2018-2019 NBA season

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2018-2019 NBA season

Post by C-Fan » 15 Oct 2018 08:25

NBA season starts tomorrow! Hooray!

New thread for the new season. I'm going to share my thoughts on the season, and would love to hear yours! I'm also going to post about my NBA fantasy season too. We had our draft last night, and I'll go into gory detail on that in a future post.

For the real season though, here are some thoughts and predictions:

:arrow: I'd be shocked if the Warriors don't win it all again. Their biggest challenger last year was the Rockets, and I think they got worse instead of better. As for the Warriors, they basically brought everybody back and added...DeMarcus Cousins. Sure, he'll be out until February, but if he's even 70% the player he was when he comes back, and he's your backup center? Game over.

:arrow: I'm curious to see how the Celtics distribute minutes. Last year they lost a couple key guys to injury, and were pleasantly surprised to find their backups were better than expected. This year if everybody is back and healthy, are there enough minutes for everybody to play?

:arrow: Giannis will win MVP. Honestly, he hasn't played for a good offensive coach his entire career, and he's already a beast. Now that he's playing for a legit coach (Budenholzer was amazing for the Hawks) in a system that will let him run more and get more touches, I wouldn't be surprised to see him crack 30/11/5 this season. If the Bucks improve to mid-50s for wins (not that hard in the East), I can see him getting MVP. Unleash the freak!

:arrow: Timberwolves are a car wreck. Can't look away from this crazy situation with Butler. They HAVE to trade him, right? It's just too toxic with him in the mix. But I can also see them being out of the playoffs again if they don't get anything good in return. And with him announcing he wants out, how can they get anything good in return?

:arrow: Lakers are a mystery to me. I've learned to not bet against LeBron, but I'm not as confident as everybody else that the Lakers will make the playoffs. Especially with all the knuckleheads they added in free agency after getting LeBron: Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee, Rondo. Oof. Even if Ingram and Lonzo make mini-leaps, will that team really be top 8 in a conference that includes: Warriors, Rockets, Blazers, Pelicans, Nuggets, and Jazz? I know that's just 6 teams, but I don't see LeBron's Lakers being better than those 6, so they'd also need to be better than 2 of the following group: Spurs, Clippers, Wolves, Mavs. Other than Phoenix and Sacramento, there are no weak Western teams. I'm not saying I'd bet against LeBron making the playoffs, but I also am not sure it's as much of a lock as people think either.

:arrow: I'm really excited for this year's rookie class. Doncic, Ayton, Bagley, and JJJ specifically. I don't think any will be consistently good all season, but I think they'll have some real bright moments.

So here's some wild predictions before the season even begins:

:arrow: Giannis gets MVP
:arrow: Doncic gets ROY
:arrow: Myles Turner gets most improved
:arrow: Warriors over Rockets in West Finals
:arrow: Celtics over Bucks in East Finals
:arrow: Warriors over Celtics in Finals

Here's to an exciting new NBA season!

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Fantasy draft results/analysis

Post by C-Fan » 16 Oct 2018 07:48

In something of an annual tradition, slash Monday morning quarterbacking, here's a rough analysis of the top 20 or so picks from my league's fantasy draft. In my experience, 60-70% of your season's success rides on how your draft goes, and then 30% is in season moves/trades and 10% is blind luck. So let's break down the most expensive picks from our draft:


