What do Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker all have in common? Well if you where paying attention to last nights Phoenix Suns game you know that all of these players have scored 70 points in an NBA game. Booker joined this list of Hall of Fame players and of course future Hall of Fame player in Bryant’s case when he scored 70 points on the nose against the Boston Celtics on Friday night. It was the 11th 70 point game in NBA history.
Even with the 70 point effort by Booker the Suns still lost to the Celtics 130-120. Phoenix is 22-51 on the season and are just one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for last place in the Western Conference standings. While the Suns are obviously in rebuild mode Booker has to be one of the bright spots I a down season. Booker is in his 2nd season in the NBA and is the Suns leading scorer averaging 21.6 points per game. Eric Bledsoe is right behind Booker in scoring average at 21.1 points per game. Bledsoe is 27 years old while the Suns 3rd leading scorer is 23 year old T.J. Warren who is averaging 13.8 points per game. So the Suns have a young core of players to try and build around.
Booker played 45 minutes on Friday night to get his 70 points. He was 21 of 40 overall from the field going 4 of 11 from behind the 3-point line. He was however 24 of 26 from the free throw line. Along with his 70 points Booker grabbed 8 rebounds and handed out 6 assists.
Now throughout the 4th quarter Suns coach Earl Watson used his timeouts and had his players intentionally foul which aided Booker’s quest to reach that 70 point total. The fans at TD Garden didn’t seem to mind as they cheered Booker’s scoring outburst and it was almost as they where embracing what he was trying to do. Of course it was much, much easier for the Celtics fans to do with their team ahead by double digits. On the other hand the Boston players seemed less than enthusiastic about the way the Suns ran up Booker’s scoring total. Booker scored 28 of his 70 points in the 4th quarter.
Now no matter which side of this you might come down on it’s still a great accomplishment for a player to do.
We are just eight days away from the start of the Major League Baseball season. On Sunday April 2nd ESPN will televise three games to get the season started. At Noon the New York Yankees are at the Tampa Bay Rays. Masahiro Tanaka gets he opening day start for the Yankees while Chris Archer will get the honor for Tampa Bay. The second game scheduled to start around 3:00 p.m. will feature the San Francisco Giants at the Arizona Diamondbacks. Madison Bumgarner will make the start for the Giants while Zack Greinke will be the Diamondbacks starter. Opening day wraps up with an 7:30 p.m. game that has the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the St. Louis Cardinals. Jon Lester will get the start for the Cubs while Carlos Martinez is the Cardinals starter.
Now as opening day draws closer and closer that means it’s time for our two fantasy drafts. There are 20 teams on both of our leagues. One league is just your standard snake draft style league while the other league we have is an auction style draft. While I still enjoy the snake style draft more than the auction draft the last few seasons my auction draft team has done better in the standings.
Now there’s a lot that goes into drafting your fantasy team. The way your league is set up and which stats are important to your league. Both of our leagues are category leagues; so you can look for all around players or you can try and get players who produce big numbers in a category or two. Now as anyone who’s been in a fantasy league before knows how difficult it is to find players who can put up stats in every category. Start thinking; how many players are out their that combine power and speed and still hit for a high batting average. When you’re trying to come up with these players; what is your acceptable stolen base total for these players. Remember there where just nine players who had more than 30 stolen bases last season. Of course in total there where 72 players who had 10 or more stolen bases. Now in most cases fantasy owners will trade 47 home runs or 133 RBI’s for a single digit stolen base total. Now it’s very easy to sit at the top of your fantasy draft and find the right player. What will win your fantasy league is finding that player or pitcher who will give you numbers in the categories you need help in. That’s why the best thing you can do is look at your league settings and use that to your advantage in the later rounds of your draft. I don’t remember how long ago it was, but when we started playing fantasy baseball Mr. Fantasy use to make fun of me because I would always pick Livan Hernandez in the late rounds of our drafts. Now Hernandez was past his prime and was no longer a top pitcher, but he was an innings eater and we have a minimum numbers of innings are pitchers have to throw a week. Finally last season Mr. Fantasy came around to my way of thinking as he selected R.A. Dicky late in our draft. With the way pitchers are handled in baseball today it’s tough to find a pitcher that will log a lot of innings for you; so if your league has a minimum number of innings you need to pitch a week don’t be afraid to take an innings eater late in your draft. That’s really the best advice I can give not knowing what your league settings are. If you’ve had your draft please let me know how you did, but if your draft is coming up feel free to share your strategy that you use in your league. Good luck!
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