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RotoBaller NBA Recap: All Hail Jusuf Nurkic


When the Blazers and Kings took the floor Tuesday night, no player in the history of the NBA had ever recorded a 2o-plus point, 20-plus rebound, five-assist, five-steal, five-block game. 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and five blocks later, one of the most unlikely of candidates to accomplish this mystifying feat had defied the odds... None other than, Jusuf Nurkic.

The great Shaquille O'Neal uttered, "we're not worried about the Sacramento Queens..." about 15 years ago, but who knew he was looking into his crystal ball and predicting the future? Nurkic is king now - he just made Sacramento his b... He has to be in the GOAT conversation now, right?!

All told, the association kicked off the new year by logging five games in the books. And while Nurkic stole the show by editing all of his NBA2K ratings to 99 and somehow figuring out a way to transpose his video game self into his actual body, he wasn't the only player to ball out on this first day of 2019. Here are my top three fantasy basketball takeaways from Tuesday, January 1st.

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You Get a Career-High! You Get a Career-High! You Get a Career-High!

I always wanted to go to the Oprah show. Not that I care for her, or the show, I just want the opportunity to do my best Jonah Hill, Get Him To The Greek impersonation after she gifts all of the audience members a pair of Spanx. Or, a sweater. Or, anything which pales in comparison to a car or hoards of cash. (The latter would provide legit euphoria, but I'm not lucky like that. I'd probably get a YETI mug.)

Tuesday night saw Scotiabank Arena playing Oprah with career-highs being handed out like candy on Halloween. The losing Jazz got 30 points and six rebounds from Jae Crowder of all people. Crowder went 5-of-7 from behind the arc and put 30 points on the board for the first time in his seven-year career. Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam were responsible for 73 of the winning Raptors 122 points - each setting a new career-high with 45 and 28, respectively. More impressively, Leonard dropped 45 at an astronomical 73-percent from the field - 30 of Leonard's 45 came in the second half where he made 10 of his 12 shot attempts.

... None of this has much long-term fantasy relevance as these guys are likely owned in an overwhelming majority of leagues and we know who they are at this point. But, if you had hem in your lineups -- or played them in DFS -- you're a happy individual.

 

Luke Kornet Continues to Capitalize on Starting Role

No NBA player who's attempted at least 15 threes since Kornet joined the Knicks starting five on December 27th has knocked them down at a higher clip than Kornet's 62.5-percent. Not only has the second-year man hit 15 of his 24 three-point attempts, but after a 19-point and six-rebound showing last night in Denver, he's now accounted for a team-leading 18.7 points to go with five rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while seeing just under 30 minutes of action over these three starts.

Not too shabby.

This is an extremely small sample, yes. David Fizdale switches up the Knicks lineup like he's channel surfing in his drawers at midnight, also true. However, New York's net rating is plus-22.9 in three games with Kornet starting versus minus-18.2 with Enes Kanter occupying the same spot. Kanter can complain until he's blue in the face, but this does not appear to be coming to an end anytime soon... I hope.

 

Malik Beasley Unbothered by the Return of Gary Harris

Gary Harris returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing the Nuggets last 11 contests, and the logical assumption was that the 25 minutes Beasley saw in his absence -- along with the 12.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists -- would diminish as a result. Harris only attempted five shots in just under 20 minutes in his return so that logical assumption may still hold true in the near future. It's just fallacy at the moment.

Beasley welcomed his running mate back by dropping 23 points on the Knicks (another career-high) to go with six rebounds and five assists. He saw just 18 minutes of court time over Denver's first 23 contests -- supplying 7.5 points and 2.2 rebounds -- but has now put up 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and two assists in the 12 games since and has all but forced head coach Mike Malone to continue giving him increased run even once Harris returns to full strength. The backcourt is crowded in Denver with Monte Morris also providing solid contributions over the last month, but Beasley is definitely one to keep an eye on.

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