Before I begin, head on over to the football side and play and/or host some RCLs by clicking here. I’ve got my league up, so come get it. I have no doubt that you are a degenerate so I’m just trying to help a brother or sister out. Also, check out Jay’s rankings. Not because he’s a swell guy, but because he was the third-most accurate ranker according to FantasyPros.
Ok, now back to hoops. If you missed it, here are the links for the Top 10 and Top 25. I’ll keep the intro to this piece short and sweet because there’s a ton of players to get through.
As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.
If you recognize this picture, then you’ll certainly understand the title. If you don’t, then how dare you call yourself a basketball fan… Also, you should check out Vince Carter in the 2000 slam dunk contest.
We have reached my final recap of the season. It has been a long journey. We have laughed and cried, we have shouted and groaned, but most of all, we have experienced the deep love of fantasy basketball that transcends us all. For the good times we’ve had, I thank you. For those who have offered comments, compliments, and constructive criticism, I appreciate you. And for the haters, I say fuck you. Wait, am I allowed to say that??? Well shit…
We start our night in Detroit, where the Pistons barely manage to edge the Nets 90-89… Let’s dive in!
Final week for most leagues. It’s that one time of the fantasy season when it doesn’t matter who you’d drop (unless it’s a keeper/dynasty), ‘coz if you’re still managing your team, then it must be playing for something.
In my opinion, the moves available this week is very limited unless one of your top guys encounter an injury or team setup is where you have 2+ guys playing for the teams not playing on Friday and/or Sunday. This is because there are 11 games that will be played on those days. So really if you haven’t streamed on Thurs, you really probably want to load up for Saturday’s slate especially if the players’ last game for the week is Friday or Saturday (MIN, LAC, DET, ORL, POR, SAC).
So for today, I’ll only focus on Saturday’s games. Tad anti climactic being the final edition of this series for this fantasy season.
In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:
It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:
As I begin to write this recap, the Portland – Poppycock game has yet to begin, but frankly, NBA basketball was quite bad tonight/tomorrow… The March Madness games were fantastic, but most of the NBA teams have either locked up their spots, or cashed it in for the season. Given that, I’ll point out that DeMar DeRozan had 40 tonight, but the game wasn’t particularly great, and the Raptors won 101-84. That being said, let’s dive into the mediocre slate:
The Bulls came into Toronto having beat the Raptors in 11 straight games. It took overtime, but the Raptors snapped the losing streak behind DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Double D shot 17-38 and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
DeRozan battled all game against Jimmy Butler, who also went off for 37/10/6. Despite these two all-stars’ phenomenal performances, the game was overshadowed by the fight between Serge Ibaka (16 and 6) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks):
Usually Lopez only fights mascots, but took exception to Ibaka’s shove in the back. Fortunately the guys were separated rather quickly, but the league will obviously review the fight and make a decision later on whether either player will be suspended any games. Personally, I’d expect both guys to miss at least one game, but hopefully it’s just a fine and they return for their teams’ next game.
Rusell Westbrook continued his dominating ways against the Raptors, and the Thunder steamrolled them tonight. 123-102 was the final score, and the Thunder outscored the Raps by 17 in the third quarter. OKC has moved into 6th place in the west, and there’s a decent possibility that they could lock up home court, since they’re only 3.5 games back of the 4th seeded Jazz squad. At any rate, let’s get back to Westy. He finished with 24/10/16/1/0, and oh yeah, he only had 2 TOs. Plus, he hit 4-8 from deep! Did I mention that he did it in only 28 minutes? Oklahoma City had 7 players in double digits, and they seem primed for a solid playoff push.
For LeBron, he needed just 28 minutes to post 16/11/12 against the Pistons, a team he seems to dominate since his unforgettable 48-point performance in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. He wouldn’t be denied and knocked over anything in his path, including teammate Kyrie Irving:
The Cavs were in a bit of a slump, losing 4 of 5, heading into their matchup with the Pistons. With the Cavs just 2.5 games up on the Celtics, hopefully James will finish the year on a tear. It was James’ 10th triple-double of the season and third in the last four games.
Timing. It’s a bitch. Losing one of your bedrocks the weekend before the H2H playoffs is the injury gods spitting into our faces and hitting us across the jaw! No joke, last night I had a dream that DeMarcus Cousins straight cold-cocked Salah Mejri in the face. Must’ve lingered from a convo I had with Grey last week about how there’s no more NBA fights, and Mejri always seems to wanna mix it up. Weird how spot on that dream could be!
Anywho, my trip out West certainly didn’t help my focus! We got some awful news Saturday that LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be out indefinitely with minor heart arrhythmia. He missed the final 9 games in his rookie year and 10 days in 2011 due to heart-related issues, so if the further testing done today is positive, maybe we could get him back by the semi-finals next week. For teams scrapping their way in a do-or-die quarterfinals in the playoffs, unless you have an open INJ spot, Aldridge can probably go. Get well soon, LA! In the meantime, David Lee (12/6/2 – 18 mins) and Dewayne Dedmon (9/7/0/0/2 – 22 mins) should get a little added run, but those numbers quoted there were in that weird game Saturday night against the Dubs, with Kerr and Pop benching everyone. I’m sure ABC was THRILLED when they heard GSW was DNPing everyone and the Spurs were going to be without Kawhi Leonard and LA! I’m not huge on Lee, but I think he’s your biggest benefactor, and could help deeper leagues or be a streamer for those boring Pts/Reb cats. Hopefully losing LA doesn’t make you a Ded Mon! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
All we needed is a royal event! Unfurl the red carpet, roll it out in the The Colonies’ biggest city, and The Duchess will grace over his royal territory! Wow, I just made a Brooklyn Mess game sound like a big event. FOOL YOU!
As we continue to see Khris Middleton get his minutes ramped up, this was maybe the most encouraging game of the night for me yesterday, as he gets the ASB to rest up and looks ready for a big second half. Even though it’s more like a big final 1/3, but ya know, NBA… 20/3/7/3/0 for The Duchess K Middleton, with only 1 TO and shooting 7-13 with a trey. His most minutes thus far (played 26 off the bench) and I just loved this little glimpse of chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo with the big highlight from this game:
Guys are looking N’Sync! I would totally watch The Duchess and Greek Freak lead a boy band… Through his 4 games back, Middleton hasn’t looked like he’s lost anything, with a stellar 18:4 AST:TO, is shooting 47%, and has two 3 steal games. With Jabari Parker out and a line-up that will need a playmaker next to Greek, this could be a really fun upcoming stretch. Kudos if you were able to stash him all season on your IL, and get ready for a royal finish! Here’s what else went down on the last busy slate of action before the All-Star Weekend: