There were some wild fantasy stories on Friday night including a triple-overtime thriller in Brooklyn and a crazy three-point barrage from Alexey Shved in Philadelphia. Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double while Kemba Walker showed signs of his old self. But the young guns came to play as well including the likes of rookie standouts Elfrid Payton and Nerlens Noel.
Payton does it again
Just two days after notching his first triple-double, Elfrid Payton did it again; tallying 22 points, 10 boards, and 10 assists in a win over Portland. He shot a blistering 10-13 from the field and added four steals to complete a tremendous line. The first year man has busted through the rookie wall and is having his best month as a pro thus far, dropping 12 and eight nightly. Keep riding him to the finish line.
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Aldridge continues strong run
Despite losing, LaMarcus Aldridge was still a fantasy force on Friday, racking up 31 points and 10 rebounds. He also added two triples which was a nice bonus. Aldridge has been on a tear as of late. He has now notched back-to-back 30 point games and has scored over 20 in 10 of the last 11 outings.
Shved keeps rocking
Alexey Shved scored over 20 points for the third straight time on Friday, going for 25 including seven triples. He added six boards and three assists. Shved’s three-point barrage was fantastic and certainly made up for Thursday’s 0-7 showing from deep. Now a starter, Shved is making fantasy waves for the depleted Knicks. Averaging over 30 minutes per contest in March, the guard is throwing up 16 points, five boards, four assists, and nearly two triples per game. If he’s somehow available, pick him up.
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Noel fills it up
While Shved was tearing it up from downtown, Nerlens Noel was busy down low leading the Sixers to the victory. Noel was dominant inside, pulling down 14 boards with five steals and three blocks. He also managed to score 23 points on an efficient 9-14 shooting. Noel is in a nice groove, having scored in double figures eight of his last 10 games. March has been his best month as a pro and he’s a future building block for the organization so he’ll continue to be showcased going forward.
Nets and Bucks turn out in thriller
After going three overtimes the Nets defeated the Bucks by two on Friday. There was a plethora of big lines after everything was said and done. Khris Middleton played a whopping 55 minutes, finishing with 29 points, eight boards, six assists, three steals, and four triples. He’s actually quite an intriguing option going forward as he’s been coming on as of late and the Bucks have publicly said they are committed to him long term. Zaza Pachulia also had a huge game, going for 22 points, 21 boards, and seven assists. If you’re in need of some boards, there are worse options out there. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ersan Ilyasova had double-doubles. On the Nets end, Brook Lopez stood out with 32 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks. This was just the second time in the last 10 games that Lopez has topped the 20-point mark so while the breakout was nice, it was also in triple overtime and likely isn’t going to continue.
Paul and Jordan lead Clippers
Both Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had great games for Los Angeles on Friday. Paul racked up 30 points for the second straight game, adding 15 assists to complete the double-double. Paul’s upped his scoring in March, averaging over 22 points per game during the month. Jordan notched a double-double as well, scoring 10 points with 23 rebounds and three blocks. This was Jordan’s tenth 20 rebound game during a season in which he’s averaging nearly 15 per contest. He’s been a fantastic asset in that category for fantasy squads and is making other teams notice as well.
Westbrook is just amazing
It’s not even surprising anymore when Russell Westbrook has a triple-double. He’s reached such a high level that his greatness has become normal. On Friday, Westbrook put up his ninth triple double of the year, torching the Hawks for 36 points, 10 boards, and 14 assists. He only hit 8-24 shots and turned the ball over six times but of his eight shots, three of them were triples. Westbrook’s March has been crazy. He averaging nearly a triple-double, posting 34 points, 10 assists, and 9.6 rebounds per contest.
Chicago’s secret weapon
Nikola Mirotic continued his sensational run on Friday, coming off the bench for 29 points and 11 rebounds. He hit three triples and added four blocks to round out a great line. While his hot streak may have gotten a late start, in the month of March Mirotic has been a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, averaging nearly 21 points and eight boards per game. The return of Jimmy Butler will likely curb his production but he may have staked a claim on playing time after showing his ability.
Walker getting back into a groove
After a two month absence, Kemba Walker returned last week but was understandably rusty in his first few games. However, on Friday, despite the 7-18 shooting, he looked much more comfortable, scoring 18 points with five boards and four steals. The 18 shots were the most he’s taken in a game since returning along with his point total.
Gay owns the floor
Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, Rudy Gay was a force to be reckoned with. With no DeMarcus Cousins, Gay got all the good looks and capitalized with 33 points and nine boards. He hit a pair of triples and added two steals. Gay is another player that’s finishing the year strong, averaging over 24 points in the month of March.