Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time-honored tradition in the NBA. It’s very similar to baseball’s version of Memorial Day, where they have games scheduled throughout the day, many of which are on national television. This year’s edition of MLK Day showcase brought fantasy basketball owners some big, big statistics – none more impressive than the line the Houston Rockets’ Chandler Parsons delivered.
Five-Star Performance of the Night:
» Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets: After missing three games with a knee injury, Parsons struggled to return to his usual productive self upon returning. He put up 13.3 points on an uncharacteristic 35.3 percent shooting in the four games in his first four games back. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Parsons turned things around on Monday – and in a BIG way. Facing a Portland team allowing 102.9 points per game – which is tied for fourth-worst in the league – is a nice way for slumping players to get back on track. The third-year pro from the University of Florida lit the Blazers up, dropping 31 points (12-19 FG, 4-4 FT, 3-5 3PT), grabbing 10 boards and dishing out seven assists. He even blocked two shots in the Rockets’ 126-113 win. His gaudy performance might’ve been enhanced a little by Terrence Jones’ absence, but if you had Parsons benched while he was injured, make sure you get him back in your lineup immediately. After going in the seventh round of most drafts, Parsons is currently putting up third-round value, making him one of the biggest steals of this fantasy basketball season.
Best of the Rest:
» Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: Last year’s No. 1 overall pick has been unstoppable all season long. Even a fractured hand that was supposed to sideline him for 4-6 weeks, kept him out just seven games. Look out, Dwight. Davis is the new Superman. And Superman he was on Monday night, flooding the box score with 27 points (9-10 FT), 10 boards, four blocks and four steals. In doing so, he became the youngest player to accomplish such a feat, doing it at the age of 20 years, 315 days — 377 days sooner than when Kevin Garnett pulled it off on March 10, 1998. Thanks to Davis’ efforts last night, the Pelicans were able to snap an eight-game losing streak.
» Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers: If Gasol is hurt, we’re not seeing it. Dealing with aches and pains all season long, the Spaniard is showing no signs of wear – at least on the court. He had 20 points, five blocks, three steals and a season-high 19 rebounds in the Lakers overtime loss to the Bulls. He even made a nifty right-handed reverse layup in the closing minutes that helped L.A. force the extra period. Gasol has scored at least 20 points in five consecutive games, and played no less than 36 minutes in eight of his last 10 games. His health is definitely something to keep an eye on and there’s a nice window of opportunity to sell high right now.