The NBA’s 12 games last night showcased some of the best the NBA has to offer and teased us all with how great the NBA Playoffs could be. The Western Conference changes nightly as teams jockey for positions 4-10 which are still separated by just four and a half games. In the East, the teams in the bottom seem to be fading fast but the top 4 look solid.
In the West last night, the Thunder lost there second in a row and now lead the Spurs by just a single game in the race for the top seed and home court throughout the Western Conference playoffs. The Lakers won to stay solidly in third, but after that things get really tigh. The Clippers are still a game and a half ahead of Dallas and Memphis who matched up in Dallas last night. Houston and Denver are tied in the 7 and 8 spots with the Suns now in the 8 spot after beating and passing the Jazz.
The Eastern Conference appears a little more defined with the Bulls and Heat locked into the top 2 spots with the Bulls 2 games up for home court. The Heat got a confidence-boost last night by beating the Thunder in a possible NBA Finals preview (wow, that would be a great finals). The Pacers have streaked into the third position ahead of the Celtics who now lead the fading Sixers by a game and a half despite losing to the Spurs. The Bucks won over the Cavs as they moved to within a game of the idle Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East.
Here’s who stood out from a fantasy perspective compiled in 5 lists of 5 based solely on their performance last night:
5 First Team All-NBA fantasy
SF: LeBron James-Mia: James scored 34 points on 10-20 shooting and 11-13 from the line. He added 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 stleals along with a block as he lead Miami past the Thunder. James all but locked in the MVP trophy with a huge performance in this great game.
PF: Paul Millsap-Uta: Millsap had 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assits, 3 steals, and 2 blocks; however, the Jazz still fell to Phoenix and got passed by them in the playoff race.
C: Andrew Bynum-LAL: Bynum dominated down low as the Clippers elected to leave DeAndre Jordan 1-on-1 with him most of the time. He finsihed with 36 points on 20 shots with 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a steal.
SG: Kobe Bryant-LAL: Bryant had 31 points including a crucial jumper in the closing minute and added 2 threes, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
PG: Chris Paul-LAC: CP3 looked unstoppable in the 4th as he scored 22 points to go with his 16 assists. Unfortunately for him, the clippers still fell short as they fell to the cross-town Lakrs.
5 Second Team All-NBA fantasy
SF:Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant had 30 points on 11-21 shooting and made all 6 of his FTs. He had a game-high 9 turnovers although he also added 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
PF: David Lee-GS: Lee continues to be the only consistent producer on Golden State and led them to a W last night in Minnesota over Kevin Love and the Wolves. Lee finished with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in a team-high 42 minutes.
C: Chris Kaman-NO: While Eric Gordon’s return grabbed the headlines, it was Kaman’s solid performance that got NO the win. He had 14 points, 10 boards, 2 assists, a steal, and an impressive 5 blocks.
SG: Monta Ellis-Mil: Ellis led the Bucks past Cleveland with 30 points, 8 assists, 5 boards, and 2 steals. It was a great game for Milwaukee and Ellis as they continue to try and push for the playoffs.
PG:Rajon Rondo-Bos: Rondo had 17 points 11 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in his game-high 44 minutes against the Spurs last night in Beantown.
5 First Team fantasy letdowns
SF: Corey Brewer-Den: If you rolled the dice with Brewer as a spot start, you lost. He went 0-7 and finishing with 1 rebound and 0 points.
PF: Anthony Tolliver-Min: With Minnesota’s rotation evening out, Tolliver was reduced to just 10 minutes on the floor and 1 assist was his only statistical contribution while missing both shots he took.
C: Johan Petro-Por: Not that much was expected, but if you grabbed him for a spot-start his 16 minutes with only 2 points on 1-5 shooting and 4 boards with an assist was less than you were hoping for.
SG: Evan Turner-Phi: Turner followed his 26 point-8 rebound performance on Tuesday with a 4 point-3 rebound stinker last night. He made just 2 of his 10 ahots and had no blocks or steals with his 2 assists.
PG: D.J. Augustin-Cha: Augustin had just 2 points on 1-5 shooting with 3 assists and a steal in just 11 minutes of action before he was forced to leave with knee tendinitis.
5 First Team fantasy risers
SF. Anthony Parker-Cle: Parker had 27 points along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. The Cavs season is over, but Parker might be a good addition for the rest of the year.
PF: Kevin Seraphin-Was: The big Frenchman had another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds and has 4 straight games in double-figures. As long as he starts and plays these minutes (32 last night), he’s a great add in the 8- percent of leagues where he’s available.
C: Ekpe Udoh-Mil: Udoh started last night for Drew Gooden and was able to get 11 points, 8 boards, an assist, a steal, and 2 blocks. He’s a contributor in all the categories when he gets 30+ minutes.
SG-Eric Gordon-NO: Gordon made some clutch game-winning free throws after starting off 0-4 with 2 early air-balls. He finished with 15 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 threes, and a steal. Gordon could win fantasy teams their championship as he gets back into the flow of things with the new-look Hornets.
PG: Kemba Walker-Cha: Walker filled in for the injured DJ Augustin and had 21 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. He would be a great closing addition if Augustin misses more time.
5 Best Additions for tonight
1.Kevin Seraphin-WAS (31.6 % ownership):with only 4 games on the schedule it’s a little thin, but Seraphin makes a nice addition. He had a nice game last night (see above) and could be a big help in points, rebounds, and steals tonight.
2.Randy Foye-LAC (41.4): Foye has had 20, 17, 28, and 11 points over his last 4 games and is averaginng just under 4 assists per game during that time as well. He’s hit a three in every one of those contests with 8 on Monday in Dallas. He’s a good addition if you need threes, points, and assists.
3. Iman Shumpert-NY (56.2): Shumpert let me down last game in Indy. Despite playing 37 minutes he had just 4 points and no peripherals. I think he’ll have a better night although it wont be as good as the 25 points, boards, 4 assists, and a steal that he put up when Orlando came to New York.
4. Terrence Williams-SAC (5.9): Williams has been making the most of the time he’s giving for the Kings. He’s played 30+ minutes in the last 2 games and has averaged 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, a block, and a steal. As the Kings host the Clippers tonight, Williams makes a solid add if you need a nice across the board contribution.
5. Avery Bradley-Bos (2.1): Bradley scored a team-high 19 points hitting 9+ points for the 5th game in a row averaging 13.8 points, 1.2 steals, and 2.6 rebounds over those games. His upside is limited since his offensive game is still a little one-dimensional and he doesn’t start for Boston. He showed last night he can still contribute though and could be worth picking up of the wavier wire for tonight.