THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Is January not just a great time to be alive? The weather is beautiful, generally. You still have some sort of holiday buzz and every sport in the world (just about) is in full swing. From the Australian Open to the Zambian squash tournament, sporting events are perpetually running. While this blog is a big sports fan, a lot of competitions are just filling the gaps between the Big Bash, NBA and NFL (and we have a little bit of time for the AO).
The gaps are small at the moment now though. The Big Bash (and other Australian cricketing events) are keeping us occupied, and the NFL just provided us with the most incredible conference championships.
Draftstars continues to come to the party during the cricket season and has now handed out 40 tickets to the Biggest Bash Live Final. Most recently, JDJuan snared a ticket with a less than two-point victory in the Sixers v Heat match on Sunday.
Individual performances are the order of the NBA at the moment. Everyone knows what James Harden is doing, we wrote about Nikola Jokić last week, Bradley Beal is showing up night after night and Ben Simmons just narrowly missed out on back-to-back-to-back triple doubles.
Ben Simmons went off against the Knicks 😤 pic.twitter.com/HuxHR6CKhv
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 13, 2019
And, as we called earlier in the year, the amazing 2018-19 NFL season was always going to produce a memorable post season. What’s more memorable than both conference championship games going to OT for the first time in NFL history?
For the first time in NFL history, BOTH Conference Championships went to overtime. pic.twitter.com/S5FbZq3fRx
— ESPN (@espn) January 21, 2019
Undoubtedly, this season has been one of the best ever and a once in a lifetime Super bowl awaits.
The final ODI between India and Australia was a bit of a snooze fest, and it really epitomised the summer of cricket so far. The Aussies promised a heap in their first game victory but crumbled as the Indians class shone through in games two and three.
Talking class, MS Dhoni is class personified and proved to be a thorn in the Australian side for the entirety of the ODI series. He made 50 in each game and was in the top five DS scorers in two of the three games.
Marcus Stoinis is class, too. And after performing in the series against India, he came back to his Melbourne Stars side and won his side the Melbourne derby taking 3/19, making 70 runs and accumulating a whopping 198 DS points.
On Sunday, Brisbane Heat bowler, Josh Lalor, took a rare T20 five-for on his way to 181.25 DS points. But the Sixers’ English imports, Tom Curran and James Vince continued their good form to add a combined 253.5 DS points (42% of the winning score in the contest) and take the W.
The performance of the week, however, came from the ageless Shane Watson who hit the first ton of BBL 08. It came off of 62 balls and included six sixes, translating to 192 DS points. His performance was in vain though, as the game was embarrassingly called off due to bad light… at the Gabba!
No amount of controversy can take away from Shane Watson's brilliant century.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 17, 2019
James Harden is a walking bucket. He is averaging 79 DS points over his last three outings, and 78 over his past six. Unfortunately, he costs $29k.
For $10k less Steph Curry is available. Steph has been very Steph lately. He’s dialled in from deep and the Warriors are riding his hot run.
For $12k less you can get Kyrie Irving, who has been tearing it up over the past week, averaging 59 DS points over his last three games. Including two monster scores of 60+.
And for $17k less you can get your select fellow Rocket, Eric Gordon, who went off in the last Houston game for 30 points and 43.75 DS points.
ERIC GORDON FORCES OT WITH THIS THREE!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 20, 2019
A little lower again is Montrezl Harrell. The former Rocket has found a starting place, for the time being, at centre for the Clips. He found his way there after a relatively monster game against the Pistons in which he put up 21 points, nine rebounds and six assits.
Never doubt the Patriots. If ever a season proved that point, this is the one. Let’s face it, you can all but slate the Pats in for a conference championship game every year and to bet against them is a low percentage play.
As is trying to guess what the hell is going to happen in Super bowl LIII. The Patriots could win 31-0, the Rams could win 28-0 or it could be a tie game. They’ll kick off at close to even money and any tip you get is someone blowing smoke out of their proverbial backside.
What we can do however, is look at the conference championship games retrospectively. And point out how obvious the results were.
Mahomes went off, obvious. Brady won, obvious. Brees suffered a heart breaking defeat, no brainer. The Rams made some special plays to pull a victory out of nowhere, clearly.
For those Rams, their ground game was well restricted and Jared Goff was forced to show off his precise arm through the air. He threw for a somewhat pedestrian 297 yards and one score but made huge plays at crucial moments. His receiver of choice, Brandin Cooks, caught seven passes for 107 yards to return him to the Super bowl for the second consecutive year, against the side he played for last year. And Greg Zuerlein nailed a 57-yard field goal to take the victory, the longest game winning-kick in postseason history.
Greg Zuerlein has ice in his veins ❄️
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 20, 2019
In the other game, 24 fourth quarter points from the Chiefs was not enough to force them over the line against the Patriots. 295 yards and three scores was not enough for Pat Mahomes. And Tom Brady did it again.
Sony Michel also did it again. After a herculean game last week (129 yards rushing, 3 TDs), he backed it up with another 100 yard outing and two more scores.
While the game was lost, Chiefs RB Damien Williams was enormous. He contributed three touchdowns to the score and had 96 all-purpose yards (30 rushing, 66 in the air).
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganBBL, Latest, NBA, NFL