March 21, 2018, 1:11 am
If you are keeping up this late into the season, kudos to you and your fantasy team for surviving it this far. I know the journey hasn’t been easy, believe me, but these final few weeks could make it all worth it. Good job, good effort.
Tuesday turned out to be a weird slate. There were seven games, a lot of tanking teams playing contenders, DNP-rests and some wild stat lines. Let’s check out what went down!
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HARDEN LOCKS IN MVP IN MONSTER WIN
The streaking Blazers played host to the top-seeded Rockets, which was a late-night delight. Winners of their last 13 games, the Blazers needed to protect their home court with the MVP coming to town. They fell just short in a 115-111 loss.
James Harden ended any question that he is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, putting on another huge performance to carry the Rockets. Harden dropped 42 points (13-for-25 FGs, 11-for-15 FTs) with six boards, seven assists and five 3-pointers in 33 minutes. Let’s just vote now.
Chris Paul chipped in with five 3-pointers of his own, finishing with 22 points, eight boards, six assists and no turnovers.
Even with the loss, the Blazers showed they are more than just a few big names. Damian Lillard (20-4-6-1) and C.J. McCollum (8-2-3-0-0) finished with just 28 points combined, yet the Blazers were in it until the final possession.
Much of that was thanks to Al-Farouq Aminu and Jusuf Nurkic, who contributed on both sides of the ball. Aminu finished with 22 points, eight boards, four assists one steal, one block and six 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
Nurkic added to the effort party with 21 points, 11 boards, three assists, two steals and four blocks in 27 minutes. The Blazers are a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs. They will not be an easy out.
SCHRODER SHOCKS JAZZ WITH BIG NIGHT
The Jazz are one of those teams that you fear for your fantasy player on the schedule due to their propensity to make stat lines ugly.
That wasn’t the case for Dennis Schroder, who went off in a 99-94 upset win. Schroder was unconscious, hitting 16-for-28 from the field for a career-high 41 points, five boards, seven assists and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Apparently he doesn’t believe in tanking.
Taurean Prince fell victim to the Jazz defense, finishing 3-for-13 from the field for 11 points, three boards, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes. He went 4-for-4 from the line in the final seconds to seal the game, which cleaned up some efficiency.
The Hawks were missing John Collins (ankle) among others tonight, so Mike Muscala drew the start in his place. He did a little bit of everything, finishing with a 8-5-0-2-1 line with two 3-pointers. Collins is due back possibly by Friday, so he is only a targeted add.
As for the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell threw up brick after brick all night, killing his efficiency. He finished 9-for-28 from the field (1-for-10 from 3PT) with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 41 minutes. With a stat line like that, I hope he doesn’t plan to workout with Carmelo Anthony this summer.
Ricky Rubio, albeit a liability guarding Schroder, put up a nice 23-3-3-2-1 stat line with three 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
KAT PURRS AGAIN OVER CLIPPERS
If you constructed your roster correctly, Karl-Anthony Towns is leading you down a stretch to remember as the fantasy season winds down. He was back to work on Tuesday, dropping a 30-10-3-2-1 line with three 3-pointers in 41 minutes. Be happy that you have a first-rounder who is still standing.
Andrew Wiggins did his best Jimmy Buckets impression, helping on both sides of the ball. Wiggins shot 9-for-16 from the field for 27 points with three boards, one steal, three blocks and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Butler isn’t due back for a few more weeks, so ride him while he gets this usage, and possibly beyond.
Jeff Teague was also terrific on Tuesday, shooting 8-for-13 from the field for 20 points with four boards, 12 assists and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. The team shot 52.3% on the night.
The Clippers didn’t get much help from Tobias Harris, who had an illness coming in to the game. Harris finished with just 10 points, six boards and one assist in 25 minutes. After a roaring few weeks, it took an illness to slow him down.
DeAndre Jordan held his own against KAT, finishing 9-for-11 from the field for 18 points, 12 boards, three assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. Not a bad night for the big fella.
RAPTORS REST DEROZAN, BEAT MAGIC
With the Raptors up five games over the ailing Celtics in the Eastern Conference, the time has come to give their stars a few nights off here and there. DeMar DeRozan was the first rest casualty on Tuesday. According to the team, there will be more.
That still didn’t matter, as the Raptors came back late for a 93-86 win over the Magic. Kyle Lowry led the team with 25 points (9-for-17 FGs), five boards, eight assists and seven 3-pointers in 37 minutes. You can be assured that he will sit a game soon.
On the Magic side, Aaron Gordon played his first game since passing the NBA’s concussion protocol. He picked up right where he left off, scoring 16 points with six boards, three assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
Nikola Vucevic added 15 points with nine boards, three assists, three steals and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes.
Tuesday was a huge night for outliers on the defensive side of the ball. Check out some of the big lines:
-Jonathan Isaac: five steals, two blocks
-Stanley Johnson: five steals, one block
-Andre Drummond: one steal, five blocks
-Ekpe Udoh: one steal, four blocks
-Jusuf Nurkic: two steals, three blocks
-Nerlens Noel: two steals, two blocks
-Andrew Wiggins: one steal, three blocks
-Eric Moreland: one steal, three blocks
-Ish Smith: three steals
-Alex Len: three blocks
If you deployed any of these guys, collect your dollar bills folks.
That will do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish. Check me out on Fantasy NBA Tonight ($) where we talk fantasy in a live format where you, the readers and Hoop-Ballers, can ask me questions and we can converse back and forth. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallFantasy. Good luck in your fantasy playoffs and roto leagues!!