Montrezl Harrell, F/C Houston Rockets
With Clint Capela (leg) out for the foreseeable future, the Rockets are going to lean on Harrell for at least the short term. Nene can’t play heavy minutes and Houston isn’t going to suddenly acquire someone to come in and start.
Myles Turner, C Indiana Pacers
Here’s a player comparison entering Thursday’s games.
Player A: 20.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 turnovers, 2.1 3PM, 45.2% FGs, 39.2% 3PTFGs, 78.5% FTs.
Player B: 15.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.8 steals, 2.5 blocks, 1.4 turnovers, 0.6 3PM, 53.5% FGs, 38.3% 3PTFGs, 79.8% FTs.
Turner has recently started to emphasize shooting the three, a fantasy asset that will serve to enhance his appeal.
Luol Deng, F Los Angeles Lakers
Deng came into Thursday’s showdown vs. Miami with averages of 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.2 triples over his last six games, and the improved production is of no surprise with the veteran himself admitting that he’s now more comfortable in his new surroundings. Deng stands to benefit from additional playing time with Larry Nance (knee) unavailable, as well.
Mason Plumlee, C Portland Trail Blazers
Plumlee has had a solid overall season, but he’s really taken a step forward this month by putting up 12.6 points, 7.5 boards, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks (1.8 TO) on 56.7% from the field.
Jabari Parker, F Milwaukee Bucks
Parker has had a December to remember, averaging 22.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 3-pointers—connecting at an impressive 40.5% from distance—with a minimal 1.1 turnovers on a sterling 53.0% shooting. Maybe Parker will finally get the attention that he deserves when he makes his first All-Star team, a feat that some might say he’s on his way to earning this season.
Jusuf Nurkic, C Denver Nuggets
He’s not even in the rotation right now. It’s been a brutal slog to the basement for Nurkic.
Josh Richardson, G/F Miami Heat
The minutes have been there for Richardson without Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington or Rodney McGruder available, but he’s failed to take advantage with a string of unimpressive performances since his return to the lineup. Although he’s dealing with a sore right wrist, Richardson came into Thursday’s game vs. the Lakers with paltry averages of 8.0 points 2.7 boards, 2.7 assists and nothing else on 8-of-33 (24.2%) shooting.
Aaron Gordon, F Orlando Magic
Before going up against the Knicks on Thursday, Gordon had done a whole lot of nothing since his 33-point explosion on December 14. The talent is certainly there, but it hasn’t translated across the stat sheet, failing to create a fantasy asset as a result.
Wesley Matthews, G/F Dallas Mavericks
Since Matthews had his string of 20-plus point performances snapped five games ago, he has managed to average 11.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.8 triples on an awful 21-of-61 (34.4%) from the floor.
Tobias Harris, F Detroit Pistons
Harris was supposed to be cruising along as an easy mid-round asset, but Harris has endured a bumpy flight in December. After enjoying a smooth ride over the first 20 games, the last 11 have been rather turbulent with 12.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.1 3-pointers on just 44.4% shooting.