March 10, 2019, 3:15 pm
The H2H playoffs are here which means I finally get to break out the Warrior Songs – hat tip to Dan Besbris who posted this first one during last summer’s Career League draft (I was going to post one every week but I didn’t know that many and a quick search uncovered sounds not fit for the high standards we have here at WTW).
If you didn’t make it to the playoffs, first of all step back from that ledge my friend. Okay, you caught an L. You may have lost some pride or some money; not the worst that could happen considering… It may be too much for the young or sensitive ego, but that comes with life, especially with anything involving competition. That’s why competition is good for the soul (unless you’re Michael Jordan and have to invent slights to fuel your massacres).
But also ask yourself – why did I not make it? Was it injuries that you couldn’t do anything about or poor drafting/in-season player management that you can improve upon in the future? Did you hold an underperformer too long? Did you fail to act quickly enough of a waiver add? Was your team build faulty? Were you overrating 9-cat, in-a-vacuum rankings for H2H? Answering all these questions honestly will help with your self-discovery which is the first step to correcting any pernicious thought or behavioral pattern. And it is through correcting these faults and mastery of self that we improve in anything, whether it’s parenting, musicianship or fantasy basketball.
If you’ve made it through the grueling, injury-filled regular season, congrats, and may you hot-step all over the competition.
And regarding this recent rash of injuries (two Jrues and one JoJo for me), oh basketball gods, tell me who to smite and they shall be smoten.
Playoff Schedule & Notes
Weeks 22-23-24: 2, 4 and 5 game weeks in bold:
FIRST ROUND (Week 22: 3/11 – 3/13)
Notes: The first half of the week’s schedule is wide open and prime for streaming. My five H2H teams have 41, 43, 43, 44 and 45 games with no overloaded days with guys benched. If you do have a bye week, don’t fall asleep at the wheel. You should still be regularly checking the news blurbs and your wires; you never know what surprise you might find.
4 Games: BRK, CLE, DET, HOU, LAC, LAL, OKC, SAC, SAS, TOR
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, UTA, WAS
2 Games: GSW, MEM
Monday has 6 games: Raps at Cavs, Kings at Wiz, Pistons at Nets, Hornets at Rockets, Thunder at Jazz and Celts at Clips.
Tuesday has 7: Knicks at Pacers, Cavs at Sixers, Lakers at Bulls, Bucks at Pels, Spurs at Mavs, Wolves at Nuggs and Blazers at Clippers.
Wednesday has 6: Pistons at Heat, Magic at Wiz, Grizz at Hawks, Nets at Thunder, Dubs at Rockets and Jazz at Suns.
Thursday has 6: Thunder at Pacers, Cavs at Magic, Kings at Celts, Lakers at Raptors, Wolves at Jazz and Mavs at Nuggs.
Friday has 8: Lakers at Pistons, Kings at Sixers, Hornets at Wiz, Bucks at Heat, Suns at Rockets, Blazers at Pels, Knicks at Spurs and Bulls at Clips.
Saturday has 8: Hawks at Celts, Grizz at Wiz, Suns at Pels, Cavs at Mavs, Dubs at Thunder, Blazers at Spurs, Pacers at Nuggs and Nets at Jazz.
Sunday has 8: Lakers at Knicks, Hornets at Heat, Sixers at Bucks, Raps (game 1 of a B2B) at Pistons, Hawks at Magic, Bulls at Kings, Wolves at Rockets and Nets at Clips.
For My Streamers
*all light schedule days in bold- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday- more than a few teams play two of these days but only three play on three of them: Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Utah.
ATL: 3- W, Sa, Su
BRK: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
BOS: 3- M, Th, Sa
CHA: 3- M, F, Su
CHI: 3- Tu, F, Su
CLE: 4- M, Tu, Th, Sa
DAL: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
DEN: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
DET: 4- M, W, F, Su
GSW: 2- W, Sa
HOU: 4- M, W, F, Su
IND: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
LAC: 4- M, Tu, F, Su
LAL: 4- Tu, Th, F, Su
MEM: 2- W, Sa
MIA: 3- W, F, Su
MIL: 3- Tu, F, Su
MIN: 3- Tu, Th, Su
NOR: 3- Tu, F, Sa
NYK: 3- Tu, F, Su
OKC: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
ORL: 3- W, Th, Su
PHI: 3- Tu, F, Su
PHO: 3- W, F, Sa
POR: 3- Tu, F, Sa
SAC: 4- M, Th, F, Su
SAS: 3- Tu, F, Sa
TOR: 3- M, Th, Su
UTA: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
WAS: 4- M, W, F, Sa
Sun of Week 21/Mon: HOU, TOR
Mon/Tues: CLE, LAC
Weds/Thurs: OKC, ORL, UTA
Thurs/Fri: LAL, SAC
Fri/Sat: NOR, PHO, POR, SAS, WAS
Sat/Sun: ATL, BRK
Sun/Mon of Week 23: CHI, DET, MIA, NYK, TOR
3 games in 4 nights
Mon/Weds/Thurs: OKC, UTA
Weds/Thurs/Sat: OKC, UTA
Weds/Fri/Sat: PHO, WAS
Thurs/Fri/Sun: LAL, SAC
Tu/Thurs+ CLE, DAL, DEN, IND, LAL, MIN
SEMI-FINALS (Week 23: 3/18 – 3/24)
Notes: The schedule is a little denser which means you and your opponent shouldn’t have a big spread between games played. My five H2H teams have 44, 46, 46, 48 and 48 games with one team having a +1 on Wednesday.
5 Games: GSW (but how many do you really think they’ll suit up, especially with two sets of back-to-backs?)
4 Games: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, NYK, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games: ATL, CHI, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOR, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR
2 Games: BKN, ORL
Monday has 9 games: Pistons at Cavs, Jazz at Wiz, Nuggs at Celts, Knicks at Raptors, Heat at Thunder, Dubs at Spurs, Pels at Mavs, Bulls at Suns and Pacers at Blazers.
Tuesday has 8: Sixers at Hornets, Rockets at Hawks, Lakers at Bucks, Duns at Wolves, Nets at Kings and Pacers at Clippers.
Wednesday has 9: Bucks at Cavs, Pels at Magic, Celts at Sixers, Jazz at Knicks, Wiz at Bulls, Rockets at Grizz, Heat at Spurs, Raps at Thunder and Mavs at Blazers.
Thursday has 6: Wolves at Hornets, Nuggs at Wiz, Jazz at Hawks, Pistons at Suns, Mavs at Kings and Pacers at Dubs.
Friday has 7: Grizz at Magic, Clips at Cavs, Nuggs at Knicks, Thunder at Raptors, Spurs at Rockets, Heat at Bucks and Nets at Lakers.
Saturday has 8: Celts at Hornets, Heat at Wiz, Sixers at Hawks, Jazz at Bulls, Wolves at Griz, Mavs at Dubs, Pistons at Blazers and Suns at Kings.
Sunday has 8: Clips at Knicks, Cavs at Bucks, Nuggs at Pacers, Hornets at Raptors, Rockets at Pels, Spurs at Celts, Pistons at Dubs and Kings at Lakers.
Sun of Week 22/Mon: CHI, DET, MIA, NYK, TOR
Tues/Weds: HOU, IND, MIL, PHI
Weds/Thurs: DAL, UTA, WAS
Sat/Sun: BOS, CHA, DET, GSW
Sun/Mon of week 24: none
If you’re already losing focus, perk up with the Southern National Anthem.
FINALS (Week 24: 3/25 – 3/31)
Notes: This might be the tightest of all the weeks and the most likely you’ll have a full/overloaded day. My five H2H teams have 40, 43, 43, 46 and 46 games so there’s a big disparity there. Two teams are full on Tuesday. Additionally, with only seven games on Sunday there’s a decent chance you can stream 3 or 4 games if you’re able to hold on to your adds through the early part of the week.
4 Games: DEN, LAC, LAL, MEM, OKC, ORL, POR, SAC, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BRK, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, PHI, PHO, SAS, TOR, UTA
2 Games: NYK
Monday has 4 games: Sixers at Magic, Thunder at Grizz, Suns at Jazz and Nets and Blazers.
Tuesday has 10: Spurs at Hornets, Celts at Cavs, Magic at Heat, Bulls at Raps, Rockets at Bucks, Clips at Wolves, Hawks at Pels, Kings at Mavs, Pistons at Nuggs and Wiz at Lakers.
Wednesday has 5: Blazers at Bulls, Dubs at Grizz, Pacers at Thunder, Wiz at Suns and Lakers at Jazz.
Thursday has 8: Magic at Pistons, Nets at Sixers, Mavs at Heat, Raps at Knicks, Nuggs at Rockets, Clips at Bucks, Kings at Pels and Cavs at Spurs.
