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Jeff Foxworthy here. Now I’m about to tell a few funnies about a basketball team up the coast from me in North Carolina. Settle in and enjoy the funnies, folks.

When the T-n-A of the Lady Cats is the first image you flash on your website, you might be a crappy NBA franchise.

When the best news of your offseason is that you’re changing the name of your team back to the Hornets, to recall the “glory years” of Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Kendall Gill (best finish ever: 2nd round of playoffs [editor/Charlotte native’s note – way to rub it in Pete!]), you might be a crappy NBA franchise.

When the two dudes competing for your starting power forward slot – rookie Cody Zeller and free agent signee Josh McRoberts – couldn’t take Danny Schayes and Tim McCormick in a game of two-on-two, you might be a crappy NBA franchise.

And so it goes for the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan’s perennially woeful and frustrating pet project. It’s almost identical to his foray into baseball – he absolutely stinks as an owner and captain of a franchise.

But we here in Fantasy Basketball Land couldn’t give a Cat’s ass about stuff like attendance, standings or fans’ feelings (except for our own J.B. Gilpin, who loves him some hometown Bobcats and can’t wait until they become the Hornets once more).

We want numbers, and we want to know which players will emerge from the heap of stinking hot garbage to provide us with said numbers.

If the stats you seek are boards and blocks, the man you seek in Charlotte is Bismack Biyombo.

“But Pete Nice,” you say, “didn’t the Bobcats just sign Al Jefferson to be their starting center?” Yes, Fantasy Basketball Friend, but while I love Big Al, he’s more injury-prone than Matt Foley.

“Well, OK, but you just said that two big stiffs would be duking it out for the power forward slot. Where will Bismack play?” Well, at some point coach Steve Clifford will come to his senses and follow J.B.’s suggestion that Bismack is too undersized to play center, and that he would be perfect to start at the 4 alongside Jefferson.

Even if neither of these things happen, Bismack will get his minutes, and henceforth he will get his boards and his blocks.

Let’s remember, too, that this is a guy who predicted one year that he would lead the league in rebounds and blocks (he didn’t, but I dig the moxie).

We’re also talking about a guy with an impressive collection of nicknames. “La Pantera.” “The Business.” “Master.” “Big Smack.” Would you mess with the Congolese Pantera? I thought not.

And neither will most opponents down in the paint. That is, if Clifford gives him the kind of minutes he got in Brooklyn on April 6, when he pulled down 10 boards, blocked 5 shots and popped in 10 points in 33 minutes. Or on April 13 at home, when he had 17 boards, 2 blocks and 13 points in 36 minutes.

I say if you’re in a deeper league, take a chance on him toward the later rounds over a piece of dung starter and pseudo-stash him on your bench. If he flops you can find someone better than Dan Gadzuric or one of the other bad names on flashy teams that everyone else drafts in those spots.

Bismack is a lock for 2 bpg, and at least 8 rpg. He could average double-digits in boards if he gets close to 30 minutes a game.

And if he does, somewhere Earl Cureton will be smiling.

From Around The Web

  1. Ryan says:
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    In a 14 team h2h keeper league which 3 would u keep…Illyasova Cousins Holliday Lillard Iggy. We keep 5 and I have durant harden lillard as my other keepers. Also I was offered al jefferson for holiday and illyasova. Is that worth doing to upgrading a keeper?

  2. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:
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    Your keeper question:
    Holliday (he has a higher-gear burst to the lane that he has only shown flashes of)
    Cousins (already has beastly talent, Malone should steady the ship in SacTown)
    Iggy (Illyasova puts up the same numbers, but I’m interested to see what Jackson gets out of him in GS)

    The trade:
    I wouldn’t. I’d do it if the other guy took Lillard and Illy.

  3. Kenny says:
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    No way that Biyombo is a lock for that kind of production, His per 36 min stats will reflect it but he’s certainly no lock to get the minutes that equate to 8 & 2 production. Plus, Biyombo certainly isn’t worth drafting unless you’re in a very deep league as his upside at this point is minimal in any category other than the aforementioned. He’s still very young but his overall upside doesn’t match, say, Kevin Seraphin. Biyombo is perfect for blocks-starved teams but he’s statistically below-average in 7 of the 9 major categories.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Kenny: I suppose you’re right, it’s not a lock in the same way nothing in life is a lock. But getting 2 bpg and 8 rpg for a tough athletic guy is not unfathomable.

