You know, Raymond Felton broke his hand last year, and this is no joke, less than two weeks after Twinkies were officially discontinued. I imagine him hearing the news after a Knicks loss, and punching the glass out at a NYC convenience store. “How will I ever carboload before rolling onto the court!” Then Twinkies, after being bought out and licensed, again appeared on store shelves in July 2013. And ohhhh boy, was it an offseason to remember for Roly Poly Felton! Even though he’s always looked like a big boy, concerns about his weight surfaced yet again, and this year his stats were down before a myriad of injuries took their toll. This past groin injury, where Felton reportedly heard a “pop”, finally got him to listen to the advice of the trainers. “When my little guy down there told me something was wrong, I finally listened.” Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds had to think on the fly, eventually settling on a 12-grain/cashew cream vegan Twinkie-substitute. Instead of the 15-17 off-the-shelf Twinkies comprising the majority of Felton’s daily diet, he was down to 12-14 “healthy-makers” (as he called them) while rehabbing his groin injury. “The first three or four were kinda funky, but then you get that urge for more-and-more just like the old ones.” After losing 34 pounds in 72 hours, Felton was ready to rejoin the team in practice. “I felt great out there, mobile, my arms stopped running into my love handles when I was drivin’ to the hoop.” Another 42 pounds came off in the next week, and he was ready to play last night. And man, did those 76 lost pounds come in handy! 13/5/14/1/0 against the Heat in a surprise win. I caught up with him after the game: “No J.R. Smiff in the game helped me keep the rock and everything runnin’ through me. He can untie e’rybody’s shoelaces all I care!” Back to reality, I did watch this game, and the bulk of those assists came on dishes to Carmelo Anthony burying jumpers, so the assist total is obviously a big outlier. But Felton did look good. Made good moves, looked agile, and more importantly, made the Knicks look better while playing 39 minutes. We can have fun all we want, but I think I was wrong to be a little dismissive on him returning. I like him right now over D.J. Augustin and Kendall Marshall for example. More staying power, and while the most injury prone of the bunch, I think helps you more in the long-haul. Must-own in 12-teamers, depends on need and depth in 10ers. Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, Andrew Bynum is Mr. Glass too… But the other way! And he’s also Mr. Franchise Killer, as the Cavs had to suspend him just to get him to stay out of the stadium. “Hey Andrew, leave the HurryCane at home today, we don’t wanna keep paying the stadium workers to put down the handicap ramps!” Just saves money across the board. Once Bynum gets waived, I think even Obama will be shaking his head at Bynum’s healthcare bills. Anyway, the obvious benefactor to that whole mess is Anderson Varejao, who after his dominating 18/25 game last night has double-digit boards in 4 of the last 5. Varejao was cleaning up the glass like he was the Unbreakable one! The leading rebounder in the NBA last year before he got hurt (at a ridiculous 14.4 a game), Varejao should be a monster in 2014. Although it does help when Nikola Vucevic is hurt and the starting center against you is Jason Maxiell. Hell, I coulda had a double double against them last night! And I don’t even have Jerry Curls! Here’s what else I saw last night across the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night! Well, except for the Hawks, who lost both DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford in last night’s double overtime win against the Cavs. Carroll’s Christmas carol was about hoping his hand and/or thumb didn’t break, as he was in bad pain exiting the game. Diagnosis came out that he has a sprained thumb, and while a non-break is a good news, remember Larry Sanders “just” had a sprained thumb and had to have surgery. Just shatter the champagne bottle you got sprayed with and use it like a weapon like a normal bar fight, Sanders! And to make matters worse, Horford then lost all his Christmas cheer when he hurt his shoulder later in the game and is set for an MRI. It’s his right shoulder vs. a left pectoral tear that ended his year in 2012, but neither of these injuries look too good. Big men waiting in the wings for the Hawks (womp womp) Elton Brand, Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon, and Mike Scott would all stand to get increased roles, especially if both injuries turn out to be serious. I’ve talked about Scott more than a few times as a guy to keep an eye on should there be injuries, and I think he has the most upside by far to emerge. His per 36 of 18.7/7.7/2.0/0.6 with 1.3 treys while shooting 55% from the field gives him a glimmer of hope to be the fantasy contributor I thought he could be. Here’s what else I spotted through the Holidays while opening all of my Brandon Knight basketball cards on Christmas morning: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?
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?
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?
With all of the fantasy advice out there, is it ever really possible to sell high?
Everyone from the newbies to the expert players knows that Andrew Bogut is playing well. And playing a lot. And that he has a closet full of expensive suits to show for all the time he’s spent on the end of benches.
And we all have the file on the Australian Bogey Man. He’s had some amazing runs of board-n-block brilliance, albiet runs that have been more damaged than a “Crocodile Dundee” sequel. Stress fractures, awful falls, weird treatments and a mega-trade involving Kwame Brown (ew) have weighed down the bright spots in Bogut’s career like a Bloomin’ Onion that sits in your belly for days and won’t come out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
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?
Ending up with a late-round pick in this year’s fantasy draft is like reaching the front of the line at McDonald’s and having the former computer analyst behind the counter tell you that they only have chicken sandwiches left.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Al Jeffersons and Carmelo Anthonys, but I came here for the Big Macs, not those Southwest whatever-you-call-its with the weird sauce.
Picking in that slot seems to be having a ripple effect. At that point all the elite guys are gone, so you have to take someone like Jefferson or Anthony or gamble a little on a guy like Derrick Rose. Also, if you didn’t get James Harden, Stephen Curry or Paul George, you’re going to have to either reach or punt a little on SG, because there isn’t one of proper value to take at that spot.Please, blog, may I have some more?