Welcome back to The Abode. If you missed the genesis, click here.

After a blowout-infested playoffs, the hype leading up to Warriors/Cavs III in the NBA Finals almost reached Mayweather/Pacquiao levels. Almost. Nothing will surpass the chicanery of Mayweather/Pac, though. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey would’ve been most impressed. Anyways, storylines and narratives were tossed around and many thought (perhaps wished?) that a heated, epic Finals would be showcased.

Game 1. Warriors 113. Cavs 91. The Cavs had 20 turnovers and the Warriors made 15 more field goals on 20 more attempts.

The Warriors Voltron’d up, while the Cavs were a bunch of scurrying ants trying to escape the ray of death from the magnifying glass of a nine-year old.

The Cavs did not panic, though, and Game 2 was an epic battle for two and a half quarters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Playoff basketball – yes spelled “basketball” – is underway, got some great games to kick it off, including from our boy PBev!  While I’m coming around and trying to watch more playoff hoops (baseball is still fresh and new, sue me!), I’m still more excited for the hopes and dreams of 2017-18 fantasy titles.

In case you’re still catching up, here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 ranks, which hopefully mostly hold up (they mostly come out at night…) for the 2017-18 season.  Of course my boldest call of Rudy #10 gets greeted by a first quarter knee injury in game 1 of the playoffs, hooray!  C’mon Rudy, just stay healthy, no one in fantasy cares how you play in the playoffs!  Hah!  So let’s all hope none of these guys in my 11-25 get injuries their next postseason game…  Here’s my Way Too Early Top 25 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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The H2H season is in the books!  Well, at least if you did a standard format, ain’t no reason to play out games the final week-and-a-half!  People getting sat with hangnails!  Even James Harden missed a game…  Say it ain’t so!

Quick scheduling note for this week.  Tomorrow we’ll announce the RCL winner, then Wednesday unveil the REL champ with their gold jersey.  We’ll catch up with the Pod either Wednesday or Thursday and some daily notes by the end of the week for you Roto-ers still trucking through to the finish line, and then start up the Way Too Early Ranks for 2017-18!  That’s what I’m excited about.  Mostly just to never see Chandler Parsons in my ranks ever again…

So who were some unlikely heroes over the championship week?  How about stupid, no good, can’t-take-a-shower-without-breaking-his-wrist Rajon Rondo just running game, and knocking me out of my one title-contending RCL.  What a joke….  10/9/9/3/0 last night against the Pels, giving him a 42/29/30/8/1 line over the Thur/Sat/Sun 3-games-in-4 nights stream if you used him in the Finals.  Who woulda thought my death knell would’ve been made by Rondo…  Eh well, baseball is here at least!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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If you recognize this picture, then you’ll certainly understand the title.  If you don’t, then how dare you call yourself a basketball fan… Also, you should check out Vince Carter in the 2000 slam dunk contest.

We have reached my final recap of the season.  It has been a long journey.  We have laughed and cried, we have shouted and groaned, but most of all, we have experienced the deep love of fantasy basketball that transcends us all.  For the good times we’ve had, I thank you.  For those who have offered comments, compliments, and constructive criticism, I appreciate you.  And for the haters, I say fuck you.  Wait, am I allowed to say that??? Well shit…

We start our night in Detroit, where the Pistons barely manage to edge the Nets 90-89… Let’s dive in!

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In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:

It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.

Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:

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Rusell Westbrook continued his dominating ways against the Raptors, and the Thunder steamrolled them tonight.  123-102 was the final score, and the Thunder outscored the Raps by 17 in the third quarter. OKC has moved into 6th place in the west, and there’s a decent possibility that they could lock up home court, since they’re only 3.5 games back of the 4th seeded Jazz squad.  At any rate, let’s get back to Westy.  He finished with 24/10/16/1/0, and oh yeah, he only had 2 TOs.  Plus, he hit 4-8 from deep! Did I mention that he did it in only 28 minutes?  Oklahoma City had 7 players in double digits, and they seem primed for a solid playoff push.

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It was the night of the triple-double. Perennial MVP candidates, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James, each notched a triple-double to lead their teams to victory.

