Friday night was a huge night in the fantasy world. There were several big time scoring performances from the likes of James Harden and LeBron James, while Anthony Davis struggled through a back injury. With plenty to cover, let’s get right to the action.
Ibaka and Harden duel out west
In what was an action-packed game, the Rockets and Thunder battled down to the wire as both Serge Ibaka and James Harden posted tremendous fantasy lines. The big man from Congo scored 27 points on 12-14 shooting including a pair of triples, while also grabbing nine boards and blocking six shots. Ibaka hadn’t scored over 20 points since early March so this was a nice treat for owners as the season winds down. His six blocks were also his second highest total of the season. For Harden’s part, he added 39 points, nine boards, seven assists, and two steals. He also drilled four three-pointers of his own and hit an astounding 17-20 free throws. The sharpshooting guard has been on a scoring barrage as of late, hitting 30 points or more in five of his last 10 games. With both squads playing four games next week, both players should be great assets for fantasy teams.
LeBron turns in a classic line
While the Heat ultimately lost to the Timberwolves in double-overtime on Friday night, LeBron James was still a force in the fantasy game. The King scored 34 points while adding eight rebounds, five assists, four steals, one block, and a couple of triples. While James has had a fantastic year in positioning the Heat for a three-peat, in the fantasy world, it’s been an odd year. His shooting percentages have been terrific across the board but he has had somewhat of a down year in a few categories. His 0.3 blocks are the lowest of his career and his 6.9 rebounds are his lowest in seven years. While James has been a top-five fantasy player this year, that’s definitely a step back from his usual top-two positioning of years past. The bottom line is that Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kevin Love and even Anthony Davis have now joined the company of James at the top of the fantasy mountain.
Green and Bledsoe lead the way
With the Suns battling to get into the playoffs, both Eric Bledsoe and Gerald Green torched the Blazers to stay in the hunt. Green led the way with 32 points on 12-20 shooting with four triples to boot. Bledsoe added 30 points, while hitting 11-13 from the charity stripe. The sleek guard also piled up seven boards, three assists, two steals, and two blocks. While Green has had varying value all season and has truly been a nice story, Bledsoe’s campaign has been an injury-riddled one. However, he had a nice run of 20 point games towards the end of March and looks to be getting hot once again as the fantasy season wraps up.
Rondo bags his first triple-double of the season
Despite losing to the lowly Sixers, Rajon Rondo had a big game for the Celtics on Friday. The point guard scored 11 points while handing out 16 assists and grabbing 11 rebounds. Although he turned the ball over seven times, fantasy owners won’t be complaining after a line like this. For Rondo, it was his first triple-double since coming back from knee surgery and although he’s still limited when it comes to back-to-backs, Rondo is certainly a player to target early on in next year’s fantasy drafts.
Sims has career night
Thrust into a starting role over a month ago, Henry Sims has been a pleasant surprise for the struggling Sixers. On Friday the big man scored a career-high 24 points while adding nine rebounds as Philadelphia topped Boston. Since becoming the starting center, Sims has been a top-100 player, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds. While the return of Nerlens Noel will likely jeopardize his value heading into next season, Sims is certainly a player to keep on the radar going forward.
Davis struggles through back spasms
Questionable heading into Friday’s contest against Utah, Anthony Davis labored through his back injury, scoring just eight points with six boards and two blocks in nearly 24 minutes. He was forced to leave the game in the third quarter but eventually returned. Coach Monty Williams expressed concern over the severity of Davis’ injury, leaving him questionable for Sunday’s game against Portland.
Adrien continues his rise
Now playing big minutes for the depleted Bucks, Jeff Adrien has emerged as both a fantasy and real life value play. On Friday, Adrien hit 9-12 shots for 21 points. He added nine boards and three blocks and has been a nice pickup since March. Often used as an energy guy off the bench, Adrien has also excelled as starter, averaging 13 points, seven rebounds, and one block in that role. As the season comes to a close, Adrien is certainly a guy that can help fantasy teams grab some categories down the stretch.
Z-Bo fills it up
Memphis, also striving for the playoffs, got a big win on Friday behind Zach Randolph’s monster line of 21 points, 15 rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. Yes, he only hit 7-22 shots from the field but his counting stats were fantastic. Randolph is finishing the year in strong fashion. The power forward has scored over 20 points in seven of his last 10 and also has six double-doubles during that stretch.
Smith and Anthony switch roles
As Carmelo Anthony struggled through arguably his worst game of the season, J.R. Smith had one of his best. Smith nailed eight triples on his way to 32 points, playing a whopping 43 minutes for the Knicks. Anthony on the other hand looked terrible, laboring through an injured right shoulder. The All-Star scored just 10 points with nine turnovers and shot just 5-14 from the field. He did add eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals but overall Anthony’s output was severely lacking. X-rays came back negative on Anthony’s shoulder and with the Knicks still battling for a playoff spot, he should be good to go for the next one.
Thomas could be done for the season
Isaiah Thomas, who hasn’t played since March 23, could be done for the season according to Coach Mike Malone. The point guard’s right quad contusion has been a real problem and it looks like, with the Kings out of it, Thomas could be shelved for the foreseeable future. Ray McCallum, who has been a nice asset in a starting role, was awful on Friday, hitting just 2-14 shots in 44 minutes. However, it should be noted that the Kings as a team were dreadful, losing by over 30 points. In addition, McCallum had scored 20 or more points in his previous two games so keep running him out there if you own him.