With just 2 days left in the NBA Regular season, we know who is in the playoffs and we now the top seeds in each Conference. In Fantasy hoops, most leagues have probably been decided but there’s sthill 20 regular season games (7 tonight and 13 tomorrow) which might be able to give you a last-second heave at the buzzer to win your leageus.
Here’s the latest on the playoffs, 5 guys to think about adding for tonight, and 3 lists of 5 to wrap up last night’s action.
Eastern Conference Playoff Race: The Bulls clinched the top seed in the East when the Heat lost to Boston while the Celtics win keeps their hopes for homecourt in the first round alive. New York and Philadelphia are tied for 7th with both assured the playoffs and the Knicks in the lead due to tiebreaker. Whoever finished 8th gets Chicago while the winner of the race for 7th with “get” to play Miami in the first round.
Western Conference Playoff Race: The top 3 are set after the Clippers loss in Atlanta gave the Lakers the 3-seed and dropped LA into a tie with Memphis for 4th. Whoever finished with the better record will host game 1 of the series between the 2 teams. The 6-7-8 spots are fluid as well with Denver currently 6th with a 1/2 game lead over the Mavs who are a full game ahead of Utah. The Jazz clinched a playoff berth by beating the Suns in Salt Lake City last night.
5 Stars who Showed and Shone
1. Blake Griffin-LAC: Blake had a league-high 36 points last night on 17-23 shooting while adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block as he played 38 minutes in the Clippers loss on the road in Atlanta.
2. Paul Millsap-Uta: Millsap carried the Jazz into the playoffs with 26 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assits, 3 stelas, and a blocked shot in 41 minutes.
3. Chris Paul-LAC: CP3 hit 10-20 from the field including 4 three-pointers while adding 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals to his 34 points for LA last night. He and Griffin didn’t get enough help to get the Clippers past though Hawks though.
4. DeMarcus Cousins-Sac: Cousins had 32 points to lead the Kings in their loss to the Thunder. After the league rescinded his 13th tech which allowed him to be eligible he went out and shot 13-22 from the field while also contributing 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
5.Kevin Durant-OKC: Durant continued to pull away in his pursuit of the scoring title pouring in 32 points against the Kings last night. He hit 3 three-pointers and added 9 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist, and a block.
5 Stepping in and Stepping up
1. Jason Thompson-Sac: I recommended picking up Thompson if Cousins was sidelined. Even with DeMarcus in the lineup, Thompson had 22 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, steal, and a block while playing 40 minutes and making 9-11 from the field.
2. Marco Belinelli-NO: Belinelli played while Eric Gordon rested and led the Hornets with 23 points in 35 minutes while hitting 2 three-pointers and adding 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
3. Daequan Cook-OKC: Cook filled in admirably for James Harden breaking out of a shooting slump to hit 4 threes off the bench and finish with 19 points, 5 reounds, and an assist in 21 minutes for the Thunder.
4. Gustavo Ayon-NO: Ayon started in the middle for the Hornets and had 13 points, 4 assists, a steal, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots as the Horents beat Golden State in Oakland.
5. Sasha Pavlovic-Bos: Pavlovic helped the Celtics win an ugly game against the Heat as both teams played in large part without their stars. Pavlovic played 23 minutes and hit 7-10 from the field including 2 three’s and added a rebound, 2 assists, a steal, and a block.
5 Solid Sidekicks
1. Al Jefferson-Uta: Jefferson was part of the Jazz-threesome that dominated the paint with Favors and Millsap. He finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds allong with 4 assists and 2 blocks in his 38 minutes.
2. Josh Smith-ATL: Although Joe Johnson was the top Hawk with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists, Smith was a solid sidekick finishing with 18 points, 10 boards, 5 assists, and a steal while playing 32 minutes as the Hawks kept the inside track on homecourt by beating the visiting Clippers.
3. Travis Outlaw-Sac: Outlaw stepped into the starting lineup and had 20 points, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 7 rebounds, and an assist while adding 2 three’s for the Kings in their loss at OKC.
4. Russell Westbrook-OKC: Westbrook and Durant sat most of the 4th quarter but he still finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in the Thunder’s win over the Kings.
5. Derrick Favors-Uta: Favors played 29 minutes off the bench and had 13 points, 11 rebounds, a steal, and a league-high 5 blocks as he was a key part to the Jazz win over Phoenix last night.
5 Solutions if you need help tonight, April 25
1. Kenneth Faried-Den: (41.3% ownership in ESPN leagues) Faried has a double-double in each of his last 2 games and 3 of his last 5. His minutes shouldn’t diminish since the Nuggets still have plenty to play for as they visit the Thunder tonight and finish with the Wolves tomorrow.
2. Glen Davis-Orl: (50.8%) Davis and the Magic host the lowly Bobcats tonight and then finish tomorrow in Memphis. Davis is playing plenty of minuts up from and is averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds over his last 3 games. He’s usually going to add a couple steals or more and maybe even a block.
3. Shannon Brown-Phx: (20.3%) Brown scored 12 points including hitting 2 three’s last night while adding 2 assist and a steal in the Suns loss to the Jazz. Brown should play more big minutes tonight wince it’s unlikely the Suns will rush Grant Hill back to the court as they face the Spurs tonight in San Antonio.
4. Nene-Was: (66.8%) Nene is back after missing 10 games with plantar fasciitis and is able to contribute blocks and board to the Wizards and your fantasy team tonight and tomorrow although his time will be limited. He had 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in just 21 minutes against Charlotte and tonight Washington will visit the Cavs in Cleveland.
5.D.J. Augustin-Cha: (55.1%) Augustin returned and played 30 minutes Monday against Washington. He hit 2 threes and dished 6 assists with a steal and 2 rebounds while scoring 15 points. Augustin and the ‘Cats will be doing all they can to avoid 2 losses to become the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Expect him to take plenty of shots and play lots of minutes. His efficiency with those shots and minutes remains to be seen.