For all the talk of the power imbalance between conferences in the NBA, this past weekend of action confirmed two of the league’s truly elite teams in both real and fantasy terms reside in the Eastern Conference.
With no offense [Editor’s note: pun intended?] to Boston and their top-ranked defense, ranking 27th in offensive rating isn’t exactly favorable for fantasy purposes. cheap nfl nike jerseys from china Instead, I’m talking about the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, two Eastern powerhouses who have a combined record of 17-2 and rank third and fourth, respectively, in offensive efficiency.
Even with Kawhi Leonard missing Sunday night’s game at the Staples Center with a sore foot, the Raptors drubbed LeBron James’ Lakers. The Lakers trailed by as many as 31 points in the first quarter, becoming the first team in the past 20 seasons to trail by at least 30 in the first quarter at home. Kyle Lowry likely could have tried to chase Scott Skiles’ 30-assist opus from 1990, given he had a career-high 12 dimes at the half against the Lakers, but settled for 15 in the convincing win.
The Bucks trounced the otherwise surging Kings on Sunday afternoon via scoring 144 points, their most in a non-overtime game since 1979 against the Spurs. Giannis Antetokounmpo produced his 11th career triple-double in the victory — and his first accomplished within three quarters — snapping the Kings’ five-game winning streak.
We already knew Lowry and Antetokounmpo were impact fantasy contributors, but how about finding affordable paths to shares of these elite rosters?
For the Raptors, we find Serge Ibaka surging statistically as if he were a young member of the Thunder again. Ibaka delivered a career-high 34 points (15-17 FG) against the Lakers and started the game by hitting his first 14 shots from the field — the most consecutive field goals made to begin a game since Shaquille O’Neal made his first 14 back in February of 2006 against the SuperSonics, per Elias.nfl cheap jerseys nike
Ibaka joins Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns as the only players averaging at least 18 PPG and 1.4 BPG this season and yet is available as a fantasy free agent in nearly half of ESPN leagues.
If Ibaka is already scooped up in your league, how about Pascal Siakam? The defensive-minded forward earned an endorsement in my recent waiver wire update thanks to averaging 1.7 combined blocks and steals while producing solid rebounding results and efficient scoring production. Siakam has averaged a rewarding 33.1 MPG the past five games, all starts, and merits to be rostered in more than 12 percent of ESPN leagues.