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Robert Covington
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Basketball Daily Dose

Cade has another career night, RoCo scores 21 points with extras

by Brad Stonebraker
Updated On: January 11, 2022, 2:16 am ET

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Georgia clinched the National Championship in college football, but who cares when there’s a seven-game slate to open Week 13? Go Bulldogs, but Robert Covington scored points on Monday night, which is far more interesting.

Another career night for Cade

Somehow, the Detroit Pistons beat the Utah Jazz by double digits (126-116) and have won four of their last six games, getting huge contributions from both Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey on Monday evening. Cade notched a new career high of 29 points to go with one rebound, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, five 3-pointers and five turnovers in 38 minutes, and he’s one of the main reasons why the Pistons were able to come back from down as many as 22 early and looked really good doing it, highlighted by his 10-of-17 shooting mark. Saddiq Bey matched Cade’s point total with 29 of his own (10-of-14 FGs), also adding six boards and a block with five triples in 37 minutes. Bey had scored 30 points combined on 12-of-38 shooting in the three games before Monday, so this was a breath of fresh air and he should be rostered with the expectations that there will be some no-shows along the way. Trey Lyles (14/6/5 with a steal and two treys in 29 minutes) continues to outplay Isaiah Stewart (6/6 with three blocks in 22 minutes) in terms of both minutes and production, and Stewie has burned everyone who risked a mid-round pick on him and I see no issue with letting him go at this point. Hamidou Diallo was solid with 10 points, eight boards, four assists, two steals and a triple and should also be rostered at least until Jerami Grant (thumb) returns and Cory Joseph got hot and hit all four of his triples for 16 points, four dimes and two steals in 25 minutes but he’s a deep-league option at best.

The Jazz are on their first three-game skid of the season, and it’s starting to look like Rudy Gobert (protocols) is an important part of this team. Hassan Whiteside finally went off in a prime spot without Gobert with a season-high 21 points with 14 boards (ties season high), two steals and three blocks in 34 minutes. He looked clearly disinterested in his last two starts (and had his moments tonight) but this is exactly what he needed, but he’ll only be useful for another game or two. Donovan Mitchell went 11-of-25 from the field for a game-high 31 points with three boards, four assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and four turnovers in 37 minutes, and he could be hot again with 33.5 points per game over his last pair. Mike Conley (13/5/8 on 4-of-11 shooting) and Bojan Bogdanovic (12/4/2 on 5-of-9 shooting) were both pretty boring, with Conley’s assists and Bojan’s efficiency being the highlights since neither tallied a defensive stat, and Jordan Clarkson was actually really nice with an efficient 16/5/3/1/1 line in 28 reserve minutes.

Ball and Rozier combine for 50 in narrow win over defending champs

No one one the Hornets’ side went nuts in Monday’s 103-99 win, but they got solid showings from plenty of guys. The backcourt duo of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier led the way, with Ball posting a 23/5/3 line with four 3-pointers and four turnovers in 35 minutes. He shot 8-of-19 from the floor and didn’t tally a steal or block, and all in all, these two things haven’t been as prevalent for Ball as they were to start the season. In his five January games, he’s shooting just 40.2% from the field with 11 combined rebounds/assists and 0.8 combined steals/blocks per game, so he’s in a bit of a rut. I’d call this a buy-low opportunity but his numbers don’t appear “bad” until you dive a little deeper like the preceding sentence did, and he’s still a first-rounder on the year, but maybe you can get him from a manager in your league with overly lofty expectations. Terry Rozier was a bit better from the field with a 8-of-17 effort for 27 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, four 3-pointers and one turnover in 40 minutes, and he also tied Miles Bridges for a team-high in +/- with a plus-15. Bridges didn’t shoot it well but still filled it up with a 17/11/2/1/1 effort without any turnovers, Gordon Hayward was semi-quiet with 14 points but could bet a boost for a few games with Kelly Oubre in protocols and P.J. Washington scored just five points but filled it up with seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block to prove his fantasy relevance without being a scorer. 

