Alternative Title: We Haz Math Skillz
That’s it. El Final. El Fin. O Fim. La Fine. Das Ende. The NBA regular season is over my friends. We are done with fantasy basketball (other than playoff fantasy basketball). We are done with these daily posts (which we love, but are a slog after 170… wait, 171 days). I hope everyone who reads GMTR had a strong fantasy year and that we were able to help guide your fantasy team to a strong fourth place finish in your league. I want to thank everyone for reading and commenting on these posts over the course of the season, it’s why we do this thing every day. And who knows, maybe we’ll do it all again next season (provided there is a next season).
Line of the Night/Waiver Wire Line of the Night: While there is no more waiver wire to worry about, Chase Budinger (2.63) represented for the under-owned by dominating the “two teams with nothing to play for” match up against the Timberwolves. Budinger stepped all over the decomposing corpse of the Wolves with 35 points, adding 4 threes and 6 rebounds in 41 minutes on the court. If you allow me to gaze into my crystal ball into the year 2000 and 12, Budinger is a player whose fantasy value will depend a lot on what the Rockets’ do to their lineup this offseason. I can’t imagine they are going to stand pat with that roster and give it yet another go with Yao Ming. Although that would be funny if they do as long as you’re not a Rockets’ fan.
Honorable Mentions: Budinger wasn’t the only Rocket who still was in 5th gear last night (or 3rd gear if you happen to drive a 1990 Geo Prizm). Goran Dragic (1.08) had the first triple-double of his career with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists filling in for the injured Kyle Lowry. The Wolves – who had a 34 point game from Michael Beasley (1.44) – finished off the year with 15 straight losses and will have the best odds to get the first pick in this year’s draft. Way to go Minnesota!
Andrei Kirilenko ended up being one of those annoying day-to-day guys who basically shut it down over the last few weeks of the season. But his absence did give Gordon Hayward (2.36) some time to showcase – and he certainly did that last night – finishing with 34 points (on 12-17 from the field) with 5 threes against the Nuggets. Kirilenko’s time with the Jazz may be at the end and, depending on what happens in Utah, Hayward could have some sleeper potential next season.
Reggie Williams (2.03) just wanted to remind everyone that he still plays in the NBA. With Monta Ellis out with a concussion, Williams started for the Warriors and scored 28 points, adding 4 threes, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. If Williams could have only done that 81 more times this season, we might have had something.
The Lakers did actually have something to play for last night (the second seed in the West), so Kobe Bryant (2.03) went into black mamba killer mode (the one where laser beams shoot out of his eyes) to help the Lakers barely hold on in OT after blowing a 20 point 4th quarter lead against the Kings. Kobe finished with 36 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Lamar Odom (1.62) got the start with Andrew Bynum sitting and was strong in the game with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
With the loss, it was deja vu all over again for the Kings. Marcus Thornton (1.70) had 33 points, 4 threes and 6 rebounds, while Samuel Dalembert (0.51) had 16 points and 18 rebounds in what might have been the Kings’ last game in the city of Sacramento. The Maloof brothers are making a play to move the team to the new Mecca of sports, Anaheim, by the start of next season. Honestly, it sounds like a perfect fit, a soulless city for a couple of soulless owners (no offense Anaheim).
Not that there is any doubt who deserves the rookie of the year, but Blake Griffin’s (1.53) 31 point, 10 rebound, 10 assists triple-double against the Grizzlies was the cherry on the top of his amazing season. My off season homework to him is to improve his free throw shooting, which would make him no-brainer first round pick next season.
Michael Jordan predicted that Gerald Henderson (1.87) could be an all-star within two years, which of course means he’ll be out of the league in two years. But against a Hawks team clearly going through the motions, Henderson looked like an all-star for one night, as he finished with 20 points, 6 assists and 4 steals in the win. At the very least Henderson is a bright spot for a team without many bright spots.
It wouldn’t be a GMTR daily post spectacular without mentioning Ersan Ilyasova (1.53), whose 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks off the bench helped the Bucks to an overtime win over the Thunder. Brandon Jennings (1.51) had 16 points, 7 assists and 5 steals in the game, but had a typical 4-11 shooting game from the floor.
A peak into Nels’ brainspace
Biggest Loser: Not surprisingly, there were a lot of half-assed on the court performances with guys going through the motions on the last night of the regular season (kind of like I’m doing with this post). All the Hawks’ starters were horrible in limited minutes in a 96-85 loss to the Bobcats. But that is especially true of Joe Johnson (-1.17), who scored 2 points on 1-6 shooting in 10 minutes on the court.
A 2-14 shooting game was probably not the way that Jordan Crawford (-1.10) wanted to be remembered after a strong finish to the season for the Wizards; Carlos Boozer (-0.86) played 25 minutes in Chicago’s win over New Jersey, but shot 3-11 from the field in the game; Roy Hibbert (-0.83) played 9 minutes in the Pacers horrible 92-74 loss to the Magic. He scored no points and had 3 rebounds in the game; the Spurs sat Tim Duncan and Tony Parker on Tuesday night. They should have done the same for Manu Ginobili (-0.76) against the Suns last night, since he hurt himself 2 minutes into the game. He’ll be fine for the playoffs. Probably.
And that is why it’s bad to rely on the last day of the season for any type of fantasy league.
In the bonus: Gerald Wallace FBI agent?
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version).
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