Merry Christmas Razzball Nation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday. What have you asked for for Christmas? A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight? A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles? Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates. Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date. October 2014. Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot. Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May. Foot injury and big trade limits #s.” That’s me quoting me! Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners. BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea. Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt. I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside. Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?! Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep. As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out. Wiggity what?! Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention. I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive. But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia. Who gives a flip man?! Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him. Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish! “If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu! I do it myself!” Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely. He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings. Get the coach some Midol! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As my good friends at Mr. Show previously theorized, 24 was thought to be the highest number. “What about 30?!” And then NBA scorers were pulling exactly what happens in that skit. “What about 31?” “What about 32?” “I gotta ask, what about 33!” Then Gilbert Arenas was like, “if people keep scoring like this, I’m gonna have to shoot em with Crittenton’s .45!” It wasn’t necessarily that many guys going off, just a few you wouldn’t have guessed. I’m trying to pick the most off the rails 30+ point night, so I think I’ll go with Alec Burks, who just looked awful in the two games before last night. 7-25 his past two outings, but goes 12-17 last night for career-highs in both points with 31 and dimes at 7. Added three boards and four steals with two treys for good measure. Burks has always looked like a good athlete out there, but never like a guy who could take over like that. I think a good debate is Burks or Terrence Ross. I’ll lean Ross, but very close, I just think Burks is too inconsistent. Here’s what else went down last night in hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I trust everyone has been a good boy or girl this year, and has sent their wish list to Santa already, right? I have it on good authority that jolly old St. Nick is a huge NBA fan, so naturally I suggest you ask for fantasy help. And I have a strategy: bear in mind, if you ask for too much, you get burned for being greedy, and you will get coal bricks under your tree (like Drummond at the free throw line, amirite?? Awful, sorry.). So, that in mind, I’m simply asking for dimes. I need help with assists in my 2 leagues, I took Kyrie in both leagues, and he is not exactly packing that stat line, I have Jameer, and he’s been on and off the court… well, whining to you guys won’t do anything about it. But whining to Santa will. It has to, as there is no quality points on my waiver. And with that let me bend your eyeballs to a few guys that might make excellent stocking stuffers:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
My lead yesterday was about a weekend of injuries, and as much as I wanted to stay away from injuries in today’s open, there’s just way too many. Like that pilot in the Return of the Jedi when they attack the new Death Star. “There’s too many of them!” Sorry in advance Jake VZ – but I think the lead is Bradley Beal reportedly aggravating his leg injury and at the time of this post in the wee hours of the morning, the Wizards fear a prolonged absence. Beal hurt the same leg with a broken fibula last year that ended his season prematurely. In both my longer blurb in my top 100 and in my top 200 I tried to say I was worried, and only ended up with him on my autodrafted team. By now, news has hit his little news icon on Yahoo and ESPN, so it’s going to be a little tough to sell at full price or even a slight discount if you’re hitting the panic button. I’m worried myself. I’m running in with Jodie Foster and a weird, gothy, tween Kristen Stewart into my Panic Room. More precise news should come out today, but if for some reason you were about to cut Martell Webster, hold the phone and keep my boy. I have been told I have too many “boys”. But I like Webster a lot! And called him a must add a few weeks back. Trevor Ariza is also back and starting tonight, and the mere fact they’re not easing him in off the bench has me thinking his hammy must be doing pretty well. Both Ariza and Webster are looking at big minutes for a stretch, and John Wall will continue to have this big offensive upside he’s shown in the past two games. Here’s what else went down in the wide world of fantasy hoops last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run. With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6. “Give me a chance coach!” Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time. The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5. Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year. Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it. With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe. Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt. Mmmmmm. Fantasy goodness everywhere! Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops: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?
The playoffs are coming, do you have a point guard emergency? Mo Williams consistency driving you insane? Kyrie Irving just not cutting it since his return? Steve Nash can’t stay on the floor? Tony Parker goes down! Well according to Lt. Dangle there might be a new sheriff in Orlando, all he needs is a killer ‘stache. Beno Udrih was Udraining shots from all over the floor Friday night and scored 27 points (10-17 FG) with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and hit 3 shots from beyond the arc. Beno may have that mustache in him after all. Jameer Nelson missed his fourth straight game and Beno got the nod again. In four games starting with Nelson out, Udrih is averaging 19.5 points, 7.3 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.75 steals and 2.5 threes a game. BENOthatswhatImtalkingabout Udrih! He played 36 minutes Friday night and should continue to find plenty of time on the floor even when (if) Jameer Nelson (ever) returns. If I have a playoff point guard emergency I’m picking up Udrih, Beno-911 should provide enough points and assists to make him an asset in your fantasy playoffs.
Here’s what else happened in basketball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?