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 wild weekend across the league. Here is all you need to know:

Nightly Notables

Dubs get revenge on Suns

  • Just last week, the Phoenix Suns were able to extend their winning streak after defeating the Warriors in Phoenix. However, Golden State was able to get revenge on its home court Friday night, winning 118-96 to snap the Suns' winning streak at 18 games. Stephen Curry did his thing in the victory, scoring 23 points (8-20 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 1-2 FT) to go with five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
    • Draymond Green had one of his most impactful games of the season in the victory, posting nine points (4-6 FG, 1-1 3Pt), nine rebounds, nine assists, three blocks and six steals across 30 minutes.
    • Gary Payton continues to be an effective piece off the bench season as he dropped 19 points (7-9 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, one steal and one block across 26 minutes.
    • Phoenix was without Devin Booker (hamstring) for the contest, so the Suns technically were not at full strength. Deandre Ayton scored a team-high 23 points (7-16 FG, 9-11 FT) to go with six rebounds, two assists and two blocks across 32 minutes. The center is starting to pick up his play, averaging 21.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game over his last three showings.
      • Landry Shamet has slid into Phoenix's starting lineup with Booker on the sidelines and has averaged 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 29.0 minutes per game in the two games that Booker has missed.

Embiid carries Philly over Atlanta

  • In a rematch of last year's second-round playoff matchup, the Sixers were able to escape Atlanta with a 98-96 win on Friday. Joel Embiid was stellar with 28 points (10-23 FG,1-3 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal across 36 minutes while also hitting the go-ahead jumper in the final minute. The All-Star has four straight double-doubles since returning from his COVID absence.
    • Seth Curry was a major key in Philly's victory, finishing with 18 points (7-14 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 2-3 FT), five assists, two rebounds and one steal in 33 minutes.
  • Trae Young had a big outing in the loss, totaling 25 points (8-22 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 10 assists, four rebounds and one block across 36 minutes. The All-Star guard ranks as the 18th overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis this season.

Houston, we have lift-off!

  • I remember when Houston first won two games in a row. I made a quick joke about how they had the second-best winning streak in the Western Conference. Well, flash forward four games and the Rockets currently have the longest active winning streak in the entire league with six straight victories. Houston was able to defeat both the Magic and the Pelicans over the weekend. Christian Wood continues to play some of the best ball of his career, averaging 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in the two victories. The forward's 11.2 rebounds per game rank ninth out of all eligible players.
    • Eric Gordon had a great weekend as the veteran averaged 23.5 points and 4.0 assists in 32.5 minutes per game during his two appearances.
    • It's worth noting that Jalen Green (hamstring) has missed five straight games for the Rockets while they have been on this streak. Green is still slated to miss even more time due to the injury so it will be some time before we see the No. 2 overall pick back on the court.

Clippers win LA showdown

  • The Los Angeles Clippers squared off against their Staples Center neighbors Friday night and ended up winning by a score of 119-115. Paul George neared a triple-double in the win, totaling 19 points (7-20 FG, 0-7 3Pt, 5-6 FT), nine assists, eight rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes. The All-Star was in a giving mood over the weekend, averaging 9.5 assists per game over his two showings while his season-long average of 5.5 dimes would set a new career-best.
    • Luke Kennard dropped 19 points (7-10 FG, 5-8 3Pt), four rebounds and one steal in 23 minutes off the bench while hitting some clutch triples late as well in the win.
  • Anthony Davis had yet another impressive outing despite the losing effort. The All-Star big man posted 27 points (10-15 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 7-11 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal across 36 minutes. AD ranks as the No. 6 overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis.
    • LeBron James also neared a triple-double in the loss, totaling 23 points (9-23 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 3-5 FT), 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals across 36 minutes in his first game back after missing one matchup due to COVID protocols.

Jazz sweep the weekend 

  • The Utah Jazz had one thrilling weekend starting with a high-scoring affair Friday as they defeated the Boston Celtics 137-130. Donovan Mitchell led the way in the victory, dropping 34 points (12-22 FG, 6-14 3Pt, 4-4 FT), one rebound and six assists across 33 minutes. Mike Conley was also on fire in the win, scoring 29 points (9-13 FG, 7-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT), four rebounds, seven assists and one block in 32 minutes while not missing a single three.
    • Jayson Tatum was in his bag despite the losing effort while dropping 37 points (12-25 FG, 2-11 3Pt, 11-11 FT), six rebounds, five assists and one block across 38 minutes. The forward had an outstanding weekend with Jaylen Brown (hamstring) on the sidelines, averaging 34.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists during his two appearances.
  • Next, the Jazz matched up against the much improved Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday and won a 109-108 thriller after Darius Garland missed a game-winning jumper. Donovan Mitchell was once again absolutely outstanding, recording 35 points (12-21 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 7-8 FT), three rebounds, six assists and one steal over 39 minutes. It was a great weekend for Utah's star guard.
    • Darius Garland is starting to take a leap and is emerging as one of the best young point guards in the league. The third-year pro finished Sunday's contest with a team-high 31 points (11-19 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds, five assists, one block and four steals over 35 minutes. It was an awesome weekend for Garland as he scored over 30 points in each of his two appearances.

