It's early, but there appear to be two Eastern Conference teams separating themselves from the rest of the pack. One has already matched last year's win total. The other is halfway there. Out west, it's the usual suspects. Let's jump in.
Atlanta (3-0) over Golden State (1-2), 6-3 The Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the Eastern Conference... thus far. Kyle Lowry leads the league in assists by a wide margin. He's hit double-digit assists in 8 straight games. Ben Simmons is still a triple-double threat. And the Hawks had TWO players hit 50+ points in a game (Klay went for 52 on Monday, then Derrick Rose(!) went for 50 on Wednesday). The Hawks are formidable, and their young guys are starting to get minutes. They're a force, but back to Kyle Lowry. It's funny how we can see moves in the off-season that are so clearly wins, and yet still underrate the kind of impact they have on a team. On it's face, Lowry for Melo and Tyler Johnson looked like an obvious win for the Hawks, and yet, I don't think anyone outside of Atlanta really could have seen just what kind of impact it would have on the Hawks. Lowry has been so good, arguably the best fantasy point guard in the league the first three weeks, it's helped everything fall into place. The Hawks have the Sonics this week looking to stay undefeated. The Warriors had a solid week, and they would beat a lot of teams with this kind of effort. They just ran into a buzzsaw. They should be able to get back on track in Toronto.
Seattle (1-2) over Utah (1-2), 6-3 The closest match-up of the week, and the one that required some scoreboard watching in the final moments Sunday, saw the Supersonics get their first win of the season against perennial playoff participant Utah. Seattle ended up winning by 8 points and 1 steal, which I don't think many would have seen coming with Utah having both Conley and Gasol going on Sunday against a fantasy-friendly opponent. However, neither could hit the broad side of a barn, and Lonzo Ball picked up a couple steals late to give Seattle the win. The Sonics have to be especially thrilled with Wendell Carter Jr. The rookie out of Duke had a slow start to the season, but he's coming on strong having averaged 17-9-4-2-2 this past week. If he can keep that up, and Lauri Markannen comes back strong, the Sonics will continue to rack up wins. Utah continues to chug along with solid effort after solid effort. It wasn't good enough this time out, but it's hard to imagine Conley and Gasol will combine to shoot 5/29 on many nights in the future. Just a normal game from both of those guys has them sitting at 2-1. Instead they'll have to get back on track against the suddenly surging Bull Sharks.
Tampa Bay (2-1) over Cleveland (0-3), 6-3 This one wasn't much to write home about, so we'll try and keep it brief. This was basically a blowout from start to finish, but you can't really fault the Cavaliers. They're already relying heavily on young players, and they've got 4 guys injured, including Kevin Love. The good news is the early returns on Trae Young, Mikal Bridges and Josh Okogie are all very positive. It looks like the Cavs hit on all three, but there's just not much they could do here. Russ is back to full strength, Ayton is the ROY front-runner, Gary Harris and Nic Batum are doing a bit of everything, Sabonis and Winslow are healthy, and Serge Ibaka has people wondering if an 11-year vet can actually win most improved player. Serge averaged 24-8 with 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks this past week, and he's been absolutely sensational all season long. Tampa Bay just might be back after an incredibly disappointing season. They'll get an early season measuring stick match-up with Utah, while the Cavs face Boston.
Boston (3-0) over Chicago (1-2), 7-2 Speaking of the Celtics, they're the other team in the East with a claim at the top spot. In their first division match-up of the season, they dominated the Chicago Bulls from the tip off. Joel Embiid continues his MVP campaign, putting up 27-12-3-2. He, Niko and Kyle Kuzma make up what just might be the best frontcourt in the entire league, which is saying a lot considering they went up against a team that held that title for much of last season. Backcourt play continues to be a question mark, but their strategy (shoot it well, make threes, take care of the ball) won it for them again. The Celtics should have no problem staying unbeaten in Cleveland. Chicago is in an interesting spot. The Bulls head into a tough game with the Portland Trailblazers, but they've been good enough in their 2 losses to get wins. Of course, sometimes the schedule just doesn't break your way, and it may turn the Bulls into sellers against their will.
Minnesota (2-1) over Las Vegas (1-2), 7-2 Let's talk about the Timberwolves, because there is something brewing in Minnesota. Even in a week when a lot of their guys saw a bit of a drop compared to what they've been doing this season, it didn't matter. The Wolves racked up a whopping 47 steals and 37 blocks, and that kind of production in two highly volatile categories makes one tough to beat. Blake Griffin is all the way back, as he averaged 29-12-4 this week. He's now averaged 29 points, 11 rebounds and 4.5 assists on the season. He may not get you much in the way of defensive numbers, but he's now making almost 3 threes a game and shooting over 50% for the first time in four years. He's an early-season MVP candidate. They'll have an under the radar intriguing match-up with the Orlando Magic who might challenge them in the defensive stats with Dwight Howard back. The Gamblers, on the other hand, may have lost, but there are a lot of positives to take away from this one. Kyrie Irving put up his first really good week. Nurkic averaged a double-double. Wilson Chandler is back on the floor. Jeremy Lin looks to be shaking off the rust. And both Joe Harris and Rodney McGruder have turned themselves into mainstays. They should be able to get back to .500 against OKC.
Brooklyn (2-1) over Kansas City (2-1), 6-3 The Nets won, but they might be in trouble. The Kings nearly pulled this one out despite being absent for the first five days. Sure, James Harden was hurt much of the week (and Kevin Knox is still out, and Will Barton is on the IR), but it's never a good look to squeak out a win with a massive games played advantage. If there's a bright spot for the Nets, it's the recent play of Pascal Siakam, he of the 16-10-2-2 average. It's hard to see the Nets making the playoffs without getting more from guys like Favors, JJJ and SGA. A big test awaits against Colorado. The Kings really only have themselves to blame, and they better hope this loss doesn't come back to bite them in the WC playoff picture. The schedule doesn't get any easier with the Grizzlies coming to town.
Memphis (2-1) over Orlando (1-2), 6-3 The Magic have had some early bad luck running, losing a nailbiter to Colorado in week 2 then running into Memphis this past week. The Grizz had their own struggles this week with Jeff Teague and Otto Porter missing games, and Marvin, Tucker and Prince turning in duds. They got enough, though, from KAT, Dipo, Beal and PG to move to 2-1. There is some good news for Memphis. It looks like Bogdan Bogdanovic will be back this week. Orlando is basically at full strength (provided you always just assume Chandler Parsons is hurt), which will be huge in their match-up with Minnesota.
Washington (2-1) over Toronto (0-3), 6-3 The Wizards continue to fascinate, en route to a dominant win over Toronto. The dominant win was no surprise. Toronto is banged up and was fighting an uphill battle before the season started (congratulations are in order for the Celtics, by the way. Not only do they look like a surefire playoff team, but they own Toronto's 2019 pick). No, Washington fascinates because the supporting cast goes from looking like a wreck to a title contender on a game-to-game basis. Rajon Rondo disappears for a game, then nearly puts up a triple-double, then follows it up with another disappearing act. Markieff Morris explodes for 28 points, and a week later he scores 4. Patty Mills scores 9 points, but the next game he puts up 16-8-7 with 4 threes. The Wizards have the talent, they just need the consistency. They'll need even more than that this week in Houston. For the Raptors, Devin Booker is healthy, De'Aaron Fox is a star, and Jaylen Brown is finally showing signs of life. The Raptors will get some wins this year. It may not be a lot, but it could start this week against Golden State.
Portland (2-1) over Colorado (1-2), 7-2 There was really no chance for the Swannies to win this one with AD missing two games, and putting up less than stellar numbers in the two he did play. The Blazers have suffered a rash of injuries themselves, and if Dragic misses time, they could enter the danger zone, as their upcoming schedule (starting with Chicago) isn't exactly a cakewalk. But Josh Richardson and Caris LeVert continue to star, and Khris Middleton has shown off improved playmaking. They should be able to hold off Chicago, despite the injuries, but things might be a little hairy. For the Swannies, it's all about AD's health. If he's able to go, they'll be a team to reckon with. If not, they won't. That question starts to get answered this week against Brooklyn.
Houston (3-0) over OKC (0-3), 7-2 Last, but certainly not least, the Rockets stayed unbeaten... but trouble might be brewing. The stars (Steph, Jokic, DeMar, Jrue, Kawhi) continue to do their thing, but the supporting cast isn't really doing their part. They survived this week, but they could be tested in the future. OKC is still in a place where they need Jimmy Butler every night, and that's just not happening. They're crazy talented, and they've got a winnable game against Vegas coming up, but, again, they need Butler to play. Houston welcomes Washington.
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2018 18:14:17 GMT -5 by Miege22
Miege22: Had to start spending my own money on them haha
Jul 28, 2018 13:58:53 GMT -5
teefbe: Since Minny decided quickly on re=signs and player options are we going to move up free agency like last year or it stays on 12th?
Jul 30, 2018 16:15:50 GMT -5
Miege22: I've created a poll on the topic. Moving up FA is harder to do than the draft because it impacts everyone. If even one owner is not on board with moving it up, we'll leave it to start on the 12t
Jul 30, 2018 16:34:19 GMT -5
Cleveland Cavaliers: Are you a contender? Do you need another solid contributor for your squad on literally the cheapest deal possible? Well you're in luck, Allen Crabbe is your man! For the low cost of a 2019 draft pick that won't be high cuz you're a contender
Aug 1, 2018 12:45:56 GMT -5
Cleveland Cavaliers: This offer will only be available for like the next 8 hours or some shit so act now!
Aug 1, 2018 12:46:29 GMT -5
Cleveland Cavaliers: Also Dewayne Dedmon $250,000 ('20) available for a pick
Aug 1, 2018 15:20:04 GMT -5
HawkEye: Free Boban!!!
Oct 18, 2018 7:13:03 GMT -5
teefbe: crazy week1 matchup between me and Seattle
Oct 21, 2018 18:52:56 GMT -5
HawkEye: I won 5-4 vs Colorado by only .02% of FT%
Oct 22, 2018 7:13:22 GMT -5
HawkEye: Correction, it's .2% or .002 of FT%
Oct 22, 2018 7:21:25 GMT -5
zephyr: does anyone know when espn is going to add position eligibility?
Nov 12, 2018 17:22:43 GMT -5
Miege22: They added PG eligibility for Bryn Forbes last week. I think they just kind of do it gradually
Nov 12, 2018 19:07:31 GMT -5
zephyr: great -- thanks!
Nov 13, 2018 8:41:24 GMT -5
zephyr: landry shamet's at 21.1 mpg for the season -- does that mean toronto has to make a decision on activating him from d-league?
Nov 27, 2018 11:30:31 GMT -5
Miege22: I think we need to go a little longer on the d-league signees, all of them, this year. 20 games isnt' a huge sample size, and a few low or no minute games can drastically impact those averages.
Nov 27, 2018 11:38:06 GMT -5
Miege22: I don't think a decision needs to be made until the last week of our season.
Nov 27, 2018 11:38:18 GMT -5