Mar 14, 2018


Karl-Anthony Towns stated earlier this week in a post-game conference “The West is a swamp, only the real alligators will make it out”. Towns was spot on. In the West, the top two spots are locked up by the Warriors and the Rockets, but after that, no other team is in the clear. The Clippers, Jazz, Nuggets, and Spurs are all tied up fighting for the last two playoff spots. The Jazz are trending in the right direction winning 18 of their last 20, while the Spurs are heading in the opposite direction having dropped eight of their last ten. The Trail Blazers sit in the third position trying to crawl their way out of the “swamp” riding a ten game win streak. Damian Lillard has been huge over that stretch, with at least 50 fantasy points in half of those games. In the East, the Pistons have played their way out of playoff race, so the eight playoff teams are basically set. All that is left now is determining the final standings, and thus the home court advantages. The Pacers have recently passed the Cavs for the third place spot, and the Cavs are in danger of dropping even further. The Raptors who have been red-hot, winning 15 of their last 16 and snapping the Rockets win streak along the way, look like they are poised to come away with the one seed in the East. Kyle Lowry was huge in the win over the Rockets, posting 30 points on seven three-pointers on his way to a 42.6 points fantasy game. 

There are some big games in the East to keep your eye on this week as the standings continue to shake out. The Wizards take on the Celtics on Wednesday. The Wizards are looking to leapfrog the Cavs who are struggling a bit after the mid-season shakeup. The Celtics, on the other hand, have major injury issues. Kyrie suffered a knee injury in their loss to the Pacers and Theis and Smart may both be out for the season. On Thursday the Raptors will be playing the Pacers, a nice matchup of the one and three seeds. If the Pacers want to hold onto the three seed, they need to win big games like these. Myles Turner has been playing great for the Pacers, who have won nine of their last twelve, averaging over 30 fantasy points over that stretch. Also on Thursday, the Cavs play the Trailblazers. Again this is a fun game between two good teams, and the Cavs need to start turning things around if they want to have home court advantage in the first round. 

The biggest game of the week in the West is the Clippers at Oklahoma City. This is a big showdown between two teams in the midst of the “swamp” as the Clippers try and snag a playoff spot. The Clippers have won seven of their last ten, but four of those wins came against the subpar Knicks, Nets, Magic, and Suns. For the Thunder, they are looking to hold off the Timberwolves and the Pelicans for that fourth spot and opening round home court advantage. Westbrook has been a bit quieter than usual as of late, as he has failed to top 50 fantasy points in his past five games. For most players in the league that wouldn’t mean much, but Westbrook is averaging 53.6 fantasy points this year, and the Thunder need him at his best down this final stretch.

Dan Quinn