As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.” Ok, so I made that up. But it sounds good!
For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar. In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line. He just looks awesome every time I see him play. Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA? He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way. After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game. Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.
Then my new friend - Gal Mekel on the Mavericks. You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel? I thought this was NBA not WNBA!” Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA. Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!” With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it. He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3. Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts. Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League. Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:
Paul George - I saw a comment last night saying my rank of him at 12 was estupido. Yeah, it might be. But as I replied, it’s still early and there was no George Hill last night cutting into George’s 31/10/4 line with 4 threes and 4 steals. I maintain he’s still a superstar in real-life terms, but I still think the fantasy production won’t always be there. But all George owners are happy as they should be.
C.J. Watson - Got his second start with Hill out. Hill’s sore hip shouldn’t keep him sidelined any longer, but Watson is a serviceable backup or guy to target should Hill get hurt again. 15/1/5 last night.
Roy Hibbert - The offense hasn’t been there yet, but blocked another 7 shots last night! Andre Drummond owners are like, “that’s what I was supposed to get!” Hibbert already has 2 seven block games this year and 21 overall. If only he was Russian I could call him the Soviet Bloc.
Lance Stephenson - After the second game I said he was for real. 10/6/7 but did have 5 TOs and shot only 4-12. Still, you’ll take that line.
Brandon Jennings - Pistons fans were chanting “go back to the den-tist!” Haha, I made that up. Played 36 minutes and was in the starting line-up in his second game back, but shot an abysmal 6-20. Of course, we all know this is what BJ does. 17/3/6 with 2 steals and 4 TOs. It’s good to see he has a green light at least.
Josh Smith - Wasn’t J Smoove in this one. J Ruff. 5-16, 16/7, but did give ya a steal and three blocks. I still can’t believe the Pistons haven’t decreed a stone tablet that says “Josh Smith shant not shoot threes.” His perimeter game stays rough, went 1-6 last night, he’s 1-10 in the past two games and 25% on the season shooting 7 a game. Sheesh.
Andre Drummond - Yeah, he’s just not that good for fantasy. Been saying it all preseason. 3-5 for 6/9 in 35 minutes. Sure chipped in a steal and a block, but he has one assist ON THE SEASON! Crazy. I guess he’s trying to alleviate going to the free throw line by trying to never get fouled. He’s 1-5 from the stripe ON THE SEASON. More crazy. One of those was an airball. Shaqtin’ a Fool time! Ok so he’s been getting steals and blocks and averaging a huge 11.3 boards a game. I get it Drummond fans, I get it. Just not for me with killing the other stats.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Surprised he actually got a few minutes! Sure it was semi-junk time with the Pistons down 14, but he went 2-2. Still have hope he gets his way into that rotation.
Tyson Chandler - Hurt his knee on a knee-to-knee hit that didn’t look too good. Apparently X-Rays were “inconclusive”. That sounds more ominous than when Eli Roth was in that tunnel hitting his bat against the wall in Inglourious Basterds. Damn I shoulda used something from that movie in the open! Too late now… Chandler will get re-evaluated today. I wasn’t big on Chandler this year, but he is what he is, and if the Knicks have to start Amare or Andrea Bargnani… ouch. If Chandler misses a lot of time, opposing bigs against the Knicks will have a field day on O.
Kemba Walker - Being down on him is not looking too good right now. But remember Al Jefferson was out. Walker went 9-20 for 25/5/6 with a steal and trey treys.
Josh McRoberts - Turns out it’s not always sunny for the Bobcats starting PF. 0-4 2/1/1 with a steal. He was a popular waiver wire question, and remains a deep streaming option, but yeah. Ugh.
Bismack Biyombo - His best asset is having an awesome name. 0-1 1/6 last night with a block and 4 turnovers in 19 minutes. How did the Bobcats win this game?! Even with Walker taking over!?
Gerald Henderson - Still not shooting well, but starting to get it together as a sleeper call for me with 18/8/2 with two steals. Shot only 5-13 but 1-1 3PTM and 7-8 from the stripe. Will warm up and have a decent year.
Metta World Peace - Mannnnn, I guess I have to take him a little serious with two straight games shooting 7-13 with 17 and 18 points. Not much to buy, but yeah, he’s getting minutes and doing a little with them when he’s not intimidating Tyler Hansbrough.
