Some NBA stars had monster statistical nights last night as they boosted their owners teams in the fantasy basketball playoffs. The real NBA playoff races continued as wellwith just 2 weeks remaining in the regular season. Since it’s crunch-time in fantasy-land with playoffs or championships underway, I’ll give you my top 5 to add for tonight and then 5 lists of 5 to recap last night’s action. First though, let’s take a look at the playoff race in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Eastern Conference Update: Boston won it’s fourth in a row over the 5th seeded Hawks who would be their opponent in the first round if the season ended today. They look to be emerging as a contender behind a reenergized Kevin Garnett and a scrappy off-guard named Avery. The Sixers and Pacers both went on the road and beat non-playoff teams. The big news in the East though, was the Knicks getting past the Bucks in Milwaukee to move 2 full games clear of the Bucks as they slug it out for the final playoff spot in the East.
Western Conference Update: The top 4 seeds out WEst were all in action against each other last night, which made for one dramatic game at least. The Clippers (currently 4th) edged the Thunder (currently 1st) on a late CP3 layup. In the other game, the 3rd-seeded Lakers crushed the Spurs even without Kobe as they got huge nights from World Peace and Andrew Bynum (see below). The Grizz held firm at the 5-spot as they knocked the Suns down to 10th and 2 games out of the 8th playoff spot. Meanwhile, the 6-7-8 race tightened into a tie as the Mavs, Rockets, and Nuggets are all 32-26, 1 1/2 games ahead of Utah.
5 to consider adding for 4/12
1. Daniel Green-SA: (2.8% owned in standard leagues): Green plays major minutes with or without the big 3 lately and had 22 points last night including 5 three pointers, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals ,and 2 blocks. San Antonio returns home tonight and hosts Memphis.
2. Anthony Randolph-Min (0.0): He had a huge night last night (see below). With Kevin Love sustaining a concussion and the Wolves season all-but over, Randolph may get the start tonight and have a nice finishing kick to the season. He’s got huge upside, but he is a gamble since he hadn’t been a part of the rotation before Love’s injury so his role is the question-mark moving forward. He could be a huge help in points, boards, and blocks if he gets extended minutes.
3. J.J. Barea-Min (54.3): Barea is getting extended run in the Wolves backcourt and whoever starts up front, he will have an opportunity for threes, assists, and points.
4. Nate Robinson-GS (20.8): Robinson had 19 points and 8 assists last night at Portland and will face the Mavericks hurting backcourt tonight. The Warriors tend to play better at home and Nate can ride the emotion of the crowd if he gets it going.
5. Brandan Wright-Dal (0.4): Wright should get a bump in playing time with Lamar Odom gome from the team. He had 9 points, 4 boards, and 2 blocks in 28 minutes against the Kings on Tuesday, and I think he’ll get plenty of time, and some block-board-scoring numbers worth adding in deep leagues.
5 Huge lines
1. Monta Ellis-Mil: Ellis and Jennings looked as lethal as ever but got a total of 5 points from their other starting 3 players. Ellis finished with 35 points, 10 assists, 4 steals, and 6 rebounds.
2. Rajon Rondo-Bos: Rondo had 10 points on a woeful 3-16 shooting, but noone will remember that since he added 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 20 assists completing yet another Rodo-ian triple-double.
3. Chris Paul-LAC: Paul scored 31 points, 2 threes, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals as he led the Clippers to a huge win on the road in Oklahoma City which could be a 2nd round playoff matchup.
4. Andrew Bynum-LAL: Bynum had the most rebounds of anyone in the league in any game this year as he scored 16 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and an incredible 30 rebounds.
5. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Anthony once again stepped up for the Knicks when it counted scoring 32 points with 10 boards, 2 assists, and a block in his 41 minutes in the New York road win.
5 Stepping up
1. Anthony Randolph-Min: Randolph filled in for K-Love who left with an injury and finished with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks, and an assist in his 31 minutes.
2. J.J Hickson-Por: Hickson had 23 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block as he played 40 minutes for the ailing LaMarcus Aldridge. If Aldridge is out, or if Hickson gets his amount of time along-side LaMarcus, look for him to continue to contribute in boards and points.
3. Jeff Teague-Atl: Teague had 21 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block as he tries to become the 3rd part of Atlanta’s big 3 with Josh Smith and Joe Johnson.
4. Kenneth Faried-Den: Faried continues his breakout campaign. Last night he had 12 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 16 points in 36 minutes while shooting 5-9 from the field and 6-8 from the line.
5. J.J. Barea-Min: Barea had 12 points and 15 assists with 5 boards and a steal for the Wolves last night as they lost to Faried and the Nuggets.
1. Gordon Hayward-Uta: Hayward was uber-efficient shooting 9-14 with 4 three-pointers scoring 29 points while adding 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds.
2. Metta World Peace-LAL: World Peace was the best he’s been all season with 5 threes and 10-15 shooting last night with a team-high 26 points to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
3. Daniel Green-SA: Green and Tim Duncan (14 points) were the only Spurs in double-figures. Green knocked down 5 threes and 7-11 from the field as he scored 22 while adding 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists.
4. Rudy Gay-Mem: Gay led the Grizz with 32 points on 13-20 shooting from the field whild adding 7 rebounds, 2 steals, a block, and an assist.
5. Marcus Thornton-Sac: Thornton hit 3 threes on his way to 25 points to lead the Kings in their road loss to the Hornets. He added 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.
5 Beastly Big-men
1. David Lee-GS: Lee continues to post great numbers while the Warriors sink in the standings. He had 21 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal in the Warriors loss to Portland.
2. Kevin Garnett-Bos: Garnett scored a team-high 22 points on 9-20 shooting whil adding 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.
3. Blake Griffin-LAC: Griffin had 16 and 12 and another thunderous dunk this time over Serge Ibaka. He added 7 assists, a steal, and a blocked shot for the Clippers in their big win.
4. Josh Smith-Atl: Smith had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists to go with 2 blocks and a three-pointer in what some of the Boston media was calling his audition game. If he did end up with Rondo they could become Lob City East.
5. Tyson Chandler-NY: Chandler played 39 minutes and didn’t miss a shot making all 6 from the field and all 7 from the line as he had 19 points and 11 rebounds with a steal and an assist.
1. Ersan Ilyasova-Mil: Ilyasova played just 14 minutes last night against New York with a three and 2 rebounds as his only contributions.
2. DeMarcus Cousins-Sac: Cousins was 3-12 from the field and was benched for the whole 4th quarter. He ended up playing only 20 minuts and getting 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists. He’ll look to bounds back against OKC on Friday.
3. Randy Foye-LAC: Foye could only make 2 of his 10 shots from the field and score 7 points in the Clippers win over the Thunder. He added 3 assists and 4 rebounds, but his shot deserted him.
4. Courtney Lee-Hou: Lee played 29 minutes but only shot 4-11 and scored 9 points along with a few peripherals-2 steals, a block, and 2 rebounds.
5. Jared Dudley-Phx: Dudley made just one of his 6 shots from the field with 5 rebounds, an assist, a block, and just 2 points as Phoenix fell in Memphis.