Weekend Update: #NBA All Star Edition

dunkcontest

Dunk the Magic-Dragon?!

LAVINE WINS EPIC DUNK CONTEST

“He’s a freak.” It was Saturday morning — about 10 hours before the most exhilarating dunk contest in NBA history finally concluded — when DeMarcus Cousins exhaled, shook his head and declared his prediction for the night’s main event.

“Zach,” he said. “He’s a freak.”

Two years in a row, the main takeaway from NBA All-Star Weekend is that the one person everyone really wants to see isn’t even an All-Star. LaVine isn’t a household name. He’s not even 21 years old and could possibly be the worst defender at his position. But in what’s quickly morphed into one of the most anticipated annual rituals in all of professional sports, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard spends 20 minutes tantalizing millions while at the same time supplying more than any could even imagine to ask for.

Who — or what — is LaVine? Is he “only” the Steph Curry of dunking, next in line on an evolutionary flow chart that connects Connie Hawkins to Julius Erving to Michael Jordan to Vince Carter? Or does he align with Harold Miner and Gerald Green? How much is there to unpack? What else is there to discover?

On Saturday night, LaVine’s epic head-to-head showdown against Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon — who also had some of the greatest dunks in history — somehow obscured those questions while simultaneously nudging them beneath a spotlight. But before I go on to explain, here’s a brief interlude for any who’ve yet to witness one of the most magical things that’s ever happened.

What follows is basically the basketball equivalent of “Apocalypse Now” being co-directed by Spike Jonze and Kanye West, and neither has slept in five days:

Continue Reading: Zach LaVine tops Aaron Gordon in epic slam dunk contest.

Thoughts I Cannot Put Anywhere Else:

