He plays on the same squad as two of the league’s most dynamic talents — one with a propensity for wrecking box scores and making frequent trips to the locker room (Anthony Davis), the other known for wild stat lines and mixing it up with opponents and officials alike (DeMarcus Cousins). He also essentially plays the same position as a point guard who’s certainly capable of hogging assists in Rajon Rondo.
So ultimately, it’s really not shocking that we tend to forget about Jrue Holiday — and specifically, just how useful he can be in fantasy leagues when he’s got it cooking. So as you may have guessed, it is Mr. Holiday who leads off this edition of Roundball Stew’s FIVE NOTABLE BOX SCORES OF THE WEEK:
1. Jrue Holiday, silent assassin (27 points, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and 5 treys on Wednesday): Holiday started to find his swagger a few games before Rondo returned with a 34-point, 11-assist game back on Nov. 9, and has continued to play mostly excellent basketball since then. His last 10 games: 18.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg and 1.7 3s, on 49.3 percent from the field and 93.1 from the line. And even with a seven-turnover game mixed in there, he’s still posting just 2.4 TOs during this stretch. Overall he’s been the No. 32 player in 9-category leagues for those 10 games, and with Rondo’s minutes already ramped up to where they might realistically stay (26 per game over his last six), there’s really no reason to doubt whether Holiday can continue to roll.
2. The “D” in Oladipo (26 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks and 4 3s on 11-of-14 shooting on Monday): Feel free to cite the caveat that Victor Oladipo did this against his former team, but the fact is he has pretty much been obliterating everyone lately. Over his last 10 games — LOOK AWAY IF YOU TRADED HIM AT ANY POINT THIS SEASON — Dipo has posted 22.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.3 spg, 1.4 bpg and 2.3 3s. His lone weakness over the course of this hot streak? Eczema Free throw shooting. He’s at just 71.7 percent during this 10-game run (and 80.0 percent on the season). That hasn’t held him back much, though. His 9-category rank for these 10 games is 11th overall, a number I can realistically see him maintaining, or at least approaching (for the season, he’s 18th overall). In closing, I’ll leave you with two more numbers: 3.4 and 2.0. Those are Oladipo’s steals / blocks averages over the last five games. And I’ll leave you with one thought, which is more of a confession: I had kind of written off Oladipo after a disappointing 2016-17. I certainly would have drafted him, but wasn’t trying aggressively to land him on my rosters. Suffice it to say, I regret it deeply. That is all.
3. An Alec Burks eruption (28 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 4 3s on Thursday): Whoa. I picked up Burks in one league for a spot start earlier this week, thanked him for his efforts (14 points, 4 boards, a steal and three treys in 20 minutes) and moved on. Yikes. He is now smiling and waving from someone else’s roster, and you probably ought to make sure he’s not sitting out there in your particular league (he’s rostered in just 5 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this writing). Over his last four games, Burks is at 16.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.0 spg and 2.3 3s on 54.8 percent from the field in just 24 minutes a game. Sure, he has benefited from Rodney Hood being out, but A) Burks was hinting at value before Hood got hurt, and B) We all know that Hood is not the most durable professional athlete. Pick up Burks today to see if he keeps it going, and if nothing else you can help erase the fact that I dropped him.
4. An Ersan phenomenon (22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block, 4 3s on Thursday): Of course, in the same league where I dropped Burks, I also added Ilyasova this week. And to me it’s pretty significant that in the first game without Dewayne Dedmon for 3-6 weeks, Ilyasova went off for his best game of the season — by far. Also notable: It was around this time last year that Ersan got hot for a two-month stretch, posting 17.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 spg and 2.4 3s between early December and early February. There’s of course no guarantee he will duplicate that (different team, different season), but the opportunity at the moment is certainly there. (Also: While I was writing this, word came down that John Collins has hurt his shoulder and is headed for an MRI, which is very unsettling news for me as a Hawks fan but potentially helps Illyasova’s cause even more.)
5. Holiday Season (16 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 treys on Thursday): Why is Justin Holiday closing out this list instead of an Andre Drummond (26 points, 22 boards, 6 assists on Monday) or a James Harden (37-10-8 on Monday)? Because A) It’s no fun to pick just the obvious monster lines, B) He is the sibling of the aforementioned and pictured Jrue Holiday (above) and C) I’m trying to pinpoint box scores that contain some sort of revelation, which in this case would be that Holiday has taken a quick breather from destroying your FG percentage. After a 6-of-14 night on Thursday, he’s now at 46.5 percent over his last three games (18.7 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 2.0 bpg and 3.7 3s). And yes, I know that there’s almost no chance that Holiday continues to shoot well, but I think it’s worth highlighting (which I did briefly last week) what an odd case this guy is in fantasy leagues. The fact is, he really does a lot of things well — points (14.6), steals (1.3), blocks (0.6) and 3s (2.7) most notably — but does so while completely wrecking you in FG percentage (36.7 percent on 14 attempts a game). I don’t think you can really be competitive in that category if he’s on your roster, but Holiday is a reminder that if you plan accordingly, you can put together a pretty nice FG-tanking team this year. A few names to prioritize, aside from Holiday: Donovan Mitchell, Lauri Markkanen, Carmelo Anthony and Lonzo Ball (remember: If you think Lonzo will ruin in you in FT percentage also, he only shoots 1.4 per game).
*Bonus Line — The Tyreke Evans resurgence (22 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 3s on Wednesday): With this performance, Tyreke closed out November with averages of 20.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.5 bpg and 1.8 3s on 52.1 percent from the field. This after he played 65 total games the last two seasons, and was outright bad last year for two teams (10.3 ppg on 40.5 percent shooting). With that in mind, in theory you should be trying to sell high. But consider his year-by-year ranking in 9-category leagues:
If you put aside what was essentially a lost season last year, Evans when healthy has been on a steady upward trajectory as a fantasy player. His 3-point shot has become a legitimate weapon (41.9 percent this season), and with others potentially skeptical of his durability, it may not be easy to get fair value in a trade. So ultimately, the best play might be to do absolutely nothing. Bottom line: If he stays healthy, I am absolutely buying that he’s a top-60 player.
Other Random Thoughts: Tyus Jones has really looked impressive lately, and it’s a bummer for fantasy purposes that he plays behind such a normally durable guard in Jeff Teague. Jones’ last three games, all starts: 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.7 apg, 4.0 spg, 0.7 bpg and 1.7 3s (that lopsided steal number was boosted by a 7-swipe game over the weekend). … Lou Williams’ first 10 games this season: 14.8 ppg, 3.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.6 3s. Lou Williams’ last 10 games: 22.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.6 spg, 3.0 3s. … Caris LeVert over his last eight games: 12.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg and 1.3 3s in just 25 minutes a game. I discussed him in a little more detail at the Rotoworld hoops roundtable this week.
A Fantasy Football-Related Thought (for those who care): I’m in a must-win situation in my hometown league against a lifelong friend I really dislike. It’s a two-QB league, my lineup is set and I'm feeling fairly good about it (Cam Newton / Ben Roethlisberger / DeAndre Hopkins / Mike Evans / Doug Baldwin / Jimmy Graham / Melvin Gordon / Latavius Murray / Kenyan Drake / Chargers D). The only problem: Josh Gordon is on my bench, and I made the mistake of searching for his name on Twitter and finding a whole bunch of stuff that makes me really tempted to start him (over Drake). I have mostly talked myself out of it, but it’s lingering. What an intriguing and potentially bad idea. I may need to set my lineup and lock my phone and computer in a safe. I do not trust Sunday Morning Matt to make a rational decision here…