United Stats of America – #NBA Edition

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1.

Exclusivity…

Spurs, accompanied by Warriors, enter an exclusive club

The Spurs throttled the Magic, 107-92, to earn their 40th victory in 48 games this season. Coupled with the Warriors, who with a 44-4 record, had the night off, this marked only the fourth season in NBA history in which two different teams amassed 40 wins before they suffered 10 losses. It previously happened in the 1980-81 season with the Celtics (40-9) and 76ers (40-8), the 2008-09 season with the Celtics and Lakers (both 40-9), and last season with the Hawks (40-8) and Warriors (40-9).

null+ Green does his thing for a 4th straight game

Jeff Green scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies to a 110-95 win at New Orleans – the fourth straight game in which Green has come off the bench to lead the Grizzlies in scoring. Not incidentally, Memphis has won all four of those games; previously, Green scored 30 points in an overtime win over Orlando, 21 points in a win over Milwaukee, and 29 points in a triumph over Sacramento.

Get a load of this one: Green became the first NBA player in more than 21 years to come off the bench in four consecutive games, to finish each of those games as the game’s leading scorer (outright or tied), and to see his team win each of them. The last player to put together four consecutive games like that was Dan Majerle with the Suns in January of 1995.

null+ Teague, in 486th game, finally earns share of king-for-a-day

Jeff Teague poured in a season-high 32 points as the Hawks thumped the Mavericks, 112-97. Teague’s game marked only the third this season in which a Hawks played accumulated at least 30 points; Al Horford provided the two other games of that sort (33 and 30 points). It was the fourth time in Teague’s career that he has scored 30-or-more points, and the Hawks have won each of those games.

Teague and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay, who scored 32 points later in the evening, shared high-scoring honors across Monday’s nine NBA games. It marked the first time in his 486-game career that Teague had been the league’s high scorer for a day, either outright or tied.

null+ Jokic’s big game evokes the young ‘Melo

Rookie Nikola Jokic won’t turn 21 years of age until February 19, but he celebrated the arrival of his birth month by achieving season-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to highlight the Nuggets’ 112-93 victory over the visiting Raptors. Jokic became only the second rookie in the Nuggets’ NBA history to produce a 25-point, 10-rebound game before his 21st birthday. Carmelo Anthony had a pair of games like that (26 and 14, and 36 and 11) 12 years ago, at the age of 19.

null+ Westbrook’s quick triple-double vs. Wizards, part II

Russell Westbrook‘s seventh triple-double of the season, and his second in his last two games, led the Thunder to a 114-98 victory over the visiting Wizards. It was Westbrook’s second triple-double against Washington this season – and in each of those games, he achieved it before the end of the third quarter. Westbrook has three before-the-end-of-the-third-quarter triple-doubles this season; no other NBA player has more than one.

Jazz still perfect in overtime vs. Bulls

Gordon Hayward scored the last three points in regulation time to tie the score, then scored six points in overtime to lead the Jazz to a 105-96 victory over the visiting Bulls. And as the game went into the extra period, perceptive Utah fans knew that that the Jazz had the Bulls exactly where they wanted them. This was the fifth regular-season game between the teams that required an overtime period, and the Jazz has won all five of those games, going back to a Feb. 3, 1992 triple-overtime victory over the Jordan-and-Pippen squad. And the only playoff overtime game between the teams also resulted in a Utah victory – in the opening game of the 1998 Finals.

+ Pistons beat the odds

Math quiz: Which team wins? Team A shoots 48.8 percent from the floor; Team B, 42.9 percent. On three-point attempts, Team A makes 43.8 percent; Team B, 33.3 percent. And from the line, Team A hits 86.7 percent; Team B, 68.8 percent. Oh, by the way, Team A is playing at home.

Yes, it’s a trick question. On Monday night, the Pistons overcame all of those disadvantages to secure a 105-100 decision in Brooklyn. In so doing, Detroit became the 17th visiting team this season to play a game in which it was out-shot from the floor by at least 5 percent, from three-point range by at least 10 percent, and from the line by at least 15 percent. But the Pistons were the first of those 17 teams to go home a winner.

+ Cavs get balanced scoring; LeBron counts by sixes

“The Cavaliers took a 111-106 overtime decision over the Pacers in Indianapolis, in a game in which, for only the second time this season, each Cleveland starter produced at least 14 points. (The other such occasion came on January 4, in a 122-100 win over the Raptors.)

LeBron James finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists – only the second time that he has reached each of those levels since he returned to Cleveland at the beginning of last season. And the other time he did it, nine nights earlier, the Cavaliers lost the game, at home, to the Bulls.

+ Gay and Acy make up for absence of Cousins

In the absence of DeMarcus Cousins, their leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings outrebounded the Bucks, 53 to 37, and Rudy Gay scored a game-high 32 points to key a 111-104 victory. Quincy Acy, who played 17 minutes, 27 seconds, collected seven offensive rebounds. No NBA player this season has corralled that many offensive rebounds in a game in which he spent so little time on the court.

Source: Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

pablo (8)

#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

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1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

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42 – the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Today in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color-line held by Major League Baseball.  At 28, he played his first MLB game in front of 26,000 spectators at Ebbets Field, and on that day he would fail to get a hit, but would score a run that led to the Dodgers wining, 5-3 over the Braves.  His achievement was one year before Harry Truman desegregated the military.  Jackie would became an example of non-violence and his talent helped challenge the foundations of what a man could do, not just the color of their skin.  He became the first athlete at UCLA to letter in four sports, (Baseball, Football, Basketball and Track).  Jackie would play in 6 World Series and win one in 1955.  He was the MLB Rookie of the Year in ’47 and won the NL Batting Title and NL MVP in ’49.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 and owns a career batting average of .311.  But baseball was just part of the man – He became the first black television analyst in MLB, as well as the first black vice-president of a major corporation, Chock full O’Nuts.  He would help establish the Freedon National Bank in Harlem, a black owned financial institution.  Also on this day, eleven years later the first MLB game is played on the West Coast between the Dodgers and the GiantsToday is Jackie Robinson Day, and everyone wears 42!


 

After tonight, the real season begins in the NBA and we will know a few more things about what kind of heart these teams possess.  Everyone seems to have the will to win, it’s the will to prepare that separates champions, from the rest of the s’posed-ta’s.  With a big slate of games tonight, only two provide any drama and that is OKC and New Orleans.  Sure there is still the matter of Brooklyn and Indiana, but neither team will finish near .500 – real drama demands winning records.

The only way OKC makes the ‘offs is IF they win and the Pelicans lose – every other combination favors the Pelicans.  For my money, it’s a changing of the guard scenario I’m hoping for – sure, it might be the last time we see Durant and Westbrook play together, but it’s not like we haven’t seen what it is already with the injuries inflicted on each other.  Golden State v New Orleans seems more entertaining for my NBA dollar than does OKC.  Yes, Westbrook is a dynamo, but his one-man-band approach is tiresome and he loses as many games it seems, than he wins.

If none of that floats your boat as much as it should than consider this:  Minnesota, who currently has the leagues worst record, could easily maintain that mark by losing to OKC tonight – selling the drama.  Even more so, if you have watched the T-puppies, you would have noticed they have a nice young team and if they got the first pick – they could use it for something other than wing type players (they need a dynamic PG or Big) – making the selection either Okafor, or Towns.  Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, about who’s number 1 – it makes the ‘Wolves a potential contender.  Marinate on that for a bit.

Irony would be the Knicks, again creating conspiracy theories, by getting the 1st pick – like they did with Ewing.  This league has migrated to wing players, and if your a Knicks fan – do you trust a man who puts as much time in evaluation, as he does a cup of coffee?

But while we are talking about the strange and ironic – I’d like to give a shout out to Brad Stevens.  Sure Steve Kerr will likely take Coach of the Year honors, but consider the job that Stevens did with the Celtics.  Besides you Jon Beckwith, could any of you name 3 guys on the Celtics?  The Celtics will make the playoffs after trading their best player and using a boat-load of Duct-Tape to keep the roster together.  They will play the Cavaliers, whom they just beat recently by 39 – not that it means anything – but how sweet would that be for Celtics fan, who also suffers having a guy named Isiah Thomas on their team…


 

click to watch

 

That is the catch that Nolan Arenado made last night against the Giants in the bottom of the 8th – even better than the catch would have been the throw he made from the tarp for a double play.  There is a reason he is two years in and is also a two-time gold glove winner – it’s early, but he might have just sewed up his third with that play.  Even Baseball Tonight had to end their Web Gems with this play – the defacto #1.