  • During pre-game intros, both Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook spurn the bro-hug opp with Canadian Prime Minister Drake. Russ had the best All-Star Game entrance I’ve ever seen (at 2:15 above)
  • Could NBA All-Star Weekend have been more spectacular? It was hands down the best since maybe … forever. No league does exhibition events and games better.
  • Win Butler, an American who happens to be the lead singer in a Canadian band (Arcade Fire), is named MVP in Friday night’s Celebrity Game. Then he gets blocked in the postgame interview by Sage Steele (“So we’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics.”)
  • That game also featured the NBA commissioner’s brother-in-law.
  • Ernie, Sir Charles, Kenny and Shaq make anything watchable. For example, the Talent Challenge. Subtract their hilarious commentary and answer this: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, what was that?
  • Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine put on arguably the best dunk contest duel since Michael Jordan versus Dominique Wilkins. Gordon loses to LaVine, but his dunk will have  a more lasting legacy.
  • From a sentimental perspective, the Rising Stars Challenge is my favorite event. I love giving the league’s emerging talent a platform to shine. Anyone else agree?
  • Vancouver Island native Steve Nash opens Sunday night’s festivities reminding all that Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian, invented the game.
  • How awesome was the revamped Skills Challenge, featuring the frontcourt versus the backcourt? And the close finish between Isaiah Thomas and Karl-Anthony Towns, with Towns winning, took it waaaay over the top for me.
  • The West scores 196 points in a 196-173 win. We are informed by Marv Albert (who works really, really well with Reggie Miller and Chris Webber) that the Air Canada Center scoreboard is not designed to put up a “2” in that spot.
  • Who knew Kevin Hart, a 5-feet-4 comedian and actor, would become the NBA’s No. 1 pitchman? From commercials to coaching to competing to commentating, he was everywhere.
  • I know it was Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game and everything, but were two video montages really necessary?
  • ALSO: Why didn’t we know keeping track of how many times Kobe mentioned “trying to stay loose” would be the unofficial drinking game of the night? #OldManProbs
  • Beyond stating the obvious about the All-Star Game’s halftime performance, Sting and the dancers? Nah.
  • Drake’s “Farewell Mamba” leather jacket: cool or creepy? #TeamCreepy
  • Back-to-back All-Star wins for Russell Westbrook (All-Star Game MVP) and Zach Lavine (Slam Dunk Contest). There’s gotta be a Drake versus Meek Mill joke in there somewhere, right?
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves sure put the basketball world on notice this weekend, didn’t they? They have some serious young talent: No. 1 overall draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns, two-time Slam Dunk Contest champ Zach Lavine and 2015 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. A bright future awaits them, and the loss of their coach Flip Saunders earlier in the season makes that incredibly bittersweet.
  • During a timeout, a 6’1″ white dude in long pants, Jordan Kilganon, performs a spectacular dunk as if he were inside a bouncy house. We’re still not sure how he did it.
  • Paul George scores 41 points. In the final two minutes the West seems to realize that the Indiana forward is just a bucket away from breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s 54-year old All-Star Game scoring record, so Coach Pop has Draymond Green face guard him.
  • Stephen Curry buries a 42-footer as time expires, but TNT/TBS cameras are too busy focusing on Kobe and miss it.
  • West scores big in NBA All-Star Game – The Western Conference shattered the record for points in an NBA All-Star Game with a 196-173 victory over the East. The previous mark was 163 points, which was set by the Eastern Conference in 2014 and tied by the West last year. Interestingly, a record total of 153 points by the West stood from 1961 until it was surpassed in an overtime game in 1984, and the mark was broken only once more over the next 29 years, also in a game that went to overtime.
  • George continues a recent trend, but Wilt’s mark survives again – Paul George led all players with 41 points. But like Russell Westbrook a year ago, George fell one point short of the All-Star Game record set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. Seven of the 12 highest individual point totals in the NBA All-Star Game have been attained since 2011.
  • Chris Paul, Helper to the Stars – Chris Paul had 16 assists for the winning team, and he became the second player in league history to reach the 100-assist mark in NBA All-Star competition. With 106 assists, Paul trails only Magic Johnson (127). It was the seventh time in eight All-Star Games that Paul assisted on at least 10 field goals, setting a record for ASG’s with double-digit assists. Magic Johnson had six such games.
  • Bryant leaves with an All-Star record – Kobe Bryant was credited with seven assists. Assuming Bryant retires following this season, that will be the highest total in the history of the All-Star Game by a player in his final season in the NBA. The previous record was five by Julius Ervingin 1987.
  • Davis is nearly perfect from the field – Anthony Davis made 12 of 13 shots from the field (92%), which was the highest shooting percentage in an NBA All-Star Game by a player who made at least 10 field goals. The previous mark was 86 percent by Tim Duncan in 2000 (12-for-14), although it must be noted that Hal Greer was 8-for-8 from the floor in the 1968 All-Star Game.

Source: Recapping the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, Sting’s Halftime Show And The Joy Of Russell Westbrook

Source: IT’S ALL HAPPENING! | Medium Happy

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

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Late Night DiRT

Listen, and understand.  Change is out there.  It can’t be bargained with.  It can’t be reasoned with.  It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever…Change, has come, so we say goodbye to an era.  Goodbye to a man.  Goodbye.  Tonight the cowboy rides off into his sunset, never to be seen again.  The game has changed.  One generation grew up with Johnny, another with Dave, and the current one seems more interested in YouTube clips and celebrity pandering.

I haven’t always stayed up too watch Dave – the albatross made it more difficult as time flew by – DVR made it singular – but it was always a comfort to know that if/when I did – Dave was there.  I’m not a smoker, but every now and then a cigar is extremely satisfying, and that, to me, embodies the Late Show with David Letterman.

His reluctance towards celebrity-ism and the abhorrent genuflection of an industry was reflected in those of us that watched.  The set pieces, the Top 10 lists, stupid pet/human tricks, dropping stuff off of buildings, crazy street interviews/pranks with Rupert – all now American cultural lexicons, given to us as a savvy, self-contained, adult – just like his idol Carson.  Maybe Leno beat him regularly in the ratings, but that wasn’t the point – It’s Ham and Eggsdays work for the Chicken, a lifetime commitment for the Pig – Leno induced you to sleep.  Dave committed you to watch.