:arrow: Giannis- $75. Most draft analysis I read had a consensus top 4 in some order, generally Davis, Harden, Giannis, KAT. Then a tier below them some combo of Jokic, LeBron, Durant, Curry, Lillard, Kawhi. Our draft mostly mirrored this with the top 5 picks being notably more expensive than anybody. In past years, I usually passed on the highest tier of expensive players and made my strategy to get as many good players as I could one to two tiers below. This year I flipped that strat on its head, and paid a premium to get 2 of the 4 best players. So I paid the highest price of any player, to build my team around Giannis.
:arrow: Anthony Davis- $74. Most drafts had him either #1 of #2, so it makes sense he was just $1 off from being the most expensive player. The gamble here is his health, since he has a bit of a history of missing games.
:arrow: Harden- $71. Safe pick, for one of the top producers in fantasy the past few seasons. I'd argue his ceiling is lower than Giannis or AD, but his floor is probably higher. Definitely feels less risky injury wise than Davis.
:arrow: KAT- $67. Bit of an interesting case here. He's played 3 seasons and never missed a game, so his durability is a big reason to pay this premium. The wild card here is that the Wolves situation with Butler is such a mess. If they trade Butler, then KAT has a high ceiling as the undisputed alpha of the team (with something to prove). If they keep Butler, it likely eats into KAT's production and maybe even his confidence. Even in that worst case scenario, I still can't imagine him dipping below 20/10 and playing 76+ games. Which is why I ponied up the big bucks and snagged him.
:arrow: Durant- $66. Feels like a bit of an overpay. He should be really good, but he's a tier below the four guys above, and only $1 cheaper than KAT? The concerns here are that the Warriors are expected to be really good again, and therefore may coast through the regular season and periodically rest KD/Curry/Klay/Green to save them for the playoffs. If Curry gets injured and KD steps up, then this price may be justified. But I just don't see KD going into the season as motivated or productive as the people above him.
:arrow: Westbrook-$58. Feels a bit high, but if he stays healthy he's certainly capable of justifying the price tag. Most mocks I saw had him in the 8-10 range, since he had knee surgery over the summer and isn't even probably to start the first game of the season. If you told me he came back fine and was as intense as ever, then $58 is OK. But I also wouldn't be surprised if you told me he took a couple months to regain his form, and that he plays one gear lower this season due to knee issues. Bit of a gamble pick for sure.
:arrow: LeBron- $57. Last year I bet against him, expecting a decline. I was wrong. Do I expect him to replicate last season though, where he played all 82 games for the first time in his career? No. I'm honestly not sure what to expect. I think it's just as likely LeBron dials his personal production back and mentors Ingram and Ball to pick up the load, as it is for him to get frustrated with the team and put the load on his own back.
:arrow: Jokic- $54. Now we're talking. I could see him returning top 3 or 4 value, and at this price that's a league winning move. Definitely like this pick at this price a lot better than the 3 picks that went before it.
:arrow: Kawhi/Curry- $52. I like both of these. Curry carries the same concerns as Durant, regarding the potential for the Warriors to rest/coast this season. But at 20% cheaper I feel a lot better about the Curry pick. Kawhi is a weird one. By all accounts he sounds healthy again, and a healthy Kawhi playing in the Eastern conference could be a beast. But if he gets unhappy with the Raptors, or gets injured again, then $52 could kill your team. So Curry at this price I liked a lot, while Kawhi at this price feels like a gamble. A good gamble, but still a gamble.
:arrow: Ben Simmons-$48. Love it. Super high ceiling, no reason to think he can't at least replicate last season statistically, and if Embiid gets injured he gets even more touches. Great value at this price.
:arrow: Dame Lillard-$47. Love this pick at this price. Super durable, no competition for stats, has something to prove this year. I think he'll be a top 6 or 7 player, and at this price that's a steal. Especially compared to the next 3 guys, who were basically taken at the same price.
:arrow: Kyle Lowry/Andre Drummond- $47. Not really seeing it for either of these guys at this price tag. I'd rather have Paul George or Oladipo at this price.
:arrow: Wall-$46. Not sure about him at this price. I could see him having a bounce back year, but he looked overweight in the off season, his team added Dwight Howard who always destroys team chemistry, and I could too easily see Wall getting a weight-related injury and missing 15 games.
:arrow: Butler- $46. So many unknowns here. If he gets traded to a bad team where he's the only superstar, I can see him returning top 10 value easily, which would make this a great pick at this price. But if he stays with the Wolves? I could see them sitting him, or him sitting out games. It's a weird situation you don't see often, but similar to Kawhi last year, that alone could kill your season. I think this owner was gambling that Jimmy gets traded soon. We'll see.
:arrow: Embiid-$42. Purely a bet on health. If you knew he'd play 70+ games, his price tag would be in the $60s. But its such a crap shoot with him, he dropped all the way to $42. I think that's a fair price for this gamble. Could be a league winner if he stays health.

More later maybe, or maybe I just analyze my own picks. Overall I was happy with my draft.

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My team analysis

Post by C-Fan » 18 Oct 2018 09:01

This is my 4th year in a row doing Fantasy NBA in the same league. The draft is auction style, with each owner having $200 to round out their roster. The past 2 years my strategy on draft night was to avoid bidding on the highest tier players, and instead try and nab 3-4 players in the tier just below. Not a bad strategy, and 2 years ago I won my league so you could say it paid off. Last year though I made a couple mistakes on draft night that really cost me. First, I finished the night with $15 left in my wallet. You don't get that money back, so that just means I didn't bid hard enough in the middle and top of my draft. My other mistake was born from a risky strategy I didn't pull off well. Basically, I'd nominate a bad player with the hopes that others would bid on them and eat up a roster spot, or spend money early on them which would reduce their ability to bid against me when good players came up later. This worked a few times, but in the later rounds I nominated some players nobody bid on, so I ended up wasting my own roster spots on those players. I dumped them on the waiver after the draft, but that still carried the opportunity cost that I didn't get to bid on good players on draft night. At the end of last season I summarized my experience as follows:
C-Fan wrote:
12 Apr 2018 09:09
Next year I'll have to approach the draft very differently. Less gambling on potential, be better about spending all my money, and maybe invest a lot more in blue chippers to anchor the team.

So going into this year's draft, I set some new goals:

1. Bid hard on the top level players, and have faith I can round out the bottom of the roster other ways. Basically, if I think I'm better at working the waiver wire and trades than the other owners, then my smartest bet is to spend the bulk of my money on the top players on draft night, and then worry about the final few spots during the season.

2. Finish the night with $0 in my wallet. In past years you could get decent roster filler for around $3-6 a player. Last year I finished draft night with $15 in my pocket and a couple players on my roster I cut immediately. I vowed not to finish with that kind of wasted opportunity cost this year. This basically translated as me bidding harder on top and mid-tier names than I would have in the past. I think it worked out.

3. Don't nominate any players for bid that I wouldn't be OK having on my roster. Or if I do, make sure it's not at a price I can't live with. So for example, I did nominate a couple players I didn't want, with the hope others would spend money and roster spots on them and thereby not bid as much on later players that I actually wanted. But I didn't participate in the bidding on those players once it exceeded a low minimum price. For the most part I pulled this off, with one possible exception. But even that player was only $9, so it's not like that was a disaster.