LeBron James - 500th straight double-digit game. Insane. 35/8/8. Insane in the membrane!
Chris Bosh - Wife gave birth to a baby Brontosaurus. I imagine the birthing scene to be comparable to when John Hammond kept saying “push!” to the baby dinosaur hatching in Jurassic Park. Wow, I’m mean. Mozel tov, Bosh family! Having fun with today’s theme…
Rudy Gay - Can’t hit the broad side of a barn. 3-10 last night and shooting 32% on the year. Still gave ya a dub-dub with 13/10/2, but yea. Gotta give a shout out to his RotoWorld blurb-writer today on Gay: “He had corrective eye surgery over the summer, but may want to look into a refund.”
DeMar DeRozan - I’m going down swinging! 8-15, nice, 5-5 FT, nice, 21 points, nice, 3 assists, decent, 0 Reb 1 Stl and 0 Blk baddddd. 0-3 3PTM badddd. Think he falls into the ancillary stats a bid more.
Luminescent Lithuanian – Jonas Valanciunas welcome to fantasy goodness! Been a slow go, but 18/9 with a block shooting 7-13. Only 4-6 at the line, but getting back on the upswing. Still love him.
Brook Lopez - Ownage. 10-13 for 27/7 whooping up on Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. I moved him down too far in my ranks.
Alec Burks - Everyone’s favorite uber-athletic waiver whore had another decent game, going 13/5/4 with 3 steals but 4-13 from the field. Another 28 minutes. I like him. I’m in on the action without protection.
Enes Kanter - Besides being unable to defend Lopez, went 9-12 for a solid 21/8/3 line. But 7 TOs! People in TO leagues are like, “Enes is such a…” well you know…
Derrick Favors - Doing no favors. 2-8 6/5/0/1/0. Worth a swing at a buy-low. Not quite sure what happened, but chalking it up to Lopez Lopez-ing it. Dude, they should make a Lo-PEZ Dispenser. Athletes should branch out on the bobble-head theme and move to the Pez Dispenser collectibles. Wow, off the rails…
Archie Goodwin - Got to play! My boyfriend is so good. Got just over 17 minutes for 1-4 3/2/1 and a steal. Ok, so it was a nothing-fest. Doesn’t mean I’m not still coloring his name on my binder. Did have a great steal then behind-the-back assist. Check it out on Yahoo player highlights, I couldn’t find a link…
Gerald Green - Staying hot, going 6-10 from deep tying a career-high in 3PTM. 18/3/3 and three blocks! Definitely needs to be streamed until Goran Dragic is back from the ankle sprain.
Eric Bledsoe - What a game. 10-12 (1-2 3PTM 4-4 FT) for 25/4/5 and three steals. Erupting. Or I guess Supernova-ing is more apropos with him on the Suns.
Channing Frye vs. Miles Plumlee - In the cage-match of what Suns big you should own, Plumlee played 30 minutes and 10/5 and Frye 19 minutes 4/3. No threes for Frye, no blocks for Plumlee. Still think which one you want depends on the need.
Morris Brothers - Both played 25+ minutes, both were useful as opposed to the starters. In other news, the Suns front court looks unownable in 12-team leagues or smaller.
Anthony Davis - Off shooting night (5-14) but 17/11 and 5 blocks. Lovin’ the Brow.
Jrue Holiday - Struggled with his shot as well going 1-7, but racked up 9 dimes. Actually had a rainbow line! 3/5/9/2/2. 6 TOs completes the rainbow.
Brian Roberts - Took 14 shots off the bench. 17 with 5 dimes. Nearly doubled his season-high in minutes going 29:34, but I always thought he had pretty good game when he wasn’t playing 2nd base for the Orioles. Worth a deep-league stream look.
Monta Ellis - The Lakers couldn’t contain the moped tonight! 30/9 11-14 from the field and 8-8 from the stripe. If you had him and Bledsoe in your backcourt, you’re getting a stiffy in your frontcourt.
Jae Crowder - Has now two games of 15+ points and 4+ 3s off the bench. Of course the other two he didn’t do anything, but, ya know, worth a deep league ThrAGNOF star by his name.