For Dave, the public drama, all those years ago, still stings the nostrils, but like Frank, he did it his way.  If the best revenge is living well, then there’s a certain redemption being played out, contra to those late night wars.  We won’t see Dave try to undermine Stephen Colbert and gradually sneak back into the spotlight.  In fact, we won’t see him at all.  That’s because Letterman’s way of doing things has taught us to expect the unexpected, and in this instance we know what the man will do.  He will leave tonight, gracefully like an adult, like Johnny Carson – as expected.  Thanks Dave!

In other news – it seems the other owners told Bob Kraft to shut up and sit down.  No more Bad-NFL headlines and thankfully, we will not have to hear anymore of this nonsense, except of course, from Brady.  Is that the point?  Was this self-serving crisis a ruse to get to the real issue – the 4 game suspension?  I bet Hizzoner and the rest of the owners told Bob to quiet down and we will give your Golden Boy a sentence-reduction to one game – after-all Hizzoner is overseeing the appeal and it will be another chance for Roger to happily-fall on the company sword.

Averting our attention so they could focus on the real issue(s), like the extra point.  It has now been declared that the customary one-point, after a touchdown, will now occur from the 15yd line – making it a 32yd field goal – or teams can go for two from the two.  Kickers have always been treated as non-essentials; in the locker-room, on TV, and now the NFL just made it worse – won’t anyone think of the kicker.  I never remember wanting more drama from a kicker, it’s bad enough how many times they seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  It will be interesting to see how team philosophies will change going forward – for me this seems to be directed towards the Tim Tebow show and what Chip Kelly plans to do.  So play on league of valor, let our champions riot in the circus to entertain us – we will be fine, as long as we have our bread!

We have learned several things about these Warriors over the last few weeks and we thought they learned a valuable lesson against Memphis.  It seems they still needed reminding.  The Warriors were lucky last night – no Dwight Howard and being down 16 in the first half, only to squeak out a 4pt victory.  Of course, Bogut  not scoring and only grabbing 4 rebounds, won’t continue – and at some point someone is going to make a free throw.

Losing the first game on the road isn’t a big deal if you’re Houston, but possibly losing Howard could be.  Plus, Golden State will do better than 7-24 on open three point shots and if that’s what Houston has planned – wide open 3’s – this series won’t last long at all.  If you’re like me, you enjoyed the contrast of styles of the MVP and the runner-up – it’s what I wanted to see, Ali v Frazier.

The NBA Lottery – always exhibit A, in the great conspiracy debate.  “But Logan, the winner was Minnesota and the worst team hasn’t gotten the 1st pick since 2004, so wouldn’t it be fixed if New York or L.A. won the lottery?”  Wrong.  Now before I reach for my tin-foil hat – stay with me.

In the last three years prior – the Pelicans, Cavaliers and Cavaliers have gotten the number 1 pick – the odds of that happening are .4% – seriously .4%.  As long as the cloak-and-dagger cabal exists behind the scenes, the league will never avoid this charge.  Open it up, put it all on camera – show us.  Yeah but how does Minnesota prove it’s fixed?   Because the NBA always gives the top pick to the most obvious team and yes, Minnesota is obvious.  For the Pelicans/Hornets the league no longer owned the team but was committed to them staying in New Orleans – so Anthony Davis.  Then the NBA wanted to reward Cleveland for losing Lebron and to show that teams win titles not players and maybe create a rivalry with the Heat for ratings – so Anthony Bennett.  But he was terrible, so they had a do over – Andrew Wiggins.

But Leborn came back and they traded Wiggins for Love.  Exactly!  So the reason it was clear that Minnesota got the number pick is this:  The NBA wants a greater presence in Canada, (#BlameCanada).  Sure they have Toronto but that team chokes like a fat-kid on cake.  The Clippers will move to Seattle, (near Vancouver who lost a team to Memphis and Steve Ballmer’s $2b buys a lot of juice) and Milwaukee will move to Montreal if a new arena deal falls thru.  Don’t believe the Montreal rumor?  Then why was Adam Silver there to lay the groundwork beyond exhibition games recently?

