Whew. 100 down. 100 to go. It’s been a helluva ride, but we almost there. This is where things get really interesting, as it’s a group where some starters still reside, but is mostly populated with bench players. Do you go with a specialist or someone that contributes across the board? Decisions decisions.
Yes! I’m freaking pumped now. Go do your thing right now! I’m going to finish this post then run like Forrest Gump.
Summer Leagues are upon us and the recent draft class has already left their mark. Jayson Tatum has been an offensive revelation, Donovan Mitchell has displayed his potential on both ends of the floor, and Markelle Fultz has shown the offensive skills that we’ve been drooling over, although he still showed glimpses of defensive naivety. Bam Adebayo has dominated in the paint and surprised us with some big offensive numbers, while Jonathan Isaac has flashed potential, but confirmed that he is still a project.
Yes, Summer leagues matter. Every point, assist, and turnover changes the perception that the other owners in your dynasty league have on players in the pool. But, let’s not delve too much into summer leagues yet.
Here’s what you came for. Part Deux of my Dynasty Rookie Rankings:
Final week for most leagues. It’s that one time of the fantasy season when it doesn’t matter who you’d drop (unless it’s a keeper/dynasty), ‘coz if you’re still managing your team, then it must be playing for something.
In my opinion, the moves available this week is very limited unless one of your top guys encounter an injury or team setup is where you have 2+ guys playing for the teams not playing on Friday and/or Sunday. This is because there are 11 games that will be played on those days. So really if you haven’t streamed on Thurs, you really probably want to load up for Saturday’s slate especially if the players’ last game for the week is Friday or Saturday (MIN, LAC, DET, ORL, POR, SAC).
So for today, I’ll only focus on Saturday’s games. Tad anti climactic being the final edition of this series for this fantasy season.
The Bulls came into Toronto having beat the Raptors in 11 straight games. It took overtime, but the Raptors snapped the losing streak behind DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Double D shot 17-38 and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
DeRozan battled all game against Jimmy Butler, who also went off for 37/10/6. Despite these two all-stars’ phenomenal performances, the game was overshadowed by the fight between Serge Ibaka (16 and 6) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks):
Usually Lopez only fights mascots, but took exception to Ibaka’s shove in the back. Fortunately the guys were separated rather quickly, but the league will obviously review the fight and make a decision later on whether either player will be suspended any games. Personally, I’d expect both guys to miss at least one game, but hopefully it’s just a fine and they return for their teams’ next game.
What a way to kick off the week! Well, that is, if you own Rudy Gobert! Monsieur Elbow says “No!” And “Oui, I own l’paint!” Absolutely monstrous 16/14/3/0/8 last night against the Pacers, hitting 7-12 from the field with only 1 TO.
So much swattage! His 13 blocks the last 2 games now gives him a 13.2/12.8/1.2/0.7/2.6 slash on the year, hitting 65% from the field. Oddly 65.5% from the stripe too! Which isn’t good, but not a punt either. BB Monster has him 20th overall in per game stats, and 12th in total. Absolutely insane draft day value, but it really grinds my gears he’s doing this this year, and not in 2015-16! Had him 11th and well above consensus, just one year too early – stupid FIBA wore him down. Focus on the NBA, you Frenchy! Oh shit, now he’s gonna hunt me with one of those elbows, NOOOOOO!!! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:
Rusell Westbrook continued his dominating ways against the Raptors, and the Thunder steamrolled them tonight. 123-102 was the final score, and the Thunder outscored the Raps by 17 in the third quarter. OKC has moved into 6th place in the west, and there’s a decent possibility that they could lock up home court, since they’re only 3.5 games back of the 4th seeded Jazz squad. At any rate, let’s get back to Westy. He finished with 24/10/16/1/0, and oh yeah, he only had 2 TOs. Plus, he hit 4-8 from deep! Did I mention that he did it in only 28 minutes? Oklahoma City had 7 players in double digits, and they seem primed for a solid playoff push.
Man, what a horrid week for injuries! Highlighted by the worst injury of all: yesterday we got news that JB Gilpin – yes pickup basketball superstar – rolled his ankle in his after-work pickup game on someone else’s fat foot. That’s right, I got a kankle! Some rough swelling, probably out 1-2 weeks, go ahead and give me that INJ tag! No joke, this is the second time in a row I’ve gotten a kankle before a big trip. Now I’m gonna be gimpy walking around Spring Training games on my baseball trip starting this weekend! Stupid kankles…
Anyway, some lower-tier basketball talents also got news of rough injuries, of course highlighted by Kevin Durant‘s MRI revealing a Grade 2 MCL strain and a tibial bone bruise. Stupid Zaza Pachulia flying around willy-nilly! He’s going to be “re-evaluated” in 4 weeks, so there’s no way he’s making an impact on your fantasy playoffs. Mayyyyybe he plays in the last game or two, but I highly doubt it. According to BB Monster, he was by far the best per-game player and total value player, so it’s an unbelievable loss. But hey, he got you to your fantasy playoffs (hopefully) and anything can happen week-to-week in H2H leagues. Injuries are the mother-flippin’ worst! Here’s what else went down across the NBA last night, including one other major injury piece of news:
The NBA All-Star Game is 2 weekends away, but this is usually the time when certain fantasy basketball teams start to face key decisions that could determine if they make the playoffs or not. Moves via the waiver wire and choosing which players to play during jam packed nights become magnified. OK OK, that makes it sound like it’s THAT serious. Well, for some highly competitive leagues or very competitive managers, that may apply. This should be short and sweet. Stream against BKN + LAL if you’re looking for overall production, ATL + CHA for production from the guard position and PHI + POR for production from the big men.
No Super Bowl hangover in the NBA, that’s for sure! A full helping of action with 11 games on the slate, starting with a phenomenal national game on TNT to kick off the next 2 months, where there’s nothing but NBA going on. Well, hockey too, sorry Viz! And college basketball! Dammit, well, basketball isn’t competing with NFL or MLB for a bit, and the face of the NBA let everyone know, with a preposterous buzzer-beater to get the Cavs in OT and eventually beat the Wiz (snapping their 17-game home winning streak):
That Wizards fan says it all! Who says LeBron Jamesis old?! 32/7/17/2/2 in an unreal performance on national TV, in a game the NBA couldn’t have scripted to go any better the night after the NFL got their best game ever played. Well, maybe a little hyperbole, but it was OK… Along with that line, he hit 6 treys and 12-18 from the field, but only 2-5 FT!? Wouldn’t have needed that buzzer beater if he could just hit his damned FT!!! He actually fouled out early in OT too, but Kyrie Irving then took over as the alpha, scoring 11 of his 23 in OT in an otherwise disappointing game. Then there’s of course Kevin Love, who went OFF for 39/12/3/3/0 with 6 treys and 11-11 FT. Needed every bit outta the big 3 to beat a hot Wizards team on the road! During the game, Frank Isola (who you may know from Around the Horn and ish) reported LeBron is pushing the Cavs management to trade Love for Carmelo Anthony. LeBron then went all Trump on his ass in postgame. “Fake News!” But ya know, fighting the rumors off in a less dictatory-way, even as The King… Here’s what else went down last night in a busy Monday of hoops action:
Fun night for JB last night! I was driving down a desert road, opened up my suitcase, did… something with a lot of things… and next thing I know I’m raging next to Benicio Del Toro and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in a hotel bathroom! KCP was absolutely unconscious last night, hitting 12-18 from the field (8-11 3PTM 6-8 FT) for a career-high 38/4/1/4/0.
Somebody call the ThrAGNOF police, we’ve found a face! As Slim noted on the Pod, KCP has some of the wildest game-to-game variance with his scoring, but as we saw last night, when he hot, he hot! The big changes for this year is he’s taking and making career-high treys (2.3 for 5.6), and making them at fantastic 40.3% clip. Even though he’s at a career-high scoring, he’s actually taking less shots per game than last year. And you know I’m an addict for AST:TO – 1.8:1.4 last year to 2.9:1.3 this season. So much to get addicted to! Let’s just hope the good times keep rollin’, and John Travolta won’t have to stab a foot-long needle in my heart if things go sour! Here’s what else went down on a busy night of basketball last night: