Fantasy Basketball Playoffs: Conference Finals

John LorgeSenior Writer IMay 18, 2009

And then there were four.

It wasn't impossible but you should be patting yourself on the back if you have accurately predicted the first two round of the playoffs.

If you've been playing Fantasy Sports Madness' One and Done Basketball Playoffs game you know this is where the money is made. Wrong predictions can leave you short handed down the stretch.

In the third round of the playoffs, owners only get four selections, so choose wisely.

Eastern Conference Finals

I hope haven't burned up any of the Cavs yet because they have only played eight games in the playoffs and the best is yet to come for them.

That being said, the third round in NOT the time to put LeBron James and Mo Williams in your lineup.  Cleveland’s All-Star duo is poised to make it to the finals and they are the safest guys to hang on to.

If you've made some poor decisions and are short on value, I would suggest playing Williams before James. 

I'm sorry to say it but this should be the end of the road for Orlando.

In the third round I am putting a bye on Dwight Howard. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are also very good fantasy options, depending on availability and necessity.

If you are a die-hard Magic fan, convinced Orlando is going to do it, be my guest and select James but don't be surprised if you're sitting on your hands come finals.

Western Conference Finals

Out west, we have the Lakers and the Nuggets which will give us an up-tempo series with good scoring potential.

When the playoffs began I felt the Lakers would stroll all the way to the NBA Finals but due to recent exposure I have much less confidence.  With that, they are still the favorite.

This makes Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups plays in my book, if you still have them. J.R. Smith and Nene are fringe plays depending on who you have left to choose from.

The Lakers are not guaranteed however, and you would hate to miss out on using Kobe Bryant when you could.

In four games against the Nuggets Bryant scored 31 points per game.  He thrives in the pace Denver wants to play at and the Nuggets cannot survive with Dahntay Jones in the whole game so Bryant will get to work on Smith's questionable defense.

If you are going to pick a Laker I would suggest Bryant over Pau Gasol because of the athletic big men on the Nuggets.


The ideal lineup for rounder three would be Anthony, Billups, Howard, and Lewis.  This would leave you James, Bryant, and either Williams or Gasol for the finals but you may not live in a perfect world so make the best of the hand you're dealt.

In my lineup I have all of the Lakers, Nuggets, Magic, and Cavs available.  I will admit that my second round picks were less than stellar, however.

I am looking to make a splash in the third round, going away from the ideal lineup I selected and replacing Lewis with Bryant.

Good Luck!