So in the meantime, the NBA gives the #1 pick to the T-Wolves who already have the rookie of the year in Andrew Wiggins.  From?……Canada!  So the T-Wolves, already with some young talent, get a talented big man like Jahlil Okafor – BOOM goes the dynamite! Check-Mate! That just happened!

 

Dishin’ DiRT

This game was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!  If you turned this game off when the Warriors were down 20 in the 4th, then shame on you – because we might be watching a season of legendary proportions with this smiling assassin, Steph Curry.  He salsas, he drains threes and each week does something that has us forgetting that basketball was ever played before him – it has, I’m just slathering hyperbole like extra-mayonnaise on a sandwich.  Just think about what we watched for a second last night, with under 6 minutes left, the Pelicans had a 99.8% probability of winning by INPREDICTABLE.

The Pelicans dominated the #1 seed, as if they had switched places for the first 42 minutes.  In the first three quarters, Anthony Davis was 10-17 with 13 rebounds and all night the wings for the Pelicans lived in the paint or had wide open shots – New Orleans made Norris Cole look like an all star last night – it was that kind of domination, for 42 minutes.  This is why the Warriors likely will win the West, there is no substitute for this kind of offensive explosion at any time and cold-blooded-ness.

You must consider the Warriors motivation; instead of giving the game away down 17 early in the 4th – as most coaches would have done – Steve Kerr put Steph Curry back into the game.  Probably because Ryan Anderson hit a few shots and talked trash to the bench.  From then on Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors grabbed 10 offensive rebounds – Green 4 of them – repeatedly beat the Pelicans to the glass – making up for their poor shooting.  The biggest of the 10 was the last one.  But before that, look at the 3 Steph made to give the Warriors a shot at OT:

In every other instance with how games are ref’d in the NBA, how is that not a foul on Curry?!  That and-1, could have sealed it for the Warriors and no overtime – Curry gets crushed after the shot.  But to back up a bit – how do the Pelicans not foul before Curry shoots the ball – either the one that got them to within two – or the last one BEFORE he gets the ball?  Of course Monty Williams, the Pelicans HC, said he told his players to foul, they just didn’t execute his plan – but let’s be serious – Monty Williams has trouble telling anyone anything – anyone hear if he had a problem with the crowd tonight be too loud and illegal?

What should concern Monty more is, where was Davis in the 4th and especially in OT?  A talented kid like that, has to stop starting strong and tiring late.  If he ever wants to be a serious contender, he’s got to something other than what he has been doing.  Someone like Davis and that skill-set should dominate for all four quarters, not just 3 – remember he had 13 rebounds in 3 qtrs, only got two more the rest of the night.

So what did we learn?  We learned that coming back from 20 is a dubious distinction – no other team can give you that kind of magic, and yet it leaves you wondering how the best team puts itself in that position.  The Warriors have yet to play a full 48 minutes and as the playoffs go on, other teams will not make the same noob mistakes as the Pelicans have.  As a fan though, do we care?


 

On April 12th, this was Yordano Ventura having some words with the Millville Meteor after a line drive single, that Trout later scored on.  Yordano never thanked Catcher Salvador Perez for saving his life, thus keeping his Napoleon complex in tact – because on his next start he started another brawl with the Athletics for throwing at Brett Lawrie.  Ventura was not suspended, only fined, and so was available for his third start last night against the White Sox when he ignited this melee:

Five players were ejected: Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Lorenzo Cain, Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija.  I love the spunk Yordano has, but when your first three starts empty the benches, you have to wonder if it’s you – it is.  For the Royals, we get it – no one took you seriously and you’re out to prove last year was no fluke – April hasn’t finished yet and you guys are acting like a bunch of Jersey Shore goomba’s who feel slighted because someone is making fun of your uneven-spray-tan and height – like: what did more damage, SuperStorm Sandy or your fake tan and chlamydia, what, are you still upset your mom had to buy two car seats when she drove you to the store?  If we are going to assign blame, than it goes all the way back to 1973, and the Designated Hitter.  Ventura would have less Macho-Man if he had to swing a bat.  Or maybe it’s revenge for this in 2002, after-all it is the Chicago way.


