Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action. It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut. I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode. Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here. His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own. Just preposterous. Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut. Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings. So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?! The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock). “Nice knockers!” Thanks Young Frankenstein! MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year. MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon). Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype. Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him. I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games. Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:
Patrick Beverley - Hurt his ribs early against the Bobcats and exited after ten minutes. Sounds like X-Rays came back negative and he expects to play on Friday avoiding a scare. I think what’s more scary is it meant giving 11 minutes to Aaron Brooks. Poor Aaron Brooks… I used to love him!
Dwight Howard - 8-14 for a 17/26 game. Wow. Cleaning the glass like a window washer! We all know these games can happen and we all know that his 1-4 at the FT line will happen. Feeling good if you drafted him. Damn you Pete in REL!
Omer Asik - Got the start in probably the worst FT shooting starting front court ever assembled. A 4/14/0/1/2 line is still useful, but Asik effectively is now Reggie Evans.
Francisco Garcia - Played just over 30 minutes. This was easily the shocker special of playing time last night. 7-13 (5-9 3PTM) for 19 points but only 1 Reb and 1 Ast. Garcia is effective Carlos Delfino.
Omri Casspi - Nothing big going 2-6 for 4 points, but chipped in 4 Rebs 2 Asts and a Blk. Missed both 3s he took, but I think will have some hot hand games and keep getting minutes. The fact he got 20+ and Donatas Motiejunas, Greg Smith and Terrance Jones didn’t play shows me he’s their #1 option at pure PF when they’re not starting Asik and Howard together.
James Harden - Dealt with stiffies in his back and knee. He left for the locker room at one point with the back, but still racked up nearly 37 minutes. The 7-16 is a tough opener (especially compared with how he started last year!), but he’ll get better.
Al Jefferson - Not the debut he hoped. 6-19 for 13/8. Dwight and Asik obliterated the new center. Better days ahead.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - Not the flashiest debut, but I’ll take his opening line as a guy I’m on the limb for. 7/8/2/1/1. Nothing huge, but you get the positive of 30+ minutes to counter the negative of 1-5 FT. It might be a bit slow, but still think you hold strong in 12+ team leagues.
Charlie Day - Oops, I mean Josh McRoberts went 5-9 for a 15/4/3/1/1 line with 3 threes. And all of that while wearing Kitten Mittens!
Jeffery Taylor - So much for the hot preseason. Didn’t eat too much into MKG’s numbers and had a paltry 1-6 shooting day. Did chip in 2 Rebs 1 Stl and 1 Blk, but he’s still barely on the radar in really deep leagues unless MKG really tanks or gets hurt.
Gerald Henderson - Why you don’t pick sleepers on bad teams JB! Thanks hindsight, you’re seeing really well lately! Horrific 5-16 last night with only 2 Rebs and 2 Asts with his 11 Pts. It’s only one game, I think they start falling.
Ramon Sessions - Doing what he did in the first half last year – 19 minutes 5-11 (1-1 3PTM) 14/2/1/1. He was probably slept on in deeper leagues and can be really useful.
Cody Zeller - 1-6 in his debut, with 2 Pts and 4 Rebs with 1 Blk. Thanks, Charlotte Observer for theorizing he’d start! The paper of my former stomping ground be smited! Why no one reads the newspaper anymore… Droppable in anything under 14 teams.
Andrew Bynum - Ok, I have to start with the first two sentences of the Yahoo recap: “Once Andrew Bynum stripped off his warm-ups and stepped on the floor, they rose to another level. Cleveland could contend again.” Um, what? Yeah OK. Great to see Bynum actually able to play, and he looked really good in his 7:34 of game time despite only shooting 1-5. Cleveland for the Title! Racked up 3 Rebs 2 Asts and 2 Blks in that limited time. I’m a lot more optimistic than I was heading into the season.
Kyrie Irving - Another poor shooting night from a good fantasy player. This is going to be mentioned on a lot of guys. Maybe I should acronym it. PSNFEFP. Nope. Doesn’t work. Despite 4-16 from the floor, flirted with a triple-dub with 15/7/9. They’ll start falling.
Anthony Bennett - Didn’t hit a FG in his debut going 0-5. Went 2-4 from the line as his only career points. Didn’t like him too much heading into the year, but he’ll improve.
Tristan Thompson - Looked great and actually led the Cavs in minutes. My hesitation on him is Bennett and Bynum will eat into that as the season goes on, and he’s really not a multi-cat guy. 18/9 on 8-13 shooting, but didn’t contribute any other stats.
Anderson Varejao - Played nearly 35 minutes going 11/8/3. His per 48 rebounding numbers from last year is like, “¿WTF, Senor?” If only stats could talk!
Brook Lopez - Is the best real life player on the Nets right now. 9-18 FG with 4 Blocks, but only 5 Rebs! Same beat of the same drum. Still can’t believe the Nets lost their opener.
Deron Williams - I should’ve moved him down even further in my ranks as I passed him over in all leagues. Only played 22 minutes easing his way back from the ankle and scored 7, but did rack up 9 dimes. Will be slow going until he gets his ankle healed up.
Jason Terry - Hit 4 threes. Early season ThrAGNOF!
Paul Pierce - Was efficient going 5-8 (3-4 3PTM 4-4 FT) for 17/4/2. Think these are the games to expect.
Kevin Garnett - 4-8, but did a better job stuffing the stat sheet going 8/10/3/2/1. Doesn’t look like the Nets gelled yet. Remember it took the big 3 in Miami a little while. Not a big KG fan though ROS.
Evan Turner – Hello Poppet! 10-19 for 26 points flanked with 6-6 FT 4 Reb 5 Ast and 1 Stl. Still not a Turner fan. Sell high.
Thaddeus Young - Still not a big Young fan either, and was pretty much the only 76er to have a bad game going 5-15 10/6/2 with 2 Stls and 5 TOs. I maintain he’s the best fantasy asset on that team when it’s all said and done.
Spencer Hawes - The 76ers just plain hit everything except Big Thad. 10-14 for 24/9/2 with a three. He’ll be a solid value for where people got him, but yeah, he ain’t shooting like this most nights.
James Anderson - Played a whopping 35 minutes. 3-8 for and 8/6/1 game with two steals and two threes. Nothing huge, but in deep leagues the big minutes is muy bueno. He’s going to have a few 20 point games mixed in the next few months.
Tony Wroten - Murder She Wroten. 6-9 for 14/4/2/1 off the bench. Deep leaguers take note. He should get a few buck thrown on him in REL FAAB. No, not 80K in ones Pacman Jones!
Jonas Valanciunas - Was just so Luminescent and so Lithuanian! Well, wasn’t huge, but 4-9 for 8/11/0/1/2. Ok so more like Dim Lithuanian. Or Opaque Lithuanian. Still gonna be awesome.
DeMar DeRozan - Not such a good start. 6-19 for 13/2/2/2. Hit a three and went 0-2 from the line with 5 TOs. It’ll turn around.
Rudy Gay - Shot a little better at 8-18 for 19/9/1/2/0 with 5 TOs as well. But that line is closer to what I expect.
Tyler Hansbrough - Played a lot more minutes than I would’ve anticipated (nearly 25) and went 7/13 with 3 Blks. He’ll provide some deeper league Reb value in stream days if you wanna dabble in some Psycho T.
Jeff Green - Big debut for the Celtics best player (well, best that’s healthy), going 8-16 for 25/5/2/1/1 with only 1 TO and 2 threes. Great start for one of my calls.
Vitor Faverani - Spoiler Alert! Slim likes him and is Picken him. I didn’t buy into the big preseason, but I should’ve for deeper leagues. 13/3 with 3 blocks. Played almost 27 minutes as a starter. Interesting guy to be sure is owned in 16 teams+ for Boards-n-Blocks upside.
Gerald Wallace - Terrible. Well, I guess not really as he is a 100% FG shooter (1-1)! But yeah, really is terrible as he is a 25% FT shooter (1-4). Played almost 40 minutes and only took one shot!? Then managed to rack up 5 TOs too. Weird game. Did get a few other stats with 3 Reb 2 Ast and 4 Stls, but he’s a guy intentionally not on any of my teams.
Olynyk of Nazereth - I need to look up who doth name Olynyk the savior from Nazareth for thy proper beckoning, but he certainly wasn’t the savior of Boston going 2-5 for 4 Pts and no other stats except 3 TOs. Tough to get no stats in 16+ minutes. Boston fans didn’t watch this game though, something more important was going on…
Greg Monroe - The forgotten Piston went 6-15 (12-15 FT) for a fantastic 24/16/3/1/1 start to the season. Barely left the court playing 41:25 minutes. He’ll probably end up being a solid value pick where he went.
Andre Drummond - Everyone seems to love this guy except for me. His FT% at 0% is worse than last year! Ok so he didn’t take any, sue me! Played efficiently on offense going 6-7 for 12/8/1 but didn’t log a block and had 5 fouls in just over 26 minutes. The FG% won’t be that nice, and he will obviously rack up some blocks, but everything else seems about right.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - An encouraging debut. Yeah nothing really stood out, but took 12 shots (hit only 4), and played over 27 minutes. Sure there’s still no Rodney Stuckey or Brandon Jennings, but Will Bynum isn’t playing over 38 minutes a night and Chauncey Billups certainly isn’t going over 30/per. The few highlights I saw still illicit optimism.
J Smoove - 8-12 in his Pistons debut, going 19/5/5 and a block. Apparently his insistence on being a perimeter big hasn’t gone away as he was 3-7 from deep. That’s 5-5 within the arc. Old habits die hard! Dude, next Die Hard movie title. Called it!
Brandon Knight - Worst thing that happened on the first big night of NBA action for me. Knight was a big breakout call this year, and left before logging two minutes with another hamstring injury. It’s his other hammy as the one he hurt during preseason, so Knight ain’t got no hammies left. Can athletes have their hamstrings just removed? I feel like they’re always crapping out lately. They’re not integral to athletic performance, right? Anyway, still awaiting a timetable for return and hopefully it’s not a long-term issue.
Larry Sanders - Well the good news is he didn’t get hurt, but the bad news is he looked awful and got into early foul trouble. If any owners are panicky, buy low.
John Henson - This made no sense to me. Sanders gets in foul trouble, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to get eased in, and mother f Zaza Pachulia gets almost 34 minutes?! Everything Bucks was purely irritating last night. While Henson didn’t do too much, he did go across the board going 2-2 for 5/1/1/2/2. Could’ve been worse. Strike that, 17 minutes to Zaza’s 34, nope doesn’t get worse than seeing that. I’m holding Henson still in 12-teamers, but feel free to drop in 10 team.
Gary Neal - All sorts of crazy with Neal going almost 32 minutes and taking 16 shots. Of course this was a pressed-into-duty sort of thing with Knight going down and Luke Ridnour scratched as well. Nate Wolters also had a surprise 29 minutes with the injuries. Neither did anything to inspire confidence, but if Knight misses extended time, they’re deep league options for minutes, with Neal the first add.
Iman Shumpert - 33 minutes and 16 Pts. Only shot 5-13, but until J.R. Smith gets back, he’ll be a decent scoring threat.
Metta World Peace - A very blah debut. Nearly 18 minutes and 2-4 for a 4/4 game. He’s more depth for that team than anything.
Andrea Bargnani - Didn’t set the world on fire in his Knicks debut, going 3-9 for 5 points and no threes. Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t even play with a DNP – Coach’s Decision. These backup, old, scrub Cs are jokes. Not owning either unless like 14+ teams.
Paul George - The first of two games I watched last night, George was easily the best player on the floor. 32/6/5 and two steals. Maybe ranking him just out of the first round was not too smart.