OK, without further ado, here's how my draft night went.
:arrow: Giannis and Davis came up for bid very early on, as I expected. My hope was to get one of the 2, to be the main anchor of my team. I ended up getting Giannis for $75, which was the highest price paid for any player all night. I was pretty stoked about this, since I do think he'll be even better than last year given the new coach and new offense they're running. I also like his durability more than Davis, so if I had to choose between the two at this price, I'd take Giannis.
:arrow: A few players later, KAT came up. I've had him on my team the past 3 years and have not been disappointed, since he's super durable and consistent. I thought I might have to duck out of the bidding if it got into the $70s, but I was able to get him at $67. Still the 4th most expensive player all night, and between him and Giannis I had spent 71% of my budget. While that may seem crazy, it was my strategy and I feel good knowing the core of my team is being built on 2 superstars who have been durable and consistent in the past, and have high ceilings where they can be even better.
:arrow: With 71% of my budget gone in the first 10 minutes, I had to sit out a bunch of good players for a few rounds. It was hard to do, but I reminded myself to have faith that there were still a lot of good players left and that I should be able to nab some in the $10 range towards the end. Every 10 turns I got to nominate a player for bid, so I kept picking players I didn't want so others would spend their money and roster spots on them first. Still, it was tough to see so many good names come up and know I couldn't bid in those ranges.
:arrow: My third player acquired was Gobert, for $18. Was surprised to get him this cheap, since just a year ago he was considered just outside the top 10 (last year somebody paid $46 for him). I know he had some injuries last year, but I still expect him to put up double digit points and rebounds with good percentages and blocks. 3 players in, I feel really good about my team. Giannis/KAT/Gobert is a solid core, even if it did eat 80% of my budget.
:arrow: My next pick makes me feel a lot worse. Harrison Barnes comes up, and for some reason I think people on autodraft will have him in the $20 range. So I get stuck with him at $9. I also didn't realize he's dealing with a minor injury now. Not horrible though, since he's still the key cog of his team's offense, and will probably still put up close to 20/6. Still, this is probably my worst pick of the night at this price.
:arrow: My next pickup is Wiggins for $6. I'm not a big fan of his game, and I didn't enjoy owning him last year. That said, if the Wolves trade Butler soon I expect Wiggins will benefit in touches and minutes, so a 20+ pt season is likely. For $6, and at a position I had empty (SG), this feels like a good value.
:arrow: I've now used 88% of my budget and filled...38% of my roster. I tell myself to trust the process, since the last 3 spots on the roster aren't worth the same as the first 3 spots. Still, kinda terrifying only having $25 left to fill over 60% of my roster.
:arrow: Brandon Ingram comes up, and I fight my last true bidding war of the night. I get him for $10, which is high but is also a bet on his upside. LeBron has been pumping him up, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being second on the Lakers in scoring this season. It's a bit of a gamble, but the upside is there.
:arrow: My next 3 picks are Zach Lavine for $4, Myles Turner for $5, and Aaron Gordon for $2. They all had disappointing seasons last year, but I expect at least 2 will have bounceback seasons this year. And for those prices, I'm not risking much. I spent $31 on Turner last year and was let down, but for $5 I'd be OK with a 10/8 season, and I'd be shocked if his basement is even that low.
:arrow: At this stage I've spent 98% of my budget...and I still lack a point guard. Yikes. I try not to worry too much, since I can get one through a trade. Looking at whose left in the draft, I pick up Schroder for $1. Yeah he'll be a backup behind Westbrook, but I'm hoping he can still put up good numbers if he's playing against second units, or maybe the Thunder try playing Westbrook off ball some and Schroder is funtionally the starting PG. Or if Westbrook is hurt a lot this year, he should pick up the minutes. Either way, for $1 I'm happy to get him as my first and only PG.
:arrow: I'm down to my last $3, to spend on 3 roster spots. Here's where my knowledge of sleepers hopefully pays off. I'm hoping to get Caris LeVert but I'm outbid, but I pick up Gary Harris and Taurean Prince which both feel like wins.
:arrow: My final pick I panic, and select Gallo. I didn't feel great about it, and I'll likely cut him the second he gets injured, but for the last pick of my draft with my last dollar, I feel like I could have done worse.

Overall I felt really good about my draft. I stuck to my plan, I got 2 of the top 4 players to anchor my team, I finished the night with $0 in my wallet, I got a few players at under-market prices, and my few questionable moves weren't overly costly. My biggest issues/regrets are my lack of point guards, and some of the uncertainty around KAT/Wiggins that stems from the Butler trade demand. But I expect that will resolve itself one way or another by the playoffs, and if Butler does get traded that could significantly boost the value of both my guys. I think my plan for the next couple weeks is to either trade for a PG or do some kind of 2:1 trade to upgrade a position and open a roster spot, which I'll then fill with the best available PG on the waiver. Ultimately though, I'm hopeful that if KAT, Giannis, and Gobert all stay healthy and have strong years, my lack of PG depth won't matter much anyway.

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Young season highlights

Post by C-Fan » 22 Oct 2018 06:36

Couple stray thoughts on the season so far.

:arrow: I haven't gotten to see any games yet, but I've been enjoying the return of NBA podcasts especially for my dog walks.
:arrow: There was a fight at Rockets/Lakers? I only know this because Brandom Ingram got suspended for 4 games. He was off to a slow start in fantasy and now this...annoying.
:arrow: My fantasy team is off to a decent start. I still don't fully understand the opaque scoring system. On the second night of the season I had Giannis, Gobert, and Aaron Gordon all play. Their stat lines were something like 25/18/8, 19/15, and 26/16. You'd think that first or third stat line would be the highest points right? They weren't; the second one was. I guess due to percentages and turnovers? Still, not intuitive.
:arrow: I have trips to Sacramento and DC coming up. I was really hoping I could catch an NBA game in an arena on one of these trips, but the timing is off and their teams are all on the road while I'm there. Poop.

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10 days after the draft

Post by C-Fan » 24 Oct 2018 08:55

It's been 10 days since my league started. Amazingly, I haven't done any trades or even dropped any players yet. I've floated a couple trade offers out there, mostly 2:1s so I can upgrade at point guard and then fill my empty spot with somebody off the waiver. No bites though. I also received a trade offer of Klay Thompson for Gary Harris, which from a name recognition standpoint looks amazing but I still rejected. Crazy, since Tu drafted Klay for $14 and I got Harris for $1. So far Harris has been straight up better though.

On that note, here's how I feel about my roster and selections after 10 days.

:arrow: Giannis. My top pick, and the planned anchor of my team. So far so good. He's averaging something like 27/16/6, and the crazy thing is I don't even get the sense he's playing his best yet. But even if he closes the season averaging 24/12/5 I'd still feel good about him as my best player. I think we still haven't seen his ceiling yet.
:arrow: KAT. I was hoping he'd be co-anchor of my team, but so far he's off to a quiet start (17/10/2). I was hoping the Wolves would trade Butler and then KAT would thrive as the undisputed alpha, but that hasn't happened yet. I'm still hopeful though.
:arrow: Gobert. He's been about what I'd hoped for with my 3rd best player. 15/13 with great percentages. I still don't fully get the scoring system in my league, but Rudy does well because of his efficiency. Pleased with this pick, especially at the price I got him.
:arrow: Harrison Barnes. Probably the pick I felt worst about on draft night, and so far he's justified that. He hasn't played yet. Given how well my players at the top and bottom of my team have done, this has been easier to swallow. I'm still hoping he comes back and finished the season as a mid-level guy, giving me around 20 pts a night with meh percentages. But yeah, for $9 that's pretty bad.
:arrow: Wiggins. Basically giving me what I described Barnes hopefully giving me. Reliable source of points and fantasy pts, which is fine for the price I paid.
:arrow: Ingram. My second biggest disappointment so far. He played like 2.5 games with meh production, then got into a fistfight and was suspended 4 games. Even assuming he comes back and improves slightly, the fact that the first 7 games of the season he's splitting between zero production and disappointing production, this pick feels like a bust.
:arrow: Zach LaVine. I got him for $4, and he's averaging over 32 pts. His defense has been atrocious, but that doesn't matter in fantasy. I doubt he finishes the season averaging over 30, but his hot start has been a very welcome surprise.
:arrow: Myles Turner. Hasn't had the bounce back season I'd hoped for, but hasn't been awful either. For $5, it's OK roster filler. I don't regret gambling on his upside.
:arrow: Aaron Gordon. Averaging 16/10/2. So basically a hair less than KAT, but I paid $2 for AG versus $67 for KAT. Definitely a great value pick.
:arrow: Schroder. Had a good start, but as expected has come back to earth with the return of Westbrook. Still, as my only PG and having only cost me $1, I can't complain.
:arrow: Gary Harris. Basically averaging 21/4/3, and with some other Nuggets at his position injured I see him staying in this range. Like I mentioned earlier, I turned down Klay Thompson 1:1 for him.
:arrow: Taurean Prince: 21/5/3. Another $1 guy outperforming my $9-10 guys.
:arrow: Gallo. Felt like a panic pick, and I still don't trust him to stay healthy. But so far, he's given me excellent production for a $1 guy: 22/7/2.

Looking at my team so far, I feel like my draft night strategy was vindicated. My plan was to spend big to get 2 of the 4 best players, with the plan that I'd be able to round out the bottom of my roster with good value picks. While KAT has been disappointing so far, most of my bottom picks are way outperforming their pricetags. Assuming KAT, Ingram, and Barnes settle in somewhat closer to what I expected, I think I have a good shot at winning. Of course, we're only 10 days in, but compared to last year I feel a lot better about how I drafted.

