2018-2019 NBA season

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Fantasy Finals

Post by C-Fan » 25 Mar 2019 07:43

Down to the last couple weeks of the regular season now! That means we're in the home stretch of fantasy.

The first round of the fantasy playoffs ended and Tu Vu and myself advanced. So we're in the Finals together, just like 2 years ago (when I beat him). In the semis my opponent had Westbrook and Harden and that was almost enough to unseat me. Weirdly enough, Tu's team doesn't have any standout players like that, but top to bottom all his players are solid. I'm cautiously optimistic my anchors of KAT and Giannis should be enough to beat him but a lot of random shit happens in the last 2 weeks of the season. Good teams with playoff seeds locked up often rest their players during this time so they're fresh for the playoffs. Conversely, really bad lottery teams often shut down their best players in hopes of tanking to better lottery odds. So in both cases the most productive fantasy players on these teams are out during the most important stretch of the fantasy season. I know some leagues adjust their schedules to avoid this "silly season." As far as my own team, the biggest risks to me are Kyle Lowry (could see him being rested going into the playoffs) and Zach Lavine (Bulls are shutting down lots of players to improve their lottery odds). I think I need to be prepared to cut these guys on a moment's notice and replace them with less flashy players that I know are guaranteed to play. Even a crappy player who is only giving me 10 points is better than an all-star who is sitting out games for whatever reason and giving me 0.

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Fantasy home stretch

Post by C-Fan » 01 Apr 2019 09:33

Less than a week left in the Fantasy season. I'm currently trailing Tu, and seriously weighing some risky gambles to make up ground. As discussed in the previous post, it's silly season now with players resting or getting shut down, so you have to do some crazy stuff to survive. Like, I basically dropped Zach LaVine (best player on the Bulls) for Christian Wood this week. I literally had not even heard of Christian Wood before this week, but it was the right move.

Some other thoughts and observations:

:arrow: LeBron is shut down for the remainder of the year, despite being healthy. I was betting against LeBron in fantasy for pretty much the past 3 years, and up until this year he made me look foolish. He played all 82 games last season with his usual crazy averages. This season he will finish with only 55 games played, missing almost the entirety of the fantasy playoffs. Bullet dodged.

:arrow: Tu has Embiid on his team, who is currently missing 3 games for rest. Good reminder not to complain too much about silly season, since every other owner has to deal with similar headaches.

:arrow: Gallinari was my last pick on draft night, and maybe the pick I felt worst about at the time. I got him for $1 and planned on dropping him at the first sign of injury. Instead, he's been one of my best players all year, clearly outperforming much more expensive options on my roster including Brandon Ingram, Andrew Wiggins, and Harrison Barnes. Nice bright spot.

:arrow: My trade of Gobert for Lowry was...not great. Basically I overestimated the impact of the rule changes on big men, resulting me in trading Gobert at his lowest value. Compounding my error, I traded for Lowry at the peak of his health and productivity. If I end up losing this season, I can probably point to that trade as one of the big reasons why. That and drafting Wiggins/Ingram and neither making the jump in productivity that I bet on. The fact though that I'm still in striking distance of winning with just a week left means my overall strategy wasn't bad.

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20-20-20 vision...

Post by C-Fan » 03 Apr 2019 07:59

In crazy stats news, Westbrook put up a 20-21-20 game against the Lakers last night. That's fucking crazy. It's only the second 20-20-20 game in NBA history, after Wilt did it back in the 60s. I feel like I've gotten pretty jaded with gaudy stats in the past few years, but that one stood out.

In fantasy news, I've closed the gap with Tu with a week left. I'm not celebrating yet though since Embiid is coming back for his team while Giannis may miss some games, especially if they have the 1 seed locked up. It's crazy and stupid to think I may do a move like drop Giannis for a no-name scrub like Alex Caruso, but I could see it happening during this silly season.

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Freak vs. Process

Post by C-Fan » 05 Apr 2019 07:16

I watched the second half of Bucks-Sixers last night and was not disappointed. Felt like Giannis and Embiid were trying to one up each other every time they came down the court, which was super entertaining. Also felt like Redick couldn't miss on his leaning off balance shots, which was neat to see. Giannis really seemed unstoppable. In the open court he's so fast and strong I don't know how you stop him. And even when he doesn't have a running start and you get a double team on him, his arms/hands are so big he can just reach around people and drop off these incredible bounce passes to wide open teammates. I've heard people compare him to peak Shaq, where he can just dunk on people from a stand still. Really though, I can't think of anybody I've seen who plays anything like him.

