NBA

NBA Head-to-Head Fantasy Game, Week 3: Breaking down each matchup

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Head-To-Head (NBA.com)

Welcome to Head-To-Head!

Head-To-Head is a new fantasy game that is centred around how many points players score. Every Monday, starting Jan. 18, 2021, through the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season, five new matchups will be presented. All you have to do is pick which player you think will score more points in each matchup.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 users with the most points every week. There will also be prizes for the 10 users with the most points at the season's end. The season-long prizes include two courtside tickets to a game in the 2021-22 season and a video call with an NBA All-Star.

You can get started here!

Week 3's matchup starts with a Wednesday triple-header featuring Luka Doncic vs. Trae Young, RJ Barrett vs. Lauri Markkanen and Devin Booker vs. Zion Williamson. It continues on Thursday with a MVP matchup of LeBron James vs. Nikola Jokic and concludes on Friday with Jayson Tatum vs. Kawhi Leonard.

Here's what you need to know about each matchup.

Luka Doncic vs. Trae Young

Matchup: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET

Channel: TSN 3/4/5

Doncic's 27.3 points per game is slightly more than Young's 26.9 but that doesn't make this selection any easier. Both players can fill it up in a hurry and there's always something to prove when these two face off after being traded for each other on draft day in 2018. In just two meetings in their young careers, Doncic (21 points) outscored Young (17 points) in their first matchup and both players went for 24 points in their second battle.

RJ Barrett vs. Lauri Markkanen

Matchup: New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls

Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m. ET

Channel: NBA League Pass

Both Barrett and Markkanen are starting to heat up, making for a tight matchup to choose from here. Markkanen's 20.5 points per game outweighs Barrett's 17.8 and the Finnish forward has gone for back-to-back 30-point games for the Bulls. Barrett, meanwhile, is amidst one of his more efficient scoring stretches of the season. Posting 19.5 points per game while shooting 50.8% from the field and 41.7% from 3 over the last four games gives you plenty of reason to take a chance on the Canadian guard.

Devin Booker vs. Zion Williamson

Matchup: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans

Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 9:30 p.m. ET

Channel: SN 360

Williamson's 23.5 points per game edges Booker's 22.9 and the star forward is ramping up his scoring as of late. In three games last week, Zion averaged 26.3 points per game with one 32-point outing. However, in his first game returning from injury, Booker went for 24 points with a game-winning shot. In the first meeting between the Pelicans and Suns this season, Williamson's 20 points out-performed Booker's season-low eight points.

LeBron James vs. Nikola Jokic

Matchup: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

Date/Time: Thursday, Feb. 4, 10 p.m. ET

Channel: TSN 1

In a matchup between two MVP candidates, Jokic's 26.8 points per game outranks James' 25.0 but the head-to-head data shows LeBron dominates Denver. In 12 regular season meetings, James averages 27.9 points per game to Jokic's 17.2. In four playoff games last season, LeBron's 27.0 points per game was more than Jokic's 21.8. In 16 total meetings, Jokic has only outscored LeBron twice.

Jayson Tatum vs. Kawhi Leonard

Matchup: Boston Celtics at LA Clippers

Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 5, 10 p.m. ET

Channel: SN

Leonard is averaging 25.9 points per game on ridiculously efficient 50-40-90 splits, but Tatum's 26.8 points still gives him the advantage. The two stars have only met six times and Leonard's 26.8 points over those six contests has the edge over Tatum's 22.2. In both meetings last season, Tatum went for 30 and 39 points against the Clippers, outscoring Leonard both times.

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