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.
It’s been a while since the East has boasted a better division than the West, but even when you spot a lowly East team a big lead on a West team, nothing is safe! Russell Westbrook just went insane (I would too if the Magic were beating my playoff bound team!) in the OKC comeback charge, turning around a 21-point deficit during the second half on his way to a 57/13/11/3/0 line. He shot 21-40 from the field with 6 treys, just willing OKC to the W after this dramatic 3 to get it into OT.
Good thing Nikola Vucevic can’t hit his FT! Westbrook took the missed freebie board, and no Magic was gonna stop him… Take that, Voldemort! It’s come to pass as just the norm, but at 31.8/10.6/10.4, it looks like Westbrook is going to easily average the tripdub, something I really didn’t think we’d ever see again. Hopefully you built your team around his deficiencies fairly well, because man he’s tough to beat if you can slaughter the right cats. Westy is your besty! What an unbelievable season, Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
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:
I hate Daylight Savings Time. I mean, I’m really not a fan. However, my love for this archaic nuance of our calendar shifted during seasons of my life. Growing up through college and early married years? Loved Fall Back and loathed Spring Forward. Now? Well, my three little kids that run on a body clock and not a real one don’t care that you just gained an hour. Wake the eff up and play with me! Don’t worry…I say that to my wife sometimes in the mornings, just with less aggressive language. It’s much more enticing. And you don’t care.
So, my point is…now that Spring Forward is here the responsible professional in me is still loathing losing an hour of sleep. But the parent in me…haha, oh the parent. They sleep an extra hour now?!? Done. Give me this thing all day long. I look forward to ‘losing an hour.’
And now that I’m ~200 words in to something that no one cares about, let’s just call that a test to see if you’re with me. Many have dropped out to this point, and only the truly great still remain. It’s officially playoff time in fantasy basketball (at least for the RCL’s), so we trim the fat and only discuss that which matters. As a result, this week is a little thinner in depth. So, let’s Spring Forward not just into a warmer season (and baseball!), but into the playoffs!
Injury karma, man… The injury gods love to play with our emotions, and they really jacked with the Bucks last night! First with the good – The Duchess returned to the court with great fanfare! Sooooo good to get Khris Middleton back, after it was initially thought he might miss the entire 2016-17 season. The Duchess got 15 minutes off the bench for 5/2/2/0/1 on 2-5 shooting.
Looked pretty healthy out there! He’s going to be on a 15-20 minute limit until the All-Star Break, but that’s in a mere week, so we could see him getting unleashed sooner than later. Then on the flip side, a mere 2 quarters after the long-awaited season debut of Middleton, Jabari Parker suffered a scary knee injury, and is scheduled for an MRI today. From all reports it didn’t look good (I don’t like to watch injury highlights…), and it’s the same knee he tore his ACL in his rookie year, so we’re all holding our breath here. Would be a big shame to see him miss a lot of time after putting together this breakout campaign… Well, let’s be all happy and pie in the sky the rest of the daily notes today! Here’s what went down on a busy Wednesday night in fantasy basketball:
So this isn’t a basketball intro, but it was probably the biggest news of the night! In a game where the Thunder were playing the terrible Mavs squad, Kanter managed to work himself up enough to punch the bench chair… Unfortunately, he’s now out for 6 weeks. Kanter had been putting up 4th round value recently, so this is a big blow to fantasy owners and the Thunder.
Uggghhhhhhh. I hate when the intro has to be about a bad injury, but alas, tis what tits with fantasy sports. After playing pretty well against the Pacers last night (21/4/0/2/1 in 28 minutes), Rudy Gay went down in the third quarter and had to be carried off the court, with tests indicating he tore his Achilles. He’s had issues with that Achilles in the past with a partial debridement, but it gave out at absolutely the worst time. Yeah, maybe he didn’t handle wanting to get out of Sacramento the most gracefully (who WOULD want to play there?!), but at least he showed up, ya dig?! Now he has to stick it out while rehabbing, this was going into a contract year… It just sucks. I’ve never been the “biggest” Gay fan, but I’ll be rooting for his rehab and hopefully he can be vintage Gay a few more years on a new squad.
In the meantime, it opens up a ton of wing minutes in SAC. Arron Afflalo of DNP-ville got 31 minutes last night, aided by Garrett Temple having to play backup PG because Ty Lawson is nursing a kankle. A R Ron! went for 11/1/1/0/1 in his usual snoozefest line, with Temple going 9/4/3/0/0 with a trey. Yikes. Matt Barnes might move back into the starting 5, but he’s hit-or-miss, depending on how drunk he is at the night club. Hey oh! 7/4/4 for Barnes in 20 minutes, and Ben McLemore only got 4 minutes this game. It’s a real trainwreck without Gay, and I don’t see any sort of clear answer on this team to fill in the void. So you’re likely looking elsewhere on the wire for Gay’s scoring, and hopefully you sold high after a red hot start through the first stretch of the season. Get well soon, Rudy! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Ya know, playing a typical “bad” team can help cure all ills, but then there’s playing a New York team that goes full Poppycock… To kick off MLK day, the Knicks continued their epic collapse, by being forced to start doofy Ron Baker and Mind Games Koozie Mints. I’m kinda guessing at that second guy, I don’t know why Razzball isn’t linking to his name though! It’s about right! Baker got 22 minutes of 12/3/1/2/0 and was OK, and I guess Mindaugas Kuzminskas was OK too for 14/5/2/2/0 in 38 minutes, and well, the Hawks only beat this make-shift roster by 1, so there’s that! But the big thing to watch in this game (for me) was Dennis Schroder, who is off two horrid games where he got out-minutesed by Malcolm Delaney. Fortunately Das German broke out of his funk, and went 28/3/3 on a mad hot 13-16 shooting with a trey.
The trey being the game winner! Still got 2 TO and no D stats, but hey, at least he kept another split-PG situation from developing. Already have seen to much of that in the NBA! It was an action-packed, holiday-filled day of basketball last night, so let’s daily notes it up!
Half man, all amazing. Or something like that. 49 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Oh yeah, he also went 8-15 from deep. He had 5 TOs, but I feel like we can forgive him with all of the extra 3s tonight. The assists and boards have been off his triple double place, but man can this guy ball.
Jeff Teague – Absolutely slaughtered the depleted Nets backcourt with 21 points and 15 assists. Throw in 9-13 shooting, and this tells you more about the bad defense than the good offense.
Myles Turner – Also dominated with a 25/15/0/1/5 line. It’s sweet, but expected. Dude is a beast.
Robert Covington came onto the fantasy radar last year due to his ability to add threes, steals, and blocks in bunches. He started this season slowly, but has been picking it up lately. That continued on Tuesday with 13 points (4-14 FG), 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and 1 block. But no shot was bigger than his buzzer beater:
His offensive production may remain inconsistent, but his nightly contributions in steals, blocks, and rebounds have made him a viable fantasy contributor in all leagues. Now is a perfect time to buy low, before it’s too late.