      In a deep-ish 5×5 league you could do worse.

      Join a Razzball Commenter League and get in the ring with Seraphin late in the draft. I’ll take Bismack and we’ll see what’s what.

      Thanks for reading and writing in!

  4. philip says:
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    Would you get seraphin over bismack? He also goes in the later rounds. What do you think of seraphin and earl clark for last 2 picks?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @philip: Bismack over Seraphin. Bismack and Seraphin last. Then Kurt Nimphius.

  5. Whoadie says:
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    I love the Biyombo hype… Dude is a beast, which is why he’s known as the Manther. I think you might be selling Zeller short, though. He was once thought to be a number one pick, is a freak athlete, has a jump shot and looked pretty good in summer league. Biyombo will probably carve himself out a role as the only big who plays defense, but not sure he’ll ever start or get big minutes if Zeller and Big Al are healthy. Forget McBob, though. His only value is as a dude with some cool dunking skills and a classic nickname. Long live McBob.

    I have a question for you, Pete and JB. Would you mind if I attempted to do some recruiting for a league I run in the comments here? I’m trying to find a couple of experienced, dedicated owners to take over abandoned teams, and believe that my chances of finding somebody good are probably better here than on the ESPN message boards. I definitely understand if that’s not something you guys want to have happening in the comments, which is why I asked.

    Thanks for the great content. Keep up the good work! Cheers.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Whoadie: Go for it man! Not a problem at all. We’ll also have our RCLs launch either tonight or tomorrow, so you could run your league as an RCL or start a new league. Thanks!

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @JB Gilpin: @Whoadie: You all don’t need me to tell you Big Al or Dwight Howard or Kevin Love are going to get you a ton of boards and/or blocks. You need me to go out on the proverbial limb and endorse the Big Smack so you can rip me in three months if I’m wrong!

        • Whoadie says:
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          @Pete Nice: I love the moxie, man. The whole sports speculation thing is a whole lot more fun when people are willing to make bold predictions and stick to their guns. We(at least I) won’t count it against you if Biyombo doesn’t do much this year. He very well might.

          If we’re going young/late-round big man flyers this year, though, I think I’ll take Meyers Leonard. Sideshow Bob is essentially replacement-level, and I think the Blazers might be compelled to give their recent lottery pick some more burn. I also might just be in recovery after the beating he put on Gonzaga in 2011.

      • Whoadie says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks, man. Much appreciated… I played in one of the Razzball leagues last year and have been planning on doing so this year. If you guys need a commish, give me a look. If not, I’ll look forward to schemin’ and plottin’ in the league I end up playing in.

  6. Phil says:
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    I play in a 2-keepers league where the keepers are kept in the first two rounds, with no restrictions on the amount of years that you can keep the players. Head-head 10 standard categories, except turnovers and rebounds are replaced with offensive and defensive rebounds. I was planning on keeping Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Given RW’s injury, would you keep John Wall instead? I want to defend my title from last year, and having a healthy Wall would help, but I also love Westbrook and I don’t want to let someone with top 5 potential go for free. How close is Wall to RW in value over the course of the next few seasons? Thanks!

    • Whoadie says:
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      @Phil: That’s a tough one. If you’re the defending champ, I’d imagine you’re probably pretty confident in your ability to draft a quality team. If that’s the case I would lean towards Westbrook. He’s had full seasons of Top-10 production, and this is the first injury he’s had in his entire career(High School, College, and Pro). Wall flashed Top-10 potential last year, and I’ve bought in on him, but if you’re confident you can make it back to the playoffs with a couple weeks missing Russ, I’d take the proven production over the half-season of promise. Also relevant: Wall just turned 23, Russ is about to be 25.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Whoadie: @Phil: To hammer Whoadie’s point home, Westbook has played in every single regular season game since coming into the league. He’s solid. Wall – I’m just not so sure yet. My only concern with Westbrook is I see drama looming with KD and Scottie. That being said, they got their sheet together way more in OKC than they do in Warsh-ington.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Pete Nice: What I said about Westbrook … Nevermind! Knee surgery, out 4-6 weeks to start the season. Dang.

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