The NBA had a relatively full Tuesday night of action with 8 games on the schedule and the playoffs starting to clear up and come into focus. The biggest game last night saw the Heat clinch a playoff spot by beating the Sixers even without D-Wade in what would be a first round rematch if the playoffs started today. LeBron was great, but he didn’t have the only sweet line of the night. See below our playoff update for the 5 best at each position in last night’s games across the NBA.
The Western Conference dogfight for 4-10 stayed extremely tight. The idle Clippers (current 4 seed) are just 5 games ahead of the hard-charging Suns (currently 10th). Memphis won to move a full game ahead of the Mavs for 5th while the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, and Utah Jazz (6, 7, 8, and 9 respectively) all took the night off. Watch tonight to see how things shake up….
In the East, the Pacers (3 seed) stormed back to beat the Knicks with a huge 4th quarter dropping NY to just a game and a half ahead of the Bucks. The Sixers fought hard, but fell in Miami as they fell 1 1/2 games behind Boston in the Atlantic…
Here’s the top 5 at each position (based on just last night’s stats, not intended to be an overall ranking). As well as 5 who you can look to grab for a spot start tonight:
Top 5 Fantasy Point Guards
1. Steve Nash-PHX: Nash had 18 points and 12 assists with 6 rebounds and just 1 turnover as the Suns triumphed over the Kings.
2. Ramon Sessions-LAL: Sessions had 19 points and 11 assits with a steal, 6 boards, and 4 turnovers in the Lakers narrow win over the Nets.
3. Isaiah Thomas-Sac: Thomas took the same number of shots as Tyreke Evans (who had 8 points) and finished with 25 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds as he played a team-high 39 minutes for the Kings in their loss to Phoenix.
4. Deron Williams-NJ: Williams played 32 minutes in LA and had 20 points to go with 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal.
5. Tony Parker-SA: Parker finished with 19 points on 9-12 from the field. He added 5 assits, a steal, and 3 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action for the Spurs as they cruised past the Cavs in Cleveland.
Top 5 Fantasy Shooting Guards
1. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Kobe hit the bizarrest game-winning three of his career and had a game-high 24 points to go with 3 assists, 7 brebounds, and a steal as he led the Bynum-less LA past the Nets even after blowing yet another big lead.
2. Evan Turner-Phi: Turner’s shot was back as he made 12 of 19 and finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist as Philly tried to hang with LeBron and the Heat. It was a good effort for the former Buckeye, but his run like his alma mater’s in the tournament ultimately fell short.
3. Ben Gordon-Det: Gordon got the nod with Rodney Stuckey out with a sore left hammy and stepped in with 18 points, 2 steals, 7 assists, and 6 boards.
4. DeMar DeRozan-Tor: DeRozan hit exactly half his shots from the field (8-16) while scoring 20 points in the Raptors 2nd win in a row. He added 4 rebounds and 2 assists in his 38 minutes.
5. Daniel Green-SA: Green had 19 against the Cavs that cut him hitting 4 threes and adding 2 steals and 3 rebounds in San Antonio’s road win.
Top 5 Fantasy Small Forwards
1. LeBron James-Mia: James had a league-high 41 points (tied with DeMarcus Cousins) to help the Heat get the win over the visiting 76ers. He hit 15 of his 25 shots from the field and added 6 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block while playing 38 minutes and carrying the team with Dwyane Wade sidelined.
2. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Melo had a season-high 39 points for the Knick and added 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The Knicks were up big and according to Anthony “got a little bit complacent” as they fell closer to missing the playoffs although they still maintain a grip on the last spot.
3. Danny Granger-Ind: Granger had 27 points, 5 threes, 7 rebounds, a block, and an assist to lead Indiana’s comeback against the Knicks. He helped the Pacers outscore New York 40-17 in the fourth quarter doing his best Reggie Miller impersonation with 14 points
4. Gerald Wallace-NJ: Wallace continues to play well for Jersey as he contribution 19 points, 2 threes, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal in his team-high 42 minutes in LA last night.