The game was also fun as a microcosm of the Fantasy finals, since the best players on our teams were facing off and both playing well. Giannis finished with a 45/13/6 and 5 blocks, and Embiid with a 34/13/13 line. Crazy lines from both. I also wouldn't be surprised to see both players sit 1-2 of their remaining games since the playoff seeds seem relatively baked in now. If word gets out that Giannis sits the final game or two of the season I'm going to drop him for any scrubby replacement. It'll feel weird to end the season without the players who brought me to the finals, but that's the nature of the system and how it's set up.

I've pulled into a small lead in the final stretch, with only 5 nights of games left. Helping me is the fact that Tu's team is pretty banged up or resting (Booker out for the season, Embiid may rest for part of his remaining 3 games, Conley may be done for the season). Hurting me is the fact that Giannis may rest some too. I'm cautiously optimistic about my chances though, so hopefully if I stay on top of the injury reports and use the waiver strategically I can protect my lead and win the season.

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2 days left!

Post by C-Fan » 08 Apr 2019 08:45

Only 2 nights of games left in the NBA regular season. A few thoughts.

:arrow: Fantasy wise I have a decent (150 points) lead going into the last two nights. Provided I monitor the injury reports and swap players out accordingly, I should be able to protect the lead on the way to a championship. While fantasy is totally stupid, if I'm going to invest this level of time and effort to it I at least want to win.

:arrow: In the East the following 6 teams have clinched playoff spots: Bucks, Raptors, Sixers, Celtics, Pacers, and Nets. I'm guessing the Magic will also make it. Feels like a very top heavy conference, and now that the Celtics (Tatum/Smart) and Pacers (Oladipo/Turner) are banged up, I expect the East Finals will be some combo of Bucks/Raps/Sixers.

:arrow: The West teams are set, with the Clippers making the cut and the Kings missing it. While I expect the Warriors to crush everybody, the other spots from 2-6 are really strong and even the Spurs and Clips could be surprises.

:arrow: My preseason picks for MVP (Giannis), ROY (Luka), and champion (Warriors) all feel good to me still.

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First weekend of playoffs in the books!

Post by C-Fan » 15 Apr 2019 13:33

:arrow: I won my Fantasy league. Silly season was challenging and I'll likely lobby we eliminate it next time we do this, but I did a good job managing my way through it. I dropped big name players when I saw or suspected tanking from their teams, and I was also good about adding players from teams that had incentive to play them. Like I've said in the past; fantasy NBA is definitely stupid but I still want to win if I'm playing.

:arrow: I watched bits of a few playoff games this weekend. It's definitely fun to see the intensity ramped up so high.

:arrow: The Raptors have had a Game 1 losing curse for ages, going something like 2-14 in their Game 1s as a Franchise. I was certain that'd change in this series, since they held the 2 seed and were playing the Magic. Turns out the curse is real! They'll likely win the series still but that has to be brutal for the Raptors, especially considering they did so much to change the DNA of the team.

:arrow: The Sixers looked bad in their Game 1 loss. Like, they'll probably still win the series, but you have to worry about their chances against the Bucks or Raptors now. Embiid didn't look 100% and the rest of the guys didn't look to rise to the occasion.

:arrow: The Bucks-Pistons series should be ended by Mercy rule. It looks like the Pistons won't have Blake all series, and even with him they'd still probably get swept. Without him? They were trailing by 43 at one point and Giannis was doing free throw line dunks. They should make this a two game sweep instead of making them play out all 4 games...

:arrow: Its looking in the West like we'll see a Warriors-Rockets, or maybe Warriors-Jazz second round series. I expect that will be more competitive than the actual West finals (Warriors-Nuggets or Warriors-Blazers).

:arrow: It was fun seeing Kanter have an epic revenge game against his former team. It was just a couple seasons ago when the Thunder coach was infamously caught on camera saying "can't play Kanter." So for Kanter to hang 20/18 against them in a win was pretty sweet.

