Steve Alexander

Offseason Beat

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Fantasy & Playoff Predictions

Friday, April 15, 2011


The regular season is over, but that doesn't mean you still can't have some fantasy fun throughout the playoffs. I participated in an industry NBA fantasy playoffs league draft on Thursday night and thought I'd share the results. Additionally, I'll make some NBA Playoffs predictions as well.

Eastern Conference Round 1

1 Bulls vs. 8 Pacers – Bulls in 5 – Am I crazy for even having Indy taking one game?
2 Heat vs. 7 Sixers – Heat in 5 – Again, no way Heat lose this one, right?
3 Celtics vs. 6 Knicks – Celtics in 7 – I am torn on this one, but going w/ the favorite.
4 Magic vs. 5 Hawks – Magic in 6 - Hawks have lost six straight, but will win two.

East Round 2

1 Bulls vs. 4 Orlando – Bulls in 7 – This will be a very fun series if all are healthy.
2 Heat vs. 3 Celtics – Heat in 5 – Boston should lose this one without Kendrick Perkins.

East Finals

1 Bulls vs. 2 Heat – Heat in 7 – I'm not a Heat fan, but think they turn it on starting now.

Western Conference Round 1

1 Spurs vs. 8 Grizzlies – Spurs in 6 – If Manu stays hurt, this one could get wild.
2 Lakers vs. 7 Hornets – Lakers in 4 – NO has no chance, especially without David West.
3 Mavs vs. 6 Blazers – Mavs in 7 – This is a coin toss, really.
4 Thunder vs. 5 Nuggets – Thunder in 7 – The series I'm most looking forward to.

West Round 2

1 Spurs vs. 4 Thunder – Thunder in 7 – I am loving Serge Ibaka in playoff leagues.
2 Lakers vs. 3 Mavs – Lakers in 6 – Not many folks scared of this Dallas team – for now.

West Finals

2 Lakers vs. 4 Thunder – Thunder in 7 – Do I believe this with all my heart? Not really.

NBA Finals

2 Heat vs. 4 Thunder – Heat in 6 - LeBron & Wade aren't going through all this hell for nothing.

NBA Champions: Miami Heat

NBA Fantasy Playoffs Draft Recap

I got together with nine industry insiders on Thursday night and we knocked out a draft in just under an hour. We'll do it again on Monday night over at Fantasypostseason.com and I'll be back to wrap that one up as well. I somehow got the first pick and decided pretty quickly I was going to take LeBron James. You start 2 G, 2 F, 1 C and 3 Flex players, with no bench. Here's the scoring system:

Assists & Rebounds = 2 points each
Blocks = 6
FTM & Points = 1
Steals = 5
3-pointers = 3
TOs = -3

As you can see, blocks and steals pay big, while the key objective is still to have as many decent players as you can on teams going deep into the playoffs. I didn't know going in if we could add/drop and found out later we cannot. I wish I'd known this going in, as my last pick was pretty bad. I also wasn't thrilled with taking Jason Kidd over Carlos Boozer, but you never know – it could work out.

Here's how it went down.

Round 1

Steve Alexander 1. LeBron James MIA
Justin Phan 2. Kobe Bryant LAL
Jason Hahn 3. Derrick Rose CHI
Ryan Lester 4. Pau Gasol LAL
Matt Buser 5. Paul Pierce BOS
Jeff Andriesse 6. Kevin Durant OKC
Tom Lorenzo 7. Dwyane Wade MIA
Greg Fox 8. Russell Westbrook OKC
Eric Wong 9. Dwight Howard ORL
Patrick Madden 10. Manu Ginobili SAN

Surprises

I was fairly shocked at the Pierce pick, as many people seem to think the Knicks can take down the Celtics in Round 1, while they'll have a tough time winning in Round 2 as well. And since I have the Thunder and Heat going so deep, I thought both Durant and Wade would go higher. And with Manu Ginobili doubtful for Game 1, a first-round pick on him looks pretty risky.

Round 2

1. Tim Duncan SAN
2. Chris Bosh MIA
3. Rajon Rondo BOS
4. Lamar Odom LAL
5. Joakim Noah CHI
6. Andrew Bynum LAL
7. LaMarcus Aldridge POR
8. Kevin Garnett BOS
9. Luol Deng CHI
10. (me) Serge Ibaka OKC

Surprises

Nothing here surprised me, including my Ibaka pick. With blocks being worth 6 and me having the Thunder going to the Finals, Ibaka was going to go here or with my next pick. If the Celtics get upset early, owners of Rondo, KG and Pierce are all going to be crushed, but you can say that about any favorite going down early.

