Wednesday Night’s games left nothing to be desired on the court. You had buzzer beaters, overtimes, Superstar performances and MVP statements. If you could change one thing, it’s the need for the NBA League Pass to have a Red Zone equivalent. You might ask – how could they possibly do that with scoring taking place every 24 seconds? Simply, all they need is to have a channel that takes you to the action – start with the closest game and automatically switch the game to the one that matters when a timeout occurs. I’m not saying that this is required every night but on nights where you have 13 games, you need to have something in place. Last night there were two buzzer-beaters within a few minutes of each other, and even I, who watches every game, almost missed it. Had the twitter feed not been up, next to the TV (follow us @thedirtcanon), I would have missed Zeller’s shot in Boston, after Hayward hit what I thought was the game winner already – and changed the channel. You add to it, Marc Gasol’s game winner with .1 seconds left and the 76ers’ going on a 6-0 run in the last minute to take the game against OKC to OT, and DeAndre Jordan not shooing the ball with .7s – there was action all over the place!
I just want to breakdown for you the Eastern and Western Conferences as we come down the home stretch to the playoffs. OKC is on a tear right now and Westbrook is the hottest player in the NBA but they still sit in the 8th seed. After Anthony Davis came back last night to drop 39 and 8 blocks, it is going to be a battle just to get into the Western Conference playoffs and as a fan, we are going to be left with one or possibly two Superstar’s that aren’t even in the playoffs. Here is the breakdown as of today:
|1 Golden State||47||12||.797||—||25-2||22-10||8-3||27-7||7-3||1 W|
|2 Memphis||43||17||.717||4.5||23-7||20-10||7-5||27-12||6-4||1 W|
|3 Portland||40||19||.678||7.0||25-6||15-13||8-2||22-13||7-3||4 W|
|4 Houston||41||20||.672||7.0||23-9||18-11||5-6||23-14||6-4||2 L|
|5 LA Clippers||40||22||.645||8.5||23-9||17-13||8-2||26-11||7-3||1 L|
|6 Dallas||40||22||.645||8.5||21-10||19-12||6-6||20-15||6-4||1 W|
|7 San Antonio||37||23||.617||10.5||21-7||16-16||4-6||21-18||5-5||3 W|
|8 Oklahoma City||34||27||.557||14.0||20-8||14-19||7-5||19-19||8-2||2 W|
|9 New Orleans||33||28||.541||15.0||21-10||12-18||6-5||20-15||6-4||1 W|
|10 Phoenix||32||30||.516||16.5||17-13||15-17||6-6||16-21||3-7||1 W|
|11 Utah||24||36||.400||23.5||13-16||11-20||5-4||14-22||7-3||1 L|
|12 Denver||22||39||.361||26.0||13-18||9-21||5-8||14-22||3-7||2 W|
|13 Sacramento||21||38||.356||26.0||13-19||8-19||4-8||14-25||4-6||1 L|
|14 LA Lakers||16||44||.267||31.5||9-20||7-24||2-9||7-30||3-7||3 L|
|15 Minnesota||13||47||.217||34.5||8-24||5-23||2-8||5-31||3-7||4 L|
Some key matchups to watch over the next 5 days are as follows:
Dallas vs. Portland on March 5th
Dallas vs. Golden State on March 6th
LA Clippers vs. Golden State on March 8th
Now the real question in the West is WHY are the Denver Nuggets winning games? They fire their coach after losing for six straight weeks and while it was well deserved given the lack of motivation and constant recognition of Shaw’s inability to relate to these young pups, the fact remains they aren’t going anywhere this season. Their best bet would have been to let the bad get worse and take their shot at a real draft pick. Then you fire Shaw after the season and re-engage Lawson and see if The Manimal can contribute with a full off-season to focus on this team. I’m not one to tank but the reality of the NBA is you need to have a “team” that can play together or you need to have a couple of Superstars. The Nuggets have neither, they did just two years ago have a “team” that oh by the way, won 57 games and was in 3rd place in the tough West. It can be done in Denver but you have to question what ownership and upper management are thinking. Is there a plan…..I doubt it, instead they are playing NBA2K15 in Franchise mode and it’s just not working out that way in reality!