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Lillard is cold

Post by C-Fan » 24 Apr 2019 07:12

Stayed up late last night to watch the Blazers-Thunder game 5. Was hoping for a good showdown between Lillard and Westbrook and was not disappointed. Blazers were down 15 in the 4th and clawed their way back to a tie game with 15 seconds left. Then Lillard hit maybe the best buzzer beater I've ever seen in my life:



1. He got 50 points with that shot.
2. He's 37 feet away from the hoop, and he's not heaving it...he's shooting it.
3. Everybody knew he was going to shoot it, but even Paul George didn't expect him to shoot it from the parking lot.
4. Game winner, but also SERIES winner. He won the series with a buzzer beater.

Just fucking amazing. This is why I watch the NBA.

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Re: 2018-2019 NBA season

Post by Tjuggles » 01 May 2019 01:33

Holy smokes that was intense!
TJ Boutorwick

"You can do anything" -Greg Nelson

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ANOTHER series winning buzzer beater!

Post by C-Fan » 13 May 2019 08:06

Yeah, up until this weekend I would have bet that would be the best moment of this year's playoffs hands down. And it still might be.
C-Fan wrote:
24 Apr 2019 07:12
Then Lillard hit maybe the best buzzer beater I've ever seen in my life:

4. Game winner, but also SERIES winner. He won the series with a buzzer beater.

...but I watched the last 5 minutes of Raptors-Sixers Game 7 and saw Kawhi win THIS series with a buzzer beater:



Obviously very different from Lillard's, but super impressive in its own ways. Lillard's was impressive for how controlled it was, how he sized up the situation, made a difficult but controlled move, and NAILED the shot. Kawhi's was a lot more desperate and felt a lot luckier, but in some ways was equally impressive.

So yeah, now the conference Finals are set for both East and West. Feels weird to analyze them without doing post-mortems of the Celtics, Rockets, and Sixers, considering the tenuous off-season position those teams now find themselves in. But that's another post.

For the Western finals we have the Warriors hosting the Blazers. Durant may come back at some point this series, and Cousins might too. Depending if/when they do, that'd impact my prediction for the series. No matter what though I can't see the Blazers winning. Has to be Warriors in 5 or 6.

For the Eastern finals we have Bucks hosting Raptors. I honestly don't know what to expect, but I'm super excited to see Kawhi vs. Giannis for as many games as possible.

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Drafty in here...

Post by C-Fan » 15 May 2019 11:33

Draft order for next year was determined last night. This was the first year with "flattened" odds, meant to discourage tanking teams from tanking super hard. Sure enough, the teams that tanked hardest this season (Suns, Bulls, Hawks, Cavs) did not reap good picks, and some bad-but-not-awful teams jumped up relative to their projected pick slots. In no particular order, here are some takeaways from the draft order being determined:

:arrow: The Pelicans had a 6% chance to win the top spot, and they did. This upcoming draft is universally considered to have one transcendental talent at the top (Zion), so the difference between getting the top pick and the second pick is a huge drop. Ironically enough, the last time I could remember a drop as dramatic from 1 to 2 in the lottery was 7 years ago when Anthony Davis was the top pick, and Michael Kidd Gilchrist went number 2. The reason its ironic is that the Pelicans won that draft as well. It remains to be seen if this affects Davis' trade request, but no matter how you slice it this was the best possible outcome for the Pelicans. Either Davis stays and you are building around a core of Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Zion...or you trade Davis for assets and use the cap space to try and sign a free agent to play with Zion and Jrue.

:arrow: Last year the Hawks traded down from the #3 pick, effectively swapping Luka Doncic for Trae Young and a lottery pick this year. Had the pick been #1 the Hawks clearly win the trade. Had the pick been top 3-4 that's still a decent trade. Instead, the Hawks netted the #10 pick this year. So it'll shake out as Luka for Trae plus this year's #10 pick. That's a win for the Mavs, but I can't fault the Hawks for gambling.

:arrow: The Lakers jumped to #4, when they were projected with the 11th best odds. While they definitely should be happier with the #4 pick, a lot of analysts see this draft as having a clear #1 (Zion), then 2 players a tier below (Reddish and Morant), and then everybody else. So having the #4 pick in a 3 player draft isn't great, but still better than the #11 pick.

:arrow: It almost feels like the Hawks had the worst luck, since they had 2 picks with good odds, but came away with the #8 and #10 picks. At least they have a fun young core.

