What if Roy Halladay changed his mind about retiring and switched to pitching left-handed as a means to extend his career? He’d look like someone trying to do the stereotypical “girl throw” and the ball would end up killing a bat boy.
What if Robert Griffin III started throwing left-handed because Kyle Shanahan’s offense stinks and because RGIII just does things differently? Mike Shanahan would turn redder than well, you know, and become permanently frozen with the Anthony Perkins face.
This is why people were sort of baffled when Tristan Thompson decided to switch shooting hands from left to right during the 2013 offseason in an effort to avoid getting his shot blocked.
Is it working? Not really. His FG percentage is down six points from last year.
Do we care? In a word, no.
We care about boards and blocks. And while Thompson is not and never really will be a big blocker, he’s been boarding like a freak over the last week. Had a monstrous 17-21-3 against Denver and a classic 20-13-1 vs. the Clippers, and has averaged 14.7 rpg over his last four games.
People beat up on this guy, but considering that he had only one year in college, then got slowed by the lockout, then switched shooting hands, and then had to start this year dealing with fatboy Andrew Bynum as he worked his doughy body and bulky knee(s) into shape, I’d say he’s doing pretty damn swell.
Anywho, Bynum is finally fine, and not coincidentally the big games are now piling up for Thompson. Might as well start here and get it out of the way …
Andrew Bynum – Gah. Gur. Sh*t. Fark. Phhhhttt. Meh. Bah. Technically, I haven’t been wrong about him playing 30 minutes in a game, even though he did barely climb above the mark in a game against the Bulls where he logged a studly 20-10-5. Other than that he can’t stay on the court for a whole game and I gotta think he’s going to break down at some point. And anyway he still sucks in real life, and so do the Cavs.
Amir Johnson – Dude really is a headcase. Every time he’s given a chance at a starting gig he beefs. But then when he’s benched for a stiff like Tyler Hansbrough he starts going off even though he is not a sixth man or even a bench guy. The latest example came last night in Los Angeles, where the hometown kid averaging just under 10 ppg got the start and erupted for a 32-10-2, eclipsing the return of a certain No. 24. Maybe he needs to get out of Canada, eh? Well, the stench of maple syrup is hard to get rid of. Just ask …
Ed Davis – The former Dave Thomas to Amir’s Rick Moranis – and yes whenever I mention one I will mention the other – Davis looked like he was going to get something going with three straight double-digit scoring games and a 21-12-2 against Phoenix. Then he hurt his ankle. Based on how things always go for Mr. Ed, I’d be really surprised if he gets back in the mix when he gets healthy.
John Henson – I gotta admit, the first time I heard about a player named John Hensen on the Bucks my mind immediately painted him as a dude who would be hanging out at the end of the bench with Paul Mokeski and Fred Roberts. But he’s actually a long 6-11 big man with some mad skills who is taking full advantage of Larry Sanders’ Big Adventure. Hensen put up a big 19-17-1 at Washington last week, and he’s been a pretty consistent shot-blocker throughout the year. Larry Drew has been weird about his frontcourt rotations, but it looks like Hensen is a keeper.
Dwight Howard – Came to play against the team that drafted him last night, dropping a 20-22-3 bomb against the Magic. Even when he dogs it, which is most nights, he still puts up a double-double with blocks. Still, his FT shooting continues to stink, and his head is too small for his body, like that weird dude in “Beetlejuice.”
Kevin Durant – Fantasy’s best player has always seemed just a teeny tiny bit soft down low, but in the last week not so much, doubling his usual block output and beefing up to 9 boards per game.
Nikola Vucevic – Sore ankle still not better. If you sold him when I told you to those words are guslar music to your ears. Will probably come back as a double-double machine but I still think he was playing over his head last year.
LaMarcus Aldridge – A balanced Blazers attack has allowed him to focus elsewhere, and lately it’s almost like he’s running into rebounds, pulling down 12.8 rpg in his last four games.
Robert Sacre – Everyone’s gonna jump to grab this guy because Mike D’Antoni, who is crazier than his “Deadwood” doppelganger, Cy Tolliver, but not as tasty as his snack-food twin, has decided Sacre should start due to frontcourt injuries and his dislike of Jordan Hill and Shawne Williams in the starting five. In his senior year at Gonzaga, Sacre averaged 11-6-1. He was the last pick in the second round in 2012. He served time in the D-League. Could be the feel good story of the season but I’m not about to scream Sacrebleu just yet.
Al-Farouq Aminu – He’s shown flashes before but I did not think I’d ever see anything like the 16-point, 20-board explosion he unfurled against the Mavs. He followed it up with a 10-rebound game, and he’ll get some numbers while Anthony Davis is out, but he’s still just a streamer-type guy.
Andre Drummond – He’s only failed to get double digit boards in four games all year. He’s averaging 16.8 rpg and 2.0 bpg in the last five. He’ll feast on depleted frontcourts against Minnesota and New Orleans, but Brooklyn and especially Indiana are stingy in the paint. Plan to stream boards and blocks later in the week to supplement your squad in case Drummond gets slowed.
Thaddeus Young – Came back from an absence due to “personal issues” like gang-busters, putting up 20-10’s left and right. Since then, he’s gone in the pooper, and now rumors are swirling that he could be headed to Houston for Omer Asik. He’d do great there as a real-life player with a shot at a title, but his fantasy value would take a hit.
Terrence Jones – Put up 16-13-5 against the Magic, and if Asik does indeed get dealt the effect could go either way. The good news is his main competition for minutes would be gone. On the other hand, Thad Young is a similar player. I might sell high on him, or buy in for the short term if he’s on waivers (right now he’s only 48 percent owned in Yahoo).
Taj Gibson – He looked like he was playing on a Nerf hoop in the Bulls blowout of the Heat last week. He’ll get more minutes with Luol Deng out, but are you like me? Do you still not believe he can give you 20-10 with a block or two on the regular, even when he does it almost every game where he gets minutes? Could be time to buy in before he goes out and proves us wrong.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – The Play-by-Play Man’s Nightmare made a little blurp on the outskirts of the B-N-B radar when he got six rebounds and three swats in a loss to the Pistons last week. For some reason I feel like he should be 7-feet-tall and I’m kind of disappointed he’s not. Nevertheless, I could see streaming him out of desperation for a block on a short schedule day but that’s about it.
Kosta Koufos – Gets double-digit boards and 2-plus blocks practically every time out. Still only 34 percent owned in Yahoo! He’s a must-have while Marc Gasol is out yo. What are you waiting for?
Rudy Gobert – Gobert Alert! Squeezed out a 5-7-1 in extreme garbage time during Friday’s massacre in Portland.
Little Big Man of the Week – Michael Carter-Williams. When’s the last time you saw a point guard put up a line like this: 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists along with three steals. Granted, he is 6-6, so he’s not exactly little, but he plays the point. Kid’s got a little Magic in him, know what I’m sayin’? Currently dealing with a weird skin infection on his knee that was serious enough to land him in the hospital. It’ll probably heal up around the time Evan Turner slips on a banana peel.