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RotoBaller NBA Recap: James Harden Puts On A Show At MSG


New York City is known as the "City that never sleeps," and Knicks' coach David Fizdale probably can attest to that after last night. If he was able to get any sleep, James Harden was probably dancing in his head.

Harden was a nightmare for the Knicks Wednesday night, lighting up Madison Square Garden for a career-high 61 points, including the game-clinching layup with 3.8 remaining, as the Rockets held off the Knicks 114-110. Harden tied  Kobe Bryant for the most points by a visiting player at the current MSG and came one point shy of the overall record of 62 points held by Carmelo Anthony. The Beard knocked down 17 of 38 shots from the field, but was only 5-for-20 from beyond the arc, although he made up for that by sinking a season-high 22 of 25 free throw attempts. He scored 19 points in the opening quarter and tallied 36 by halftime. The 29-year-old combo guard also set season-best marks in field goal attempts and rebounds (15) while tying season mark for field goal makes. Harden, who topped the 30-point mark for the 21 straight times, also compiled four assists and five steals for 95 fantasy points, per NBA.com.

Harden was not the only player to have a career night. Nikola Jokic posted 28 points and 21 rebounds, tying a career high, for his second 20-20 game of the season. Jokic added six assists, one block, and two steals as he posted the second highest fantasy point total on the night with 68.2. Marc Gasol, whoregistered his first triple-double of the season, along with Donovan Mitchell, Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid, Nikola Vucevic, Thaddeus Young, Ben Simmons, John Collins, and D'Angelo Russell also compiled at least 50 fantasy points. Special shoutouts go to Serge Ibaka and Tobias Harris for their performances as well. The rest of the article will look at my top three fantasy basketball takeaways from Wednesday, January 23rd.

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Thad Young Steps Up After Victor Oladipo Goes Down With Major Injury

The Indiana Pacers do not have many household names on their roster besides Oladipo, who had a breakout campaign last year. Still, the Pacers have been one of the Association's best and most consistent teams this year as they own the third best record in the Eastern Conference at 32-15, despite being without Oladipo for 11 games.

Young, who has been fantastic since the calendar turned to December, is a big reason why the Pacers have not lost more than two straight games this year. The 30-year-old forward stepped up big time after Oladipo suffered perhaps a season-ending knee injury last night as the Pacers held off the Raptors 110-106 in a key conference victory.  It was the Pacers third straight victory and fifth in the past six outings. Indiana has not lost more than two straight games this season.

Young finished the game with 23 points, which tied Serge  Ibaka for the most in the game, to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks. He was superb down the stretch scoring 12 fourth-quarter points with five of those points coming over the final four minutes, which included converting a key three-point play on a put-back that put the Pacers up 101-97.

The double-double was the 12th-year pro's fifth double-double of the season and fourth since Dec. 1. He is currently having his most productive month of the season, compiling 15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals, and one three-pointer while shooting 61.6 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from beyond the arc in 10 January games.

If the Pacers are going to maintain their current position in the conference, Young as well as Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, and Tyreke Evans will have to step up their play with Oladipo out. The Pacers are 7-4 in the games that Oladipo has missed this season.

Terry Rozier Continues To Star When In Starting Lineup

Rozier has not had the season that was expected after making tremendous strides in year three of his development last season. However, the 6-foot-1 point guard continues to demonstrate why the Celtics think so highly of him as he was once again fantastic while making a spot start for Kyrie Irving (illness).

Rozier turned in a near-flawless first half to help the Celtics take a 15-point halftime lead in en route to a 123-103 victory over the Cavaliers. He scored 22 of his season-high 26 points in the opening 24 minutes as the fourth-year pro made all eight of his shots from the field, including each of his four three-point attempts and both of his free throw tries. He added three rebounds and three assists to go along with two turnovers in the first half and finished the game with eight rebounds and six dimes. Rozier became the first Celtics player to score 20 or more points in a half on perfect shooting since Paul Pierce went 7-for-7 and had 20 in the second half against Chicago on Oct. 30, 2009, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 24-year-old is averaging 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.5 trifectas, and 1.7 steals while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc in six starts this season. He has scored in double-figures in four of those starts, which includes two 20-point games. The Celtics are 4-2 in the games that Rozier has started.

While Rozier still has been too inconsistent to have any fantasy value in standard leagues. He should be in fantasy owners DFS lineups when he is in the C's starting lineup. Rozier is also a streaming option, depending on the matchup, when he earns a start.

 

Jrue Holiday Doesn't Get The Credit He Deserves

Holiday is one of the most overlooked players in the NBA. The 2013 NBA all-star is having a career season this year, averaging 21 points along with 8.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

The 6-foot-4 had a fabulous floor game in the Pelicans 98-94 loss to the Pistons as he compiled 29 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the floor with two of the misses (o-for-2) being from long distance. Holiday added seven assists and five rebounds while not committing any turnovers. It was his 19th-consecutive game posting at least an average game-score (10 or above), according to Basketball-Reference.

Holiday has pumped in at least 20 points in four straight games and five of six. Meanwhile, he has doled out at least five dimes in eight consecutive outings while also hauling in five or more caroms in six of the past seven contests.




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