Another round, another mid-round deficit. Can my team pull off another comeback?
The good news is that Im within striking distance of all the cats Im down in. The bad news is Im not entirely sure who in the FA pool can actually help me catch up in those cats. Being down in AST and STL hurts a bit after dominating those cats all year, but being somewhat close in FT% and 3PM, two cats I thought were unwinnable, helps ease the blow a bit. Had Lowry not missed 4 games (and counting), the score could look drastically different. Hopefully, he returns this week and can produce some solid stat lines and help me out.
Harden has single-handedly kept me in this matchup with monster games of 50+ and 40+ pts. Unsurprisingly, Wall is leading my team in AST. Some near-misses on double-doubles hasnt killed me too badly as my opponent has had his fair share of misses as well. Harris, Danny, Rudy, and Noel have been solid albeit without any of the monster lines Ive seen them put up. Overall, it feels like my team is underachieving. Draymond has missed half the week and not been too productive in the games he has played in. MCW has been wildly inconsistent and Giannis seems to have slowed down a bit as well. With Bosh out, I thought Dragic would take on a bigger roles in MIA’s offense, but I wonder if all those nagging injuries he is playing through have finally caught up to him. He’s still pretty efficient, but hasnt seen too much volume.
On my opponent’s side, Westbrook has been a terror as expected. Blake, while not the double-double machine, has pumped out well-rounded stat lines. As per usual, Evan Turner has saved his best for me. Kyrie has only played 2 games so far, so maybe 3PM, FT%, and PTS arent as close as it seems. Ish Smith, Ariza, and Isaiah have provided solid support as well.
This whole matchup probably swung on his pick up of Lou Williams. In the two games he’s played, he’s dropped 50 PTS (17/31 FG; 548 FG%) with 8 3PM. He’s been by far the most productive pickup either of us made in our combined 15 acquisitions so far (8 for me, 7 for him). The fact that I had meant to pick him up after games started on Thursday but forgot after I got enthralled in a RCL draft makes the move hurt even more. Sullinger and Covington were amusing pickups – being players that used to carry my opponent’s during the regular season – but weren’t especially noteworthy during their spot starts on my squad. Perhaps I’ll have to snipe another former player from my opponent’s team soon…
Going forward, Im still unsure what to do with my pick ups. I may continue to just go for overall balanced production. If I do try and focus a category, it will probably be AST/STL, but the problem is that AST is nearly impossible to find this late and STL is wildly unpredictable. I still think his team is too good at 3PM for me to catch up in, but since my team has been dominate in AST and STL before, those cats give me a little more hope.
Im not sure which one of us will be hit harder by players getting rested in these next 10 days. Draymond is easily a candidate to be rested again, though I still havent been able to figure out who truly benefits when he does. Wall and Goran could sit when their team’s playoff seed is secured. I think Harden continues to play as long as the #2 seed in the West is in play for HOU. Westbrook may sit if OKC clinches the #8 seed, but with NO only 0.5 games behind (as of this post), that may not happen. It should be noted, he is only 1 technical foul away from a mandated suspension, so that is a possibility, but I think he knows how crucial he is to his team and will behave. Kyrie and Blake are also rest candidates, Kyrie a little more so since Blake and LAC are also in a tight race for playoff seeding.
I must say, after the dogfight that was my last matchup, Im just a little bit salty that yet again, Im mired in the harder matchup. Either my opponent or myself would be demolishing either team in the 3rd place matchup so far. But as it’s the championship, I shouldnt have expected anything but a challenge from my opponent. Here’s to hoping my next post is a triumphant one.