In what was some brutally bad basketball last night, John Henson led the woeful Milwaukee Bucks into Chicago against a Bulls team more battered up than a candy bar at a state fair… and the Bucks actually won! It’s horrifying to think in today’s NBA that a guy like Henson might have been the most polished offensive player on the court for EITHER TEAM. It was brutal. This was the game I made the Yahoo highlights for, and man, it was more of a wreck than if you went out partying and decided that Lindsay Lohan would be your DD. But for fantasy, whew-ee if you’re a Henson owner! Huge rainbow line of 25/14/2/3/6. It was so good from the big man that Larry Sanders punched a wall. But the icing on the cake, was this preposterous rainbow shot to close out the rainbow night. I love the Bulls announcers reacting to that. ”You’ve got to be kidding me!” Good thing he didn’t take that shot in Cowboys Stadium, that mighta hit the scoreboard! It feels really good seeing Henson going off, as he was a guy I ranked really high (#100 exactly) and have recommended him over a lot of fringe-wire adds through the young season. His stats are helping fill all the Andre Drummond voids I have! Win some, lose some… Henson is obviously a must-own in all leagues, and I think can maintain solid production playing at the 4 when The Colonel is back. Here’s what else I saw last night in hoopsland:
Brandon Knight - The real boyfriend of mine on the Bucks. Milwaukee had nothing going on offense as Ekpe Udoh is a huge zero out there and Khris Middleton couldn’t get anything going on the move with a bum ankle. He just stood on the perimeter. So it was all Knight chucking up shots going 8-23 with a solid 19/10/2 line, career-high-ing in boards. About halfway through the first quarter, I made a mental note to rave about his energy boarding the ball, as he was all over the place. Tough line of 6 TOs was no bueno, but one was on a questionable charge call (that the referees had to confer on) and a pass that went through Udoh’s hands and should’ve been on Ekpe. Long story short, Knight still needs to be owned in all leagues, as he’s been a solid multi-cat contributor the past 7 and cutting down on the TOs last night notwithstanding.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – For all his upside, looked lost out there. Nay, should I say, “Deer in the headlights?” Eh probably not… Played one of the worst 10-minute stints you could have, going 0-1 FG 1-2 FT and 1 Pt as his only stat with 2 TOs. On D, he made Mike Dunleavy look like Larry Bird. I like Giannis’ future, but this was the first time I saw an extended look of him and it was brutal.
Ersan Ilyasova - Thinking back to his perception early in pre-ranks, I didn’t weigh how much Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings slashing all game helped his spot up shooting last year. Because he had no open looks last night, had to post up and take fadeaways for jumpers, and that’s just not his game. Looks like the ankle is still bothering him some too, just not explosive at all. 10/1/1/2/0 with no threes in just over 31 minutes off the bench has me a sad panda…
O.J. Mayo - At least figured out he should dime the ball given his shot was atrocious. 2-12 but racked up 7 dimes. You know it’s time to turn the page when Mayo gets 12 shots to Knight’s 23… Hah!
Joakim Noah - Sat out with a bad thigh. He wore a tight skirt into the trainer’s room and when he had it examined pulled a Sharon Stone… Man that was mean! I almost want to erase it, but it made me laugh.
Tony Snell - Again, for deep leaguers, I thought he looked good! The Bulls had 8 players suited up last night, so he obviously got a lot of run (38 mins) for 13/6/3/0/2 with a trey. I think working his way into 14-teamer discussion, which I think is fairly bold. Worth a look.
Kirk Hinrich – Shot 0-10. I think it’s time for a new visor prescription…
Marquis Teague - The most preposterous 6 assist game I’ve ever seen. At least 4 of them were garbage passes to Dunleavy who threw up a long jumper on the move. Henson also destroyed two of Teague’s drives with monster swats and he looked horrified to take three-pointers, hesitating on one, then realized he had to chuck it up with the shot clock running down and missed rim. Man the Bulls looked so bad…
Carmelo Anthony - …speaking of bad… The Knicks are just… man…. Melo had a fine night for fantasy though, with 29/8/3 on 12-19.
Raymond Felton - Only 19 minutes, exiting early with a re-injured hamstring. Reports are saying he might get shut down a while. Droppable in most leagues, but stay tuned for updates throughout the day.
Pablo Prigioni - Racked up 9 assists in 27 minutes. Former fill-in starter Beno Udrih didn’t even get into the game. If you need a speculative add in the very deep leagues, Prigs is your Rice-A-Roni.
Kyrie Irving - Now that’s what you’ve been holding out for! 37/11. Now given it was against Felton, who didn’t have to dress up like an old man to look like one, and Prigioni, who just plain is an old man. Still, nice to see.
Paul George - Had an atrocious first half, but then did what ELITE players do and turned it around. ELITE line of 17/3/4/2/0 with three threes and 6 TOs. Ok, not so much on that one, but I have to use my quota every George reference before being chased out of Razzball by angry commenters with pitch forks. Hey, it’s all good fun, and I’ve reiterated multiple times he’s an absolute superstar in real life, but in fantasy, he has a few slight downers. Not like I’m calling him a sell or anything!
