Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Champion is Crowned

Take a deep breath - you made it to the finish.  Just a few short hours from now, every relevant game will tip off, and just 48 basketball minutes later, we'll have our annual fantasy champion.  Some of you may be able to rub it in your friends' faces, other may be collecting checks from a league commissioner.  Whatever league you're in, you have exactly 2 hours to gloat, and then it's time to buckle down and start watching baseball.  Can't afford to neglect the MLB for another day, or your team may fall to pieces in the early season, damaging later efforts to climb into the playoff picture.

First, before we get into the emotional mush, let's take a quick peek at some stars that may or may not get the evening off.

The initial indication 2 days ago was that the stars in Cleveland would not play tonight to get some rest, but now it looks like they'll log 12-15 minutes to help net a 40-1 home record and to blow a metaphorical kiss to the crowd on Fan Appreciation Night at the Q.  If you have Lebron, 18 minutes might still be worth it, compared to some of the scrubs you're looking at otherwise.  The rest of the team is hovering in "eh" neighborhood, and personally I'd rather play 40 minutes of Brandon Rush in Indy over 16 of Mo Williams in a game he should be skipping. *UPDATE* - the Cavs WILL get the night off.  Fan Appreciation Night will just have to be about Booby Gibson.

Chris Paul and David West will get parts of tonight's game off, as the Hornets seem content to fall into the 7th seed (assuming Dallas picks up a "W").  Paul and West have each been playing nearly 44 minutes per game over the season's final few weeks, because, well, they're the entire team.  I don't generally like the plus/minus tracker for when a player is on the floor, but Chris Paul's numbers are so absurd, Byron Scott has had literally zero choice but to play him the entire game.  Just like with Indy, 15-20 minutes of Paul and West is probably better than 35 minutes of whatever other PG or PF you might find on the last day of the season, but the lesser beings in NO should be tossed into the dumpster.

It looks like we finally have a read on the Suns plan to play starters for exactly half the game.  The Suns are hosting the Warriors, so marginal Phoenix players still deserve at least a look.  Nash is a definite start, and most of the Warriors should be in there as well, in a game that could push totals in the 280 range.

I could ramble on about benchings, but in an effort to save time (and keep these fantasy posts in the 4-to-5 minute zone, I'll simply state that if you have a question about a particular player or team, post a comment or send an email, and I'll be glad to do some research and get back to you.

On to tonight's strategy.  I hope you made a variety of moves yesterday, unloading any players that will do you no good today, and grabbing a handful of guys that excel in the categories you need to win.  In a personal example, I dropped Nene, who has been nothing short of outstanding this season, to pick up the likes of Ryan Anderson, because my team needed a boost in 3's, and has rebounds and blocks thoroughly locked up.  As always, never be afraid to start the WORSE basketball player who does BETTER in the stats that matter.  You get the same number of points for winning rebounds by 1 as you do from winning boards by 250.

As far as site polls go, it looks like fans have selected Kobe Bryant as this season's MVP.  I believe a great deal of this has to do with the fact that the majority of you are Lakers fans, but his season certainly deserves some recognition.  The bad news, for those of you who voted for Kobe, is that the award will almost certainly end up in the hands of King James, who led his team to the best record in the NBA, and is one likely victory over Philly away from a record-tying 40-1 home mark.  Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard all deserved some votes as well, but Lebron's efforts with a good (not necessarily great) cast of characters put him as the lead dog in the race for MVP.

The Daily Wager final tally is at 48-34-2, not a bad first half-season effort, if I do say so myself.  Hopefully we can improve upon that next basketball season, but at least if you put 10 bucks on every bet, you'd be up $106.  Go get yourself somethin' nice.  As you may have noticed, too, the baseball Daily Wager section has been altered slightly to account for the predominance of money line bets in MLB.  A simple win/loss record would not accurately convey the fluctuating odds on every baseball game, so instead we'll post the monetary results if you are playing $100/bet.  I don't expect many of you will actually be doing such, but it should give an accurate assessment of how the picks are performing.  I'll take more time to explain the math once we dive into baseball.  For now, just accept that it's one of the more thorough ways of tracking progress, and if you're putting only $10/game, you can divide our total by 10 to get your winnings.

Well folks, that about does it for the NBA season.  This has been one of the more compelling regular seasons that I can remember, the West boasting 8 supremely talented playoff teams, and the East, for the first time in almost 10 years, running 6 or 7 excellent clubs into the postseason.  Lakers in 6 to win the championship.  Write that down.


DW said...

The way you show your results you aren't really playing $100 a game. If you were -$130 after the first game, then you played $130 to win $100. Then the second game you played $100 to win $152. So you should be either +$52 by playing everything at $100, or you need to redefine how you are "placing" wagers.

Danno said...

Hm...I see your point.

I think I'll just go with playing the line and keep my results the same (even though it makes me look worse, I think it's fairer). Instead of placing $100 per bet, we'll "place" whatever the money line is. So, for the first one, we lost 130, then won 152.

Bet to win 100 on favorites, and bet 100 on dogs. Thanks for the heads up. You're quite a perceptive eye!

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