Sorry Bargs, it’s not “Il Mago” you’re “Il Diva”. After whining about playing time in Toronto saying he wanted to play somewhere warmer to the Italian media, the obvious answer is the tropical climate of New York City. Il Diva disappeared in his final year in Toronto, playing under 30 minutes a game for the first time since 07-08. His FG% fell to a career-second worse, the 3PT% second worst and tied a career-worst in rebounding. After 35 games, they cut open his elbow and he cut his ties with the great country of Canadia (sp?). Enter 2013-14 and Bargnani was coming off the bench, and Knicks fans were even booing him after one quarter. Welcome to the Big Apple! I saw some early Knicks action as well, and Bargnani looked as bad as Amar’e Stoudemire. Hey-o! But then Tyson Chandler went down with the broken leg, thrusting Il Diva into a starting role. At that point, I put no stock in either Bargs or Amar’e, but Bargnani has been able to prove something to me: he needs big minutes to be able to do anything. And it’s not a per/48 thing, it’s getting comfortable in the game. Through this season, in the 5 games he’s under 30 minutes he’s shooting 48.8% for 10.2/1.4/0.4 with 0.8 threes a game. And didn’t log a single block. In 3 games over 30 minutes, he’s 53.8% 23/7.7/1.7 2.3 Blks and 2.7 threes a game. Even at per/48 rates and taking into account the small sample, the disparity is shocking. Since Chandler is out a good while healing up the broken leg and Amar’e is just a huge contract sitting on the bench, Bargnani is going to get huge minutes (almost always over 30) and continue this run. “Let me play lots or else I stand around!” Must own in all leagues, a statement I made last week and confirmed with another 24/4 line with three threes and a block last night. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the Pistons were looking like a playoff contending team with all their offseason acquisitions, but after a 2-1 record with the only loss a close one on the road to Memphis, the Pistons have dropped 4 straight to fall to 2-5. Plus Memphis looks god awful after that looking like a “good” loss. The Pistons aren’t very good. Hire Jim Leyland! The culmination of the four-game skid climaxed in an ugly 18- point loss to the Warriors last night that sent a few fantasy shockwaves down our fantasy spine. First Josh Smith was benched before playing 19 minutes and shot 1-6 for 2 Pts and no boards. That’s like a Robin Lopez line! He reportedly took some bad three-pointers. Those familiar with Josh Smith are like, “aren’t they all bad three pointers coming from him?!” Still think Smith will be fine and this could actually help him from killing your FG% on his off nights. The biggest benefactor to the J Smoove benching was my boyfriend (!) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting 24 minutes and going 9/3/1 with a trey and two steals playing a small (literally) forward role at times. Now I didn’t watch this game, so if he was matched up on Andre Iguodala who isn’t exactly a domineering 3, that makes sense. Then to top off a terrible night for Pistons fans, Razzball commenter favorite Andre Drummond went down with an ankle injury, playing way too late in the game that was a blowout. It was like a Booby Miles injury. He walked off the court under his own power, but ankle injuries are like the fantasy grim reaper’s wheel of fortune. Sometimes a terrible looking one turns into nothing, and sometimes you’re Tobias Harris. Hell Tyson Chandler walked off the court with a broken leg! You just never know… Keep your eye out for updates during the day. Hey, at least Drummond put up 16/14/0/3/3 for ya! Here’s what else I saw across the NBA last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Things were looking oh so good for the Colonel’s original recipe heading into the season. I bought the whole bucket, the two sides and a giant big gulp of tea. But Larry Sanders could very well be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2013-14, for reasons on and off the court.
