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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Addition By Subtraction


We've all heard the phrase, "addition by subtraction" - a phrase which, by definition, is impossible to comprehend. I mean, how can you complete the process of adding something to something else while taking one number or amount away from another? It makes no sense. Unless, of course, you're the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, or Golden State Warriors.

Tuesday night saw the Charlotte Hornets take on a Cavalier team still without Kevin Love, George Hill, and Sam Dekker -- which added Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman to their novelesque injury report to boot -- and not only did being supremely shorthanded result in them defeating the Hornets to pick up just their second win of the season, but drubbing the Hornets to the tune of 113-89. The Rockets went into Denver -- again without Carmelo Anthony -- and picked up a comfortable 109-99 victory over the Nuggets to move to 2-1 on the season, anno Carmelo. Stephen Curry is still out for the Warriors as he deals with whatever the hell an adductor strain is (I believe it's the groin). Golden State was also without Draymond Green following his expletive-laden conversation with Kevin Durant which lead to a few large men intervening, a "That's why I'm out" KD lip reader translation, and a one-game suspension for Green... They played the Hawks, though. Technically, only winning by seven could be seen as subtraction by subtraction in this case (or addition in the form of signing DeMarcus Cousins long-term and possibly another free agent when KD leaves this summer), but you get the point - they added a digit to the win column.

With just three games on the docket Tuesday night, today's recap feels a bit different. The format remains the same -- we'll be taking a look at three fantasy takeaways from Tuesday, November 13th -- it's just that all three could easily be derived from the Cavs. I don't want to do that. So, in an effort to retain balance, let's have a look at one fantasy takeaway from each game because while their City Edition unis actually looked better on court than in the pictures, I find Cleveland largely prosaic.

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Jeremy Lamb has Become Nicolas Batum Light

Lamb's minus-24 last night was nothing short of trash. However, his 22 points led all Hornets in addition to the six rebounds, two assists, and three steals he collected in what turned out to be a solid, all-around fantasy performance. Lamb now has at least two steals in each of his last three games, six rebounds in each of the last two, and the 15.7 points per game he's putting up in the month of November are second on the team to Kemba Walker (the 5.8 rebounds he's pulling down per game in November are tied with Batum for second on the squad as well). The lone shortcoming in terms of Lamb's game (hence, the "light") comes to us in the form of an inability to pass a basketball to one of his teammates who subsequently shoots, or slams, the ball through a hoop - he's averaging just 1.6 assists per game this season. Nonetheless, he makes up for the lack of assists with steals, field goal percentage, a couple threes... Making him an underrated fantasy asset which can likely be had for the cheap.

 

P.J. Tucker Shifts the Model of Consistency

It's hard not to like P.J. Tucker. He comes in, puts in work, and goes home or wherever he deems necessary (usually rocking some fly ish - his shoe game is second to none). Tucker's first season in Houston saw him average 6.1 points per game to go with 5.6 rebounds, and he consistently delivered about the same numbers over his six prior seasons in the NBA. You know what to expect. The intriguing part about Tucker this season, though, is that his shot attempts are up and I'd imagine that continues to be the case now that it seems all but guaranteed we'll never see Melo donning a Rockets uniform -- while playing a basketball game for the Rockets -- ever again. Will Tucker average double-figures? Probably not. But, he did put up 12 points last night in Denver giving him back-to-back 12-point performances and raising his average to nine points per game, Anno Carmelo. (He's also averaging 8.8 points per game on the year which would go down as his highest since 2014-2015 if it holds up.) Per usual, Tucker added six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block last night in Denver, and for the second game in a row 100-percent of his scoring came in the form of the three ball (an added bonus depending on your league). All told, the consistency in filling up the box score has been the selling point on Tucker from the fantasy perspective, but now that he's getting a few additional shots, that narrative may be changing.

 

Quinn Cook Continues to Prove He's a Viable Steph Replacement

If you, or your league-mates, have been under a rock Quinn Cook is fantasy relevant as long as Steph Curry is out and if he's somehow available in your league you'll probably want to change that as soon as possible. Thank you. We can't put too much weight on his 18-point, four-rebound, six-assist performance last night because it came at the hands of the woeful Hawks. However, he's averaged 17.3 points with Wardell sidelined, in addition to 2.7 rebounds, and 4.3 rebounds per. More importantly, we have evidence to suggest it's not a fluke. Cook averaged 16.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists to close out the 2017-2018 regular season -- after Steph went down with ankle and MCL injuries -- and was also solid in the Warriors first-round matchup with the Spurs sans Curry. Sure, he's tied to Curry's health, but enjoy the ride while it lasts.

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