5. Paul George-Ind: George qualifies at both SF and SG in the majority of leagues and his versatility and across-the-board production have helped his value climb most of the year. He had 18 points last night to wo with 8 boards, 3 steals, and an assist in the Pacers come from behind win over the Knicks.
Top 5 Fantasy Power Forwards
1. Glen Davis-Orl: With Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard out, Big Baby stepped up for Orlando with 31 points and 10 boards in 40 minutes. He added 3 steals and a block, but the Magic couldn’t get past the Pistons in Detroit.
2. Kris Humphries-NJ: Humphries had a nice night with 15 rebounds (7 offensive) with 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
3. David Lee-GS: Lee keeps putting up numbers aboard the sinking ship that is the Warriors season. He had 22 last night with 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal as well.
4. Marcin Gortat-Phx: It’s a little bit of a stretch to call him a PF, but he has eligibility at that spot in most leagues still. He finished last night with 20 points and 10 boards which wouldn’t have gotten him into the top 5 in a deep center category. He added 2 blocks and 2 steals in his 32 minutes in the Suns road win.
5.Jason Maxiell-Det: Maxiell had an efficient 15 points and 7 rebounds on 7-11 shooting with 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal in his 25 minutes against Orlando.
Top 5 Fantasy Centers
1. DeMarcus Cousins-Sac: Cousins exploded for 41 points, 12 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block as the Suns had no answer for him in his 38 minutes on the floor.
2. Andrea Bargnani-Tor: Bargnani poured in 30 on 11-22 shooting with 2-6 from three, 3 boards, an assist, and a steal in the Raptors win over the Bobcats.
3. Pau Gasol-LAL: Gasol scored 22 points on 11-20 shooting and scooped up 12 rebounds with 4 assists and a steal in LA’s win over New Jersey.
4. Greg Monroe-Det: Monroe had a big night with Dwight Howard not being ready to go for Orlando. Monroe led the Pistons with 22 points, 11 rebounds and added 3 assists, a steal, and a block as they beat the Magic.
5. Byron Mullens-Cha: Mullens started along with Biyombo so played PF for most of the night but had a very nice stat line. He had 14 boards, 2 blocks, and 20 points in the Bobcats 44th loss of the year
5 to add for tonight’s games
1. Eric Gordon-NO (65.5% ownership): With 12 games on the slate there are plenty of options, but Gordon coming back tonight as the Hornets host the Nuggets. He’s been practicing, but it’s tough to say what to expect. He’s worth the risk though since he could be a difference-maker for the rest of the year, both in real-life and in fantasy.
2. Derrick Favors-Uta (17.0%): Favors played 35 minutes Monday against Portland and recorded 11 and 11. After watching what fellow-first round pick in the 2010 draft DeMarcus Cousins did to the Suns last night, the only thing that could limit Favors tonight as Phoenix comes to town is if either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson go off and he watches from the bench. If he gets the time, I think he’ll have an awesome night.
3. Brandon Rush-GS (48.5): The Warriors season is rapidly entering full-on-tank mode, but Rush has doubl-digits in 6 of his last 7 games and is usually a decent pick up for steals and blocks as well. He’s facing the Wolves in Minnesota tonight.
4. Spencer Hawes-Phi (49.4): Hawes heads home where he plays better and gets to face the Raptors in tonights attempt to bounce-back form losing to the Heat last night in Miami. If you need points, boards, and blocks, he’s a solid pickup.
5. Mario Chalmers-Mia (54.7): Chalmers and the Heat host the Thunder tonight in the second marquee matchup between the 2 teams. He’s been scoring well of late and had 19 last night with 4 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a three. He’s a decent pickup for steals, threes, and scoring since Miami is at home and D-Wade may or may not be ready to roll.