Kobe Bryant did everything he could to try and lead his Lakers past the Warriors last night. He scored 34 points with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and hit four three pointers but the one thing he couldn’t do was keep from tearing his Achilles late in the game, trust me he tried. The MRI is scheduled for today, but Kobe is all but done for the season, and even his return for the start of next season is in question. The Lakers managed to pull out the win, but its hard to look at this game as anything but a huge loss, not just to the Lakers, not just to your fantasy teams, but to the NBA. Lakers fan or not, Black Mamba in the playoffs is one of the best things about watching pro basketball, and you know Kobe & Co. would have put up a hell of a fight in the first round, number one seed be damned. No one wants to play the Lakers. Tough weekend for LA, first Zack Greinke, now the former MVP, five-time champion Bryant. On the bright side of the darkness, Pau Gasol put up a nice game with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and fantasy owners can’t be too upset they’re only losing two games from Kobe. Pick up Steve Blake! Yes, Steve Blake, who scored 14 points (4 3pm) with 5 assists and 3 rebounds, looks to see the biggest bump in minutes, so Kobe owners could look to Blake as a replacement for the final two games. He should see considerable time with the ball with Nash and Kobe now MIA. Jodie Meeks could also see a substantial bump in minutes but I Meeks inconsistency makes him hard to recommend for your fantasy finals. Kobe will be missed this postseason, but fantasy owners could look to benefit from Steve Blake in fantasy basketball’s final week.
Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy basketball:
Carmelo Anthony – 31 pts, 14 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl. Set the Knicks record for consecutive 30-point games and sat out the fourth quarter, because he could.
Devin Harris – 19 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast. He took 10 threes and hit 3, so you can’t blame him for trying. Unlike the Bucks and Celtics, the Hawks have stepped it up to hold onto that 6th seed and are playing some of their best ball of the season. Jeff Teague had 24 pts, 10 ast, Al Horford added 18 pts, 17 reb and 6 ast, and Josh Smith put up a monster line of 24 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl and 2 blk. Are you ready for this Indiana?
Kyrie Irving – 31 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast. Hopefully Kyrie’s injury woes this season push him back in the draft a bit because dude is a stud. Probably won’t though. Your gonna want him either way.
Jeff Green – 25 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast and 2 killer dunks (because that’s what matters). I would never toot my own horn here, but I told you to buy Green back in February. It was a little premature, but he was starting and dunking just a few weeks after that was posted. I own him everywhere, hopefully you do too. Both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sat this game out with a sore left ankle. Yes, it’s the same left ankle, they share everything now. They’ve gotten quite close over the past 5 years.
Jordan Crawford – 20 pts, 2 3pm, 4 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl. Started for Boston. Could be worth a look for the final week if Pierce and Garnett miss more time but his inconsitency make him hard to count on.
Lebron James – 20 pts, 6 reb, 9 ast in 29 minutes. The trio returned to the floor and made quick work of their opponent, whoever that was. I don’t remember, and can’t see how its really relevant anymore. Dwayne Wade had 11 pts, 7 ast, 6 reb, and Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen added 19 pts and 17 pts off the bench. Maybe it’s just me, but in my expert opinion, they look like an early favorite to win the championship.
Damien Wilkins – 15 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 2 3pm. He’s averaging 11.4 pts over the past 2 weeks. He has also proven pretty inconsistent but if your desperate Wilkins is out there in most leagues and starting for Phila at two-guard.
John Wall – 24 pts, 7 ast, 2 reb. Pretty much doing it by himself at this point for the Wiz. Promise me you will draft him next year. He’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Nazr Mohammed – 16 pts, 13 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk. Could be a good source of rebounds while Noah is still hurting but not much else here. The 16 pts was a career high, and he’s been in the league for 15 years. So yeah, that is pretty depressing.
Nate Robinson – 17 pts, 6 ast, 4 reb. JB’s favorite point guard continues to do work. Some team is going to give Nate a ridiculous contract this off season. My money is on the Bucks. And check out Lil’ Nate’s pass under Alan Anderson’s legs last night. Sweet sassy molassy! See, there are some perks to being a little guy in this league.
Kyle Lowry – 13 pts, 9 reb, 11 ast, 2 stl. With the fantasy season all but over, this is a good opportunity to point out some guys to keep on your radar for next year’s draft. Lowry is one of those guys. Your going to want to draft Kyle Lowry. Understand?
