So, I married a Jew 11 years ago. I should elaborate, and let you know that she’s a woman, and more importantly, that I’m not jewish myself, so there is a blending in our house of different cultures and holidays, which is dope, IMO. We celebrated the first night of Chanukah (pronounced HHHHHHHHHHHa-nu-Kah. When you sound like you’re bringing up a goober, you’ve nailed it) last Sunday night, and my boys dug it. On Christmas Eve, we will get both our families together for a Christmicah dinner. But what does this have to do with fantasy basketball, Dan? Well, it doesn’t at all, but upon reflecting on the season, I realized that even though my elder son got clothes yesterday in an entirely anti-climactic fashion from his maternal grandparents, he should just suck it up and be thankful that at least they’re clothes that he would want to wear. What I’m saying, gentle reader, is that you should appreciate the gifts as they come, whether it’s what you wanted exactly or not, and re-gift away the excess junk. And in that spirit, I present to you some gift-ish fantasy players you should definitely be thankful to get, or get rid of:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After a tough loss in Detroit, it’s safe to say things have yet to take flight for this year’s Houston Rockets. While many came into the season thinking Houston’s out-of-this-world lineup had the potential to challenge the incumbent Golden State Warriors for the title as best team in the West, those dreams came crashing back to earth weeks ago (and Kevin McHale is still searching through the wreckage for the cause of the incident). Last night’s struggles are just another indication of this season’s overall trend: the Houston Rockets are looking more like Team Rocket when they step on the court.
Even a near triple double from James Harden (29 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) wasn’t enough for Houston to surmount a surprising Pistons squad. With Harden passing 40 minutes for the fourth straight game, it’s looking like the Rockets are going to be riding their thoroughbred until the saddle cracks. In fairness, a monster game from Harden is probably the best chance Houston has to win every night, but for fantasy owners, the team’s struggle bodes well for the Beard’s outlook. Harden is going to score in abundance while racking up rebounds, assists, 3s, and steals as Houston fights to stay in the playoff hunt early. I think these past five games are particularly telling for the current state of the team as well as Harden’s prospects for the next few weeks as they try to right the ship (or the rocket).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hoops fans were treated to a pretty entertaining six-game slate on Tuesday night, and those who were able to stay awake into the wee hours of Wednesday morning (for us East coasters anyways), saw history made at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors set a new benchmark for best record to start an NBA season by winning their sixteenth straight game to open the 2015-2016 campaign.
For all intents and purposes, the game between the Warriors and the visiting Lakers was over before it started. GSW entered the contest as 17-point favorites and it took them all of 10 and a half minutes to cover that number. The Dubs were up 34 after three quarters and LA had the look of a team that might as well have just stayed home – they walked in defeated. (Aside: Byron Scott needs to go. Awful, awful ball coach.)
Unfortunately the blowout factor was in full effect as none of the Warriors starters were needed in the fourth quarter, evidenced by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green playing a game-high 30 minutes each. However, in honor of this Golden State team destroying the league so far this season, here are the lines for each of their starters tonight:
- Chef Curry – 24/4/9/2/0, four triples, zero TOs
- Klay Thompson – 11/3/2/0/1, two triples, one TO
- Harrison Barnes – 8/2/1/0/0, two triples, one TO
- Draymond Green – 18/7/5/1/2, two triples, 7-11 FGs
- Andrew Bogut – 8/7/2/0/2, 4-7 FGs, zero TOs
Those are pretty pedestrian numbers (relative to each player’s typical contributions this year), but these are the types of lines that we’ll occasionally see with a team as dominant as the Warriors. For season-long owners you just have to move on to the next game and hope it’s a more competitive affair. And for DFS players, you know for the future to fade GSW players on nights when they’re huge favorites as the main guys won’t be needed for the full 48. At some point we’ll also have to keep an eye out for DNP-Rest days, though I can’t imagine that will happen until Golden State loses their first game. (For the record, the teams standing in the way of a 28-0 Warriors team hosting the Cleveland LeBrons on Christmas Day are: Phoenix twice, Sacramento, Utah twice, Charlotte, Toronto, Brooklyn, Indiana, and Milwaukee twice. Seriously – who of those teams is scaring you if you’re the Dubs?)
Let’s take a look at the non-Bay Area happenings on Tuesday night…Please, blog, may I have some more?
How do you decide who is most deserving of the lead between these two stellar performances?:
- Player A – 25 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 10-15 FGs
- Player B – 22 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks, 10-14 FGs
I’m going to give the nod to the player who posted his gaudy stats in a winning effort and that would be Player A, also known as Detroit center, Andre Drummond. The Pistons asked a lot from their franchise big man, and he responded with 39 minutes of terrific play that helped lead his team to a win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond was a +17 in a five point win, and even made the Cavs pay when they intentionally fouled him in the fourth quarter. After starting 1-4 from the line, AD made four of his last five to help seal the deal. It was a great overall performance and at this point the only thing fantasy owners need to fear is this heavy workload catching up to him later in the season. But at only 22 years old, there’s no reason why Drummond can’t make 2015-2016 his career campaign.
Player B is Miami Heat center, Hassan Whiteside. In just his 77th career game, Whiteside treated fantasy owners to his second points/boards/blocks triple-double. Unfortunately it was in a losing effort to the visiting Timberwolves, and was accompanied by four turnovers and a 2-9 mark from the charity stripe. Despite the sub-par free throw shooting (which was a bugaboo coming into the season), Hassan is providing first round returns and very likely earning himself a max contract when he hits free agency in the summer of 2016. Similar to Andre Drummond, there are no legitimate threats to Whiteside’s value other than injury, so it’s a “sit back and enjoy the ride” opportunity for his owners.
Honorable mention goes to Brooklyn’s pivot, Brook Lopez, who wasn’t too shabby himself on Tuesday night, dropping a 24/10/1/1/3 line in a two point win over the visiting Hawks. BroLo only turned the ball over once in 35 minutes and made 11-21 from the floor against a reasonably stout Atlanta front line. He may not be posting the monster lines like Whiteside and Drummond, but he’s chugging along as a third round per-game value in 9-cat leagues which is likely providing his owners with a solid return on their draft day investment.
Let’s take a look at what else shook down on a highly entertaining seven-game Tuesday evening…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe he didn’t call glass on his clutch three with 1:05 left in the 4th, but when you’re Dirk Nowitzki, a future hall of famer, who cares? I know fantasy owners don’t care whether it was a swish or a banked in three. All we care about are the final stats. And, boy, did Dirk deliver.
Down one going into the second half, Dirk took over for the Mavericks, leading them to a 10-point win against the Clippers. Dirk finished the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds on 11-14 shooting, including 5-6 from downtown. It was vintage Dirk.
Midway through the 3rd quarter he caught a Zaza Pachulia pass off of an offensive rebound and without squaring up, knocked down an one foot fade away jumper without hesitation. He knocked down threes with DeAndre Jordan in his grill. It was truly a great game.
As a fan of the game, it’s amazing to watch games like this, but as a fantasy owner, you have to realize that these games aren’t as common for the 37 year-old as they used to be. It was Dirk’s first 30-point game since December 28, 2014. In his 18th year in the NBA, Dirk is still a top 50 player when he plays, but just be aware his minutes are monitored more closely and he sits on back to backs, hurting his total overall value.
Now onto the other nightly notables:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The list of superlatives that can be applied to Andre Drummond is a long one. The Pistons big man went berserk on Tuesday night with his second straight 20/20 game. To be precise, he went for 25 & 29 – the second 25/25 of his career. For perspective on just how good he’s been so far this season:
- Only player since NBA/ABA merger to have 75 points and 75 rebounds through his first four games
- First player since Kareem with multiple 20/20 games in his first four games
- No other Piston has had a single 25/25 game in the last 30 years
Drummond had 11 offensive rebounds tonight which was more than any other player had in this game…combined. If the points and boards weren’t enough, he also tossed in three steals and a block for good measure.
The one knock on AD has always been (and will continue to be) his poor free throw shooting. At .403 FT% for his career, it’s quite the albatross. But this season – early as it may be – Drummond is up to .576 (19-33), making owners who thought they were punting the category feel pretty darn good about their chances across the board.
The stars seem to have aligned for Andre to post a truly special season. Lane-clogging Greg Monroe is gone. Stan Van Gundy isn’t afraid to play his starters heavy minutes and the team is winning (i.e. rewarding this approach). A summer of work with a shooting coach is paying immediate dividends at the foul line. At this point, the only thing that could conceivably derail this train is injury…and Drummond has only missed one game in the last two years, so there are no concerns about chronic or lingering ailments.
Now on to the rest of the happenings from an eventful Tuesday night of round ball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Flashy player. Ridiculous opportunity. Buzzy preseason. A lot of times it ends up fizzling out, sometimes it works out OK, and one time it’s C.J. McCollum.
C.J. went absolutely bonkers in his 15-16 debut, hitting 14-22 from the field including 6-9 3PTM for 37/6/1/1/0 and no TO. Video game numbers! So he’s a shooter, and he does what NBA shooters do – keeps draining em when they hot! But I think we need to take a step back and consider a few things: Other than massive Pts and treys it was fairly empty. This was against the Pelicans, who without Brow, might look worse than the Sixers; they look horrific. And the third thing that no one seemed to mention while anointing McCollum the next big thing in combo guards this preseason – he’s got a pretty extensive injury history. He’s at the pinnacle of a sell high for me. Do I think he’ll be hot garbage all the sudden? Of course not. But do I think he scores 37 again this year? I don’t. Well, unless they faced the Pelicans every night… I’d shop around in the 40-50 range of ADP and see if you can get lucky. As with all fantasy takeaways off one game, it’s always good to keep from overreacting. Compared to fantasy football, we’re at the same point as about 9 minutes into the first quarter of week 1. Still a long way to go. Here’s what else went down during the first full slate of fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Previous “Jump Ball” articles:
9/26 – Kawhi Leonard v Jimmy Butler
10/2 – Blake Griffin v Serge Ibaka
TALE OF THE TAPE
|EMMANUEL MUDIAY||D’ANGELO RUSSELL|
|Denver Nuggets||Team||Los Angeles Lakers|
|PG||Position (Y! Eligibility)||PG|
|N/A||9-Cat Rank (Total Value)||N/A|
|N/A||9-Cat Rank (Per Game)||N/A|
|12 (China)||Games Played||35 (NCAA)|
|31.5||Minutes Per Game||33.9|
|N/A||Usage Rate (Rank)||N/A|
Yeah. It goes like this right here. It’s the return of the writings of Slim! That reminds of an Outkast song, and that song reminds me of 1998. If you don’t remember it was the year we learned there was yet another way to be disgusted by a cigar. That near, far, wherever you are you probably found yourself at some point rooting for the most unlikeliest of protagonists, Billy Zane. And of course it was the year the ‘Blue Screen of Death‘ truly became a meme, long before anyone knew what a meme was.
Gangstaaaaa… It’s the return… turn…
In the NBA draft that year there were 3 guys drafted that are still playing and should one day be in the Hall of Fame. I’ll give you a hint, the top 3 draft picks were Michael Olowokandi, Mike Bibby, and Raef LaFrentz, and if you were playing fantasy basketball back then you might have gone all-in on one of them. Give up? They are Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce. Pick number 5, 9, and 10 respectively. That’s not to say great players aren’t drafted 1st, but the only thing guaranteed when you are first overall is a whole boat load of money. Something about the use of the word ‘only’ there doesn’t quite feel right.
Return… Ganstuhuhuh… It’s the re…
It seems so easy to see when you’re talking time traveling, something mind unraveling. Get Down. It’s a whole lot harder to do here and now using some funky combination of math, logic, illogical fandom, a random number generator, and of course the occasional dart throw. For some reason though, after about an hour on 350 (or about 176c) it develops a creamy caramel colored crust. Once it cools, just cut it up and consume. So here’s you’re 1st taste. Slim’s, I can’t believe I’m writing this in 3rd person, RCL playoff schedule post.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The NBA fantasy draft season is upon us! With plenty of terrible early projections going on, early drafts are always fun. This is basically going to be a recap of my first RCL draft of the season, with a little of bit of sleeper info thrown in for good measure. I really love the team I got in this league, even though I was sniped on a few picks. Just FYI I’ll be setting up another RCL league in about a week or so – to draft in October – so I hope some more of you guys join me! By then Yahoo’s rankings should be much closer to the ballpark of reason… At any rate, let’s dive in!Please, blog, may I have some more?