Two Bucks players nearly triple-doubled and they still lost, and with Jrue Holiday inactive with left ankle soreness, you can probably guess who the pair was. Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded a line of 26 points (10-of-18 FGs, 5-of-8 FTs), 13 rebounds, eight assists, one steal, one block, one triple and six turnovers, while Khris Middleton shared game-high honors with Rozier with 27 points (10-of-19 shooting), seven rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, three 3-pointers and seven turnovers in 37 minutes. The turnovers are somewhat foreseeable with these two having to do more with Jrue out, but the trade off is plenty of counting stats and big lines, so that’s fine. I also don’t hate the idea of selling high on Middleton since he’s shooting around 43% on the season and is just a sixth-round value because of it. Otherwise, Jordan Nwora is still a baller with 18 points but again, Jrue was out, Bobby Portis had 11 rebounds in an otherwise boring night but he’s fine and Wesley Matthews scored 13 points with three 3-pointers and has been a good streamer for threes lately but that’s it.

RJ Barrett’s 31 points lead Knicks to win over Spurs

The RJ Barrett experience continues. He scored 32 points in a win over the Pacers on January 4, and then followed it up with 16 points per game on 30.6% shooting in his next two, and finalized his most recent quartet of games with 31 points (12-of-20 FGs) in Monday night’s victory. He led the game in scoring and added three rebounds, four assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes, and some of his recent games seem appealing but he’s just not doing enough elsewhere for a guy that is so inconsistent in the scoring department, so count me out. Evan Fournier followed up the best game of his life with 18 points (5-of-12 FGs), five rebounds, two assists, two steals and four 3-pointers but played just 22 minutes which is pretty concerning, and in related news, Immanuel Quickley (12/4/6 with two steals in 25 minutes) and Quentin Grimes (7/1/6/1/1 in 28 minutes) both saw more action than Fournier, but I don’t think any of this trio is reliable enough to roster. Mitchell Robinson decided to be good except for his 5-of-9 clip from the line, hitting all four of his shots for a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double with a steal and four blocks, and it’d be really nice to see him do something like this again against the Mavericks on Wednesday. Alec Burks was fine with a 16/4/2 effort with two steals and three treys, but Julius Randle was not fine with two points on 1-of-7 shooting with 13 rebounds, three assists and a block.

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I will argue until the end of time that Dejounte Murray is not getting enough love this season, as he came through with another fun line on Monday with 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting with five rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in 30 minutes. He’s currently outperforming guys like Giannis, Jayson Tatum, Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert on a per-game basis in fantasy leagues, and he could be a first-round pick next year if the makeup of the team doesn’t drastically change. Lonnie Walker scored 15 points but needed 19 shots to do it, but is worth a play with guys like Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson in protocols, and the same can be said about Joshua Primo who started and posted a low-end 11/2/3/1/1 line, but Walker is the choice here if you had to pick. Jakob Poeltl had a boring 12/10 double-double but also had three assists and two swats, and besides Devontae Cacok’s 10 rebounds, one steal and two blocks, the San Antonio bench didn’t do anything at all. 

Joel Embiid cannot be stopped

Joel Embiid just keeps going off and did just that in Monday’s easy 111-91 win over the Rockets, scoring 31 points exactly for the fourth straight game with eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, two blocks and two turnovers in just 26 minutes. He shot 9-of-16 from the floor and sank all 13 of his free throws as well, and that now marks seven straight wins for Philly. Embiid hit 11 free throws in the first half and became the first player this season with double-digit free throws without a miss in a half, and it’s no coincidence that his 30-point streak and Philly’s winning streak have lined up identically. Please, please stay healthy. No one else on the team scored more than 13 points, with Tobias Harris (inefficient 13/4/4/1/2 line) and Andre Drummond (13/11/3/1/1 in 17 minutes) scoring exactly that many, and Drummond isn’t the worst option but he more so took advantage of the lopsided score. Furkan Korkmaz scored 12 points with six boards, two triples and two steals, and Matisse Thybulle had 10 points with three steals, but they’re both better with Seth Curry (ankle) one the sidelines.

Houston is on a three-game losing streak and have lost 11 of their last 12, and basically no one on the team was worth starting in fantasy leagues in this particular game. Just five players scored in double figures with Christian Wood (14/6/2) and Jalen Green (14/5/1 with seven turnovers) leading in points but not posting great lines. Kevin Porter Jr. recorded a 8/6/5 line before getting ejected for a flagrant two foul on Charlie Brown late, and rumor has it Snoopy is going to have some words with KPJ. Daniel Theis actually had a decent 12/4/1/2/1 showing and is a better with Alperen Sengun (ankle) sidelined but isn’t generally this exciting, Josh Christopher scored 13 off the bench with three 3-pointers and two steals and those are really the only exciting Rockets players, which says a lot. 