Brian Roberts – 15 pts, 6 reb, 11 ast. Fresh off his DL stint in the MLB, B-Rob has another great start filling in for Greivis Vasquez. Coming off a 20 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast game Wednesday, if Vasquez is set to miss more time go grab Roberts for the final week. Quick before he gets hurt again!
Tiago Splitter – 12 pts, 12 reb, 6 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk. Inevitably will replace Tim Duncan some day, but not in our hearts. Either way games like this are nice to see from Tiago.
DeMarcus Cousins – 19 pts, 12 reb, 2 blk. Another stud I’m insisting you target in the draft next year. Sure he’s got an attitude, but all the great ones do. Right? See Artest, Ron.
Marc Gasol – 15 pts, 12 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl, 3 blk. Can you believe he was “out indefinitely” 3 weeks ago. La Tanketa indeed.
James Harden – 30 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk. Beard trimmed. Hawk gelled. Shot is falling. Dunks are dunking. He’s ready for the P-offs.
Terrence Jones – 7 pts, 12 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk, 1 3pm in 28 minutes. Definitely a guy to have on your radar for 2013 drafts.
Josh McRoberts – 17 pys, 7 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl. McBob is consistently mediocre, but maybe your team could use a solid fill in for the final week. Josh is out there. Seriously, dude is a weirdo.
Andre Drummond – 15 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk. I told you to grab him a couple weeks ago for your fantasy finals, but you really want to make sure to grab him on draft day. Drums could be an awesome late round sleeper and looks to figure largely into Detroit’s game plan next season. Bangs the boards like a drum-mond.
Jonas Jerebko – 21 pts, 8 reb, 2 3pm. Tied his season high in points. It was against the B-Cats though, so don’t do anything drastic.
Jose Juan Barea – 23 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 2 3pm in 27 minutes. Fourth straight game in double-digits, but Minni’s backcourt is too crowded to hope for any consistency from JJ. He seems to be getting some extra burn lately so deep leaguers may take note going into the last week.
Greg Steimsma – 10 pts, 7 reb, 3 stl, 2 blk. Nope. Nope. I love me the Steimsmaroller, but I don’t think he can’t help your fantasy team in the final week. Sorry Stiemy.
Al Jefferson – 40 pts, 13 reb, 6 ast. The Jazz are battling the Lakers for the 8th and final playoff spot so its nice to see Big Al step it up, someone in Utah has got to for gods sake.
Will Barton – 18 pts, 7 reb, 2 stl in 38 minutes. In his second start Barton fared much better, and even threw in this sick slam on Sefolosha. He should continue to start with Wesley Matthews out and is averaging 16.3 pts, 7.0 reb, 2.7 asy and 2.3 stl over the past week.
Stephen Curry – 47 pts, 9 ast, 6 reb, 3 stl, 9 3pm. Unreal. He had 31 at the half and he’s averaging 4.0 3pm a game since the all star break. Was doing his best homage to Kobe Friday night with Mamba leaving this one late (/tear). Congratulations Steph, those ankles finally made it through a whole season, and yeah he’s a top 10 pick next year. I’m officially drafting him and so should you.
Wilson Chandler – 18 pts, 9 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl, 2 3pm. Wilson is seeing the benefits of Danilo Galinari‘s injury but Corey Brewer also filled it up nicely Friday night with 18 pts, 3 reb, 5 stl in 37 minutes. Corey is out there in over 60% of leagues and could be the perfect pick up for your fantasy finals. He’s averaging 22.7 pts and 2 3pm over the past week and can add a bit of everything else. I’ve also heard he brews a mean pale ale. Get on it!
JaVale McGee – 11 pts, 9 reb, 4 blk in 28 minutes. Never got the minutes fantasy owners would have liked to see but was still a one-category beast for blocks. He should fall considerably in the rankings on draft day versus last year so don’t forget this dude can swat with the best of them.
John Henson – 8 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl, 2 blk. He had 17 pts, 25 reb and 7 blks on Wednesday so there could be some crazy upside here. If you need a bit of everything in your final week Henson’s less than 10% owned.
Monta Ellis – 27 pts, 17 ast, 8 reb, 5 stl. Ersan Ilyasova added 25 pts, 7 reb but the Bucks lost AGAIN. That’s 3 in row. Obviously they are totally primed and ready to get absolutely crushed by the Miami Heat. #firstroundexit
It’s been a pleasure recapping Friday night’s game for you all and I hope some of my advice helped. Good luck in your finals! If you have a question for your final week feel free to leave it below. In return, I bet my entire life savings on Houston beating Miami in the finals this year, so I ask that you root for them in the playoffs. Let’s go Rockets!
Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco.