Man, you guys don’t even know. There’s been a mob outside my house every night for the past two weeks carrying tiki torches and screaming, “We want the Top 200 with stats!” Or at least I think that’s what they were saying. Anyways, big shout out to Rudy who waved his magic wand and created the beautiful looking spreadsheet below. It even sorts. Here is Rudy in his lab:
FIVE… DAYS. The NBA “offseason” has kept us almost constantly entertained with a loaded draft, free agency rumors, the best summer league ever, and multiple superstar trades. But, it’s time for some real, official action. And by that, I mean actual stats that count in our fantasy leagues, of course. This season, more than any other, I’m just a huge fan of the entire NBA and my fantasy teams. You see, I’m a longtime Bulls fan. And while I’m an optimist that’s been quite obsessed with the Sixers rebuild and their amazing potential, the Bulls have messed up their tank job in half a dozen ways prior to even getting it off the ground. So, I’m really itching for some Lonzo outlets, CP3-to-Capela lobs, and an unexpected six-steal game from my most recent free agent acquisition. Let’s get going already with this new crop of talent!
Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Last week, I talked about ways to find advantages by removing certain stats your team doesn’t need for various reasons and shuffling up player values so you have a better idea of who’s actually the most helpful for your team during drafts. That’ll be a theme as the season goes on, because it really leads us to trades that can help us a ton, while helping the other team enough that they pull the trigger. But we’ve got another weekend of drafting to go, so I’ve compiled a list of a few more places to take advantage of what I see as market inequities. If you’ve already drafted, maybe this can spark some trade proposal ideas, too.
Whew. 100 down. 100 to go. It’s been a helluva ride, but we almost there. This is where things get really interesting, as it’s a group where some starters still reside, but is mostly populated with bench players. Do you go with a specialist or someone that contributes across the board? Decisions decisions.
Yes! I’m freaking pumped now. Go do your thing right now! I’m going to finish this post then run like Forrest Gump.
It’s nice to live minute-to-minute. Riding the wave of life, experiencing the gamut of emotions, and acquiring a rolodex of memories with nary a stress in the world. A life lived like this is unfulfilling, though. To truly get the most out of life, one must try to achieve. And in order to achieve, one must have a plan. Look at the current NBA. So many smart people running teams, yet they navigate the landscape like a stoned teenager walking through a grocery store. Look! Twinkies! Mmmmm, I’m so hungry. These will taste so good. Oh! Chips.
Former general manager of the 76ers, Sam Hinkie, had a plan. If you haven’t read his Manifesto, I highly recommend that you do. There’s so much goodness there, but I wanted to focus on this excerpt:
“It is critical to be cycle aware in a talent-driven league. In a situation like yours at the Sixers, where a variety of circumstances left you near a trough in the cycle (and falling), amplifying this cycle became crucial. Today’s outcomes for every team are heavily impacted by decisions past (who to draft, sign, trade, hire, etc.). Jeff Bezos says that if Amazon has a good quarter it’s because of work they did 3, 4, 5 years ago-not because they did a good job that quarter. Today’s league-leading Golden State Warriors acquired Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, and Klay Thompson almost 4 years ago, nearly 4 years ago exactly, and almost 5 years ago. In this league, the long view picks at the lock of mediocrity.”
In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:
It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:
Ah, the fountain of youth. Something Arizona certainly doesn’t have! The retirement haven of America – just ask Tyson Chandler – oddly boasts the most ridiculously young team. Last Thursday, they had a younger starting 5 than all but 1 of the 8 college teams playing in the Sweet Sixteen that night, and not surprisingly, the youngest starting 5 in NBA history. The retirees in Phoenix love to watch em young!
Despite being a god awful team, there still is a lot of promise with the draft picks they made, highlighted by the absolute insanity that Devin Booker dropped 70 points on the Celtics last Friday night. Insanity that he was the youngest player to break 70, that he set a franchise record, OR THAT THE SUNS STILL LOST?! Hah, take your pick.
On that layup there to kick off the GIF, Marcus Smart is like, “meh, whatever, we up 20.” 21-40 FG (4-11 3PTM 24-26 FT) for 70/8/6/3/1 in the craziest line of the year. I mentioned on our last Pod that the Suns are kinda like random number generators right now, so who knows what you’ll get next?! Well, next was 23/4/5/0/1 with 4 TO in a blah encore for Dbook. His shooting arm was tired! He did get another 7-7 FT yesterday though against the Hornets (nice to see the volume staying high), but they yet again lost, and he’s doing this without Eric Bledsoe, instead with a group of similarly young pups. It might vault him to be drafted a little too high for my liking for next year, but maybe he can turn into DeMar DeRozan with 3s. Which hurts the FG%, but I’m all optimism right now! “Never Seen So Many Guys Happy After An L!” huh?! Well, Jae Crowder – aka Party Pooper – it’s the end of March and I’m in super depressed mode after I had 3 of my 4 alive teams lose in semis this week! Why you gotta harsh my buzz! Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball action over the weekend:
What a way to kick off the week! Well, that is, if you own Rudy Gobert! Monsieur Elbow says “No!” And “Oui, I own l’paint!” Absolutely monstrous 16/14/3/0/8 last night against the Pacers, hitting 7-12 from the field with only 1 TO.
So much swattage! His 13 blocks the last 2 games now gives him a 13.2/12.8/1.2/0.7/2.6 slash on the year, hitting 65% from the field. Oddly 65.5% from the stripe too! Which isn’t good, but not a punt either. BB Monster has him 20th overall in per game stats, and 12th in total. Absolutely insane draft day value, but it really grinds my gears he’s doing this this year, and not in 2015-16! Had him 11th and well above consensus, just one year too early – stupid FIBA wore him down. Focus on the NBA, you Frenchy! Oh shit, now he’s gonna hunt me with one of those elbows, NOOOOOO!!! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:
For LeBron, he needed just 28 minutes to post 16/11/12 against the Pistons, a team he seems to dominate since his unforgettable 48-point performance in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. He wouldn’t be denied and knocked over anything in his path, including teammate Kyrie Irving:
The Cavs were in a bit of a slump, losing 4 of 5, heading into their matchup with the Pistons. With the Cavs just 2.5 games up on the Celtics, hopefully James will finish the year on a tear. It was James’ 10th triple-double of the season and third in the last four games.
Not a Shia LaBeouf, fan so I’ve never even heard about this movie ’til now. Well, what a difference a week makes. We were analyzing trade impacts last week. This week, we’ll be looking at a few major injuries that has hit some top tier fantasy players. Kyle Lowry, Kevin Durant, & Joel Embiid. And due to Embiid being gone for the season, no more EmBIIIIID for him.
Man, what a horrid week for injuries! Highlighted by the worst injury of all: yesterday we got news that JB Gilpin – yes pickup basketball superstar – rolled his ankle in his after-work pickup game on someone else’s fat foot. That’s right, I got a kankle! Some rough swelling, probably out 1-2 weeks, go ahead and give me that INJ tag! No joke, this is the second time in a row I’ve gotten a kankle before a big trip. Now I’m gonna be gimpy walking around Spring Training games on my baseball trip starting this weekend! Stupid kankles…
Anyway, some lower-tier basketball talents also got news of rough injuries, of course highlighted by Kevin Durant‘s MRI revealing a Grade 2 MCL strain and a tibial bone bruise. Stupid Zaza Pachulia flying around willy-nilly! He’s going to be “re-evaluated” in 4 weeks, so there’s no way he’s making an impact on your fantasy playoffs. Mayyyyybe he plays in the last game or two, but I highly doubt it. According to BB Monster, he was by far the best per-game player and total value player, so it’s an unbelievable loss. But hey, he got you to your fantasy playoffs (hopefully) and anything can happen week-to-week in H2H leagues. Injuries are the mother-flippin’ worst! Here’s what else went down across the NBA last night, including one other major injury piece of news: