Fantasy basketball daily notes for Monday: Cade Cunningham coming on strong
A series of ejections in Sunday's game between the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers overshadowed an important storyline from the contest. Attention fantasy managers: top pick Cade Cunningham is coming on strong for the Pistons.
The young playmaker joined Grant Hill (1995) and Dave DeBusschere (1963) as the only Pistons rookies to record a triple-double in their first year in the league. Cunningham becomes the youngest Pistons player to achieve that feat in the same week that he joined Stephen Curry, Trae Young, and Jason Kidd as the only rookies in NBA history with at least 25 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, and five 3-pointers in the same game.
After an historically slow start to his career shooting from the floor, Cunningham has stepped up in a big way, with averages of 18.3 points, 7.5 assists, 8.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.5 3-pointers over his last four games. The window of opportunity for claiming Cunningham for fantasy rosters is likely closing in most leagues, especially as the rookie continues to compile big games.
• None Poole has sustained solid value as a scoring and shooting threat for much of his stint as a starter. Last night, he poured in a career-high eight 3-pointers, giving him 30-plus points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Poole will surely lose both minutes and shots when Klay Thompson returns to the fold, but with roughly a month left as a key starter for an elite offense, he's one of the better interim additions to target until then.
• None In the win over Cunningham and the Pistons, the Lakers' Davis became the first player with as many as 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and four steals in the same game since Hakeem Olajuwon back in December of 1993. Even as the Lakers have struggled to open the season, it's encouraging to see such massive statistical performances come from Davis.
• None Antetokounmpo's statistical opus on Saturday against the Magic came in just 30 minutes of play, marking the fewest minutes ever played in a game with at least 30 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists since the stat was first tracked in 1951. Antetokounmpo made a season-high 15 free throws, becoming the first player in Bucks history with at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and 15 made free throws in a game
• None Sticking with the champs, Milwaukee's Grayson Allen produced a clean 16 points to go along with seven boards in Saturday's win over the Magic. Quietly enjoying a breakout season with a career-high 15.1 PPG, Allen ranks third in the league in catch-and-shoot points per game behind only Curry and Kristaps Porzingis. Allen's rebounding has been impressive enough to consider him as more than merely a shooting specialist.
• None In a loss to the Hawks on Saturday that ended the Hornets' five-game winning streak, Charlotte's Miles Bridges continued his bid for Most Improved Player by becoming the second-youngest player in Hornets history with 35 points and 10 rebounds in a game, behind only Alonzo Mourning. LaMelo Ball recorded his fourth career triple-double, tied with Lamar Odom for the fourth-most in NBA history before the age of 21.
• None Luka Doncic missed another game for Dallas on Sunday due to a lingering ankle injury. Jalen Brunson has been very productive in his place.
• None Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III are both listed as probable to play for Boston against the Rockets.
• None Oklahoma City lists Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as questionable to play against the Hawks due to an ankle sprain.
• None Cole Anthony is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury that kept him from playing against the Bucks over the weekend. If Anthony sits, R.J. Hampton becomes an interesting fantasy option.
Lauri Markkanen is no longer on the injury report, but the Cleveland Cavaliers will be without both Evan Mobley and Collin Sexton for tonight's game against the visiting Nets. With forward Cedi Osman listed as doubtful to play, Markkanen could step into large roles on both sides of the floor.
Diving deeper into the numbers, Mobley leads Cleveland with 7.5 field goal attempts defended at the rim per game. Markkanen ranks third on the team this season with 4.5 rim protection events per game -- a rate likely to spike given Mobley's absence from the floor. Such a role often leads to increased block production, making Markkanen an ideal addition ahead of Monday's matchup with a Brooklyn team that a bit thin on frontcourt defenders.
• None Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: With a statistical ceiling that rivals Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn's star duo on Monday's slate, Towns is priced far below his fantasy peers tonight. Building around Towns against a reeling Pelicans team could pay off, as New Orleans ranks 29th in defensive rating on the season.
• None Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics: Reasonably priced on DraftKings and likely to suit up against the lowly Houston Rockets this evening, Williams could feast on a team that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to centers.