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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Luka RiDonculous


Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games.

Although tonight's slate of games was lower than usual, those watching got their money's worth. Both matches came down to the wire and provided plenty of entertainment for the first Thursday night of the NFL season without football.

We have some major players featured today, so let's take it away in the Thursday, December 20th recap with our fantasy highlights.

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Luka Doncic: RiDonculous

32 points, four rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three threes. The wonderboy struck gold for his owners Thursday night. Doncic is proving to be the Ben Simmons of this season. A rookie, multi-category provider who was drafted after the third round. Although there are certain trade-offs between the two, specifically with their free throw and field goal percentages, Doncic has forced his value to skyrocket this season much like Simmons last year.

Nights like tonight are becoming commonplace for the former Euro League MVP. He now has scored at least 23 points in the past three games and has shot double-digit free throws in each game. His percentages aren't perfect, and he turns the ball over quite a lot, but there is not much more you can expect from a 19-year old. He is going to continue to shine with the ball in his hands as the season progresses. It is astounding that he was not the first-overall pick in this year's draft...

 

Josh Richardson: Sharing the Riches

Josh Richardson had another solid game on Thursday. After injuring his shoulder a week ago, Richardson's stats declined. His scoring and overall production dropped significantly and owners (myself included) began to panic. Had the honeymoon ended with our mid-round steal?

Thursday's game provided some more evidence that Richardson was back to form. He shot 9-for-19 from the field with 22 points, four threes, seven assists, and six rebounds. His second 22-point game in a row is comforting and he should be able to keep up the production with Goran Dragic reportedly out for two more months. Richardson's usage rate this year has jumped dramatically from last season. Hopefully, he can stay on the right track and get back to acquiring those precious stocks soon.

 

Chris Paul: CP3-to-4 Weeks Out (Possibly)

Well, Chris Paul hurt his hamstring again. Paul played just 12 minutes and accumulated four points and rebounds before exiting the game in pain. This is bad news for Paul owners, Houston Rockets fans, and the Rockets' front office that just signed him to a four-year max deal that runs into his age 36 season. Paul is not getting any younger. His play, along with his body is seemingly declining.

James Harden had already taken on a larger load this season and it appears that he may have to bear it a bit longer. Typically, this would be good news for him, but with the state of the Rockets these past few months, it might not change his outlook much. Harden is doing all of the heavy lifting on this decimated team that is giving significant minutes to Danuel House of all players.

The only "good news" that comes with this injury is for dynasty Brandon Knight owners who can once again see their boy get actual minutes. Knight was activated just last week and has already had his minutes jump thanks to this injury. Michael Carter-Williams is another possible beneficiary, but he didn't even play tonight. Eric Gordon will get a playtime bump but will probably see slight declines in shooting efficiency as his volume increases. Paul will probably be out for a few weeks, which means that owners should brace themselves.

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