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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Harden Drops 58 Just Because

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

Wooooo buddy, most of Thursday's games were TRASH.

  • The Warriors played the Magic without Kevin Durant and lost...
  • The Thunder and Sixers faced off without Joel Embiid or Paul George. Westbrook shot 33 percent on 24 shots and lost to a team starting Jonah Bolden at center.
  • The Cavs beat the Knicks with some late game heroics. Unfortunately, wins are like losses to these teams.
  • Miami is the worst decent team in the league. They beat the Warriors and nearly edged the Rockets today but gave the Suns their first win in over a month. This was all over the course of a week.
  • The Jazz and Nuggets faced off in the best game of the night. The highlights were a Gobert block and corner threes from Kyle Korver.

Thank heavens it's over. Now, let's take it away with the Thursday, February 28th recap with these fantasy highlights!

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James Harden: Casual Thursday

Harden went bonkers, what's new? Thursday night in Miami, the Rockets' superstar scored 58 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 100 percent from the line (on 18 shots). This is the new normal and the only way Houston has a chance of winning games. The Rockets were down 18 at one point but were willed to a three-point victory late in the fourth. Offensively, Harden is the closest thing to prime Kobe Bryant we've seen and it is not appreciated enough. History will look back on this stretch and shine the proper light it deserves. Not only because of the scoring, but because of everything else he does on the floor.

Harden has a legitimate case as the best scorer and passer in the league - two feats that do not overlap often, if ever. On Thursday night he showcased his playmaking yet again with 10 assists and even chipped in on the defensive end with four steals and a block. Not these stats directly translate to good play on either side but are referenced to emphasize the sheer effort Harden is putting in on the floor to get a win. His seven rebounds and eight threes are nothing to be glossed over either. Harden is playing arguably the best basketball in the league and deserves the votes he will get for MVP.


Karl-Anthony Towns: Big KAT

KAT is a superstar held back by an awfully constructed roster. It's easy to shift the blame all on Andrew Wiggins given his poor play on both ends of the floor, but the issues run a lot deeper. The bench is horrid and the starting lineup is a mish-mash of an NBA 2K fantasy draft set on auto. There is no continuity or chemistry but one thing that remains stable is KAT. Night-in and night-out he puts up his 24 and 12 and then he watches his teammates on the floor flail about.

Thursday night was especially painful given that he scored 42 points and grabbed 17 boards and the Wolves still lost by seven to the Oladipo-less Pacers (who are actually still good, so it's understandable). Four assists and three threes were sprinkled in there as well to spice up his stat line for fantasy owners. Can't ask for more from the 23-year old big man. Lucky for us, the Wolves are still technically in the playoff hunt and have no incentive to "rest" him until after the fantasy playoffs.


Cedi Osman: Turkish Delight

Cedi Osman has been playing much better of late. Despite missing a stretch of games to start the month, he has returned to his late January form. With Kevin Love returning to the lineup, Cedi Osman has upped his efficiency well enough to prove that he just might be a future building block for the pitiful Cavaliers. On Thursday night, he put up 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, three threes, a steal and converted all four of his attempts at the line.

Osman's percentages have bee tough to swallow throughout the year, especially given the lack of stocks, but his recent stretch may make him a bit more palatable. Regression should arrive sooner than later though as it always does.

Osman plays enough minutes and racks up enough stats across the board to make him a viable add in 12 team leagues and above. The threes, points, and rebounds are valuable if he's not tanking your turnovers, field goal, and free throw percentages.


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