The stars came out on Saturday night — in sports and in entertainment. Of course, for a lot of us, sports is entertainment. There were eight games on the NBA schedule tonight and it was fun to flip the channels back and forth between the hardwood and Hollywood. In Los Angeles, film fans cheered as Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett achieved the highest honors at the SAG Awards. In fantasy basketball land, owners of the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones and the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah were likely doing some cheering of their own. Here’s a look back at the best Saturday night had to offer, with an ode to Tinseltown.
» Outstanding Performance by a Fantasy Basketball Player in a Lead Role
Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets: Jones’ 36-point, 11-rebound night looked effortless against an overmatched Milwaukee Bucks squad. The second-year power forward hit 14-of-20 shots from the field (including a 7-for-7 second quarter) and cashed in on 7-of-10 free throws. Six of his 11 boards were on the offensive end and he even tacked on two blocks, a steal and a three-pointer for good measure. Our very own Josh Lloyd spoke highly of Jones last week, and if you are one of the lucky owners who added him to your team, you slept happy last night. If you weren’t, go check your league’s waiver wire immediately. Jones is averaging 21.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, three blocks and 1.2 steals over his last five games, yet still remains available in 13.2 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
» Outstanding Performance by a Fantasy Basketball Player in a Supporting Role
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls: If I could give two awards for the Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role, Noah would be taking one home, too, but this award will look just fine on his mantel. The Bulls’ center has been on an absolute tear in the last month and a half. Since December 2, he’s averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals and has even dished out four assists per game. During that span he’s the 37th-ranked player overall on Basketball Monster.com, and Saturday night’s showing was no exception from the norm. The former Florida Gator scored 21 points, while pulling down 16 boards, blocking four shots, handing out three assists and pilfering two steals in the Bulls’ 103-78 blowout win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Noah had a rough patch to begin the season, but is playing in overdrive right now, with no signs of slowing down.
» Outstanding Action Performance by a Fantasy Basketball Player
Paul George, Indiana Pacers: Let’s put aside his 36-point manhandling of the Los Angeles Clippers, and take notice of what this award is truly about — an action performance. If you haven’t seen this dunk yet, now is as good a chance as ever to glimpse pure poetry in motion. Rarely has a dunk this acrobatic been witnessed in a live, regular season NBA game. I can’t think of a better way to conclude this award presentation than with a video of George’s thunderous 360° breakaway slam. The Screen Actors Guild wouldn’t have it any other way: