Tonight (and tomorrow) it’s the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll, with $250 cash in prizes, absolutely free to play. DraftStreet, which offered one-day NBA leagues all season, now extends them over two days, so tonight’s three games not only decide May 3-4 leagues, they kick off May 4-5 leagues like the Freeroll. There is a wider assortment of great players to choose from as a result. Scroll down for more info and my picks.
MIA @ NYK: That was ugly. LeBron James was in foul trouble and committed 8 turnovers, but his 32 points led the Heat to their third straight win. The Knicks shot 31.9% as a team; Carmelo Anthony (22) was 7-23 and J.R. Smith (12) went 5-18, while Steve Novak, starting with Amare Stoudemire out, went pointless in 22 minutes. Chris Bosh welcomed a baby boy, picked up lots of frequent-flier miles and almost double-doubled (9 PTS, 10 REB) in a memorable day.
OKC @ DAL: The longer this series lasts, the more the Thunder are dominating the Mavericks. They held Dirk Nowitzki to 17 points and Dallas shot just 34% on the night, showing no signs of life. In fact, Chris Sheridan has written an obituary for the Mavs and the Knicks, who aren’t officially dead — yet.
ATL @ BOS: The Hawks are in big trouble without Josh Smith (knee) who is doubtful tonight and possible on Sunday. Rajon Rondo is back from his one-game suspension, so Paul Pierce may not repeat his 36-point outburst. Kevin Garnett will be even harder to stop if J-Smoove can’t play. We expect Marvin Williams to start, but it’s a very tough assignment.
CHI @ PHI: The loss of Derrick Rose has turned this series around. Philly has already stolen home-court advantage, but it was the way Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner performed against C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton that impressed. While John Lucas may get more time for the Bulls, he’ll need to play better D on Louis Williams tonight. Joakim Noah is the one Chicago starter with a mismatch to exploit. The best Sixers big man so far has been rookie Lavoy Allen.
LAL @ DEN: Kobe Bryant is on a mission, and Andrew Bynum is too much for any of the Denver bigs to handle. You can expect a huge effort from Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried, but the Nuggets need Danilo Gallinari to do more if they want to avoid a sweep.
Over at Fantasy Postseason, my team is back up to fifth place among 12 teams in the Sheridan Fantasy league. We are only 14 points out of second, but “wowchy” owns KD and has opened up a 45-point advantage.
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DraftStreet of Dreams
|Sure Things||Over $14,000|
|Hunches||$9,000 to $14,000|
Week 9 of this diary began with a $100 bankroll, but I’m down $48 so far.
My May 2-3 teams finished out of the money. I had D-Wade and Melo in one lineup last night and was slightly disappointed by both. In the May 3-4 leagues, now half over, I’m still in contention, depending on how Bynum and Rondo play tonight.
Those of us in 2-day DraftStreet leagues today and tomorrow (including the Freeroll) have seven games to choose from, four on Saturday.
IND @ ORL: The Pacers can take a stranglehold. Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger led their game-three romp, and Glen Davis, the one Magic player who showed up on Wednesday, has a gimpy ankle. Big Baby will keep battling; he’s certainly enhanced his keeper value in the absence of Dwight Howard.
MEM @ LAC: The most entertaining series so far changes venues. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will put up huge numbers, but the Clippers need someone else to score. Randy Foye can’t get untracked against the Memphis defense, and Nick Young is playing with a sore thumb, so maybe Mo Williams will be the guy.
OKC @ DAL: Last chance for the Mavs to avoid a sweep but it’s hard to see how. They simply can’t stop Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook.
SAS @ UTA: The Spurs’ second win at home was so convincing, you half-expect Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to be given a night of rest. The Jazz will be in must-win mode and can only improve. It’s doubtful they are good enough, though Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will be fired up.
The $100,000 salary cap must be divided among eight roster spots — 2 G, 2 F, 2 C and 2 U (any position) — but many players you might be used to as PF-C eligible are simply a forward. For once, there are enough centers to choose from: Bynum, both Gasols, Jefferson and Noah.
See you on Draft Street, where it’s always free to register. The Sheridan Hoops Freeroll, which closes at 7:30 this evening, has $250 in cash prizes — $90 to the winner — and costs nothing to join. Good luck!