The Debacle That is the Fantasy NBA Playoffs

The Debacle That is the Fantasy NBA Playoffs


The Debacle That is the Fantasy NBA Playoffs

New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls

“Nobody wants to hear about your fantasy team.” — Confucius 


Look, I get it. There’s a 0.000000000001 chance you want to read a story related to fantasy sports — NBA  fantasy no less — from a guy who’s been writing at this site for a couple days. The joke’s on you since you already clicked, so there.

If you can look past this, bear with me since there’s a hidden disaster lurking below the surface of our beloved fantasy sports scene that nobody wants to talk about .

The end game of the fantasy NBA playoffs is a debacle of the highest order and it’s about time somebody came out and said so.

Most people playing NFL fantasy football have come to the light and realized the championship round should end in Week 16, as opposed to 17. Only fantasy sports masochists let there league’s title change hands in Week 17 nowadays. That said, the 2012-13 NFL season wasn’t as much of a fantasy nightmare as seasons’ of yesterday. Tom Brady played the entire four quarters vs. Miami.

Still, logic holds nobody wants the fantasy title (god this sounds pathetic) decided by backups.

And since I brought up pathetic, it doesn’t get much worse than staying up until 3 a.m. when Yahoo’s date changes over in order to add the immortal Quincy Acy to my roster so I had enough warm bodies to compete with my friend’s Mike’s team in our NBA fantasy league final that seemed to go for a month.

That’s jumping ahead of things, since it’s probably impossible to speak in generalities when it comes to NBA fantasy. Every NFL league might have its own scoring varieties, but unless you take it to extremes — say a 100+ bonus for any defense that KOs Tom Brady’s season — they’re all pretty much the same, save for the eternal PPR debate. Baseball, too, you can add a bunch of categories (note Fielding Percentage isn’t as fun as it sounds) but it’s familiar enough when you’re at the bar listening to your friend talk about his work league team you don’t  need a 15-minute rule explanation as you feign interest while tapping on your phone.

Now let’s jump into the NBA fantasy scenario, where’s there’s still a big Roto vs. Head-to-Head divide. The majority of leagues still set lineups on a weekly basis instead of daily one, despite the invention of this marvelous invention called the Internet. Scoring? There’s more categories for fantasy NBA than fringe political parties in the German Parliament. (I assume. I didn’t look this up, be sure to tell me I’m wrong.)

The way the NBA season has unfurled as it hit the finish line proved to be a fantasy nightmare.

My team was lucky enough to have LeBron James thanks to winning the No. 1 pick. On strength of LeBron alone I cruised through the regular season, making about five moves along the way. (No idea what Nikola Vucevic looks like, but I’ll take his double-doubles.)

Now? In these last two weeks? LeBron went into shutdown mode the Heat have clinched the East’ No. 1 seed. That’s actually the easy part, since Miami is up front about it’s start/sit situations. The rest of the NBA? Good luck.

These last two weeks, with almost everybody locked into to their playoff slot, it became lineup roulette. Don’t NBA coaches realize our fantasy lives depend on this! Sheesh! It leaves fantasy hoops players gunning for a championship bottom-feeding on the waiver wire for unheralded rookies or unknown second year players on long-eliminated teams looking to post some decent numbers in extended garbage time so their stats look better at the end of the 82-game season.

Tuesday night this went to extreme lengths, highlighting the absurdity of it. There were only three games scheduled and that number became two when the NBA, wisely, canceled the Boston/Indiana game.

It meant this dopey thing we call fantasy basketball was, in part, be decided by these players: Will Barton, Meyers Leonard, Devin Harris, Matt Barnes and Victor Claver, who until Monday night I thought was a guy MadLib did a collab jawn with.

Put it this way: Chris Copeland should be the subject of a nutjob calling Mike Francesa how he should play over Amar’e Stoudemire, not the most significant player in the final week of the fantasy NBA season.

Life is not meant to be spent refreshing Rotoworld every two minutes to see whether or not Greg Monroe is going to play full minutes.

Going forward most NBA Fantasy leagues would be well-served to adopt the NFL model and finish the season a week or two before the actual NBA season is completed. It’s for the best. It’s for your sanity. It’s for your health, too.

On the scale of significance, this fantasy NBA scenario rates at below zero. It’s nonsense, minutia.

Even if we accept there’s nothing less important about fantasy sports, enough us do actually play them. Not to go all, “It’s still real to me, dammit” when you’re wasting time playing them, stressing about your roster it’d be nice if you could let the title be decided by the guys who brought you there in the first place, rather than guys even NBA lifers would struggle to identify.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Now back to doing important things on the Internet, namely debating the bravery of America’s Sweetheart, Lena Dunham.

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