It's time for fantasy managers to get on the tank. The Orlando Magic conducted a fire sale at the deadline, which has led to improved roles for the likes of Mo Bamba and R.J. Hampton. Just last night, Bamba produced 19 points and 15 rebounds, good for his second straight game with at least 15 and 15 after posting zero such games in his career prior to the past two outings.
Bamba isn't making many shots from beyond the arc (just 9.1% the past two games), but he has still averaged 20.5 points and 15 boards the past two. With four blocks last night and multiple blocks in five of his past six games, Bamba has suddenly become a relevant fantasy option in Orlando.
Hampton, meanwhile, has become a top offensive creator for Orlando this last week. The rookie has tallied at least five dimes in three straight and tied a career high last night with 10 rebounds.
Even as Memphis downed Minnesota, Edwards posted the best plus-minus on the Timberwolves last night in joining LeBron James as the only teenagers with multiple 40-point games in NBA history. The rookie's eight 3-pointers are the most by a teenager in league history. It will be interesting to see where Edwards goes in drafts next year with what should be increased competition for shots from D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.
Westbrook is a nightly triple-double machine, churning out his 179th career triple-double last night, leaving him just two shy of tying Oscar Robertson for the most all-time. The close loss to the Bucks last night included Westbrook's 38th career 15-assist triple-double, tying Magic Johnson for the second most in NBA history, as only Robertson has more with 45.
The Kings could be without their top playmakers, De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, the rest of the way. This empowers Delon Wright, who was brilliant last night as the team's lead creator. Marvin Bagley III also thrived for the depleted Kings with his first career 30-point and 10-rebound game. Both make for ideal pickups and DFS plays while still under the radar.
Kevin Love is quietly posting some solid lines for Cleveland. The former All-Star has averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds his past three games, including a rewarding 4.0 3PG during this sample. Rostered in roughly half of ESPN leagues, Love can help fantasy teams for the final handful of games.
Denver cruised to a win over the Knicks even with Gordon and Paul Millsap combining for just six points in 46 total minutes. Some might conclude that Austin Rivers and his season-high 25 points off the pine is the most interesting fantasy outcome from Denver, but I still think Facundo Campazzo is the guy to target. Campazzo tallied 5 steals, 4 dimes, and 9 rebounds in a balanced effort as Denver's starting point guard last night.
Injuries of note
OG Anunoby is listed as doubtful to play for Toronto, while Gary Trent Jr. is probable to return from a leg injury.
Analytics advantage for Thursday
With so many key teammates sidelined lately, Hamidou Diallo has seen his usage leap to 24.7% during the past four outings for Detroit, leading to 18.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on solid percentages during this sample. Diallo is rostered in right around 10% of ESPN leagues and yet should be featured on offense against the Grizzlies.
Top players to watch on Thursday
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving engage in a playmaking show this evening in Dallas. The Mavericks will be without Kristaps Porzingis, placing more pressure on Doncic and the team's complementary scorers to keep pace with an elite Brooklyn offense.