Jaylen Brown follows up first trip-dub with another big line in OT win

After recording his first career triple-double in Saturday’s win over the Knicks, Jaylen Brown was at it again in Monday’s overtime victory over Indiana with 26 points (11-of-26 FGs), a career-high 15 rebounds, six assists, one block, three 3-pointers and zero turnovers in 44 minutes. He’s on a mini two-game tear and had 50 points against the Magic just over a week ago, so just hope the fun keeps going even though his team has not exceeded or even met expectations thus far this season. Jayson Tatum scored 24 points with 12 rebounds on 10-of-11 FTs, but his line elsewhere was full of blemishes including a 7-of-21 mark from the field, just one assist, no defensive stats and eight turnovers across his 42 minutes. He did hit a nice baseline jumper to send the game to overtime, but unfortunately, he’s looked more like early-season Tatum lately but he’s too good to not turn it around, and remember the season isn’t even halfway over. Robert Williams just keeps excelling and hit all but one of his five shots from the floor and all six of his free throws for a huge 14/12/1/4/3 line and I don’t even think it’s outlandish to say that he’s the best Celtic to roster right now. Marcus Smart was the only double-digit scorer besides those three with 11 points but almost nothing else, but he left the game early with a thigh issue, so we’ll keep an eye on him. Normally it’d be Dennis Schroder that benefits when Smart sits, but Boston turned to Josh Richardson down the stretch, who needed 38 minutes to score just nine points. Even with more opportunity, you can probably do better, as his 12.8% usage rate on Monday in that much time on the court isn’t doing him any favors (just 16.4% on the season, for what it’s worth).

Domantas Sabonis followed up his 42-point night last time out with an effort that showcased excellence elsewhere, as he scored just 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting (5-of-6 FTs) but triple-doubled by hauling in 23 rebounds, also adding 10 assists, one steal and four turnovers in 45 minutes. His shooting is almost never this bad, so he gets a pass especially considering what he did with the counting stats, but he’s sitting at just 0.8 combined steals/blocks per game in five games this month. Torrey Craig (conditioning) played and led the team with 19 points off the bench with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes, but Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) and Caris LeVert (protocols) didn’t play and you shouldn’t expect this often at all. Lance Stephenson scored 14 in 31 minutes but didn’t fill it up like we saw last time but don’t cut him right away, and Justin Holiday (11/4/3 with two steals), Myles Turner (two steals, three blocks) and Keifer Sykes (11/2/3 with a steal) all did some stuff well but didn’t string it all together for fantasy teams.

Cleveland’s big men all put up nice lines in close win over SAC

Five different Cavs scored between 15 and 18 points in a 109-108 win over the Kings, so calling this a well-balanced attack may not be doing it justice. Jarrett Allen put up a gem of a line consisting of 18 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and no turnovers in 30 minutes, hitting 8-of-14 shots and both of his free throws in the process. Simply put, he’s been incredible and should be an All-Star. Evan Mobley filled it up too with a 17/7/5/1/2 effort with identical shooting to Allen, and despite the three turnovers, his managers have to be very pleased. Kevin Love keeps proving Father Time wrong and tied team-high honors in scoring with 18 points of his own, also chipping in three rebounds, two assists, two 3-pointers and two blocks in 21 reserve minutes, while Lauri Markkanen was the worst big on the team but wasn’t awful with 15 points, five rebounds, one block and three treys in 33 minutes of a start. Mobley and Allen are obviously the superior fantasy assets of these four bigs, but Markkanen and especially Kevin Love are doing enough to be worth rostering. Darius Garland struggled from the field but still double-doubled with 12 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and four turnovers in 34 minutes, and coach J.B. Bickerstaff did say that Garland’s back was bothering him but was able to gut it out down the stretch regardless, so keep that in mind for when they play Utah on Wednesday. Cedi Osman scored a boring 15 points with two treys but played 31 minutes to tie a season high, and Rajon Rondo recorded a 5/4/6 line with two steals in 20 reserve minutes and has actually looked good with his new team, but don’t cut anyone important to grab him.