However, as impressive as this catch is, the Rockies on the road have been more so.  Last year they won a paltry 21 games – they have 5 road-wins already.  Yes, it’s a long season, and they are still terrible at home (1-2), it’s a long season – and they are still in first place of the NL West all by themselves (tied for first overall with the Braves in the NL), again it’s a long season.  Most Rockies fans, use Coors Field as an occupier of time until the Broncos season starts, it’s a long season – The Giants were the only team the Rockies had a winning record against last year and it seems that they have no fear again, but it’s a long season.  We’ve seen this picture show before and we need to wait until the dog-days begin for meaningful baseball in September – but for the moment it is fun to watch and when the wheels fall off, we’ll forget all about the hope that sprung eternal in April.  Until then, BUY THE TICKET, TAKE THE RIDE!


 

Riddick Bowe, former Heavyweight Champion, guy who beat Evander Holyfield twice – a 43-1 record with 33 knockouts.  He is either a flash-mob genius or is so far down on his luck that he actually needs the $20 to tweet whatever you want him to, to anyone.  Riddick Bowe has 450,000 followers so even if 1% of his followers deposit $20 into his paypal account – he will earn $90,000social media genius.  You got to respect that hustle – what are followers for if you cannot monetize them?  It appears that some are already willing to pay for that luxury, as witnessed by the tweet below, yesterday.  So, What will @riddickbowe tweet for you?

I tell you all now @JakeLeeYes is twice the fighter I ever was. Thats whats up. Bowe

— Riddick Bowe (@riddickbowe) April 14, 2015

 


 

…in closing, this is your tax dollars at work – so clearly the answer is to play more daily fantasy games with us – check the RotoCanon Page for updates.

Tuesday’s DiRTy Dimes

Last night we witnessed a Shooting Guard battle between DeRozan and Harden.  DeRozan countered Harden’s 31pts with his own 41pts and 11 rebounds, helping the Raptors scrub the Rockets, 99-96.

Avery Bradley helped the Celtics beat the Hornets scoring 30, while Kemba Walker dished 12 assists and 28pts, with 3 rebounds of his own.  Celtics won 116-104, keepong their slim lead ahead of Brooklyn, Indiana and Charlotte.

Nerlens Noel and his double-double of 19pts 14 rebounds was not enough to beat the Lakers and Jordan Clarkson’s 26pts and 11 assists.  The Lakers win another “must lose” game and might be in danger of having their plan blow up in their face.  The Lakers could lose the rest of their games by double digits and could still find themselves 7th in the NBA Lottery and losing their top 5 protected draft pick – #TankingIsHard.

Another solid night of NBA action that seemed to be more Double-Double Monday, as we push towards the final 8 games or so of the season.

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY


vs
(1) ATLANTA VS (8) BOSTON
(Atlanta leads 2-1)

vs
(2) CLEVELAND ( 1H ) VS (7) MIAMI
(Miami leads 2-1)

vs
(3) CHICAGO ( 1A ) VS (6) MILWAUKEE
(Chicago leads 3-0)

vs
(4) TORONTO VS (5) WASHINGTON
(Toronto leads 3-0)




vs
(1) GOLDEN STATE VS (8) OKLAHOMA CITY
(Golden State leads 3-1)

vs
(2) MEMPHIS VS (7) DALLAS
(Memphis leads 3-1)

vs
(3) HOUSTON ( 1H / 1A ) VS (6) SAN ANTONIO
(Series Tied 1-1)

vs
(4) PORTLAND ( 1H ) VS (5) L.A. CLIPPERS
(L.A. Clippers leads 2-1)
Teams still in the hunt:
Brooklyn
Indiana
Charlotte
and
New Orleans

The last two weeks of March showed us some interesting things as we breakdown the positions.  First, let’s scrape off the cream; no one is able to afford Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins on the same team, so we will focus on the other guys.  Knowing also that the Guard position is your highest scoring, with the 2nd most coming from the Center position.  This leaves the Forward position the place where you separate yourself from winning some #FreshLettuce and not cashing at all.  Many lineups are won or lost with the Forwards.

Games played from 3-16 thru 3-29-15:

Point guard

PGFD

FanDuel

PGDK

DraftKings

If the MVP race was restricted to the kind of metrics used in Daily Fantasy, then it would look very different within those who play point guard.  In reality Steph Curry is having a terrific year, but has been a 4th option in the PG position, and with his cost, you have to look elsewhere for similar production at a better value.  Look what Elfrid Payton has produced in just 6 games at a better price point.  Reggie Jackson has been solid since leaving OKC and Shved cracks the top 10 APPG and crazy plays in March.

