“We got whooped.”
Recapping the fantasy basketball season
BY TRAVIS MORAN
As our fantasy basketball playoffs neared their conclusion last week, my brother had a bevy of excuses at hand should his Luscious Luka Triangle fail: mounting work stresses, tornadic weather conditions, his daughter’s 16th birthday. I’d call it a “hailstorm of excuses,” even before the literal goddamn hailstorm.
Champions—even fantasy champions—have to keep their eyes on the prize, though. Last year, when my East Harlem Hustle took the title, I have to admit that the kitty pulled my strings. For my brother, though, the money is secondary; it’s all about the pedestal. It’s the perfect stage for reminding everyone that he’s the shit.
The numbers portended this finals matchup as early as January, when a closer look at each team’s composite fantasy production value (FPV) put these two well above the fold. But Triple Double, clearly the better team on paper, hadn’t yet realized the full benefits of controversial trades that had added fantasy megastars to his juggernaut.
James Harden, Anthony Davis, Brook Lopez, LeBron, Jaren Jackson Jr. … that core five averaged 36.42 FPV this season. Triangle’s core five—Luka Dončić, Kawhi Leonard, Zach LaVine, Nic Claxton, CJ McCollum—averaged 31.52 FPV, which in any other situation would be outstanding. (By comparison, the core five of my seventh-place Hustle was at just 29.76 FPV.)
In other words, Triple Double had a no-way-this-ever-should-fucking-happen fantasy squad. If anyone was going to topple him, it would have to be Triangle—frankly, no one else was even close.