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?
Even though he looks exactly like the youngest kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Steve Blake is playing like an NBA PG in the top. Last night’s 16 Asts gives him 10+ in four straight, and starting to remind us of Chris Paul who has started the year with the ten straight 10+ dime games. You can’t go anywhere in LA without someone trying to give you a dimebag! I think that’s going to be a new term I’m going to add into the Razzball lexicon, 10+ assists equals a dimebag. As in, “the Lakers got so high last night with Steve Blake handing out a dimebag!” Pretty soon it won’t even be a crime anywhere. Rasheed Wallace is like, “man I played at the wrong time!” Blake is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and I think will be all year. He’s been D-Antoni-ed. Here’s what else I saw across fantasy hoops over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well… Larry Sanders hasn’t had the best few weeks… The Colonel held his injuries from the field surgeon just long enough to keep hope alive in his troops, but had to undergo the knife to repair his thumb and will be out 6 weeks. Was it from a punch, the champagne bottle, or just getting too close in the delivery room? No one will ever know. Talk about easily the biggest fantasy bust this season thus far. With no IR spot, drop this dude. Zaza Pachulia is now a big pickup for anyone needing big man stats. Za/Za is such a good Scrabble play! Definitely a go-to for 60+ point moves on the triples. If you have the cajones to challenge me in Words With Friends, hit me up (user ID: Jbronze). But if I smell any Word Gen, I’ma publicly smite you! Oh yeah, hoops, John Henson gets a big boost as well looking at consistent run. But beware Henson’s terrible FT shooting and prepare thusly. Speaking of thusly, herebe the NBA beings-all I saw last fortnight (wait, doesn’t that mean like 20 days ago? Eh you know what I meant):Please, blog, may I have some more?
As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.” Ok, so I made that up. But it sounds good!
For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar. In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line. He just looks awesome every time I see him play. Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA? He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way. After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game. Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.
Then my new friend – Gal Mekel on the Mavericks. You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel? I thought this was NBA not WNBA!” Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA. Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!” With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it. He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3. Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts. Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League. Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So Russell Westbrook played yesterday… Ummm… What?
After hurting his knee in last year’s playoffs, then requiring a second surgery on October 1st, Westbrook was one of the biggest fantasy news stories early in preseason with an uncertain timetable. Well that table has expired much earlier than anyone expected, and Westbrook was out there without a minutes restriction last night. It’s like the first surgery was done in Hostel, then the next one at the X-Mansion. Seriously, reports ranged from from early to mid-December as a target return date, but a little Adamantium in your bones goes a long way! The good news is he’s back, but the bad (and frankly, not shocking) news is he was mighty rusty. In nearly 33 minutes, Westbrook shot only 5-16 (0-2 3PTM 11-14 FT) for 21 points, with 4 Reb and 7 Ast and 4 TOs. Besides shooting like Michael Chiklis, you’ll take that line any day. Very encouraging to see Westbrook get to the line that frequently, and the minutes were indeed non-limited. He looked pretty Westbrook-ish in highlights as well. Even if Westbrook isn’t quite the player he was the past few seasons, all owners are looking at a steal for where they got him post-second surgery. Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops action: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?
Whewwww-eeee! What a fun draft. A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team. But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!” Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.
So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars. Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late! The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots. Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned. Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters. There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts. Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract. So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Listen, I know a lot of drafts have gone down, but I think we’re still right in the sweet spot of the drafting season. And while we’re in that sweet spot, why not start up an RCL Hoops league where we need more commishes! I am putting an embargo on comments unless you start up a league! Haha – kidding. But what’s less funny is the curse of my love for Trey Burke, as he’s going to have surgery on his index finger. “Don’t you point at me!” “I can’t help it, it’s the cast!” The original report of him missing 8-12 weeks had him a 100% no bueno in my book, but then he tweeted out (I guess using other fingers) that it should only be 4-6 weeks. Apparently he’ll be in a splint three weeks and will be reevaluated. As in – “my fingy still hurty!” I’m moving Burke way down and taking it as a sign to completely cool off my love for him. As in Arnold in the last bad Batman movie cool. “Tonight’s forecast – a freeze is coming in!” John Lucas III becomes the starting PG it appears in most games and probably needs to be owned in deeper leagues, but I wouldn’t drop someone that good for him. Lucas III didn’t crack the updated rankings because I don’t see season-long impact from him. Alec Burks could start some games at the point as well, and remains ranked as I think he plays both guard positions and minutes all year. That is despite a horrible 1-13 shooting performance last night… The Jazz are also re-evaluating trading for the Bulls’ Marquis Teague in a possible trade. Then there’s a rumor that free agent Jamaal Tinsley might also get signed. Sounding more and more like the Jazz PG is going to be a black hole this season. So I’m avoiding them all, but still holding Burke in 12+ team leagues (like my 1st RCL League) and hoping. Here’s what else has been going down through the preseason, and a final rankings update:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe because I didn’t follow the NBA preseason as closely last year as I was working exclusively on Football, but I feel like there’s been a lot more preseason injuries in only the first week of action than in year’s past. Then again, Rodney Stuckey wasn’t even on the court, and slammed his thumb in his car door and needs surgery. It’s gonna make for a hell of a hitchhiking thumb in that cast! What it is with Detroit athletes and getting hurt in their cars? Not even a month ago Nate Burleson broke his arm reaching over to keep some boxes from falling and slamming into the median. All Detroit athletes need to avoid using motor vehicles. Maybe that’s proof right there Obama shouldn’t have bailed out GM. Give them all mopeds. Oh wait, yeah that won’t work, will is Monta Ellis? Maybe segways? I’ve got it! Just tell Andre Drummond he has to carry every Detroit athlete to where they need to go until his FT% goes above 50. He’ll be like a Detroit athlete tauntaun. See, tell me why I’m not an NBA coach. I already had moved Kentavious Caldwell-Pope way up before the Stuckey injury with how the Pistons coaching staff was praising him, and look for KCP to move to right around 100 overall in my next rankings update. Here’s what else went down since we last looked in at preseason action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50. Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots. Have fun grilling these!
(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause. Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury. He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again. He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter. Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.
(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big. The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.Please, blog, may I have some more?