Shooting Guard

SGFD

FanDuel

SGDK

DraftKings

You notice in the Shooting Guards we have a bottleneck of value in the top 5 with Eric Bledsoe, Victor Oladipo and DeMar DeRozan.  When you look closer you see that Oladipo is doing a bit more with less.  Four of the top six Shooting Guards by APPG, will be seen in the Playoffs, so you should expect them to keep their averages up.  For Oladipo he’s still proving himself to take the next step, while Bledsoe continues to justify his recent $70m contract in September.

Small Forward

SFFD

FanDuel

SFDK

DraftKings

Everyone of these guys has had a blow up game this month, except I do not remember Wilson Chandler’s.  If you have paid any attention to the Utah Jazz, you are not surprised that Gordon Hayward is 4th in APPG.  You may be surprised that the Nuggets have two players on this list, (one in the PF) meaning that if Lawson is All-Star capable and the Nuggets have 3 Forwards that can score then how are they so awful, #Management.  Amazing stat if you can afford them: if you have Lebron and Kawhi on your team your lineup cashes over 40% of the time.  #ScienceIsAwesome.

Power Forward

PFFD

FanDuel

PFDK

DraftKings

In Power Forwards you have a logjam of guys within 3pts of each other, making cost per point a necessity.  The Bulls without D.Rose have two Power Forwards in the top 5, with the possible R.O.Y. in Nikola Mirotic.  Wiggins has the name recognition and will probably get rookie-of-the-year, but it should be Mirotic and his smooth stroke.  He has been the offense in Rose’s absence most games and in March has been on fire.  Anthony Davis and the Pelicans still have an outside chance to make the playoffs, but being 3 games back with 8 games left is a tall task.  You will still expect “The Brow” to do what he can and continue to be the guy you have to have each night he plays, if you can afford him.  It’s why our “Projection to Salary” report is so invaluable.

Center

CFD

FanDuel

CDK

DraftKings

Watching basketball on a nightly basis has made this a lot fun breaking down Centers.  Finding the value in Gobert before his price shot up and seeing Gorgui Dieng climb into the top 10, has made this month exciting for Centers, and made us big fans of new, young guys.  Boogie is so dominant that if you can afford him and find value in other guys – you take that chance.  But often times the top guys are not the guys that cash the big checks.  You often find the same overall value with Brook Lopez or Rudy Gobert that you can upgrade that Forward/Guard position to improve your chances.

These reports we provide on our RotoCanon Page, help you make the best decision possible.  Decisions like if you had Kemba, Clarkson, DeRozan, Bradley, Gobert and Booker on a lineup, you might have won $150, (#WeDid, #CalledIt).  Contact us with any questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you and your success.

Games to Play Tonight

Monday Dregs

This, and others like it sprung up around Detroit earlier last week as Suh approached NFL free-agency.  Not sure what they are trying to say.  By spelling his name with a dollar sign, are they trying to intimate that he values money more than loyalty?  I do not remember the Lions attempting to re-sign him or slap him with the franchise tag, and yet where is the outrage over dropping Reggie Bu$h to save $$$ – so where is the loyalty in that Detroit Fan?

If you believed that Detroit mismanaged this process two years ago, you can not fault Ndamukong Suh for leaving.  Word is, Suh has agreed in principle to take his talents to South Beach for $60m guaranteed.  That’s 6yrs @ $114m!  That’s QB money!!!  Florida has no state income tax!  We should all have Suh’s agent because if this contract is real, then it means that after the $40m guaranteed he got on his first contract – that totals a $100m guaranteed, in two contracts!  That’s baseball money and for a position that does not dominate the outcome of games played.

Ndamukong Suh is a good football player, but what games do you remember him dominating like he did at Nebraska?  Any idea on the Greatest DT of all time?  Any names jump out?  I’m not talking about guys that played inside and out, because Suh does not.  He does not play D-end because he is not fast enough, nor does he have the technique – let alone deserve JJ Watt money.  That’s the point tho – He is being paid like JJ Watt.  Do you remember Suh scoring touchdowns or making plays that had his name in MVP conversations?

The Dolphins made a splash that swims well with the fans, but this contract is going to end up as a financial noose, because Suh is more Haynesworth than Watt.  $uh is good, not great and in no way relevant to a team’s overall success – he is the 5th cheese in the 6-cheese pizza.  So to those that spent all that scratch on those billboards, be thankful.  Because here is a list of defensive players better than Suh, that deserved a $100m – notice how many played inside and out!

