While most basketball fans were focused on next year’s high draft picks and rookies on display in the Big Easy at the NCAA Men’s Basketbal Championship, the NBA had 6 games on the schedule. Congratulations to Kentucky and all the Wildcats fans who will always have this title… at least until the NCAA investigates. UK seriously put on a show in the tournament and it’ll be interesting to see how many of their talented freshman will go in the top 5 of the draft this coming year…
Which brings us back to the NBA and the race for the playoffs. Both the Eastern and Western Conference leaders fell last night while the Clippers, Jazz, Rockets, and Grizzlies picked up big wins in a crowded Western race.
The Clippers stayed 2 games ahead of Memphis who passed Dallas for the 5th spot as the Mavs fell to just 1/2 game ahead of Denver and 1 ahead of Houston in 8th. Utah stayed a game out of the playoffs by beating Portland and could be the odd team out unless Dallas spirals further of Denver or Houston slip up.
Things are much clearer in the East despite the Bulls 2nd consecutive loss. The Bucks are 2 games behind the Knicks for the last spot and kept the pressure on with a win in Washington. Other than the Bulls and Bucks, there were no Eastern Conference playoff teams in action.
From a fantasy perscpective, here’s the 5 best from the backcourt, the 5 best from the frontcourt, the 5 disappointments, and 5 to think about adding for tonight.
5 Fantasy Backcourt Stars
1. Wesley Matthews-Por: Matthews came out of nowhere to score a league-high 33 points for the Blazers last night as they fell to the Jazz. He hadn’t broken 22 since January 8th when he h 24.His previous season-high was 25 scored in the 3rd game of the season. Matthews added 2 steals, 3 assists, and a rebound.
2. Tyreke Evans-Sac: Evans had 24 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals while leading the Kings late charge past the quickly fading T-Wolves.
3. Randy Foye-LAC: I gave you Foye as a good addition in yesterday’s post, but even I didn’t see the 28 point, 8 three-pointer explosion coming. He added 3 rebounds and 2 steals in his 35 minutes in the Clippers easy win over Dallas.
4. Brandon Jennings-Mil: Jennings had 19 points, 6 boards, 7 assists, and a steal as he helped Milwaukee get the needed road W.
5. Jordan Crawford-Was: Crawford led the Wiz with 23 points on 8 of 17 shooting with 3 threes, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and a steal.
5 Fantasy Frontcourt Stars
1. Paul Millsap-Uta: Millsap had 2 crucial dunks as part of his 31 points and 11 boards as he helped the Jazz beat the Blazers.
2. Luis Scola-Hou: Scola had 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds and a team-high 6 assists as well as adding 3 blocks and 2 steals to help the Rockets get an important and difficult win in Chicago.
3. Carlos Boozer-Chi:Boozer had a solid overall line with 16 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and a steal in the Bulls rare home loss.
4. Blake Griffin-LAC: Griffin had only 15 points but had an exceptional 16 boards to go with his steal and block as the Clippers rolled past the Mavs.
5. Serge Ibaka-OKC: Ibaka is solid and reliable for his blocks although he isn’t going to explode scoring. He finished last night with 6 blocks with a steal, 5 rebounds, and 12 points os OKC fell at home to Memphis.
5 Fantasy Disappointments
1. C.J. Watson-Chi: Watson didn’t make a good spot start against the Rockets as he scored just 2 points on 1-7 shooting and could only add 2 assists, a rebound, and a steal as the Bulls fell.
2. Marcus Thornton-Sac: Thornton played just 8 minutes before leaving with a calf injury. He had 4 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, and a steal before he left.
3. Raymond Felton-Por: While his backcourt mate Wesley Matthews went off, Felton shot just 2-10 and finished with 4 points although he did contribute 8 assists, a steal, and 9 rebounds.
4. Chandler Parsons-Hou: Parsons scored just 6 points in 28 minutes while adding 2 steals, 2 rebounds, and an assist. If you added him for the game, you were hoping for more, but it was Chase Budinger getting the majority of time ad the 3 for the Rockets.
5. Drew Gooden-Mil: Gooden played 21 minutes and made 4 of his 6 shots but finished with just 3 boards, 3 assists, a steal, and 8 points.
5 Fantasy Additions for Tonight (April 3)
1. Iman Shumpert-NY (owned in 37% of leagues): Shumpert should see a ton of PT as the Knicks head to Indiana tonight. He’s scored 25 in 2 of his last 3 games and is a good source of steals (5 in his last game), threes (avg 3 in his last 4), and points (avg 17.75 in last 4). He’s played 39 anf 41 minutes in the last 2 for New York and should be a nice spot start in tonight’s game.
2. Gerald Henderson-Cha (70%): Henderson is your best bet for straight up points if he’s available in your league for tonight. The ‘Cats head to Toronto and Henderson could get 20 easily. He’s added some assists and steals, but mostly he’s a points contributor.
3.Marreese Speights-Mem (12.4%): Speights should be able to grab rebounds tonight against Golden State after having 13 last night and 10 the previous game.
4. Nate Robinson-GS (25.3%): Nate’s good for threes, points, and assits but can hurt in percentages since he’ll keep shooting regardless of whether his shots are falling. The Warriors visit Memphis tonight.
5. Spencer Hawes-Phi (51.4 % owned): Hawes has had his minute-limits removed and should be able to help in points, boards, and blocks.