Week 24 Games Played
4 Games: Hawks, Nets, Pistons, Rockets, Heat, Wolves, Thunder, Kings
3 Games: Celtics, Bobcats, Bulls, Cavs, Mavs, Nuggets, Warriors, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Pelicans, Magic, Sixers, Suns, Blazers, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards
2 Games: Clippers, Knicks
Week 25 Games Played
2 Games: Hawks, Nets, Celtics, Bobcats, Bulls, Nuggets, Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Wolves, Bucks, Pelicans, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, Sixers, Suns, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards
1 Game: Cavs, Mavs, Pistons, Pacers, Blazers, Kings
The end of the NBA season is pretty much an all-or-nothing endeavor. Either your guys stay healthy and finish up strong and you win a championship, or your guys get hurt, take nights off and making you feel like never playing the game again. And unfortunately, since there’s only one winner in each league, 90 percent of us feel like throwing the bag of clubs in the lake and walking away from the course. But by the time the NBA Draft rolls by and you take a five-month break from worrying about whether or not Anthony Davis or Dwyane Wade are going to play that night, you will eventually get the itch to play again, and you’ll put together a new list of “never again” players that you won’t let ruin your team next year. And you’ll be right back in there with me, drafting teams that look unbeatable at the time.
I love fantasy hoops. It’s not only my job, but also my passion. But it will test you, as there are more and more late-season shut downs and missed games for injuries than ever before. And we’re not even done yet. In my one real success story this season, I drafted LeBron James in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League, finished as the No. 6 seed, then took out Rotoworld’s Adam Levitan in Round 1 and Rotowire’s Chris Liss in Round 2. Now I’m set for a Finals match against Basketballmonster.com’s Justin Phan, who is the No. 1 seed. I beat Phan earlier in the season, but the way George Hill and Lance Stephenson are playing for the Pacers right now, confidence is a bit low. Phan will be relying heavily on Kevin Love, who has never met a season he wanted to finish. This should be very interesting. Anyway, I hope you had fun playing hoops this season and I look forward to seeing you throughout the summer and the final 10 days of this campaign. Here’s what happened on Sunday.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 7:30pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Hawks Dismantle Pacers
The Pacers scored a whopping 23 points in the first half against the Hawks, Roy Hibbert was benched for the second half, and the Pacers don’t look like they’ll even get out of the first round of the playoffs. Hibbert was angry and not speaking to reporters after the game, his coach said (repeatedly) that he looked “worn down,” and Lance Stephen and George Hill, once again, looked like they’ve forgotten how to play basketball. And I don’t care if the Pacers get the Bobcats, Hawks or Wizards in Round 1. If something doesn’t change drastically in the next 10 days, they might be the first No. 2 seed to be an underdog in the opening round of the playoffs. Yeah, I’m sort of kidding, but I can’t recall any No. 1 or 2 seed in this big of a mess at this time of the year. Hibbert should bounce back from this, but none of them are reliable plays right now. And yes, I have Hill and Stephenson in my lineup for a potential championship this week.
Lou Williams had been hot for the Hawks, but sat out Sunday with a sore hamstring and all we know is that he’s day-to-day. Mike Scott went nuts on Friday against the Cavs with 26 points, but played just 13 minutes and had seven points and four fouls on Sunday. He’s another guy in my lineup this week due to his four-game schedule, but I’m not feeling all that great about it. Pero Antic is back and also worth a look, along with DeMarre Carroll, while Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap all look good. Just keep in mind Millsap hurt his thumb last night, and while he returned to play through it, we'll have to wait ot make sure Millsap is OK. The Hawks won't practice today, so we probably won't get an update in time for you to set your lineup. I think you probably have to play him at this point.
Heat Down Knicks In J.R. Smith Show
Dwyane Wade sat out, as usual, and LeBron James posted a monster line, as usual. Phan has Chris Andersen in his lineup against me, but Andersen was out yesterday with a bruised right knee. The Heat are going to be a tough call this week, as they’re starting to pull away from Indiana and have a pair of back-to-backs, playing Tuesday and Wednesday vs. Brooklyn and at Memphis, and then Friday and Saturday vs. Indiana and at Atlanta. I would be surprised to see much of Wade this week, if at all, and we might see a full skeleton crew on Saturday night in Atlanta if they crush the Pacers on Friday night. As a LeBron owner, I’m just praying for three games this week.
J.R. Smith shot 22 3-pointers yesterday and hit 10 of them. Think about that for a second. He took 11 more shots than Carmelo Anthony and had 32 points, but the Heat still won by 11. All signs point toward Smith continuing to go bombs away this week, but the Knicks only play two games, making all of them tough plays in leagues where games matter. The Knicks bench scored nine points, all of them coming from Iman Shumpert, so don’t mess with any of them except for the starters (Amare Stoudemire, Melo, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Lone Star J.R. – my apologies in advance to Johnny Rutherford).
Clippers Destroy Lakers
The Clippers had a balanced attack and were led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who both should continue to play this week. The Clips only have two games, which is not great news if you own any of them. But I’m playing DeAndre Jordan in my championship game, simply because I have no faith in the guys I’m benching. Jamal Crawford might be done for the season and J.J. Redick started and had 15 points and a 3-pointer last night. Again, feel free to use any of the starters (Griffin, CP3, Matt Barnes, Jordan and Redick), but the only bench player I’d consider is Darren Collison.
The Lakers got 22 points and nine boards from Jordan Hill, who is officially back in good graces. Ryan Kelly started and played 31 minutes, but hit just 3-of-11 shots, while Kendall Marshall double-doubled and Jodie Meeks scored 17 points. Nick Young added 18 off the bench, Pau Gasol is likely done for the year, and Kent Bazemore’s season appears to be over after he heard a pop in his foot. If he’s done, Wes Johnson and Robert Sacre each played about 30 minutes and played fairly well, and are a couple other guys I think you can use this week.