  • Deacon Jones
  • Reggie White
  • Mean Joe Green
  • Alan Page
  • Howie Long
  • Bruce Smith
  • Merlin Olsen
  • Randy White
  • John Randle
  • Jerome Brown

 

It has been a frenzied week for the NFL and potential free agents.  Peyton restructures, Marques Colston restructures, Jarius Byrd restructures, all so the Saints could resign Mark Ingram – 6 decent games his entire career and the Saints make him the priority and talk of trading Curtis Lofton – the only linebacker we’ve had since Vilma Fett!  Arm-chair general managing is the new normal and you have to wonder if more “actual” GM’s just need to sit back, pour a drink, eat some cherry nibs and cheetos – because there is no way Ingram over Lofton makes any sense.  Our defense isn’t good enough to want too mirror the Falcons.

But what also happened is there is a lot of movement, or rumors of movement, as usual this time of year.  Remember when Eagles fans went bonkers for signing CB Ngamdi Asou…Asug…Awsumwah…whatever his name was – and Vince Young (making a comeback because he’s broke) proclaimed the Eagles as the best team and winning the Superbowl.  Im not sure about you, but I remember Ngamdi leaving more WR’s open than a 5yr old does the front door.

So we have Reggie Wayne being the last Manning-Colt to turn the lights off on that chapter and hopefully getting another chance to contend.  Jeremy Maclin is rumored to be headed to the Chiefs – guess he’s used to dead-armed QB’s throwing him the ball and I’ll guarantee right now, he will score more touchdowns than all the 2014 Chiefs WR’s combined!!!  Randall Cobb is supposed to come back to the Pack.  LeSean might actually sign a contract extension to STAY in Buffalo – prompting us to look back at the end of that extension with thoughts of: “remember when Shady was….”  Of course Darrelle Revis is considering the offer from the Chiefs, because he won his ring and can get paid – plus, look who the QB’s are in that division – its about legacy – and the money – it’s really about the money – Revis Island has a high standard of living.

Obituary

San Francisco, we take the time to remember your past accomplishments back in the 80’s and early ’90’s.  Guided by the Legendary Bill Walsh you won Superbowls, you had iconic games and players.  Then after the George Seifert experiment, you had Steve Mariucci and then….um…..some other guys.  At one point, you had some ginger QB that ran around and threw the ball.  I’m not sure but there’s a fuzzy period in there where you guys weren’t very good.  You then hired Jim Harbaugh and became closer to your famed past glory (3 back-to-back-to-back NFC Championship games) – but hubris or arrogance allowed you to remove the coach responsible for that resurgence.

Well now you can relive those fuzzy/hazy-san francisco-bay-kinda days again with coach what’s-his-name: featuring players like – that guy, and some other dude.  The heart of the team, Frank Gore is leaving for Philly.  Management signed Jerome Simpson – seriously, Jerome Simpson.  Patrick Willis would rather retire and you are shopping for trade partners to take Xerxesone simply does not trade for Xerxes, Xerxes trades you.  Leaving coach what’s-his-name with so much talent that you’ll contend for a top 10 draft pick for the next five years.  the Forty-Whiners are going to be looking across the bay at Oakland (while they’re still there) with envy.  Fans will wish they were Raiders fans – solidifying the region as the most cross-dressing fan base in the country.  Seeing this house burn down makes you thankful that the worst thing your team has done is resign Mark Ingram and “consider” trading Lofton for cap room.  Every fan that used to share a division with those clowns-by-the-bay are smiling.


Are the Raptors falling off or is Westbrook having a legenwait for itdary stretch of games.  It could be both, and for Russell Westbrook securing his 5th triple-double in 6 games – this time by the 3rd quarter, has you thankful the season is so entertaining.  Just look at the MVP race with 4 worthy candidates: Steph Curry, Westbrook, Harden (with his own triple-double Friday night against Detroit) and Lebron – with Lebron the least likely to win, for validation on the kind of season we are witnessing down the stretch.  For perspective Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double for an entire season in ’61-’62, for the Cincinnati Royals – averaging 30.8pts, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists – also setting the mark for most triple-doubles in a season with 41.  Wilt Chamberlain recorded the only double-triple-double – 22pts, 25 rebounds and 21 assists.  With all the attention on how well Westbrook is playing right now – keeping the Thunder ahead of the Pelicans for the 8th seed – you wonder if it makes sense for Durant to hurry back.  Considering his recent string of injuries and their frequency, is it better to make him sit instead of the risk versus the reward of the 8th seed?

Russell Westbrook

Steph Curry

James Harden


 

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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.