Last night in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets were outplayed by the Golden State Warriors on both ends of the court. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, two of the NBA’s top scorers, faced off against each other.
Curry continued to prove why he is the favorite to win the MVP award with a strong performance. In 29 minutes, he scored 37 points with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and nine 3-pointers. Curry scored 30 or more points in less than 30 minutes for the 23rd time in his career. Among NBA players in history, this is seven more than George Gervin (15). Right now, Curry is the top fantasy basketball player in all formats.
On the other hand, Durant ended up with a season-low 19 points and added five rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers. The Warriors played him very well with multiple players and various defensive schemes. Durant failed to score 20 points for the first time this season. His average points total against Curry over their previous meetings was 31.
On Wednesday night, Durant is likely to bounce back against a shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers squad.
Let’s explore some of the highlights, lowlights, and takeaways below.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs: 26 points (12-21), 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals
Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz: 27 points (9-12 FGs), 6 rebounds, 2 assists
LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn Nets: 2 points (1-3 FGs), 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers: 5 points (1-8 FGs), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals
In the Warriors’ victory, Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points. He also recorded two rebounds, an assist, a block, and two 3-pointers. Wiggins currently has a Usage Rate of 23.3% this season. In category formats, he ranks among the top 100. Nonetheless, the inevitable return of Klay Thompson will negatively affect Wiggins’ fantasy value.
Draymond Green’s defense of Durant was excellent. In 29 minutes, he scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out eight assists, stole one ball and made one 3-pointer. With his ability to contribute in multiple statistical categories, Green remains a must roster player in all formats.
For now, Jordan Poole remains a top-100 player in all formats for the Warriors until Thompson returns. Aside from scoring 17 points, he grabbed four rebounds, gave four assists and blocked one shot in 28 minutes.
As a result of Joe Harris’ ankle injury, Patty Mills started and scored eight points, tallied two rebounds, four assists, a steal, and two 3-pointers. Golden State’s defense stifled Mills, but he remains the Nets’ most reliable fantasy player outside of Durant and Harden.
With 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes, Bruce Brown was effective for the Nets. Currently, Brown is only rostered in 2.9% of ESPN leagues, but he will be fantasy relevant while Harris is sidelined.
Prior to his ejection, Jazz center Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He has shot 50% from the field for 49 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in the shot clock era.
Tyrese Maxey has provided fantasy managers with near top-five value in the past week. He scored 24 points in 43 minutes while adding two rebounds and two assists for the 76ers.
The 76ers’ Isaiah Joe returned from a six-game absence (protocols) with eight points, eight rebounds, and two assists in 24 minutes. He should be on your watch list.
The Clippers’ Reggie Jackson has been inefficient over the last two games, hitting just 12 of 39 shots. He scored 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks against the Spurs. Jackson is only rostered in 65.4% of ESPN leagues, even though he should be in all formats as the Clippers starting point guard.
Eric Bledsoe had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes for the Clippers. If you need production in those statistical areas he’s a solid option. Bledsoe is rostered in 62.8% of ESPN leagues.
Ivica Zubac grabbed 13 rebounds for the Clippers against the Spurs. His fourth double-double of the season also included 10 points. Zubac is s top-50 player who’s only rostered in 59.4% of ESPN leagues.
Spurs’ Derrick White has frustrated fantasy managers this season by scoring 19 points in his last four games. However, he scored 19 points, grabbed three rebounds, assisted three times, and made three steals against the Clippers. White should remain on most rosters.
Analytics advantage for Wednesday
Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic will miss time due to an ankle injury. With a field goal percentage of 43.4% and a USG of 36%, he averages 24.9 PPG and 7.9 APG. There is a question fantasy managers may have about how statistical production will be distributed among the remaining Mavericks players.
The biggest beneficiary is Jalen Brunson who currently has a USG of 22%. He is currently averaging 15.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 4.7 APG. Since the start of last season, Brunson’s usage has increased by 3.2% when he is not sharing the court with Doncic.
While Doncic is out, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. will do the heavy lifting alongside Brunson. In the two games that Doncic missed last season, Porzingis averaged 25 points and 15.5 rebounds. Trey Burke will also play a larger role. Averaging 5.3 points across 9.7 minutes per game, the 29-year-old has played in three games this season. Burke is rostered in 0.1% of ESPN leagues.
Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons
For most of the season, Bey has played well. He has averaged 22 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game over the last two games. From a defensive perspective, Bey has a plus matchup against a middle-of-the-road Indiana Pacers team that’s allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to small forwards. On DraftKings and FanDuel, he’s a nice value.