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Malik Beasley, Nikola Jokic & The Greek Freak go off Wednesday

Malik Beasley

Malik Beasley

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

I know it is the month of March and college basketball is at the forefront of most people’s minds right now, but the NBA has been absolutely insane lately as well. It was a loaded slate on Wednesday night that consisted of 12 games, and you know that there was no shortage of surprises. Some superstars made their returns to the lineup, some superstars were out of the lineup which led to some big performances from other guys, and of course, you know it is silly season, so there were some performances that you will want to know about as we hit the stretch run of the season and head into the fantasy playoffs. There was plenty to pick from, so I will give you the 10 biggest things that happened last night that will put you in position to win a fantasy championship.

Malik Beasley drills franchise-record 11 three-pointers

Normally on TV, you start the “A-Block” of your show with the most important thing that happened on that day. The same goes with writing, and the lead’s that we choose to catch the reader’s attention. With that being said, you know if Malik Beasley is kicking off today’s dose, then you know something wild had to have occurred. And wild, it sure was. Beasley drilled a franchise-record 11 three-pointers without even attempting a shot from inside the arc, or even a mere free throw. He finished with 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting with five rebounds, one assist, and one turnover. Beasley’s 33 points marked the most points in NBA history scored by a player who scored all of his points on three-pointers.

Normally the games that Beasley goes off are the ones where Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, or Karl-Anthony Towns sits, but they were all in the lineup on Wednesday as Minnesota blew out the Thunder 132-102. Beasley is in a nice groove right now, as he has scored in double figures in five-straight games. He is only rostered in 39% of Yahoo! Leagues at the moment, but that could change after this performance, so if you need a shooter, go ahead and take a swing on Beasley.

Nikola Jokic continues to show us why he is not human.

You know you have entered into an otherworldly echelon when you start putting up video-game type numbers regularly and people don’t even make a big deal about them anymore. It’s honestly what has happened to LeBron James over the years and Nikola Jokic is slowly but surely entering that conversation as well. On Wednesday night, he put up 38 points on 15-of-24 shooting (8-of-9 free throws) to go with 18 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two blocks, and three turnovers as the Nuggets beat the Kings 106-100. Over his last three games, Jokic is averaging 38.7 points on 68.3% shooting from the floor and 42.9% from three with 15.0 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. It is simply insane that he does things like this every night, and the scary part is that Denver has now won four games in a row, and there are reports that both Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back) could return before the regular season ends. The bottom line is that if you have Jokic on your fantasy team, you are a very happy person, and you are likely in a pretty good spot in your league standings.

Giannis Antetokounmpo torches Atlanta

From one man who routinely puts up insane numbers to another. The two-time MVP stuffed the stat sheet again on Wednesday, and the Bucks picked up their sixth-straight win against the Hawks. The Greek Freak poured in 43 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the floor (12-of-17 free throws) and added 12 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and two turnovers in 37 minutes. Over his last two games, he is averaging 41.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.

The Bucks also got Grayson Allen back on Wednesday, after he missed Tuesday’s game against OKC with a hip injury. Allen was back in the starting lineup against Atlanta and he played 28 minutes, scoring 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor (3-of-7 3-pointers) to go with five rebounds, three assists, one steal, one no turnovers. It looks like this injury is behind him, meaning that Jordan Nwora will have a minimal impact moving forward. If you haven’t already, be sure to send Nwora back to the waiver wire immediately.

Devin Booker returns to the lineup in style Wednesday

Devin Booker was back in the lineup on Wednesday after missing four games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The Suns wasted no time getting him re-acclimated as he was in the starting lineup and played 33 minutes, which was the second-highest on the team behind Mikal Bridges, who played 35. Booker scored 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-of-7 3-pointers) and dished out nine assists with eight rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and two turnovers. He ended the game with a +31 plus/minus in 33 minutes, which was the highest of anyone in the game. Phoenix earned a 21-point win over a Miami team that was without Jimmy Butler due to some sinus congestion that had to be pretty bad for him to miss the game.

We don’t have any further updates on Butler’s status for Friday’s game in Cleveland, but there should be an update at some point on Thursday. As for Phoenix, they were also without Cameron Johnson, who has now missed three straight games with a quad injury. Phoenix’s next game is Friday against Toronto so stay tuned for an update on Johnson prior to that game.

Jayson Tatum goes off again

The Celtics are arguably the hottest team in the NBA right now as they have won 15 of their last 17 games, including four straight to begin the month of March. We all witnessed the show that he put on against Brooklyn on Sunday, pouring in 54 points to lead the Celtics to a win over the Nets. He didn’t quite get to 54 on Wednesday, but he was close, and the Celtics picked up a 115-101 win over the Hornets. Tatum poured in 44 points on 16-of-24 shooting (6-of-9 3-pointers) and added five rebounds, three assists, three steals, one block, and two turnovers in 38 minutes. He also became the first player in Celtics history to score at least 44 points in back-to-back games, according to Taylor Snow of Celtics.com. Also according to Snow, Robert Williams became the first player in Celtics history to grab at least seven offensive rebounds while playing fewer than 20 minutes. The Timelord finished with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks in just 20 minutes.