Round 3

1. (me) Jason Kidd DAL
2. Carlos Boozer CHI
3. Dirk Nowitzki DAL
4. Tony Parker SAN
5. Ray Allen BOS
6. Josh Smith ATL
7. Gerald Wallace POR
8. James Harden OKC
9. Amare Stoudemire NYK
10. Carmelo Anthony NYK

Surprises

Like I said, I panicked here by taking Kidd, and would have taken Boozer or Parker instead if I had a do-over. With the Hawks looking like a lock to go down in Round 1, this was too a little too early for Smoove, in my opinion.

Round 4

1. Chauncey Billups NYK
2. Jason Richardson ORL
3. Glen Davis BOS
4. Ron Artest LAL
5. Zach Randolph MEM
6. DeJuan Blair SAN
7. Andre Miller POR
8. Al Horford ATL
9. George Hill SAN
10. (me) Hedo Turkoglu ORL

Surprises

Nothing too surprising here, although with the Hawks starting to fly off the board, I'm surprised no one was grabbing guys like Danny Granger or Chris Paul. Yes, James Harden, George Hill and Hedo Turkoglu were taken before CP3. But with the Hornets & Pacers all but dead in the water, it will be a short run for Paul. I liked my Turkoglu pick, as the Magic have a shot at winning the East.

Round 5

1. (me) Raymond Felton DEN
2. Taj Gibson CHI
3. Ryan Anderson ORL
4. Jameer Nelson ORL
5. Tyson Chandler DAL
6. Jason Terry DAL
7. Kendrick Perkins OKC
8. Jeff Green DAL
9. Mike Bibby MIA
10. Richard Jefferson SAN

Surprises

I took Felton over Ty Lawson due to Lawson's injury, but it was a tough call that I struggled with. The Bibby pick raised my eyebrows, but he's probably worth it if the Heat goes to the Finals. I would have waited another round to grab him.

Round 6

1. Shawn Marion DAL
2. Derek Fisher LAL
3. Joe Johnson ATL
4. Mike Conley MEM
5. Marc Gasol MEM
6. Brandon Bass ORL
7. Wesley Matthews POR
8. Ty Lawson DEN
9. Nene DEN
10. (me) Gary Neal

Surprises

With Manu hurting I was happy with Neal here, while it will be interesting to see if Joe Johnson can break out of his slump and play well in five or six games for the Hawks. Fisher will join Bibby on Wong's team, so he's hoping for a Heat-Lakers Finals, at least when it comes to these two guards.

Round 7

1. (me) James Jones MIA
2. Danilo Gallinari DEN
3. Nicolas Batum POR
4. Shaquille O'Neal BOS
5. Wilson Chandler DEN
6. Chris Paul NOH
7. Joel Anthony MIA
8. Jamal Crawford ATL
9. Marcus Camby POR
10. Elton Brand PHI

Surprises

I was good with Jones here, as long as the Heat go to the Finals, while the big names on bad teams finally started flying off the board in the form of Paul and Elton Brand. Yes – Joel Anthony was taken one pick after Paul, while Shaq, Wilson Chandler, Jones and other scrubs went in front of him.

Round 8

1. Jrue Holiday PHI
2. Matt Barnes LAL
3. Andre Iguodala PHI
4. Danny Granger IND
5. Tony Allen MEM
6. Kyle Korver PHI
7. Shannon Brown LAL
8. J.R. Smith DEN
9. Ronnie Brewer CHI
10. (me) Mario Chalmers MIA

Surprises

I was determined to take the best player available here, with my sights set on Holiday, Iguodala, Granger, Allen, Korver and J.R. Smith. When they were all gone, I was trying to decide between Mike Miller, Eddie House, Roddy Beaubois and Chalmers. I made the wrong call (it's fair to call it a choke), but I had a vision of Miller sitting out with injuries, and House and Roddy B being buried on the bench. But then again, that's exactly where Chalmers is going to be, unless Bibby gets hurt. This was simply a bad pick by me.

This league is just for fun and the draft was a blast, with the drama over when Paul and Granger would go intense. And really, it's not unrealistic that those two will easily put up bigger numbers in 5-6 games than some of the players taken well before them who might play an extra 6-8 games or so. But that's the beauty of this type of league – there are no wrong answers until your player, no matter how bad he is, is sent off to the fishing boat.

Good luck in your drafts!


Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2013-14 NBA season marks his 12th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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