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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Drama Reigns Supreme


FanDuel DraftKings NBA daily fantasy

It was Game 2 of the opening round of the 2012-2013 NBA Playoffs. Russell Westbrook nonchalantly crossed midcourt and decided to pull off one of those casual, I'm too cool to signal for a timeout so I'm just going to point at the ref deals. A play we see at least once a game - normally passing through our subconscious minds without regard. Not this instance. Patrick Beverley -- a Houston Rocket at the time -- disrupted the typically mundane act by ducking under Westbrook's outstretched arm in an attempt to steal the ball before the timeout was granted. A smart play when viewed in terms of Westbrook's carelessness, but also one that would result in a torn meniscus for the Thunder star and, ultimately, the demise of Oklahoma City's playoff hopes.

These two adversaries squared off again Tuesday night, and with a little over six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Beverley -- now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers -- reminded us all that he's still a dog. Westbrook had Clippers Montrezl Harrell on the right wing in an iso situation when he lost control of the ball resulting in Beverley -- who was sagging off of Thunders Paul George in a help position at the top of the key -- diving for the (arguably) loose ball and taking out Russ' knees. A dive which was not taken lightly -- given their history and the general senselessness of it -- and lead to some jawing between the two, as well as, a scrum, if you will. NBA drama at its finest. Around this same time in Boston, Blake Griffin threw Ish Smith one of the worst inbound passes you will ever see with the Detroit Pistons trailing by three with a little over 10 seconds to go in the game. The wayward pass was ultimately collected by Kyrie Irving of the Celtics, who was subsequently fouled and knocked down the ensuing free throws - locking down the W for Boston and providing us hoop heads an anti-climatic finish to an otherwise intriguing game. The Washington Wizards took their circus on the road to Memphis, and while the internal discord wasn't on full display this particular evening, Memphis opened the second half on an 18-1 run and handed the Wizards their sixth loss in seven games (the Grizzlies remain undefeated at home). Houston was drubbed by Portland, at home, and have now fallen to 1-5 on the season after coming one game from representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals a season ago...

All told, the drama was soap opera-esque in the association on Tuesday night. The drama wasn't the only item of mention, though, as the night handed us several notable performances as well - let's recap some of the biggest fantasy basketball takeaways.

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Pascal Siakam is Coming Into His Own in Year 3

You should probably take a quick glimpse at your league's waiver wire to see if Pascal Siakam is floating around out there; he looks to be coming into his own this season. Not only did last night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers see Siakam pull down a career-high 15 rebounds, but he also added 15 points, two assists, and three steals across 33 minutes. The third-year forward has now put up 15.7 points and 10 rebounds per game over the Raptors last three while seeing an increase in minutes (he's averaged a little over 34 minutes over that three-game stretch). Siakam is the Raptors fourth option offensively, at best, and his 16.5 usage percentage (11th on the team) merely serves as proof in that regard. However, he's one of seven Raptors averaging double-figures on the season, now has two double-doubles over eight games, and could provide sneaky value for the rest of the season given his ability to fill up the box score in a variety of ways.

 

Ben Simmons Records Third Triple-Double of the Season

Ben Simmons came into Tuesday night's matchup against the Toronto Raptors pacing all players with two triple-doubles on the young season. He left Scotiabank Arena having recorded his third... Kinda. Simmons finished the night with 11 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds (two rebounds shy of a real triple-double) but it was the 11 turnovers which provided the pseudo triple-double and tarnished what was still an impressive stat line. Let's chalk this one up to Kawhi Leonard's defensive prowess, but nonetheless, Simmons continues to impress and is now just two assists per game shy of averaging a triple-double on the season. (Leonard finished the night with 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals as the Raptors cruised to a 129-112 victory.)

 

Tony Parker Goes in His Bag and Finds 2011

Watching Tony Parker run around in the teal and purple of the Charlotte Hornets feels about as awkward as entering a gentleman's club to see one of my daughters twerking on the pole. Okay, it's not quite that troublesome, but it doesn't feel just. After seeing just 15 minutes per game and putting up pedestrian numbers over his first five games as a Hornet -- 4.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists -- the Frenchman provided 24 points and 11 assists off the bench in last night's 125-113 victory over the Miami Heat. He's averaged 21 points and 9.5 assists over his last two appearances and is beginning to show the Spurs that he may still have some much needed (sans Dejounte Murray) gas left in the tank. Now, it's worth noting that both of these performances came in comfortable victories for this Hornets team which was also devoid of Devonte' Graham. However, Graham was assigned to the G League's Greensboro Swarm Tuesday. Combine that with Parker's recent play, and I wouldn't be surprised to see his average of 17.3 minutes per game continue to creep up into the 20 range. Especially, if the Hornets can remain competitive in the East. I'm not rushing out to pick up TP just yet, but he is someone worth keeping an eye on and could continue to be a gem for dfs players as the season progresses.

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