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Curry cooking.

Post by C-Fan » 25 Oct 2018 11:21

C-Fan wrote:
24 Oct 2018 08:55
:arrow: Giannis. He's averaging something like 27/16/6, and the crazy thing is I don't even get the sense he's playing his best yet.
His next game: 32/18/10/2/3 on 50% shooting. I think they're going to let him steal rebounds to pad his numbers, similar to Westbrook's MVP season. This can only be good for my fantasy team.

Saw Curry scored 51 pts in 3 quarters. With a guy who shoots 3s like he does, you do wonder what his career high will end up being. Right now it's just 54, which he did 5 years ago. You telling me you don't think he could net 70 if he was on fire?

Lakers and Thunder are off to slow starts, but I think it's too early to overreact. Fantasy wise I do wonder if/when the Cavs shut down Kevin Love so they can do a proper tank job. I was kind of high on him on draft night, but looks like I may have dodged a bullet there.

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We have ourselves a tra-ayde!

Post by C-Fan » 07 Nov 2018 14:37

Still haven't watched a game. I do have some work trips coming up though, so hopefully that changes. It sounds like scoring is up this year, so I definitely want to check out some games.
C-Fan wrote:
25 Oct 2018 11:21
. Fantasy wise I do wonder if/when the Cavs shut down Kevin Love so they can do a proper tank job. I was kind of high on him on draft night, but looks like I may have dodged a bullet there.
Well, they're sitting Love now with an injury and they fired Lue as their coach, so I guess the tank is on!

A few random thoughts:

:arrow: Klay started the season with a bad shooting slump, and then broke it by setting a new NBA record for 3s. If you had to list the 3 players in the NBA capable of catching fire the quickest, you'd have to have Klay and Curry on there. And they're on the same team! Unfair.
:arrow: Thoughts on the MVP race: Kawhi is putting up good numbers on the 10-1 Raptors, but he's also sitting out games periodically. Giannis is putting up great numbers on the 8-2 Bucks, and hasn't missed a game yet. Anthony Davis is putting up similar numbers, but the Pels are slumping and he's missed a few games. Curry is shooting lights out in the West for the 10-1 Warriors. As of right now, the race really feels like its between Curry and Giannis.
:arrow: Carmelo jokes aside, I'm not sure why the Rockets are off to such a bad start. They did lose some nice defensive pieces over the summer, as well as the assistant coach in charge of their defense (who they have since rehired). Still, surprising to see them at 4-5. Harden has also missed some time.
:arrow: Thunder were only playing about 500 ball, and then Westbrook hurt his ankle. Its not clear how long he'll be out, but they were barely winning with him, so things could get grim.

On the Fantasy side, I've been a lot more hands-off this year than in past years. At least until yesterday, when I did a big trade. I gave up Gobert and Gary Harris for Kyle Lowry (and Saric, but I'm likely gonna cut him). Gobert has been pretty consistent, but he's not producing at the levels I expected. Gary Harris has been on fire to start the season, but that's partially due to Will Barton being out so far. Once Barton comes back in the next month, I expect Harris will have a dip in minutes and production. Lowry has been red hot, and I don't expect that will last forever, but I do expect his day-to-day basement will be higher than Gobert. He also fills my weakest position (I only had one PG before), and if Kawhi continues to sit out periodically that should also help ensure good production.

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An actual trade

Post by C-Fan » 16 Nov 2018 10:00

We had the first major trade of the NBA season last week, when the Wolves traded Butler to the Sixers for Dario and RoCo. I'm honestly not sure what to expect for either team long term. The Wolves seem happier in the short term, but are likely a bit worse talent wise. So we'll see how long their post-Butler bounce lasts. I don't think it's super sustainable. For the Sixers the big question for me now is what do they do with Fultz? Nobody wants him, but with Butler in town they really don't have time to develop him.

From a fantasy perspective I'm thrilled about the Butler trade, mostly because it'll increase the usage rates of Wiggins and KAT. I'm skeptical the real life NBA Wolves will continue winning like this, but I do expect the minutes and production bounce of these two guys will last.

