By Elvis GutierrezThe long fantasy week is finally over. We’re heading to the final stretch of the regular season, the part where things start to get personal and awfully stressful. Cheers to you if have these fantasy studs in time for the playoffs.
First Bottle: Donovan Mitchell
What a week it has been for the rookie who goes by the name Spider Mitchell. After paying tribute to the half man, half amazing Vince Carter (are we that old?) at the Slam Dunk Contest, Mitchell didn’t take his foot off the pedal and continued on his hot streak. In his last six games, Mitchell averaged close to 25 points per game to lead the Utah Jazz in scoring. He’s also hit 20 (!!!) three-pointers in his last six, proving that he’s not only about the hops. There’s no reason for Mitchell to slow down in the final stretch as he chases another Vince Carter thing: the Rookie of the Year Award.
Second Bottle: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
KCP became a walking meme when it was revealed that he’d been playing while serving 25-day jail sentence. He was released from actual jail in January, but seemed to have been released from shooting jail only in February. KCP is averaging 13 points per game in the season, but he stepped it up in his last three. The “I Am Free” Game came in a recent win against the Sacramento Kings, where he dropped 34 points on 8 three-pointers. Despite run-ins with the law off the court, KCP is virtually error-free on the court, committing only 3 TOs in his last five games, despite logging heavy minutes in the mid- to high-30s.
Third Bottle: Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter has transformed himself in to a legit rebounding machine in New York. In his last five games, Kanter averaged 12 rebounds per game as he tries to defend the frontcourt in the absence of 7-foot- 3 unicorn Kristaps Porzingis. Kanter even managed a sneaky Nikola Jokician-stat line of 24-14-5 and 1 block in a loss to Washington. But here’s the best part: he’s extended his personal streak of double-digit rebounds to 11 games. He hasn’t lost his fire from his Thunder days.
Fourth Bottle: Wilson Chandler
Kudos to patient fantasy managers who held on to Wilson Chandler. He has no business being on the Waiver Wire, but after a sorry stretch to start the month, that’s where he likely ended up. After that bad couple of games, he returned to his true form with decent contributions on points, threes, and rebounds. As an added bonus, he put up season-highs in three-pointers made (4); points (26); and rebounds (8) in a two-week span as a friendly slap-in-the-face to those who doubted him.
Fifth Bottle: Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis started the season literally in the worst way possible, but here we are now: his BFF Nikola Mirotic is gone, and he’s the man off the bench for the Chicago Bulls. Portis has carved up a nice series of games before the All-Star break, chipping in points, rebounds, and a trickle of 3s. After the break, Portis erupted for a career-high 38 points with 6 three-pointers. Whatever he did during the break, it worked. The historic game from Portis came in a loss though, and Mirotic couldn’t help but chime in:
— Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) February 23, 2018
[Donovan Mitchell thumbnail from Facebook; videos from Youtube]