As of April 28, LaMelo Ball remains Vegas’ heavy favorite (-350) to take home Rookie of the Year honors. I don’t really have much quarrel with that, especially since the rookie of consequence I drafted this season wasn’t Ball or Anthony Edwards but James Wiseman. Whoops! Who’s the wise man? Not me. Despite missing some time, Ball will be a deserving winner if the oddsmakers in the desert prove to be correct. Of the top three picks, I feel like Edwards is the one who gets the least amount of shine despite being the no. 1 selection. Flying under the radar makes sense, especially when considering that he doesn’t hail from a(n) (in)famous family, his team has been in the postseason one time since 2005 and has been out of contention since November, and he’s not trying to integrate his game into the dying dreams of decaying dynasty. If you didn’t go looking for it (or if you didn’t draft him), Edwards’ fine first year could pass by more or less unremarked on.

Or dude could throw out a 40-burger and make himself the lede of my final Wednesday recap of the season like freakin’ boss.

Anthony Edwards

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
42 6 7 1 1 8 17/22 0/1 3

On the year, Ant is a top-100-ish player, a ranking that is weighed down by the 41% shooting from the floor. There have definitely been some clunkers over the course of the season and I generally have not been very quiet about them. That said, he’s been a top-50 guy over the final month, a top-35 player over the last two weeks, and a top-25 player the last week. The FG% has ticked up over that same span too, from 46% to 49% to 58%! Too late to put a dent in LaMelo’s case for the hardware, but definitely the kind of growth you love to see out of a young player. Keep eating, Ant! We’ll see you next year.

Here’s what else I saw on the penultimate Wednesday of the regular season…

Kemba Walker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 3 4 1 0 6 11/18 4/5 1

That’s a hell of a way to come back from a four-game absence because of an oblique injury. Kemba has been great when he’s been on the floor, but this is just his third appearance since April 19.

Jayson Tatum

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 7 3 2 2 4 10/22 3/3 0

I went to Tatum’s Basketball Reference page to see if there were any cool nicknames for him that I wasn’t aware of. The results? and Taco Jay. Good thing nicknames isn’t a category. Taco Jay doesn’t play, but this line sure does.

You get beat by 30+, you don’t get a blurb! Mr. Hooper types about the Magic, feeling righteous and correct.

[Clicks on the Orlando box score, just to check.]

Mo Bamba

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 15 1 3 4 1 5/11 8/10 3

Al Pacino GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

RJ Hampton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 10 5 0 0 1 6/14 5/7 1

[Scrolls further, is dazzled by what he sees.]

Pulp Fiction GIF

Dwayne Bacon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 0 0 1 0 10/18 0/0 1

Mo Wagner

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 0 2 1 3 4/8 9/9 4

That’s two very different paths to two very similar places.

Damian Lillard

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 3 9 2 0 6 10/17 6/7 2

In three quarters! I see the clocks have been calibrated.

portland trailblazers yes GIF by NBA

Jusuf Nurkic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 11 3 0 4 1 6/10 2/4 1

Over the last month, Nurk has been good for 12.5/10/3.5/0.9/1.1 on 52.9% shooting from the floor. Jusuf went at the end of the second round in my RazzJam draft, ahead of Chris Paul, Rudy Gobert and Jimmy Butler. He’s still an effective player, obviously, but I don’t think the market will be quite so high on him next year.

Carmelo Anthony

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 5 3 1 1 2 5/8 4/4 1

There’s an old saying around here that goes “Carmelo Anthony is a 9-cat baller.” Okay, so no one says that, but maybe we should start? He’s put together two pretty good weeks down the stretch, so that’s not nothing.

Kevin Love

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 8 2 1 0 4 7/14 0/0 0

True story: In 2014, I was on the Kevin Love side of the Love for Thompson discussion among Warrior fans. Think that’s dumb? Look friend, you’re the one reading me.

Ja Morant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
37 4 10 2 1 1 14/25 8/11 4

What’s his MFin’ name?!?

Jennifer Lopez Dancing GIF

I feel like every time I’ve done a recap recently Ja has been terrible. [Checks the numbers.] Ah, 39% FG over the last week. Yeah, that will do it. I’m glad he got right for this last one though.

Kyle Anderson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 4 2 2 0 3 7/9 3/3 1

The Grizzlies have such an abundance of quality players. Mr. Anderson is just shy of the 1/1/1 club on the season and he gives you a bit of everything. Top-40 guy for the last week, top-60 for the year.

D’Angelo Russell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 4 14 1 0 2 6/13 8/8 5

Karl-Anthony Towns

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 4 5 1 0 3 7/15 5/5 4

DLo and KAT’s friendship runs deep. Matchy-matchy, fellas.

Russell Westbrook

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 12 17 3 1 0 12/20 5/8 2

Top-3 player over the last week. If you’ve rostered Russ and made the playoffs, you’ve been enjoying the rampage. If you were like the rest of us who ran into him, well, there’s always next year.

Bradley Beal

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
42 4 3 1 0 3 14/24 11/14 2

Kinda in for this ‘Zards Playoff run. And by “run” I mean fending off the Tampa Bay Raptors and largely LaVine-less Bulls. And by “Playoff” I mean the final play-in spot in the bad conference. We’re seeking out silver linings over here.