Sanders signed a 4-year deal in the offseason worth a cool $44 million bucks (worth, about, a million buckets of chicken!), and the Bucks regime had big plans for their center. GM John Hammond, while trying to keep his Jurassic Park island under control, said Sanders was the key to the team. Hammond, you lost your keys! Bucks are locked out… Then the season started with Sanders nearly fouling out in 12 minutes, and in three games hasn’t played more than 22 minutes, hit 2 FGs, or grabbed more than 4 boards. I was on the buy low bandwagon faster than a short sell in Trading Places. But after complaining about playing time, Sanders reportedly got into a bar fight Saturday night and effed up his thumb. Stop giving him roids, Braun, we don’t need more roid rage in Milwaukee! I wonder if he was getting hazed by Ersan Ilyasova like Richie Incognito. “You must play better, now!” yells Ersan in a thick Turkish accident. Hey, Ilyasova was a scratch last night too, Gus Ayonin’! Anyway, Sanders is accused of breaking champagne bottles over peoples’ heads, and to top if off he then missed Monday’s game because his wife went into labor. Sorry Larry Sanders Jr… I’m just sorry… Hopefully this version of The Larry Sanders Show ends anti-climatically with Sanders getting back on the court and giving fantasy owners something. If you’ve got him, you have to be holding and hoping Sanders can settle down and have this blow over, before he’s looking back at his life and he’s Robert Swift. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year. So many story lines, so many stars. And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!
I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year. I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game. Score two for JB! Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right? John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton! Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.
I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win. Pretty much everything played out like a video game. Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake. Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release. Wait, do they even need controllers? We are the controllers! Whoa, too much philosophizing. Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Are you not entertained?!
Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles. You name it! He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals. Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe. Paul was so much like Russell Crowe. In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)! Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys. Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA. I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing. I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game. I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors. Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one. Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a few players who throw my drafts off course every year for no particular reason. Wesley Matthews. Jose Calderon. Al Horford. Regardless of where it happens, or whether it’s a good pick or not, when I end up taking one or more of these players, the wheels start to come off.
The three aforementioned players actually pale in comparison to my ultimate draft killer: Andre Iguodala. I really have a hard time rating him – either I see him as so overrated he’s underrated or so underrated he’s overrated.
Obviously I’m feeling self-conscious about my first RCL draft. It’s kind of like taking your shirt off at the beach after you’ve spent the winter gorging on pizza and ice cream.
All right, time to suck it up and show off my man boobs:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s funny how hometown fans and media have a different perception of players compared to those outside of the area. This gap is more like a canyon in Philadelphia. The outside world saw Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid as a wildly successful QB and coach tandem. One racked up Pro Bowl appearances and 3,000-yard passing seasons. The other had the Eagles as the kings of the NFC East and even got the team to the Super Bowl. In Philly, both are regarded as utter failures who never connected with the fanbase. Scott Rolen and Andre Iguodala were both viewed as multi-talented consummate professionals in their respective sports. They got killed in Philly for being aloof and coming up short.
And most people on the planet Earth see 76ers center Spencer Hawes as a pretty solid center. They’ve seen 20 and 10 lines, they’ve seen seasons with 10 ppg and 7 rpg, and they’ve seen hustle plays and passion on highlights. But this guy is viewed as the poster child for the frustrating and ultimately squandered Doug Collins era. He’s starting for Philadelphia this year because the team is tanking to get Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft. This might be almost entirely true.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A lot of things stood out in the 2013-2014 NBA Playoffs, and we’re not even talking about you, Mike Breen’s Weird Face.
They’ll be remembered as the coming out party for Mark Jackson’s upstart Golden State Warriors, who upended the Denver Nuggets in the first round. The Lakers got flattened and Dwight Howard got flushed out of the City of Angels. The Grizz took a step up, and OKC took a big step back. We saw Paul George go from boy to man, ABC, BBD, with the swish of a jumper and three big FTs. We saw Frank Vogel brain fart by removing Roy Hibbert and allowing LeBron James to win a game with a layup. And we saw a Finals Game 6 that packed a monumental Spurs collapse; a limp, pathetic white flag en masse by Heat fans; and an incredible Miami comeback capped by a Ray Allen three so deep in the corner that he coulda grabbed a Cinnabon from the concessions before coming back down to earth – BREATHE – all in one fourth quarter. Oh, and James’ dwindling horde of critics were served up another heaping helping of shutup-shuttin’-up.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After re-ranking the top 10, top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May. Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:
(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well. I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.
(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him. He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense. The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much. I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role. The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio. All that spells a slightly down ranking for me. Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.Please, blog, may I have some more?