If you’re like JB and myself, then you like your fantasy basketball to be Head-To-Head. The ability to talk smack to a new opponent every week keeps the intensity high. And unlike Roto or NCAA football, we get The Playoffs, where heroes are made and injures decimate championship aspirations. A nasty little side effect however is a shortened regular season. After this week we will have played 10 weeks. Marking the halfway point of the regular season. If you’re in the bottom 3rd of your league then sacrifices must be made. Injured players may need to be traded at less than face value or flat out dropped. Streaming takes priority over upside. There is still plenty of time to make up ground and sneak into the playoffs but it’s safe to say something isn’t working. If you’re in the middle 3rd then you should take a long hard look at who on your team is on the way up and who is on the way down. We all had our favorite sleepers coming into the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of mine, Archie Goodwin was well liked around these parts too. They weren’t giving enough so we had to move on to the next opportunity, c’est la vie, life goes on… If your in the top 3rd of your league then you need to ensure you stay there. You can be much more risky and shouldn’t pass up any high upside guy who is getting big minutes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you recall back to last week, I remember talking up Jon Leuer as an interesting deep league play. Loved the out-of-position threes, the boarding, the all-around production. I said I would probably go after him in REL, and then Slim tells me he’s probably not bidding on him this week. So I figure, I can dangle a few bucks and if someone beats me to him so be it. But it shouldn’t have been you Slim!! He Leuered me in with scoffing and brush-off ness. Slim, you want to repay me for this horrific slight of hand? Trade him to me! I guess I should talk more about Leuer than rant… Just over 27 minutes last night for 16/12 with a three on 7-14 shooting. This now marks five straight games of 23:30+ minutes, averaging nearly a double-double a game on top of almost a three a game with a few blocks. He’s not going to turn into some superstar, but he’s a great stretch the court center, which fits Mike Conley trying to drive and dish. Sorry Kosta Koufos, but your outside shots are labradoodles! That term needs to be added to the glossary… I see Leuer continuing his PT as a double double threat while Marc Gasol is out, with a handful of threes, steals and blocks to help out deeper leagues. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it. My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!” At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue! It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers. Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers. Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night. Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4. I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful. They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night! Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries. But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it. I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team. Sorry Bulls fans! Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt. It’s unreal! It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding. And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time. He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther. “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!” But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats. At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now. Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Is it safe?” Dustin Hoffman was so not type B enough in that situation. Imagine Jeff Spicoli in that scene. “Dude, what are you doing with that, man?!” But nothing beats the end when Hoffman makes him eat the diamonds. Spoiler alert! Oh yea, that’s supposed to go before the – – nevermind. Ryan Anderson last night was sure the marathon man in the triple OT slug fest in Chicago, playing a preposterous 57 minutes for 36/6 with 7 threes. He’s like a big Klay Thompson! I was actually texting with my friend who said the broadcast compared him to Larry Bird – Hah! I countered with the Jazz broadcast in their opener compared Alec Burks to Michael Jordan. I can’t even make something up more preposterous than that! These announcers must’ve failed those analogy tests you had to take through elementary school. “Pizza:delicious::ice cream:????” “Alec Burks!” While it’s good seeing Anderson get that kind of run, spoiler alert! I think his toe could flare up at some point. He’s playing great, no question, but when he came back from injury he said he was going to manage the pain and the Pelicans were hoping to hold back his minutes a bit. Sure failed last night! I’m obviously not his toe, but I’d be like, “Yo, Ryan, 57 minutes be too much and Tough Actin’ Tinactin ain’t gonna fix me!” I’m buying the nice Anderson stats right now, but think he’s a bit of a sell high and big dudes with big toes that have been big ouchies are big red flags. Here’s what else I saw from last night’s action and news in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As JB and I sit at our local Starbucks at 4 PM, him in a 2-piece flannel Carolina Panther outfit he just woke up in and me in only my usual loin cloth, we notice that there are some very odd looking people who drink coffee in the middle of the afternoon. It isn’t just for yuppies and house wives anymore. Middle schoolers walk in, talking about how badly they need their caffeine. Really? Was your long day of sleeping in class stressful? More than anything, a coffee shop has become a place to be seen, and fortunately for us on this day, it was worth watching. A couple of girls walk in, one on her phone talking, laughing and the other with a nasty scowl on her face. She must have said something on the phone because all of a sudden the other girl starts yelling like a banshee and slapping the girls face as hard as she could. In what I feel was an appropriate response, JB began his play-by-play a la Howard Cosell, “There’s another left by George he’s getting into Fraziers head.” We all knew what was coming, “I think he hurt Joe Frazier, I think Joe is hurt!” Right when JB was about to formulate that iconic saying, the girl on the phone delivers a thundering overhand right, dropping the aggressor and immediately ending the altercation.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?
The preseason is upon us! And just like how you don’t put too much stock in Spring Training or the NFL Preseason – there isn’t anything to go too crazy about with what happens in the box scores. However, some guys do get hurt, hurt guys can show they’re back, and there’s additional news to spruce up everyone’s rankings (my updated top 200 is below and broken down by position in the menu). But before you scroll down! We really need some RCL commissioners to start up new leagues to show me just how bad my rankings are. The winner gets their name shaved in my head for god’s sake! Please don’t make it anything too profane… I don’t want to tell the barber he has to put @$%#% somewhere in my scalp! Rather than belaboring current events and more RCL pandering, let’s just hop right in: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?
I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year. I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them. If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.
If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick. Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities. Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special. Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”
Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200. As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions. But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So if you watched any basketball on TNT last night, you probably saw Danilo Gallinari‘s injury where his knee buckled in a non-contact situation and it doesn’t look good. Don’t want to speculate too much as he hasn’t gotten an MRI yet, but I think he’ll be out when next year starts. Of course it could be just a strain and he got lucky, but I think he’s cuttable. Sucks because I like the Nuggets and like the Italian (I’m double and triple checking players’ nationalities now!).
Another big name player, Tony Parker had to leave early as well with Big Pop “very concerned.” On a night with only three games for there to be two big injuries puts the nail in the coffin of seeing the Miami Heat’s Big 3 play big minutes together again in the regular season. LeBron James owners who were carried by his MVP-level play are cursing all things fantasy basketball as it looks he’ll sit tonight. Dwyane Wade is also likely out. If you play into the finals next week, don’t expect too much from either of these guys. It’s a sad end for many teams’ best or second best players and will bring out your depth.
Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?