Friday has 6: Pacers at Celts, Blazers at Hawks, Dubs at Wolves, Nuggs at Thunder, Wiz at Jazz and Hornets at Lakers.
Saturday has 9: Cavs at Clips, Celts at Nets, Kings at Rockets, Blazers at Pistons, Magic at Pacers, Heat at Knicks, Raps at Bulls, Sixers at Wolves and Grizz at Suns.
Sunday has 7: Bucks at Hawks, Mavs at Thunder, Lakers at Pels, Kings at Spurs, Wiz at Nuggs, Hornets at Dubs and Grizz and Clips.
Sun of Week 23/Mon: none
Tues/Weds: LAL, WAS
Sat/Sun: LAC, MEM, SAC
Working the Wire
Delon Wright was top-90 last week with 14.3 points, 0.5 threes, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 dimes, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks in almost 30 minutes a game but with only two games next week, ain’t nothing wrong with some good streamin’.
Patrick Beverley stayed top-50ish last week with 1.3 threes, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 0.3 blocks and you should grab him at least for his Monday/Tuesday B2B if he’s available (I’d use him for the whole week). If he’s gone, you can look at Shai Gorgeous, who mysteriously was top-60 last week on some very efficient low-end guard numbers. I’m planning on using him for the B2B in all leagues I need guard stats and need to protect my turnovers. The Clips grind 4-3-4.
Marcus Smart stayed hitting last week, knocking down over 50% of his shots and averaging 13 points, 2.3 threes and 2.5 steals (top-25). Boston plays 3-4-3 with no B2Bs until Sat/Sun of Week 23.
Tyler Johnson was good last week with 13.7 points, 1.3 threes, 5.7assists and two stocks with nice efficiency (top-40). I’m trying hard to fight my bias but it’s still winning. Phoenix runs 3-3-3 with a Fri/Sat B2B this week.
D.J. Augustin kept up standard league value (top-110) for the second straight week although he’s more of a short-term stream/plug-and-play considering the Magic’s crappy 3-2-4 schedule, though they do kick off the week with a Weds/Thurs B2B.
Collin Sexton fell under the ownership threshold and fell out of the top-250 in 9-cat. If I needed points and threes and wasn’t worried about turnovers, I’d still consider using him for his Monday/Tuesday B2B. I wouldn’t hold him all week however unless I was punting a cat or two. Cleveland goes 4-4-3.
Ish Smith finally looks healthy and put up top-100 value in 9-cat last week and top-120 over the last two weeks with 11.3 points and 5.9 assists over the last seven games. That’s value is predicated on the 59.3% from the field he’s been averaging, and it’ll be a lot uglier in 9-cat when he cools off. He can still get you assists, though. Detroit goes 4-4-3.
Jalen Brunson somewhat maintained his low-end line last week with 10.3 points, 0.8 threes, 5.0 assists and 0.5 steals in 29 minutes. That put him at about the top-160 mark. Dallas goes 3-4-3.
Wayne Ellington slowed down but was still top-120 last week with 9.8 points, a disappointing 2.5 threes, and to make up for it, a surprising 1.8 steals. Luke Kennard stayed the preferred 9-cat play (top-40) with 20.0 points and 4.0 threes on even better efficiency than last week. It’ll hurt when the 59.2% shooting regresses. They’re both streamable as the resurgent Pistons battle 4-4-3.
Landry Shamet bumped himself up to the top-135 over his last seven games with 12.4 points, 3.0 threes and 0.5 stocks in 29 minutes a game. You don’t have to use him the whole week but I’ll play that Monday/Tuesday B2B if I needed a boost in 3s. The Clippers play 4-3-4.
Avery Bradley stayed in the top-75 last week and looks to have his role set as he’s back to offering love to the world but Memphis’ 2-3-4 schedule means he’ll be on none of my squads next week (though I might pick him up in any leagues I have a bye for Week 22).
Wes Matthews’ shooting returned to form and he dropped out of the top-130 last week but still had a decent line of 10.7 points, 2.0 threes, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 33 minutes a game. Indy zooms 3-4-3.
Kevin Huerter was unusable last week. So sad. The Hawks fly 3-3-3 but have a Sat/Sun B2B this week.
Gerald Green has returned top-150 value for you deep-leaguers, with 10.6 points and 2.1 threes over his last seven games. Houston goes 4-4-3.
Frank Jackson quietly landed in the top-160 over his last four games with 13.3 points, 1.5 threes, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals but in his first game starting for Jrue Holiday, he put up 20 points, a three and six boards in almost 37 minutes. He doesn’t have the ideal fantasy stat-set (not enough 3s and steals from a scoring guard) but he might win the battle of value attrition by volume alone if he gets 35-plus minutes a game with Jrue out. His 3-3-3 means he can be selectively used when the schedule permits- like Friday/Saturday’s B2B.
Dion Waiters– yuk. Derrick Jones Jr.– yuk. Rodney McGruder (top-115 over his last four games) made even more noise with 10.0 points, 2.3 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in 27 minutes a game. He got extra run because he was hot (for him) at 46.2% from the field but I don’t know I’m buying it yet especially with Miami going 3-4-3. He does play W/F/Sun if you need an extra game after a Mon/Tues B2B.
Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson are both getting heavy run and putting up points, but their overall games deteriorated and they both landed around the top-200 in 9-cat. Mario Hezonja is still out. The Knicks go 3-4-2.
Malik Beasley had a little resurgence last week with 12.0 points and 2.8 threes in 22 minutes. Gary Harris has been struggling mightily and in those eight games Harris has been back, Malik hit at least two 3s in all but one of them. He’ll be there if you need him. Denver plays 3-4-4.
Rodion Kurucs is back to starting as coach Atkinson likes his shooting, rebounding and hustle. He’s put up top-50 numbers in three starts with 15.0 points, 3.3 threes, 6.3 rebounds and over a block in 25 minutes a game. The Nyets go 4-2-3 and have a Sat/Sun B2B this week.
Mikal Bridges had quiet top-70 value last week in 9-cat with 1.0 threes, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks in 26 minutes a game just as naked as the day he was born.
Josh Jackson had 1.3 threes, 1.3 blocks and 0.7 steals with the usual bad efficiency. The Suns blink 3-3-3 with a Fri/Sat B2B.
Moe Harkless got 9.3 points, 0.5 threes, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks last week, good enough for top-100 in 9-cat. Portland blazes 3-3-4 with a B2B on Fri/Sat.
Jeff Green gave us a standard top-150 line with 12.5 points, 1.3 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks in 30 minutes a game. The Wiz go 4-4-4 with a Fri/Sat B2B.
Jae Crowder scored 11-plus points three games in a row, including two games of .500-plus from the field and some inflated rebounding and steals which allowed him to land in the top-60 this week. Utah plays 4-4-3 (including a Weds/Thurs B2B this week) and betting on Crowder’s shooting to hold is as risky as it gets.
Also in Utah, Royce O’Neale got his customary start on Friday with Ricky Rubio (hip) out and got 10 points, a 3 and two steals and he’s usually good for some low-end numbers whenever Rubio sits. Rubio might be back next week but Royce can be used as a spot-start on Weds/Thurs if Rubio is out and you need some low-end across-the-board numbers.
Meanwhile, Kyle Korver got 30 minutes a game last week and Utah might be dusting him off for the playoff run. The former teen vampire had top-90 value with 12.5 points, 2.8 treys and 1.0 steals last week.
If you need to follow a Wednesday/Thursday B2B and have a dry wire, you can take a look at Kenrich Williams with 2.0 threes and 2.5 steals over his last four games in over 31 minutes a game last week. That was good for top-70 (the steals!) even though he’s still shooting like he’s related to Allen Crabbe. The Pels go 3-3-3 but I might use him for Fri/Sat’s B2B if I need the stat-set and he’s the best man available.
Hassan Whiteside returned from his problematic hip issue and found himself playing 20 or so minutes off the bench. Kelly Olynyk (top-10, ¡Que macho!) and Bam Adebayo (top-80) were great and look like difference makers down the stretch assuming Whiteside continues to come off the bench. Miami goes for it 3-4-3.
P.J. Tucker halved his value last week and ended up around the top-100. He still got you 2.0 threes and 1.7 steals and Houston runs 4-4-3 with no B2Bs this week.
Al-Farouq Aminu fell off the track with top-195 value in 9-cat last week. The Blazers flame 3-3-3 and Chief has a Fr/Sat B2B for the needy.
Nemanja Bjelica landed in the top-100 over his last three games based mostly off his money counters – 1.7 threes, 1.3 swats and 1.0 steals in 28 minutes. Harry Giles did some stuff too but with value outside the top-200, you can probably find better. Also, my gut feeling is that Marvin Bagley returns sooner than later. The Kings go 4-4-4.