Westbrook added 25 points, 19 assists, and 12 rebounds for his third straight triple-double, all of which are Thunder victories. It was Westbrook’s 33rd triple-double of the season, who remains just 8 shy of tying Oscar Robertson’s NBA record of 41 in a season.

For LeBron, he needed just 28 minutes to post 16/11/12 against the Pistons, a team he seems to dominate since his unforgettable 48-point performance in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. He wouldn’t be denied and knocked over anything in his path, including teammate Kyrie Irving:

The Cavs were in a bit of a slump, losing 4 of 5, heading into their matchup with the Pistons. With the Cavs just 2.5 games up on the Celtics, hopefully James will finish the year on a tear. It was James’ 10th triple-double of the season and third in the last four games.

Now onto the rest of the nightly notables:

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I hate Daylight Savings Time. I mean, I’m really not a fan. However, my love for this archaic nuance of our calendar shifted during seasons of my life. Growing up through college and early married years? Loved Fall Back and loathed Spring Forward. Now? Well, my three little kids that run on a body clock and not a real one don’t care that you just gained an hour. Wake the eff up and play with me! Don’t worry…I say that to my wife sometimes in the mornings, just with less aggressive language. It’s much more enticing. And you don’t care.

So, my point is…now that Spring Forward is here the responsible professional in me is still loathing losing an hour of sleep. But the parent in me…haha, oh the parent. They sleep an extra hour now?!? Done. Give me this thing all day long. I look forward to ‘losing an hour.’

And now that I’m ~200 words in to something that no one cares about, let’s just call that a test to see if you’re with me. Many have dropped out to this point, and only the truly great still remain. It’s officially playoff time in fantasy basketball (at least for the RCL’s), so we trim the fat and only discuss that which matters. As a result, this week is a little thinner in depth. So, let’s Spring Forward not just into a warmer season (and baseball!), but into the playoffs!

Oh, and into the 7 Ahead!

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Man, what a horrid week for injuries!  Highlighted by the worst injury of all: yesterday we got news that JB Gilpin – yes pickup basketball superstar – rolled his ankle in his after-work pickup game on someone else’s fat foot.  That’s right, I got a kankle!  Some rough swelling, probably out 1-2 weeks, go ahead and give me that INJ tag!  No joke, this is the second time in a row I’ve gotten a kankle before a big trip.  Now I’m gonna be gimpy walking around Spring Training games on my baseball trip starting this weekend!  Stupid kankles…

Anyway, some lower-tier basketball talents also got news of rough injuries, of course highlighted by Kevin Durant‘s MRI revealing a Grade 2 MCL strain and a tibial bone bruise.  Stupid Zaza Pachulia flying around willy-nilly!  He’s going to be “re-evaluated” in 4 weeks, so there’s no way he’s making an impact on your fantasy playoffs.  Mayyyyybe he plays in the last game or two, but I highly doubt it.  According to BB Monster, he was by far the best per-game player and total value player, so it’s an unbelievable loss.  But hey, he got you to your fantasy playoffs (hopefully) and anything can happen week-to-week in H2H leagues.  Injuries are the mother-flippin’ worst!  Here’s what else went down across the NBA last night, including one other major injury piece of news:

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Y’all think he got out of it? I mean, c’mon…it’s Razor offing Ramon! I bet he walked over, grabbed his toothpick and flicked it straight at Scott Steiner’s eye. The glory of that gif. The mullet. Sorry, the sweaty mullet. The stubble chest hair. The shaking hamstrings. The black leather leotard. The metal print banner of WCW Monday Nitro. Goodness, take me back to 6th grade already!

No, don’t do that. I don’t want to be 12 again. However, that was the first time I ever played fantasy basketball. But I’ll quit reminiscing and focus on what’s really happening in that gif: the full nelson. Change the faces around, time travel to today and make that a basketball court in Denver and you’d see the story of Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay: the young’n with the death grip on the PG position to start the year, but, wait for it…the wily veteran shaking free of his bonds on the bench to reclaim his rightful place running the team! Is it a stretch? Sure, but look at that extension through his obliques. Clearly, this is a great move to increase flexibility.

Ok, are we talking about wrasslin’ or fantasy basketball? I’m all befuddled now. Must be the mullet.

Please, blog, may I have some more?