Nick Young - 8-12 for 21 Pts and 3 Stls. Did virtually nothing else. I actually have nothing worthwhile to add. I contemplated erasing completely, but got too lazy.
Xavier Henry - The 2-8 is ugly, the 5 points in 21 minutes as a starter is ugly, but you know, you got 3 steals and 2 blocks outta Wheels. I’d take dem wheels.
Steve Nash - Old, beat up, washed up, droppable. 2-8 5/2/4. Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake got more minutes. Been a good ride Nash.
Danny Green - The horrific slow start continues. 2-7 4/3/1/1/1. At least he went multi-cat!
Manu Ginobili - 1-9, he couldn’t even hit his bald spot if he tried to. But still chipped in 4 Rebs 5 Asts and 3 Stls. Would I really take Manu over Green? As a stream spot – probably, but not ROS with Green likely to play every game.
Jordan Hamilton - Got a start. Anthony Randolph is hurt, Wilson Chandler still hasn’t been able to play this year, it’s a mess in Denver. At least they have the Broncos to cheer for!
JaVale McGee - Had as typical a McGee game as you could expect. If you said this big man in 21 minutes went 9 Pts, 4-11 shooting, 7 Rebs 0 Asts 2 Blks, then also had 5 TOs and 5 fouls, it’s gotta be McGee. It’s like a sitcom tagline. Any time McGee has a line like this, I’m gonna exclaim “gotta be McGee!”
Timofey Mozgov - Not to be outdone, fouled out in just over 21 minutes. 11/5/2 with a block but 4 TOs as well. What is Denver doing to this team?! Did I mention it’s a mess?
Dwight Howard - Always finds a way to do something bad when everything else is good. Usually it’s the FTs, this time the 6 TOs. Minor gripe though. 29/13/2 with a block and 10-13 FG with 9-12 FT. The Blazers fans just didn’t boo him enough.
Patrick Beverley – Welcome back! Slim’s boyfriend played decent going 5-9 for 12/4/1 with no TOs. The best sign was 28:37 on the floor to Jeremy Lin‘s 29:07 – and this was the first game back from PBev’s rib injury. Lin played fine too, but PBev may indeed get back into that starting line-up, but it’s going to be a time-share either way – with both producing.
Mike Scott – DNP? A game after getting 13 shots in a 2-point loss, Scott got no run. I’m being conceited talking about him since I just picked him up in REL, but give the kid the rock! You really think the ghost of Elton Brand or whoever this lumbering huge white guy named Pero Antic is the answer? Oh the Hawks and their Antics…
Jeff Teague - Tweaked his ankle and left for a bit, but was able to return and finish strong at 18/10. Likey.
Dennis Schroder - “The Hairline” went 6/7 in just over 19 reserve minutes. Looks good out there.
DeMarre Carroll - I said in my rankings I thought he was underrated as a big energy guy, but I think the Hawks are overrating him giving him almost 35 minutes as a starter last night. 3-11 for 6/2/0 and a steal as his only stats. I guess something was working matchup-wise.
Isaiah Thomas - Is just better than Greivis Vasquez. 28 minutes to Vasquez’s just under 20, and IT2 almost got them back in this game. 8-17 for 26/2/5. I had IT2 I think even in the top-50 in my way too early ranks before Vasquez was acquired, and imagine what IT2 would be doing alone as the starter…
DeMarcus Cousins - Another whiney game. Got 5 fouls, benched for a lot of the 4th, and should’ve gotten a flagrant for shoving Al Horford to the floor. Even the Kings play-by-play guys were iffy on the replays. Cuz said afterwards “The Hairline” was grabbing at his crotch. Cuz is such a diva. He’d fit right in with Zoolander and Hansel. Actually, more like Mugatu. “Hey ref, did you not see this German rookie reaching for my nuts, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Another sub-par line and another eye roll. If we end up doing a Razzball Basketball Podcast, a short segment will be “crazy things DeMarcus Cousins has done to frustrate fantasy owners.” Then a true false game with things he’s done and things I made up. Play today!
Next Game: Got Golden State @ a hot Minnesota squad. This should be a good one. Let’s hope Iggy stays on fire, then my boyfriend Corey Brewer has another good game. And that Ricky Rubio can actually make a field goal. Hopefully you’ve got a good start to your week as we head into a big slate of games!