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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Uhhhh Defense? Anyone?

Heading into Tuesday night's NBA action, the league average was 110.3 points per game...

The Thunder put up 126 against the Hawks Tuesday night, and lost. The 76ers produced the most points they've scored in nearly 30 years. The Warriors set a new NBA record with 51 first quarter points. Seven Pacers scored in double figures. And five of the 12 teams in action last night put at least 125 points on the board -- Indiana (131), Philadelphia (149), Oklahoma City (126), Atlanta (142), Golden State (142) -- with Milwaukee falling just one point shy despite Giannis Antetokounmpo logging just 24 minutes. There were no overtimes played.

If you like defense, well, I hope you caught up on some sleep. (Although, the Bulls and Lakers nightcap was the one low-scoring, tightly contested game of the night.) You're here though, so I'm guessing you enjoy offense and fantasy points. If not, you're already here, so you might as well join me in recapping three notable fantasy basketball performances from January, 15th.

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Lonzo Ball Has a Triple-Double Flirting With Obsession

There's a very fine line between opportunity and talent, and Ball's sophomore season is proving to be a prime example. His scoring, rebounding and assist numbers have all seen a noticeable drop from Year 1 to Year 2. So too have his minutes and usage rate, though. Adding a guy named LeBron James, and ancillary pieces like Rajon Rondo, would likely have a similar effect on most guards in the NBA.

However, without those two in the lineup, Ball has averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists; up from the nine points, five rebounds, and five assists he was averaging to start the season. And last night saw him drop 19 points with eight rebounds and six assists against the Bulls - he's also added two steals in each of his last five, including a duo last night.

The timetable on LeBron's return seems sooner than later, but Rondo is likely out another coupe of weeks as he makes his way back from finger surgery, so the season-long fantasy impact of Ball's recent play remains to be seen (and who knows what Luke Walton will do tomorrow, let alone once the squad is fully healthy). However, in the interim, Lonzo has officially regained his place among the trustworthy sources of DFS value as he poses a triple-double threat every time he steps on the floor.


Jerami Grant Making the Most of Additional Run

Grant has now scored at least 20 points in two of his last three games after dropping 21 points for the Thunder Tuesday night. It's worth noting that Nerlens Noel has missed these three games due to a concussion, so the 38 minutes Grant has seen over these three games is likely soon to fall back down to the 30 range.

However, in grabbing five rebounds, and adding three steals and two blocks, Grant continues to show he has the potential to contribute across all five categories for this Candice Swanepoel-ishly thin OKC frontcourt. And while the rebounding and assist numbers leave plenty to be desired, his production on the defensive side of the ball have all but made up for those shortcomings. Plus, the opportunity for continual production is pretty much a given by default - the arrow is pointing straight up.


Myles Turner Looks Solid in Return, But Is Still Myles Turner

Turner returned from a four-game absence to register 18 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks in 28 minutes Tuesday night... Against the Suns. Yes, Phoenix has looked much better of late -- though not reflected in the win column -- but last night marked just the eighth game in which Turner has reached 18 points in 38 starts this season. It's hard not to attribute the scoring "outburst" to the opponent.

While posting respectable numbers on the season at 13 points and seven rebounds per game, Turner continues to disappoint any advocates expecting a breakout with inconsistent scoring and marginal impact on the boards. He did, however, look much improved prior to the shoulder injury -- averaging 15 and nine from the end of November through the end of last year -- and could be worth a low-ball flier with the Pacers finally at full strength. That's just a risky proposition.

The sample size is large enough to indicate exactly who he is at this point, and if you can get even a decent return on investment, that's probably the way to go... Sorry to be the guy who views the glass half empty.

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