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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Jimmy Butler Disappoints In First Game With 76ers


Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA recap.  In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from the previous night's slate of NBA games. Following the usual light schedule on Tuesday, Wednesday's docket was once again almost full to the brim with 11 games.  This is the fourth time in five weeks that at least two-thirds of the league's teams have played on Wednesday.

What a night Wednesday turned out to be. While only five of the 11 games ended up being single-digit deficits, both the Magic and Pistons earned victories after entering the fourth quarter down by at least 10 points. Perhaps the best game of the night was the Grizzlies 116-113 win over the Bucks where Marc Gasol (29 points) and Mike Conley (26) combined for 55 points. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo (31) and Khris Middleton (25) totaled 56 points combined.

There were several other top individual performances with LeBron James and Joel Embiid leading the way. James just missed his second triple-double of the season as he posted a season-high 44 points to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists. Embiid finally joined the triple-double club as he had 19 points, 13 rebounds as well as 10 dimes. Now, let's take it away with our real November 14 fantasy highlights and lowlights.

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Jimmy Butler: How The Trade Impacts the 76ers

Butler's first game with the 76ers ended in disappointment as the Magic overcame an 11-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and secured a 111-106 win. Butler's performance was nearly as disappointing.

It wasn't that Butler necessarily underperformed, he did contribute 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. He made six of 12 shots from the field with one of the misses being from beyond the arc. However, the 26-year-old went scoreless in the fourth quarter as he was 0-for-2 from the field and posted a minus-12 rating. His game score of 7.6.was his second-lowest of the season and his -10 rating was his fourth worst. Additionally, his 13.4 turnover ratio was the second-highest on the team.

It was just one game and it will take a while for the guys to get adjusted with one another. But here are some key takeaways.

Butler will be fine. He will likely produce around his recent season averages of 20 points, five rebounds. Embiid will also continue his incredible production, although the 10 assists and 40 percent rate is a bit of an anomaly.

J.J. Redick should continue to get open looks and if he can knock down the shots as he did versus the Magic, the 76ers will reach the finals. Redick posted a 79.3 true shooting percentage as he canned eight of 13 shots overall and four of seven from beyond the arc.

Wilson Chandler also saw an uptick in production. Mike Muscala and  Markelle Fultz had average games. The only real concern, which is not a surprise, is Ben Simmons. Simmons only took five shots and doled out six assists as he was used on just 11.1 of the team's possessions, which was the second-lowest on the squad.

 

Dario Saric and Robert Covington: First Games As Timberwolves

Like Butler, Saric and Covington had mixed results in their first games with their new team's. Covington filled the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals along with two blocks in a team-high 41 minutes in the 107-100 win over the Timberwolves. He was 4-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from beyond the arc. It was his seventh game with at least three three-pointers.

Saric didn't have as much as success as Covington, but it wasn't a horrible debut. The 6-foot-10 combo forward was 3-for-7 from the field and 1-for-2 from beyond the arc. He added three rebounds, two steals as well as one assist in 20 minutes off the bench. It was his fewest rebounds of the season to date.

It wouldn't be surprising that Covington and Saric put up similar numbers throughout the remainder of the season. I do believe that Covington's rebound numbers are a little higher than normal while Saric's rebound numbers were just a tad below what would be his average.

Karl-Anthony Towns was once again dominant. Towns compiled 25 points and 16 rebounds, marking his straight third double-double of at least 25 points. Expect Towns to continue to put up similar numbers moving forward.

Andrew Wiggins, as expected, saw a big jump in usage and production without Butler. The 23-year-old posted his second-highest game-score (17.1)of the season as he scored a season-high 23 points. He also tied his season-best in rebounds (six), three-pointers (four) and steals (three). Wiggins has now filled every category in each of his last four contests and six of seven.

Jeff Teague, who just returned to action on November 12 after missing six games due to injury, has dished out double-digit assists in consecutive games for the first time this season. Teague has tallied 36 points over the last two games as he also has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time this season. With Butler gone and Derrick Rose (knee) possibly sidelined for a few games, the 30-year-old will have the ball in his hands plenty.

Josh Okogie did a nice job in a little larger than expected role with Rose out. The rookie finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

 

Rajon Rondo: Expect To Miss The Next Couple Of Week

Rondo fractured his hand in the Lakers victory over the Trail Blazers. The win moved the Lakers two games over .500 for the first time since Nov. 12, 2016.

Rondo is expected to miss at least the next few weeks after fracturing his right third metatarsal while going for a steal according to coach Luke Walton. While the loss of the veteran backup will hurt, the Lakers have several veterans who have the ability to step up.

Rondo was having a solid season statistically, but what the Lakers will miss more is the intangibles as well as his ability to create havoc.

Lonzo Ball will see an uptick in minutes as he has in the previous games that Ronda has missed. Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson could also see more time. Brandon Ingram is expected to serve as the backup point guard. It may be worth fantasy owners in need of three-pointers and steals to pluck Hart off the waiver wire while he is still available.