Cedi Osman sucked last week (top-195) but is heavily owned so hopefully you go up against him next week and he continues to suck. Ante Zizic might pick up some boards if Larry Nance Jr. misses time. The Cavs womp 4-4-3 and again, the Mon/Tues B2B.
Robin Lopez’s 9-cat value dipped last week but was still in the top-120 with 17 points, 7 boards and a still-respectable 1.3 blocks. Team Boylen rolls 3-3-3 and is feeling stronger every day.
Cody Zeller almost halved his value last week, falling into the top-145 with 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks. His backup, Frank Kaminsky, averaged 14.5 points, 2.5 threes and 5.0 rebounds on 51.4% from the field, good enough for top-150ish value last week. The Hornets go 3-4-3.
Joakim Noah didn’t break, pull, tear or sprain anything last week but it looked like his rejuvenated game was starting to run out of gas. He still put up a top-150sih useful line with 6.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals but with a 2-3-4 going forward, you won’t find him on any of my teams this week.
Mo Wagner got the start for the short-handed Lakers on Saturday and put up a season-high 22 points to go with a trey, six rebounds, three assists and a block in 34 minutes. Rookie Johnathan Williams also had a career game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and a block in 29 minutes off the bench but it’ll look different when Kyle Kuzma gets back (I’m assuming he’ll be back at some point). The Lakers go 4-3-4 and have a Fri/Sat B2B.
Thomas Bryant stayed a top-120 play last week but that was really only in roto. the Wiz go 4-4-4 and he has a Fri/Sat B2B.
Mason Plumlee was back to missing free throws last week which once again dragged his value outside the top-200 in 9-cat and if I was going to use a free throw killer, I’d take a shot at Ivica Zubac, at least for the Mon/Tues B2B. Zubac has been getting 8.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists an 1.0 blocks over his last seven games.
Ed Davis got 10.3 boards in almost 20 minutes a game over his last three. You get 4-2-3 doses of boss including a Sat/Sun B2B this week.
Cheick Diallo is still trading good and bad games and with 3-3-3 on deck he’s more of a plug-and-play to me. He has a Fri/Sat B2B.
Davis Bertans wasn’t very good last week but he still got 2.0 threes a game. The Spurs play 3-4-3 with a Fri/Sat B2B this week if you need some low-end 3s from a big. I guess that applies to Jakob Poeltl if you’re super desperate for blocks.
The next three guys give you some low-usage, low-upside defense.
Jonah Bolden averaged 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals over his last five games, but he’ll disappear when Embiid gets back (reportedly today). His schedule is also not so hot with a 3-3-3 and no B2Bs this week.
Richaun Holmes averaged 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals over his last five. The Suns go 3-3-3 and he has a Fri/Sat B2B.
Nerlens Noel averaged 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks over his last four games, and he’s blocked at least one shot in eight straight games. The Thunder d-up 4 times but I’m only looking at his B2B on Weds/Thurs.
–H2H Team update:
In my money leegs:
Team Floppy Divac ($$) is lined up for No. 2 bye week but it’ll come down to Sunday where I’m up 5-4 and 7 of the cats are up for grabs, though I do own both tie-breakers should it come down to that. I would have had an extra game today if Kawhi hadn’t decided to managed his load again; here’s my Canadian message for the Klaw if I get the 3-seed or get bounced early later on.
Team Splash Robinson ($$) is going into round 1 entrenched in the 5-seed and is a team built off of efficiency, assists and defensive stats. Spash-Rob also has Kawhi. Pray for me.
Team And Then There Was 1 ($) is solidly in No. 2 and will let Steph and Conley enjoy their 2-game bye week.
In my non-money leegs, I’ve admittedly been ignoring these teams for large chunks of the season; no money = idgaf; I’m too old to be worrying about bragging rights when there’s bills to be paid.
In both leegs, I’m tryin’ to tank my way to the lowest playoff seed for a more desirable round 1 matchup. I’m attempting to do that without giving my opponents enough wins to alter the seeding above me while simultaneously trying not to fall out the playoffs on the bottom end. It’s a dangerous, delicate dance but also fun – especially with no money on the line. Team Diva and Jake’s Affliction aka JoJo’s Knee definitely have their work cut out for them.
–Two years in and I still can’t get used to the backs of the new Nike jerseys. They look like capes and there no reason Cristiano Felicio should be wearing anything resembling a cape; those are reserved for old-school superheroes and vampires like Kyle Korver.
–When fashion aimed at millionaires has them deliberately dressing like a stereotypical post-war hobo (or is it a zombie from Portland?), I know the end is nigh.