Anthony Davis - Easily the second best player on the floor. Dude was absolutely fantastic. His stat line doesn’t really reflect how good he looked going 8-20 for 20/12/0/1/3, which yes is a pretty awesome line, but he looked goooooood. Not much you can do as whomever drafted him probably reached for him, but I’d be ecstatic if I had gotten him on any teams after seeing that.
Roy Hibbert - Got into really early foul trouble, but still racked up 5 blocks in 21 minutes. Didn’t do much else, but you’ll take it.
Lance Stephenson - My bad for not giving him a shout out yesterday, I didn’t watch the game vs. Orlando so didn’t buy anything new, but he looked really, really good last night. I think a probable add in 12-teamers. I’d own him over Henson if that helps. 7-12 for 16/8/4 and hit two threes. Ready to take a pretty solid step forward this year.
George Hill - Played a lot better going for 19, but still only 4 assists. Will still be solid and actually might be a semi buy-low.
Jrue Holiday - I’ll admit it…. Looked really good. I’ve never been a big Jrue fan, but put up a healthy 24/7/5 line shooting 8-18 with only 2 TOs. Although it would be nice if he knew what team he was on. I listened to this clip a few times as I was getting ready for highlights to be sure I heard it right and showed it to some co-workers and we laughed all night. Glad someone else caught it! Surprised that hasn’t made more headway in the silly news circuit. Seriously, check it out. Hilarious.
Eric Gordon - Same old, same old. Looks good when he plays, but he can’t always play. 8-19 (3-5 3PTM 6-9 FT) for 25/3/1/2. We all know he doesn’t do much more than score and hit 3s, but he drove well, shot well, and looked healthy. Doesn’t change anything much for me, but good to see him looking good.
Tyreke Evans - Disappointed in his Pelicans debut. I moved him down in my last rankings update because he had a messed up ankle, but looked healthy enough in 22 minutes off the bench for 2-8 4/2/3. You have to hold onto him given Gordon’s injury history and if they hold Gordon back on back-to-backs like they did back last year. I just wanted to put “back” as many times as I could in that sentence….
Jason Smith - Got the start and I thought looked pretty good in 20+ minutes. He did foul out, but with Ryan Anderson on the shelf for a few weeks, Smith is worth an add in the deepest of leagues.
Kevin Love - Why fantasy is happy he’s back. 31/17/4 with 3 threes in his 2013-14 season debut. Love is in the air!
Corey Brewer - Started and played nearly 40 minutes, but did get that padded a bit with this going into OT. He was one of my deeper sleepers and played the part, going 7-11 for 16/3/2 and 3 steals with a three. I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan (I got so giddy when Carlos Gomez retweeted me! So what if he was retweeting everyone giving him Gold Glove Award thanks? I loved being used as part of the twitter whore-dom!) and a Brewer fan! So much Brewing!
Ricky Rubio - Another guy I liked a lot heading into the season, he didn’t shoot well yet again (typical… needs to improve) going 5-15 for a 13/6/11/3/1 slash. Did hit a three which helps. If a few more of those fall, this could be a right call if that kind of line holds up most games.
Kevin Martin - Played the K-Mart role to a T. Scored 23 shooting 6-19 (ok so the scoring and shots taken are pretty high) but hit 2 3s (yes) only 2 Rebs (Yes) only 3 Asts (YES) and boosted your FT% going 9-9 (YESSSS!!!!!). Sorry I just had a Kevin Martin-gasm.
Monta Ellis - Dude, what a debut! Mark Cuban after the game probably went up to Ellis and was like, “Monta, wanna get outta here?” 32 Pts on 11-17 shooting (2-3 3PTM 8-8 FT) 4 Rebs 8 Asts and 2 Stls. Did have 7 TOs, but tough to complain.
Jose Calderon - Only shot 1-7 but did rack up 11 Asts in his Mavs debut. That what Caldy do!