Jrue Holiday

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 5 6 0 1 4 10/20 5/7 5

Top-50-ish player down the stretch. He lost some time to Covid, but Jrue has been his typical brilliant self this season. We’ll have to see it in the playoffs before we can make any ruling on how badly the Bucks overpaid to get him, but I’d so much rather have this guy on my team than have to go against him.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 9 8 0 2 0 8/15 7/8 6

Yawn.

Donte DiVincenzo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 3 4 1 0 5 6/8 2/3 2

Pat Connaughton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 6 3 0 1 4 6/10 0/0 1

Bryn Forbes

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 4 3 0 0 2 6/10 0/0 1

An ultra rare sighting in May in the NBA: a competitive game. Not a lot of thought is given to the players beyond the big three Bucks, but Milwaukee needed all hands on deck to squeak past the streaking Wizards.

Devin Booker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 3 5 0 0 1 11/20 7/8 2

An even rarer NBA sighting: a crappy game from CP. Booker was the only Sun to play 30+ minutes, as the Hawks were en fuego and this was night two of an East Coast back-to-back. Really not much to see here for Phoenix.

So just how hot were the Hawks? Let me put it this way: Trae had the lowest shooting percentage of this group and he shot 50% from the floor.

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 2 12 1 0 0 6/12 4/4 1

Clint Capela

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 10 0 0 2 0 8/11 2/2 1

Bogdan Bogdanovic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 1 6 2 2 4 6/11 0/0 2

Lou Williams

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 4 5 0 0 2 6/11 2/2 1

Onyeka Okongwu

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 7 2 3 1 0 6/7 1/2 1

Even Gallo (16 points on 7/9 shooting) and Huerter (13 on 5/8) chipped in with efficient points. Heat!

on fire GIF

Marvin Bagley III

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
31 12 3 2 2 2 13/22 5/8 1

Luka who?

Delon Wright

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 7 6 6 1 3 8/14 4/4 2

No Fox and no Halliburton has opened the door for Delon Wright to once again factor into the fantasy playoff picture. I feel like he always gets a shot late. Unfortunately for Wright, the window is probably closing as quickly as it opened, as De’Aaron should be back soon. Delon’s been a solid streamer though. Tuck that away for next year’s silly season.

Buddy Hield

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 8 8 2 0 4 6/16 0/0 3

I dogged him the other day for posting a huge line in a massive blowout, but stats is stats. Hield has been turning in top-40 value over the last month, so there’s a reason why he’s my Buddy.

Domantas Sabonis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 13 8 2 0 0 7/9 3/3 4

25/17/10/2/0 and 1 3PM. That’s Sabonis’ line over the last three games. He’s back in a big way.

arnold schwarzenegger smoking GIF by hoppip

TJ McConnell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
11 3 7 3 0 0 5/10 1/2 4

Dimes and steals and not much else. ‘Tis TJ’s way.

Joel Embiid

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
34 12 2 0 1 0 10/17 14/16 3

Double yawn.

Matisse Thybulle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
5 2 2 3 3 1 2/3 0/0 0

A true defensive artist. In order to log more stocks than points, you really have to be getting busy on D and, well, do not much on offense. I find it impressive that he was still able to chip in a triple, all things considering. The longer I look at this line, the more I’m moved by it. Artists named Matisse. Perhaps there’s something to this.

Kelly Olynyk

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 11 8 1 3 3 9/16 6/8 1

I mean, wow. Kelly Olynyk, league winner? Top-15 player over the last week, top-5 player over the last two, and a top-30 player over the final month. Just like everyone saw coming.

Anthony Lamb

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 5 2 1 0 4 7/15 4/4 2

Armoni Brooks

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 2 1 1 0 6 7/16 0/0 2

Real basketball players scoring actual points (and threes) in an actual, real, 100% authentic NBA contest. The Rockets got thumped by 20 and it was far from being the least competitive game of the night. Good times.

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 8 5 0 1 0 5/15 4/6 5

RJ Barrett

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 3 1 0 1 4 4/13 2/2 3

Let me put a positive spin on this 16-point loss for the long suffering-Knicks fans: Clearly they’re saving it for the playoffs.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 12 6 2 2 0 10/16 12/15 4

Triple yawn. At that’s the Yawn MVP Power Rankings! Thanks for playing along at home.

Facundo Campazzo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 9 4 5 2 2 5/12 4/4 1

Do I take solace in the fact that I ended up being right about Campazzo being a good add after Monte Morris went down even though he wasn’t immediately helpful and couldn’t dig me out of a hole in my H2H playoffs? No. I don’t.

San Antonio lost by 32 to the Jazz and it was a bench party. The Spurs are headed into this summer like…

2017 nba playoffs GIF by NBA

Bojan Bogdanovic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 2 0 2 0 3 10/13 1/1 5

The scoring void created by Donovan Mitchell’s absence has been filled by Bobo getting buckets from distance. Over the last two weeks, Bogdanovic is canning more than three triples a game.

Jordan Clarkson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 6 4 0 0 2 12/16 4/5 1

Clarkson gave a good interview earlier this year where, according to the man himself, he told his teammates that if they ever needed to dump the ball off late in the shot clock or at the end of a quarter because they didn’t want to take the statistical dig for heaving, they could throw him the ball and he’d take the hit for them. That’s a good teammate.