For some reason, the hype coming into this year was all about Andre Drummond and how he was gonna punk Greg Monroe and take all his boards and blocks and the such. These same people drafted Drummond in the same round as Monroe and in some cases even higher. They were Monroe haters, just like Mr. Rush on “Too Close For Comfort” and the Federalists.
But now those same peeps who slept on the big guy are flipping out in classic Ted Knight style.
Monroe has been a stud for Mo Cheeks, racking up almost 12 boards and 2 blocks per contest. He’s also scoring 16.3 ppg and hitting 54 percent of his shots. In his most recent game, against Oklahoma City on Friday, he compiled 15 boards and 3 blocks to go along with 20 points – a vintage big man stat line.
So why the hate? The guy wasn’t a freaking maniac right out of the gate like Anthony Davis, but he has improved every year since coming into the league, and now he’s added the Swat to his game, an element that wasn’t really there before. Plus he’s only 23. It’s the prime time of his life!
It’s also prime time to see what else I found down on the blocks.
Anthony Davis – Speaking of The Brow, he continues to put up the kind of stats that would make you pitch a tent when you were a kid scanning the morning box scores at breakfast. Heck, I admit it, I felt a bit of a tingle down below when I saw the 12 boards and 6 blocks he piled up during his 32-point eruption Friday against the Lakers.
Al Horford – Used to be that center you settled for, like when there’s only Smarties and Tootsie Rolls lefts in the bag-o-Halloween candy. No more. Horford is now on par with the Baby Ruths of the league, with 10.5 boards and 2.7 blocks on the season. Although he’s been a little quiet on the glass the last few games, he has swatted eight shots in the last two.
DeAndre Jordan – Someone dumped him in one of my leagues. I rushed to see if Jordan had maybe tripped over Bill Simmons‘ ego at courtside and ripped his ACL but no, actually, someone just didn’t want a guy averaging nearly 14 rpg and more than 2 bpg to go along with a some steals and 56 percent from the floor. He had 18 rebounds and 3 blocks against Houston and a guy named Dwight Howard and 19 against the Magic earlier this week. Even still, something tells me to sell high here. And maybe you could sell him to someone who has …
Tyson Chandler – Ugh. Out 4-6 weeks. Shoulda known this one was coming. Sure, he misses time every year. But this year its early on in the season, and Chandler has been in the league a dozen years, and is he still a double-double guy when he comes back? Don’t know, and I don’t know if you should wait for him. Is he going to morph into Wilt Chamberlain if someone else grabs him?
Kevin Love – In these parts, you better be doin’ something really special, like what those cowboys been doin’ up on Brokeback, to get mention if ya can’t block shots. Well, Love’s yankin’ down almost 15 boards per to go along with all the other points and assists he been roundin’ up, and 15 boards is 15 boards, blocks or no blocks.
Rudy Gobert – If he were white and had a grizzly bear beard, he could be Mark Eaton’s little brother. Or, wait, if he ate half of Salt Lake City he could be Greg Ostertag. Or, wait, Wayne Cooper could be his dad. All right, Rudy Gobert is just Rudy Gobert, and the only reason you should care about this late-first rounder is if you have a dynasty team, reside in a mega-deep league or need to stream a gap on a short-schedule day. Or if you need to call someone a name (“Hey, Gobert!” Sounds mean right?) He’s had two games in the last week where he pulled down 11 and 12 rebounds, and he’s a lock for a block or two a game.
Henry Sims/Tyler Zeller – As ugly as they are, you should put these guys on your watch list if you’re in a deep league. Andrew Bynum’s thinking about throwing a retirement party! The Cavs dug into the closet for Sims on Saturday in the second of a home and home because, well, Bynum will not at any point be able to play in back-to-back games this season, if ever again. And, if Bynum hangs up his basketball shoes for his bowling shoes, Zeller will also be seeing some court time. Raise your hand if you accidentally drafted Tyler thinking he was Cody. What was that? Just me? OK moving on …
Derrick Favors – Would I have taken Favors if he was there at the right time? Sure. Would I have felt good about it if I had drafted him in, say, the second or third round of my draft? No way. I’m still not completely sure the huge bust out is coming. I bet a lot of people with Favors on their roster are feeling the same way, if not more so, after eyeballing his stats over the last week. Now is the time to pounce, my friend. If you look at his last two games, he was only held back from having exceptional lines because of foul trouble. There’s no guarantee that he’ll grow into the beast many project, but it’s worth a risk if you can get him cheap right now.
Al Jefferson – The Clipper Curse is over, and now the Bobcats are the new Clippers. That makes Jefferson … Bill Walton? The return of the Hornets name could turn things around, but only if the teel comes along with it.
Pau Gasol – As bad as he’s been, he’s still getting 10 rebounds and almost a block a game, and that’s all we care about in Razzball’s Boards-N-Blocks Department. In an odd admission, Pau said that he’s slower this year and has to get by on guile and skill instead of bursts. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Larry Sanders – So far Larry is having one of the most up-and-down starts to a season in recent memory. Inks giant contract. Manages only eleven boards in three games. Becomes a dad. Gets into a bar fight in a nightclub and sprains his thumb. If this pattern continues he’ll score 101 points next week and then accidentally burn down an entire city.
Vitor Faverini – Party’s over. Brad Stevens has decided Kelly Olynyk is prettier than Vitor, so now Vitor and his New Wave hairdo are headed to the seat on the bench next to the injured dudes in $3,000 suits. Got only 2 minutes and 40 seconds in Saturday’s win against the Heat. Ouch.
Little Big Man of the Week Award: Nate Wolters. The Milwaukee Bucks’ reserve point guard was forced into a starting role last week due to injury, and he responded with some nice play – and some surprising stats! Wolters snagged eight rebounds (along with nine points and six assists but whatever) against the Cavaliers, then contributed three rebounds and a block (!) Saturday against the Mavs. Not gonna happen again anytime soon, but way to go Nate! Who wants to go to Friendly’s and get a Conehead sundae? Attaboy!