Shawn Marion - I feel like everyone forgot how useful he was last year. 12/8/1/2/1 in 30 productive minutes. Worth being sure he’s owned in 14+.
Vince Carter - Took 16 shots in 25+ minutes off the bench. Allen Iverson is like, “that coulda been me if I kept my head on straight!”
Zach Randolph - Ewwwwww. 2/7 on 1-6 shooting. That’ll turn around.
Marc Gasol - Feeling like having him ranked above Paul George might look awful. 7-15 for 14/9/2/1/0. I mean, it was against the Spurs, but the paltry ancillary stats just weren’t there in his debut.
Tim Duncan - Hurt his chest. He promised it wasn’t the boob job he got in the offseason. He’s going to get checked out today after experiencing “spasms in his chest and shoulders.” Sounds like he couldn’t control himself during a Kevin Martin-gasm.
Kawhi Leonard - Not the big debut I hoped for, but 14/7/1/0/2 on 5-9 shooting with 2 threes isn’t that bad. He’s a threat to rack up steals and if Duncan misses more than a few games, he could go on a nice stretch as an offensive focal point.
Tiago Splitter - A short-term add in even 12 team leagues if Duncan is deemed out more than a few games. 5-8 for 11/8/2 in 28 minutes and I think is easily at 30+ minutes per if no Duncan.
Reggie Jackson - OKC/UTA was the other game I watched last night, and Jackson looked phenomenal. The stat line doesn’t really reflect that except in the 5 Stls, but 5-10 (2-3 3PTM 2-2 FT) 14/2/3 and had to sit early with two quick fouls. I’m pumped if I landed Jackson for the early part of the season.
Alec Burks - The stat line did reflect the phenomenal play this one. Burks looked AWESOME. He made some really athletic plays. 24/6/6 going 8-9 from the FT line and 8-16 from the field. Obviously won’t average that line, but this is legit. Stupid Slim knowing everything! I want him in REL!
Enes Kanter - Looked really good too. The Jazz overall looked really good. 6-10 for 14/10/1 and a block. Seems like a typical night for him, with some upside to go big.
Derrick Favors - Looked great as well. Really flashy frontcourt in Utah. 6-11 for 15/9/5/1/2 but did have 6 TOs. No other complaints though.
Rudy Gobert - Here’s my Golbert Report – after a flashy preseason, didn’t do much to inspire me as a fantasy option, but did rack up 7 boards in almost 23 minutes. His offensive game needs polish though.
LaMarcus Aldridge - Had a big night scoring (12-22 for 28 Pts) but not much of anything else. They keep losing games like by 13 to the Suns, he will get traded.
Nicolas Batum - Had a bad shooting night, but ended with a slash of 7/13/4/1/1. What you paid for!
Damian Lillard - Took 12 threes! Put up 32 hitting 6 of those and somehow got a block. Lillard was trey bien. Yet another night the Blazers ran their starters into the ground with none playing under 33 minutes and Lillard going for over 42.
P.J. Tucker - Another guy somehow Slim has in our 20-team league! Damn this guy! Worth a deep league look after playing a whopping 38+ minutes going 7-13 (2-2 3PTM 2-2 FT) for 18/5/2 and 2 Stls.
Eric Bledsoe - Played exceedingly well in his Suns debut, going 7-12 (8-11 FT) 22/7/6/1/0. Everyone that got him is starting to feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Miles Plumlee - Another Sun, another huge game from an off-the-radar guy. I guess I shoudla prefaced all this with the Blazers ineptitude-ness on defense. Anyway, Plumlee looks like a huge benefactor of the Gortat trade getting almost 40 minutes and going 18/15 with 3 blocks. Must-own in 14 teams plus, iffy in 12. Not buying any sort of certain consistency.
Alex Len - Just over 8 minutes. He’s getting eased in and I still think he’s just not that good.
Goran Dragic - Another big Suns game. 26/6/9 in 41 great minutes.
