The NBA season is quickly coming to a close with just 4 nights of games remaining on the schedule. The best and worst of the league was on display in LA last night when after an ugly incident involving World Peace and our poll question the Lakers and Thunder played an epic double-OT thriller that the Lakers ultimately pulled out.
The Rockets pulled out too, of the playoffs that is as they couldn’t beat the Heat in Miami. Carmelo and the Knicks also won as they knocked off the Hawks in Atlanta. In some of the non-playoff bound action the Pistons beat the Raptors and the Warriors beat the Wolves. The Spurs took advantage of the Thunder loss to increase their lead for the top seed out West and the Nuggets also helped their standing by knocking off the injury-ravaged Magic.
Here’s 5 lists of 5 to wrap up last night’s action and give you ideas of who to add for tonight’s 6-game slate.
5 Shining Stars
1. Carmelo Anthony-NY: Anthony led the Knicks to a big win in ATL with 39 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 3 three-pointers.
2. Chris Paul-LAC: Paul led the Clipper comeback with 33 points, 13 assists, and 8 steals while adding 4 rebounds in 39 minutes in an important win for the Clippers.
3. LeBron James-Mia: James had 32 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal in his return after missing a game as he led the Heat past the Rockets in South Beach.
4. Marvin Williams-Atl: Williams started for the first time in over a month and played 39 minutes finishing with 29 points including 4 made threes while adding 3 blocks, a steal, and 11 rebounds in the Hawks loss to New York
5. Pau Gasol-LAL: Gasol had 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists in a double-OT aided 49 minutes. He’s been huge for LA as they’ve come down the stretch… sometimes the best trades are the one’s you don’t make.
5 Shooting Stars
1. DeMarcus Cousins-Sac: Cousins has broken out this year and last night had 29 points, 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal in the Kings win.
2. Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant piled up 35 points but took 34 shots to do it making just 11-34 from the field and 4-10 from three-point territory. He added 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the Thunder loss while playing 51 minutes.
3. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Bryant scored 26 on 9-26 shooting with 2 threes, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, a steal, and a Kobe-esque 4th Quarter and OTs to lead the Lakers to a win they needed over OKC.
4. Charles Jenkins-GS: Jenkins led Golden State to an accidental win with 24 points on 12-22 from the field while adding 9 assists and 6 rebounds and leading the Warriors past the Wolves.
5. Joe Johnson-Atl: Johnson scored 22 points and hit all 4 of his threes while shooting 9-14 from the field and adding 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
5 Specialist Stars
1. Serge Ibaka-OKC: Ibaka had a league-high 7 blocks with 18 points and 14 rebounds in 46 minutes against the Lakers.
2. Greg Monroe-Det: There were plenty of misses to rebound and Monroe grabbed a league-high 17 while adding 8 points, 2 steals, an assist, and a blocked shot in the Pistons win over Toronto.
3. Nikola Pekovic-Min: Pekovic had 19 points and 16 boards to go with 2 assists and a block against the Warriors depleted front line.
4. J.J. Barea-Min: Barea had a league-high 12 assists as he started again for Minnesota and played 48 minutes against Golden State. He added 14 points on 5-18 shooting with 2 rebounds and a steal.
5. Jeff Teague-Atl: Teague has finished the year strong and yesterday scored 23 points on 9-14 shooting while making a three and dishing 7 assists. Only CP3 had more steals than his 5 and he even added a blocked shot in the Hawks loss to the Knicks.
5 Fading into the Night
1. Metta World Peace-LAL: MWP most likely will be sent into the night by David Stern who will ensure the end of his fantasy value for the rest of this year. He posted 12 points, 3 stelas, 5 boards, and an assist before crushing James Harden with an elbow that will cost him at least the rest of the regular season. I expect a ruling sometime today or tomorrow on his punishment.
2. Rodney Stuckey-Det: Stuckey was among the many who couldn’t shoot in this game making just 1 of his 7 shot attempts from the field. He finished with 7 points, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 3 rebounds in 32 minutes, but the Pistons won in spite of his rough game.
3. Gerald Henderson-Cha: The Bobcats leading scorer couldn’t score in their loss to the Kings firing up 11 shots from the field and making just 3. He added 3 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block to his 9 points.
4. Jameer Nelson-Orl: Nelson left the game with a left calf contusion and did not return. He played 2 minutes and posted nothing but a personal foul. His game had been picking up as the Magic relied on him for scoring, but he didn’t have a shot in this one before exiting.
5. Ivan Johnson-Atl: Johnson had 16 rebounds and 10 points just 2 games ago but yesterday only played 13 minutes and had 1 point, 3 steals, and 4 rebounds. His time has evaporated as Marvin Williams role has increased when the Hawks go with a faster lineup.
5 Rising Stars to add for tonight
1. Gerald Green-NJ: (31.9 % owned in ESPN fantasy leagues) Green has continued to produce points over the last couple weeks. In his last 5 he has an average of 16.2 points, 3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, .8 steals, and 2.0 three-pointers. He’s your best option if you need points and threes tonight as the Nets host the Sixers.
2. Nene-Was: (64% ownership) If you need a big, Nene is a solid option depending on the minutes he’s allowed to play tonight against the Bobcats. He was dropped due to his injury but he’s returned to score double-digits and have 1 or more blocks in both games back for Washington.
3. George Hill-Ind: (51.6%) Hill continues to play pig minutes and start for Indiana. He’s averaging almost 14 points and 6 assists a game with 1.4 three-pointers over his last 5 games.
4. Daniel Green-SA: (11.2%) Green could get some extra minutes tonight as young legs on the back half of a back-to-back as the Spurs host Portland.
5. Bismack Biyombo-Cha: While still inconsistent offensively, Biyombo is a decent option if you need rebounds (averaging 9 in his last 5 games) or blocks. He’s had 2 blocks in 5 consecutive games and tonight will face the Wizards in Washington.