I'll be curious to see what trade happen on draft night or before, especially looking at the Lakers and Pelicans. In the meantime, I'm stoked to watch Kawhi vs. Giannis tonight.

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The Finals Countdooooown!

Post by C-Fan » 28 May 2019 08:58

The Finals start this Thursday night. For the 5th year in a row the Warriors won the West, and for the first time ever the Raptors won the East. Not going to lie, I was pretty surprised how that went down. The Bucks won the first 2 games, played badly in regulation of the 3rd game and still took it to overtime. So they were super close to being up 3-0, and no team has ever lost a series after building that lead. Instead, they lose Game 3 in OT, and proceed to lose the last 3 games as well. It's rare for a team to be down 0-2 and then win the next 4, and weirdly enough Serge Ibaka has been on 2 such teams (the Raptors in this series, and the Thunder when they did it to the Spurs in 2016).

Lots of intriguing storylines going into the Finals. In no particular order:

:arrow: Toronto has home court in the series. The Warriors are a great playoff road team, but still this is nice for Toronto to have.
:arrow: Before this season Kawhi made it known he wanted to go to LA, and didn't want to be traded to Toronto. There were questions about whether he'd sit out the season in protest, sandbag it, or exaggerate injuries. And now he has dragged the Raptors to their first Finals ever. And he STILL might leave them after this season. If I had to bet, I'd say he's going to the Clippers next year even if the Raptors win. Regardless of what happens, the Raptors gamble to trade for him definitely appears to have paid off.
:arrow: DeMarcus Cousins had a season ending achilles injury last year, which led to him taking a 1 year minimum deal with the Warriors this year. He didn't play until February, didn't look amazing when he came back, and then got injured again in the first round of the West. He may be back for the Finals, but are the Warriors better off without him? I don't know that I'd risk playing him, considering how bad he looked before his most recent injury and given the high stakes. I'm really curious to see where DMC is next year, since the Warriors can't bring him back. I'm guessing he takes another 1 year deal somewhere else at a low number to prove he's still good, and then hope to turn that into a long term bigger contract after that.
:arrow: Durant is out for Game 1, and probably Game 2 as well. In a weird way, i think his biggest impact if he were to come back wouldn't even be his scoring, so much as the fact that Kawhi would have to spend energy guarding him which would free up Curry. If Durant is out, Kawhi can guard Curry and that could really blunt the Warriors attack.

Revisiting my very first post in this thread:
C-Fan wrote:
15 Oct 2018 08:25


:arrow: I'd be shocked if the Warriors don't win it all again.
:arrow: Warriors over Rockets in West Finals
:arrow: Warriors over Celtics in Finals
I'll revisit my first post again later, when all the award winners are announced. For now though, I'm sticking with Warriors winning it all. Let's say...Warriors in 6.

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Back to Oakland!

Post by C-Fan » 04 Jun 2019 12:53

Game 3 of the Finals is tomorrow night. The teams split the first two in Toronto, which most Raptors fan are already considering a missed opportunity. Durant didn't play in either game, Curry seemed off in both, and a bunch of Warriors were dealing with injuries in both games. The thinking is that if Toronto couldn't do better than a split on their own home court under those circumstances, can they really win 3 out of the remaining 5 against a Warriors team that has homecourt advantage back?

:arrow: Its sounding like Durant may miss another game, but be back for Game 4. He may have some rust, but even if everybody just treats him as a spot up shooter that helps the Warriors who are now perilously short on bodies, much less shooting (and the space it brings)

:arrow: Curry has yet to have an explosive game. Part of that is the weird defenses they've been throwing at him, part of it may have been dehydration in game 2, but definitely part of it has to be that the Raptors can focus him a lot more without having to worry about Durant. I predict that Curry will have a crazy shooting game in one of the games Durant comes back.

:arrow: I know Lowry hasn't been scoring much these playoffs, but even if he doesn't score much he needs to stay on the court. He changes the entire game for the Raps with the way he defends and passes, and Van Vleet just can't make up for that when Lowry sits or fouls out.

:arrow: The other key Raptor for me is Gasol. I know Siakam is a popular pick, but I think the difference between a Gasol that is tentative and one that shoots 3s is gigantic. If he makes 3 threes in a game, it forces the Warriors to come out on defense, which unlocks lanes for Siakam and Kawhi to attack the hoop. This is critical.