 

Some strange facts for the 2015 season:

  • It is the first time ever that a team that won the World Series (SF Giants) had a 7 game losing streak in April and the team that lost the World Series (KC Royals) had a 7 game winning streak in April.
  • When the RedSox and the Yankees played a 19 inning game, it was the longest ever for the RedSox – but it was also the first time that a team had won (Yankees) after blowing multiple leads after the 15th inning.
  • Bernie Williams retires today after not playing since 2006 – he never filed the paperwork.  After hearing about that Paul O’Neil also announced his retirement, after not playing since 2001 – same reason.
  • Trevor Bauer (Indians) is the only man in a 100 years to start a season of 9 innings of hitless baseball and not throw a no hitter.
  • Every game Tampa Bay has played this year, the team that scored first, won the game.
  • Last Tuesday the A’s became the first team to win shutouts in 4 of their first 9 games since 1910!  Then on Wednesday, the Tigers became the first team to do it since Tuesday.

 

April 26th, 1995 – was the first official game at Coors Field (’94 strike being the reason for the late start) and was a 14 inning gem that saw the Rockies beat the Mets, 11-9, on Dante Bichette’s game winning HR – starting the magic that would continue that season, earning the first wild-card, post-season berth.  The Rockies would lose to the Braves 3-1 in their first playoff appearance.  But that Opening Day was a long cold one that was phenomenal to witness.  Besides my memories of that game and of that moment, I still have the ticket from that day, signed by Pete Coors – how cool is that.  It is also the moment I asked the man upstairs to make sure that every Opening Day from then on is at least 60 degrees and partly sunny.  That ’95 team was something special – Walker, Gallaraga, Burks, Castilla, Bichette, Leskanic, etc…and that Home Run was the beginning of the Blake Street Bombers – we’ve had other memories since – but this was the beginning of the love affair.  Here’s a look back…

DiRTy Plays – Tuesday’s NBA Breakdown

March 10th, 2015

 

Tuesday’s NBA Fantasy Breakdown

Each week we are going to provide you with a breakdown of each position based on Fan Duel and DraftKings scoring parameters to show you who has been producing and who you should consider over the next week.  These rankings are solely based on point production for each of these sites.  Since the PG position has been the most productive we have limited our results to publish to any player averaging above 30 fantasy points per game over their last 5 games played.  The remaining positions will display rankings for players who have averaged over 25 fantasy points per game over their last 5 games.


Fan Duel Point Guards

Ranking Player Fan Duel PPG
1 R. Westbrook 71.85
2 C. Paul 49.96
3 R. Rubio 40.04
4 J. Wall 39.04
5 D. Lillard 39.02
6 M. Williams 37.56
7 S. Curry 36.4
8 T. Evans 35.46
9 G. Hill 33.7
10 R. Jackson 32.82
11 J. Lin 32.7
12 K. Lowry 32.2
13 T. Lawson 31.46
14 T. Parker 30.32
15 G. Dragic 30

No surprise here, Westbrook leads this group but can you believe that is this overwhelming.  It is one thing for us to write it but now you can physically see how much better he has been than everyone else.  This is why he is a must play until Durant comes back, I should say, if Durant comes back.  Other notable players are Rubio coming in just over 40 fantasy points per game and Tony Parker just cracking the 30 point list.  Parker is still cheap considering this valuable position on Fan Duel and you should consider him as he just went for 40+ in his previous contest.

westbrook_mar10
DraftKings Point Guards

Ranking Player DraftKings PPG
1 R. Westbrook 75.45
2 C. Paul 51.5
3 R. Rubio 41.6
4 J. Wall 41.1
5 D. Lillard 40.9
6 M. Williams 38.75
7 S. Curry 38.6
8 T. Evans 37.8
9 G. Hill 34.7
10 R. Jackson 34.65
11 J. Lin 33.7
12 K. Lowry 32.875
13 T. Lawson 32.45
14 G. Dragic 31.7
15 E. Bledsoe 31.25
16 I. Thomas 31.15
17 T. Parker 30.75