Archie Goodwin - My boyfriend didn’t get a big debut, only getting 8:28 of playing time and went 0-3 only logging a rebound. Gerald Green got 16 minutes and was the only other guard that came off the bench. Dragic and Bledsoe won’t play 41 and 39 minutes every night – still like Goodwin as a deep sleeper and holding.
John Wall - Yeah he didn’t shoot well, yeah his perimeter game still blew in this one game (0-4 from deep), but went 20/2/11 with three steals. Think he hits a three or two a night, shoots better than 8-21 and gets more boards and blocks. Still love him.
Bradley Beal - Speaking of love, a common big breakout pick from a lot of people was Beal who starts the season cold going 6-18 for 17/4/2. He’ll heat up, we saw him get hot in the preseason.
Marcin Gortat – Played only 17 minutes in his debut, but still almost had a dub dub going 9/9. Deep league owners should try to buy low, he’ll be starting soon.
Trevor Ariza - Huge game for Ariza going 8-14 (6-11 3PTM) for 28/10/3/1/0. He was the hot hand this game, not buying too much into it. Another guy that’s probably a most own in 14+, iffy in 12, a pass in 10.
JaVale McGee - What? The Nuggets brought back George Karl?!?!?! I had no idea! That’s the only explanation for McGee’s 10 minutes on the court, right? Well apparently it was early foul trouble, but he ended with only 4 fouls in a two-point win. I’m nervous if I reached for him right now.
J.J. Hickson – Kenneth Faried is coming off injury and played only 15 minutes, so big run for Hickson playing 33. Went 12/9 with 4 blocks. Looking like he can give you numbers comparable to what he got on the Blazers if they give him enough run.
DeMarcus Cousins - I was wishy-washy on Cousins. I bought the upside and didn’t bury him in rankings, but I wasn’t going to make him an end of the second-rounder either. A very polarizing ranked guy, he made all his owners look like geniuses thus far, exploding for 30/14/1/2/2 on 13-26 shooting. Before everyone freaks out, JaVale McGee is obviously inconsistent/barely played and J.J. Hickson can’t guard a guy like Cuz.
Ben McLemore - Only 17 minutes in his debut and was cold, going 1-7. I’m still holding in 12-teamers. Rookie jitters.
Greivis Vasquez/Isiah Thomas - As I sort of expected, both have enough minutes to stay valuable (36 and 29, respectively). Vasquez 17/2/4 and IT2 16/4/5 are both decent.
Klay Thompson - Anyone who thought he was overrated is dumb! Thanks mirror… Was just unstoppable last night, going 15-19 (5-7 3PTM) for 38/3/1. Not much else to say other than he was hot and it was like this meme I made watching him shoot in last year’s postseason.
Stephen Curry - Meh, Klay was hot, not worried about a slow first game.
Toney Douglas - Woooooo, big night for an REL $1 player! Got 24 minutes in the blowout going 13/4/4 with three 3s. He’s worth owning in 20-team (like my team!) but that’s about it.
Andrew Bogut - Rainbow Line! I’m sure I missed one, but this is the first one I noticed. There were a lot of games, OK! 2/8/4/2/2 in only 18 minutes. What you get from Bogut, and I’m glad he didn’t get stretched out too much when they didn’t need him.
Andre Iguodala - A guy I thought had way too much love going his way, had a slow start offensively going 3-7, but stuffed the stats for 7/4/4/2/1.
Xavier Henry - The big breakout from Opening Night went 4-11 (6-9 FT – good to see a decent bounce back from the stripe) for 14/4/1 in 35 minutes. The minutes were good to see, but yeah, Lakers looked awful last night.
Next Games: I’ve got both of tomorrow’s games on TNT Overtime, NYK @ CHI and GSW @ LAC. The first one I think will be a snooze fest, but the West Coast game looks like a goodun. Watching to see if Shumpert can indeed play big for the first few weeks, if Thompson stays hot, and if the Clippers can avoid going 0-2. I got to as many players as I could this morning, but if I missed anyone you have questions on, as always shoot your comments below!