In the East it’s simply, you have the Atlanta Hawks, better known as the Spurs of the East against King James and the Cavs. No need to breakdown their standings because it really doesn’t matter. Toronto looked good for a little while but the coaching up there simply doesn’t know who to play down the stretch. Basketball is a game of runs, for good or for bad, Toronto will fall into the playoffs towards the top of the conference thinking that resting Lowry was best for the post-season and don’t be shocked when they get swept in the first round. The Washington Wizards have all the talent needed to compete in the East with Wall and Beal in the back court, Pierce on the wing bringing that needed experience and then Gortat and Nene’ down low. The problem, if you watch any of their games, is that Gortat seems to be forgotten about on the bench in the second half and Wall tries to dribble through the entire defense. Gortat is a monster down low and when they feed the beast, it opens up their entire offense for Beal and Pierce to hit threes and create driving lanes for Wall. The magic number here is 30 minutes. When Gortat plays 30 minutes or more the Wiz win 97% of their games. How’s that for analytics Barkley?! Maybe Gortat should grow back the Mohawk, you can’t miss that sitting next to you on the bench – #BringBackZangief.
Moving forward we are going to highlight for you, each Thursday, the Hot Hands in terms of NBA Fantasy players. You should be playing along on Fan Duel or DraftKings, because – I, #ManInTheIronMask, will provide you with all you need to be successful on either platform or both. Each day, I will provide you with the Must Haves, Sleepers and Notable Injuries. More still, I will provide options for your lineup selections for the night. Our lineups have been cashing 68.9% of the time for NBA Fantasy. Combine that with what I am going to tell you which tournaments and leagues to enter, for both Fan Duel and DraftKings, and you will increase your bankroll.
Even if you don’t watch the NBA consistently you have to know by now that Russell Westbrook has been playing like a God of late. He has recorded a triple-double in four consecutive games, which oh by the way, hasn’t been done since Michael Jordan in 1989. Anytime you accomplish something that is in the same breathe as MJ, you are doing something amazing. In terms of Fantasy, let me just say that Westbrook just put up an 87.2 on Fan Duel last night. Considering the fact that if you score 330 points on Fan Duel, you are going to cash, he contributed 26.4% of the teams total points needed. That might only mean that you entered for $1 and won $2.50, but if you enter that same tournament with ten $1 entries, now you have won $25 and a profit of $15. It’s all about scale and the fact is that you can’t have a lineup right now without Westbrook on it. Sit back and watch as he might just beat MJ’s seven straight.
Anthony “The Brow” Davis, came back and almost dropped a triple-double last night. He came up short because he only recorded 8 blocks! That said he dropped 78.6 on Fan Duel last night and was only taken by 12.7% of entries. He was a late add for us as he was a game-time decision but when “The Brow” is playing, it’s hard to not have him on your lineup or at least on most of them. Look for him to tear it up down the stretch as they fight for the 8th seed.
Two other notables that I want to point out are Mo Williams and Jeremy Lin. Both of these guys have put a 5 game streak together recording at least 30 fantasy points in each game and in most cases they are pushing 40. Remember on Fan Duel you only play 9 guys and that magic number is 330 so that means you need to average 36.6 per player. These guys should be on your radar moving forward and combine one of them with Westbrook when he is playing and you will rake in the cash. Remember to come to our site first and check out my DiRTyPlays for the day and enter the tournaments and leagues we recommend to pair with our featured players and lineups. You can click on the menu bar or the picture below to get your fix. My daily fantasy information is posted by 1 p.m. MST each day and remember to follow us on twitter @thedirtcanon and we will give you constant information during NBA games each and every night.
***Just click my picture above and I will tell you all you need for tonight’s NBA Fantasy games. You can also click on our menu on the side and go to DiRTyPlays for March.