Monday Morning Tears: Opening Week
The first week of the 2018/2019 NBA season is in the books and brought with it a series of interesting opening match ups in the MMT Fantasy League. Here I’ll take a quick look at each one and highlight an outstanding performer and someone to watch. At this stage not much should be read into the performance of any team due to such a small sample size and a significant differential between number of games each team had their players play.
Better Call Gasol vs Russlin’ Up Ws
Russlin’ Up W’s (RUW) will likely be the more disappointed team after this match up, having lost both Jimmy Butler & Kawhi Leonard to rest days, without which they would have likely grabbed a 5–4 win. Despite this there are encouraging early signs for RUW, posting strong Steals and FT% performances. Westbrook is back for week 2 which will help with the counting stats but might hurt the two % categories. Next week they face Still Feathery, a very differently built team than their own and will be hoping for better counting stats performance and less rest to overcome them, especially with 6 less games than their opponent.
Better Call Gasol (BCG) was the 2nd strongest performer overall and took top spot in FG% & 3PTM thanks in large part to Kemba Walkers monstrous week who provided 19 3’s on relatively efficient shooting. There were only a couple of weak spots in BCG’s lineup which are easily addressed, especially once Lauri Markkanen returns from injury. In week 2 they go up against Week 1’s leading performer, Take That For Data in what will be a very hard fought contest.
Outstanding Performer: Kemba Walker (CHA)
One to Watch: Jaren Jackson Jr (MEM)
Post Up Dreams vs Views from the 6
A close run encounter to kick off the year for these two competitors. Views took the win and will be happy with how their team performed, in particular their trio of big men (Davis, Love & Horford) who kicked in with out of position assists that helped Views clinch that category, along with a nice week from Tobias Harris, who sometimes flies a bit under the radar. Next week they face 808’s & Heartbreaks in a match up that projects to be tight with both teams having a similar amount of games (33 vs 32).
Post Up Dreams will be disappointed to have lost the opening week but Embiid & Giannis both performed very well and Blake Griffin is outperforming his draft position to start the season. They also added early breakout candidate, Caris LeVert, to their roster at the end of the week. Will he pay off in the way that their pickup of Mitchell did last season? They face Metta World War 3 in week 2, in which they are the slight underdogs, but it would only take a couple of freak performances to turn this matchup in their favour given the equal number of games each team has.
Outstanding Performer: Anthony Davis (NOP)
One To Watch: Blake Griffin (DET)
Still Feathery vs Metta World War 3
Still Feathery took a comfortable W against Metta World War 3 to help begin to vanquish any haunting memories of last years season to forget. They topped the league in rebounds and came close in blocks and steals thanks to almost their entire roster kicking in solid contributions. Kevin Durant continued to demonstrate why he’s one of the best players in the league with volume scoring on nice efficiency. Their 2nd week match up against Russlin’ Up W’s would have seen them slightly unfavoured if the number of games for both were equal but a 6 game advantage gives them the edge.
Metta World War 3 were an early season favourite based on Hashtag Basketballs projections so might be disappointed to have lost here. They topped the league in both FT% and Assists and finished 2nd in 3PTM so this could just be an early blip. There were encouraging early signs from Taurean Prince and Steph Curry continues to be a top tier player in 9 Cat. Next week they square up against Post Up Dreams and will be hoping to bounce back on the back of Steph Curry & Draymond Green playing 4 times.
Outstanding Performer: Kevin Durant (GSW)
One To Watch: Taurean Prince (ATL)
Take That For Data vs 808’s & Fastbreaks
Take That for Data benefited from a substantial games disparity and took advantage in week 1 against 808’s & Fastbreaks. Top keeper Nikola Jokic capped an outstanding with with a perfect triple double against the Phoenix Suns and those extra rebounds and assists helped TTFD edge those categories. They follow up against Better Call Gasol and will hope to continue momentum, despite Jokic & Paul George being limited to two games each and Chris Paul being suspended after his punch up with Rajon Rondo. It might be a big ask.
808’s & Fastbreaks could easily have won this week and likely would have if the games spread was more even. There aren’t any weak performances that dragged 808’s down and those that they got from some of their later draft picks, including Jarrett Allen & Mirotic were impressive. Drummond also repaid some of the faith put in him by posting a monstrous night against the Nets. 808’s opportunity to bounce back comes against Views From the 6 which on paper looks like a nail biter.
Outstanding Performer: Nikola Jokic (DEN)
One To Watch: Jarrett Allen (BKN)
Next week we’ll be back with the first edition of the Monday Morning Tears Power Rankings along with a briefer match up breakdown.
There may also be a podcast in the works, especially with so much league drama early on.