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RotoBaller NBA Recap: It's Raining Threes In Sacramento

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Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. James Harden ended his five-game streak of scoring over 40 points but was able to provide his 12th consecutive contest of scoring 30 or more, delivering 38 points on the night. Harden has averaged 40.8 points per game since December 13th, leading the Rockets to a 10-2 record over that span of time. Unfortunately, his performance on Saturday night wasn't enough to overcome the Portland Trail Blazers, who were able to notch their 23rd win of the year.

The Philadelphia 76ers survived the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 106-100. Ben Simmons led the way for the 76ers, recording 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth triple-double of the year. Jimmy Butler missed the game with an illness but has been in the news lately for complicating an already tenuous relationship between the team's big three. According to a report, Butler has been vocal of head coach Brett Brown, and it has apparently transferred into recent film sessions. Butler has expressed a desire to teammates of wanting to play in a more traditional pick-and-roll offense, rather than trying to find his place in the Sixers free-flowing system. After Butler's recent issues in Minnesota, this isn't a good look for him, and it could affect how other teams view him in free agency. That, of course, is assuming that Philadelphia can't make it work with the four-time All-Star.

And the Golden State Warriors escaped the Sacramento Kings 127-123. The two teams combined for an NBA-record 41 three-point baskets, and the Kings set a franchise record with 20 of their own. Justin Jackson scored a career-high 28 points for Sacramento and also set a new career-high with five triples on the night. Jackson benefited from Iman Shumpert sitting out of the game because of a finger injury, and head coach Dave Joerger gave him extended run due to his hot shooting. While the performance was impressive, the 23-year-old still isn't worth an add quite yet. Our three main fantasy takeaways of the night are still to come, so without further ado, let's take a deeper dive into January 5th.

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Jalen Brunson Flirts With Triple-Double

Jalen Brunson barely missed recording the first triple-double of his young career on Saturday, scoring 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one three-pointer in 26 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers. The former Villanova star was playing in his first game back in Philadelphia as a pro and received a nice ovation from the crowd when he entered the floor.

Brunson has been a solid fantasy contributor this season when he has registered at least 25 minutes in a game, averaging 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. The issue is that it has only happened eight times this season, and his upside remains limited with the stacked backcourt that the Mavericks have. Brunson got a little extra run on Saturday because of injuries to J.J. Barea (hamstring) and Devin Harris (hamstring), but there isn't enough consistency to warrant ownership in the majority of leagues. The 22-year-old is looking like a player that should be able to carve out a role in the NBA but leave him on your waiver wire this season, at least until more minutes open up for him a nightly basis.


Justin Holiday Struggles In First Memphis Start

Well, that wasn't the performance you were hoping to see if you own Justin Holiday. We all knew that his upside was going to take a significant hit in Memphis, but the first game did nothing but further emphasize him as being a drop in standard leagues.

Holiday played 21 minutes on Saturday, scoring two points to go along with two rebounds and two assists on 1-for-7 shooting. The 29-year-old will have to deal with a major adjustment period on his new team and most likely is droppable if there is an option sitting on your waiver. But with all that being said, I don't mind giving Holiday one or two more games before deciding to cut him. He plays seven times in the next two weeks and should become better acclimated to his new role as time passes. Holiday ranks second in the NBA in corner threes, which is a shot that Memphis is currently ranked dead last in the league at making. Holiday will form a role because of his three-point ability and defense, but it is just a matter of how much that will equate into fantasy production.

Malcolm Brogdon Continues To Exceed Draft Value

After having an average draft position of 128.3 on ESPN, Yahoo and CBS leagues, Malcolm Brogdon has far exceeded his draft capital this season. The 26-year-old has transformed into a steady player in points leagues and has shown borderline top-50 value in nine-category leagues, currently ranking 59th on the year.

On Saturday against the Raptors, Brogdon finished with 15 points, five assists, three rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one three-pointer on 5-for-11 shooting. The former second-round pick in the 2016 draft has made great strides defensively, recording nearly one steal per contest in December and established a new single-game high with two rejections against Toronto. Brogdon only had six blocks coming into the game, so it is not like swats are going to be apart of his nightly repertoire, but the slight boost across the board defensively has allowed him to transform into a must-start fantasy option. He is currently setting career highs in scoring, field goal percentage, three-pointers made, three-point percentage and rebounds. Plus, he is shooting 98.5 percent from the charity stripe on the season, making 63 of his 64 attempts.


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