Things are so bad for the Nets that Jay-Z doesn’t want to be an owner of the team anymore. Ok, he sold his stake because of Roc Nation Sports, a sports agency firm he started, which would have been a conflict of interest, but still…Things are so bad that my brother-in-law, who was born and raised on 16th Avenue, still roots for the Knicks. Think about that for a sec. I get it, though. It’s a franchise that used to reside in New Jersey. Ewwwwwww. That’s where New Yorkers used to dump their garbage. It’s a franchise that gave up three first round picks, as well as the right to swap another, for a 38-year-old Kevin Garnett and a 36-year-old Paul Pierce. That trade was so ridiculous that I can’t even come up with an analogy. If I tried to replicate that trade in a videogame, it wouldn’t go through, even if I selected the override trade option. It’s a franchise that acquired Linsanity, but without the sanity. But things are looking up. General Manager Sean Marks has come in and done some competent things. Hopefully he brings it back Crooklyn Style…
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:
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.
Welcome to the semis! If you’ve survived this long in your standard H2H formats, then you’re merely 2 wins away from a title. Hard to believe after the marathon! Just think of how many more games the NCAA title hopefuls have to win to get a National Title!
With a mere two weeks left, there’s only 14 more days of streaming on the docket, making every add/drop count. So now’s the time (if you haven’t yet, whaaaaaaaaaaa?!) to check out The Stocktonator! Check out or new short-shorts robotics to help with your streaming decisions for each and every day this upcoming week.
And well, I have one RCL team that WON’T need The Stocktonator, due to The Omen getting absolutely possessed last week! Damian Lillard is now my least favorite player, after going 49/1/5/0/1 with 9 treys last night on 14-21 shooting. He scored 141 points last week, hitting 19 treys, and shot 55% from the field while doing so. Cost me the playoffs with narrow wins in FG% and points for my opp in a 4-5 loss. I’m done with you, Omen! Doesn’t help he shot 36-36 from the FT line either. What a preposterous week. Not to mention that after their bad loss to the Pels last Tuesday, he held a players-only meeting which led to a huge win at San Antonio Wednesday, followed by two big wins against the East besting Hotlanta and HotMiami over the weekend. Why is Atlanta hot, but Miami isn’t?! Whoever named it Hotlanta hasn’t been to many other cities! Portland is the hot city right now though! Here’s what else went down over the hot weekend in fantasy basketball action:
Ugh, rebuilding teams are starting to rebuild earlier, which is good for the waiver wire hounds, but sucks for our stars! I wish teams would avoid the backlash of the shame they get by just shutting guys down like 2/3 of the way through the season. Suns even did that more-or-less with Tyson Chandler!
Last night we got word Eric Bledsoe wouldn’t be starting, then after the game we got confirmation the Pee-nix Suns are shutting him down for the rest of the season with “knee soreness”. Here’s Bledsoe’s response.
Hah! Well fantasy owners’ emojis would be a lot angrier than that! A few commenters have posted about a Bledsoe shutdown, but I certainly didn’t think it would be this soon… Redraft leagues you obviously have to cut him; in keepers – at anything beyond about a 3rd round value – you’re holding on. Which brings us to one of the of big nights from emerging must-adds from Wednesday’s action – Ulis S. Great! Big night in the start for Tyler Ulis, going 13/1/13/2/1 in 39 minutes in the youthfest against the Kings. Yeah, he’s pretty much must-own now. Above Cory Joseph, Malcolm Brogdon, all those iffy PG that are hanging around as your last roster spot or two in 10/12ers. So be Great, and add Ulis! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Hold up there, Speedy Gonzalez! Before you keep reading, be sure and fill out your Razzball March Madness Bracket! Brackets are due by noon and we’re giving out a $50 Amazon Card, create yours this morning if you haven’t yet!
No, it’s not the title of some campy 1970’s Sci-Fi movie – Zubac really IS the savior of the world!
I don’t need to keep tooting my own horn – if I was a dog I would – but Ivica Zubac continues to impress, and I’m happy to have the big fellah leading the charge in my RCL playoff efforts! Getting his second consecutive start, the Zubes tore up the Nuggets for a career-high 25 points on a 25/11/1/0/1 line. Now, now, I know Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in general have putrid interior defense, but I don’t care!
Post move O face! Look at how smooth he is! Well, despite the fact Jokic has no interest in playing defense, I concede that haha… Zubac is going to promote World Peace (not the Metta kind though!), figure out how everyone is going to get water, and we’ll be building statues of him by the 2050s. He shot 12-15 from the field, but weirdly only 1-4 FT as that is a little bit of an issue lately, despite profiling as more of an 80% FT shooter… So don’t let that bugga-ya-boo, I think that’ll improve. Just let our future defeater of invading aliens and our inventor of light-speed travel take you to the promised land. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Dirk Nowitzki became the 6th player in NBA history to reach 30,000 points, becoming the first international player to hit 30k and one of three players to score all 30,000+ points with one team. It’s been a truly impressive career for the future hall-of-famer. As Steve Nash joked, what’s German for ball hog?
20 points shy of the milestone heading into the game, Nowitzki wasted no time, knocking down and a fadeway early in the second quarter:
Scoring 18 points in the first quarter, Dirk finished with 25 points (all in the first half), 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 3 threes for his third double-double in the last four games. His fantasy days are numbered, but after a slow, injury-filled start to the season, Nowitzki has given patient owners plenty to smile about since the start of the New Year.
The biggest news of the night comes from a guy who barely played at all. Less than 2 minutes into the game between Golden State and Washington, Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia (12 points, 8 rebounds) fell into Kevin Durant’s left knee. KD walked away gingerly before heading to the bench and being whisked away into the locker room. Diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee, Durant did not return to the game.
Is this karma from the Basketball Gods for his comments about not wanting to come home to play for the Wizards? Kidding aside, this is terrible news to the Warriors, fans of the NBA, and fantasy owners. Hopefully KD’s injury isn’t long-term, but more will be known after examining the MRI results.
In the meantime, the Warriors wasted no time in reaching out to free agent Matt Barnes and are expected to sign him later this week. Released by the Kings after trading DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, Barnes is excited to rejoin the Warriors, after playing for them from 2006-2008. I wouldn’t rush to add Barnes until more is known about KD’s injury, but Barnes has been useful for fantasy purposes before.
On happier notes, here are the other nightly notables:
I don’t typically do this, but I’m going completely off-script for the open today, after we got the awful news Bill Paxton passed away in his early 60s due to complications from heart surgery. Isn’t it weird how attached we get to actors we obviously don’t know in person?! Especially more a character guy like Bill, but this one hit me hard for some reason! Who doesn’t love True Lies? Aliens? The GOOD James Cameron movies?!
And for this to happen on Oscar weekend too, just a real shame. Alas, it’s been a busy-as-hell weekend across the association plus I finally wrapped up my Pitcher Rankings over on baseball that’ll be out this afternoon or tomorrow. Weekend of writing! That’s what really pulls me through man, getting to write about sports for all you wondrous people in Razzball Nation. The game will never be over, there will always be basketball and baseball! Tackle football…? Eh, maybe not-sa-much… Here’s what went down over the busy weekend – the first after the break with a lot of fresh faces in new places – 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: