The new year brings us the glorious 2nd coming of the Durantula, again.  Kevin Durant looked better than expected going 44/10/7/0/1 with 6 3s and 12-12 FTs.  Sure you could argue the stat line was OT aided but just that Durant played 40 minutes after missing 6 games tells me there is nothing wrong with his ankle.  I imagine any buy low window is long gone after this game but he might be worth one last attempt to trade for.  If you thought this is why I watched this game though you would be wrong.  I wanted to see the Steven Adams vs Alex Len match-up.  Lurch with 9/7/1/1/0 in 27 minutes and Len with 2/6/0/0/1 in 22 minutes.  There is no question Adams is the guy to own.  Neither are part of the offense but at times Len looked bored and unsure of what he was supposed to be doing on both ends of the court.  That is a sentence I will never write about Steven Adams.  His aggression does one of two things.  The foul trouble associated will give him a few duds but it will also lead to big games which I don’t think Len has in him this year.  There were a ton of huge stat lines in this 137-134 overtime thriller but perhaps the stat that tells the biggest story was the 6 technical fouls.  Including two and an ejection for…

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JB insists on calling me a hoarder and quite frankly it’s getting old. At least once a week I have to hear, “why do you still have every VHS and cassette tape you’ve ever owned? You don’t even own a working VCR anymore.” Since I seem to never answer the same question the same way twice he gets a wide variety of responses. From, “It’s an investment I’ve been sitting on for 25 years. You want to buy my collection for, pinky to mouth, one million dollars?” to “There’s chemicals in the tape that are good for my joints, it’s like those magnetic bracelets, same thing.” Either way the gist is always the same. They aren’t going anywhere… but he keeps asking anyway. If you don’t mind I’m going to go ahead and put this one to rest. I’m not quite sure how to explain it though. It’s the same reason I bought everyone’s broken VCRs and walkmen before they threw them away. Maybe it isn’t the most useful thing today, but one day I’m going to find one that works and when I’m watching E.T. on my 13 inch, 20 lbs TV and flashing gang signs to my early 90’s gospel rock well then, who’s going to be 2 Legit 2 Quit now?

If I’m a hoarder then so be it, and it won’t just be the classics like ‘Madonna: Truth or Dare’. I’ll stash away the next widely added fantasy player too and when they win the starting job JB might stop asking why I keep a cassette single of ‘Material Girl’ and he’ll start asking me the real hard hitting questions when he stops by. Before this gets too serious though let me just pre-empt you JB. No, I won’t make you a copy until you perfect your 2-L-2-Q. You are yet still unworthy.

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I don’t know why JB would do this to me. Do you know what he told me?  He told me I didn’t fit in.  He told me my only chance of being accepted was for me to join some program he was calling, “Avatar”.  I believe his exact words were, “Yeah we can change your avatar, what were you thinking?”  Wait… this was my idea?  Was it me who asked him to take my sexy, bearded, aboriginal face and join it with my real life sexy, bearded, non-aboriginal face?  I can’t tell what is reality and what is a dream anymore.  All I do know is that in this world of mixed mediums, my body, or as JB keeps calling it, my “Avatar”, is merely a shell for my one track mind.  A mind dedicated only to fantasy basketball; unfortunately sometimes this mind can wonder.  Wonder back to yesteryear when Patrick Beverley was a sleeper or when Alec Burks was supposed to start for the Jazz.  In an attempt to relieve those nostalgic days, I present to you my beginning of the season All Under-Owned Team.  My cutoff was 30% owned in Yahoo leagues and hopefully with season-long appeal.

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I still remember my very first year of fantasy basketball.  I dominated the league, talked smack the entire time, and went into the playoffs with a 1st round bye while already thinking about how to celebrate my championship.  I played a team that struggled all year, barely made the playoffs, and had what I thought was an opposing team of nothing but scrubs.  We both streamed where we could and when the dust settled I lost by a large margin.  All my players played well, I couldn’t understand what happened.  When I added the total games played I realized I lost a hidden, yet easily the most important fantasy category there is, and I lost it by double digits: the category of games played.  I ate every word of trash I talked all year and had to watch two other teams vie for what I considered my championship.

If you are like me and play to win, not just play to compete, then maximizing games played in the playoffs is by far the most important way to do it.  JB chimes in, “But you have to make it there first?”  “Au contraire, mon ami”, I say.   Are you really playing for 4th place?  Does anyone remember who lost in the playoffs anymore than they remember who missed them?  Nay I say, we play to win!  So here it is, the most important 3500 words I’ll write all year as far as winning your RCL goes…

H2H playoff dates are: 1st round March 16-22.  Semifinals March 23-29.  Finals March 30-April 5.  Which should be the playoff schedule for everyone.  If your league uses the last week of the year then I would highly recommend you suggest changing it.  It plays very similarly to the last week of fantasy football.

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1) I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerable times but JB and I are well known members in the swingers community. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to give away our anonymity but I feel like I can trust you. I go by the Hairless Wonder, don’t ask, and JB goes by the alias… If you would like JB’s alias to be ‘Big Country’ go to paragraph 5. If you think JB’s alias should be ‘The Diesel’ go to paragraph 3.

2) … Twister. I’m sure you’ve been there before, you’ve got your left foot on green, your left hand on red and if someone says right hand blue you know you’re going to be the unfortunate soul who’s going to have the sad face when you’re given your parting gift of a half of a gallon of Purell and sent on your way home. Since JB never breaks character I have no idea if he’s giving me a good spin or he wants to see me end up … For the epic conclusion go to paragraph 6.

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One of me and JB’s favorite forms of philanthropy is the celebrity car wash.  Obviously we aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking we’re famous without a bit of a makeover.  To achieve that ‘celebrity look’ all you have to do is rent a minivan old enough to still have a tape deck, hire a dozen or so hourly day laborers, and borrow your parents/grandparents circa 1980s shoulder mounted video camera.  Now just find a Walmart parking lot with access to water and you have almost everything you need.  I say almost because you still need to stick out from your newly created entourage.  A pair of henna sleeves representing as many religions as possible and as much costume jewelry as weight you can squat is all you will need to complete the look.  Once you’re set up with everything you need to start the car wash borrow a cassette tape from one of your laborers, swing those double rear doors open, and crank it up to 11.  Just don’t forget to make sure your documentarian is recording it all.

We don’t do it for charity per se but I’m sure what we do is still called philanthropy.  You see we don’t charge money either.  We do it for the sheer pleasure our performances gives others.  Although, we still don’t do it just for them.  I know it’s the same for JB even though he doesn’t really talk about it, but I can surely say for me that once the soaps are sudsin’, the water gets flowing, and I’m dancing to the plucking of guitar strings in nothing but my pink string bikini – I feel alive!  So what if my skin turns red from the sun, green from the ‘gold’, and brown from the ‘ink’, the joy, at least I think that’s joy, we see on the faces of an entire car load of Smiths can’t be washed off in a week either.

In fantasy basketball this amount of joy can only be achieved by guessing right on a rookie and being rewarded with an all-star.  The two top rookies this year are unquestionably Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.  Both are as talented as they come and both should receive plenty of fantasy relevant playing time immediately.  You want one, I want one, everyone else we’re drafting with wants one.  Before I decide if that’s going to be me I need to figure out what kind of player they are, or in a dynasty what kind of player they could become.  So I give to you Wiggins v Parker, in all its hip-shaking, beard-drenched glory:

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I shouldn’t have waited.  I should have stepped up and said, “Yes JB, I’ve waited 30-some-odd years of my life to get on an airplane because I’m afraid that there really could be a gray furry monster who destroys it while we’re 30 thousand feet in the air”.  Looking back I fear perhaps I may not have been too logical in my thinking and now I have to carry that regret with me for the rest of my life.  Like when I didn’t go to Mexico with JB for spring break.  Even though I never really heard any stories because he claimed he  ‘couldn’t remember anything’, he came back with obvious aversions to Tequila, guacamole, the word ‘labradoodle‘, and giant black dildos.  Don’t ask how I know, I wish I didn’t.  Or when he did that semester abroad.  He told me about going hostel to hostel, meeting new people and learning new things everyday.  If I would have gone with him then I probably would have learned why he gets so strange whenever he hears someone speaking Dutch.  He gets this big smile on his face and his eyes gloss over like he’s catatonic.  If you want to break him out all you have to do is say ‘labradoodle’ and you can tell from the look on his face that whatever day dream he was having immediately turned into a nightmare.

I assume by now you’ve read the title and are asking yourself, ‘Self, why am I reading about Paul George for fantasy?’ Pretty simple really… because I wrote it before his injury.  Doh!  I shouldn’t have waited but I wanted to make sure Melo was going back to New York and then I had to wait on Lance to sign and then…  So what do I do with it?  Throw it away?  Well it’s just a bunch of 0’s and 1’s in a computer somewhere and I don’t know where so that wasn’t an option.  I figure I’ll post it, face the furry monster, and catch the next flight anywhere.  So here it is, Paul George v Carmelo Anthony unaltered and I hereby challenge you to find a more pointless post for fantasy basketball the rest of the year:

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In general I think it’s a good idea to say, “Spoiler Alert: Plot Climax”, but I don’t need to do that when talking about the new Godzilla movie because I haven’t seen it.  It’s not the plot I take offense to anyway, I’m disappointed in the choice of lead monster.  With today’s CGI the giant, furry, and oh so cute Mothra could still wreck havoc on the city but unlike Godzilla he would also sell millions of soft, fuzzy pillows to little boys and girls everywhere.  I’ve already mailed my script to Disney so don’t go trying to steal my ideas.  And what about King Ghidorah, the three-headed dragon monstrosity?  If I had to put down a few bucks between him and Godzilla then I’m taking King Ghidorah.  Sure Godzilla has his strengths with the loud roar and all but he doesn’t fly.  So while Godzilla is flailing his little T-Rex arms and squawking like a pissed off parrot, the King can leisurely glide around and deliver deadly destruction whenever he so pleases.

Godzilla is a tried and true brand so he makes the most sense but I don’t think that makes him the right choice.  In a Russell Westbrook vs John Wall debate you would probably assume Westbrook makes the most sense too – but I’m not so sure.  Actually I am sure, if you remember last time out I told you I was going into these comparisons with a predetermined winner.  So before we get started I’m going to go ahead and put a few bucks down on John Wall.  It would be a much easier debate if he could fly, but either way he’s still going to be a summer, I mean winter blockbuster.

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It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that life is just one big competition.  Like when JB thought he would oppose me for class president back in our days at Fantasy U.  I took pride in wearing the crown for FU and it was well known that I would even acknowledge the little people whilst being carried on the backs of peasants towards my concubines.  But for our senior year my court jester, JB the ‘Dang that dude’s tall’, threw off his now infamous pink spandex jump suit and opposed me with a platform of categorical equality and unbiased views of all things not from the Isle of Duke.  I accepted the competition from this usurper and attacked his ideology with every bit of fuzzy math I could muster.  To this day I still don’t understand why he was chosen to be our ruler or whatever he calls it.  Oh that’s right, he calls it ‘editor’.  Whatever that is, does it come with a gold crown and scepter?  I didn’t think so.

As I sit here now in my old wooden rocking chair, puffing on my meerschaum, and reminiscing with you of a time nearly forgotten I feel the desire, nay the obligation to oppose our master’s completely reasonable views.  I hereby vow to you that I will NOT go into any of these posts with an open mind.  I will be blindly biased and I will always know the outcome before I write a single word.  For you, this I can promise.

First on the docket is DeMar DeRozan vs Gordan Hayward. For this comparison I would like to consider it in a league of 12 teams, 9-Cat, and H2H.  They are both young wings and universally considered top 75 fantasy players after breakout seasons.  Enough already, get to it.  What?  Who said that?  OK Mr. disembodied voice, here it is.  DeRozan vs Hayward by category and quit pushing me with your disembodied hand it’s freaking me out, but I kind of like it.  OK, Don’t stop.

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Isn’t it nice when everything falls into place?  Like when you drive home from work and catch nothing but green lights all the way.  I’m not sure what you call that feeling.  I say I’m not sure, not because I can’t use a thesaurus, but because I don’t have those kinds of days anymore.  I’m sorry to sound all doom and gloom but at this time of year, when I’m dropping one of my favorite players from my fantasy team – one that I followed for every game – I can’t help but react negatively.  I know it’s not his fault, or the team, or even the ghost of David Stern.  What, he’s not dead?  If you say so.  Really there isn’t any fault at all, besides the ghost obviously, I just needed more games or I’m not going to win my semifinals match-up.  So if you are like me and you’re barely holding onto your last breath of hope in the semis here’s a handful of widely available players to get that last couple of points, or boards, or just whatever it’s going to take stay alive and play for the championship:

Please, blog, may I have some more?