The 2015-2016 NBA Season is pretty much in the books. The Golden State Warriors have a 2 to 0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NB Finals. Within a week, the Warriors could be crowned champions of the NBA again. It's fitting since the Warriors won 72 games this season. For NBA fans, this one of the best times of the year. There is no better basketball being played than what a fan usually finds in the NBA Finals. Because Steph Curry plays for Golden State and Lebron James plays for Cleveland, this year's NBA Finals should continue to provide thrills.
But although basketball fans love the NBA Finals, daily basketball fantasy players aren't really into it. It's difficult to find a sports fantasy site that offers contests specifically on the NBA Finals. There just aren't enough players to choose when their are only 2 teams playing. That's why I've come out with my NBA Fantasy Recap before the 2015-2016 NBA Season comes to a close. What I did is look at the pre-season rankings for the Top 5 players on ESPN.com. Then, I analyzed how the Top 5 did during the regular season before reworking the Top 5 into a new list.
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans – Davis played in 64 games this past season. When he did play, it's hard to argue that he wasn't effective. Davis averaged over 24 points per game. That was nice but where he really excelled is in the higher scoring fantasy basketball categories like rebounds, steals and blocks. Davis averaged over 1 steal, 2 blocks, and over 10 boards per game. He even averaged close to 2 assists per game. Davis played as well as he could for new head coach Alvin Gentry this season.
2. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors – Curry played so well that he ended up being the first person in NBA History to be a unanimous MVP pick. That was Curry's second straight MVP award. But did Curry play well enough to garner a Top 5 spot in NBA fantasy basketball this season? Yeah he did! Forget about the over 30 points per game for a moment. Curry also averaged over 5 rebounds, close to 8 assists, and over 2 steals per game. He missed a total of 3 games when playing in 79 of 82 regular season battles. Curry remains the best pick in daily NBA fantasy basketball.
3. James Harden, Houston Rockets – The Beard didn't skip a single game in the 2015-2016 NBA Regular Season. He played in all 82 games. Although he wasn't as effective as Curry, he probably belongs higher on the list than Anthony Davis. Davis missing 16 games is a big deal. That's 16 daily fantasy basketball contests where he could have been your center. Harden averaged 29 points, over 6 rebounds, close to 2 steals, almost 1 block, and close to 8 rebounds per game. It took him some time to get going, he had a bad November and December, but once he did, he reminded fantasy basketball players why they wanted to put him on their daily NBA Fantasy hoops' teams.
4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder – Durant played in 72 games this season. That's not bad. But in hindsight it's hard to have Durant ahead of Mr. Triple Double, Russell Westbrook, on the Top 5 list. Durant scored in bunches, just like he's done throughout his career. He averaged 28.2 points per game. He was good at getting rebound as well while averaging a bit over 8 boards per matchup. Add 5 assists, a steal and 1 block per game and KD becomes one of the better players to have on your daily fantasy team. He just shouldn't be ahead of Westbrook on the list.
5. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder – Mr. Triple Double only skipped 2 games during the 2015-2016 NFL Season. That alone made him more valuable to daily fantasy basketball players than Kevin Durant. Russell is probably worthy of being the first pick in every season long fantasy basketball league. He only averaged 23.5 points per game, but he more than made up for it with over 10 assists and close to 9 rebounds per game. He also also scored with 2 steals per matchup.
Reworked Top 5
1. Steph Curry, Golden State – He was a matchup problem in every game in which he played. Also, he wasn't afraid to go for rebounds or dish the rock.
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – He was a danger to go for a triple-double on any given night.
3. James Harden, Houston – He would have cost you a lot of daily fantasy dollars for very little return during the first 2 moths of the season. But after that, he was money.
4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City – He usually cost more than any other small forward on the board to put onto your daily hoops squad. On most nights he came through. But considering the cost, it may have been better to leave him off your team on more than a few nights.
5. Anthony Davis, New Orleans – On most nights when he played, he was great. But, like Durant, he was always one of the higher-cost players on the board. I also think he had trouble adjusting to Gentry's system.