It’s unusual for teams to be clinching playoff spots this early in the season. The Warriors are on a historic pace to challenge the ’95-96 Bulls for the best single-season record in NBA history, at 72-10.
Because of this, the Spurs are flying under the radar, something that they seem to do every season. By beating the Pistons on Wednesday, the Spurs improved their home winning streak to 29 games and are now 51-9 on the season. That’s 17 straight 50+ win seasons. Absolutely incredible.
Marcus Morris (16 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists) the oldest Pistons’ starter was 8 years old when Tim Duncan (12 points and 8 rebounds) made his debut. And when Duncan is ready to call it a career, he has two young studs to continue the Spurs’ legacy: LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard.
Just like David Robinson and Duncan, Aldridge has played nicely along with Duncan. He grabbed a double-double against the Pistons with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Meanwhile, the reigning Finals’ MVP, Leonard, posted a 27/6/5 line with 2 steals.
While the Warriors have a shot at 72-10, both the Warriors and Spurs are still a ways away from matching the Bulls’ record of 44 straight wins at home.
Now onto the other nightly notables:
Aaron Gordon – The Tobias Harris trade to the Pistons has done wonders for Gordon’s fantasy contributions. Gordon grabbed a double-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists on Wednesday. The Magic will continue ride with Gordon, who is turning into a fantasy beast.
Nikola Vucevic – Vucevic led the Magic to a 102-89 win over the Bulls. He finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Elfrid Payton – Payton dished out 12 assists, in addition to 9 points and 4 rebounds. Brandon Jennings (2 points, 3 assists) played 12 minutes, but shouldn’t be a threat to Payton’s playing time.
Mario Hezonja – With Evan Fournier (wrist) sidelined, Hezonja received another start and had his best game as a rookie: 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 threes. He shot 9-17 from the field and 3-7 from downtown, a strong bounce back game from Tuesday night (2 points on 1-6 shooting). Inconsistency will still be there, but as long as Fournier is out, Hezonja should start.
Victor Oladipo – Oladipo also had a strong game for the Magic with 17 points and 7 rebounds. He will also benefit from Fournier being sidelined.
Derrick Rose – Rose (16 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds) was the only bright spot for the Bulls, who looked gassed in the second game of back-to-backs.
Kemba Walker – Walker, as he’s done all season, led the way for the Hornets, scoring 30 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, as the Hornets destroyed the 76ers by 20.
Marvin Williams – An underrated fantasy contributor, Williams has had a nice season, due to his ability to average close to 1 three/block/steal per game. On Wednesday, he posted 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 2 threes.
Cody Zeller – He doesn’t quite block as many shots as you’d expect from a 7-footer, but he was erasing shots on Wednesday. He finished with 4 blocks, along with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Nicolas Batum – Batum had some lousy games to finish the month of February, but has looked better in March so far. 12 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals for the Frenchman on Wednesday.
Jeremy Lin – In 20 minutes off the bench, Linsanity posted 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. The consistency just isn’t there for owners to trust Lin.
Nerlens Noel – With Jahlil Okafor (shin contusion) sitting, Noel received a lot of touches, posting 17 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. His rebounding numbers have been down in the last 5 games (4.8), but he’s made up for it in other ways.
Robert Covington – Covington put up a very fantasy friendly line with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 4 threes.
Ish Smith – After bouncing around the league, Smith has dominated the point guard position for the 76ers this season. He recorded 12 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds against the Hornets.
Isaiah Canaan – The positives: Canaan scored 17 points with 4 threes. The negatives: he doesn’t contribute enough in any other category and shoots way too much. Leave him on the wire.
Kyle Lowry – Last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Lowry continues his strong play with 32 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 threes. Don’t worry, he sat out Sunday’s game solely for rest purposes.
DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan joined Lowry in the 30-point club, with 31 points and 5 rebounds. The Raptors have quietly taken over the #2 seed in the east and are within a few games of catching the Cavs for the #1 seed.
Derrick Favors – 15 points, 7 rebounds for Favors, who is averaging a double-double over his last 5 games.
Gordon Hayward – Hayward led the Jazz in scoring with 26 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 threes. He’ll need to keep playing like this, if the Jazz want to remain in the playoff hunt.
Isaiah Thomas – Thomas paced the Celtics in scoring, dropping 30 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 threes.
Jared Sullinger – Sullinger dominated the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds, with 15 points, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. That’s double-digit rebounds for Sullinger in 7 of his last 9 games.
Marcus Smart – Smart joined Sullinger in the double-double club, posting 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals off the bench. Smart does a little bit across the board to be valuable even in standard leagues.
Damian Lillard – What he didn’t score 30 points?!?!? After scoring 30+ points in 7 of his last 8 games, Lillard only scored 20 points and shot only 2 free throws. He had gone a perfect 45-45 from the line in the previous 5 games.
Tobias Harris – Harris has meshed with the Pistons nicely, picking up right where he left off with the Magic. On Wednesday, he posted 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Andre Drummond – Drummond was controlled offensively by the Spurs (9 points on 4-7 shooting), but still grabbed his usual 14 rebounds and shot 1-8 from the free throw line.