:arrow: All the Drake stuff is boring to me. Don't pretend you're the Raptors biggest fan when you literally have Curry and Durant's numbers tattooed on your body.

Excited to see how the next couple games shake out, especially if Durant comes back and looks good.

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Do or Die!

Post by C-Fan » 10 Jun 2019 12:24

Game 5 of the Finals is tonight, and the Raptors are up 3-1. So potentially the NBA season could end tonight, and with it the Warrior's dynasty. While I picked the Warriors to win the Finals, I wouldn't have been shocked if you told me the Raptors would win (especially if you told me Durant missed the first 4 games completely). That said, I would have assumed that would entail the series going to 7, with each game being close. Instead, the Raptors have surprised me with how dominant they have been in the first 4 games. Their lone loss wasn't even a blowout, and could have gone their way had Iguodala missed his last shot.

Revisiting some thoughts from my last post:
C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53
The thinking is that if Toronto couldn't do better than a split on their own home court under those circumstances, can they really win 3 out of the remaining 5 against a Warriors team that has homecourt advantage back?
After seeing the Raptors dominate games 3 and 4 on the road, the answer I guess is "yes."
C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53
:arrow: Its sounding like Durant may miss another game, ...even if everybody just treats him as a spot up shooter that helps the Warriors who are now perilously short on bodies, much less shooting
Instead he missed two more, and now the entire hopes of the Warriors rest on him coming back and playing well in an elimination game, after he's been inactive for over a month. Yikes.
C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53
:arrow: Curry has yet to have an explosive game.
Well, he had one in game 3 when he had a career best 47. Too bad the other Warriors were so bad they still lost. Still was fun to watch.

C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53
:arrow: ...Lowry ...changes the entire game for the Raps with the way he defends and passes, and Van Vleet just can't make up for that
My assessment of Lowry was correct, but I underestimated Van Vleet. Lowry has been better about avoiding dumb fouls over the past couple games though, and that has made a huge difference in how the Raptors have been able to play.

Purely from an entertainment perspective, I really hope the Warriors win tonight and extend the series. It'd be nice to see a crazy scoring game from any of Durant/Curry/Klay. They have too much pride to go out in 5 without a fight.

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Re: Die!

Post by C-Fan » 11 Jun 2019 13:42

C-Fan wrote:
10 Jun 2019 12:24
Game 5 of the Finals is tonight, ...I would have assumed that would entail the series going to 7
Looks like that's still in play! It's been a weird series, with Game 5 being perhaps the weirdest game what with Durant coming back and then suffering the horrible injury.
C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53
now the entire hopes of the Warriors rest on him coming back and playing well in an elimination game, after he's been inactive for over a month. Yikes.
Yikes indeed. He looked so good in the first quarter too. But seeing his leg give out the way it did made it clear he came back too soon.
C-Fan wrote:
04 Jun 2019 12:53

Purely from an entertainment perspective, I really hope the Warriors win tonight and extend the series. They have too much pride to go out in 5 without a fight.
Guess both those things happened, but jeez...at what cost?

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Re: 2018-2019 NBA season

Post by C-Fan » 23 Jul 2019 10:53

Before the season began, I made some wild predictions. 9 months later the season is over and awards have been handed out, so let's see how I did:
C-Fan wrote:
15 Oct 2018 08:25
NBA season starts tomorrow!

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!
:arrow: Giannis did win MVP. Harden gave him a decent run for his money, but I think Giannis' consistency and the Bucks record sealed the deal.
:arrow: Doncic did win ROY. He was consistently good throughout the year. Trae Young had a nice hot streak at the end, but was pretty brutal to start the season. Well deserved ROY.
:arrow: Turner didn't win ROY, Pascal Siakam did. Turner had a decent year, but I feel like every year I expect a breakout season and he never delivers. Siakam was probably the 2nd or 3rd best player on a title team, so this is very much deserved. I didn't see it coming at all... he really took a leap.
:arrow: The Warriors did indeed beat the Rockets, but it was in the West semis. I guess my prediction of the Warriors winning the West was correct at least. Though that wasn't much of a risky prediction, since they were the favorites.
:arrow: I overestimated how good the Celtics would be, but in my defense I at least wondered how minutes distribution would affect their chemistry. I did have the Bucks correctly in the East Finals at least.

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