Hornets win despite COVID conundrum 

  • The Charlotte Hornets' roster took a major hit Saturday when four of their players were placed into the health and safety protocols, including star point guard LaMelo Ball. Despite being without Ball, Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaneils, Charlotte was able to beat the Hawks by a score of 130-127 in a down-to-the-wire contest on Sunday. Miles Bridges led the way with 32 points (11-15 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, four assists, one block and three steals in 40 minutes.
    • Kelly Oubre slid into the starting lineup and finished with 28 points (11-17 FG, 6-10 3Pt, 0-4 FT), three rebounds, two assists and one steal. The two figure to lead the way for Charlotte for the time being.
      • Ish Smith could be a useful weekly streamer after he dropped a season-high 18 points (8-14 FG, 2-4 3Pt) to go with seven assists, five rebounds and one steal across 32 minutes.
      • Cody Martin is also a decent fantasy play due to Charlotte's situation. The Nevada product ended with 19 points (6-11 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes in the win.
  • As per usual, it was the Trae Young and John Collins show for Atlanta despite the losing effort. The All-Star guard ended with his fifth double-double in his last six showings with 25 points (9-22 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 15 assists, four rebounds and one steal in 36 minutes. John Collins finished with a team-high 31 points (12-22 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 5-5 FT), 12 rebounds and four assists across 38 minutes.
    • Kevin Huerter was deadly from deep, matching a season-best in points with 28 points (9-14 FG, 7-11 3Pt, 3-3 FT), two rebounds and three assists across 34 minutes.

Bulls make a statement

  • The Chicago Bulls came into Saturday's contest fresh off of a win against the Knicks and were able to complete their sweep of New York City with a 111-107 win over the Nets. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan put on a bucket-getting display in the win, dropping 60 combined points. LaVine ended with 31 points (9-20 FG, 2-9 3Pt, 11-13 FT), eight rebounds, six assists and one block across 37 minutes. DeRozan dropped in 29 points (13-24 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-4 FT), six rebounds and three assists across 38 minutes.
    • Ayo Dosunmu put in some really impressive and clutch minutes off the bench to help seal the victory for Chicago. The rookie totaled 11 points (5-6 FG, 0-1 3PM, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and two blocks across 23 minutes.
  • Kevin Durant was in his usual bag despite the defeat, finishing with 28 points (12-26 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks over 38 minutes. The MVP candidate is on a tear right now, averaging 31.0 points per game over his last four showings.
    • James Harden finished with quite an inefficient double-double totaling 14 points (5-21 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), seven rebounds, 14 assists and one steal in 40 minutes.

The Joker shines in the Big Apple

  • The Denver Nuggets came into New York City to matchup against the Knicks and ended up winning with easy by a margin of 113-99. Nikola Jokic was absolutely incredible in the victory, dropping 32 points (14-19 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 11 rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes. The reigning MVP ranks as the 2nd overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis this season.
    • Zeke Nnaji balled out with a career-high 21 points (7-13 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds and two steals in 34 minutes.
  • Julius Randle was really the only Knicks player to have a solid offensive game in the losing effort. The reigning Most Improved Player recorded 24 points (9-18 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT), eight assists and seven rebounds in 35 minutes.

Spurs hold on in Golden State

  • One of my favorite games of the season thus far took place Saturday in San Francisco when the Spurs played the Warriors. The Spurs got off to an incredible start, leading by 22 points at a point before the Warriors stormed back late, even taking the lead with minutes left. However, the Spurs were able to withstand the comeback and ended up winning 112-107. Derrick White scored a team-high 25 points (8-16 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 7-8 FT), one rebound, three assists and three steals across 36 minutes.
    • Dejounte Murray neared a triple-double in the win with 23 points (10-21 FG, 3-7 3Pt), 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals across 36 minutes. The improved guard ranks as the 12th best nine-category player on a per-game basis.
  • It was not the best shooting night for Stephen Curry, but the All-Star still recorded a team-high 27 points (7-28 FG, 5-17 3Pt, 8-9 FT), eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 37 minutes. Curry is just 14-for-42 from deep over his past three outings.
    • Draymond Green is just so integral to the Warriors on both sides of the floor. The veteran finished with nine points (4-7 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), nine assists, eight rebounds, one steal and one block across 32 minutes while making some impressive dimes in the losing effort

Wizards continue to stumble

  • The Washington Wizards have been one of the league's most surprising teams, but they lost to both the Cavaliers and the Raptors over the weekend to drop their record to 14-10 on the season. It was a quiet weekend for Bradley Beal, as he averaged just 14.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game across 30.9 minutes per game over his two showings. The All-Star guard has seen one of the sharpest scoring declines in recent memory, averaging just 21.9 points per game after dropping 31.3 points per game in 2020-21.
    • It was a decent weekend for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as he recorded 15.0 points 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists over 23.9 minutes per game. The veteran guard scored a team-high 26 points during their loss Sunday to the Raptors

Best and Worst of the Weekend

  • Best of the Weekend: Donovan Mitchell – 34.5 points, 6.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 0.5 steals in 36.0 minutes per game
  • Worst of the Weekend: Bradley Beal – 14.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per game
  • Rookie of the Weekend: Franz Wagner – 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 33 minutes per game.

A Look Ahead to Monday Night 

  • The Denver Nuggets travel to Chicago to match up against the Bulls
  • Cade Cunningham and Josh Giddey square off for the first time in their careers as the Pistons play the Thunder
  • Does Karl-Anthony Towns (back) return to play in Minnesota's contest against Trae Young and the Hawks?

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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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