Not much difference in rankings here across both sites but again you can see Westbrook averaging an unthinkable 75.45 fantasy points per game.  As we have noted for you, if you score 300+ on DraftKings you will cash over 90% of the time.  When Westbrook is playing he gets you 25% of this number lately so you only need to average 32 points for the remaining 7 players.  Rubio comes in 3rd and for most he is an unknown in fantasy as the T-Wolves are terrible in terms of their record and most of their game don’t make it to national TV.  That’s why you need to follow us on Twitter @TheDirtCanon and we will provide you all the information you need during each nights games so you can be in the know without having to purchase the NBA League Pass.  One other key notable here is Reggie Jackson.  Since coming to Detroit he has put up huge numbers and is free to score the ball given there isn’t really a backup for him and he has two monsters down low that rebound the basketball.  He will have a huge night tonight against the Lakers.


Fan Duel Shooting Guards

Rankings Player Fan Duel PPG
1 J. Harden 52.45
2 V. Oladipo 41.26
3 D. Wade 39.56
4 D. DeRozan 37.26
5 M. Ellis 28.86
6 R. Stuckey 27.86
7 G. Henderson 27.76
8 G. Antetokounmpo 26.94
9 K. Martin 26.1
10 G. Neal 25.66
11 J. Redick 25.24
12 K. Thompson 25.24

“The Beard” tops our list of SG’s bud did you know that Oladipo has been jumping up this list over the past couple of weeks.  He has now averaged over 40 fantasy points per game over his last five and is becoming a Must Have on our daily NBA fantasy DiRTy Plays.  We will continue to highlight these players and key notables in the future.  Gary Neal has been strong and he still doesn’t crack the $4,500 marker on Fan Duel so if you need to save some cap space and still need to get a solid 25 spot look for Neal to be your guy down the stretch to the NBA Playoffs.

 

DraftKings Shooting Guards

Rankings Player DraftKings PPG
1 J. Harden 55.2
2 V. Oladipo 42.85
3 D. Wade 41.425
4 D. DeRozan 38.25
5 M. Ellis 29.9
6 R. Stuckey 28.8
7 G. Henderson 28.65
8 K. Martin 26.7
9 J. Redick 26.55
10 G. Neal 26.15
11 K. Thompson 26.15
12 J. Smith 25.65
13 T. Johnson 25.5
14 B. Beal 25.25
15 B. Knight 25.05

Dwayne Wade and DeMar DeRozan have been on a nice run over the last two weeks of play and should be considered on nights where there aren’t too many PG’s and PF’s that are high caliber players.  It’s tough to spend on SG’s when you must have an Anthony Davis in your lineup and a Westbrook as your PG.  That said, Wade has put up 40+ fantasy points in 3 consecutive games and with Whiteside having maturity problems, causing fights in every contest, DWade will put up numbers for your lineup and let us help you find the others you need to win.

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Fan Duel Small Forwards

Rankings Player Fan Duel PPG
1 L. James 45.66
2 K. Leonard 40.12
3 R. Gay 39.84
4 D. Green 39.54
5 K. Middleton 32.76
6 G. Hayward 32.48
7 A. Wiggins 30.2
8 N. Batum 29.46
9 T. Harris 28.88
10 D. Gallinari 28.14
11 P. Tucker 25.8
12 W. Chandler 25.14

King James tops this list with Durant out he will continue to do so.  It is important to note that quietly Leonard has put up some big numbers of late and the Spurs are fine tuning for their playoff run winning 5 straight.  Leonard has been a big part of that and will continue to do so.  PJ Tucker has been a Sleeper of late and now you can see why, this position doesn’t typically put up big numbers on your fantasy lineup unless you have James and Tucker has been less than $5,000 for most of February and March this year.