Paul George – George contributed across the board with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, but shot only 5-15 from the field and committed 7 turnovers.
Jordan Hill – In a strong game off the bench, Hill contributed 19 points and 7 rebounds on 8-12 shooting. Ian Mahinmi (10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks) and Myles Turner (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks) aren’t in any jeopardy of losing their starting spot.
Jabari Parker – Parker cooled off from his 36 point outing on Monday, but still posted a strong line of 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – He contributed 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block/steal each against the Pacers. Threes seem to be the only thing that Antetokounmpo doesn’t contribute on a nightly basis. At 21, he still has time to improve and that’s just plain scary.
Khris Middleton – Middleton posted 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Michael Carter-Williams has patella tendinitis and missed his second game. Without a natural point guard behind MCW, Middleton could see his assists and field goal attempts rise, as long as MCW is out.
Greg Monroe – His demotion to the bench has hurt his numbers a little, but 16 points and 7 rebounds off the bench is still very useful.
Zach Randolph – Randolph had a nice game of 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists, but what I will remember most from the game is how bad Willie Cauley-Stein dunked on him. Usually it’s the veteran dunking on the rookie, not the other way around.
Mike Conley – Conley bounced back from a 2-9 performance on Monday to post 24 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 3 threes. He shot an efficient 9-12 from the field (3-3 from downtown).
JaMychal Green and Mario Chalmers – Off the bench Green posted 15 points and 3 steals, while Chalmers added 15 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
DeMarcus Cousins – Thank goodness he didn’t follow through on his punch on Steven Adams. Otherwise, owners would have missed his line of 18 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 1 three. DeMarcus, please continue to control your temper. We need you. Sincerely, your fantasy owners.
Rajon Rondo – Rondo dished out 17 assists to go along with 6 points and 8 rebounds. For as good as Rondo was for the Celtics, Rondo is averaging more assists per game than he has in any other season.
James Harden –Despite shooting poorly from the field (11-24 FG and 1-8 3PT), Harden delivered for the Rockets and fantasy owners with 39 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Patrick Beverley – Beverley has taken on more of an offensive role lately and that continued on Wednesday, with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 threes. Boy, that Ty Lawson experiment didn’t last long.
Dwight Howard – Howard has picked up his play lately too, posting16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.
Anthony Davis – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. So that’s what an off night looks like for AD?
Norris Cole – Cole continues to start over Jrue Holiday (13 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds) and continues to produce with 21 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. Both of these guys are valuable and should continue to be down the stretch.
Ryan Anderson – Anderson couldn’t find his shot, going 5-20 from the field. He still managed to post 14 points and 10 rebounds though.
Eric Gordon – His finger seems to be fine, as he hit 5-11 form the field and 4-9 from downtown to finish with 14/3/3.
Alan Anderson and Bradley Beal – John Wall (14 points, 12 assists, and 4 rebounds) had his usual double-double, but it was the inspired play by the bench that led the Wizards to a victory. Anderson is finally healthy and exploded for 18 points on 4-7 shooting from three. Mostly a 3-and-D guy, deep leaguers should look at Anderson for threes and steals. Beal, meanwhile, chipped in 26 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
Karl-Anthony Towns – The Rookie-of-the-Year had another strong game with 14 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks.
Chris Paul – Paul helped the Clippers erase a 22-point lead to beat the Thunder. He finished with 21 points, 13 assists, and 4 rebounds.
DeAndre Jordan – Jordan has been a beast while Blake Griffin has been out and that continued on Wednesday with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Griffin got in some pregame shooting for the first time since his hand injury and appears to be close to returning. Both will still be valuable in fantasy, but Jordan’s rebounding and point totals will decline a little with Griffin’s eventual return.
Wesley Johnson – Coming off the bench, Johnson provided 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 threes. The numbers won’t blow you away, but can help owners in need of threes, steals, and blocks.
J.J. Redick – Redick left early in the first quarter, before returning in the second due to a bruised lower back. He still managed to post 16 points and 3 assists on 6-13 shooting. Hopefully this is the last we hear of the injury.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka – The Thunder big three all shot poorly, but managed to still provide their owners with serviceable stat lines. KD went for 30 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks on 12-27 shooting; Westbrook added 24 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds on 8-21 shooting; and Ibaka posted a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds on 5-16 shooting. After heartbreaking losses to the Warriors and Clippers, better days are ahead.
Emmanuel Mudiay – Not known for his shooting prowess, Mudiay knocked down 10 of 20 to post 22 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Don’t expect the strong shooting percentage to continue.
D.J. Augustin – Augustin continues his strong play off the bench for the Nuggets with 26 points and 5 assists. He was a perfect 3-3 from downtown and 9-9 from the line. D.J. should be a fine pickup for the stretch run.
Julius Randle – Randle posted 17 points and 7 rebounds and appears to have settled into the starting role for the Lakers.