Real life got in the way for a couple of days, but the NBA playoffs are heating up. Even though your Roto league may be finished, fantasy basketball continues. I’ve been playing on DraftStreet for a couple of months now. (Click the link to join for free.) Their daily leagues during the season — now 2-day leagues during the playoffs — are a great challenge.
BOS @ ATL: Josh Smith left with a knee injury after scoring 16 points, with 12 boards, 5 assists and a pair of blocks. Without him, the Hawks couldn’t hold off a late Boston surge to even the series. Paul Pierce was superb — 36 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST — and Kevin Garnett (15 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST) played well. Rajon Rondo was suspended, and Ray Allen’s ankle must be pretty bad, as he missed another game. That gave Avery Bradley (14 PTS, 3 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK) a chance to shine. Joe Johnson (22) and Jeff Teague (18) led Atlanta in defeat and their future looks bleak without Smoove.
PHI @ CHI: The absence of Derrick Rose has been felt already. Jrue Holiday had 26 PTS, 6 AST and 2 STL as the Sixers won impressively. C.J. Watson (12 PTS, 3 AST) and John Lucas (15 PTS, 4 AST) are now sharing PG duties for Chicago and they must play better; Philly backup guard Lou Williams had 20 points and 6 assists. Andre Iguodala is playing with a sore Achilles tendon. I’m downgrading him a tick for Friday and expecting Evan Turner (19 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST) to perform well again.
DEN @ LAL: Once again, Andrew Bynum (27 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK) was too much for the Denver big men and Kobe Bryant poured in another 38 points as the Lakers took a 2-0 series lead. Ty Lawson (25 & 7) played better but the Nuggets aren’t good enough to win and are pretty good candidates to get swept.
UTA @ SAS: The Spurs should continue to roll behind Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are reliable, but unless Josh Howard and Devin Harris play a lot better, Utah will be down 2-0. Tiago Splitter (wrist) is doubtful, so Boris Diaw and DeJuan Blair might get extra run.
LAC @ MEM: That incredible Clippers comeback to win the opening game will have the Grizzlies fired up for revenge tonight. I like Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay to be the most productive. For L.A., Caron Butler has a broken hand, so Nick Young, who scored a team-high 19 off the bench on Sunday, might be starting and is sure to get big minutes.
IND @ ORL: The Magic must be very pleased with a road split. Glen Davis has been great despite giving up a lot of height and reach to Roy Hibbert. The Pacers stepped it up to win game two with David West inspired. George Hill and Paul George decisively outplayed the Orlando backcourt on Monday, but Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson will try to bounce back on their home court.
There’s another playoff fantasy format at Fantasy Postseason, where I’m now sixth of 12 in the Sheridan Fantasy league. I didn’t expect to lead all the way, having drafted role players on teams that figure to last a few rounds, like Kendrick Perkins and Stephen Jackson. By comparison, the team in first has Josh Smith, Dirk Nowitzki and Ryan Anderson, who might all be watching on TV soon. I’m hoping that slow and steady wins the race.
|Sure Things||Over $14,000|
|Hunches||$9,000 to $14,000|
Week 9 of my ongoing experiment began last night with a $6 investment from the $100 bankroll. My three teams in a 2-day GPP Salary Cap league are not among the leaders at the midway point, but I have some decent players like Tony Parker in tonight’s games to help catch up.
If you’re in a 2-day DraftStreet league today and tomorrow, there are only five games total to choose from, including two on Thursday.
MIA @ NYK: Amare Stoudemire is out after losing a fight with a fire extinguisher, and Iman Shumpert (knee) is done, so Carmelo Anthony will take over for the desperate Knicks. Miami is too strong; LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will put up big numbers.
OKC @ DAL: This could be the last stand for the defending champions. The Mavs lost two close games in Oklahoma, making Game 3 a must-win. They will go to Dirk Nowitzki early and often. For the Thunder, it was Serge Ibaka in the first game and Kendrick Perkins in the second supporting Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
With a $100,000 salary cap for eight roster spots, the center position is key. You need two C and there’s a tough choice: pay big bucks for Al Jefferson or settle for two lesser talents. That position scarcity is why Ian Mahinmi is listed among the “Bargains” in today’s chart.
Click here to get started on Draft Street. It’s easy and free to register. If you don’t want to pay entry fees and win cash, they have free leagues for credits and prizes.