Each morning I’ll delve into what the NBA had to offer fantasy basketball owners from the evening before. Some were good, some were bad and some were, well, more interesting than that biker outside the bar last night who was trying to sell you tickets to a Journey concert. So grab a coffee — maybe a Danish or two — and start your day off with the latest edition of “The Morning After”.
Joe Johnson, Nets: This game was full of big name players, but coming into Friday night no one could have predicted that Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson would finish the game as the biggest fantasy star. LeBron James (see below) did everything in his power to stop the Nets and their shooting guard, but he fouled out during the first OT and the Heat never recovered, scoring just four points in the final 5:36 of the game. Johnson has to constantly fight off criticism for being extremely overpaid — his $21,466,718 2013-14 salary is the fourth-highest in the NBA — however, on this night, he earned every penny, scoring 32 points on 14-of-25 shooting with four three-pointers, four rebounds, five assists and a steal. He seems to be entering one of this patenting hot streaks, averaging 27.3 points over his last three games (after averaging just seven points over his previous five), but if you own Johnson in weekly leagues you’re going to want to sit him for your upcoming matchup. The Nets are playing in London this Thursday, which will be their lone game during the upcoming week.
Honorable Mentions: LeBron James (36 Pts, 5 Ast, 7 Reb), Kyrie Irving (25 Pts, 8 Ast, 5 Stl), Anthony Tolliver (), Josh Smith (22 Pts, 13 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl, 5 Blk ), Shaun Livingston (19 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Blk), DeMarcus Cousins (24 Pts, 6-6 FT, 14 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl), Enes Kanter (15 Pts, 10 Reb in just 25 minutes), Blake Griffin (33 Pts, 12-15 FG, 12 Reb, 4 Stl, 2 Blk)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: The honeymoon might be over for The Greek Freak and his fantasy owners. The 6’9″ (and apparently still growing) 19-year-old is extremely talented and has a bright future in Milwaukee, but unless you’re in a keeper or dynasty league, now might be the time to part ways with him. He came onto the NBA scene louder than an Athenian breaking plates at a traditional Greek wedding, but he’s beginning to fade. Friday’s game marked rock bottom for the rookie, putting up a big fat zero (0-5 FG) in the scoring column and playing a mere 15 minutes in coach Larry Drew’s ever-changing rotation. Over his last six games Antetokounmpo is averaging just 4.3 points on 34.5 percent field goal shooting.
Dishonorable Mentions: Larry Sanders (1 Pt, fouled out in 23 minutes), John Wall (13 Pts, 4-15 FG, 3 Ast were his lowest this season), Arron Afflalo (15 Pts, 3-12 FG, 4 TO, suffered ankle injury), Terrence Jones (6 Pts, 3-10 FG, 0 Blk), Al-Farouq Aminu (4 Pts, 1-8 FG), Marcus Thornton (1 Pt, 0-4 FG, 0 Ast, 0 Stl in 18 minutes), Jordan Crawford (10 Pts, 3-10 FG)