The precursor to the much-hyped Clippers and Warriors game was the game between the Bulls and Knicks. On paper, this wasn’t the best choice by ESPN, considering the Knicks are out of the playoffs and the Bulls are competing for the 8th spot.
However, it featured two of the best, youngest international stars. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis dunked and shot his way to 29 points and 10 rebounds. He may have hit the so-called “rookie wall,” but he still contributes enough in a variety of categories to matter in fantasy for the playoffs.
Nikola Mirotic almost single handedly brought the Bulls back in the 4th quarter. He knocked down 9-13 from downtown, on his way to 35 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Can you name the last Bull to knock down 8 threes in a game? Ben Gordon did it in 2008-09. While Gordon had a serviceable career, I hope both Mirotic and Porzingis have better careers than Gordon. Based on Wednesday, their futures look very bright.
Now only the other nightly notables:
Carmelo Anthony – Melo came back from his migraine to post 24 points, 5 assists, and 4-6 from three. Hate him all you want, but the Knicks are 0-8 when he sits.
Arron Afflalo – Despite Melo’s return, Afflalo posted 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists off the bench. Don’t go chasing the rebounds and assists. It was his highest assist total and 2nd highest rebound total all season.
Robin Lopez – Lopez did all the dirty work for the Knicks. He finished with 11 points, 4 blocks, and 13 rebounds, including an impressive 9 offensive rebounds.
Derrick Rose – Rose contributed a nice 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists, while knocking down 2 threes. He’s now played more games this season than he did all of last year.
Jimmy Butler – Even the best players have the occasional off night. He finished with 7 points (3-11), 8 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Paul Millsap – Millsap rebounded from an empty box score (13 points and 2 rebounds) on Monday with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals on Wednesday.
Dennis Schroder – The Wizards had no answer for Schroder, as he went for 23 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds in only 20 minutes. He’s looking like a great dynasty play, when Jeff Teague (9/6/6) potentially leaves in free agency.
Markieff Morris – Initially, I was disappointed the Wizards gave up a draft pick to grab Morris at the deadline, but he’s played very well for the Wizards. On Wednesday, he posted 19 points (8-12 FG, 3-6 3PTFG), 9 rebounds, and 2 steals.
John Wall – Another double-double for Wall with 13 points and 10 assists, but he shot 6-17 from the field and committed 7 turnovers. Still, you can’t overlook the 7 straight double-doubles, 2 of which were triple-doubles. Wall is doing his best to get the Wizards back into the playoffs.
Marcin Gortat – What’s Polish for double-double? Marcin Gortat. 14 points and 14 rebounds for the guy who Jeff Teague called “the best screener in the league.”
Marcus Thornton – The newest Wizard scored 23 points off the bench, including 5-10 from downtown, but leave him on the wire. The two prior games were DNP-CD.
Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger – Johnson went for 11/14/5 with 1 steal and 2 blocks, while Sullinger added 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. They might not be consistent night to night, but the overall averages are worth owning.
Avery Bradley – Bradley is shooting under 30% from three in March, but managed to post 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 threes on Wednesday.
Evan Turner – Turner started once again for the injured Jae Crowder (ankle) and produced: 17 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Crowder is traveling on the Celtics upcoming road trip, but there’s no timeline for his return. Continue to ride Turner until Crowder is back.
Isaiah Thomas – Thomas led the scoring for the Celtics with 23 points, 4 assists, and 3 threes.
Andre Dummond – 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks. His blocks have been down in March, but that’s more like it!
Reggie Jackson – Jackson coughed up the ball 6 times and shot 5-14 from the field, but made up for it with 16 points, 9 assists, and 3 threes.
Tobias Harris – Harris shot the ball well (7-14) on his way to 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
Marcus Morris – 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 threes for the Morris twin
Aaron Gordon – Bouncing back from a subpar last week, Gordon posted 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Victor Oladipo – A far cry from last Friday’s 45 point night, but Oladipo still managed 14 points (5-18 FG), 5 assists, and 3 steals
Elfrid Payton – Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a triple-double off the bench. Payton posted 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Brandon Jennings (6 points) started. Payton should be moved into the starting lineup and picked up in all leagues that he was dropped.
LeBron James – LBJ led the Cavs in scoring with 26 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Kyrie Irving – Not known for his assists, Irving almost had as many assists (8) as field goal attempts (10). He finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Tristan Thompson – 13 points and 10 rebounds for TT off the bench.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – The Greek Freak continued his strong March with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Khris Middleton – Playing without a pure point guard, Middleton dished his way to 11 assists and 9 points.
Jerryd Bayless – He seems to be the last man standing in Milwaukee with O.J. Mayo and Michael Carter-Williams out for the season. He scored 15 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and knocked down 3 threes. It may not be this pretty every night, but for a guy seeing 30+ minutes, owners could do worse.
Derrick Favors – Favors dunked home the game winner with 1.6 seconds to beat the Rockets. He finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks
Gordon Hayward – 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. The 10-12 from the free throw line is nice too.
Dwight Howard – He blocked 6 shots, but did little else with 5 points and 8 rebounds.
James Harden – 26 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 8 steals. Rarely do you see guys get even that close to a quadruple-double. Unfortunately, it was all for nothing, as the Rockets lost the game.