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DraftKings Small Forwards

Rankings Player DraftKings PPG
1 L. James 48.05
2 R. Gay 41.5
3 K. Leonard 40.8
4 K. Middleton 33.9
5 G. Hayward 33.75
6 A. Wiggins 30.9
7 N. Batum 30.8
8 T. Harris 29.65
9 G. Antetokounmpo 29.1
10 D. Gallinari 29
11 P. Tucker 27.35
12 W. Chandler 26.35
13 J. Green 25.6
14 D. Carroll 25.325
15 M. Kidd-Gilchrist 25.05

Rudy Gay and Chris Middleton have been strong producers on DraftKings for the SF position.  They are both producing 33+ points per game of late and affordable which has been the key to success for this position.  Don’t overspend here unless you go with King James and look for Sleepers on our daily DiRTy Plays so you can keep raking in the dollars.

Fan Duel Power Forwards

Rankings Player Fan Duel PPG
1 A. Davis 58.81
2 L. Aldridge 41.1
3 G. Monroe 39.88
4 P. Millsap 35.81
5 N. Noel 35.8
6 D. Favors 35.04
7 P. Gasol 34.78
8 S. Ibaka 33.32
9 T. Jones 31.92
10 N. Mirotic 31.84
11 K. Love 31.68
12 K. Faried 30.62
13 Z. Randolph 29.1
14 A. Bargnani 28.56
15 B. Bass 26.16
16 Josh Smith 26.1
17 E. Ilyasova 25.1

Anthony “The Brow” Davis is on a tear just like Westbrook almost averaging 60 fantasy points per game over his last 5.  The Pelicans and Thunder are going to give us all we can handle down the stretch as they both look to get into that 8th seed in the West.  That means that Davis will continue to be a Must Have and should be considered every night he plays.  Remember last week when Westbrook put up 82 and Davis put up 78.  They got you 160 fantasy points and produced over half of the points you needed to cash.


DraftKings Power Forwards

Rankings Player DraftKings PPG
1 A. Davis 60.425
2 L. Aldridge 42.2
3 G. Monroe 42.15
4 D. Green 40.5
5 N. Noel 37.8
6 P. Millsap 37.35
7 D. Favors 36.45
8 P. Gasol 36.3
9 S. Ibaka 34.3
10 N. Mirotic 33.4
11 T. Jones 32.95
12 K. Love 32.5
13 K. Faried 31.95
14 Z. Randolph 31.275
15 A. Bargnani 29.9
16 Josh Smith 27.65
17 B. Bass 27.5
18 D. West 26.1
19 E. Ilyasova 25.95
20 M. Morris 25.9
21 T. Young 25.25
22 D. Motiejunas 25.25

We can continue to praise Davis and tell you what you already know but instead why not look down the list and you will find some hidden gems of late.  Noel and Mirotic are scoring fantasy points at will and they do it in very different ways.  Noel is a very active player and will tend to get you steals and blocks that most don’t realize are the key elements when considering upside for your fantasy lineup.  When someone gets 2 steals and 2 blocks per game they are giving you an extra 8 points per night and you didn’t even know it.  Mirotic is logging some big minutes and has turned into the closer for the Bulls.  He scores most of his 18 points per game in the 4th quarter and he will continue to do so even when Gibson comes back because the Bulls need offense and he stretches the floor for Gasol to work inside with Noah at the high post.

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Fan Duel Centers

Rankings Player Fan Duel PPG
1 A. Jefferson 43.62
2 D. Cousins 42.7
3 D. Jordan 38.46
4 A. Horford 37.36
5 H. Whiteside 36.96
6 M. Gasol 36.86
7 A. Drummond 36.62
8 R. Gobert 33.94
9 J. Noah 33.72
10 N. Vucevic 33.29
11 M. Gortat 33.26
12 E. Kanter 28.35
13 B. Lopez 26.88

A slight surprise for those of you who don’t get to watch the Hornets play often but Al Jefferson has been putting up some huge numbers of late and comes in at #1 with 43.62 fantasy points per game over the last 5 games.  Whiteside is creeping up the list quickly and his salary shows it but when you grab 20+ rebounds in consecutive games that will do it.  His problem is his attitude and if he doesn’t get it turned around quickly his limited funds will be sent off to charity and he will sit the bench with the Heat most likely not making the playoffs this year.


