You'd think that Golden State getting drubbed by an Atlanta team that entered Monday on a 10-game losing streak would net negative takes for the Warriors, but the continued ascent of rookie Eric Paschall signals the rare bright spot in an otherwise gloomy season for the last-place squad. The second-round selection out of Villanova produced a rich line, in a blowout loss to Atlanta, that included 24 points on just 11 shots to go with nine rebounds and a career-best six assists.
The sample of success is only growing for Paschall, who has impressively slashed for 19.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.4 PG, and 0.9 3PG in roughly 33 MPG during the past 10 games, all starts for the rookie. For a team that entered the offseason with essentially no major young prospects, Golden State should be elated that even amid a troubling series of injuries to their core of stars, the presence of Paschall helps foster real optimism for next season's revenge tour.
You can find some joy in Paschall, as well, given that he's still somehow floating in free agency in more than 60% of ESPN leagues as of Tuesday morning.
The Grizzlies provided a good deal of fantasy content last night; Jaren Jackson Jr. tallied a season-high 31 points, helping to create some positive momentum after a sluggish start to his sophomore campaign in the league. De'Anthony Melton has the third-best net rating for Memphis in scoring 16 points on 10 shots in the loss to the Pacers on Monday evening. Tyus Jones, meanwhile, got the starting nod for the Grizzlies with Ja Morant sidelined with back spasms and produced just two points on six shots in a disappointing 31-minute showing. Shares of Melton could prove more rewarding than Jones if recent production trends persist.
The Grizzlies' key perimeter scorer sans Morant has become Dillon Brooks, who has enjoyed increased freedom, even as his wildly high foul rate remains in place.
Somehow, the Hornets lost on Monday night against the Suns despite leading by seven points with just over a minute left in the game. Phoenix closed the game on a 12-0 run to secure the needed win to end a three-game skid. Possibly lost in the shuffle is that Devonte' Graham's emergence as a full-fledged fantasy force in Charlotte is now fully realized; the productive combo guard produced 13 dimes and had the best net rating of the Hornets' starters in the loss.
In a solid night for Nova products, Mikal Bridges responded to an uptick in minutes for a depleted Phoenix frontcourt with a full line that included three stocks and 10 combined rebounds and assists in the victory for Phoenix. It's unclear if Bridges will go back to playing only around 15 minutes once the Suns' rotation fills out, but this was at least a bit of positive momentum for the second-year wing.
Injuries of note
Utah's Mike Conley Jr. left Monday's loss to the Sixers in the second half to a hamstring injury. The Jazz stormed back from a big deficit sans Conley, but it's telling that he wasn't available to return even when the game became surprisingly competitive. We'll want to wait for more specific details and a timeline from the team in the coming days. It's likely that Joe Ingles would see the most sizable uptick in fantasy potential if Conley were to miss much time, as his atypically high assist rate for a wing could result in more creation equity.
The Lakers' Kyle Kuzma is considered probable for Tuesday's meeting with the Nuggets. Kuzma suffered an ankle sprain in the team's game this past Friday but was able to play on Sunday in a loss to Dallas.
Analytics advantage for Tuesday
A solid seven-game slate awaits fantasy managers tonight, one that features some encouraging analytical indicators from Vegas. For instance, Tuesday's tilt between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans owns the night's highest projected total at 233.5 points.
Any game featuring Luka Doncic and Jrue Holiday dueling sounds exciting, but beyond the marquee matchups we also find actionably helpful and widely available options to stream, such as young rim protector Jaxson Hayes or maybe even Josh Hart fresh from a double-double that included four stocks.
On the Mavs' side of things, we find Tim Hardaway Jr. popping up with huge scoring outings every few games, with tonight percolating as a potential high-ceiling showing for Dallas' scoring microwave.
Top players to watch tonight
James Harden anchors the Rockets' offense, and his torrid pace has him up over 39 PPG entering December. That is the fourth-best mark entering the month in NBA history. Even as the Spurs are reeling defensively early this season, the presence of talented point-of-attack defenders in guards in Derrick White and Dejounte Murray makes for an intriguing matchup in this intra-state battle.