An incredible fourth-quarter comeback led by Dirk Nowitzki (35 PTS, 7 REB) kept the Mavericks’ playoff dream alive. He hit 14 of 17 shots including five triples, and scored the final eight points of a 15-1 closing run.
Take a number and get in line.
There are dozens of players who are not coming close to meeting expectations this season. And when you factor in their salaries and how much they limit their team’s financial flexibility, it can be downright infuriating.
Last Monday, in the middle of a losing streak, I wondered if I was any good at daily fantasy basketball. One good night (like I enjoyed on Friday) makes a big difference in a sample size this small; a $100 profit in Week 4 made the season numbers look much better.
Years of results suggest I’m an above-average player over a long Roto season and slightly stronger in Head-to-Head leagues, which are a series of mini-seasons. Daily leagues are different; no matter how solid your handicapping, no matter how inspired the hunches, you need some luck to win on any given day.
Until he was a late scratch with a sore back, LaMarcus Aldridge looked like a terrific start yesterday. He was in six of my seven FanDuel lineups, for a $19 loss and no exciting scoreboard-watching. Obviously, anyone who didn’t use LMA on Sunday had their odds of winning improve just as much. In a way, I made a contribution to their good fortune and that’s the price of playing.
Consistency is the lesson. Still trying to learn which types of leagues and tournaments I like best, I’m starting each week with the idea that a $100 is less than $15 a day. Entering three teams each day in the $2 Shot (last week’s decision to diversify paid off) and one in the $1 Dribbler costs seven bucks; a 50/50 league for $5 and a couple more $1 and $2 leagues is typical of my other regular plays.
|FanDuel 15||Nov. 26|
|Starters||$5,000 to $7,000|
Eight NBA games is a good-sized player pool to select from tonight. Our daily chart offers a few possibilities in each of three price ranges, and there are many other solid choices.
Here’s my morning lineup, but you can make unlimited roster moves until 7:00 EST.
PG Mike Conley CLE@MEM $6,500
PG Beno Udrih MIL@CHI $4,200
SG Joe Johnson NY@BKN $5,800
SG Wesley Matthews POR@DET $6,900
SF Rudy Gay CLE@MEM $7,200
SF Luol Deng MIL@CHI $7,100
PF Zach Randolph CLE@MEM $7,300
PF Carlos Boozer MIL@CHI $6,300
C Al Jefferson DEN@UTA $8,400
Udrih is a hunch play; if Brandon Jennings can’t go, Beno should start and put up decent numbers. Using two Bulls against the depleted Bucks seems logical and my three Grizzlies are the core of the team. Randy Foye, another ‘Scrub’ by price, was the starting SG and leading Jazz scorer on Saturday. I might start him instead of Udrih in one variation.
Daily leagues are a lot of fun even when you don’t win. Setting your lineup is like drafting every day, and making those ‘tweaks’ is as satisfying as a good trade. See you at FanDuel!
Today’s Fantasy Spin previews all eight Monday night games in more detail and reviews what happened on Sunday.
Guess what folks? We have an update on Dwight Howard (surprise!), and the news is not good if you were hoping to see a trade this summer. According to a source, the Howard saga may drag on until next summer as the Orlando Magic continue to search for the absolute best scenario. If there is one good news to take from this, it’s the fact that we no longer have to expect a trade to happen on a daily basis. See the latest on the situation, along with other NBA transactions in today’s news below:
- Rob Hennigan is willing to go through another year of turmoil by keeping Dwight Howard on the team when the season starts, from our Mark Heisler: “A source told Sheridan Hoops that trade talks involving Howard, which the Orlando Magic just put on hold, could go on all summer – of 2013. The Magic seemed ready to take the best current offer – such as the Brooklyn Nets’ package headed by Brook Lopez – but are now determined to draw out the process in hope of getting better offers. ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported Tuesday that the Magic has told teams it will not move Howard now. Our source said new GM Rob Hennigan has decided that getting the best deal is the priority. That includes the possibility of bringing back Howard for a second season-long distraction, this time without the illusory hope of keeping him and further alienating their already dismayed fan base.”
