It’s March Madness time, and in honor of Duke and their successful season, the first without a certain GOAT coach who looks like a rat, I’m gonna focus on the Dukies in the NBA.  No, not Doookies, don’t be haters.  One of the best things about being a fan of them lately is the many fantasy contributors from the best college hoops program in the land.  It’s not their fault that they are better than whatever lesser team you follow.

Magic over Wizards.  Wait, don’t Wizards use magic?  Duel of the Fates?

I’m taking every Magic player I can next year.  Paolo Banchero is a future 2nd or 3rd round pick. He’d be higher except I’m wondering if his defensive stats make it to that level.  Think Jayson Tatum but with more bulk.  Banchero was actually significantly better at the same age as Tatum.  Better in college and in his first year as a pro.  Love watching this kid go.

If Wendell Carter, Jr. ever figures out how to keep his body healthy (49 games played this year, always has missed over 20) he’s a double-double machine.  Blocks have lagged behind but there’s no disputing his impact in points and rebounds.  If you think he can add blocks, he’s a top five round pick.  Not top five, you guys need to read more closely.

Hawks over Pistons who have plenty in the Tank

I’m only talking about Duke alumni (wait, can you be alumni after being a one year guy?) but Marvin Bagley had 31 points and 8 boards last night.  When he gets over 30 minutes, he’s scored in double figures seven straight times.  I even stretched the minutes, because in two of those games he had over 20 points in under 25 minutes.  The guy can produce if given minutes.  I don’t really know what to make of him long term.  I think he can still develop into a fantasy contributor if given the minutes;  I just don’t know if that role will exist for him.

Cavs over the Nets

No Dukies in this game, so I’ll focus on former Tar Heel Day’Ron Sharpe.  Time for a history lesson, kids.  Grab a seat and take notes.  When Sharpe went to UNC, he was more highly regarded than Walker Kessler, who’s doing very well as a Jazz.  He then played his one year in a season interrupted by some sort of global pandemic that I apparently didn’t notice. He then was drafted in the late first round by the Nets.

Sharpe wasn’t going to get minutes on that team.  He had a front row seat to the circus of that failed Nets superteam, and barely played.  He’s one of those young guys that you can’t give up on, though.  Last night, against a solid front line, he scored 20 and had 11 rebounds and 2 blocks in only 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on Sharpe for the future.  He has the pedigree and is starting to develop.  Nic Claxton and he could make a really good frontcourt tandem.

Spurs destroyed by Pelicans

Ah, more Duke alumni.

At this point, unfortunately, my favorite player Zion Williamson just can’t be drafted as a player you count on in any league next year.  I guess the only good news here is that it’s not a recurring injury?  It’s been a knee, foot, and this year a hamstring.   It’s not like Lonzo Ball (UCLA) and his surgery to REPLACE HIS KNEE CARTILAGE WITH A DEAD PERSON’S KNEE CARTILAGE.  If the price is late enough, I could draft him.  I have him as my main keeper in a league, though, and I’m just gonna have to make like Passenger and Elsa and Let it Go.

Tre Jones was a popular sleeper and has lived up to his billing.  Jones averages 12.5 points and 6.3 assists per game and has proven himself to be a viable rotation player at the least.  The eye test agrees;  Jones is noted for running an efficient floor game and his defense.  Congrats if you drafted him, and if you got him way late as he’s exceeded value for him.  I don’t know what his future holds as the Spurs don’t know what their future holds, but Jones will be around somewhere for the next ten years.

Celtics with big win over the Kings, the beam stays dark.  No beam.

I don’t know why people are worried about the Celtics. Teams ebb and flow, and Jayson Tatum is still returning his first round value. The Celtics will still be title contenders.

Robert Williams from Texas A to the M,  however, is not a guy to count on.  Knees are bad kids.  That’s a terrible sentence.  Are all knees bad kids?  Are knees even kids?  What I shoulda written was that bad knees don’t get better.  Williams has been in and out of the lineup all year, and that’s what’s damaging the Celtics and fantasy teams.  I wonder if the Celts upgrade at the position this offseason?

Thunder over Clippers, down goes Paul George because he didn’t go to Duke, probably

Did you guys know the Thunder are in the 7 spot in the playoffs?  I didn’t either until I looked up a fancy page titled NBA Standings.  They are sitting at .500, and all this without Chet Holmgren (who went to Gonzaga, who is not Paolo, and I actually don’t think he’s going to be that good, and he didn’t go to Duke, so that’s that).

I saw a tweet on the tweeter machine that the Razorback of Arkansas, Isaiah Joe, has the best true shooting percentage of any guard under the age of 23.  Love to see young guys work their way into roles.  He’s a key part of their rotation, 12 points and 2 3 bombs, solid contributor in percentages and threes.

I should mention Fresno State product Paul George went down and will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks.  That’s about the rest of the regular season.  If you need to, drop him, and if you can get Terance Mann (Florida State) do that and you’ll be sorta set.

Mason Plumlee, one of the 34 Plumlees to go through Duke, is stuck in a minutes crunch.  He’s at or under 20 minutes every game that the Clippers go into healthy.  I don’t think he’ll ever have another opportunity to play as much as he did in Charlotte.  Good run, Mason.