THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
With the Super Bowl drifting out of our consciousness, the Big Bash crashes in with the crack of leather on willow and a flash of fireworks to fill the void. It took all 56 games to produce a final four as the Stars annihilated the Sixers on Sunday night to finish one point clear of fifth placed Brisbane Heat. With the excitement of finals comes the final stages of the countdown to the Biggest Bash Live Final, which is now a mere six days away.
All winners passes have been snared and just two fast passes remain. So, if you have $5k lying around, let us know and we can sort you out with one of them. The final ticket went to sgbrown who snuck home by eight points in the final regular game of BBL08.
Before we get too caught up with the excitement of that, let us cast our minds back to week 16 of the NBA and round two of the AFLW.
Week 16 caught headlines around the NBA world after 57 players were moved among teams in the seven days leading up to the trade deadline, the most in league history. The highest profile of those moves involved Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired by the Mavericks. And the trading of two-way star, Tobias Harris, who was snaffled by the “win now” Sixers (The Process is over, long live The Process).
While all of that was happening, Indiana quietly found a way to bounce back from the loss of Victor Oladipo and sit third in the East, one spot ahead of the highly fancied Sixers. And the Knicks, who have once again imploded, have lost 16 games in a row. Funny enough though, a report by Forbes came out during the week naming New York as the most valuable team in the NBA, valued at $1.9 billion. Marketing, huh?
In the West, the Warriors just keep winning and have opened up a buffer of wins over Denver and the Thunder continue to prove doubters wrong, overcoming James Harden and the Rockets to sit one game further back. Meanwhile, the Lakers are struggling, despite the return of the King. They are .500 but sit out of the playoffs in tenth spot, even after toppling the Celtics after this game winner by Rajon Rondo.
Poetry in motion…
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2019
The AFLW entered round two with a hard act to follow after producing four nail-biters in the first week. It might not have been a nail-biter but the match between GWS and the Roos certainly got tongues flapping after a thunderstorm struck and the lights went out at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney causing the match to face significant delays.
The Roos went on to win, their second victory in as many starts, and they were joined by the Doggies and Dockers with perfect records. Those unbeaten Dockers were the talk of the town as they were the highest scoring team for the second week running, making a huge statement to the competition.
The competition was divided into two conferences in 2019 and one of the conferences is considerably superior. Any of the five sides in Conference A would comfortably sit atop Conference B.
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 11, 2019
The final week of regular season BBL always promised to be exciting as teams battled for fourth spot. Brisbane put their hand up for finals after they obliterated the Stars on Friday night. Heat all-rounder, Ben Cutting, was the brightest star in the match as he produced one of the great BBL innings’, whacking 81 runs from just 30 balls, including eight sixes. He was rewarded with a healthy 172.5 DS points for his troubles.
Cutting combined with fellow opener, Max Bryant, to chase down the 156 run total in ten overs, without losing a wicket.
It's called classical because it never gets old…
Ben Cutting and Max Bryant were in perfect symphony for Brisbane Heat last night
🔊 Sound ON! pic.twitter.com/ndiDIwcu4i
— FOX SPORTS Australia (@FOXSportsAUS) February 9, 2019
After losing that match the Stars finals aspirations were in tatters. But, as we have learned time and time again, you can never write off Glenn Maxwell. And he hammered the point home to us on Sunday, literally, taking control of the game and ensuring victory. He whacked 82 runs off 43 balls to carry his side into fourth spot. His contributions earned him 191 DS points, his best output of the season.
Glenn Maxwell's batting in the last four overs against the Sixers:
He faced 23 of the 24 legal balls, scoring 65 of the 66 runs himself.
— Adam White (@White_Adam) February 10, 2019
Maxwell’s innings, combined with the insatiable form of Marcus Stoinis, and the return of world-class spinner, Sandeep Lamichhane (who helped himself to 134 DS points in the match), have the Stars positioned as a genuine threat. Keep an eye on all three of these Stars for your contests.
AFLW is growing at an unprecedented pace. In the first AFL commissioned match at Victoria Park, Abbotsford, since the 90’s, over seven thousand people showed up to the Magpies/Demons game. Voting, with their feet, for progress. In fact, round two saw over 26 thousand men, women and children embrace the AFLW.
Despite Collingwood playing at their spiritual home ground, it was the Demons who showed the most spirit, crushing the Pies. However, Ash Brazill was the most dominant player on the field as she rolled off stoppages from half back and flew unopposed into every marking contest. Her efforts saw her rack up 99 DS points.
23 disposals for Ash Brazill in a valiant effort.
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 9, 2019
Over at Ikon park on Sunday, it was the Blues who had the privilege of hosting Adelaide on their long-time home ground. They flew out of the blocks too, leading 31 to 14 midway through the third term. But that was where the Blues fun stopped.
Enter enigmatic Crows forward, Stevie-Lee Thompson. Three second half-goals to her dragged the Crows over the line by thirteen points. Thompson’s efforts were rewarded with 91 DS points, the third highest in the contest, and she was the best value pick available.
— The Rushed Behind (@therushedbehind) February 10, 2019
The NBA should level out a little now the trade deadline has been and gone. The playoffs race should take some recognisable shape and line ups will become more predictable.
lion4life made the most of the unpredictability the deadline brought with it, though, taking home first prize in Saturday’s contest with 375.75 points. Their choice of the Knicks newly acquired Dennis Smith Jr. (46 DS points) proved a savvy selection but it was Kelly Oubre Jr. who proved to be the difference. Apparently, if you’ve got the same name as your Dad, you were due to have a good game on Saturday. Oubre was selected by only 6% of entrants but produced the eighth highest score. His performance was easy to foresee, the most handsome man in basketball is in a groove since settling in at Phoenix.
.@KELLYOUBREJR's last 16 games 🔥
Oubre continued his hot streak notching a career-high on Friday!https://t.co/Xd38ccCMD0
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 9, 2019
OKC are one of those teams you really struggle to get around. It seems if you actually invest something into them, they don’t repay you, but when you look back at it their record is 36 and 19 and you cannot help but wonder why people are screeching about them all the time, yourself included. They are good. And Paul George and Westbrook are balling.
Russ just broke the NBA record for consecutive games with a triple double and Paul George is otherworldly right now. On Sunday, the All-Star pair combined for 124 DS points, enough for roughly 30% of a contest victory (give or take). Over their last three games, Westbrook is averaging 59.3 DS points a contest while George is putting up 58.8. They are bouncing off each other like a Spalding off the hardwood.
Talking mid-low priced options, Collin Sexton has pieced together a nice three game run scoring an average of 34.4 over that period. He is good for points, particularly those scored from beyond the arc, and plays on a team who milk a hot streak until the last drop. He could prove to be a handy selection this week as the Cavs face the Knicks, Suns and Grizzlies.
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganAFL, BBL, Latest, NBA