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RotoBaller NBA Recap: The Lou Williams Explosion


Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. Monday night in the NBA was a good one, with nine games on the docket, higlighted by close battles between the Raptors and Nets, the Cavaliers and Knicks, and the Trail Blazers and Thunder. As has been the case all season, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden put up strong performances, though Harden almost saw his streak of 30-point games end at 29 straight before a late three gave him 31.

Elsewhere in the NBA, we got some more buy-out market news, as the Raptors will be signing Jeremy Lin. He'll immediately help fill a hole left by the injury to Fred Vanvleet and should have some fantasy relevance. That also opens things up even more for the Hawks and their backcourt duo of rookies Trae Young and Kevin Huerter as Atlanta looks to fully lean in to their destiny as a young team as we approach the end of the season.

The three main fantasy takeaways of the night are still to come, so without further ado, let's dive a little deeper into what happened on February 9th.

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Lou Williams Has Historic Night

Williams scored 45 points off the Clippers bench on Monday, the highest bench scoring mark since J.R. Smith also scored 45 back in 2009. Since 1985, only three players have scored more off the bench: Nick Anderson, Larry Bird, and Darius Miles. (Darius Miles? Really?)

Williams scored his 45 despite making just three shots from deep. He was 16-for-16 from the free throw line. Williams has seen his scoring numbers drop this season, but this marks his third time hitting the 30-point mark over his last six games. The problem for fantasy owners? He hasn't hit 20 in the other three, and Williams tends to be inconsistent in how he grabs rebounds and dishes out assists. His shooting can be off at times, as evidenced by the 10 games this year in which he's shot under 30 percent.

He's shooting better lately, but I have questions about how sustainable it is, and if his increased minutes since the Avery Bradley trade are sustainable. The Clippers have fallen out of the top-eight in the West, and if that slide continues I could see this team devoting even more time and attention to the newly-acquired Landry Shamet. For now, Williams feels like a fantasy riser, but there's something tenuous about that.

 

Paul George's Scoring Streak

What Paul George has done this year has been breathtaking -- an already top-level talent somehow pushing his game to an even bigger level, George has established himself as the Thunder's most important player despite the Thunder starting Russell Westbrook at point guard.

George has also been scoring lately. A lot.

Over the last eight games, George's worst scoring night was a 27-point performance in a win against Memphis where George only played 31 minutes. Over that stretch, he's averaging 38.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and 49 percent from three on an average of 13 attempts from deep.

Most importantly, the Thunder seem to have found a winning formula, so fantasy owners shouldn't expect regression from George in the near future. He's firmly established himself as one of the league's best players.

 

Should We Keep An Eye On Kadeem Allen?

I always like to highlight someone unexpected, and there's no better place to search for unexpected than with the New York Knicks, who are bound to start anyone at anytime. You could tell me that Stephon Marbury is running the point tomorrow and I'd nod my head and say huh, weird! Hope he still has it!

So with that said, I'm not going to lie to y'all: until about two weeks ago, I didn't know who Kadeem Allen was. Couldn't have told you anything. Assumed he'd produce next to nothing in the Knicks lineup.

Instead, Allen has his second game in a row with double figure scoring and is playing heavy minutes for an undermanned Knicks squad. On Monday, Allen finished with 25 points and six assists on 10-for-16 shooting. He showed some ability to finish at the basket and was hitting from mid-range.

But, should he be on your fantasy radars? In deeper leagues, yes. Someone has to score for New York, and the Knicks made us of Allen in both their third quarter yeah, we're trying to "win" lineup, which features DeAndre Jordan and Damyean Dotson, and their fourth quarter jk, we're tanking lineup that replaces them with Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson. I'd expect to see a good amount of minutes for him moving forward, though in shallower leagues I want to see the scoring keep up a little longer before I commit myself to taking the plunge.

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