphis handles their point guard situation going forward will be an interesting situation to keep track of.

2. Suns keep streak alive in New York

  • I feel like I am starting to become a broken record here, but yet again the Suns have swept the week and have now extended their win streak to 16 games. Phoenix hasn't lost in over a month. The Suns were able to travel to New York and take down both the Nets and Knicks by an average margin of 13.5 points. Devin Booker led the way looking like a true superstar, averaging 31.0 points, 3.4 assists, and 1.0 rebounds per game over his two appearances this weekend.
    • Chris Paul continued to impress for the Suns during their winning streak, averaging 18.0 points, 7.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds during his two showings.
    • Mikal Bridges was on his best defensive efforts over the weekend, averaging 11.5 points, 5.0 steals, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 39.7 minutes per game. Do not sleep on the wing's chances of winning Defensive Player of the Year

3. Lakers and Kings go to 3OT 

  • Depending on how you look at it, one of the best games of the season came over the weekend when the Sacramento Kings defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 141-137 in a contest that went to three overtimes. De'Aaron Fox was incredible for the Kings and helped will Sacramento to victory with 34 points (15-32 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, eight assists and one steal over 53 minutes.
    • Buddy Hield was especially clutch for the Kings late in the game, recording 25 points (8-21 FG, 3-13 3Pt, 6-7 FT), six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 40 minutes against the team that supposedly almost traded for him this offseason.
  • Despite the losing effort, LeBron James led the way for LA with 30 points (10-25 FG, 2-13 3Pt, 8-11 FT), seven rebounds, 11 assists and one steal over 50 minutes. James has posted three straight 30 plus point outings for the Lakers.
    • Russell Westbrook put in his fifth triple-double of the season with 29 points (10-18 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 7-9 FT), 10 rebounds, 11 assists and two steals in 51 minutes.
    • Anthony Davis also impressed with 23 points (9-22 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 5-8 FT), eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals over 49 minutes.

4. Warriors keep sizzling 

  • While Phoenix keeps on winning, Golden State is just as hot as the Warriors went 2-0 over the weekend. The team started their weekend off with a 118-103 win over the Trail Blazers on Friday before defeating the Clippers 105-90 Sunday afternoon. Stephen Curry continued to play at an MVP level, averaging 32.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals across 32.5 minutes per game over the Warriors' two victories. Golden State plays Phoenix on Tuesday in what is sure to be the most anticipated matchup of the young season.
    • Draymond Green averaged 10.0 points, 9.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game during Golden State's two wins.
    • Gary Payton continues to act as The Mitten, putting up 5.5 points, 3.0 steals, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks across just 11.9 minutes per game over the weekend.

5. Dejounte Murray comes up clutch

  • There was an incredibly exciting matchup on Friday when the Celtics traveled to San Antonio. The Spurs held a decent lead throughout the game before Boston stormed back to take the lead late in the fourth. However, Dejounte Murray was not going to be denied the victory and helped lead San Antonio to a 96-88 win behind a 15-0 run to close the game. The improved guard dropped 29 points (12-24 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 11 rebounds, six assists, one block and three steals across 38 minutes.
    • Derrick White had one of his better outings of the season, nearly reaching a triple-double with 17 points (5-16 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and one steal across 37 minutes of action.
  • It was a solid effort for Jayson Tatum during the Bostons' defeat. The Duke product scored a team-high 24 points (9-23 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT) to go with 12 rebounds, two assists and one steal over 40 minutes of play.
    • Marcus Smart ended the contest with 13 points (6-14 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), eight assists, seven rebounds, one steal and one block in 32 minutes during the losing effort.

6. Pelicans and Jazz split their games

  • The Jazz and the Pelicans spent their weekend series in Utah which featured a Friday-Saturday back-to-back. New Orleans pulled off a stunning 98-97 victory Friday behind a game-winning three-pointer by Devonte' Graham. The first-year-Pelican dropped just nine points (3-10 FG, 3-7 3Pt) to go with four assist, two rebounds, two steals and a block, but Graham was still able to push New Orleans to victory with his late-game heroics.
    • Brandon Ingram was another key reason that the Pelicans were able to complete the upset, dropping a team-high 21 points (8-22 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT) while recording eight rebounds, five assists and one steal across 38 minutes.
  • The Jazz must have not enjoyed the loss Friday, as they handled New Orleans by a score of 127-105 on Saturday and were even up by 40 points in the fourth. It was a fairly balanced effort by Utah with seven players reaching double figures, but no player topping 21 points. Donovan Mitchell impressed in the victory with 21 points (9-17 FG, 3-6 3Pt), seven rebounds, seven assists, one block and two steals in 27 minutes.

7. D'Angelo Russell spoils Embiid's return 

  • Joel Embiid had missed nine straight games due to COVID protocols, but he returned Saturday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves headed into town. The game ended up going into two overtimes before the Timberwolves ended victorious by a close margin of 121-120.
  • D'Angelo Russell was on fire late, scoring 27 of his season-high 35 points (13-25 FG, 6-10 3Pt, 3-4 FT) in the fourth quarter or overtime while also recording four rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals across 44 minutes. The guard was able to help push the Timberwolves to victories with a plethora of clutch and contested threes late in the game.
    • Karl-Anthony Towns was also stellar in the victory despite fouling out. The center dropped in 28 points (11-16 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 3-6 FT), 10 rebounds and one block across 37 minutes.
  • Despite the losing effort, Embiid was absolutely awesome in his first game back with the team. The All-Star center scored a game-high 42 points (12-23 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 16-21 FT), 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in 45 minutes. Embiid did not look like he missed a beat in his return and figures to remain as one of the few elite fantasy centers in the league.

8. Milwaukee is healthy and rolling 

  • Almost quietly, the Milwaukee Bucks are starting to really heat up as of late. The team has won seven straight contests and swept the weekend with victories over the Nuggets and the Pacers.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had a show-out weekend, averaging 25.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.0 blocks across 31.4 minutes per contest. The Greek Freak ranks as the 14th best nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis to start the season.
    • This was a good weekend for Jrue Holiday as the two-way specialist averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks across 32.2 minutes per game.
    • Pat Connaughton averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds,1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks during 28.3 minutes per contest.

9. Rockets win again

  • Trivia question: Not including the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors, which Western Conference team holds the longest active winning streak? That's right, the Houston Rockets have the third-longest active winning streak among Western Conference teams with two straight victories after a 146-143 overtime win over the Hornets.
  • Christian Wood helped push the Rockets to a win with a season-high 33 points (13-19 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 41 minutes. The big ranks as the 19th best nine-category fantasy player on a per-game basis over the past week.
    • Kevin Porter nearly dropped a triple-double in the win with 23 points (7-16 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 6-10 FT), 12 assists, eight rebounds and one steal across 42 minutes.
    • I was impressed with the play of Garrison Mathews as he finished with a season-high 20 points (6-10 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-5 FT) to go with three rebounds and one steal across 38 minutes.
  • Terry Rozier balled out despite the Hornets falling in overtime, dropping 31 points (9-23 FG, 6-16 3Pt, 7-7 FT), five assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 43 minutes of play. The guard is averaging 24.3 points over his last three appearances.
    • LaMelo Ball dropped his third-triple double of the season in the losing effort with 23 points (9-22 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 5-8 FT), eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals over 49 minutes.

10. Nuggets get more bad news

  • Well, technically speaking, this news came out Monday morning, but regardless, the Denver Nuggets are expected to be without Michael Porter for the rest of the season. Porter will undergo back surgery – his third back procedure – later this week. This is obviously devastating news as the Nuggets are already without Jamal Murray (knee), while Nikola Jokic (wrist) has been banged up of late.
    • With Porter likely out of the season, expect Will Barton to continue to act as the Nuggets' No. 2 option on offense until Jamal Murray can make his return to the lineup. The veteran wing is averaging a career-high 16.3 points to go with 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists to begin the season.

Weekend Awards

  • Stud of the Weekend: Stephen Curry – 32.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals across 32.5 minutes per game
  • Dud of the Weekend: Julius Randle – 8.5 points (27.3% FG), 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.5 turnovers across 31.7 minutes per game
  • Rookie of the Weekend: Scottie Barnes – 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 36.4 minutes per game

A Look Ahead at Monday Night

  • Will Nikola Jokic (wrist) return to save the Nuggets against the Heat?
  • Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball match up when the Hornets travel to Chicago.
  • Familiar Western Conference foes, the Blazers and Mavs, battle it out.
  • Tanking teams: The Thunder and the Rockets match up in Houston.

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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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