- The Brooklyn Nets and Deron Williams will try their best to acquire forward Andrei Kirilenko, according to Marc Stein: The Brooklyn Nets are making a hard to push to bring Andrei Kirilenko back to the NBA despite their limited salary-cap flexibility, according to sources close to the situation. After spending well over $300 million in guaranteed contracts this offseason, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is trying to convince his countryman to join the Nets now that Kirilenko has announced in Russia that he wants to return to the NBA after a successful season with CSKA Moscow. Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that Team USA guard Deron Williams, though abroad on national team duty, is part of the recruiting effort on Kirilenko, his former Utah Jazzteammate.”
- Unfortunately, Kirilenko seems to have crossed off the Nets as an option, from Woj:
- Kevin Ding explains how Kobe Bryant will still be the “loud lead dog” despite the arrival of Steve Nash: “Don’t misunderstand what Bryant’s role was on the Shaq-less title teams: Lamar Odom played guard; Bryant played on the wing. It was the same sort of way Jackson’s triangle offense had Scottie Pippen at guard so Jordan could be closer to the basket and score without having to barge through the entire defense.The extra good news for Bryant is that just like Pippen, Nash is a star player and brilliant facilitator who doesn’t need to challenge for alpha-male status (the way Paul actually would have if acquired by the Lakers for Odom and Gasol). Nash’s arrival does not prevent Bryant from still being the loud lead dog he isn’t nearly prepared to cease being.”
- Robin Lopez may be on his way out of Phoenix via a three-team deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski:
A.J. Price will join the Wizards to backup John Wall, according to Michael Lee:
- Ronnie Brewer has decided to join the New York Knicks, from Jared Zwerling: “Swingman Ronnie Brewer will be joining the New York Knicks, according to his agent, Henry Thomas. Thomas would not disclose the terms of the deal, but it’s reportedly a one-year contract and likely for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million, which is all the Knicks could offer. ”He will be a great fit,” Thomas told ESPNNewYork.com. “He is a tremendous wing defender and offensively he simply knows how to play — moving without the ball, slashing to the basket. His outside shooting has improved and will continue to, and he is an excellent passer and underrated ball handler.”
- Randy Foye will be joining the Utah Jazz for one season, from Brian T. Smith: ”The Utah Jazz have signed veteran shooting guard Randy Foye to a one-year deal, a league source informed The Salt Lake Tribune late Monday. A message left for Utah General Manager Kevin O’Connor was not immediately returned late Monday. Foye, 28, averaged 11 points and 2.2 assists in 65 games (48 starts) for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2011-12 season, playing alongside newly acquired Utah point guard Mo Williams. Foye shot 39.8 percent from the field last season and 38.6 percent behind the 3-point line, helping guide Los Angeles to the Western Conference semifinals.”
- The Timberwolves have signed Alexey Shved to a three-year contract, from Ray Richardson: “Russian guard Alexey Shved has agreed to a three-year, $10 million deal with the Timberwolves and said coach Rick Adelman’s faith in young players helped convince him to pick Minnesota, according to a Monday, July 23, interview with R-Sport, a division of RIA Novosti, Russia’s state news agency. ”Minnesota’s a good, young and ambitious team,” said Shved, who also had offers from the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. “All those factors were reasons to choose this club in particular, plus coach Adelman. They say that Rick trusts young players and discovers talents, and I’m ready to work for my part.”
- Delonte West will return to the Dallas Mavericks, reported by Marc Stein and written by Jeff Caplan: “The 6-foot-3 guard signed with Dallas in December and showed up to his first practice in a pair of beaten-up high-tops and with no money to rent a place to live. He quickly won over the organization from top to bottom with his feisty defense, solid mid-range game and quirky, disarming personality. A month ago he even campaigned directly to Deron Williamsvia Twitter, urging the Brooklyn Nets star to come home and play with the Mavericks even though it surely would have meant the end of West’s stay. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that West has agreed to return to the Mavs. Terms of the deal are not yet known. Dallas used the remainder of its cap space to sign guard O.J. Mayo last week, but still had at its disposal a $2.5 million “room” exception and veteran minimum contracts.”
- Despite Spain’s insistence, Kobe Bryant did not believe that they would take the exhibition game against Team USA lightly, from Brian Mahoney: “Maybe Spain can convince its home fans that the game doesn’t matter. No way Kobe Bryant is buying it. A game against the U.S. – the team that beat them for the Olympic basketball gold medal four years earlier – this time in front of their own crowd? The Spanish players are supposed to be OK with losing, because it’s only an exhibition? ”There’s not a chance,” Bryant said Monday. “It’s not just practice. It’s impossible.”
- Here are Chris Paul, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love choosing their own starting five for a Dream Team.