Apologies for the brief hiatus. We got three games tonight highlighted by Dirk Nowitzki’s 30,000th points milestone. Congratulations to him. We also have a career-high by Russell Westbrook as he dropped 58 points on the Blazers. I can’t believe his career-high is only 58, I thought it would be higher than that. Bojan Bogdanovic continues to shoot lights out for the Wizards and is looking like the better sixth man trade compared to the Lou Williams one. Let’s get to the games.
Trail Blazers 126 – Thunder 121
Blazers got some really crucial help from their bench tonight. Allen Crabbe had his monthly scoring explosion with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting, adding four boards, two assists and five triples in 28 minutes. He didn’t have that good of a February but March has been nice to him so far. Blazers still have three more games this week and he’s a good streamer for threes. Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 12 points, seven boards, three blocks, a steal and a triple in 29 minutes off the bench. Even though he’s coming off the bench, he’s been getting the bulk of the minutes and is outplaying Noah Vonleh. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 6.3 boards, 2.3 triples, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals for the month of March. Jusuf Nurkic managed to have a decent game with 17-8-4 with a steal but he did shoot 5-of-12 from the field with four turnovers and faced foul trouble in this game, costing him to only play 22 minutes. He’s been returning top-50 value in the last two weeks and is looking like a good fit into the Blazers’ system.
It was all Russell Westbrook tonight as he exploded for a career-high 58 points on 21-of-39 from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line. He also added nine assists, three boards, three 3-pointers, three steals and a block to round out that monstrous line. He’s averaging 45.0 points per game in his last four games with a crazy 48.8 usage rate. His assists have dipped lately and has dropped to only averaging 10.0 assists for the season. It would be a shame if he didn’t average a triple double for the regular season. Victor Oladipo finally came back from a wrist problem that cost him to miss six games. He managed to score 16 points with five boards and four triples in 26 minutes. He was under minutes restriction in this one but the wrist didn’t seem like it was bothering him in this one. Enes Kanter did his usual thing with 11 points and seven boards on 5-of-6 from the field in 18 minutes. He was playing well but he only played four minutes in the third quarter and only one minute in the fourth. No idea what Billy Donovan was doing but he was definitely better than Steven Adams tonight. Adams only had four points and three boards with no defensive stats in 29 minutes. He’s slumping hard returning outside top-200 value in the last month. He’s still a hold for now.
Lakers 111 – Mavericks 122
It was all about Dirk Nowitzki’s milestone tonight as he scored his 30,000th point in this game with his typical one legged fadeaway. He was on fire in this one, scoring 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also added 11 rebounds, three triples and a block, making it his sixth double-double this season for the 38-year old. After a poor stretch of games to start the month of March, he’s picking things up now and doesn’t seem like a shut down candidate as the Mavs are making a strong push for the eighth spot in the West. Nerlens Noel continued to come off the bench but he managed to grab a double-double with 11 points, 12 boards and three blocks. He’s returning top-70 value since being traded to Dallas and he’s only going to keep climbing higher even if he continues to come off the bench. Seth Curry continues to be a beast and he probably stole his older brother’s shooting stroke. He finished with 18 points, five assists with four triples and a steal in 31 minutes. I thought he would come off the bench when Noel got traded to the Mavs but he’s sticking to the starting line up and is returning top-10 value in the last two weeks.
The score would suggest that this was a relatively close game but it was actually a blow out through the first three quarters, until the Lakers garbage unit had a strong fourth quarter. D’Angelo Russell finished with 22 points, four assists with four steals and two triples on 8-of-17 shooting in 33 minutes. Since returning from the All-Star break and trading Lou Williams away, Russell is returning top-30 value in 32.8 minutes per game. The breakout is real. Julius Randle got his third triple-double of the season with a 13-18-10 line in 35 minutes. His ranking in 9-cat isn’t actually that high since he’s only returning a good source of popcorn stats with poor efficiency and no defensive stats or threes. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.0 steals on 44.4 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the free throw line since returning from the break. That’s good enough for top-75 value. He’s getting more run as the Lakers are going full tank mode, so that’s good news for Randle owners. Jordan Clarkson is another beneficiary of the Lou Williams trade as he finished with 22 points and four triples in this one. He’s averaging 17.5 points, 2.7 boards, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 triples since the trade and is getting a nice bump.
Wizards 131 – Suns 124
The Wizards’ starting unit needed a little bit of help in this one and their bench, led by Bojan Bogdanovic is certainly giving the help that they need to get the W. Bojan finished with 29 points, nine boards and three triples in 29 minutes off the bench. He closed this one out over Otto Porter in this one. He’s averaging 22.3 points and 4.3 triples in his last four games for the Wizards and he’s certainly fitting in well. He’s worth an add now until he cools off. With the Wizards having a good playoff schedule, Bojan is a hot commodity. Otto Porter had two points and six boards in 24 minutes. He barely saw a minute in the fourth and with Bojan shooting lights out, his value is taking a hit. It hurts even more because he’s averaging 38.8 percent from the field heading into this game when he was known for his efficiency. Ian Mahinmi had his first good game since returning from his knee injury. He finished with 15 points, nine boards with seven steals and a block in 26 minutes off the bench. Marcin Gortat wasn’t reallly in foul trouble in this one, Mahinmi was just playing better and Scott Brooks was rewarding him and the second unit with an extended run. He was averaging 3.7 points, 4.3 boards, 2.0 blocks and 1.7 steals in 19.0 minutes in his last three games so he’s more of a deep league consideration as this seems a little bit flukey to me. What’s impressive is that Mahinmi was a +36 while Gortat was a -25 in +/- stats.
The Suns had a three game winning streak snapped in this one. Alan Williams had his fourth straight double-double in this one even though he was restricted by foul troubles. He finished with 15 points and 10 boards in 24 minutes. He’s returning top-50 value in the last two weeks and is the better center to own from the Suns. Alex Len had a good game in this one as he got a bit more run, thanks to Williams and his fouls. He finished with eight points, 11 boards with four blocks and a steal in 22 minutes. Even when Williams was in foul trouble, Earl Watson would choose to go small with Marquese Chriss at the five than giving Len more minutes. Len did close this one out though but he was averaging 13.8 minutes per game in the last three games before this one so Len should still be on the waiver wire in standard leagues. Deep leagues can give him a look. Eric Bledsoe finished with 30-3-5 with four triples in 27 minutes. His minutes have actually seen a dip, averaging 29.8 minutes in his previous three games before this one since the Suns are giving Tyler Ullis more opportunities. Bledsoe and history with injuries is not something to fool around with so the Suns should be more caution with Bledsoe’s minutes as they go tanking in the last third of the season.
That’s it for tonight. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter to get the latest posts or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!