The other big piece of NBA news is that the Rockets are waiving Carmelo after only 10 games. Reminds me a bit of Iverson towards the end of his career, where it was sad to see a former great having so much trouble adjusting to a reduced role in the twilight of their career.

I finally got to watch some games, since I was on a work trip this week. Warriors-Rockets was a blowout and no Steph, so that was barely a game. Clips-Spurs was great though, as its always fun watching Lou Will catch fire. So smooth, so much swagger.

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Season 1/3 mark check in

Post by C-Fan » 12 Dec 2018 14:14

Amazingly enough, the season is already 1/3 of the way through. I've only had the chance to watch a handful of games on TV, but they've been entertaining. In exciting news, I may be going to see the Nuggets-Raptors game in person this coming weekend. Fingers crossed on the logistics front.

While it's not even the halfway point of the season, I thought it'd be fun to revisit my preseason predictions to see how they're holding up:
C-Fan wrote:
15 Oct 2018 08:25

So here's some wild predictions before the season even begins:

:arrow: Giannis gets MVP
:arrow: Doncic gets ROY
:arrow: Myles Turner gets most improved
:arrow: Warriors over Rockets in West Finals
:arrow: Celtics over Bucks in East Finals
:arrow: Warriors over Celtics in Finals
I still feel good about the Giannis for MVP pick. It's not a lock or anything, but I'd say he's the front runner still at this point.

Doncic for ROY is looking very good so far. The #1 pick Ayton is putting up good numbers for the Suns, but they've won something like 4 games through the first 28? Luka on the other hand has won a few games himself, and has the Mavs in the playoff hunt. I don't think they'll finish the year in the playoffs, but I think most people are surprised the Mavs are over 500 25 games into the season. That's all Luka.

Turner for MIP looks like a bad pick, though he has been playing better lately. I think at this stage Pascal Siakam of the Raptors would get MIP.

Warriors winning the West still feels very safe, though I doubt the Rockets make it to the conference finals unless they pull of some crazy trade. I'm not sure who I'd put in the West finals with the Warriors to be honest. I don't know that I trust the Clippers of Nuggets to win 2 playoff series with their level of experience/talent. Could the Blazers make the conference finals?

In the East, I could still see a Celtics/Bucks conference finals happen. The Sixers seemed better after getting Butler, but I somehow don't fully believe in them either. It doesn't help that Fultz was basically a wasted #1 pick, and that Butler is injured again. I also don't know that playing Embiid this many minutes is the smartest move either. If I had to predict the East finals starting today though, I think I'd have the Raptors in there, playing either the Celts of the Bucks.

Given my uncertainty about the East, I don't know who I'd pick coming out of the conference. But I can't see any of them beating the Warriors still.

On the Fantasy front, I've been pretty hands off. I float trades here and there, but haven't been too actively involved. That could change if one of my guys gets badly injured, or if anybody accepts one of my 2:1 trades and I need to round out the roster. But at this stage, I'm happy coasting to the playoffs making fringe moves here and there, and just hope that my core of KAT and Giannis can win me the title on their own. It's not the worst plan in the world. In good news, the Butler trade did have the positive effect on KAT and Wiggins' production that I hoped it would.

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Random thoughts on NBA

Post by C-Fan » 07 Jan 2019 07:49

Actual NBA thoughts:

:arrow: John Wall's season is over due to surgery. Considering how bad they've been this season, how much salary is locked up in basically untradable contracts, and that they have very few other avenues to get better...this injury may be a blessing. If they dedicate themselves to tanking the rest of the season hard they may actually get a usable player in the lottery. But yeah, pretty depressing season for them.

:arrow: Something doesn't feel quite right in Philly. They've been better since getting Butler, but he's still pretty old and will ask for a lot of money in the off season. It also still feels like Embiid and Simmons don't quite gel. I wonder if they trade one of them soon to get a cleaner fit. I also don't want to jinx Embiid and his health, but part of me feels like its a matter of time until he gets injured again and everybody remembers he hasn't been very durable.

