THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Sport in Australia sure does heat up around the end of January. The Australian Open finals are fought out and the cricket is hovering at its zenith. A test series against Sri Lanka has commenced and there are just 16 matches to play out in BBL08 before Draftstars’ Biggest Bash Live Final. And that means there are only 23 winners tickets remaining for the VIP event.
The first test against Sri Lanka saw a dismantling of the visitors by Australia, the Aussies first comprehensive victory in recent memory. The series marked another attempt at rebuilding the Australian team with young stars Jhye Richardson, Kurtis Patterson and Will Pucovski in the squad, and now Marcus Stoinis being called up to the side. So far the newfound direction has proven fruitful as the first match was won in just over three days.
Stoinis’ selection has come due to his scintillating form and performances in the Big Bash (whoever said the Big Bash didn’t support Test cricket?). Again, over the past week, he led his side to two wins and third place in the standings.
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 27, 2019
The match of the week came on Wednesday, though. In a top of the table clash between the Hurricanes and the Sixers, Sydney took bragging rights as they chased 173 in just 17 overs. Bat was dominant over ball in that match with five wickets falling for 345 runs.
Across the pond, it was a week off of NFL while we await the Super Bowl, and the NBA has hit the midpoint of the season. Those two codes drum on, completely oblivious to anything happening in little Australia.
Let us take the midpoint of the NBA season to have a quick review. Clearly, the Warriors are the team to beat again after appearing wounded earlier in the season. They have won ten games in a row and are beginning to mesh on offense. Again, the West is considerably more advanced than the East. 24 wins would have you as a seventh seed in the East, but, for the Timberwolves, it marks them as barely competitive and in eleventh in the West.
— François NBA (@Pacito23) January 26, 2019
The Bucks and Raptors are flying the flag in the East, however. Two MVP candidates, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard, have their respective teams flying and do actually threaten to win a game or two off the eventual Western conference champion. Kawhi has been ably supported by Cameroonian beast, Pascal Siakam, who is probably going to be the most improved player in 2018-19. Speaking of MVP’s, Giannis was the heir apparent for the first quarter of the season, then James Harden went absolutely crazy and now may well be a unanimous pick at the top.
Luka Doncic is the Rookie of the Year already, Paul George is having his best season yet and is the likely Defensive Player of the Year (and has his OKC side in third spot) and then anyone’s guess sixth man of the year could be considered.
Paul George since game 12 of the season:
48% FG /41% 3PT /86% FT
While also being the DPOY
He’s the real MVP of the NBA pic.twitter.com/VpdKjjzQ58
— Google “1 in 72,000 Chance” (@42TDs) January 5, 2019
As mentioned, the first test was a walk over by the Aussies. Other than early in Australia’s innings, Sri Lanka never looked likely and the result was written on the wall from half way through day one.
It was Jhye Richardson who exploded out of the gates in his first test to dismantle the Sri Lankan batting line up, taking 3/26 in his first innings. But Pat Cummins was never going to be outdone. He truly is the golden boy of Australian cricket now and his first ever match 10 wicket haul confirmed it. An impressive 4/39 in the first dig was outshone by an astonishing 6/23 in the second. He finished with match figures of 10/62 and 230 DS points, the highest score for the match.
After 19 Tests:
Warne – 75 wickets at 27
McGrath – 78 wickets at 27
Lillee – 88 wickets at 23
Lyon – 61 wickets at 32
Johnson – 86 wickets at 28
Lee – 77 wickets at 25
McDermott – 65 wickets at 34
Gillespie – 75 wickets at 21
Pat Cummins thus far – 90 wickets at 22#AUSvSL
— Dave Brown (@diogenesbrown) January 26, 2019
The second highest scorer, tallying 159 DS points, was a surprise. Selected by only 19% of entries, Suranga Lakmal rode a five wicket haul to get to the total and will intrigue in the second test.
Is it possible the Big Bash has been playing some Aussies into form? Jhye Richardson was formidable for the Scorchers before starring for Australia and now Marcus Stoinis has the chance to replicate the feat if he is selected for the second test. He was undoubtedly a must have in your BBL contest entries before his test call up and it will be well worth monitoring the final side picked for Canberra.
Over the week, Stoinis recorded DS scores of 181 and 183 and commanded selection despite his loft $24k price tag. And his selectors reaped the rewards with the winners in both Stars contests having him in their sides.
However remarkable Stoinis has been, the best performance of the week went to Callum Ferguson. The Thunder batsman turned in a vintage performance to hammer eight sixes on his way to 113 runs off of 53 balls. In what was one of the all-time great BBL knocks, Ferguson managed 215.5 DS points and trumped an impressive 96 run hit out from Shaun Marsh (164 DS points). Callum Ferguson, take a bow.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 25, 2019
The NBA is consistently supported by Draftstars’ loyal fans. And Draftstars is giving back with the renewal of the NBA Big 400. If you did not know, it works like this; if your team tallies a score of 400 (or more), you get cash, no matter what. If nobody in the contest does, the prize is added to a prize pool and once someone tallies 400, they receive a jackpot of combined winnings. Last year the jackpot reached over $100,000. And you could win it with a $1 entry.
In the first Big 400 contest on Wednesday, nobody managed the 400-point feat with 386.5 being the top score. James Harden was the highest scorer in that contest (surprise, surprise), as he AGAIN tallied an enormous score. 94.25 on this occasion. Almost a quarter of the way to the magic number.
That Wednesday was the day Victor Oladipo unfortunately tore his quad. As harrowing as it was for NBA fans, particularly you Pacers tragics, it spelled a probable increase of DS points, and increased value, across the board for Collison, Myles Turner, Thad Young and co. Exhibit one, Thaddeus Young, who scored 55.5 in that contest at a price of just over $10k.
✅TOP PERFORMANCE✅ Thad Young (@yungsmoove21) had an epic night to top off a four-point win over the Toronto Raptors.
— Team Thad (@TeamThad21) January 24, 2019
Lou Williams is a contender for the aforementioned sixth man of the year, and he’s already a two-time winner of the award. He has also been balling out for the Clippers in 2019. His top score of the year, 64, came against Chicago on Saturday and his three game average is 43.3. Priced at around $14k, he is a value pick game-in, game-out.
Contestants will also have to chance to cash in on Will Barton’s return from injury. He returned to the side in limited minutes this year but is building and output 46 DS points on Thursday against Utah. His best basketball well and truly belies his near $10k cost and expect his scores to surge as he builds further.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 24, 2019
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganBBL, Latest, NBA, NFL