While all, well most, eyes were on the supposed potential NBA Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, us fantasy hoopheads were busy appreciating stuff like a quadruple overtime game between Utah and Atlanta or even better yet, another Line of the Night: by Kevin Love (3.93).
Yes, it was kind of reminiscent of our recap a couple of days ago, except this time Kevin L outperforms Kevin D in fantasy this time around. It’s interesting considering both of these studs are separated by 0.13 WARP on our rater over the month of March. He led the Timberwolves to a win over the Nuggets via 30-20 performance, well 21 to be quite accurate. Love also added four assists, two steals, and his not-too-common three blocks. He was also pristine from the foul line, making all of his seven free throw attempts. Score this fantasy matchup for Kevin Love.
Kevin Durant (2.28) was the focus of attention on real-life fronts as he out-dueled LeBron James in what was being described as a potential Finals preview. There’s no doubting that KD is a serious contender for this season’s MVP award and whenever he ends up flirting with a triple-double, it only serves to concretize such beliefs. Durant poured on 28 points (with 4 threes), grabbed nine rebounds, dished out eight assists, and collected two steals. Solid, reliable, deadly. Pretty much how I’d describe his fantasy season this year.
Quadruple overtime can do wonders for fantasy basketball performances. Utah and Atlanta’s starting centers did not disappoint us in that regard. Atlanta eventually came away with the victory (133-139). On the fantasy front, they were led by our very own Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Zaza Pachulia (2.31) 15 points, 20 rebounds, 3 blocks (36% owned). I’m not sure, but this was probably the best fantasy performance of Zaza’s NBA and fantasy career. It’s been a pleasure to own him in my 16-man H2H league, and he is one of the key factors that I am doing so well in that league. Not to be outdone (much) was of course, Utah’s Al Jefferson (2.21) who also had an impressive double-double. His however was more geared towards scoring as evidenced by his 28-17 night. He added, like Zaza three blocks to round out the line.
Raymond Felton (2.07) looks like he’s finally found his groove. Well at least we hope so. At least for tonight, he was in good form and got his shooting stroke down pat. He finished with 24 points (4 threes), five rebounds, seven dimes, and two steals. Not bad. We hope he can keep this up. Unfortunately, there’s news that he may miss Thursday’s game. Stay tuned for developments.
Dwyane Wade (1.95) and not LeBron ended up being the best performer for the Heat. He led Miami with 22 points (3 threes, 6-10 from the field, 7-7 from the line), dishing four assists, and getting things done on the defensive end with three steals and two blocks. Good, but unfortunately not enough to beat the roaring Thunder.
Luke Ridnour (1.58) did well as almost everyone in the fantasy basketball world was surprised to see the recently scorching JJ Barea miss a game due to a thigh contusion. Ridnour stepped up his game and delivered 25 points and six assists for the night. It was a good shooting game for him as he made nine of his fourteen shots from the field and all five of his freethrows.
Pick Up Lines: Gordon Hayward (1.74) is locked and loaded. It’s clear sailing for him from here. Well most nights that is and at least we know for sure that is starting job isn’t at any risk. He helped Big Al out by contributing 19 points (10-11 from the line), eight boards, five assists,and rounded out his line with two steals and two blocks. (41% owned). Both he and teammate C.J. Miles (1.33) will be good for some mid-late round value moving forward. Miles chipped in 17 points (3 threes), 6 rebounds, and 2 steals (36% owned) for the night.
Technically, Charles Jenkins should be up here. But he was so way out of our radar range that our automated rating machine missed him completely! He blew up for 26 points, two boards and six assists as he filled in for the injured Nate Robinson who technically was supposed to be filling in for the injured Stephen Curry. You get what we mean. As far as Jenkins goes, we have to wait on word on the status of Robinson’s sore hamstring before we can put out an “add” order just yet. If Nate is due to miss more than a couple of games, then Jenkins should present to be an interesting PG experiment for fantasy, this late in the season. His teammate, Brandon Rush (1.54) on the other hand, is on our radar. Rush did his best to step up and did, while coming with an un-Brandon Rush-like line of 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks (18% owned)
Thaddeus Young (-1.38) was just horrible with six points and three boards for the Sixers. While normally reliable, Antawn Jamison (-1.11) was just atrocious with two points and a board for the Cavaliers.
Jamal Crawford (-1.09) was a field goal killer for his owners as he went 1-10 from the field to finish with four points and one assist for the night. Yuck! Gag! Barf! … and that’s from a neutral, non-Crawford-owned perspective.
On the one hand it must be sheepishly funny to see how Dorell Wright (-1.08) must have punished owners still holding a candle to his fantasy value. ZERO points, four boards, ZERO assists; was not only not pretty; it was just so far removed from last year’s averages that people simply have to laugh it off or suffer brain damage in attempting to understand what went wrong with his value.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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