:arrow: The Pelicans have the second worst record in the West. Granted, they'd only need a short win streak to get back into playoff contention, but still...we're about halfway done with the season and they are only ahead of the tanking Suns in their conference. Can they hold onto Anthony Davis if they stay this bad?

:arrow: I was a believer of the Doncic hype going into the season, and picked him for ROY. Even so, I'm still amazed how many highlights I'm seeing of him. Great passer, great feel for the game, really nice stepback 3. I can see some of the Harden comparisons for sure.

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Re: Season 1/3 mark check in

Post by Dio » 12 Jan 2019 11:14

C-Fan wrote:
12 Dec 2018 14:14
In exciting news, I may be going to see the Nuggets-Raptors game in person this coming weekend. Fingers crossed on the logistics front.
Did you make it? :P

I think the Raptors can do it this year.

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Gimme some Raptors news!

Post by C-Fan » 14 Jan 2019 07:41

Hey Dante! Yes, I did make it to the game. Not the most mindblowing game I've been to, but there were some nice passes from Jokic and it was fun to be at a game again.

I do think this is the best Raptors team we've ever seen, apologies to DeMar. Siakam has really made a jump, and Lowry's shooting woes haven't appeared to impact their offense much. The two biggest concerns I have about them are:

1. Lowry's back is not right. He missed a bunch of games, and he hasn't looked 100% since getting back. He got a shot for his back, but by all accounts that kind of shot can work/last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If he isn't 100%, the playoffs get a lot dicier.
2. Kawhi has been great for them this year, but the offense definitely flows differently with him. It's almost like they run two different styles completely when he's in game and not. If he stays next year, I don't think it'll be a problem. But it's definitely not a seamless integration yet.

I do think that the Raptors GM made the right call in trading DeRozan for Kawhi. They clearly hit their ceiling with the existing roster the past two years, and even if Kawhi doesn't stay long term (or if he never played this year) they'd probably have to blow it up in 2 years anyway. So why not take the gamble? I think they have as good a chance of making the Finals as the Celtics or Bucks, maybe better. That said, I don't see any of the Eastern teams beating the Warriors in the finals.

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Re: 2018-2019 NBA season

Post by Dio » 14 Jan 2019 16:00

Yeah the PG role is too important for Lowry to not be 100%, when he's not, it's really apparent. And I agree with the Kawhi integration bit, although the support from everyone else hides it well. And west is still best ...

Making it to the Finals would be a treat :D

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Giannis vs. AD at the midpoint of season

Post by C-Fan » 23 Jan 2019 15:11

Couple quick notes on my Fantasy NBA season.

1. Another owner gave up on Donovan Mitchell a few weeks ago, and dropped him to the waiver wire. I scooped him up and have enjoyed his resurgence. I was surprised the other owner gave up on him so early...I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being my best move of the season.

2. I've been trying to trade Brandon Ingram for almost anything. I know its a matter of time before LeBron and Rondo return, and I expect that will knock him back to his low production. For the price I paid for him on draft night, I'd say Ingram has been my biggest disappointment.
C-Fan wrote:
18 Oct 2018 09:01
:arrow: Giannis and Davis came up for bid very early on, as I expected. My hope was to get one of the 2, to be the main anchor of my team. I ended up getting Giannis for $75, which was the highest price paid for any player all night. I was pretty stoked about this, since I do think he'll be even better than last year given the new coach and new offense they're running. I also like his durability more than Davis, so if I had to choose between the two at this price, I'd take Giannis.
For the first half of the season, it was looking like AD was the better choice due to his stats: 29/13/4 on good percentages compared to Giannis' 26/12/6. Also, Davis only missed 2 more games than Giannis. But now it looks like AD could miss 2-4 weeks with a hand injury, and with the Pelicans already in 12th place in the West there's the very real chance that they may shut AD down for the season even after he heals, if they're far enough out of the playoff picture. Meanwhile Giannis' Bucks are in 1st in the East, so I expect they'll keep playing him except potentially for a couple rest games at the end of the season if they've locked up their seed. Given all that, Giannis may end up being the better pick between the two.

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