To start your Monday, let’s catch up on all the NBA Easter goodness. If you were stuck on the Masters and Bubba or just missed Sunday in a sugar coma, let’s take a quick look back at the 7 games on yesterday’s NBA schedule.
In the Western Conference, the battle for the top spot continued to heat up as the Thunder and Spurs both won at home so the Spurs maintain a percentage-point advantage over Oklahoma City. The Rockets got the win they needed in Sacramento, while the Jazz couldn’t do the same in San Antonio. As we head into the last 2 week’s of the season the Lakers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets, Mavericks, Nuggets, Suns, and Jazz are all ranked 3-10 in the West (in that order) and are within 6 games of each other with most teams with 9 or 10 games left to play. Right now, the Jazz are a game and a half behind Denver for the 8-spot, and the Rockets are in 6th-one game ahead of Denver and 1/2 game up on the Mavs.
Out East, the Knicks got a big win to stay ahead of Milwakee and actually got the 76ers who lost to Boston and currently are 8th in the Eastern Conference. The win pushed Boston 3 games up on Philly in the Atlantic Division and further solidified their 4th place standing in the conference.
For our starting 5′s today, here’s 5 lists of 5 including the best performances from Sunday, and the best possible fantasy additions for Monday:
5 Best Sunday Performances
1. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Anthony had an impressive 43 points including the three that won the game in the Knicks big win over the Bulls. He had 4 threes in the game as well as 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, and a block.
2. Tony Parker-SA: Parker had 28 points to lead all scorers in the Spurs-Jazz game. He added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe.
3. Derrick Rose-Chi: Rose scored 29 points on 8-26 shooting as the Bulls reverted to the D-Rose-alone offensive set. He added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, and a block while committing 8 turnovers. He looked great for this being his first game back, but he’ll need more help if the Bulls want to succeed in the playoffs.
4. Kevin Garnett-Bos: Garnett had 20 points, 6 boards, and 2 assists as he led a balanced Boston attack as the Celtics knocked off the Sixers for the first time in 3 tries and grew their lead in the Atlantic.
5. Courtney Lee-Hou: Lee led Houston to another necessary win as the Rockets continue their playoff push without their original starting backcourt. Lee had 25 points, 4 steals, 2 assists, and 2 boards with 3 three-pointers. Lee’s role may shift with Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry returning but he has played well of late.
5 Boosted by the Cavs-Nets OT game
1. Gerald Green-NJ: Green led the Nets with 32 points including 5 three-pointers with 4 rebounds and an assist as he pushed New Jersey past the Cavs in OT. The final was 122-117 and with all that scoring there were plenty of nice lines to go around as you’ll see.
2. Antawn Jamison-Cle: Jamison led all scorers with 34 points on 12-19 from the field with 4 three-pointers, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal.
3. Alonzo Gee-Cle: Gee played 41 minutes and had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. He makes a nice addition in good matchups as long as he starts the rest of the year.
4. Deron Williams-NJ: Williams misfired on all 7 three-pointers he attempted and stil finished with 18 points, 10 assists, 2 rebounds, and 4 steals. He played 39 minutes as he led the Nets to another W.
5. Lester Hudson-Cle: Hudson came off the bench with 26 points on 9-22 shooting with 6 threes, 4 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals. He makes this list since he’s almost universally available and makes a nice pickup if he keeps getting the time. Left off the list were Donald Sloan (14 assists), Tristan Thompson (15 points, 15 rebounds), and Anthony Morrow (24 points, 3 threes, 5 rebounds).
5 Borderline Great on Sunday
1. LeBron James-Mia: James picked up the slack for a injured/resting D-Wade. He had 16 points on 12-22 shooting with a three, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, and a block. He struggled a bit from the line shooting 1-5, but other than that had another steller LeBron performance.
2. Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant let the Thunder with 23 points and mixed in 4 rebounds, an assist, stela, and 2 blocked shots in his 31 minutes as OKC rolled Toronto.
3. Iman Shumpert-NY: Shumpert had 15 points on 5-14 shooting including 2 threes and added 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in the Knicks big win over the Bulls.
4. Tim Duncan-SA: Duncan controlled 16 rebounds and added 13 points, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in just 31 minutes as the Spurs cruised.
5. Rajon Rondo-Bos: Rondo passed out 15 assists with 3 steals, 4 rebounds, and 7 points on 3-5 from the field.
5 Biggest Sunday Letdowns
1. Jodi Meeks-Phi: Any Sixer could go here after they continued there fast fade-out in the East. Meeks gets the call after playing 27 minutes and missing all 7 shots from the field finishing with 4 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
2. Baron Davis-NY: Davis played 21 minutes going 1-7 from the field and finishing with just 2 points, 2 steals, and 4 assists. It was Iman Shumpert who handles more of the PG duties which could result in a big increase in his value.
3. Paul Millsap-Uta: Millsap went 1-8 from the field in his 21 minutes, managing just 2 points, 3 boards, and 1 assist. He was battling illness and will look to bounce back for the 2nd part of the home-and-home with the Spurs tonight.
4. Richard Hamilton-Chi: Hamilton wasn’t on the floor in crunch time and played just 19 minutes. He scored 7 points with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a block, and 3 turnovers. Rip doesn’t look ready for primetime yet and hopefully for Chicago’s sake he gets there by the playoffs.
5. Andrea Bargnani-Tor: Bargnani was off to a solid start, but things got bad in a hurry as he left after just 13 minutes with tightness is his troublesome left calf. Check here for all the latest injury updates. Bargnani is too valuable to drop until they say he’s out for the year, but news of another setback could be on the way.
5 Best Available for Monday (4/9)
1. Danilo Gallinari-Den (49% owned in ESPN Standard leagues): Gallinari is expected to return tonight from his thumb injury. The Nuggets have 10 games left with the average amount of games in each week. Gallinari averaged about a three and a half and 15.2 PPG with 2.6 APG and 4.9 RPG in his 33 games earlier this season and the Nuggets will use him as much as possible as they fight for the playoffs.
2. Byron Mullens-Cha (31.1%): Mullens has been scoring and rebounding at a prodigious rate. He’s had 17 or more points in 4 of 5 and has averaged 19 points and 9.4 boards with over an assist and a block a game. He matches up against the Wizards and their thin front line so look for another solid game.
3. Mo Williams-LAC (32%)-Williams is expected to return for the Clippers tonight as they visit Memphis. He should return to his role as 6th man and be good for points, assists, threes, and steals. He’s a better long-term add than many of the one-and-done adds although it may take a game or 2 to get up to full speed.
4. Greivis Vasquez-NO (15.9%): Based on his previous few games, Vasquez is good for 11-12 points and around 10 assists and 5 boards if he starts in place of the injured Jarrett Jack. The risk is that Jack returns and Vasquez rides the bench. If you can verify Jack’s status, Vasquez should be a good short-term add.
5. J.J. Redick-Orl (31.3%): Redick is playing big minutes (41, 39, and 31 minutes) and scored 19 points in the Magic win Saturday. If you need points or steals he could be a help.