Roy Hibbert - A big reason why George only took 11 shots. You feed your big against the Heat! 10-15 24/5.
Terrence Ross - Got a start! Made sense in this one with Kawhi Leonard the opposing 3, but Ross struggled going 4-13 for 14/4/1/0/1 with 5 TOs. Listen, I like Ross, I love the upside, but there’s just a lot of volatility and change with Greivis Vasquez now there and an overall shaken, not stirred line-up makeover.
DeMar DeRozan - 19 Pts, but 7 Asts?!?!?! Where’d this rogue stat that isn’t scoring-related come from?!?!?! A season-high by 2, but it is worth noting that now in his 5th season, his Asts have progressed from 0.7, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, to now 3.1 a game this year. A sign a player is improving his overall game – of course with the 21.5 Pts per this year. Oh man, the hate I got in June calling him a sleeper… Still a tad of a sell-high as I don’t think the Rudy Gay trade automatically means even better things coming, but other owners in your league might and you can use it as a selling point. And you’ll be able to sell for much higher than draft-day money.
Amir Johnson - Staying hot! 9-11 for 19/9. Worth an add in most leagues, two big games in a row has me feeling a lot better than just the one.
Jonas Valanciunas - He’s got a countdown. I don’t know when to, but at some point I have to pull the plug. LL for 14 Pts on 6-8 shooting (2-2 FT) is fantastic, but only 4 boards and 4 TOs with no blocks. Now, given this was against a really tough Spurs team, but I gotta stop make excuses for the fellah at some point. I’m a battered fantasy LL wife… ”Why is Valanciunas still your buy-low recommendation, JB?” ”I– I– fell down some stairs!”
San Antonio Spurs - Had 7 guys go for double figures. And of course, Kawhi was not one of them. The most fantasy infuriating good-in-real-life team in history.
Shelvin Mack - Got hot! 7-9 for a 17/6 game. Still think it’s hilarious all the love Dennis Schroder got. Also hilarious that Jeff Teague also went 17/6. But Teague did more across the board despite shooting much worse…. Is it sad that box scores make me laugh sometimes? Yet I just don’t laugh at Modern Family the few episodes I’ve seen…
Minnesota Timberwolves - Put up 121 points, rocked Detroit by 27 points, and didn’t record a single block?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - KCP sighting! He’s turning out to be a very poor man’s DeMar DeRozan. As in, scores a little but nothing else. Even that is a big leap… But had himself a decent fantasy line of 7-14 (2-6 3PTM) 16/4 with an errant block. Some of the scoring was inflated with the junk time he got late, but the longer Rodney Stuckey (should be back soon) and Will Bynum (looks to be a while) remain out, KCP will improve and may end up starting all year. Speculative add in even deep 14-teamers I’d say.
Andre Drummond - I can’t even make something up a narrative about a slow night (8/8/0/0/2) turning into a trend as this was just a blowout after the tip. Not worried, still feel very wrong to hate on him.
Deron Williams - The ankles are back! And he played great for 25/3/7 on 10-16 shooting. The buy low window is fairly shut now, but he’s as risky as any as a top-end able player.
Paul Pierce – Returns against his former team, comes off the bench and goes 4/7/3. Only took three shots and missed them all, but this was a solid 22:13 he gave you. Worth a roll of the dice if he was dropped in all but the shallowest of leagues.
Kobe Bryant - This is why fantasy is so much better than real life NBA reporting! You don’t see Kobe headlines everywhere! Shot a much better 6-11 for 20 Pts and is looking like he was worth the draft day draft-and-stash. Although maybe not worth the Lakers sign-and-hope as they lost again to the Suns. Womp womp.
Steve Blake - Another dimebag! The impetus for one of my favorite terms went 9/5/10 and still getting huge minutes. He had a bum elbow and the Lakers had a very long stretch off last week, worth an add if he was dropped for those needing medicinal assistance.
Robert Sacre - The starting center the past two games gets…. A DNP-CD last night. Doh-Toni-ed!
Jordan Hill - Doesn’t even get to 20 full minutes and goes for 13/7/2 with no turnovers shooting 5-6. Hill must’ve done something Dwight-ish and pissed off Kobe, chasing Hill out of the starting line-up…
Gerald Green - He was useful, but as I kept saying, he’s terrible when not getting starting run. 17:09 for 3/1/0/0/0/0 hitting a trey but had 3 TOs. Should be nowhere near a roster right now except in the deepest of leagues.
Marcus Morris - Went off at the same time his brother did! 10-13 for 22/4/5.
Markieff Morris - 15/7/3 going 6-10. I still don’t think either will be sure-fire, must-own 10-team consistent options, but both are worth owning while hot. And when both are on, the Morris family rejoice.
Goran Dragic - Abused the Lakers. 31/2/5 on 9-18 going 2-6 from deep and 11-11 from the freebie line. My RCL 1 team, autodrafted by emergency, has the slightest bit of something to be optimistic about, and might sneak by the 1st place Mr. Scrubs.
Next Game: I’ve got CHI @ NYK tonight. Yes, I just wretched as well. Maybe the highlights won’t be so bad if there aren’t any highlights to be had! Be sure to set your line-ups and hoe your teams kill it tonight!