Gorgui Dieng – Dieng does a little bit of just about everything. He posted an impressive 16/12/3/2/2 line, that seems to becoming the standard for him.
Karl-Anthony Towns – The Rookie of the Year added 26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 blocks to his résumé.
Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine – They play the same position, but they play two completely different styles. Rubio added 7 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, while LaVine scored at will with 23 points (7-12 FG, 4-7 3PT).
Andrew Wiggins – Wiggins matched LaVine with 23 points. He also added 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Kosta Koufos – With DeMarcus Cousins sitting out with a bruised right knee, Koufos took advantage of the starters’ minutes with a 15/15/2 double-double. No word on how serious Cousins’ injury is, but with the Kings out of playoff contention, there’s really no reason to push Cousins back early.
Rajon Rondo – Rondo also benefited from the lack of Cousins on offense, shooting a team high 16 times. He finished with 25 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Kawhi Leonard – Leonard dazzled in only 24 minutes, scoring 32 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He left the game in the third with a thigh contusion, after bumping knees with Amar’e Stoudemire (2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks). The move probably was precautionary, as the Spurs were up big, but check back later in the week to see if it is more serious.
Boban Marjanovic – No one enjoys garbage time more than Boban. Marjanovic returned from a D-League stint to score 19 points and grab 4 rebounds in 14 minutes. He’s fun to watch, but leave him on the wire.
Dwyane Wade – It wasn’t a great game for the Heat starters, as Wade was the only starter with double digit scoring. He finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Hassan Whiteside – Whiteside posted another double-double off the bench with 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Josh Richardson – Richardson scored 17 points with 3 steals and 3 threes off the bench. He has been scoring and knocking down a lot of threes for the Heat lately, but doing little else.
Nikola Jokic – Another promising international player, Jokic added 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Nuggets.
Emmanuel Mudiay – Coming off of a 1-11 night, Mudiay lit up the box score with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. He knocked down 10-23 FG and 3-5 from downtown, including this miracle game winning three. Poor 76ers.
Gary Harris – Harris chipped in 18 points and 5 rebounds for Denver.
Darrell Arthur – With Kenneth Faried sitting again, Arthur started and posted 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He’s almost good for a 1 steal/block/three a game, as long as Faried is out.
Carl Landry – With Nerlens Noel sitting out, Landry entered the starting lineup and posted 16 points and 7 rebounds. He doesn’t add the defensive stats quite like Noel and should remain on the wire.
Robert Covington – Covington struggled from the field (6-15 FG, 3-10 3PT), but managed to post 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 steal/block each.
T.J. McConnell – McConnell exploded for 17 points and 5 assists off the bench. He had 17 points in the previous three games.
Julius Randle – Randle posted 19 points and 15 rebounds, the 40th time this season he has grabbed double-digit boards.
Kobe Bryant – In his last game in Phoenix, Bryant went 17/3/2, shooting 5-13. It’s been an illustrious career, but he’s done helping fantasy owners. Feel free to move on, if you haven’t already.
P.J. Tucker – He’s heating up again in fantasy, scoring 6 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and dishing out 6 assists.
Brandon Knight – Knight shot an efficient 9-19 from the field on his way to 25 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. It was only the second time he shot above 45% from the field since coming back from injury.
Devin Booker – Playing the Lakers, there was a lack of defense, making the game great from a fantasy standpoint. Booker added to the party with 28 points and 7 assists.
Mirza Teletovic – Coming off the bench, Teletovic knocked down 5-6 of his 3-point attempts, en route to 17 points and 3 assists.
Damian LIllard – One of 7 Blazers to reach double figures in scoring, Lillard led the way with 27/6/6.
Al-Farouq Aminu – He couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn (3-12 FG, 1-7 3PT), but posted a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. His numbers have been down in March lately, but he still can help in blocks and steals.
Ed Davis – In only 21 minutes off the bench, Davis pitched in 16/9/2/3 line, but I wouldn’t go chasing those numbers on the wire. All of his points came in the first half.
Wesley Matthews – Playing against his former team, Matthews led the Mavericks in scoring with 22 points and 5 rebounds, including 6-10 from beyond the arc.
Deron Williams – Williams dished his way to a double-double with 12 points (4-15 FG) and 11 assists.
Salah Mejri – Playing for the inefficient and gassed Zaza Pachulia (DNP-CD), Mejri posted his second straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Mejri has passed Pachulia on the depth chart and could be useful for rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki – The ageless German refuses to quit, posting 21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block.
Stephen Curry – Curry put two poor shooting performances behind him to score 33/4/5/3. He shot 12-23 from the field and 4-10 from long range. More importantly, the Warriors won, meaning Curry, Klay Thompson (32/4/3 and 7 threes), and Draymond Green (12/12/4) shouldn’t be benched, as they chase 73 wins.
DeAndre Jordan – Jordan played great defense, but it wasn’t enough as the Clippers were swept in the regular season series with the Warriors. Jordan finished with 19 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
Chris Paul – As CP3 goes, so do the Clippers and it was an off night for both. Paul finished with 13 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds on just 4-16 shooting.
Austin Rivers – The coach’s son added 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists off the bench, but doesn’t help much for fantasy purposes.