The 2012-'13 NBA season has come down to the last ten days At this point, I am just hoping my players see the court! Have you ever seen so many injuries in the Association? Without a doubt, any moves you make now are defined to individual categories. Utah, Detroit, Orlando and Atlanta have only two games this week, with everyone else with either three or four games scheduled. If your league allows changes next week, remember there are only three days of play with the regular season ending on Wednesday, April 17th.
Just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, as we all limp towards the finish line with injuries. I have reached a point where I am considering dumping legitimate keepers that can't stay healthy in order to try to salvage things down the stretch. Fortunately for me, I am pretty locked in scoring (first) and rebounding (last), so I can really pinpoint the other categories. Unfortunately, I still need someone who can pass the ball and block shots. Nene fits the bill for me to some extent, but he hasn't played the last four games.
Some leagues are already in the playoffs, many others are winding down the last three weeks of regular season towards that end. If you are playing fantasy basketball, you are well aware of the barrage of injuries that have peaked this past week in the Association. I have personally seen a comfortable margin in first place turn into a nightmare situation of trying to salvage even a playoff spot. I have no fewer that seven players that are either missing games, or are a threat to miss several. What makes things worst is the injuries are more of the day to day variety, so disabling the players are not an option. Lets take a look at the walking wounded.
With less than a month remaining in the 2012-'13 NBA regular season, take a moment away from March Madness to attend to your fantasy squad. Fortunately, unless you are always riding an NIT bracket, college hoops takes a three day break before Sweet 16 play begins on Thursday night. What does your team need down the stretch? I find myself searching for a player that can pass, hit an occassional three and also block shots. Not surprisingly, very few players exist with those traits.
As you pour through your brackets for March Madness, don't forget to attend to your NBA fantasy team! Before we get to this week's pickups, here is a look at who I like in my bracket. I am going with top seed Louisville in the Midwest, second seeded Ohio State in the ridiculously weak West region, fourth seeded Michigan in the brutal South region and second seeded Miami in the East. Staying with the Hurricanes, how is it that the regular season and tournament champion from the ACC isn't a number one seed? Just to prove a point, I am going with the 'Canes to beat the UL Cardinals in the title game in Atlanta.
The Spring is the best time of the year for sports fan. Spring training, The Masters, NFL free agency and the draft, but March and April are also arguably the best time of the year for the sport of basketball. It's easily the highlight of the season for college hoops with the conference tournaments, leading into March Madness. In the NBA, teams jockey not only for a spot in the playoffs, but seeding as well. In the fantasy world, the focus now is on specific categories and that elusive piece you can land in free agency or on your league's waiver wire!
And on to March, in like a lion, out like a lamb. Tony Parker owners? Sorry.... We aren't projecting a replacement as Manu Ginobili should handle the ball more (if healthy) with players like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard getting a bump in value. The Spurs only have two games this week, so we won't get a clear picture of San Antonio's plans over the next month. A busy week otherwise, with 19 teams having four games on the slate.
While there are players emerging that can help you down the home stretch, the lack of activity at the trade deadline has certainly lessened the fantasy impact. With approximately seven weeks remaining in the regular season, the time to make a move is now. I was mired in last place in rebounding in my league, so I moved several big men for perimeter players to attempt to gain points in assists, three pointers and steals. Don't force moves or make them just to do it, but in order for transactions to have time to take effect, do them now.
Were you looking for fireworks at the NBA trade deadline? As things turned out, the pre-season James Harden deal and the trade that sent Rudy Gay north of the border, turned out to be the biggest deals across the Association. New, more stringent rules involving the luxury tax are trying to keep the NBA elite (Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, etc.) from dominating the transaction market and clubs are certainly more luxury tax sensitive. The biggest move ending up actually came on deadline eve, making for a very un-eventful Februuary 21st.
All-Star weekend in Houston has wrapped up and was generally panned by observers. What did you think? Did you watch? I found it entertaining for the most part, but found the musical entertainment leaving much to be desired. I would like to see the slam dunk and three point contest get more high profile entrants, perhaps using charity donations as the draw. Lebron in the slam dunk? JJ Reddick in the three point? Just food for thought. We wrap up our mid-season reviews with the Southwest Division of the Western Conference.