DraftKings Centers

Rankings Player DKPPG
1 D. Cousins 44.975
2 A. Jefferson 44.55
3 D. Jordan 40.25
4 A. Horford 38.8
5 H. Whiteside 38.625
6 M. Gasol 38.35
7 A. Drummond 38.2
8 R. Gobert 36
9 J. Noah 35.45
10 N. Vucevic 35.125
11 M. Gortat 34.55
12 E. Kanter 29.475
13 B. Lopez 28.05

I could sit here and tell you all about Cousins and Jordan and their ability to rebound and score inside, how Cousins has increased his assists to 4+ per game and Jordan recording 10 straight 15+ rebounds in a game but instead let’s talk about Gobert.  He has been a huge element to the Jazz since the trade deadline and Kanter was shipped to OKC.  Gobert shares in his Windex capabilities, averaging 16 rebounds per game over the last 5.  Once he establishes a 15 foot jump shot he might be unstoppable.   It’s also nice that he has 3+ blocks in a game 3 out of his last 5 contests.  That 6 points you can’t always count on, unless you have Gobert.

gobert_mar10

Monday’s Recap

In a night of only a few games there was a huge night put in by “The Brow”.  He posted an amazing 66 points last night on Fan Duel and a 70 spot on DraftKingsWe advised you yesterday that he would be the highest point scorer by far and he certainly was.  For more information on today’s games be sure you check out the DiRTy Plays – Week of March 9th to get all the Must Haves and Sleepers for today’s best players with their projections.  We have also put up some lineups to consider for tonight’s games.  You can click here to be taken directly to this information.

Fan Duel Earnings:

  • Started with $100deposit on January 16th, 2015.
  • Earnings through March 9th, 2015 are $2,199.50.
  • Profit for the week of March 9th is a total of $32.

How We Did

(4700 of 86206) Scored 297.7 – $1 Entry and won $3

(69 of 551) Scored 250 – $25 Entry and won $60

(50 of 909) Scored 297.5 – $5 Entry and won $25

***Entered with a total of $55 and won $87 for our profit of $32***

DraftKings Earnings:

  • Started with a $50deposit on February 15th, 2015.
  • Earnings through March 9th, 2015 are $480.40
  • Profit for the week of March 9th is a total of $16.25

How We Did:

(416 of 14100) Scored 288 – $0.25 Entry and won $1.25

(186 of 12206) Scored 293 – $4 Entry and won $20

***Entered with a total of $5 and won $21.25 for a profit of $16.25***

 Games to Play Tonight

Just click on the one of the links above and you will be directed to these contests and you can start making a profit.

 

DiRTy Dimes

NBA Update:

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!

nba_leaguepass

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:

Golden State 47 12 .797 25-2 22-10 8-3 27-7 7-3 1 W
Memphis 43 17 .717 4.5 23-7 20-10 7-5 27-12 6-4 1 W
Portland 40 19 .678 7.0 25-6 15-13 8-2 22-13 7-3 4 W
Houston 41 20 .672 7.0 23-9 18-11 5-6 23-14 6-4 2 L
LA Clippers 40 22 .645 8.5 23-9 17-13 8-2 26-11 7-3 1 L
Dallas 40 22 .645 8.5 21-10 19-12 6-6 20-15 6-4 1 W
San Antonio 37 23 .617 10.5 21-7 16-16 4-6 21-18 5-5 3 W
Oklahoma City 34 27 .557 14.0 20-8 14-19 7-5 19-19 8-2 2 W
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


nuggets

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.

Gortat_MoHawk

 NBA Fantasy Hot Hands:

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.

westbrook_faceguard

Russell and I have something else in common

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.

Brow

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.

maninironmask

***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.