Small forward is a tough position to fill tonight, with top stars out and values that depend upon later news. Barnes, and to a lesser extent, TJ Warren, fills the slot(s) with both a high floor and a high ceiling. Barnes produced a 31-point, 9-rebound effort the first time they played the Washington Wizards, and with Washington ranking fifth in fantasy points allowed to his position, a repeat performance is certainly possible. Barnes didn’t shoot well in his last game, but there’s no reason to expect that to continue. Use him with confidence in all formats.
Hall scored 14 points, Kyle Guy had 12 and Virginia (19-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 11th in a row. The Cavs’ start in conference play is their best since the Ralph Sampson-led 1980-81 team, which began 12-0.
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Clemson led 23-16 before going scoreless in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half and getting just six points in the first 14 minutes of the second half. Virginia’s decisive burst stretched its lead from 30-27 early in the second to 52-29 with 6:48 remaining.
When we’re hitting on all cylinders, it’s really fun to Jason Spriggs Youth jersey play defense like that, Guy said.
Middleton is priced among the elite shooting guards tonight and he’s worth it. Antetokounmpo has already been ruled out, so you are looking at all of the usage against a Suns team that ranks fourth in pace. Middleton has at least five boards in seven of his past eight games, at least four dimes in five of his past seven, and 15 thefts in 11 games this month.
When they have a lead like that, you’re really in trouble, Brownell said. When they can lock into you, it’s hard to execute good offense, especially in this building because this building is a lot like Clemson football. We raise hell on third down.
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Clemson: The Tigers played their first game since losing No. 2 scorer and rebounder Donte Grantham to a torn ACL suffered against Notre Dame, and after getting off to a fast start against Virginia, seemed to be lacking an offensive identity. Top scorer Marcquise Reed (16 points per game) managed only six in 33 minutes. He finished 3 for 10 from the field.