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Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic stuffed the stat sheet in Saturday's loss to Brooklyn, notching a 34-point, 10-rebound double-double and adding seven assists and five steals. He shot 14-for-22 from the field and a superb 6-for-12 from downtown. Terrence Ross was the team's second-best scorer in the contest with 23 points off the bench. Centers have crushed the Nets for years now so Vucevic was in a perfect spot to perform, and the next matchup isn't a bad one either. Orlando takes on the Knicks on Monday, a team that's allowing the third-most points per 48 minutes to centers this season.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant had a big scoring performance in Saturday's win over Orlando, shooting 18-for-28 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 at the line en route to a game-high 42 points. The four-time NBA scoring champ, who shot 5-for-8 from outside, completed his line with five assists, four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. KD is back to his best and he even logged a season-high 40 minutes in the contest, so fantasy managers who had full faith in his health must be grinning right now. He has a chance to take down the Bucks next, before facing back-to-back games against the Cavaliers, who have started to struggle lately and who certainly don't have anybody to guard him.
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden made his team debut on Saturday and he cooked up a triple-double with 32 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds in a 122-117 win over Orlando. He made three treys with 10 attempts, shot 8-for-18 overall from the field, and was very busy at the charity stripe with a 13-for-15 effort. The Beard also found time to pick up four steals and one block, but his line included nine turnovers as well. With all the trade drama behind him, we can expect Harden to start producing the numbers we have come accustomed to seeing in previous years. He will look to outplay two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo next in Monday's matchup vs. Milwaukee.
Houston Rockets forward/center Christian Wood recorded his sixth double-double of the season in Saturday's losing effort against the Spurs, scoring 24 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds. He went 9-for-20 from the floor, including 1-for-3 from downtown, and his fantasy line included three assists and three blocks. Rookie guard Mason Jones also had 24 points and Ben McLemore put up 21 points, but the rest of the Rockets didn't offer much offensively. Wood gets his next chance to shine on Monday against the Bulls, who have struggled mightily against opposing bigs this season.
San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray picked up a double-double in Saturday's 103-91 victory over the Rockets, shooting 8-for-18 from the field en route to 18 points and adding 10 assists. Jakob Poeltl collected a double-double as well with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in 30 minutes. Murray, who shot 2-for-5 from deep, also picked up three assists and three steals. The 24-year-old has disappointed fantasy managers with his shooting this month, failing to even hit 40 percent of his shots, but he fills the stat line on a nightly basis which keeps his fantasy value up. Murray has a chance to improve his shooting in a couple of favorable matchups next, with San Antonio going for a short road trip to play Portland and Golden State. Both teams have poor defensive records against point guards.
San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan struggled to find the net in Saturday's win over Houston, but he still ended up with a team-high 24 points. He finished 9-for-25 from the field and 6-for-6 at the line, adding seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block with three turnovers in 37 minutes. DeRozan missed some time this week due to personal reasons and he has struggled with his shooting in both outings since returning to the lineup. The Spurs are back in action on Sunday against Portland, which is a great matchup on paper against a poor defensive team, but DeRozan's shooting makes him a fantasy liability at the moment.
Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose (knee) is listed as probable for Saturday's game against the Miami Heat. He has missed each of the last two games with knee soreness. However, it sounds like Rose is doing better and should play in this game. Delon Wright has struggled with increased playing time, so expect Rose to gain plenty of minutes. He'll be worth adding in most standard leagues right now.
Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (back) has been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Brooklyn Nets. He will miss his eighth game in a row due to back spasms. It's a bit concerning that Fournier hasn't been able to suit up in a month. Terrence Ross and James Ennis continue to struggle, so Cole Anthony is looking like the best fantasy option out of the trio right now.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (knee) will be available for Saturday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He is dealing with a minor knee issue, but will suit up for the shorthanded Sixers on Saturday. Both Joel Embiid and Mike Scott didn't travel with the team. Expect Simmons to see his usage increase during the back-to-back set this weekend.
Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (groin) is currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bulls. He played 37 minutes on Friday, but battled through a left groin strain. It didn't seem to impact his play, but the Mavs may decide to take the cautious approach here. Fantasy managers will need to check back for another update on Sunday. Jalen Brunson (COVID-19) could see increased value, assuming he's cleared to play.
Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown (leg) has been ruled out for Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. He was listed as a game-time decision until the trade with the Nets was finalized, allowing Rodions Kurucs to be on the active roster. Kurucs gives the Rockets the required eight players to be eligible to play a game. Christian Wood is going to be the focal point of the offense and will see his fantasy value skyrocket for this contest.
Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (COVID-19) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bulls. He has missed the last few games because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. Brunson hasn't played in a week, so he could be a little rusty, assuming he suits up. Although, he could get a decent amount of playing time, assuming Tim Hardaway Jr. (groin) doesn't suit up. Fantasy managers will have to check back for another update on Sunday.
New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics. He continues to deal with a nagging ankle issue, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Knicks hold him out until Monday. Austin Rivers, RJ Barrett, and Immanuel Quickley would benefit the most in his absence. Quickly has been hot lately and could be an interesting short-term addition.
New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel (back) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics. On Friday, Noel went off for a career-high six blocks, so the Knicks are hopeful he can play here. He's dealing with back soreness, so the team will likely have to wait and see how he feels closer to tip-off. Mitchell Robinson would gain the most value, assuming Noel does sit out.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Al Horford (personal) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He is set to miss his second straight game as he deals with issues off the court. Isaiah Roby should continue to benefit with Horford expected to be sidelined. He has been playing well in his absence and is a decent short-term fantasy option.
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (elbow) says that his elbow continues to bother him every time he shoots the ball. "My elbow bothers me on every (shot). "I got a bruise there. Every game I seem to hit it or kinda tweak it again," said Murray. This explains why Murray has struggled from the floor over the last few games. It's unclear if head coach Mike Malone plans to bench Murray until he gets fully healthy. Otherwise, fantasy managers should expect Murray to continue struggling until he gets healthy.
Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (leg) has been ruled out for Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. He continues to deal with left leg tightness and will be forced to sit this one out. Ben McLemore, Jae'sean Tate, David Nwaba and P.J. Tucker should get plenty of minutes in this game. Tucker is a strong DFS option for Saturday's slate.
Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III led his team in points in a blowout loss to the Clippers. Bagley added five rebounds, two assists, two triples, and a block in 31 minutes. The young big man benefited from garbage time scoring in this one, as the game was well out of hand in the fourth quarter. Bagley has solid averages in points and rebounds, but poor free-throw shooting and a lack of defensive stats make him far less valuable than he could be. The 21-year-old will face a tough test on Sunday against a good defensive team in the Pelicans.
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist and two turnovers on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, 3-of-5 from deep and 2-of-2 from the free throw line in Friday's 116-92 victory against the Hawks. Bogdanovic has reached double-digit point totals in three of the past four contests, which is encouraging news for fantasy managers who drafted the veteran forward in the middle rounds. The 31-year-old has yet to find his consistency in the early part of the season after posting career-highs last season, but he should be rostered across standard fantasy formats as an integral player for the Jazz moving forward.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell finished with 26 points, four assists, three rebounds, three steals and three turnovers on 10-of-20 shooting from field goal range in Friday's 116-92 victory against the Hawks. The 24-year-old added a season-best six made threes in the contest while shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the fourth consecutive game, after failing to do so in the first eight games of the season. Mitchell should be in the lineup for fantasy managers when the Jazz take on the Nuggets on Sunday, in a rematch of the 2020 first round Playoff series between the two teams.
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