De’Aaron Fox missed a jumper that would have won them the game, but he was used to misses on Monday with a 5-of-14 mark from the field on his way to just 12 points with four rebounds, four assists, two steals and two turnovers in 31 minutes. I prefer rostering Tyrese Haliburton by a landslide, as he was fantastic yet again with a game-high 21 points (8-of-16 FGs), two rebounds, eight dimes, three steals, one block, two 3-pointers and three turnovers in 36 minutes. He came in on the cusp of second-round value and unless the 16-27 Kings totally blow it up, Hali should easily stay there. Buddy Hield scored an efficient 19 points with five more triples and a couple steals in 27 minutes, Harrison Barnes had 14 boring points and his crazy start is officially behind him and Chimezie Metu scored 13 points with five boards, a steal and three 3-pointers off the bench. Big men Marvin Bagley and Alex Len both grabbed 10 rebounds but combined for 12 points and a block otherwise, and I have my eye on Neemias Queta after his best game as a pro that saw him score 11 points with five rebounds and a steal in 24 minutes. Richaun Holmes should be back from protocols any day now, so Queta isn’t an option, but the progress is encouraging. 

Robert Covington comes alive with season-high 21 points

Look at this, Robert Covington remembered how to score. To his credit, he did have 17 points this past Friday, but he’s only scored in double figures nine times (any “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fans?) this whole season, so his value surely doesn’t come from hitting shots. It did in a 114-108 win over the Nets on Monday, however, as he scored a season-high 21 points (6-of-9 FGs) and did his usual stat-stuffing with four rebounds, three steals, two blocks, five 3-pointers and one turnover in 34 minutes. If he ever starts scoring consistently, he’s so elite in the defensive categories that he’d immediately shoot up to early-round status, but that isn’t all too realistic at the moment. Anfernee Simons also went off for a 23/6/11 showing, with the 11 assists representing a new career high, and while he did struggle a bit with his shot (10-of-24 FGs. 2-of-11 3PT FGs) in this one, he’s been incredible and has to be rostered with the status of Damian Lillard (abdomen) pretty uncertain going forward. The other three Blazers starters posted usable lines as well, starting with Ben McLemore scoring 20 points with five rebounds, one steal, two blocks and five 3-pointers in 31 minutes, but he’s really tough to predict. Nassir Little went for a 13/5/2/1/3 line and he’s up and down but should still be rostered at least for however long C.J. McCollum (lung) is out, and he may even be an option when he comes back, but we’ll see. Jusuf Nurkic scored 14 with eight rebounds, three assists and a steal, but he didn’t have a block (he rarely does) and he shot 4-of-13 from the field, giving him the worst line of the night for the Blazers starters, and it wasn’t too shabby. The bench didn’t do much of anything, with CJ Elleby leading in minutes with 17 of them on his way to nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal, but he’s not a fantasy asset.

The Nets were without James Harden, who sat with a left knee hyperextension, and this injury came out of nowhere so hopefully the Nets aren’t hiding something. This left plenty of room for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to operate, and they both lived up to expectations. Kyrie Irving scored 22 points on 9-of-21 shooting with eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, three 3-pointers and four turnovers in 40 minutes, but the bad news here is that he came up gimpy after a collision with Nassir Little and was seen trying to loosen up his left foot/ankle area after the fact. He stayed in the game and did say himself that he’ll play Wednesday against the Bulls, but make sure that doesn’t change before then. Kevin Durant was awesome with 28 points (9-of-19 FGs, 8-of-8 FTs), 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block, two treys and two turnovers in 42 minutes and will be a beast for however long Harden is out, as if he wasn’t anyways. Cam Thomas is freshly removed from a game-winning floater against the Spurs on Sunday afternoon and carried his momentum into his showing on Monday with an efficient 21 points with three rebounds, three steals and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes, and as much as I want him to be a standard-league guy, he’s not quite there and took advantage of The Beard’s absence. Nic Claxton made it through just 13 minutes before exiting with a hamstring injury and had just two points with a board, and the team was already thin up front with LaMarcus Aldridge (right foot soreness) inactive. Day’Ron Sharpe took advantage and had his best game as a pro, scoring 14 points with seven rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three turnovers in 24 minutes without missing any of his six shots, and he could be worth a look if Claxton and Aldridge can’t play on Wednesday.

Brad Stonebraker

Brad has a finance degree and works in Business Management. He has been playing fantasy basketball since 2012 and specifically enjoys sports statistics and crunching numbers. You can find Brad on Twitter @bradbraker97.