Williams and of course Tatum are playing great basketball for Boston, who all of a sudden is 40-27, good for the fifth-seed in the eastern conference, but just two games back of the Bucks for the two-seed, and four games back of Miami for the first seed. Watch out for Boston down the stretch.

Kristaps Porzingis plays well in second game as a Wizard

Porzingis suited up for just the second time in a Wizards uniform on Wednesday, and though they didn’t get the win, Porzingis led the team in scoring for the second-straight game. He did so in only 26 minutes, scoring 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting (2-of-5 3-pointers) to go with three assists, one rebound, one steal, one block, and two turnovers. The Wizards lost 115-109 to the Clippers, who were led by Reggie Jackson, who scored 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting (5-of-9 3-pointers) to go with seven assists, three rebounds, one steal, one block, and four turnovers. Marcus Morris added 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting (3-of-4 from three) with eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover in 35 minutes.

But the big news that came out on Wednesday was that Wes Unseld revealed that Porzingis will play in Friday’s game against the Lakers, but he won’t play in Saturday’s game against Portland in what will be night two of a back-to-back. He didn’t specify if this is just a one-time thing or if Porzingis won’t play in back-to-backs for the remainder of the season. If it is the latter, then that would mean that The Unicorn would miss at least five more games this season, the first of which being on Saturday. We will see how this develops so if you have him, be sure to keep an eye as we head down the stretch of the season.

C.J. McCollum goes off sans Ingram

Brandon Ingram did not play in Wednesday’s game against Orlando due to what s being called a mild hamstring strain. This was the second-straight game that Ingram missed with the injury, meaning that C.J. McCollum would have another opportunity to go off as he did in Tuesday’s loss to the Grizzlies. On Wednesday, McCollum scored 32 points on 14-of-27 shooting (3-of-11 3-pointers) to go with eight assists, four rebounds, and four turnovers in a 108-102 loss to the Magic. Over his last two games, he is averaging 32.0 points per game with 9.5 assists, five rebounds, and 4.0 made triples per game.

A report on Wednesday stated that an MRI diagnosed a mild hamstring strain in Ingram’s right hamstring, and he will be re-evaluated in 7-10 days. This means that he will miss at least the next three games, and more than likely it could be more like four of five games. This means that McCollum should be in for some huge games in the short term until Ingram can get back in the lineup. On the flip side, this is brutal news for Ingram managers, who at this point are going to struggle to find someone to replace his production.

Alperen Sengun shines with Wood out

Christian Wood missed his second-straight game on Wednesday due to a non-covid illness, leading to Alperen Sengun making another start for Houston. In Monday’s start, Sengun was solid, but on Wednesday, he was outstanding and he was a huge reason why the Rockets were able to earn a 139-130 victory over the Lakers in overtime. The rookie scored 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the floor (1-of-3 3-pointers) to go with 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, and three turnovers in 40 minutes. Jalen Green also had a huge night, scoring a career-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the floor (4-of-7 3-pointers) with three rebounds, three assists, and one block in 38 minutes.

The Rockets were also without Jae’Sean Tate on Wednesday as he was dealing with some left ankle soreness. There is no word yet on whether Tate and Wood will be available for Friday’s game against Dallas, but if Wood is out, Sengun is an easy choice as a replacement, and he is only rostered in 34% of Yahoo! Leagues at the moment, so there is a chance he is available in your league.

Trendon Watford scores 22 in loss

It wouldn’t be March without some silly-season madness, and on this edition, we present Trendon Watford. The rookie out of LSU scored a career-high 22 points on Wednesday, shooting 6-of-14 from the floor (9-of-9 free throws) to go with three rebounds, one block, and no turnovers in 29 minutes. Watford has now scored in double figures in four-straight games and is averaging 14.5 points per game over that stretch to go with 7.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. The Blazers are going nowhere fast, and there will be a revolving door of players who will have the opportunity to put up some decent numbers to close the season and Watford is one of them. If you like what you see from him, he is only rostered in 18% of Yahoo! Leagues at the moment, but that will likely go up, so if you want him, now is the time to grab him.

Mitchell Robinson double-doubles, Knicks win third straight.

The Knicks have quietly won three-straight games after they had previously lost seven straight. Many people are talking about RJ Barrett’s play of late and rightfully so, but one guy who doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves is Mitchell Robinson. He had that strange incident on Monday where he played just two minutes before leaving the game due to an illness, but he was back on the floor on Wednesday. The big fella played 24 minutes and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor (3-of-4 free-throws) for 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with three blocks, two steals, and just one turnover. If you don’t count Monday’s debacle, that is three straight double-doubles in games that he actually finishes, and also three straight games with at least three “stocks.” Robinson has been efficient on offense, and he has been great on the defensive end, and as long as he can stay on the floor, managers who have him have no reason to believe that this can’t continue.